Ain't no Sunshine...

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13 February 2018 16:57:14 News - The Helena-West Helena World - Helena, AR

The blues world lost a legend and Helena lost one of its favorite sons when John W. "Sunshine Sonny" Payne passed from this life on February 10, 2018. Payne had recently suffered a stroke and was residing at Crestpark Nursing Home when he died. He was 92 years old.Payne was the longtime announcer for the King Biscuit Time radio show on KFFA 1360 Full article on Ain't no Sunshine...

Vice All News Time13 February 2018 16:57:14


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George Clinton: 'Ain't no funk in the Trump'

2.183146 24 April 2017 22:26:34 CNN.com - RSS Channel - Entertainment

At 75 years old, the self-proclaimed "godfather of the funk" shows no signs of slowing down.

Vice Entertainment Time24 April 2017 22:26:34


If it ain't broke, don't fix it

2.183146 16 March 2017 16:06:52 Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art, Arkansas Times

Home-cooking winner Homer's enters its third decade of dishing up meat 'n' three. Though many have tried, the classic American diner just can't be faked. There's more to it than just round barstools, red-checked tablecloths and sweet tea. A great diner is as much about history as it is about artful plate lunches and waitresses who call everybody "honey." One Little Rock joint that seems steeped in that greasy, unpurchaseable history is Homer's, the legendary Little Rock plate lunch place at 2001 W. Roosevelt Road. Opened in 1986 by the late Homer Connell and his wife, Remy, the restaurant's basic formula of hearty, no-nonsense home cooking and friendly service hasn't changed much in the past 31 years, and that appears to be just how their customers like it. The unassuming concrete pillbox of a restaurant is packed with people from all walks of life, from accountants to truckers, most lunch hours during the week. The mojo radiated by the original is strong enough that it was shared five years ago with a popular spinoff, Homer's West, in the Galleria Shopping Center at 9700 N. Rodney Parham Road. Though Little Rock restaurants seem to bloom and fade quicker than the spring daffodils, Homer's has thrived on a basic formula of big portions, plenty of options, daily plate lunch specials and one of the friendliest waitstaffs in the city. Homer Connell's son David started Homer's West. Unlike the original on Roosevelt, which is only open for breakfast and lunch during the week, the Rodney Parham incarnation is open seven days a week and offers dinner options, a full bar and a patio for outdoor dining. Other than dinner entrees like steaks and fish, Connell said, the tried-and-true menu at Homer's West is basically the same as at Homer's East: big burgers, sandwiches, plate lunches and a long slate of veggie options. "We offer a little bit more variety than most restaurants," Connell said. "I think in a day and age when restaurants are getting simpler with their menus, we still offer different specials daily and we also offer a variety of burgers, sandwiches and salads. We have a little bit more of a diverse menu than most restaurants do nowadays. That's unique, in my opinion." Connell said that while other restaurants might get caught up in appealing to a more blue-collar or white-collar crowd, Homer's has been lucky enough to bring what he calls both the paper-napkin and linen-napkin crowd. "We're obviously paper-napkin, but we're half blue-collar and half-white collar," he said. "We get politicians, lawyers, but then we get construction workers and truck drivers in there. We get all types. When I opened up Homer's West about five years ago, we got into the family crowd a bit more." Connell believes the secret to the longevity of the original Homer's has a lot to do with customer loyalty and the low turnover rate among the waitresses and kitchen staff, some of whom, he said, have been there long enough to raise kids and put them through college on their salaries. That low turnover creates both a consistency in the food and in the relationships forged between employees and diners. Connell said some customers have eaten at Homer's East several times a week for years. "Our customers are more like family," he said. "We have a lot of customers that eat with us regularly. Not just once a month, once every couple months. They eat with us weekly. They come in every day to check on our staff. They kind of develop a family relationship."

Vice All News Time16 March 2017 16:06:52


Sunshine by the water

2.183146 12 January 2017 01:14:59 The Day RSS Feeds - All News

Jose Rivera of New London enjoys the sunshine and mild conditions at Waterfront Park with his 2-year-old son Xavier in New London on Wednesday.

