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TABLE of CONTENTS

whine line - TOM TOMORROW - LETTER TO THE METRO SPIRIT - INSIDER - AUSTIN RHODES metro - AUGUSTA TEK - SIGHTINGS - RUFFIN’ IT - NY TIMES CROSSWORD - FEATURE are you not entertained - CALENDAR metro augusta parent slab - ASTROLOGY - IN MUSIC the8 - BALL - AMY ALKON: ADVICE GODDESS - JENNY IS WRIGHT

04 04 05 06 08 09 12 14 15 16 17 19 20 21 37 38 44 45 48 49 50

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Contributors Amy Alkon|James Allen|Greg Baker|Rob Brezsny|Sam Eifling|Brandi Freeman|Anna Caroline Harris|Matt Lane|Austin Rhodes|Josh Ruffin|Matt Stone|Tom Tomorrow|Jenny Wright Metro Spirit is a free newspaper published weekly on Thursday, 52 weeks a year. Editorial coverage includes local issues and news, arts, entertainment, people, places and events. In our paper appear views from across the political and social spectrum. The views do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher. Visit us at metrospirit.com.© 15 House, LLC. Owner/Publisher: Joe White. Legal: Phillip Scott Hibbard. Reproduction or use without permission is prohibited. One copy per person, please.

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METRO SPIRIT 01.05.12

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WHINELINE If you get rid of the Jenny Wright and Austin Rhodes columns completely, you’d have more room for the News of the Weird. You already make their columns smaller, c’mon just get rid of them already. So what is Joe Neal Jr. Married a 22 year old? It’s cheaper than Viagra. Welcome everyone to the year 2012 - or, at least the last 351 days of 2012 that is. In case you’ve forgotten, Friday, December 21, 2012 is the “end of the world” according to Mayan prophecies. Interesting. If the Mayans of circa 500(?) B.C. predicted the “end of the world” for 2012, why didn’t they see their own demise of circa 500(?) A.D. coming? Again, interesting, please discuss. What. The Hell. Austin Rhodes, while I am loathe to further promote your name in print, you have lost what few marbles you had left rattling around in your brainless skull. The fact that you would dare to defend a man who threw his wife against a wall and choked her is beyond ridiculous. It is immoral. While his wife may say she regrets calling the police, that’s a far cry from saying he didn’t do it. Even Alvin Mason isn’t even saying he didn’t do it. In fact, NO ONE is saying he didn’t do it. They’re saying it was a “misunderstanding” or an “altercation” or a “domestic dispute.” I don’t care what other words you use to describe it; he put his hands on his wife and assaulted her. You said “a man does not start beating his wife at 49.” And yet, he did. So either he is the exception to your rule, or this isn’t the first time. Knowing Mason’s explosive temper, I’m guessing the latter.

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No News of the Weird and just half a page for the Whine Line!?! Metro Spirit...you guys really suck now. Let’s face it. The Augusta Public Transit System is a joke. A very BAD JOKE for the people like me who have to depend on the service. The buses do not start running early enough in the day and it does not run late enough at night. Many jobs in Augusta start at 5 or 6 am and many of the malls, restaurants, hospitals, and shopping centers close at 9 or 10 pm. Most of the city bus start running at 7:00 am and stop running at 6:00 pm. This means that the city bus system is of NO service to the people who need to get to work. I hear Joe Neal Jr is worried about getting his reputation back after these scurrilous accusations have been brought to light, my question would be “are you happy with your reputation before the accusations?” If so, too late, too far gone. Wow. That was a close call. Just when I thought some of those pesky new bands were going to steal some attention the local music establishment came in and saved the day by nominating basically the same bands that we’ve seen nominated the last few years in the Lokal Loudness awards. Thanks sheeple, I mean, people. We don’t need any new music coming in and changing things on us. Now that the holidays are over and we can go back to being nasty to each other, I’d just like to start the New Year off right by saying that Melvin Stumpf is a big fat idiot and a clueless dumb-bunny. He’s so stupid that he thinks Iran is a story about a

Auld Lang Syne Still feeling nostalgic for old acquaintances? Then head over to dearphotograph.com, one of Time magazine’s 50 best websites of 2011, where you’ll find people holding up old photographs against their present day backdrops. Accompanying the image is a story that begins “Dear Photograph…” Some stories are funny, some are sweet and some are sad. All will help you indulge in your longing for days gone by just a little while longer before heading into the New Year.

WERECOMMEND foot race.The only reason he wears glasses is so that he won’t put his eye out when he tries to pick his nose. I think he might be a good candidate for the Augusta-Richmond County Commission. Let’s get him on the ballot.

Austin Rhodes article about Mason’s arrest. Imagine, wife beater Austin defending Elvin. I think Rick Allen will make a fine politician. He has never met a mirror he didn’t like! Alvin Mason, then Joe Neal Jr. How

come its always the good guys?

The cappuccinos at the coffee shop on Washington Rd. are now made in a MACHINE and not by individually brewing the espresso and frothing the milk for each order. The result is actually worse than what you get for the same price at the fast food place next door and equivalent to what you get in the coffee machines at a gas station. My cappuccino dollars are now going to locally-owned coffeehouses. Is anyone insulted by “Happy New Year” or is that allowed? What if

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WHINELINE@THEMETROSPIRIT.COM

LETTER TO THE METRO SPIRIT The Beauty of Living in a Small Community

up THUMBS

Deke and the Doc win top hunnerd Jawjins.

down THUMBS

The news didn’t take a break over the Christmas holidays like it’s supposed to.

(Louie is safe and sound, thanks to North Augusta Public Safety officers)

your culture has a different new year date? Should we stop saying “Happy Valentines Day” because some people are single? Should we stop wearing green and saying “Happy St. Patricks Day” if we’re not Irish? Lets stop saying “Happy 4th of July” because our many immigrants might get their panties in a wad. And Lord please don’t let those satin worshiping Trick or Treaters come to my door! And lastly, all Britts should be pissed at “Happy Thanksgiving” because it celebrates surviving the move from England. Let’s all vote for anger management and other control type classes for Alvin Mason on the next ballot! So the Whistle Stop Cafe was in a high crime area near the Municipal building, the former location of courts? Geez, whooza thinkit that with less police officers around there that crime would go up? Maybe they can reset up somewhere on Broad St. All the other nice restaurants are over there. Who needs to pay big bucks to see comedians when we can see them anytime near any Republican debates or interviews? Leave your wife if her looks don’t qualify her as first lady! V. 23 | NO. 01

Play with your dead baby in front of your other children. See a newt cry! Hear the people who hears voices of gods tell them what to do. Hee hee hee. Hey, I’d like to buy some of that Augusta National pimento cheese! Can that Wife Safer owner please start selling that by the pint now? Don’t wait til April only to do that, please. On the 7th day of Christmas, my commissioner gave to me, seven fists of fury, six fists landing, five ch-oke holds ... four cries of pain, three bruises, two black eyes and a get out of jail free card!

To the Metro Spirit: On the afternoon of December 28, I was walking my Pit Bull Louie near the North Augusta Brick Ponds. There is an area away from the park where I like to take him off-leash so he can run free. I was enjoying the beautiful landscape, when I noticed my dog had suddenly disappeared. I had not taken my eyes off of him for more than 30 seconds so it was kind of weird that I couldn’t spot him immediately. That’s when I heard noises coming from the bottom of a huge pit. This “pit” is the width of 2-3 swimming pools with brick sides going straight down about 15 feet. I looked down to see my poor dog with a face full of mud looking up at me in confusion and desperation — he must have taken a flying leap on to the wall and ended up crashing face first into the slushy mud at the bottom. There is absolutely no entrance or exit to this pit (except the way Louie got in). The North Augusta Police Department was called and Officer Rowland was first on the scene. Officer Rowland called the Fire Department to bring a ladder and assistance. North Augusta Public Safety officers are cross trained and carry a fireman’s suit in their trunk, so Officer Rowland changed uniforms and went into the pit with my Pit Bull. Although Louie looks ferocious, he is quite sweet, but it was almost dark and my dog was scared and confused — I think Officer Rowland showed great courage going down with him alone. After a few minutes we were able to bring Louie up to dry land with only a small cut on his lip. I want to say thank you so much to North Augusta’s Public Safety officers and especially to Officer Rowland. I felt awful about taking up their time to rescue my dog, but they all assured me that it was fine and they were happy to help. I feel so lucky to live in a town that has the resources and compassion shown by our Public Safety officers to actually take the time to rescue my dog. I think many cities would tell me to call animal control or just turn their back on the entire situation. One of the firemen on the scene said, “That’s the beauty of living in a small community.” Amen to that! Thank you to all those who helped. You guys are the best! Diane Maloney North Augusta

METRO SPIRIT 01.05.12

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INSIDER

Insider is an anonymous, opinion-based examination of the hidden details of Augusta politics and personalities.

Karma’s a Bitch

Attorney finds that what goes around comes around Trial attorney and shameless self-promoter Joseph R. Neal Jr., 43, has had a pretty difficult few weeks recently. In a public Richmond County Sheriff’s Department incident report, an unnamed 18-year-old complainant and victim (identifying information redacted) alleged that Neal gave her “4 to 5 alcoholic drinks and marijuana causing her to become intoxicated” and then “had carnal knowledge of her without her consent and against her will.” The incident report, which is captioned with the incident type of “rape,” was taken on December 20 with an incident date of December 16. The day after the incident report was taken, Neal, according to another public Sherriff’s Department incident report, called police to his home to defend him from his 23-year-old wife, with whom he is currently undergoing legal proceedings to dissolve their May 2011 marriage, and who Neal has alleged “accidently slammed his head in a door” and “scratched him.” Mrs. Neal was taken by ambulance to Trinity Hospital, treated for her injuries and taken into police custody upon her release. Perhaps the timing of the attack was

coincidental. Neal is no stranger to these pages. A self-styled “warrior for justice” and graduate of infamous trial attorney Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyer College, Neal has been representing clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases for more than a decade. He has also taken on every high-profile case he could find to inject himself into the public eye. He represented citizen activist Woody Merry in action against Augusta-Richmond County. He sued the makers of the Cabbage Patch Kids. He filed suit against comedian Tommy Davidson in a civil rape case. While the allegations against Neal are, at this point, just allegations and no charges have been filed against him, could he find himself on the receiving end of a civil rape case notwithstanding the outcome of any potential rape case? As this insider recalls, Davidson was not charged with rape. Oh, the irony.

Funny, ha-ha Dr. Ricardo Azziz is earning high marks from former faculty of MCG’s School of Medicine for what they view as promotions based on ability. Many of these insiders saw so many presidents come and go… and the consensus is most promoted staff based on politics, especially presidents brought in from the outside. On a side note, the Azziz’s Christmas card referred to his wife as “First Lady.” Insiders were assured that is just his sense of humor.

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Mayor once again proves his power… at least to those outside Augusta Making Georgia Trend magazine’s 100 most influential list? Cup of coffee. Knowing where the bullion is buried? Priceless. Mayor Deke Copenhaver was named in the Top 100 most influential Georgians this week. Wealthy, well-connected and “in the know,” odds are there will be lots of money lined up to hitch to his buggy once he is retired from politics. Love him or merely like him, Deke is positioned to be a leading power once out of office. Although the official website of Augusta tells a different story (Our current mayor, Deke Copenhaver, was elected in 2005 to fill the unexpired term of former Mayor Bob Young. In November 2006 he was elected to a four-year term which began on January 1, 2007, and continues through December 31, 2010), he is actually in office until 2014. A developer’s dream, he will be in high demand once off the public dole. Look for him to accomplish far more for Augusta than he ever could as mayor once in the private sector.

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Bar News The Vue closed its doors New Year’s Eve and will reopen in a few weeks as a rock bar called The Library. (Ownership and management remain the same.) After months of bad press and complaints, a change is no surprise. As a rock club, the volume of business will certainly taper off, but if history is any indication, The Library will do just fine. It’s common for a bar/nightclub to close and reopen as something completely different. Sometimes it’s due to lack of business. Other times it’s in response to competition. Most commonly, clubs close and reopen to shake off a particular crowd. Those who have been around town a little while will surely remember Wild Wild West, Prime Time Sports, Xcaliber, Plum Crazy, Baha Club and Mulligans. Same owner, same location. Or maybe Stonehenge, New York, New York, Bentley’s, Rascals, Buckaroo’s Country and now Club Cream. The current owner is reportedly looking to sell the club. Odds are he won’t be able to match what he paid Paul Davis for it, but it is a great location and does enough during Masters Week to keep it afloat for quite some time.

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AUSTINRHODES

The views expressed are the opinions of Austin Rhodes and do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher.

Does the Bell Toll This Year for Judge Overstreet? Despite the fact that he bravely gunned down an intruder who broke into his home, Augusta Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Carlisle Overstreet is still carrying more liberal baggage than a Kennedy on summer retreat. As strong as he was protecting himself and his own home in 2010, he has been weak in handling numerous high-profile cases, particularly those involving bad asses who like to fight with cops in the street. The man is despised by police officers and “law and order” advocates. Their disdain for Overstreet is a living, breathing thing. Facing re-election in 2012, will a challenger finally have the nads to step up and take on Judge “Buttercup By Day/ Dirty Harry by Night”? In my Spirit column from June 2006, I made the following case concerning “left wing” candidates against “right wing” candidates for Superior Court judge in the three-county circuit: “By taking a look at the voting trends in the three counties, it is very easy to surmise that conservative Columbia

County holds the key (and indeed the very victory itself) for any good candidate who is able to capture the affection of its overwhelming GOP population. “The proof can be found in the 2004 presidential returns and the way they break down: “Burke County: George W. Bush, 4,232 (50%); John Kerry, 4,213 (50%). “Columbia County: George W. Bush, 35,549 (75%); John Kerry, 11,442 (24%). “Richmond County: George W. Bush, 29,765 (43%); John Kerry, 39,268 (57%). “Totals: George W. Bush, 69,546 (56%); John Kerry, 54,923 (44%). “I have to admit that looking at the figures in black and white is a bit shocking (pleasantly so) to a conservative like me who has lived many years with the history of Democratic dominance in the area. While Augusta’s judgeships have long been non-partisan, it is a welldocumented fact that most of the judicial power structure (and certainly the old line Superior Court judges like Fleming, Albert Pickett, Bernard Mulherin, Carlisle Overstreet and Carl Brown) owe much

of their support (and in fact some of their appointments) through the years to the local Democrat power structure. “But there is good news for the right wingers in the circuit: The power of the left ain’t what it used to be. The above numbers prove it. “I am 41 years old and I sometimes have trouble remembering the population that shaped those past local elections is shifting daily. Combine the ideological maturation with regional behavior trends (Columbia County regularly turns out big to vote, Richmond County does not), and you gotta love the chances of a real conservative doing well in any circuit-wide race. And that would be for Superior Court judge or District Attorney. “The above argument is Exhibit A in the Richmond County Dems’ plot to remove Columbia County from the circuit, leaving Augusta-Richmond County to wallow in its left-wing mud puddle for the rest of eternity. Good luck with that! It won’t happen as long as the GOP controls the state legislature. “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,

I ask you, how can any popular, conservative politician or candidate see this reality and not be ready to jump on it? After looking at the numbers, I am beginning to think I could run and win. (Wouldn’t that be a Hoot!)” The very next election saw longtime Democrat attorney Bill Williams lose a Superior Court judgeship race to Columbia County conservative David Roper, whose Columbia County advantage pushed him to a 64 percent landslide against the known, hand-picked candidate of the Democrat darling and once all powerful retiring judge whose seat was at stake, William Fleming. I state now and for the record once again, if a qualified attorney who is a true conservative decides to run against Judge Overstreet (and a few are considering it at this moment), he can be had like a floozy when the fleet comes in. The elections proved my theory square on in 2006, I hope to get another validation next November, and send Judge Overstreet into retirement with a collective boot to his butt.

