by Max Brantley
Fight or not. But the line is open. Closing thoughts:
* WALMART COMING TO RAZORBACK SQUARE: I've been saying for months that Walmart's plan to convert the former Harvest Foods in Razorback Square Shopping Center on Cantrell Road into some type of Walmart would become apparent in the fall. Noted: A plumbing permit for converting the store to a Neighborhood Market was approved a few weeks ago by the state Health Department. I'm still told it's going to be something of a hybrid — less than a Supercenter, more than a Neighborhood Market. The typical neighborhood market has about 42,000 square feet; this one will have about 69,000.
* FRIENDS DON'T LET FRIENDS VOTE FOR RICK PERRY: I wrote earlier today about how even a Texas Republican friend of mine would do anything but vote for Rick Perry. Here's another Texas friend's take on Rick Perry after the big debate. It's an editorial in the Denton newspaper by Mike Trimble, erstwhile Arkansas journalist. Sample:
The Rick Perry who awed the national press Wednesday night was the same Rick Perry people of Texas have become used to during his decade in the governor’s office: pugnacious, officious and not overly bothered by such sissified niceties as nuance or accuracy.
.. When Romney (correctly) called him out on the comparative records of the two men on job creation, Perry engaged in a brief “did not,” “did too” colloquy that left Perry looking like a kid denying the theft of a chocolate cake while wiping the icing off his face.
We leave the national press with the following advice: When you are trying to figure out Rick Perry, you need to do two things — find the lowest common denominator and follow the money.
* INTERNET CAFE RAIDED: Fox 16 reported last night a raid on one of the so-called Internet cafes in Little Rock that have become a thinly veiled effort to circumvent gambling laws with Internet-based "sweepstakes" games.
* A DEMOCRAT FOR 1ST DISTRICT CONGRESS: Talk here of support for Rep. Clark Hall of Marvell to run for 1st District Congress against Republican Rep. Rick Crawford.
* YOU THINK YOU HAVE PROBLEMS? Couldn't help but notice the name of Adrienne Elrod, a former Arkie, in articles out of California about the discovery that a veteran Democratic campaigner in California had been caught robbing candidates' blind. Elrod was quoted as chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, who has some catching up to do because her campaign surplus of $379,000 was wiped out by the thievery. Sanchez, by the way, will be in LR Sept. 16 at 8 a.m. to talk to the Clinton School of Public Service. PS PLEASE: It has come to my attention that there might be cause for misunderstanding here. Adrienne Elrod is the thoroughly legal spokesperson for Loretta Sanchez, who had to talk about how her boss was victimized. She was NOT involved in the skulduggery.
* CAPITOL CAREER CHANGE: State Treasurer Martha Shoffner confirms a tip that her chief deputy, Karla Shepherd, is leaving the office Sept. 16 after 28 years in state government for a "different direction." She said a companion rumor about a former legislator being in line for the job wasn't true. She said she hadn't considered a replacement yet.
* 2ND ESCAPEE IN CUSTODY: Joe Patton, who escaped from the Pulaski County lockup a week ago, was arrested this afternoon at 16th and Pike in North Little Rock. Fredrick Young, who escaped with Patton, had turned himself in earlier.
* ARK. TIMES ACADEMIC ALL-STARS: We finally have a Facebook page going to catch up with Arkansas Times Academic All-Stars. Over 17 years, we've named 340, plus hundreds of nominees and finalists. I'm hoping to compile an interesting report of the life progress of a generation worth of top Arkansas high school students. Here's the place to like, look and comment.
* UPDATE: BRETT CUMMINS RESIGNS: Driving home, I heard KUAR report that Brett Cummins, the KARK meteorologist who woke up Labor Day in a Maumelle hot tub to find a dead friend in the tub with him, has resigned his job. No further comment from his attorney or KARK. Cummins has not been accused of any illegal activity.