Smart Talk April 7 

Well-armed Little Rock native Robbie Lewis, the widely acclaimed executive chef at Jardiniere in San Francisco, made the pages of the New York Times magazine March 27. Or at least his right arm did. The magazine featured tattoos of famous chefs. (One had a portrait of famed Berkeley restaurateur Alice Waters.) The magazine photographed Lewis’ right arm, which bears tattoos of four essential knives, from paring knife to slicer. He told the Times that he was inspired because when he went to France he kept hearing that American cooks weren’t taken seriously. ‘’So I thought I’d display my devotion to my craft,’’ he said. Axing the poor The U.S. House of Representatives’ proposed federal budget would cause severe pain to Arkansas’s most vulnerable citizens, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities of Washington, a progressive research group. The Senate has proposed a budget also. Both proposals give tax breaks to the rich while cutting government assistance to the poor, but the House’s cuts for the poor are 10 times greater. The cuts for the Arkansas poor in the House plan include: • Between $187 million and $251 million in Medicaid funding. Some 457,000 Arkansans — children, elderly, poor, disabled — depend on Medicaid for basic health care. • $57.8 million in Earned Income Tax Credit benefits. The EITC provides 265,000 working families in Arkansas with tax relief and wage supplements. • $51.4 million in Supplemental Security Income benefits for the elderly and disabled poor. Some 87,000 Arkansans receive modest monthly SSI payments to help them meet basic expenses. • Up to $74 million in food stamps. Nearly 350,000 Arkansans receive food stamps to afford a nutritionally adequate diet. • $9.1 million in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Nearly 23,000 Arkansans receive TANF assistance — income supplements, child care, welfare-to-work programs. • $6.1 million in foster care and adoption assistance funding. Each month, 3,700 Arkansas children in foster and adoptive homes receive these benefits. Congress must choose between the two plans. Concerned Arkansans should contact members of their congressional delegation. Spoilsports The Central Arkansas Wine Society had to suspend its monthly wine tasting programs because of a state Alcoholic Beverage Control rule. Colonial Wine and Spirits had been working with the five-year-old society, which bought wine from Colonial and then paid a corkage fee to hold tastings with food at a facility with an alcoholic beverage permit, such as the Main Event in the Train Station. A competitor apparently complained, however, and the ABC decided that the wine tastings amounted to an “inducement” to purchase from the store. “I thought we were doing things the right way,” Clark Trim, owner of Colonial, said. “We weren’t trying to hide anything, We didn’t think we were doing anything wrong. But they have shown me the regulation and they are totally correct the way the regulation is written.” Trim, who gave talks about the wines served, said he’s working with a group interested in taking over the society and operating it within the ABC guidelines. There may be some hope of help from the legislature, which last week passed a bill that authorizes wine retailers to receive a permit to hold wine-tasting events for educational and promotional purposes.

From the ArkTimes store


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

More by Arkansas Times Staff

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.

Latest in Smart Talk

  • Better than Texas

    Arkansas's tax system is slightly more friendly to the poorest people, but only slightly.
    • Aug 24, 2011
  • Small-school champions

    Two Arkansas congressmen are among the 14 sponsors of a bill that would "correct" a provision of the federal school-funding formula they say favors large school districts over small districts.
    • Aug 24, 2011
  • Bipartisan race

    The rise of Republicanism in Arkansas has brought a rare two-party race to the state Senate in Southeast Arkansas, traditionally a Democratic stronghold.
    • Aug 24, 2011
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »


  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28  

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.

Most Recent Comments


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