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METRONEWS

ERICJOHNSON

Red Tail Dreams

Local filmmakers’ documentary lands in Walmart

When you’re telling success stories, there’s always that one crisis point in the story after which everything starts falling into place. It’s one of those things we’re conditioned to expect, so when Bryan Williams and Denton Adkinson tell the story about how their documentary film about the Tuskegee Airmen got into Walmart stores across the nation and they get to the part about not having enough money to get to New York to interview one of the airmen, people always blurt out, “So that’s when you got the agreement with Walmart.” “No,” Williams will say. “That’s when we went into debt.” Or, “That’s when we got the smaller job where we made just enough to pay our rent for that month.” In other words, real life success is seldom a jackpot affair like it is in the movies, and when those rare jackpot V. 23 | NO. 01

moments do occur, they’re likely to be overlooked altogether, which is almost what happened in August of 2007 when the two were sitting in the 13th Street Huddle House planning their next project. There, they noticed an older black man walk in wearing a Tuskegee Airman cap and jacket, but

instead of having an earth shattering revelation, they turned back to their food and continued trying to figure out what they should do. In the end, of course, they went over and talked to the man, who was the Augusta chapter president of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., an organization that preserves and promotes the legacy of the airmen. And after years of very incremental success, “In Their Own Words: The Tuskegee Airmen” is about to make an appearance on shelves in Walmarts across the country. Add in the fact that the George Lucas produced blockbuster “Red Tails” will be in theaters a couple of weeks later, and the circumstances couldn’t be better. Along the way they’ve rubbed elbows with some pretty influential people, including Bill Cosby, who

suggested they pose for a photo with him, which turned out to be instrumental in helping them promote the film. In the entertainment world, Cosby matters, and a photo with him holding a copy of your DVD can open a lot of doors. They met Cosby before his appearance at the Bell Auditorium in March 2010. “We were anticipating just a handshake and a few words, so imagine our surprise when we got to the Green Room and there were chairs set up in front of the couch Mr. Cosby was sitting on,” Adkinson says. “The first 45 minutes he grilled us,” Williams says. “He knows the airmen and wanted to know what we knew. But once we answered all his questions, he turned into Dr. METRO SPIRIT 01.05.12

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Huxtable.” Because the documentary used interviews with the surviving members to tell the story of the airmen, the film’s accuracy is unmatched, which is how it turned up on the set of the big budget “Red Tails.” “When they found out about the documentary, they requested it,” Williams says. “And some of the airmen we interviewed were on set when they were filming. They were calling us saying they were watching the documentary two or three times a week with George Lucas.” The Tuskegee Airmen were an all-black fighter group in WWII. Known as the Red Tails for the way they painted their planes, the pilots suffered institutional racism within the Army Air Corps as well as the cultural pressures that were occurring outside the military. In combat, however, they were revered for the high level of protection they gave the bombers they escorted. The documentary, which tells the story of the airmen from the group’s formation through the awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal in 2007, proved so valuable for the “Red Tails” production that Williams and Adkinson received a promotional quote from the director, Anthony

10 METRO SPIRIT 01.05.12

Hemingway, as well as a letter of appreciation from Lucas himself. Such things are gold in the movie business, but it takes more than a few nuggets — even a few really big nuggets — to make it to the big time, which is why the two continued to push forward, including coming before the Augusta Commission looking for money to help stage a showing of the film at the Imperial Theatre in 2009. Though Administrator Fred Russell interrupted the presentation by explaining that the city didn’t give out money for such things, they didn’t leave the commission chambers empty handed. “They mayor said, ‘I’ll write you a

check for $1,000 right now, because my father was a bomber and these guys might have protected him,’” Williams says. In spite of the support they found locally, they didn’t confine their search to Augusta. “We pitched this to everybody, and everybody loved it,” Williams says. “We just weren’t having any luck. Everybody would tell us they loved it and they thought it was great, but they wanted to wait until ‘Red Tails’ came out.” HBO liked it, but it wasn’t made in their style. National Geographic liked it, but they couldn’t find a place for it in their February (Black History

Month) lineup. But Williams kept working the phones and proved talented at outmaneuvering the corporate gatekeepers, almost making a game out of getting to the right people, the people most outsiders can’t get to. That determination eventually paid off with the Walmart agreement, which, though lucrative in itself, will likely pave the way for getting into other stores. At last count, the number of interested stores is up to 82. And after having misgivings about the first distributor they talked to, the distributor they eventually ended up with happens to be the one for the “Red Tails” feature film, which means that when the Hollywood version hits the stands, it’s probable that “In Their Own Words” will be on the shelf right beside it. In the end, however, it’s the relationships they’ve made with the airmen that has mattered most. “We always joke that we have 17 new grandfathers, and they are so excited for us,” Williams says. “We’ve tried to make them understand that because they allowed us to come in and capture their stories, one of our biggest dreams has just come true.”

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Counting to Six

ERICJOHNSON

It may be a new year, but the math will always be the same As part of our look at the upcoming year, we asked Administrator Fred Russell what he expected from 2012.

Metro Spirit: What do you think the think the next big issue facing the commission is going to be? Fred Russell: I think the continuing discussion on the budget is going to be the big thing as we try to figure out how we get done what we need to get done within the fiscal restraints that we’ve got. MS: Do you expect the tenor of the dialogue to change this year? FR: Probably not. As the financial issues become tighter and tighter, there will be some who want to cut more and more and others will want to raise taxes, and as long as they have those disagreements, I’m going to be caught in the middle. MS: If 2011 was the Year of the Reorganization, what do you think 2012 will be? FR: I think you’re looking at Reorganization II. We can’t continue to operate the way we operate. We’re either going to have to cut services or increase revenue. That’s going to be the debate, and one way to streamline is to reorganize. At what point do you really want to say ‘Let’s talk about what Augusta’s government is going to look like in the future?’ But there are 10 different versions of that and it’s hard to get a consensus. MS: Now that the written ruling is in regarding the lawsuit, will the black commissioners be back on board? FR: That would have me trespass on politics, and I’d just as soon not do that. MS: Do you expect the limited forensic audit that was approved to be disruptive? FR: We get audited every year and we obviously do everything in the sunshine of the world. Now, you’re going to have another group of people running around asking questions about what we did in the past going back five, 10, 15 years, and that’s going to be a distraction. But it’s not one that’s unusual and it’s not one that we won’t be able to live with. But it would behoove us, I think, to try to figure out how to move forward rather than looking at decisions we made in the past. But I made those decisions and I’ll stand by them. And the commission made those decisions, too. Part of what [Lockett] had asked to investigate is based on commission votes. Once again, you can spend time looking backward, or you can spend time trying to move forward. You want to remember history, but there’s no need to remember it every day for the rest of your life. MS: Given the makeup of the new district map and its potential to change the racial makeup of the commission, do you think your job will become harder, or is a black majority simply a different majority to win over? FR: What I do is what the majority of the people tell me to do. I’m not too sure I agree with everything we’ve done, and if I were king we probably would have done it differently. But that’s not my job. My job is to listen to the policy makers and try to make the policies they make come into reality. It’s not my game. It’s their game, and I try to make it work, so whatever amounts to six votes is how that system works. My personal thoughts and plans and ideas might differ greatly from the direction I’m instructed to take, and if it steps on what I feel to be my convictions, I will leave. MS: So it all comes down to six votes? FR: Despite Commissioner Lockett’s desire for eight or nine votes on things, six rules the day. That’s called the democratic process, and as long as it’s not unethical, illegal or immoral, that’s what they do and my job is to make sure it happens. If it crosses those lines in any manner, then I get to make a decision on whether I stay or V. 23 | NO. 01

METRO SPIRIT 01.05.12 11

not. And if they don’t like me, they get a decision on whether I stay or not. MS: Is your future more in jeopardy with a black majority?

MS: Do you think people just don’t understand the role of the administrator? FR: I think there’s a lot of confusion about that. There’s a lot of confusion around here about the rule of the mayor. The question is what do you want out of government? It’s usually low takes and all the services I can possibly get and don’t bother me unless I need you. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really work that way anymore.

Happy New Year

GREGBAKER

AUGUSTATEK

FR: I don’t care. I’ll do what I think is right, and if they’re black, green or yellow and they didn’t like that, all they need to do is get six people to tell me and I’ll be happy to leave. I’m not saying that to be a smartass, but that’s the way it works.

Happy New Year! It’s a wonderful opportunity to take Augusta Tek into our second year, and I am excited about 2012. As always, changes in the tech world this year will continue to impact our daily routines. Here’s a list of some of the topics we’ll be watching over the next year. Health information technology will continue to impact Augusta’s medical institutions. During 2011, most of the area’s health organizations decided whether or not to upgrade their health record software in an effort to seek incentive funds doled out by the angel investors in Washington D.C., otherwise known as the United States Congress. For practices that decided to pursue the incentive funds (the maximum incentive was about $60,000 per physician), last year was spent upgrading their software and hardware infrastructure to comply with the new regulations. The largest and most public of the organizations performing an upgrade is University Hospital. The first set of practices utilizing their new Epic software installation will go live in early 2012. Stand by to hear about the results. While this is more of a national story, it is likely that a new iPad and a new iPhone will be released in the coming year. No firm details exist regarding the new features or capabilities. My guess is that the new devices will continue to support Angry Birds, Plants vs. Zombies and the other popular applications that our children have grown to love. From a personal perspective, I hope these new devices will finally start to root out the Blackberry holdouts in the Augusta area. (For the life of me, I do not know why so many folks in Augusta continue to use Blackberries!) In a related note, Windows 8 and a Windows phone should be out this year as well. Both operating systems have received good reviews. Since Nokia will be featuring the software on its hardware and with Research In Motion in the final throes of its death spiral, look for a Windows phone to sneak into a reasonable number of your friends’ pocketbooks. As far as cloud computing goes, Facebook will continue to be the social platform of choice, and Amazon, Google and Apple will fight it out for dominance in content delivery. For those involved with developing custom websites, HTML5 should be on your radar. In short, HTML5 should provide a browser-independent protocol capable of interfacing with web services and providing media rich applications. Some believe HTML5-enabled web apps will take the place of apps currently distributed via the app stores. Late last year, Adobe announced that it was dropping support for Flash in favor of the HTML5 architecture, so, hopefully, we will begin to see some accelerated movement on the standard. (BTW, just an aside… anybody in town who develops websites, for goodness sake, please don’t put Flash on your client’s home page. For that matter, think twice before you put any animation on the primary landing site, especially if you are developing a business site. Animation is awesome if your viewer has a conventional PC setup, but the most forward-leaning businesses that we support use mobile devices and virtual desktops. They get frustrated as heck when they hit a website that causes their endpoint to freeze because some B-head put a halfdozen animations on the homepage. Ugh!) And of course, we’re going to be keeping an eye on the bonehead Stop Online Piracy Act, the continuing evolution of Android and the coming apocalypse in December. (I’m still thinking zombies.) It’s just a short 350 days until the end of the world, so I’m looking forward to an awesome 2012 while it lasts! Until next time, I’ll see you on the internet @gregory_a_baker. L8R.

It’s easy to determine what we need. My job is the how part. MS: Almost always, something’s got to give, right? FR: At this point in time, in my mind, our grocery cart has bread, flour and milk. We’ve got the staples. We’re not throwing away ice cream or pastries — we did that years ago. Our grocery cart has what you need to survive, with maybe a few treats thrown in, but those treats are recreation, and a lot of people don’t have access to that without what we provide.

12 METRO SPIRIT 01.05.12

Gregory A. Baker, Ph.D., is vice president and chief rocket scientist for CMA, which provides information technology services to CSRA businesses and nonprofits. V. 23 | NO. 01

ERICJOHNSON

Round and Round

Pumpkin Center roundabout getting closer With the recent publication of a legal notice regarding the Pumpkin Center roundabout project, the controversial traffic circle is inching closer to becoming a reality. Not only that, but according to Georgia Department of Transportation area engineer Mike Keene, the roundabout at Wrightsboro Road and Appling Harlem Highway is the sign of things to come. “There are a lot of them already in use across the nation, and we’re putting in a lot of them here in the state of Georgia,” he said. “This is just one of the first ones we’ve had here in the Augusta area.” He called it a new tool. “They’re used extensively in Europe,” he said. “It’s beginning to pick up in use over here due to the reduced maintenance cost.” Roundabouts are also used for intersections like Pumpkin Center because there is not enough traffic to warrant a traffic signal. Perhaps more importantly, though, officials say the right turn in, right turn out traffic flow limits the number of conflict points, which makes the intersection safer. In a Federal Highway Administration letter dated July 10, 2008, Associate Administrator for Safety Jeffery Linder wrote that roundabouts “should be considered for all existing intersections that have been indentified as needing major safety or operational improvements.” The same letter also proposed that roundabouts should

be considered for all new federal intersection projects. The safety data is tough to argue with. A conventional intersection has 32 conflict points, whereas a roundabout has only eight, and those are low speed, low energy and low impact. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, before and after studies at 24 intersections show a 39 percent overall decrease in crashes as well as a 76 percent decrease in injury crashes and an 89 percent decrease in

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fatal/incapacitating crashes. Though many opposed to the project blame the Columbia County Commission for the roundabout, Keene said that because they are both state roads, there was little the county could do to prevent it. “The county can request that it not be done,” he said. “But for us to do anything in the intersection, this is what we need to do. Even if the people said no, we do not want the roundabout, the county still couldn’t come in behind that and put a signal

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up, because it doesn’t warrant it.” Practically speaking, there is nothing left for them to do. “If we don’t do a roundabout, there’s not a whole lot to do to change the intersection, because we already have gone to a four-way with a beacon,” Keene said. If other projects are any indication, criticism for the project will likely fade. Before and after perception studies show that roundabout projects averaged a 68 percent negative rating before being constructed, but a 73

ONE, ONE

CELEBRATING 6 YEARS AT THE MARTINEZ LOCATION.

see page 08 METRO SPIRIT 01.05.12 13

SIGHTINGS

Michael Johnson

mejphoto.photoreflect.com

Susan Bailie, Susan Dowdy, Steve Hoffmann and Lauri Dowdy at Bistro 491.

Allison Jacobs, Kaitlyn Clark and Andrea Rauch at the Partridge Inn.

Adam Dutch and Kristy Chavous with Belinda and Chad Krueger at the Partridge Inn.

SIGHTINGS

Barbara Gavin, Matt Podgruszecki and Lisa Dill at Robbie’s Sports Pub.

Loren Lewis, Ross Coppley and Jessica Beddingfield at The County Club.

SIGHTINGS

Andrea Clark, Thomas Archer and Erin Armstrong at Bar on Broad.

The Village People’s original cowboy Randy Jones, Lonzo Smith II and Isaac Kelly at the Filling Station.

Sherrod Harper, Alexis Ward and Preston Kirby at Bar on Broad.

Michael Johnson

mejphoto.photoreflect.com

Taffany Johnson, Steven Gracy and Heather Lyons at the Loft.

Serving Augusta for 28 years

SURRY CENTER ON HIGHLAND AVE. - THE FRENCHMARKETGRILLE.COM - 706.737.4865 14 METRO SPIRIT 01.05.12

>HAPPY HOUR : MON-FRI 4:30 P.M. - 7:00 P.M. DRINK SPECIALS V. 23 | NO. 01

JOSHRUFFIN

Can’t Stay Away

A column in which Josh does his job and also doesn’t

WANTED

One semi-coherent human to pick a thing every week and make fun of it. Reading and writing skills at least at a fifth grade level. Also must avoid more than three erection jokes per column, and moderate bi-weekly 8th Street cockfights. Inquire at 706496-2535. Ask for “Pitbull.” There’s really only one caveat: I can’t do album reviews anymore. It was my old job here, and even though I didn’t really get paid for it, I enjoyed it. And I’ve tried very hard to refrain, but it’s been almost a year since I’ve done any music-related writing, and I can’t take it anymore. Plus, we go to press in like three hours. So please enjoy this list of Three Unpredictably Awesome Albums of 2011: Mastodon, “The Hunter” — Before the release of this, their fifth album, Mastodon seemed to have found their niche as an accessible, prog-heavy metal outfit with clout to spare. I’ll be damned if I can parse any plot points from “Blood Mountain” or “Crack the Skye,” but their intricate, finger-busting riffs and Southern-skewed howls moved a few hundred thousand copies. So when the guys started talking about a “change in direction,” “simplicity” and, most egregiously, “having more fun” with their new album, I was prepared for a misfire of Load-type proportions. And I couldn’t have been more wrong. “The Hunter” is their best, most earnest-sounding effort since debut “Remission,” the band finally indulging their swamp-rock pedigree. Guitars laser-guide fuzzed-out, drugged-out melodies through the din, the compositions are tighter than ever, and there’s even an honest-to-god power pop song in “Blasteroid.” Cred maintained. V. 23 | NO. 01

RUFFIN’IT

I’ve been writing for the Metro Spirit for almost five years now, across two different regimes — that I’m aware of; it got sort of Slovakian there for a while — and almost always at a distance. Seriously, I’ve only been inside the original building maybe six times: one for my first meeting with former Editor Tom Grant, four to rummage through the bins of CDs no one else wanted, and one because I thought Alice was cute. Never actually been to the new location — at least I don’t think so. Joe invited me to the office once, but all I saw was a 10 X 12 storage unit with the words “METROE SPIRRIT” spray-painted in black on the door. That can’t be it, right? Right? And there have been certain advantages and disadvantages to working for this paper at different points in time. On the one hand, I get paid now. Which is nice. I can’t disclose how much, but I just bought a spare Playstation 3 for my chinchilla’s whirlpool bath and bankrolled a reboot of “Dolemite” starring Floyd Mayweather and Chris Tucker. I’m also granted a pretty generous degree of autonomy. This was the ad I answered to get this job:

Paul Simon, “So Beautiful or So What” — I know, I know. Paul Simon. The man is a national treasure, has reinvented the folk genre a handful of times and is probably our greatest living songwriter. His less successful albums are only so because they aren’t quite as mind-bogglingly perfect as “Graceland.” Simon has of course released several good albums since that watershed, but nothing that’s made people really perk up and re-realize what a talent he actually is. And if “So Beautiful or So What” doesn’t surpass “Graceland,” it is only by a slim margin, and at worst a startling reimagining of that album’s South African and Malian musical themes. “Rewrite” is a sly, self-jabbing autobiography that crests and waves over desert blues percussion; “Dazzling Blue” deconstructs and grounds “Under African Skies.” Rare is the occasion that an artist so deftly casts a glance to his past while moving inexorably forward. SuperHeavy, “SuperHeavy” — It sounds more like a bad joke than anything: On little more than a whim, Mick Jagger, first family of reggae member Damian Marley, Eurythmics’ Dave A. Stewart, British soul singer Joss Stone and Indian musician A.R. Rahman formed a supergroup. This couldn’t possibly work. For one thing, Jagger is already so dead that every time he grabs his crotch during a performance he’s indicted on necrophilia charges. More damning, however, was the slapdash nature and style-clash novelty of the project. Lou Reed and Metallica made a hell of a lot more sense, and they ended up making the musical equivalent of Dr. Seuss drawing anime rape: nonsensical and horrifying. And yet… this group of divergent miscreants ended up making one of the year’s best albums. To be fair, reviews were mixed: Rolling Stone named it the No. 34 album of 2011, while the Observer gave it one out of five stars. But come on, even mixed reviews for an album that had as much potential for disaster and incoherence as this one has to be considered a rousing victory. And from a personal standpoint, the whole thing is pretty incredible. Jagger sounds more exuberant than he has in years, and does well melding his classic sneer with more worldly, experimental instrumentation. Marley owns every spot he has, Stone’s full-bore contralto beefs up the mix, and Rahman’s compositional skills smooth out every disparate edge. Uniqueness alone does not great art make… but this is so much more. ASU and Metro Spirit alum Josh Ruffin is a published journalist and poet, who just received his MFA from Georgia College & State University. He was once the most un-intimidating bouncer at Soul Bar.

