Your Senate scorecard

The Times got a request recently to name members of the state Senate’s “Brotherhood,” the pork-loving group that has become a bipartisan ruling clique on organizational matters. It famously prevented Sen. Dave Bisbee from rising to president pro tempore and co-chair of Joint Budget, where old rules would have given him those jobs. The 2007 Brotherhood will be slightly different on account of new members and term limits, though perhaps even more powerful.

A vote in November on Senate organization provides the easiest way to divide the sheep from the goats.

The Brotherhood: Sens. Denny Altes, Gil Baker, Paul Bookout, Irma Hunter Brown, Jack Critcher, Jack Crumbly, Steve Faris, Bobby Glover, Barbara Horn, Bob Johnson, Randy Laverty, Bill Pritchard, Terry Smith, Tracy Steele, Jerry Taylor, Robert Thompson, Sharon Trusty, Ruth Whitaker, Hank Wilkins, Ed Wilkinson, Shawn Womack.

The Otherhood: Sens. Jim Argue, Dave Bisbee, Shane Broadway, Steve Bryles, John Paul Capps, Kim Hendren, Jim Hill, Gene Jeffress, Jimmy Jeffress, Jim Luker, Sue Madison, Percy Malone, Paul Miller, Mary Anne Salmon.

Some pig

Heifer International, the hunger-fighting charity in Little Rock, is doing some cross-promotional work with Paramount Pictures associated with the recent release of a new film of “Charlotte’s Web.” In the bargain, the deal got feature treatment in the widely read Wall Street Journal.

Heifer is promoting the movie in its newsletter and will hold petting zoo events to promote a coming DVD release. Marlene New of Heifer told the Journal that the organization is always happy to work with appropriate movie ventures and that, “For us, ‘Charlotte’s Web’ was a natural fit.”

Go to heifer.org to find out about animal gifts. For $120, you can send a pig to an undernourished country. Best not to name it Wilbur. These gifts are miraculous for recipients, but, well, you know.

Toasting the sabbath

Restaurants all over Little Rock are submitting applications for Sunday liquor licenses.

Is it a sign of a new trend? Are the eateries responding to a growing demand for mimosas and bloody marys with Sunday brunch? Is the city finally shedding its conservative hang-ups?

Unfortunately, no. Dec. 31 falls on a Sunday this year, and the restaurants are simply trying to protect their lucrative New Year’s Eve business.

“The sole purpose behind it was to have a liquor license on New Year’s Eve,” said Michael Selig, the owner of Vermillion Water Grille. “Three years ago, Valentine’s Day fell on a Sunday, and they issued temporary, one-day permits. We assumed it was going to be like that this time, but this time around, they’re requiring you to get a Sunday liquor license.”

The licenses are issued for one-year periods from June 1 to May 31 and can be renewed, but Selig doesn’t expect to stay open on Sundays during the first half of 2007 or thereafter.

“I don’t plan on it,” Selig said. “I’d like to stay married. My wife would kill me if we stayed open on Sundays.”

Trio’s, Cheers and Starving Artist Cafe are among the other restaurants seeking Sunday permits on account of the calendar.


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