Vice All News Time12 January 2017 01:14:59


Huckabee: 'Hillary ain't Bill'

2.0030239 08 November 2016 15:16:57 Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art, Arkansas Times

One last pronouncement via Politico from Mike Huckabee, shilling for Donald Trump, who employs Huckabee's daughter and who otherwise holds promise for future benefits for the Huckabee clan should he be elected president today. Bill Clinton is likable and has empathy and understands working people, says the Huckster. But "Hillary ain't Bill." “I know both of them,” he continued. “Hillary ain’t Bill. I wanna make it as clear as I can: She ain’t Bill. She does not have that empathy. And if working-class people think they’re gonna have a friend in the White House with Hillary, boy, are they in for a rude awakening if, God forbid, she gets there.” Hillary needs big-name entertainers to draw crowds; Trump is enough of a draw on his own, says Huckster. He neglected to mention Trump bringing in Huckabee's pal, Ted Nugent, for his final day of campaigning. You know Nugent, whose hit "Cat Scratch Fever" includes the immortal line: "I make the pussy purr with the stroke of my hand." Appropriate for the groper, I guess. But anyway, back to the Huckster. “I think some of even the most reluctant Republicans are coming around. And I'm gonna tell you something: The ones that don't come around, I'm gonna remember them and I hope every other Republican remembers them,” he said. “Don't ever ask me for your vote again because you're done. You’re done.” Speaking of done: What does the future hold for the Huckster after a Trump loss? How long will he be remembered? Alas, Mike, we knew ye.

Vice null Time08 November 2016 15:16:57


Judicial sunshine

2.0030239 16 June 2016 00:57:24 Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art, Arkansas Times

Some 47 years ago, my newspaper, on the advice of its senior counsel, scuttled a story of mine about a trial judge's role in a famous corporate scandal that sent three businessmen to prison and disgraced one of the state's most colorful politicians. Some 47 years ago, my newspaper, on the advice of its senior counsel, scuttled a story of mine about a trial judge's role in a famous corporate scandal that sent three businessmen to prison and disgraced one of the state's most colorful politicians. I still disagree with the lawyer's advice and the paper's following it, but over time I developed at least some appreciation for the lawyer's point of view. He said the facts in my story, all from public records, cast such a dark shadow over the integrity of the court that to publish it in the statewide newspaper could destroy public confidence in the independence and impartiality of the judiciary. I thought, so what? I bring up that old grievance because a task force of the bar association has come up with better remedies to the peril of judicial corruption and favoritism than my newspaper counsel's, which was to keep knowledge of scoundrelry from the public unless there was clear evidence a judge had broken the law. The bar group wants to make influence-buying either illegal or fully transparent and to find a way besides elections to choose judges, at least for the Supreme Court. Judicial independence, the great doctrine of the Founders that was supposed to be the key to preserving democratic institutions, has become an urgent issue in Arkansas this year. The genius of the founders was to distribute power among two political branches of government and a third branch that was to be insulated from politics so that it would be faithful only to the Constitution and the laws. If people discovered that laws could be subverted by pressure on judges, the social fabric of the country would break down. The appearance of huge bundles of money in Supreme Court races starting in 2010, the decisive "dark money" drops in three state Supreme Court races, and the bribery of a trial judge who was running for the Court of Appeals raised the appearance that special interests could buy what they wanted with gifts and election money not just from the legislative and executive branches, but from the independent branch as well. The task force recommended returning to the Founders' plan for choosing judges, at least for the tribunal of last resort. Instead of electing them, the governor would appoint justices from a short list of qualified and virtuous lawyers provided by an independent commission. Arkansans are unlikely to vote to give up their power to elect justices, even if they find a satisfactory way of choosing the judicial commissioners. But the other reforms, which strengthen the loophole-ridden campaign finance and disclosure laws and the ethical canons for judges, are doable — by initiative if the special interests beat them in the legislature and the Supreme Court. Many are in a campaign-reform bill by Rep. Clarke Tucker (D-Little Rock). The dark-money campaigns of 2014 and 2016 would be illegal. Every group that spends money to influence a judicial election would have to fully disclose its members and the sources of the money. More importantly, the monied interests, whether corporations, lobbying groups or just very rich people, would be subject to the same restrictions as individuals who support a candidate. They would be identified on public reports, and if the limit for an individual supporter of a candidate is $1,000, that would be the limit as well for each of the Koch brothers. Under a progeny of decisions by the Antonin Scalia Supreme Court, corporations and the very rich who want to buy public offices have rights not accorded to ordinary individuals, which include anonymity and unlimited spending privileges. But the court did imply that states might impose some restrictions in special cases like judicial elections. The bar task force also wants to tighten gift rules. Trial and appellate judges could not accept gifts from anyone but a close relative. The lavish gifts that Supreme Court Justice Courtney Goodson received from her lover, a prominent lawyer with much at stake before the appellate courts, would be illegal, even though she would later divorce her husband and marry him. Judges and candidates could not solicit, accept or use the support and endorsement of political and lobbying groups, such as the Republican Party and the National Rifle Association. It implies favoritism, forbidden by the doctrine of judicial independence. Judicial canons would force disclosure of election funds and relationships with lawyers and clients so that the rules would be clearer for judges to recuse in cases where there is a suspicion of partiality. But the laws also must impose stiff and certain punishment. As the courts of Alabama proved last week when they convicted the House speaker for violating laws he had passed, the laws then must be enforced. We've had problems there, too.