METRO SPIRIT 01.05.12 15

AIN’T HE SWEET?

By Elizabeth C. Gorski / Edited by Will Shortz 126 128 129 132 133 134 136 138 140 141 145 146 147 149 151 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162

Singer Mitchell Bronx and Central Park attractions ___ good turn Prepare, as eggnog Partridge’s preferred tree Navigational aid Fictional planet in “Flash Gordon” “Incidentally …” Drive-thru sandwich order Crudités platter centerpiece Delicious Org. in Tom Clancy novels Maternity ward figures Coffee order Stipulations Pacino and Bundy Eponymic town of Cambridgeshire Mediterranean capital Skip across the water’s surface Certain pass: Abbr. Radio abbr. Guinness suffix 1-Down’s warning Mandatory coll. course Capt.’s guess

DOWN 1 Hooded menace 2 Benefit 3 “Drat!” 4 91-/100-Across, often 5 Nabokov novel 6 Rock’s Jethro ___ 7 Proficient 8 Year in San Juan 9 “The Little Mermaid” fellow 10 Cafeteria variety 11 Mineral in healing crystals 12 Rocker Brian 13 Video game island 14 W.W. II battleship 15 Ref’s decision 16 Aid for making a 91-/100-Across 17 Cyclist’s offer 18 Merge 19 Vintage records 21 Fan’s fixation 22 Popeye’s ___’ Pea 29 Fun-house sounds 32 Elves, to Santa: Abbr. 35 ___-12 37 Part of many a science course 38 “___ Misérables” 39 ’70s TV production co. 41 Mao contemporary 42 “Santa Baby” singer 45 Camaro ___-Z 46 Paradise 47 Bulbous plant part 48 Butter alternative 49 Actor Foxx 52 Bickering

53 High praise 54 Storage unit 57 Friend ___ friend 58 Deaf talk: Abbr. 61 You are: Sp. 63 Serving well? 64 Public health agcy. 65 French pronoun 66 Have 67 Composer Max 69 Sit still? 71 Calf-length dresses 72 Hawaiian porch 75 Stormed 78 Star of “Gunsmoke”? 79 Cellar, in classifieds 80 Get an ___ effort 81 De ___ (anew) 83 How Santa’s reindeer are harnessed 85 Slights, say 87 Buster? 88 Winter bird feeder food 89 Terse reproofs 92 Radiate 93 Mob turncoat 94 ___ B’rith 97 Cousin ___ 98 Californie, e.g. 102 Tunisian seaport 103 Males 105 16th-century monarch credited with presenting 91-/100-Acrosses to guests 107 Sr.’s test 108 Light head? 110 “The 91-/100-Across,” for one 112 “John Adams” airer 114 Plopped down on Santa’s lap, e.g. 116 Slumber party togs 117 Relaxer for Santa 118 Recovering after injury, say 120 Swab 122 White lie 123 Small boat danger 124 Some pudginess 125 Arm extension? 127 Sale item abbr. 129 Fails to 130 Carry-___ 131 Spies, e.g. 133 Chem. class measures 135 Capital of Belarus 136 Boss’s notes 137 Bouquets 139 Iraq’s Aziz 141 Roman 950 142 Table d’___ 143 Nile deity 144 Baby boxer, e.g. 146 Bopper 148 Maven 150 Brit’s oath 152 Masseur employer

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

20 24 28

34

11

12

13 22

48

30

36 41

55

42

56

60

31

37

49

61

62

74

43

44

50

51

90

63

64

65

66

96

97

98

67

84 92

99

126

112 119

127

134

68

147 154

157

158

136

115 122

123 124 125

132 137

133 138

149

139 145

150

151

155 159

O H N O

R E G T

I N J E C O T P T L I S C U

A L G A

L E E R

C A N T

O U S T

U N T O

H A M P E R

E R A S E R

R I T Y J O E N Y A S H R R O U N S S E I A N L S E

O A M R I A T T Z E A A N R I P E S S R O I V E D R U R N A E T D E

89

102 103

143 144

148

A S I S

88

109 110 114

129 130 131

M A K E

87

78

101

141 142

153

54

95

121

128

146

53

69

86

113

135

52

73

85

108

120

140

19

46

94

106 107

111 116 117 118

93

100

105

18

59

77

83

91

104

45

58

76

82

17

33

72

75

81

16

39

71

80

15

32

38

57

70

14

23 26

29

35 40

79

10

25

27

47

9

21

PREVIOUSPUZZLEANSWERS

ACROSS 1 Arthur Honegger’s “A Christmas __” 8 Staring intently 13 “Scrooged” actor Robert 20 Add a musical track to, e.g. 21 Destroyed 23 Noted bride of 1969 24 Model for an art class, say 25 “Stop stalling!” 26 Approach like an eagle 27 Baptism, e.g. 28 Kid’s block 30 Cozy footwear 31 “I could ___ horse!” 33 Japanese stringed instrument 34 Journalist Joseph 36 Clearly happy 39 Goes for the gold? 40 Spice organizers 43 Lose intensity 44 Fencing position 47 Crunchy snack bit 50 Storage units 51 Piccadilly movers 55 Roman “olive” 56 “Make ___!” 58 “Unto us ___ is given” 59 Salt flats locale 60 Carnivore’s love 62 Components 68 Getaway planner? 70 Newfangled 71 Actress Andie 73 Like some lines 74 Pola of the silents 76 Decoration on a 91-/100-Across 77 Mistreat 79 Predispositions 82 Score after deuce 84 “Hairspray” role 86 Young business partner? 90 Bay Area airport, in shorthand 91 With 100-Across, image revealed by connecting the circled letters alphabetically 95 Mozart’s birthplace: Abbr. 96 “Miracle on 34th Street,” e.g. 99 Medium skill 100 See 91-Across 101 Cold war fighter 102 2001 film in which 91-/100-Across is a character 104 Horsed around? 106 Shake up 109 Special ___ 111 Chess champ Mikhail 112 “Honey in the Horn” trumpeter 113 “___ framed!” 115 Some toy batteries 116 Beta preceder 119 Tone quality, in music 121 Stuck 123 Wall St. deal

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S P E C T R U M E P A M A N O B I N

P U D T I N E H S A V E R A O R E R U N A O A R E D N I S E N A M S Y R I A A D R P E R A C U T E M A R I N A S D A D O P A M E L E B I N S B L T N O L I C A T S I Z S T A I

152

156 161

A C I T A L V E S I O N M R A W A Y M A T W E M E A S S M N E E P R O R N N E O N T R U R T A B E Y D B A R O A D O P R O S T E R E S N S S

162

W E I P R O D T O T E D R U Y D E S C K O A U L T B B O O T

L I M A

E A S I E R

B R O L L Y

I D E S

A A R P

E R N O

D D A Y

E D A M

M S R P

PLAN FOR ETERNITY LIKE THERE’S Elliott Sons Funeral Homes NO TOMORROW. ELLIOTTFUNERALHOME.COM

16 METRO SPIRIT 01.05.12

V. 23 | NO. 01

ERICJOHNSON

Neal Down

Hill attorney faces severe allegations

It reads like one of those bad TV shows set in a good place, and it seemingly confirms the notion that a nice zip code full of respectable people can still be a hotbed of the same headlinegrabbing bad behavior usually reserved for the lower rent parts of town. In this case, the story hits the bulls eye on accounts both tragic and tawdry: Attorney Joe Neal Jr., president of the Summerville Neighborhood Association, is accused of giving an 18-year-old girl four to five alcoholic drinks and marijuana before he “had carnal knowledge of her without her consent and against her will.” A 43-year-old lawyer with a certain degree of prominence being accused of plying an 18-year-old with liquor and drugs before having his way with V. 23 | NO. 01

her is plenty salacious, but in Neal’s case it’s not even the whole story. Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call to his Kings Way home the day after the woman reported the incident. It seems Neal’s 23-year-old wife, Caroline Caldwell Neal, allegedly hit and scratched Neal repeatedly in front of his 13-year-old son. Caroline Caldwell Neal was charged with simple battery, while at press time Neal had not been charged. Neal is currently in the process of divorcing Caroline Caldwell Neal, and

not for the first time. He first filed for divorce on August 30, 2011, just a few months after their May marriage, but voluntarily dismissed the charges 10 days later. A month after that, he filed again, and the case is currently an active divorce proceeding. While all this was going on, Neal was also going through custody battle for the 13-year-old son who witnessed the December 21 altercation that sent Caroline Caldwell Neal to the hospital and eventually jail. While it in no way confirms his guilt, the fact that Neal has been married four times to three different women, the last one 20 years his junior, does make the allegations leveled by the 18-year-old easier to take seriously. It also possibly helps explain the situation with his wife. Regardless, Neal appears to many

to have had a contentious marriage history, especially during the last year or two. According to court records, Neal was divorced from Jennifer Smalley Neal on July 22, 2010, just a few months before a Chronicle story quotes both Neal and Caldwell at Mayor Deke Copenhaver’s reelection party on November 3, 2010. The two were married six months later, in May 2011. However you look at it, it’s safe to assume the house on Kings Way has been an eventful place to be. Neal, an Augusta native, is a graduate of Richmond Academy and the son of attorney Joe Neal, Sr. Off the record, many legal insiders remarked about his headline-grabbing antics as much as they did his aggressive litigation style. Neal started his legal career directly out of the METRO SPIRIT 01.05.12 17

Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University, when then-District Attorney Danny Craig appointed him as an Assistant District Attorney in 1993. While at the DA’s office, Neal participated in nearly 100 jury trials before leaving three years later to go into private practice with his father. That brief association with the DA’s office puts current District Attorney Ashley Wright in a difficult position. Should she choose not to prosecute, for example, it could look like the office he used to work for was giving him a free pass. Should she decide there is enough evidence to make a case against him, it could appear as if there was some kind of inside vendetta against him. Though Wright declined to comment on how a potential case against Neal might look, should she feel such conflicts are strong enough, it’s likely the case would be sent to the state attorneys office or an adjoining jurisdiction’s prosecutor’s office. This is not the first time Neal’s association with the DA’s office has come back to affect him, however. In 1998, just two years after leaving the DA’s office, Neal lashed out against his former boss, Danny Craig, even going so far as trying to get him dismissed from a case involving a landfill manager accused of stealing gravel from the county. Neal alleged prosecutorial misconduct for sending discovery information to the clerk of court, where it could be observed by the press. The maneuver, he said, “suggests an orchestrated and premeditated attempt by Craig to influence community opinion and thus taint prospective jurors against the defendant.” Neal’s motion intimated that the Spirit article written with the information “amounted to trial by media which was made entirely possible by the district attorney’s unusual, unethical and unconstitutional

18 METRO SPIRIT 01.05.12

Dump,” “the most unbelievable article I’ve ever seen during a pending criminal case… it’s the most prejudicial piece of information I’ve ever seen.” Ironically, Neal’s most recent divorce proceeding against Caroline Caldwell Neal was transferred to the object of all that scorn, nowJudge Danny Craig. As president of the Summerville Neighborhood Association, Neal made a name for himself with his tough talk on crime. He bragged about arming up after word had gotten out through the email early warning system he championed that Judge Carlisle

release of discovery material… where he either knew or should have reasonably known it would end up in the media’s hands before trial.” Neal later subpoenaed reporters from both the Augusta Chronicle and the Spirit in order to find out how the reporters knew about the information and to determine the amount of contact they had with Craig. He called the Spirit story, titled “Scandal at the

He is also known for what has been characterized by some as an isolationist policy regarding the Hill. Despite the fact that the Art Factory’s popular and colorful Art Wall at Wrightsboro Road and Highland is not located within the boundaries of his Summerville neighborhood, he wrote to the Spirit complaining about not being consulted about the project. The fact that he identified himself as the president of Summerville amused quite a few people, especially given the fact that the home page of his law office website features an inspirational quote by Napoleon Bonaparte. And then there’s the whole way of the warrior thing. A self-described renaissance man who writes songs, poetry and paints pictures, Neal has been practicing yoga since 2004, and the warrior motif is featured prominently throughout his website, if not his life. The warrior tagline even doubles as the tag to his SL 550 Mercedes. More notably, however, Neal’s combative resistance to a Summerville daycare center rankled some for the way it appeared to reinforce the perception many seem to have that Summerville is an enclave of selfish, bigoted people. Especially memorable was the way he initially handled the situation at the Planning Commission. A participant remembered how aggressive Neal handled the commissioners, several of whom were black. “He went in and told them how much his world was nicer than their world, and while some things might be tolerated in their world, he wasn’t going to have it in his.” Given what’s in front of him, maybe Neal has been given a fight only someone as combative as the warrior for justice could relish.

Overstreet had shot and killed an intruder in his Summerville home.

V. 23 | NO. 01

Nothing short of a miracle. “The best! The best! The best!” — Charles Wadsworth, founding artistic director of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

S

HEN YUN  —it’s a grand production. Every year we start fresh. Every detail matters. Our goal? Not just another show. We take our craft beyond the boundaries of performing arts as you know it. A Shen Yun show is a fusion of classical arts with modern appeal. As one audience member put it, “It’s like a fashion show, opera, concert, and dance performance all rolled into one.” Difficult? Yes. Impossible? No. Our passion motivates us to bring all these elements together into one extraordinary experience. Classical Chinese dance lies at the heart of our performances. The dancers—with what some have called “limitless bodies”—turn an intensely difficult art form into something beautiful and effortless. China’s 5,000 years

of civilization provide an endless source of inspiration. The choreographers work closely with the composers to recreate ancient stories and legends, or convey an aspect of the culture, through short pieces that last no more than a few minutes. Our graphic artists, meanwhile, use advanced digital technology to produce stunning animated backdrops that correspond precisely to each dance. After seeing the show, one audience member marveled, “This production… is nothing short of a miracle.”

“It’s not just pretty pretty, it’s serious pretty — there’s a lot of depth to it, and a lot of meaning.” — Vanessa Harwood, Officer of the Order of Canada, former principal dancer of the National Ballet of Canada

“A dazzling show...

“I have reviewed over 3,000 shows since 1942… I will give this production five stars. That’s the top! … I’ve never seen

anything like that.” “You should go back and see it about six times.” — Richard Connema, critic for Talkin’ Broadway

The production values are grand.” — The Globe and Mail

JAN 31

William B. Bell Auditorium

ALL-NEW SHOW WITH LIVE ORCHESTRA

www.ShenYun2012.com V. 23 | NO. 01

Tickets: 1-888-974-3698 1-877-4 AUGTIX www.ticketingbox.com www.AugustaShow.com METRO SPIRIT 01.05.12 19

ENTERTAINMENT 10, at noon at St. Paul’s Church, and features Marina Alexandra playing classical guitar. Cost for lunch is $10. Reservations required. Call 706-7223463 or visit tuesdaysmusiclive.com. Auditions for the Aiken Youth Orchestra’s Spring Season are Tuesday, January 10, at 6 p.m. at the Aiken Center for the Arts. No audition fee. Semester tuition is $80. Bring your own instrument. Call 803-6419094 or visit aikencenterforthearts.org. Auditions for the Columbia County Choral Society’s 2012 spring season, featuring John Rutter’s “Requiem,” are Tuesday, January 10, from 6-7 p.m., at First Baptist Church of Evans. Call 706-6502311 or visit ccchoralsociety.org. Jason Crabb and His Family will perform at the Sanctuary Church on Thursday, January 12, at 7 p.m. $25, lower level; $15, upper level. Tickets can be purchased at the church’s bookstore or by calling 706-364-8284.

Literary

Poet Laureate and Artist-in-Residence Reception, sponsored by the CSRA African American Arts Alliance, is Friday, January 6, from 6-9 p.m. at Encore 601, Broad Street. $5. Call 404-786-3277 or email blackartscsra@gmail.com.

Theater The Fourth Annual Poison Peach Film Festival at the Imperial Theatre features the world premiere of the raw cut of “Confederate Zombie” on Friday, January 6, at 8 p.m., the world premiere of “Glass Bullets for Broken Hearts” on Saturday, January 7, at 8 p.m. and more. Single-day admission is $8 and a weekend pass is $15. Visit forbesfilm.net or imperialtheatre.com.

Arts

Winter Classes, for adults and teens ranging in subject from visual arts to bridge and yoga, begin in January and run through the end of March at the Aiken Center for the Arts. Preregistration, which is required for all classes, is going on now. Call 803-6419094 or visit aikencenterforthearts.org.

Exhibitions

First Friday Art Show, featuring the work of Nicholas Bass, Anna Patrick, Joey Hart, Ethan Brock and Heather Warren, plus music by Matto, is January 6 from 8-10 p.m. at Sky City. Free until 10 p.m. The show will remain up through the month of January. Visit skycityaugusta.com. The Annual Quilt Exhibition has been extended until January 31 at The 20 METRO SPIRIT 01.05.12

Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History. Call 706-724-3576 or visit lucycraftlaneymuseum.com.

photographers. Call 706-724-7501 or visit themorris.org.

“From Mild to Wild,” an exhibit by Ron Buttler, shows January 2-30 at Hitchcock Health Center in Aiken, and features oil landscapes and mixed media. Call 803278-0709 or visit aikenartistguild.org.

Choral Evensong for the Feast of the Epiphany is Friday, January 6, at 7 p.m. at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church. Free. Call 706-738-6676 or visit staugustines.org.

