Public invited to NLR inauguration on Jan. 1

The public is invited to attend the city’s swearing in ceremony for municipal elected officials at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 1 in the lobby of City Hall, 300 Main St., North Little Rock, Mayor-elect Joe A. Smith and his wife, Missie Smith, also wish to extend an invitation to every resident of North Little Rock to visit with them during a City Hall Open House to be held the following Sunday, Jan. 6th, from 2-4 p.m. Light refreshments will be served at both events.

"My door will always be open during my time in office if anyone has an issue to discuss," Mayor-Elect Smith said. "The Open House will provide an opportunity for my fellow residents to get to know Missie and I even if they don’t have a specific issue. This is their government and my staff and I are here to listen. We want all residents to feel comfortable visiting this great building."

Smith, who has spent the past 22 years actively involved in the administration at City Hall, will take office as Mayor on Jan 1. He is the 19th elected mayor of the city and succeeds Mayor Patrick Henry Hays who chose not to run for a seventh term.

Other elected officials being sworn in during the ceremony on Jan. 1:

Diane Whitbey, City Clerk and Collector; Jim Hamilton, District Court Judge; Randy Morley, District Court Judge; Beth White, First Ward Alderman; Maurice Taylor, Second Ward Alderman; Bruce Foutch, Third Ward Alderman; and Charlie Hight, Fourth Ward Alderman.

Lakewood Community Association to meet on Jan. 3

The Lakewood Community Association (LCA) will meet at 6 p.m. on Jan. 3 at the LPOA clubhouse, 4500 Lakeshore Drive (across from the tennis courts). It will be a time to meet and greet Lakewood neighbors, be informed of LCA’s purpose and plans for 2013. There will be a guest speaker for Zumba fitness and a safety update from a North Little Rock Police representative. For more information, please call (501) 258-9968.

NLR Chamber luncheon set for Jan. 4

The North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce has set a luncheon for Friday, Jan. 3, from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the chamber’s Bank of the Ozarks Conference Room, 100 Main St., North Little Rock. The program will be presented by Pulaski County Judge Buddy Villines about the new Broadway Bridge.

Thea hosts John Sykes Jr. Photography by exhibition Jan. 7-18

Thea Center will host a photography exhibition by Little Rock photojournalist John Sykes, Jr., on display from Jan. 7 to 18. Sykes’s nature-inspired, Ansel Adams-esque collection of photographs range from scenic landscapes to digital collages rife with relevant content and context.

Sykes’s photography exhibition will culminate with a final showing, accompanied by an Arkansas Symphony Orchestra string quartet, during the Argenta ArtWalk scheduled for Friday, Jan. 18, from 5-8 p.m..

Sykes, originally from Heber Springs, drew from the Ozark Mountains as a photography muse in the

artist’s adolescence. "The natural beauty sparked my interest in photography, and I’ve been attempting to

copy the work of Ansel Adams and Edward Weston ever since," admits a largely self-taught Sykes. After

studying journalism at ASU in Jonesboro and then UALR, Sykes joined the photography staff of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and is now the newspaper’s chief photographer.

Past exhibitions include three one-man shows at the Cleburne County Arts Council, Cantrell Gallery and the Arts Center of the Ozarks all in 2004. His resume also includes group exhibitions at Cantrell Gallery and Gallery 26. For more information on the artist, visit www.johnsykescreative.com.

The Thea Foundation is located at 401 Main Street, Suite 100, North Little Rock. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon and from 1-5 p.m.

Admission is free and open to the public. For more information on Thea and its programs, visit www.theafoundation.org.

CALS Celebrates 2013 with New Year, New Reads

The public is encouraged to ‘read in’ the new year with the Central Arkansas Library System’s (CALS) adult winter reading program entitled "New Year, New Reads." From Jan. 7 through March 2 patrons may read or listen to any book they choose and then submit reviews one of three ways: at the branch, via email to NewYearNewReads@cals.org, or on Twitter using the hashtag #NewYearNewReads.

Each branch will display the reviews submitted at their branch, and most branches will have drawings for door prizes from the reviews received. Each branch will determine the rules and prizes for their contest.

A prize of a Kindle Fire will be awarded for the Most Creative Book Review of all entries submitted online. Reviewers tweeting or emailing reviews of no more than 140 characters will be entered into the contest.

Readers can pick up reading suggestion bookmarks and review cards at the circulation desk of any CALS branch. The program is free and open to the public.

The CALS website, www.cals.org will include reviews, reading suggestions, and general information about the program. Contact any branch for more information.

CALS libraries in Little Rock include: Main Library, 100 Rock Street; Dee Brown Library, 6325 Baseline Road; Fletcher Library, 823 North Buchanan Street; Oley E. Rooker Library, 11 Otter Creek Court; Terry Library, 2015 Napa Valley Drive; Thompson Library, 38 Rahling Circle; Williams Library, 1800 Chester St.; and McMath Library, 2100 John Barrow Road. CALS libraries in surrounding communities include: Max Milam Library, 609 Aplin Avenue, Perryville; Maumelle Library, 10 Lake Pointe Drive, Maumelle; Esther D. Nixon Library, 703 W. Main Street, Jacksonville; Amy Sanders Library, and 31 Shelby Drive, Sherwood.