Vice All News Time16 June 2016 00:57:24


Say it ain't so, Atticus Finch

2.0030239 14 July 2015 19:32:03 The Daily Sentinel - opinion,opinion/

“I haven’t anywhere to go, but down,” Harper Lee was long ago quoted as saying as to why she would not publish a second novel, other than To Kill a Mockingbird.

Vice All News Time14 July 2015 19:32:03


Springtime for legislators ain't dead yet

2.0030239 04 March 2015 19:08:55 Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art, Arkansas Times

I wrote yesterday that resistance had arisen to Sen. Ron Caldwell's resolution — which had broad support in some quarters — to declare a spring break for the legislature March 23-27, to coincide with the spring break for public schools in Arkansas. Caldwell filed a new resolution today. Now it appears hard-working legislators only want a three-day spring break March 23-25, which would give them with the preceding weekend a five-day holiday. And, hey, if they are nominally working Thursday and Friday of that week, legislative leaders can decree that they still collect the five-day per diem (up to $150 per day) for that week, in keeping with usual custom. $750 for a week with a three-day vacation could easily cover the gas down to Destin and back. Plus some grouper sandwiches and maybe a cold one or three. Pack those swim trunks and bikinis, boys and girls. There might be a historic legislative spring break after all. You get a spring break, don't you? You also have corporate clients feeding you every day for free, don't you? And I KNOW you got a 150 percent pay raise like legislators are about to get.

Vice null Time04 March 2015 19:08:55


Ice ain't nice

1.7704396 20 February 2015 17:00:52 Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art, Arkansas Times

Little Rock has apparently been spared problems, but freezing rain to the north around Beebe and Searcy, among others, has been another matter. Cars, trucks, a school bus and — in the photo above — a Highway Department salt spreader have been victims to a sudden sheet of glare ice.

Vice null Time20 February 2015 17:00:52


Arkansas: Where the living ain't easy

1.7526459 27 June 2014 15:04:21 Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art, Arkansas Times

The New York Times' Upshot has another numbers crunch that uses six measures to identify the hardest places to live in America. The red states, including Arkansas, dominate on the wrong end of the school, as the map above shows. In Arkansas, Lee County makes the "top" 10 of hardest living counties, ranked at 3,126 among the 3,135 measured. We had no Top 10 counties. Only Benton County runs on the right end in this ranking, coming in at 366 in a ranking of 3,135 U.S. counties. Here's how it was compiled: The Upshot came to this conclusion by looking at six data points for each county in the United States: education (percentage of residents with at least a bachelor’s degree), median household income, unemployment rate, disability rate, life expectancy and obesity. We then averaged each county’s relative rank in these categories to create an overall ranking. It could be worse. Our counties are all better off than the worst in Kentucky. The worst of them is the focus of a feature in the Times Sunday magazine. Arkansas Delta counties cluster down along the bottom 200 counties in the compilation. H ere you'll find an interactive map t hat allows you to look at the scores of each individual county.

Vice null Time27 June 2014 15:04:21


UDC donates to Sunshine House

1.7526459 16 June 2014 21:35:54 MySwainsboroNews.com - news,news/

Joyce Fennell, President, Emanuel Rangers Chapter No. 2318 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy presented bunnies and bears to The Sunshine House on June 12, 2014. Donations for The Sunshine House were accepted by Carol V. Donaldson, Director.

Vice All News Time16 June 2014 21:35:54