John Glave Photography Exhibit shows January 2-30 at Aiken Center for the Arts, and features an opening reception Thursday, January 12, from 6-8 p.m. Call 803-278-0709 or visit aikenartistguild.org. “Local Color: Photography of the South” shows through January 29, 2012, at the Morris Museum of Art, and features work by some of the South’s most important

Music

Inaugural Columbia County Chamber Orchestra Concert, featuring Bulgarian teenage pianist Lili Bogdanova, is Saturday, January 7, at 6 p.m. at Genesis Church, 470 Fury’s Ferry Road. $10. Free for children, students, military and music educators. Tickets required for all patrons. Call 706-755-5849 or visit columbiacco.org. Tuesday’s Music Live is Tuesday, January

“Pickin” is Thursday, January 12, at 8 p.m., at the Judith Simon Drama Studio, 2548 Deans Bridge Road, and features an original play to salute the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Call 706-7220598 or visit augustaminitheatre.com.

Flix

Films on Friday: “The Miracle at Morgan’s Creek” shows Friday, January 6, at noon at the Morris Museum of Art, and features a discussion, led by museum director Kevin Grogan, following the film. Free. Participants are invited to bring lunch. Call 706-724-7501 or visit themorris.org. “Five Easy Pieces” shows Tuesday, January 10, at 6:30 p.m. at Headquarters Branch Library. Call 706821-2600 or visit ecgrl.org. “Faust,” presented by Opera Streamed Live from The Met, is Wednesday, January 11, at 6:30 p.m., at Regal Exchange Stadium 20 & IMAX. $18. Call 706-6679713 or visit regmovies.com. V. 23 | NO. 01

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TABLE of CONTENTS

athletics - EXERCISING YOUR OPTIONS - GOOD TIMES feature - BACK TO SCHOOL IN 2012-2013 food court - TOSS THE ‘TARTS - HEALTHY BREAKFAST ALTERNATIVES have a party - THROWING A FAMILY FRIENDLY SUPERBOWL PARTY Want to advertise in the Metro Augusta Parent? Call 706.496.2535 or 706.373.3636

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Metro Augusta Parent is published monthly within the pages of the Metro Spirit. The views do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher. Visit us at metrospirit.com.© 15 House, LLC. Owner/Publisher: Joe White. Legal: Phillip Scott Hibbard. Reproduction or use without permission is prohibited. One copy per person, please.

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PA R Exercising your options

The pants did not shrink in the dryer. And your growing boy is growing out instead of up. This is not good news, but your child is not alone. Frightening statistics show that 16 percent of children and adolescents age 6-19 are overweight, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. That means that about one out of every six American children is too big for his britches. “In some parts of the country, including Georgia, (the number of overweight kids) is even higher than the national average,” says Dr. Joel Brenner, formerly a sports medicine physician at the Medical College of Georgia. “I’ve seen a consistent increase in overweight kids over the last 10 years. It’s just as much of a crisis here as it is in other places.” So admitting that your child isn’t fit is the first step, but now what? It’s not safe to just cut calories. That kind of dieting tends to deplete muscle mass along with fat and ultimately slows down fat metabolism. Your child’s best bet is to add exercise, and the recommended dosage for all children over the age of 2 is to get moving for 60 minutes on most days of the week, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Even if your child doesn’t need to shed pounds, it’s still important to keep him or her moving. Active kids are stronger, leaner, more energetic, have higher selfesteem and get a head start on developing healthy habits. If parents and siblings get involved, exercise can turn into a fun family activity instead of a chore. And that’s one way to ensure that staying fit will become a lifelong priority.

Aerobic exercise

Aerobic (which means “with air”) exercise is the kind of exercise that requires a healthy dose of oxygen to perform. This is what gets the heart pumping, the body sweating and the lungs working. When your child is running, biking or otherwise moving, he or she is giving the heart a workout, so it can better do its job of delivering oxygen to all parts of the body. Regular aerobic exercise, or cardiovascular exercise as it’s sometimes called, strengthens the heart so your child is less likely to develop Type II diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol later in life. Another benefit of aerobic exercise is that if it is performed regularly and for continuous periods of time, your child will develop endurance, which means she will be better able to run away from the kid that’s “it.” “There are multiple benefits to regular cardiovascular activity,” Brenner says. “Of course, there’s the weight-loss or weight-maintenance benefits, but some of it is psychological. You just feel better when you are fit and getting regular exercise. You feel good about yourself.” Your child can get in some aerobic exercise through structured workouts (jogging, skating, taking an group fitness class), or it can come as a result of participating in sports or through simple free play. Remember hopscotch, tag and jumping rope? The trick is finding what your child is interested in so she is consistently participating. “With kids, you can’t really say, ‘You need to exercise now because if you don’t, you’ll have a heart attack when you’re 40.’ They don’t really care,” Brenner says. “They want to know what’s going to happen right now, so I push the physical benefit of weight loss and the psychological benefit of feeling better. I’ve seen that in my patients — as soon as they start on a regular program, they just feel better, even if they are not trying to lose weight.” Team sports are beneficial, but the competition on sports teams might intimidate some kids, so individual sports such as tennis or swimming are another option. “Nothing is set in terms of when a child is ready to participate in a competitive or contact sport,” Brenner says. “You have to look at the child developmentally. Kids who play sports with kids their same age and weight are a lot safer than kids riding a bike without the proper equipment. Ask yourself, ‘Is my child socially, physically and cognitively ready to play?’”

Strength training

Don’t overlook the importance of your child adding muscle. While lifting heavy

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weights isn’t appropriate for kids younger than 6, strength training can be a valuable tool for building and toning muscles. Strong muscles are valuable for balance, muscle endurance and coordination. “Resistance training is good for kids as part of an overall fitness program,” Brenner says. “Pre-pubescent kids can increase their strength through resistance training, although they won’t increase their muscle mass. I recommend that they use their own body weight for resistance or use resistance bands rather than weights. But if they do use weights, opt for high repetitions with a lighter weight.” In fact, simply taking a trip across the monkey bars, doing handstands or performing stomach crunches all count as muscle strengtheners.

ATHLETICS

An active child equals a healthy adult

Flexibility

Most kids are naturally flexible when they are young, so stretching may seem pointless to them, but remember that we’re working on building habits for later in life, when touching their toes won’t be so easy. Ten minutes a day is all it takes to stretch the major muscle groups. “Don’t make too big of a deal of it, but rather incorporate stretching as part of the routine,” Brenner says. “That way they learn that stretching is just part of what they do to overall be fit.” Stretching helps improve flexibility, which allows muscles and joints to bend and move easily through their whole range of motion, and flexible muscles don’t get injured as easily either. Simple stretches, such as touching the toes or performing “the butterfly” (you know — the one where you sit down and put the soles of your feet together so that your legs for a sort of diamond) work but can get boring. Add interest with tumbling or gymnastics, dancing (especially ballet), yoga or martial arts.

A family affair

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so parents, use that to your advantage and set the standard for healthy living by hopping on your bike, tossing around the football or walking around the neighborhood after dinner. “Parents have to set the example by being active themselves and exercising with their kids,” Brenner says. “It does no good when an overweight mother or father is sitting on the couch, not exercising, but telling their child to go out and exercise. Go out and walk with your child or play soccer and make it fun.” It can be hard to strike a balance between encouraging exercise and pushing your child too hard to be something he’s not. Forcing your child into an activity he or she is just not interested in teaches kids that exercise is a chore and something to be avoided. This leads to inactive adults. “Parents need to understand that most kids are not going to be professional athletes or get athletic scholarships to college,” Brenner says. “They need to be out there to have fun as PARENT | ISSUE 01

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part of an overall program of health.” Make sure to exercise safely as a family, because nothing can waylay healthy efforts quicker than an injury. Always wear protective gear such as a helmet and knee pads when biking or skating, promote healthy team spirit in competitive sports instead of focusing on winning or losing, and make sure that the activities your child chooses are age appropriate. Reward your child for his or her fitness efforts along the way. Positive reinforcement goes a long way when trying to establish a new, healthy habit. Instead of rewarding consistent exercise with dinner out or a fancy dessert, opt for calorie-free rewards such as tickets to a sporting event or a new piece of athletic gear.

What not to do

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the average child watches about three hours of television each day, and when you throw in computer time and video games, the number rises to five and half hours spent on all media combined each day. Rising childhood obesity rates and rising time in front of the boob tube — think it’s

correlated? You bet. “Parents can encourage their kids to lead a healthier life by eliminating sedentary activities like TV-watching and Game Boys and the like,” Brenner says. “Twenty years ago, kids would go out into the yard and play unstructured football. Now they come home and surf the net so they are not expending the calories.” The AAP recommends that children under the age of 2 watch no TV at all and for kids older than 2, screen time should be limited to no more than two hours. If you absolutely can’t drag your child away from the electronics, pop in an exercise video. Professional trainers can challenge your child with safe exercises, all from the comfort of your living room. “Some kids don’t feel comfortable going outside, either for safety or for other reasons, but they can certainly do non-traditional sports and get the same benefits,” Brenner says. “I tell them to put on music and dance in their room for 30 minutes. I give them a prescription to turn up the music.”

Good times

A well-rounded athlete is a happy one Professional athletes get time off, cross train and know the importance of rest (or, if they don’t, they have coaches and trainers to remind them). But it seems kids haven’t learned these important sports lessons. And they’re starting to pay the price for what the medical community calls “sports specialization.” “It’s really good to get kids involved in sports, just not in only one sport,” said Dr. Steven Greer, director of primary care sports medicine at MCG Sports Medicine Center. “Children should not specialize in any one sport until high school.” But it seems that they are. According to the National Council of Youth Sports, the number of children younger than 19 participating in organized sports was 41 million in 2005, a 25 percent increase over the 1997 numbers. And whether it’s because parents think that if their children don’t pick a sport and stick with it by the time they’re 6 years old they’ll never be good at it or, because of skyrocketing college costs, families have their sights set on scholarships, more and more young kids are specializing in one sport. So what’s wrong with that? “The No. 1 reason kids get involved in a sport is because it’s fun,” Greer explained. “The No. 1 reason kids drop out of a sport is because it’s not fun anymore.” Besides taking the fun out of something that is supposed to be the very definition of fun, not to mention making children loathe physical activity rather than, for their health’s sake, want to be involved in some form of it for the rest of their lives, sports specialization also has more serious side effects. Greer said that kids who specialize in only one sport increase their risk for overuse injuries like little league elbow or gymnast’s wrist. (“And those are specific overuse injuries that only exist in children,” Greer added.) They suffer from psychological issues (like burnout), impaired creativity and are more likely to turn to steroids or supplements to enhance their performance. Muscle imbalances, which can lead to more acute injuries, are also a problem because, Greer said, “If you’re just doing one sport, you’re not necessarily exercising all the muscles in your body like you should be doing.” Serious injuries usually happen as kids get older and the sports they participate in get rougher. And this, Greer says, goes for girls as well as boys. The NCAA, he cited as an example, requires not just a doctor, but an orthopaedic surgeon be on-hand at any gymnastics meet they sanction. “It’s not a safe sport, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not a good thing,” he said. “It teaches flexibility and gymnasts are amazing athletes.” Before coming to MCG, Greer was a doctor for a Division I college. “I only had to put one football player on a spine board,” he remembers, “but I also had to put a cheerleader on a spineboard. And you shouldn’t have to do that.

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“There are some inherently dangerous things — the acrobatics that cheerleaders do — that aren’t necessary,” Greer continued. “But they are also some of the best conditioned college athletes I encountered.” With all this talk of the downsides of organized sports, you may be tempted to take away Billy’s football and Julie’s pom-poms and lock the kids in their rooms. But Greer hastened to add that this is not a parent’s best recourse. “Activity is wonderful. Activity is the best thing these kids can do,” he said. “Georgia is one of seven states in which 25 percent of kids are obese. The number of calories we take in hasn’t changed since 1900.” So what would Greer suggest parents do? Naturally, the first thing on his list is not to let kids specialize in one sport. Greer remembers his childhood, when he played a different sport each season. He plans the same for his son. “My son’s going to be playing soccer at 4, but it’s not the only activity that he’s going to be involved in.” This kind of cross training accomplishes several things: different sports work different muscle groups, so kids avoid overuse injuries and muscle imbalances; switching the focus keeps them from getting bored or burned out; and it alleviates competitive pressure to perform and win — if your son’s not that great at basketball, so what? It’ll be over in a few weeks and he’ll be on to something else. Greer also advocates parental and coach awareness. “Ninety percent of coaches are volunteers and have no training, so they don’t realize kids are doing too much,” he said. Both parents and coaches need to keep a close eye on the kids and pay attention if someone starts complaining about being tired or in pain. Greer said it’s common for kids and coaches to try and compensate for that by working harder, when what the athlete needs is rest. “Pain is not good,” he said. “They probably need rest, so let them cut back just a little bit.” Parents should also set realistic goals for their kids, should shift the focus of sports from winning to other positives that their kids accomplished and should make sure that their kids are involved in the decision-making about sports participation. Stay in contact with your pediatrician, follow the 10-percent rule (in which training doesn’t increase by more than 10 percent at a time) and don’t let organized sports take the place of playtime, especially for kids under 8 years of age. “Organized sports shouldn’t take the place of unorganized play,” Greer said. “If children do organized sports, it should be in addition to their playtime.” More than anything else, though, Greer emphasizes the most basic aspect of involvement in sports. “The biggest thing,” he says, “is letting kids have fun.” Surrey Center | 443 Highland Avenue | 706.738.8386

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PA R Back to School

We may be halfway through this school year, but it’s time to start thinking about the next

A.R. Johnson Health Science & Engineering Magnet School 1324 Laney Walker Boulevard, Augusta, GA 30901 706-823-6933 arjohnson.rcboe.org Overview: Recently renovated, A.R. Johnson is a magnet school operated by the Richmond County Board of Education that serves students in middle and high school. Any student whose family lives in Richmond County can apply to A.R. Johnson, which has received numerous awards throughout the years. Accreditation: Georgia Accrediting Commission, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Academics: Students take college preparatory courses in all areas and, depending on their area of interest, choose additional classes in subjects such as drafting and design and human anatomy. Application information: Application, the process and requirements are available on the school’s website. Applications and all accompanying materials are due January 31 at 4 p.m. Letters of notification will be mailed no later than April 1. Open House: No Open Houses are currently scheduled. Contact the school for more information. Academics Plus 717 Industrial Park Drive, Evans, GA 30815 706-364-3169 academicsplusofevans.com Overview: Offering pre-k4 through third grade education. Admissions information: Call or email acplus1@aol.com for an appointment or to receive more information. Academy of Richmond County International Baccalaureate Programme 910 Russell Street, Augusta, GA 30904 706-737-7152 arc.rcboe.org Overview: Essentially a magnet school within the ARC campus, the IB programme is a college preparatory course for students in grades 9-12 that focuses on developing students’ intellectual, social and critical thinking skills. The program is available to any student whose family lives in Richmond County. The IB program requires the completion of a 4,000-word essay and 150 hours of volunteer work. Application information: Applications are due Tuesday, January 31, at 4 p.m. and can be picked up at the school. Open House: No Open Houses are scheduled at this time. Call the school for more information.

Augusta Christian Schools 313 Baston Road, Martinez, GA 30907 706-863-2905 augustachristian.org Overview: Founded on Christian values in 1958, Augusta Christian Schools serves prekindergarten through high school students, as well as students with special learning needs in the School of Talent Development program. Enrollment in the school is almost 500. Accreditation: Accredited by the Georgia Accrediting Commission, the Association of Christian Schools International and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Academics: Bible instruction is included in each grade level. Phonics is stressed in the primary grades. Honors and advanced placement English, math, history, science, music theory and foreign languages are offered in senior high. Fine arts classes include band, chorus, music, drama and visual arts. Athletics: Football, softball, basketball, cheerleading, baseball, track, cross-country, swimming, tennis and golf. Extracurricular activities: Chorus, band, Beta Club, student council, foreign language clubs, yearbook staff, praise team, literary team, one-act play team, mission trips and more. Admissions information: Prospective students and parents complete an application, which, along with an explanation of the process, is available on the

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school’s website. For more information, call the office of admissions, extension 124. Open House: Thursday, January 12, at 7 p.m.

Augusta Preparatory Day School 285 Flowing Wells Road, Augusta, GA 30907 706-863-1906 augustaprep.org Overview: Augusta Preparatory Day School was founded in 1960 as the only independent, coeducational, non-sectarian school in the area. Augusta Prep is a preschool through 12th grade college preparatory program featuring small class sizes throughout the school. Enrollment is approximately 500 students. Average class size is 14. Admission is by formal application, interview, recommendation and testing for general intelligence. Accreditation: Southern Association of Independent Schools and belongs to 15 membership organizations including the Cum Laude society, a distinction held by only nine other schools in Georgia. Academics: The preschool and lower school provides strong background in reading, writing, math, science and social studies. Enrichment includes classes in Spanish, music, art, computer, library and physical education. Middle school program offers challenging academics with enrichment classes in computer, fine arts, music, study skills and chorus. The upper school provides college-preparatory classes with honors and advanced placement level classes available in each discipline. Enrichment classes include drama, photography, debate, fine arts and physical education. Both upper and middle school students take a class trip in the fall. Athletics: Baseball, basketball, cheerleading, swimming, cross-country, golf, tennis, track, soccer and volleyball. Extracurricular activities: Activities for high school students include Amnesty International, clubs devoted to art, astronomy, bowling, business, debate, chess, French, Latin, Spanish and drama. Other activities include a literary magazine, discipline honor council, math team, theatrical productions, newspaper, speech and more. Middle-school activities include campouts, field trips, Science Olympiad, Knowledge Masters, dances, chorus, student council, various clubs, Olympic day and more. Before- and after-school care is available. Admissions information: Enrollment is open to the public after re-enrollment of current students each February. However, families can begin the admission process by visiting the school’s website and downloading an application. The process for submitting an application, scheduling a campus tour and testing, and other information is all spelled out online. Open House: Augusta Prep has no formal open houses scheduled, but prospective families can call the Admissions Office (Rosie Herrmann, director) at extension 201 at any time to receive a tour.

FEATURE

It may be January, and, yes, we know you just returned from the winter holidays, but now’s the time to start thinking about the next school year. That’s especially true if you’re thinking about making a change in your child’s education. Many private schools in the area, as well as Richmond County’s three magnet schools and ARC’s IB program, start their application and acceptance process as early as January, so if you want to keep that “get more organized” resolution, take a look at the following list and start getting those ducks in a row!

Augusta Adventist Elementary School 4301 Wheeler Road, Augusta, GA 30907 706-651-0491 augustaadventistschool.org Overview: Augusta Adventist Elementary School has provided quality Christian education in the Augusta area since 1934. The school offers grades K-8. Small classes provide students the opportunity for daily one-on-one attention. Accreditation: Accredited by the State of Georgia’s Association of Private Schools and Colleges and the Accrediting Association of Seventh-day Adventists Schools, Colleges and Universities, which is a member of the National Council for Private School Accreditation. Academics: Strong academic program including Bible, language arts (phonics, PARENT | ISSUE 01

ENT reading, spelling, creative writing, handwriting and English), mathematics, history, science/health, social studies, computers, keyboarding, art and music. Enrichment Activities: Science fair, numerous field trips, music festival, performance programs and community service opportunities. Admissions information: The process is spelled out on the school’s website, and prospective families can receive paperwork by calling the school. Open House: No Open Houses are currently scheduled. Call the school for more information.

Aquinas High School 1920 Highland Avenue, Augusta, GA 30904 706-736-5516 aquinashigh.org Overview: Catholic co-ed school for those in grades 9 to 12. Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Academics: Founded in 1957. Student body size is 272. Offers a college-preparatory program. Foreign languages taught are French, Spanish and Latin. Advanced placement classes are offered in American history, European history, calculus, English literature and composition, English language and composition, and microeconomics. Ninety-seven percent of graduates enter college each year. Athletics: Baseball, basketball, football, golf, riflery, soccer, softball, swimming, volleyball, cheerleading, tennis and track Extracurricular activities: Offerings include debate, mock trial, dramatics, foreign-language clubs, one-act play, mathematics club, National Honor Society, pep club, Red Cross, S.A.A.D., science club, stock market games, Chess Club, Model UN, Student Ambassadors student council and more. Admissions information: Freshman applications (available for download on the school’s website) are due Friday, January 27, and a required High School Placement Test, $20, is scheduled for Saturday, February 4. A list of other forms the school needs is available on its website. Letters of acceptance will be mailed no later than Wednesday, February 15. Transfer students in grades 10-12 may also apply. Open House: Thursday, January 12, from 5-8:30 p.m. C.T. Walker 1301 Wrightsboro Road, Augusta, GA 30901 706-823-6950 walker.rcboe.org Overview: An academic magnet school of the Richmond County Board of Education, C.T. Walker serves students in pre-k through 8th grades with an enrollment of nearly 900. Students receive arts, music and physical education instruction as well as academic courses. Application information: Applications for the 2012-2013 school year are due January 31. To receive an application, call or go by the school. Open House: No Open Houses are currently scheduled. Call the school for more information.

Admissions information: Call the school for more information. Open House: No Open Houses are scheduled at this time. Call the school for more information. Curtis Baptist School 1326 Broad Street, Augusta, GA 30901 706-828-6624 curtisbaptistchristianschool.org Overview: Founded in 1964, the school expanded their K-6th offerings over the years before finally adding high school education in 1973. Christian school serves preschool through grade 12. Classes for upper school are college preparatory and include honors and AP classes. Accreditation: Association of Christian School International, Georgia Accrediting Commission and Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools. Academics: Students at Curtis receive a distinctively Christian education focused on college preparatory classes that are rooted in the Bible. Students score above the national average on standardized achievement tests. The Learning Place provides options for students at all grade levels who have special educational needs that cannot be fully met in the regular classroom. Students are admitted on the basis of entrance tests, previous school record, parental spiritual commitment and space availability. Athletics: Baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross-country running, football, golf, rowing, softball, tennis, and track and field. Extracurricular activities: Art, band, Beta Club, chorus, debate, drama and sign language are offered. In addition, students actively participate in mission projects throughout the year in the community and abroad. After-school and daycare programs are also available. Application information: The complete application process, including forms needed, tests required and fees, can be downloaded from the school’s website. Open House: Tuesday, January 31, at 6 p.m. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School 615 12th Street, Augusta, GA 30901 706-823-6924 davidsonfinearts.org Overview: A magnet school operated by the Richmond County Board of Education, Davidson serves students in grades 6-12 and has an enrollment of almost 700. Consistently named to national best-of lists, Davidson boasts rigorous academic

Columbia County Christian Academy 4004 Prescott Drive, Martinez, GA 30907 706-863-0568 c4christian.com/academy.htm Overview: Christian school for Mothers’ Day Out, Pre-K and K5-Grade 6. Small classroom settings in a stable Christian environment. Academics: A Beka book curriculum taught by certified, trained and experienced teachers. Bible-based curriculum. The curriculum is an outstanding and challenging educational program consisting of values and morals according to God’s word. Extracurricular activities: Weekly chapel, computer, physical education, recorder and choir classes.

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PA R standards while students also receive instruction in the arts, including visual arts, music, drama and dance. Athletics: DFA has a high school swim team and many of its students are members of the Augusta Junior Rowing Club. Extracurricular activities: Davidson has everything from a Poetry and Writing Club to a Mathematics Club and an Environmental Group and theater clubs. Students are members of both the National Honor Society and the Nation Junior Honor Society. Application information: Applications are available for download from the school’s website. Applications and all ancillary materials are due Tuesday, January 31, at 4 p.m. and, once accepted, students will be scheduled for an audition. Students will receive their letters of notification by April 1. Open House: No Open Houses are currently scheduled. Call the school for more information.

Episcopal Day School 2248 Walton Way, Augusta, GA 30904 706-733-1192 edsaugusta.com Overview: The school was established in 1944 to serve children of all faiths, ages 3 through eighth grade. Individual attention, challenging academics, spiritual instruction and athletic opportunities provide students with a solid foundation for learning and for life. Student body totals 467. Accreditation: The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and The Southern Association of Independent Schools.  EDS is a member of The Southern Association of Independent Schools, National Association of Episcopal Schools, National Association of Independent Schools, Georgia Independent Schools Association. Academics: The preschool is developmental, adhering to strict NAEYC guidelines, and also includes enrichment programs in Spanish, music, science, religion and physical education.  Students in grades 1 through 8 receive a challenging core curriculum, including Spanish, which is enhanced by instruction in computer science, science enrichment, math enrichment, religion and physical education. Creativity and individuality is fostered through classes and activities in art, music, speech and drama. Athletics: Basketball, cross-country, track, volleyball, soccer, baseball, tennis and golf. Extracurricular activities: Extensive community service programs, school trips, field trips, school plays, choir, student government, student clubs and student newspaper. Before- and after-school care is also available. Admissions information: The school’s application is available for download on its website, as is a list of other forms needed, many of them also available for download. Open House: Open Houses and tours are available daily. Contact the admissions office at extension 12 for more information. Heritage Academy 333 Greene Street, Augusta, GA 30901 706-821-0034 heritageacademyaugusta.org Overview: Founded in 2000, this independent Christian school located in an urban setting teaches children from Pre-K through eighth grade. The school maintains a policy of nondiscrimination, and its mission is to provide a quality education to low-income students. Accreditation: The Association of Christian Schools International. Featured in USA Today (April 30, 2002) as a unique urban Christian school. Academics: Nationally recognized Direct Instruction in reading, language and writing. Saxon Math. Bible, computers, physical education, music. All students have weekly meetings with a tutor/ mentor. Athletics: boys and girls basketball. Admission information: An online student application is available, where all forms and other required information is spelled out as well. Prior to March 1, currently enrolled students are given priority. Open House: No Open Houses are currently scheduled. Call the school for more information. Hillcrest Baptist Church School 3045 Deans Bridge Road, Augusta, GA 30906 706-798-5600 hillcrestaugusta.org Overview: Founded in 1972. Christian school for kindergarten (4 and 5 years) through grade 8. Accreditation: Georgia Accrediting Commission

8

METRO SPIRIT 01.05.12

Academics: Excellent program and test scores. Bible is a graded subject in grades 2nd-8th. Extracurricular activities: Ministry teams of clowns, puppeteers and chimers perform at chapel, PTO, nursing homes and community activities. Athletic program. Before-and after-school care available, as are private piano lessons. Admissions information: Early registration continues through the end of March, and regular registration, with an increased registration fee, begins in April. Admissions procedures can be found on the school’s website. Open House: No Open Houses are scheduled at this time. Call the school for more information.

Immaculate Conception School 811 Telfair Street, Augusta, GA 30901 706-722-9964 icaugusta.org Overview: The parish school of The Church of the Most Holy Trinity, Immaculate Conception teaches students in grades Pre-K3 to eight. Although a Catholic School, the student population is composed of students of all races and religions, and is currently celebrating 90 years of serving the Augusta community. Financial assistance is available. Accreditation: Florida Catholic Conference and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Academics: The curriculum and goals of Immaculate Conception are rooted in the belief in God and the Catholic Church. Classes are small and students learn through projects and activities that leadership and service go hand-in-hand. Students who excel are invited to join the Junior National Honor Society. Athletics: Basketball, track and field Extracurricular activities: Baking/crafts, Chess Club, technology, yearbook/ newsletter, Math Club, Academic Bingo, community-service projects, science fair, and poetry and essay competitions. Admissions information: The application process for each grade is spelled out on the school’s website, but prospective families will need to contact the school to receive forms. To receive more information, email Michele Hill at icsec@comcast.net. Open House: Tuesday, January 31, at both 9-11 a.m. and 5-7 p.m. Martinez Montessori Academy 3765 Old Petersburg Rd. Martinez, GA 30907 706-863-0273

realpages.com/sites/martinezacademy/ Overview: Martinez Montessori is a traditional, year-round Montessori school catering to children ages 6 weeks to first grade. The children are grouped in multi-age classrooms, since the Montessori teaching model emphasizes collaborative learning. A variety of subjects are covered including botany, language arts, math and geography. Admissions information: Children are enrolled year-round on a first-come, first-served basis. Open House: No Open Houses are currently scheduled. Call the school for more information. Our Lady of Peace School 856 Old Edgefield Road, North Augusta, SC 29841 803-279-8396

olpschool.us Overview: Fully accredited multi-cultural Christian-based school founded in 1956. Serves grades K4-8 with before- and after-school care available onsite. All religious denominations and races welcomed. Accreditation: Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina Independent School Association Academics: Religion, language arts (reading, English, spelling, penmanship, phonics, writing, grammar, literature), mathematics, science, social studies (geography, history, sociology, and economics), computers, library skills, physical education, Spanish and fine arts. Athletics: Soccer, volleyball, basketball. Extracurricular Activities: Band, Voices of Praise Choir, Drama Club and more. Admissions information: Registration for the coming school year is taken on a space-available basis. A New Family Packet is available for download from the school’s website. Open House: No Open Houses are currently scheduled. Call the school for more information. PARENT | ISSUE 01

ENT Saint Mary-on-the-Hill Catholic School 1220 Monte Sano Ave., Augusta, GA 30904 706-733-6193 stmaryssaints.org Overview: Founded in 1960. Catholic elementary school for grades K to 8. Enrollment is 435. Accreditation: Florida Catholic Conference, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools  Academics: Religion plus core subjects are taught daily. Classes in art, computer, library, music, French and physical education classes are also offered. Athletics: Soccer, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls tennis, golf, cheerleading, girls volleyball, baseball, and boys and girls cross country. Extracurricular Activities: Chorale, drama, sports activities, safety patrol, PAGE Academic Team, Junior Beta Club, student council, chess club, science club and Spanish club. Before- and after-school care is available. Admissions information: St. Mary parishioners who are new to the school should schedule a meeting before March 1 with the church’s pastor and the director of development. Call 706-733-6627. Membership at St. Mary is not required to attend the school, and those who aren’t parishioners should call to get more information. Open House: No Open Houses are currently scheduled. Call the school for more information.

Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Kindergarten 1330 Monte Sano Avenue, Augusta, GA 30904 706-738-8822, extension 33 trinityonthehill.net Overview: Half-day program runs Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. School year runs September through May. Experienced Georgia-certified kindergarten teacher, state of Georgia curriculum guidelines are followed. Weekly chapel time and Christian principles are included. Trinity also offers a preschool and Mother’s Morning Out program as well. Application information: Registration for the 2012-2013 school year begins Wednesday, January 18, for returning students, and opens to new students on Monday, January 23. A registration form is available for download from the school’s website. Open House: No Open Houses are currently scheduled, but prospective families can call or email Loi Hopkins, lhopkins@trinityonthehill.net, for more information.

Westminster Schools 3067 Wheeler Road, Augusta, GA 30909 706-731-5260 wsa.net Overview: Founded in 1972. College preparatory school in a Christian setting of 25 acres. Serves pre-kindergarten through grade 12 with a current enrollment of 600. Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Also belongs to eight professional memberships. Academics: Rigorous educational program characterized by academic excellence. Co-curricular classes for elementary and middle school include library, art, music, drama, band, chorus and physical education. In the preparatory school, in addition to traditional academics, students can choose from Latin, Spanish and French for their foreign language. Advanced placement course are available in English literature, English language, calculus, biology, chemistry, Spanish, French, European history, U.S. government, politics and U.S. history. Electives include art, computer, chorale, band, physical education, debate, drama and yearbook. Also offers strong fine arts and technology components. Athletics: Baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross-country, track and field, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis and football. Extracurricular activities: Band, chorus, orchestra, drama, debate team, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Georgia Math Team League, Key Club, Latin Club, Math Counts Club, Model United Nations, National Beta Club, National Honor Society, student council, field trips and yearbook staff. After-school care is also available. Admissions information: Families can complete forms online by creating an infosnap account, and the admissions process for lower, middle and upper schools are spelled out on the website. Open House: See WSA Day, which includes a tour, is held each Friday in January at 9:30 a.m. beginning in Pamplin Hall. Lower School Open House is Thursday, January 19, at 6:30 p.m. for prospective Pre-K-5th grade families and Middle and Upper School Open House is Tuesday, January 24, at 6:30 p.m. for families of prospective students in grades 6-12. Open Houses require an RSVP to 706-731-5260, extension 2220, or by emailing admissions@wsa.net, and families who would like a tour and cannot make either the Open House or one of the See WSA Days may call and schedule one.

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PARENT | ISSUE 01

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METRO SPIRIT 01.05.12

9

Toss the ‘Tarts

The importance of a good breakfast

For many of us, our weekday mornings pass in a blur of hastily throwing clothes on ourselves and our children, brushing tangles and teeth, frantically loading backpacks, and maybe, if we’re lucky, grabbing something to eat as we begin our morning commute. Sitting down as a family to eat a healthy breakfast is a fantasy, replaced instead by shoving a Pop Tart in our kids’ hands as they head to the car. But at least it’s a breakfast food, right? We might need to rethink that assumption, say pediatric dieticians. We’ve all heard by now, how important it is that kids eat breakfast. Multiple studies have proven beyond a doubt that kids learn better, retain more, can better concentrate and are overall more successful when they eat breakfast. “I tell people, it’s just like a car without gas. Your body can’t go without fuel, either. Your body’s not going to work as well on no fuel. It doesn’t function as efficiently,” says Karen Cota, a former GHSU pediatric dietician. The most striking thing about kids who skip breakfast? “Almost every child I see who’s obese doesn’t eat breakfast,” says Cota. “Some don’t eat breakfast or lunch. It slows down their metabolism because their bodies think they’re starving. Then when they do eat, they eat too much. They’ve already lowered their metabolism, then they eat all that food their bodies can’t use, so it just stores it as fat.” But does what they eat matter so much? Absolutely. Breakfast is about one-third of most children’s daily food intake. “It doesn’t have to be breakfast food. But you do have to think about what the food is going to do for your child’s body. The ideal breakfast has a little protein, some carbohydrates, starch and fruit,” she says. “If time is a concern, a sandwich is a great choice. If they don’t like cereal, they can eat last night’s leftovers or a slice of pizza.” And don’t forget the milk. “Milk is really essential, or at least something calcium-fortified. Establish good habits early on. Kids need to drink milk at every meal, so by the time they’re teens, they have enough calcium,” Cota says. Cota attributes the fact that many children won’t drink milk to the amount of juice that parents willingly give them when they’re small, establishing bad habits that are difficult to break. “Parents don’t make the most of what kids eat,” she says. “You don’t need to encourage them to eat junk. They’re going to get it soon enough.” She suggests that parents be wary of most of the prepackaged breakfast foods. Sugary cereals have little to no fiber, and should be considered dessert food, says Cota. That also goes for cereal bars, breakfast bars, granola bars and most of the other quick-grab convenience foods. Frozen breakfast foods are usually extremely high in fat and are too unhealthy for everyday consumption, she says. When asked which was worse, a Pop Tart for breakfast or not eating at all, Cota hesitated for a long time, pondering the question. The fact it took so much thought, especially after she had talked so emphatically about the importance of eating breakfast, was rather telling. “A Pop-Tart is very high in sugar. It’s like eating a piece of cake. You get a burst of energy, then crash,” she finally said. Though she never directly answered the question, her message was clear. “If they can’t do anything else, (serve) milk with Carnation Instant Breakfast. It has vitamins and minerals and will get them going. They can grab it and run,” she says. “As parents, we’re the gatekeepers and we have to set the standards.”

10 METRO SPIRIT 01.05.12

Scrap the Sugar Cereal

Healthy, Quick Breakfast Ideas for Growing Kids

Peanut butter, jam and banana sandwich with milk Leftovers from last night’s dinner Cheese toast with fruit or juice Macaroni and cheese with fruit or juice Leftover cooked rice topped with yogurt and fruit Bagel with light cream cheese, fruit juice Homemade english muffin, egg and cheese sandwich and milk

FOOD COURT

PA R Scrambled eggs or egg beaters, whole-grain toast, milk and fruit Whole-grain toaster waffles or pancakes Unsugared whole-grain cereals topped with fresh, frozen or dried fruits

PARENT | ISSUE 01

ENT How to Throw a Family-Friendly Super Bowl Party

Let’s be totally honest: Adults need time with other adults. We need to speak to people who don’t respond in rhyme, song or educational charts. And the Super Bowl is a great excuse to do that. But what about our kids? Not everyone can get or afford a babysitter. So here’s a way to throw a party for an adult pasttime that’s fun for the whole family. People often assume that kids aren’t welcome, or simply don’t want to impose. So specify that children are welcome when you send out invitations — and be prepared to defend your sanity.

clean up, anyway.

In a room of their own, stock easy-to-play games for kids like Uno, Monopoly, Checkers and Parcheesi. If you have a Wii or other multi-player game system, the kids can have their own tournament. Have art supplies available — and just go ahead and leave a big trashcan and a whole roll of paper towels in the room. They’ll need it. Along with the traditional Super Bowl fare of chicken wings and such, include kidfriendly selections like carrots and dip, mini corn dogs and pizza rolls. Drink boxes are best, as they aren’t as prone to spill. And if you don’t mind the sugar rush that will follow, have football-themed cupcakes. Some kids will want to be involved in the activities. Have them make team posters, play paper football or participate in a football quiz including math (ask about yardage) and geography (ask about the teams’ hometowns or the host city). Younger kids can play dress-up with paper grocery bags as shirts that they decorate with markers. And you get to clean that up later!

Bribe or hire an older teen to come to the party and lend a hand with the younger ones. Bribes may include an extra-late curfew one night, additional driving privileges, permission to paint or rearrange their room or time without chores.

As their energy wanes, kids will need something quiet to occupy them. So have a room with a TV, DVD player and kid-friendly movies. Lay down blankets, pillows and sleeping bags, and let them relax. Hopefully, they will all pass out as the party comes to a head — right? That makes getting them in the car and to bed much easier for parents.

Designate a driver for each of the families that shows. The last thing anyone wants is an accident later. And with young children around, you’ll have plenty of those to

Finally, ensure that the transition out the door is a smooth one. Give gift bags stocked with ibuprofen, Pepto-Bismol and ginger ale. Trust me: They’ll need it.

PARENT | ISSUE 01

METRO SPIRIT 01.05.12 11

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Metabolism.

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What is Metabolic Testing?

In order to lose weight you must burn more calories than you consume. Metabolic testing is a process that allows you to discover what is the maximum amount of calories you can consume in a day and still lose weight! This easy test measures your RESTING METABOLIC RATE or RMR. Your RMR is the number of calories you would burn doing nothing but resting all day! The majority of all calories burned {about 70 to 80%} are burned at the resting level. FINALLY THE ANSWER TO PAIN FREE WEIGHTLOSS! NO MORE STARVATION DIETS THAT LEAVE YOU TIRED, FRUSTRATED, AND ULTIMATELY UNSUCCESSFUL!

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ANYONE WHO IS STARTING A WEIGHT MANAGEMENT PROGRAM ANYONE WHO IS STARTING A WEIGHT TRAINING PROGRAM ANYONE WHO IS STARTING A WORKOUT PROGRAM ANYONE WHO IS HALFWAY THROUGH A WEIGHT MANAGEMENT PROGRAM ANYONE WHO HAS REACHED A PLATEAU ANYONE WHO HAS STOPPED MAKING PROGRESS , EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE DOING EVERYTHING ‘RIGHT’ ANYONE WHO IS INTERESTED IN KNOWING HOW TO FEED THEIR BODY FOR OPTIMUM HEALTH AND WEIGHT MANAGEMENT ANYONE WHO NEEDS TO KNOW THE IDEAL CALORIE LEVEL FOR WEIGHT LOSS ANYONE WHO NEEDS TO KNOW THE IDEAL CALORIE LEVEL FOR WEIGHT MANAGEMENT

Special Events

Augusta Genealogical Society meets Thursday, January 5, at 3 p.m., at the Augusta Museum of History, and features a talk by R. Douglas MacIntyre: “Revolutionary Charles Town: Characters, Connections, and Conflict in America’s Richest City.” Call 706-722-4073. First Thursday in Midtown is a monthly event on Kings Way and parts of Central Avenue on January 5 from 5-8 p.m. It features food, sales, art and more. First Friday Tasting at Wine World in North Augusta is January 6 from 5-8 p.m. No reservations are necessary for this tasting, which is $5, with a $3 rebate upon the purchase of a featured wine. Call 803279-9522 or visit wineworldsc.com. First Friday Downtown is January 6 from 5-9 p.m. and features art, music, shopping, food and more on Broad Street. Visit augustaarts.com. Poison Peach Film Festival is Friday, January 6-Sunday, January 8, at the Imperial Theatre. $8-$15. Call 706-7228341 or visit imperialtheatre.com. Bring One for the Chipper Treecycle is Saturday, January 7, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Evans Home Depot. Remove all tree stands before drop-off. Call Keep Columbia County Beautiful at 706-3127195 or visit columbiacountyga.gov. Second Annual Gaming Night is Saturday, January 7, at 6:30 p.m. at Living History Park in Aiken, and features food and 18th century cards and games. $12. Call Lynn Thompson at 803-279-7560 or visit colonialtimes.us. Ancient Sky Lore is Saturday, January 7, at 7 p.m. at the DuPont Planetarium at the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center in Aiken. $1-$4.50. Reservations encouraged. Call 803-641-3654 or visit rpsec.usca.edu/planetarium/. Digistar Laser Fantasy is Saturday, January 7, at 8 p.m. at the DuPont Planetarium at the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center in Aiken. $1-$4.50. Reservations encouraged. Call 803-641-3654 or visit rpsec.usca.edu/planetarium/. Columbia County Community Events Committee meets Monday, January 9, from 5:45-6:45 p.m. at the Government Complex (Building A, General Conference Room), 630 Ronald Reagan Drive. Public is welcome to attend. Call 706-868-3484 or visit columbiacountyga.gov. V. 23 | NO. 01

Augusta Comedy Hour is Monday, January 9, and Tuesday, January 10, at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. at Blue Bistro Theater, 601 Broad Street, and features music by The Blue-Belles. $12. Reservations required. Email bluebistrotheater@gmail.com. Planning Board Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, Addictive Disease Public Forum is Tuesday, January 10, at 7 p.m. at Augusta Technical College (Building 300, Auditorium). Call 706-729-0012. Driven In the Presence of God Through Prayer, a mid-winter conference at Kingdom Life Fellowship Ministries, is January 11-14 at 7:30 p.m. each night. Pre-registration required. Call 478252-1511, 478-552-1516 or email klifefellowship@bellsouth.net. Second Annual Jimmie Dyess Symposium is Thursday, January 12, at 5 p.m. at the Augusta Museum of History, and features remarks by Major General Perry Smith and the presentation of the symposium’s American Award. Call 706-722-8454 or visit augustamuseum.org.

universityhealth.org.

visit doctors-hospital.net.

Fresh Start Smoking Cessation begins Tuesday, January 10, from 6-7 p.m. at University Hospital’s cafeteria, and features a four-week session to help people give up all forms of tobacco. Free. Pre-registration required. Call 706774-8094 or visit universityhealth.org.

Childbirth Preparation classes begin Tuesday, January 10, from 7-9:30 p.m. at University Women’s Center’s third-floor classroom and continues for three consecutive Tuesdays. Free. Preregistration. Call 706-774-2825 or visit universityhealth.org.

Ready and Able begins Tuesday, January 10, from 7-9:30 p.m. at Doctors Hospital (Suite 310, Medical Office Building 1), and is recommended for late pregnancy. Intended to be taken with Showing and Glowing. Preregistration required. Call 706-651-BABY or

Childbirth Tours are Tuesday, January 10, from 7:30-8:30 p.m. at Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center (Seventh Floor, Labor and Delivery). Pre-registration required. Call Carla Allen at 706-7219351 or visit georgiahealth.org.

HOT POT.

Christmas Tree Recycling by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is going on now at Riverside Middle School. Trees must be free of all decorations. Call 800-5338478 or visit sas.usace.army.mil/lakes/ thurmond/index.html.

Health

Team Lean begins Thursday, January 5, at 11:30 a.m., at Euchee Creek Branch Library, and features a 12-week weight loss competition led by fitness experts. Call 706-556-0594 or visit ecgrl.org. Baby Care Basics and Breastfeeding is Saturday, January 7, from 9 a.m.-noon at Trinity Hospital of Augusta. Visit trinityofaugusta.com. The Chatterbox Club meets Sunday, January 8, at 3 p.m. at Trinity Hospital of Augusta (Sister Mary Louise Conference Room), and features support for individuals and their families who have experienced a laryngectomy. Call 706481-7359 or visit trinityofaugusta.com. Family Focused Childbirth Tours are Monday, January 9, at 2 p.m. at Trinity Hospital of Augusta. Call 706-481-7727 or visit trinityofaugusta.com. Breast Self-Exam Class is Monday, January 9, at 4 p.m. at University Breast Health Center. Free. Pre-registration required. Call 706-774-4141 or visit

Monday -Thursday nights One pound of shrimp (fried, grilled or boiled) $9.99

Tuesday night

Crab Legs served with redskin potatoes and mixed green salad $7.99 a pound

Wednesday night

Bone in fried catfish over blue cheese grits and salad $6.99 *dine in only

LUNCH - DINNER

6 DAYS

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375 Fury’s Ferry Rd. next to Earth Fare · 706.855.5111 METRO SPIRIT 01.05.12 21

Advocated Together CSRA Behavior Health Summit is Wednesday, January 11, from 8 a.m.-noon at the Headquarters Branch Library. Free and open to the public. Pre-registration required. Call 706-733-8838 or visit ecgrl.org. Infant CPR is Wednesday, January 11, from 6-8 p.m. at Trinity Hospital of Augusta. Visit trinityofaugusta.com. Short and Sweet begins Thursday, January 12, from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at Doctors Hospital (Suite 310, Medical Office Building 1), and features a weekend childbirth class. Preregistration required. Call 706-651BABY or visit doctors-hospital.net. Car Seat Class, sponsored by Georgia Health Sciences Children’s Medical Center, is Thursday, January 12, from 5:45-8 p.m. at Building 1010C, 1225 Walton Way. $10. Financial assistance available for Medicaid and Peach Care eligible families. Call 706-721-7606 or visit georgiahealth.org/kids.

Pink Magnolias Breast Cancer Support Group meets Monday, January 9, at 6:30 p.m. at the University Hospital Breast Health Center. Open to all women who have undergone breast cancer surgery or are currently receiving treatment. Free. Call 706-774-4141 or visit universityhealth.org. Men’s Breast Cancer Support Group meets Monday, January 9, at 7 p.m. at University Hospital Breast Health Center, and features support for husbands and significant others of breast cancer patients. Call 706-774-4141 or visit universityhealth.org.

The Weight Is Over: Weight Loss Seminar, featuring Dr. Christopher Gates, is Thursday, January 12, from 6-7 p.m. at Doctors Hospital (South Tower, Classroom 1). Free. Pre-registration required. Call 706-651-LIVE or visit doctors-hospital.net.

Burn Support Group meets Tuesday, January 10, from 10:30 a.m.-noon at Doctors Hospital (Lori Rogers Nursing Library, JMS Building). All burn survivors, and their families and friends, are invited. Call Tim Dorn at 706-651-6660 or visit doctors-hospital.net.

Babies, Bumps and Bruises is Thursday, January 12, from 7-9 p.m. at Doctors Hospital (Suite 310, Medical Office Building 1). Pre-registration required. Call 706-651-BABY or visit doctorshospital.net.

Aiken Cares meets Tuesday, January 10, from 11 a.m.-noon at Cumberland Village Library in Aiken and features support for family members and caregivers working with individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Call 800-322-8322 or visit aikenregional.com.

Weight Loss Seminar, sponsored by Georgia Health Sciences, is Thursday, January 12, at 7 p.m. at the Columbia County Library. Free. Pre-registration required. Call 706-721-2609 or visit georgiahealth.org/weightloss. Women’s Center Tour is Thursday, January 12, from 7-9:30 p.m. at University Hospital Lobby. Free. Preregistration required. Call 706-7742825 or visit universityhealth.org.

Support

The Lunch Bunch Bereavement Grief Suppor t meets Thursday, January 5, from noon-1 p.m. at Aiken Regional Medical Center (Cafeteria Dining Room A, first floor), and features suppor t for adults who have lost a loved one. Pre-registration required. Call Cathy Cole at 803-641-5389 or visit aikenregional.com. 22 METRO SPIRIT 01.05.12

Look Good… Feel Better Cancer Support Group meets Monday, January 9, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Georgia Health Sciences Cancer Center (First Floor, Community Room), and features instruction on how to handle appearance-related side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Pre-registration required. Call 706-7210466 or visit georgiahealth.org.

Diabetes Support Group, sponsored by Aiken Regional Medical Center, meets Tuesday, January 10, from 3-4 p.m. at the O’Dell Weeks Center in Aiken. Pre-registration required. Call 803-2930023 or visit aikenregional.com. Let’s Talk Cancer Support Group meets Tuesday, January 10, from 5:30-7 p.m. at Georgia Health Sciences Cancer Center (First Floor, Community Room), and offers support for individuals, caregivers and others affected by cancer. Call 706721-0550 or visit georgiahealth.org. OB/GYN Cancer Support Group, sponsored by University Hospital, meets Tuesday, January 10, at 7 p.m. Call 706821-2944 or visit universityhealth.org. Bariatric Support Group meets Wednesday, January 11, from 6-7 p.m. at

Aiken Regional Medical Center’s Bariatric Services (Room 209). Pre-registration required. Call 803-641-5751 or visit aikenregional.com. ALS Support Lunch and Learn is Thursday, January 12, from 11 a.m.2 p.m. at Georgia Health Sciences Medical Office Building, 1446 Harper Street (Room 4306). Pre-registration required. Call 706-721-2681 or visit georgiahealth.org. Breast Cancer Support Group meets Thursday, January 12, from 5:307:30 p.m. at Georgia Health Sciences Cancer Center (First Floor, Community Room). Call 706-721-4109 or visit georgiahealth.org.

Education

Dinformercial, dinner with an educational twist, is Thursday, January 5, at 6 p.m. at Seed Master’s Cafe on Broad Street. $12 per seat; $50 per table. Call 706-5337038 or email steptalley@hotmail.com. Richmond County Evening School Registration continues through Friday, January 6, from 3:30-6 p.m., at Tubman Education Center. Copy of high school transcript and $10 application fee required for registration. Call 706-7964965, ext.1303 or 1311. Consumer Credit: Money Management Class is Monday, January 9, at 6:30 p.m. at the Columbia County Library. Call 706863-1946 or visit ecgrl.org. Out of the Box: Digital Camera Class is Wednesday, January 11, at 10 a.m. at the Columbia County Library, and features the basics of digital photography. Call 706-863-1946 or visit ecgrl.org. Out of the Camera: Digital Camera class is Wednesday, January 11, at 1 p.m. at the Columbia County Library, and features the basics of transferring photos from your camera. Call 706-8631946 or visit ecgrl.org. Absolute Beginner’s Computer Class is Wednesday, January 11, at Headquarters Branch Library. A PINES card and pre-registration required. Call 706-8212604 or visit ecgrl.org. Microsoft PowerPoint Classes begin Thursday, January 12, at 10 a.m. at Diamond Lakes Branch Library, and continue for two consecutive Thursdays. Participants must have general knowledge of computing and word processing software. Call 706-772-2432 V. 23 | NO. 01

or visit ecgrl.org. Aquinas High School Open House is Thursday, January 12, from 5-8:30 p.m. at the school, 1920 Highland Avenue. Call 706-736-5516 or visit aquinashigh.org. Starting Your Own Business is Thursday, January 12, at 6 p.m. at the Augusta Small Business Development Center, 7 N. Chestnut Street. Pre-registration due by January 10 at 5 p.m. Call 706-721-4545. Introduction to Computers Class is Thursday, January 12, at 6 p.m. at Wallace Branch Library. Call 706-7226275 or visit ecgrl.org. Consumer Credit: Credit Management Class is Thursday, January 12, at 6:30 p.m. at the Columbia County Library. Call 706-863-1946 or visit ecgrl.org. Augusta Christian Schools Open House is Thursday, January 12, at 7 p.m. at the school, 313 Baston Road in Martinez. Call 706-863-2905 or visit augustachristian.org. See WSA Day, including a tour of Westminster Schools of Augusta for interested students and families, is each Friday in January at 9:30 a.m. at the school’s Pamplin Hall. Call Aimee Lynch at 706-731-5260 or visit wsa.net.

Benefits

Shepeard Community Blood Drive continues through January 21 in Augusta and North Augusta. Visit shepeardblood. org for locations.

Sports-Outdoors

Arena. $8-$18. Call 877-4AUGTIX or visit georgialinatix.com. Aiken Winter Classic Horse Show is going on through Sunday, January 8, beginning at 8 a.m. each day, at Highfields Event Center. Call 803-649-3505 or visit psjshows.com/highfields.php. Augusta State vs. Lander basketball games are Wednesday, January 11, at 5:30 p.m. (women) and 7:30 p.m. (men) at Christenberry Fieldhouse. Call 706731-7925 or visit aug.edu. Augusta Riverhawks vs. Columbus Cottonmouths hockey game is Wednesday, January 11, at 7:35 p.m. $10-$18. Call 877-4AUGTIX or visit georgialinatix.com. Registration is now open for a 10-week class in beginning foil fencing at the Augusta Fencers Club. Designed for adults, but open to mature students as young at 14. The class meets on Thursdays from 6-7 p.m. beginning January 12, and is $150 will all equipment provided. Call 706-722-8878. Civil War 150th Anniversary Petersburg Boat Tours are Saturdays and Sundays, at 10 a.m. (Saturday) and at 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. (Sunday). This one-hour tour explores the role the canal played during the war. $12.50. Visit augustacanal.com. Saturday Historic Trolley Tours are Saturdays from 1-4:15 p.m. at the Augusta Museum of History. Reservations required 24 hours in advance. $12. Call 706-724-4067.

Augusta Riverhawks vs. Hunstville Havoc hockey game is Thursday, January 5, at 7:35 p.m. at the James Brown Arena. $9-$17. Call 877-4AUGTIX or visit georgialinatix.com.

The Augusta Fencers Club is open five nights a week from 5:30-9 p.m. and most Saturday mornings from 10 a.m.-noon. Visitors always welcome. Call 706-722-8878.

Swamp Saturday is Saturday, January 7, at 9:30 a.m. at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park, and features volunteerled hikes. Free. Call 706-828-2109 or visit naturalsciencesacademy.org.

Nacho Mama’s Group Run is each Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., and features food and drinks afterwards. Threeand four-mile routes are available for all ages and abilities of runners. Call 706-414-4059 or email jim@ enduranceconcepts.com.

Augusta State vs. Nor th Georgia basketball games are Saturday, January 7, at 5:30 p.m. (women) and 7:30 p.m. (men) at Christenberry Fieldhouse. Call 706-731-7925 or visit aug.edu. Faith and Family Night: Augusta Riverhawks vs. Fayetteville FireAntz hockey game is Saturday, January 7, at 7:35 p.m. at the James Brown V. 23 | NO. 01

Riverview Disc Golf League meets each Thursday at 6 p.m. at Riverview Park in North Augusta. $5 entry fee and $1 ace pool. Call 803-215-8181 or visit augustadiscgolf.com. Wheelchair Tennis Clinic, presented by the Walton Foundation for Independence, meets each Monday at 6 p.m. (weather

permitting) at The Club at Rae’s Creek. Free and open to the public. Call 706826-5809 or email alsalley@wrh.org.

Branch Library. Pre-registration required. Call 706-821-2600 or visit ecgrl.org.

Augusta Canal Boat Tours lasting one hour are offered daily at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday Sunset Cruises, lasting three hours, are at 5 p.m. All tours include admission to the Augusta Canal Interpretive Center. Call 706-823-0440 or visit augustacanal.com.

Artrageous! Family Sunday: Fourth Annual Children’s Book Reading Spectacular is Sunday, January 8, at 2 p.m. at the Morris Museum of Art, and features stories, art projects and readings by children’s book authors. Call 706-724-7501 or visit themorris.org.

Yoga Class at Euchee Creek Branch Library meets every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Call 706-556-0594 or visit ecgrl.org.

Teen Game Day is Sunday, January 8, from 2:30-4:30 p.m. at Headquarters Branch Library, and features snacks, Wii, Uno and more. Call 706-821-2600 or visit ecgrl.org.

Kids

Toddler Time: Magical Materials! is Thursday, January 5, from 10-11 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m., at the Morris Museum of Art. Children and their parents will enjoy the story “Snow Riders,” by Constance W. McGeorge, while viewing paintings by Mary Whyte, and then will learn to create magical effects with watercolor. Free for members; $4 per person for nonmembers. Pre-registration required. Call 706-724-7501 or visit themorris.org. “Kung Fu Panda 2” shows Saturday, January 7, at 2 p.m. at Headquarters KEN DAVIS

Snowman Story Time is Tuesday, January 10, at 10 a.m. at Headquarters Branch Library. Call 706-821-2600 or visit ecgrl.org. Youth Archery League is Wednesday, January 11, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Odell Weeks Center in Aiken, and features instruction for children ages 5-16. Participants must be accompanied by an adult. Classes continue each Wednesday through March 21. Pre-registration required. Call 803-642-7631. Augusta Junior Roller Derby is now recruiting girls ages 10-17 for their

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next eight-week boot camp, which begins on Sunday, January 15, from 11 a.m.-1:15 p.m. at Red Wing Rollerway. $100 registration includes T-shirt and USARS insurance. Email lizjupiter@ comcast.net or visit facebook.com/ AugustaJrRollerDerby.

Pre-registration required. Call 706-7226275 or visit ecgrl.org. Story Time is every Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at Harlem Branch Library. Call 706556-9795 or visit ecgrl.org.

Story Time is every Wednesday at Appleby Branch Library from 10:05 10:20 a.m. for toddlers 18 months-35 months, and from 10:30-11:15 a.m. for preschoolers ages 3 and up. Parent must stay with child. Call 706-736-6244 or visit ecgrl.org. Story Time is every Tuesday, at 10 a.m. at Diamond Lakes Branch Library. Groups of six or more must pre-register. Call 706-772-2432 or visit ecgrl.org. Story Time is every Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Friedman Branch Library. Groups of six or more must pre-register. Call 706736-6758 or visit ecgrl.org Story Time is every Wednesday at 10 a.m. at Maxwell Branch Library. Preregistration required. Call 706-7932020 or visit ecgrl.org. Story Time is every Wednesday from 10-11:15 a.m. at Wallace Branch Library.

The Augusta Arsenal Soccer Club Junior Academy, for boys and girls ages 5-8, meets each Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Augusta Soccer Park. Call 706-8540149 or visit augustasoccer.com. Fencing for Kids, and introduction to foil fencing 10-week course for those ages 9-12, meets Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. beginning January 10. $150. Call 706722-8878. Mother’s Morning Out is every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Wilson Family Y, for children ages 3-4. The schedule follows the Richmond County school calendar. $90 a month for members; $110 a month for nonmembers. Register at any Family Y or visit thefamilyy.org. Tuesday’s lap-sit at the Columbia County Library is at 11 a.m. and is for children under 2. Story time for two-year-olds is every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

at 10:15 a.m. and for preschoolers at 11 a.m. Group registration required. Call 706-863-1946 or visit ecgrl.org. Preschool Story Time is every Tuesday at Headquarters Branch Library at 10 a.m. Toddler Story Time is every Wednesday at 10 a.m. Group registration required. Call 706-821-2600 or visit ecgrl.org. The Augusta Arsenal Soccer Club Junior Academy, for boys and girls ages 5-8, meets each Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Augusta Soccer Park. Call 706-8540149 or visit augustasoccer.com. Toddler Time, free play for children ages 5 and under, is each Monday and Wednesday from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the H.O. Weeks Center in Aiken. Call 803642-7631 or visit cityofaikensc.gov. Wacky Wednesday Story Time is each Wednesday at 10 a.m. in the children’s department of Barnes and Noble in the Augusta Mall. Call 706-737-0012 or visit bn.com.

7631 or visit cityofaikensc.gov. Homeschool Playgroup meets each Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at Creighton Park in North Augusta. Call 803-613-0484.

Seniors

Senior Luncheon with Deric Gilliard, author/activist/lecturer, is Wednesday, January 11, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at The Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History. $10. RSVP and pre-payment required. Call 706-724-3576 or visit lucycraftlaneymuseum.com.

Volunteers

CSRA Humane Society Volunteer Orientation is Saturday, January 7, at 9 a.m. at the Pet Center. Visit csrahumanesociety.org.

If you would like to see your organization’s events listed in our calendar, please email Amy Christian at amy@themetrospirit.com. The deadline for each Thursday’s issue is the previous Friday at noon.

Ceramics Class, for ages 14 and up, meets Mondays, at 9 a.m. or 6 p.m., Tuesdays at 6 p.m., and Wednesdays, at 9 a.m. in the Weeks Ceramics Center. Call 803-642-

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Thursday, January 5 Live Music Coyote’s - Jeremy Graham French Market Grille West - Doc Easton Smooth Jazz Joe’s Underground - Jamie Jones One Hundred Laurens - Kenny George Red Pepper Cafe - Funk/Fusion Jazz Rose Hill Stables - Preston, Weston and Sandra Travinia’s - Smooth Jazz Wild Wing - Matt Acosta and The Special Guests The Willcox - Classic Jazz

What’s Tonight?

Mi Rancho (Downtown) - Karaoke with Ryan Moseley Mi Rancho (Washington Road) - Karaoke with Jeff Barnes Mi Rancho (Clearwater) - Three J’s Karaoke Ms. Carolyn’s - Karaoke Palmetto Tavern - DJ Tim Rebeck’s Hideaway - Open Mic Roadrunner Cafe - Karaoke with Steve Chappel Sky City - ’80s Night Tropicabana - Latin Friday Wheels - Live DJ Wooden Barrel - Karaoke Contest

What’s Tonight? Club Argos - Variety Show Cocktails Lounge - Latin Night Fishbowl Lounge - Karaoke Helga’s Pub & Grille - Trivia The Loft - Karaoke Mi Rancho (Downtown) - Karaoke with Rockin Rob Mi Rancho (Clearwater) - Karaoke with Danny Haywood Mi Rancho (Washington Road) - Karaoke Ms. Carolyn’s - Karaoke One Hundred Laurens - DJ Kenny Ray Sky City - Saturday Night Live Variety

Casa Blanca - Thursday Tango Club Argos - Karaoke Cocktails Lounge - Karaoke Fishbowl Lounge - Karaoke Fox’s Lair - Soup, Suds & Conversations Helga’s Pub & Grille - Trivia The Highlander - Butt Naked Trivia The Loft - Karaoke Mi Rancho (Downtown) - Karaoke Mi Rancho (Evans) - Karaoke Pizza Joint, Evans - DJ Kris Fisher The Playground - Open Mic with Brandy Polo Tavern - DJ Nirvana Shannon’s - Karaoke Villa Europa - Karaoke Wooden Barrel - ’80s Night Karaoke

V. 23 | NO. 01

What’s Tonight? Applebee’s (Evans) - Trivia Club Argos - Karaoke Malibu Jack’s - Trivia with Mike Thomas Mi Rancho (Downtown) - Karaoke with Danny Haywood Wild Wing - Trivia

What’s Tonight? Club Argos - Karaoke Fishbowl Lounge - Dart League Malibu Jack’s - Karaoke with Denny

Wednesday, January 11 Live Music 209 on the River - Smooth Grooves Coyote’s - Jeremy Graham Joe’s Underground - Sibling String Wild Wing - Tiki Barflys

What’s Tonight?

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Club Argos - Time to Come Together as One Fundraiser for Augusta Pride 2012 Cocktails Lounge - Grown-Up Fridays with DJ Cork and Bull Pub - Karaoke Fishbowl Lounge - Karaoke Iron Horse Bar & Grill - Karaoke

NONE

Cocktails Lounge - Live Music The Highlander - Open Mic Night Wild Wing - Swingin’ Richards The Willcox - Piano Jazz

Carolina Ale House - Jim Perkins Country Club - Daniel Lee Band Coyote’s - Chuck Courtney Doubletree - Jazz with Michael Peele The First Round - Dead End Sons, 6 French Market Grille West - Doc Easton

What’s Tonight?

Monday, January 9 Live Music

Tuesday, January 10 Live Music

Friday, January 6 Live Music

Joe’s Underground - Mama Says Laura’s Backyard Tavern - Allen & Larry The Playground - Granny’s Gin Polo Tavern - Robbie Ducey Band Wild Wing - Causey Effect

Caribbean Soul - Love Jones Sundays Malibu Jacks - Karaoke Mi Rancho (Downtown) - Karaoke Mi Rancho (Washington Road) - Karaoke, Salsa Dancing

Saturday, January 7 Live Music The Acoustic Coffeehouse - Open Acoustic Jam Session with Eryn Eubanks and the Family Fold Country Club - Thomas Tillman Coyote’s - Chuck Courtney Joe’s Underground - Ruskin Yeargain The Loft - Groove Stain, Pasadena P.I. Bar and Grill - Not Gaddy Jazz Wild Wing - Michael Patterson Band

Show Tropicabana - Salsa Saturday Wheels - Live DJ Wooden Barrel - Kamikaze Karaoke

Sunday, January 8 Live Music 5 O’Clock Bistro - Buzz and Candice The Willcox - Mike Frost and Lauren Meccia Wild Wing - Brandon Hooker Duo

What’s Tonight?

Club Argos - Santoni’s Satin Dolls Cocktails Lounge - Augusta’s Got Talent Cotton Patch - Trivia and Tunes Coyote’s - Drink N Drown w/ DJ Jeff Laura’s Backyard Tavern - Karaoke w/ David Doane The Loft - Karaoke Mi Rancho (Downtown) - Karaoke Mi Rancho (Washington Road) - Karaoke with Rockin’ Rob The Place on Broad - Jazz DJ The Playground - Krazy Karaoke with Big Troy Polo Tavern - Karaoke w/ Tom Mitchell

Upcoming Larry Frick - Country Club January 13 Obraskai - The Playground January 13 METRO SPIRIT 01.05.12 25

Elsewhere Sofia Talvik - The Sentient Bean, Savannah January 5 The Big Daddy’s Band - The Melting Point, Athens January 6 Jim Perkins - The Office Lounge, Athens January 6 Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Hodgson Concert Hall, Athens January 10 Drive-By Truckers - 40 Watt Club, Athens

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

Happiness isn’t a state you acquire by luck. It takes hard work and relentless concentration. You have to overcome the hard-core cultural conditioning that tempts you to assume that suffering is normal and the world is a hostile place. It’s essentially a great rebellion against an unacknowledged taboo. Here’s the good news: 2012 will be an excellent time for you to do this work.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

More and more musicians and authors are choosing to self-publish. That way they retain the full rights to their creative work, keeping it from being controlled and potentially misused by a record label or publishing company. Terri Hendrix owns all 14 of her master recordings. She lives by the motto, “Own Your Own Universe.” The coming months will be prime time for you to take full possession of everything you need to become what you want to be.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)

Andrew Benjamin’s Hellblinki will improvise the soundtrack to “Confederate Zombie,” as well as perform some of their other songs, at the Imperial Theatre Friday night as part of the Poison Peach Film Festival. Jerry Seinfeld - Bell Auditorium January 19 Vox Inertia - 1102 Bar & Grill January 20 Pocket the Moon, Finster, The Kooties, Jerod Gay - Sky City January 20 Ravenswood, Stillview - The First Round January 20 She N She - The Playground January 20 Toyzz - Wild Wing January 20 Mountain Heart w/ Tony Rice - Imperial Theatre January 20 David Hope - Laura’s Backyard Tavern January 20-21 SidAerial - The Playground January 27 Dangermuffin- Surrey Tavern January 28 Stillview, 3 Pill Morning, The Atom Blonde - The Playground January 30 Those Darlins - Sky City February 1 POPS! At the Bell w/ The Temptations Bell Auditorium February 9 Winter Jam Tour - James Brown Arena February 9 Rhonda Vincent & The Rage - Imperial Theatre February 10 Jesup Dolly, Cameras, Guns, and Radios The Playground Bar February 10 26 METRO SPIRIT 01.05.12

The coming months will be a time when you’ll thrive by seeking out novel ideas, using new words and regarding your imagination as an organ that’s as important to feed as your stomach. Here are a slew of freshly made-up terms that’ll help tease your brain in ways that are in alignment with the upcoming astrological factors. 1. Assymectricity: energy generated by lopsidedness. 2. Enigmagnetic: a person who attracts mysteries. 3. Indumbnitable: incapable of being dumbed down. 4. Beneviolent: helpful chaos. 5. Fauxbia: a fake fear. 6. Craptometry: ability to see through all the BS. 7. Adoregasm: when you treasure someone to the point of ecstasy.

ARIES (March 21-April 19) January 12-14 Bitch Please, Dope Dialect - Live Wire Music Hall, Savannah January 14 Gregg Allman & Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band - Johnny Mercer Theater, Savannah January 21 Lord T & Eloise - Locos, Savannah January 26 Widespread Panic - The Tabernacle, Atlanta January 26-29 Blake Shelton - Convention Center at Gwinnett Center, Duluth January 27 Blackberry Smoke - Buckhead Theatre, Atlanta January 28 Eric Church, Brantley Gilbert, Sonia Leigh - Savannah Civic Center, Savannah February 2 Scott H. Biram - The Jinx, Savannah February 3 Mandisa w/ Nicole Britt & Laura Story USC Aiken Convocation Center – March 30

“It is surely a great calamity for a human being to have no obsessions,” said poet Robert Bly. That’s why he decided to learn to love his obsessions. You are likely to thrive to the degree that you precisely identify and vigorously harness your obsessions. I’m not advising you to fall down in front of your obsessions and worship them like idols. Be wildly grateful for them; love them with your fiery heart fully unfurled; but keep them under the control of your fine mind.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

“Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid.” Rumor has it that this pithy observation was uttered by Albert Einstein. You’ll be smart to keep it in mind throughout 2012. You will have an excellent opportunity to identify, hone and express your specific brilliance, so eliminate any tendency you might have to see yourself as a fish whose job it is to climb a tree.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

In his book “Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World’s Stolen Treasures,” former FBI agent Robert K. Wittman tells the story of the world’s second largest crystal ball. Worth $350,000 and once belonging to the Chinese Dowager Empress, it was stolen from a museum. Wittman never located the actual robber, but years later he tracked down the crystal ball to a young witch in New Jersey who, unaware of its origins or value,

FREEWILLASTROLOGY

Amy Schumer - Sky City January 13 Galen Kipar Project - Stillwater Taproom - January 13 Xerxes, Code Orange Kinds, Barrow, Von Wolfe, Apart, Chondro, Panic Manor, Narratives, Dead End Sons, Dreameater - Sector 7G January 13 Roshambeaux - Wild Wing January 13 Old Man Crazy - Laura’s Backyard Tavern January 13

kept it on her bedroom dresser with a baseball cap on top of it. If you look hard and keep an open mind, you will eventually recover lost riches or a disappeared prize in the least likely of places.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)

It used to be impossible for the human body to run a mile in less than four minutes. That barrier was broken May 6, 1954, when Roger Bannister raced a mile in three minutes, 59.4 seconds. Since then, lots of athletes have done it and the record has been lowered by another 17 seconds. In 2012, you will accomplish a breakthrough that once seemed beyond your capacity.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)

Back in 1958, 17-year-old Bob Heft created a 50-star American flag for a high school project. Hawaii and Alaska were being considered for U.S. statehood at that time, and a new design was needed to replace the old 48-star flag. Heft’s teacher originally gave him a grade of B- for his work. But when his model was later selected to be the actual American flag, the teacher raised his grade to an A. Some work you did that never received proper credit will finally be accorded the value it deserves.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

Greek philosopher Plato suggested that we may become more receptive to spiritual beauty by putting ourselves in the presence of physical beauty. I’m not so sure about that, but I do believe you may be an exception. That’s why I’m giving you the go-ahead — indeed, the mandate — to surround yourself with physical beauty.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Before he died in 1902, Libran cartoonist Thomas Nast left a potent legacy. Among his enduring creations were the modern image of Santa Claus, the iconic donkey for America’s Democratic Party and the elephant for the Republican Party. I’m guessing that 2012 is going to be a Thomas Nast kind of year for you. The ripples you set in motion are likely to last a long time, so choose the influences you unleash with great care and integrity.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

“If you’re in a good relationship, chances are you’re bored out of your mind,” spouts comedian Chris Rock in his show “Never Scared.” “All good relationships are boring. The only exciting relationships are bad ones. You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow when you’re in a bad relationship. You never know when they’re gonna walk through the door and say, ‘Hey, you gave me crabs.’ That’s exciting!” In 2012, cultivate stable relationships that are boring in all the best ways.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

Once every decade or so, you’re asked to make a special point of practicing forgiveness and atonement. It’ll be quite important for you to cleanse the grungy build-up of regrets and remorse from your psyche. Compose a list of the sins you could expiate, the karmic debts you can repay and the redemptions you should initiate. Make it into a fun, creative project that you will thoroughly enjoy. Rob Brezsny

FREEWILLASTROLOGY@FREEWILLASTROLOGY.COM

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For a New Year’s change this year, I didn’t head out to the bars. I usually try to catch a good rock act that will help bring in the New Year with a bang. I did attend a great party, but made sure I didn’t get thrown into the pokey by keeping my car parked. I did hear that downtown was a blast, and that my buddy Big Troy, along with his band Acid Wash, did awesome over at Bar on Broad. Glad to hear it, and glad to hear that none of my friends were locked up. Were your friends as lucky as mine? Sad, sad news came out over the holidays and definitely ruined my New Year’s. Katy Perry and Russell Brand have officially split. What?!?! You are trying to tell me that a marriage between Katy Perry and Russell Brand didn’t work out? I’m totally blindsided by this. Insert sarcasm wherever you would like. The two used the predictable “irreconcilable differences” excuse and are putting an end to their marriage after 14 months. I call dibs on next; Katy Perry that is. In other heartbreaking news, Sinead O’Conner ended her marriage as well. But in her defense, she did tough it out for as long as she could, put in the extra time and thought about reconciling, but after a rough 18 days, her marriage has ended. I bet the pope is so disappointed. And guys, I’ll let you call dibs on this one. Music movie news: Elton John says he has a first choice to play him in the planned biopic “Rocketman”: Justin Timberlake. This is like when Aretha Franklin wanted Halle Berry to play her in her biopic. You’re kind of “outpunting your coverage” here, Elton. Side note, Aretha did get engaged this weekend, sorry guys, she’s taken. In a lesson of what not to do, Cee Lo Green is catching flack this week for changing the lyrics to his cover of John Lennon’s song “Imagine” while performing on NBC’s New Year’s Eve broadcast. But don’t worry, he Tweeted his apology, so everything is all better. Follow @ MattStoneToGo on Twitter. I heard he’s hilarious. As they do every year, they released the top-grossing music acts of 2011. Topping the list this year: U2. Oh Bono, taking a break from being Jesus to entertain us with his melodies of love and starvation. The band performed 25 shows in North America and topped out at $156 million. $231 million if you go worldwide. Coming in behind the highly influential U2 is Taylor Swift. What?! Taylor Swift?! That is correct, Taylor Swift hitting $100 million in North America. The rest of the top 5 goes to Kenny Chesney, Lady Gaga and Bon Jovi. Come on America! You have to be kidding. Last in “naked picture news of the week,” I saw a picture over on tmz.com of what I thought was a topless old woman. After clicking on the picture, because of course I wanted to see an old woman naked, I was shocked to see that it was actually Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler. If you wonder what Liv Tyler will look like when she’s 70, there you go. The picture is so bad that I didn’t want to use it as the picture for my article, but come on; he’s kind of hot, right? Haha, good stuff. What shows am I missing? What venues do I need to check out and review? Who will be the band to watch, locally and nationally, in 2012? Let me know and I’ll tell you that you’re wrong. Email matt@themetrospirit.com. Enjoy.

Matt Stone can be heard weekdays from 2-6 p.m. on 95 Rock.

32 METRO SPIRIT 01.05.12

V. 23 | NO. 01

THEEIGHT BOX TOPS

Pretty, much younger wife. Lots of money. Adorable daughter. Is that not enough for Tom Cruise? RANK

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1

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE-GHOST PROTOCOL

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SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS

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$55,811,000

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2

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SAMEIFLING

“Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” How much you’ll like this movie depends on how much of your brain you can turn off Manufacturing a franchise out of “Mission: Impossible” has the ring, after a while, of calling a band The Lone Rangers, a la “Airheads.” (If they’re so impossible, how has the team now completed four of them?) The most recent installment, “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol,” not only doubles down on the internal punctuation, it attempts some of the most audacious stunts and set pieces ever committed in an action movie. A Russian prison escape. A terroristic demolition of the Kremlin. Free-climbing the outside of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, a superstructure nearly as tall as the old Twin Towers combined. Whether you can really enjoy “Ghost Protocol” will depend on whether your reptilian brain (“awesome!!!”) can shout down your cerebral neocortex (“wait, if he just faceplanted against the side of a building at sprinting speed while falling 20 feet... why isn’t he bruised five minutes later?”). But then, if you’re going to get all uppity about sense, you’ll be happy to learn there are some lovely nature specials on PBS playing right about now, and homemade popcorn is delicious when topped with a touch of dill. Actually “Ghost Protocol” gets to have things both ways — doubling as an espionage flick and as a cartoony action spectacle, sort of a James Bond lite — in part because it does keep things a shade campy. Tom Cruise returns a fourth time as Ethan Hunt, the top agent of the double-dog-top-secret government agency I.M.F., once again receiving his orders via self-destructing message. We get only a glimpse of Ving Rhames, but Simon Pegg is back from the previous (2006) film as the technician Benji, geeked to be working in the field, and Paula Patton (“Precious”) arrives as an agent named Carter, bent on avenging the death of a fellow I.M.F. spook. As she and Benji bust Hawk out of that prison by inciting a riot, they pipe in Dean Martin’s “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head.” The credits roll and that familiar theme song plays, gently reminding the audience that this is a film based on a TV show from the gadget- and bongo-happy ’60s.

So they get out, check a self-detonating voicemail in Moscow and learn that a mad genius is bent on sparking nuclear war by acquiring loose Russian launch codes. While not every villain needs to soliloquize to our heroes over tea or in some undersea lair, “Ghost Protocol” disappoints by never fleshing out this shadowy fellow or his minions. All we really know is that they love pulling triggers, punching faces and driving fast cars. (Avoid this film, by the way, if you have a problem with BMWs starring as the herocars in multiple scenes. One upside of this blatant product placement is a cameo by the Vision Efficientdynamics Concept car, a veritable “Tron” doodle come to life.) Instead of delectable wickedness, director Brad Bird settles for the get along teamwork story. When Jeremy Renner (“The Hurt Locker”) is thrown in, a buried tension threatens to derail the team at a time when home-office support is out of the question. Naturally they have to work together if they’re going to pull off the orchestrated chaos that these plots require, lots of talking into unseen microphones and coordinating down to the split second. In between, it’s going to take a lot of Ethan Hunt to save the day. Tom Cruise squinting. Tom Cruise sprinting. Tom Cruise shirtless on a zipline. Tom Cruise throwing himself out of moving cars and onto speeding trucks. How he’s not a shipwreck of compound fractures by the film’s end is beyond explanation. Don’t ask for one, and you’ll enjoy this ride just fine.

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January 7 A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas (R) 4:30, 9:45; In Time (PG-13) 7:15, 9:55; Puss in Boots (PG) 12:30, 2:40, 4:50, 7, 9:25; Paranormal Activity 3 (R) 4:30, 9:55; Footloose (PG-13) 1:30, 7:30; The Ides of March (R) 1:45, 7:15; Real Steel (PG-13) 1, 4, 7, 9:45; Courageous (PG13) 12:45, 3:45, 6:45, 9:35; Dolphin Tale (PG) 1:15, 4:15; Moneyball (PG-13) 12:45 3:45, 6:45, 9:35

Evans Cinemas January 6 The Devil Inside (R) 2:50, 5:10, 7:30, 9:50; The Darkest Hour (PG-13) 3:10, 5:30, 7:45, 9:55; War Horse (PG-13) 3:30, 4:45, 8; We Bought a Zoo (PG) 4:10, 7:10, 9:55; The Adventures of Tintin (PG) 2:30, 3:15, 5, 7:30, 10; The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (R) 4:30, 7:20, 8:15, 9:35; Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol (PG-13) 4, 6:30, 7, 9:25, 9:55; Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (G) 2:40, 4:55, 7:15; Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (PG-13) 3:50, 6:50, 9:45; New Year’s Eve (PG-13) 3:40, 6:40, 9:40; The Muppets (PG) 4:20; My Week with Marilyn (R) 3, 5:20, 7:40, 10; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 1 (PG-13) 7:05, 9:50

(PG-13) 12:50, 3:50, 6:50, 9:45; New Year’s Eve (PG-13) 12:40, 3:40, 6:40, 9:40; The Muppets (PG) 1:45, 4:20; My Week with Marilyn (R) 12:30, 3, 5:20, 7:40, 10; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 1 (PG-13) 7:05, 9:50

Regal Exchange 20 January 6-7 The Devil Inside (R) 1:10, 3:20, 5:30, 7:40, 9:50, midnight; The Darkest Hour (PG-13) 11:10, 1:25, 4:35, 7:30, 9:45; War Horse (PG-13) 11:25, 2:35, 5:45, 7:15, 9, 10:30; We Bought a Zoo (PG) 11:15, 1:15, 2:15, 4:20, 5:10, 7:10, 8:05, 10, 10:50; The Adventures of Tintin (PG) 11, 11:35, 12:10, 1:35, 2:10, 2:45, 4:45, 5:25, 7:25, 8:05, 10, 10:40; The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (R) 11:50, 12:45, 3:40, 4:10, 7:05, 7:35, 10:35, 10:55; Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol (PG-13) 1, 4, 4:15, 7, 7:30, 8, 10:15, 10:45, 11:15; Alivin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (G) 11:55, 12:40, 2:10, 2:55, 4:25, 5:10, 7:10, 7:40, 9:25, 9:55; Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (PG-13) 12:50, 1:50, 4:05, 5:05, 7:20, 8:20, 10:25, 11:15; New Year’s Eve (PG-13) 4:30, 7:35, 10:20; The Sitter (R) 7:40, 10:10; Young Adult (R) 12:25, 2:50, 5:20, 7:45, 10:05; Arthur Christmas (PG) 12:05, 2:35, 5:05; Hugo (PG) 11, 1:55, 4:50; The Muppets (PG) 11:05, 1:35, 4:20; Happy Feet Two (PG) 12:55; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 1 (PG-13) 11:15, 2, 4:45, 7:30, 10:15

January 7 The Devil Inside (R) 12:25, 2:50, 5:10, 7:30, 9:50; The Darkest Hour (PG-13) 12:15, 3:10, 5:30, 7:45, 9:55; War Horse (PG-13) 1:30, 3:30, 4:45, 8; We Bought a Zoo (PG) 1:10, 4:10, 7:10, 9:55; The Adventures of Tintin (PG) noon, 12:45, 2:30, 3:15, 5, 7:30, 10; The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (R) 12:20, 1:20, 4:30, 7:20, 8:15, 9:35; Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol (PG13) 1, 4, 6:30, 7, 9:25, 9:55; Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (G) 12:10, 2:40, 4:55, 7:15; Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows V. 23 | NO. 01

OPENING FRIDAY, JANUARY 6

HORROR

“The Devil Inside,” rated R, starring Fernanda Andrade. Categorized as a exorcism horror-thriller, it sounds more like a bad soft-core porn offering that shows Fridays at 11 p.m. on HBO. And the poster doesn’t help, either. “Beneath the Darkness,” rated R, starring Dennis Quaid. Perennial good guy Dennis Quaid stars as a very, very bad man. So bad he murders a teenager and then stalks the kids’ friends, who witnessed the murder. That hardly seems like him at all.

AT THE

WING

C E R WE

D N E M M O

The Bourne Trilogy For our money, you won’t find any better action-thrillers than 2002’s “The Bourne Identity,” 2004’s “The Bourne Supremacy” and 2007’s “The Bourne Ultimatum.” Starring Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, our first introduction to Robert Ludlum’s amnesia-burdened spy-hitman was perfect; you totally believed Bourne’s confusion at his predicament, and his amazement as his driving, fighting and killing skills (among others) return like old friends to help him out when he most needs it. Chock full of impressive stars in secondary roles (Clive Owen, Joan Allen, Chris Cooper, Brian Cox, Julia Stiles… and the list goes on), the movie is still all Matt Damon’s. The first is superior to the second two, which are so interchangeable that it’s sometimes confusing which events occurred in which movie, but all three are great and make a fine triple feature choice. V. 23 | NO. 01

BOWL GAMES AND NFL PLAYOFFS LINEUP 1.4 Wednesday - Allstate Sugar Bowl Clemson vs West Virginia 1.6 Friday - AT&T Cotton Bowl 1.7 Saturday & 1.8 Sunday - NFL Wild Card Playoffs

1.9 Monday - Allstate BCS National Championship Thursday Matt Acosta & Friends Friday Night Rocks Causey Effect Saturday Night Live Michael Patterson Band NFL Sunday NFL Playoff Football and live music w/ the Brandon Hooker Duo

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Matt Lane is host of The Weekend Rundown which airs from 10 a.m.-noon Saturdays on News-Talk-Sports 1630 AM. He can be reached at mattlane28@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @Mattlane28.

Preparation Meets Opportunity The Gamecocks overcome a slow start in the Capital One Bowl

Things started off sluggishly in the Capital One Bowl for the Gamecocks — something many bowl teams discover as they struggle to find their groove after not playing for more than a month. But once the Gamecock defense found its footing, that was all she wrote. For a squad that won 11 games for the first time in school history this season, the week-to-week operations around the team certainly had a roller coaster feel to them. While the games themselves commanded their usual hyperactive, worldclass attention to detail and execution that playing in the Southeastern conference requires, multiple issues developed as they trudged along through the year. College football is not a game that’s played in a vacuum. Injuries, life and career choices cast shadows of uncertainty over the Gamecocks many times throughout the year, no doubt nudging them to take their expected cue and bow out in their usual self-sabotaging way. But then a strange thing happened. They didn’t. The Gamecocks are led by Steve Spurrier, who, at the tender age of 66, has been viciously rubbing his burning ears the past few years from complaints of underachieving in losing threestraight bowl games. Spurrier, one of the few coaches who seems to renegotiate his contract just about every year — his newest contract extension will keep him with the team through the 2015 season — looked to almost encourage the cooling Gatorade bath that was coming his way after the game. “This is about as big as it gets for me,” he said while standing on the victor’s podium, wearing his familiar grin that makes Georgia fans want to roundhouse kick their flat screens. On offense, they did their usual knick-n-knack routine until things opened up.

But on defense, which has long been their breadwinner, they cleared the cobwebs after allowing two first-quarter touchdowns and returned to their physically imposing form. But in order to rise to their golden standard, there was something they had to pair with their first-rate talent in order to put them over the top: A desperation to give up nothing. An unquenchable thirst for destruction and havoc. And when you’re a talented team playing desperate, sometimes the football gods will nod in your favor on the other side of the ball. Which is what they did on Connor Shaw’s 51-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery as time expired in the first half. How’s that old, dusty proverb about luck go? When preparation meets opportunity, or something like that? It was one of the many displays of “luck” during the game. Another coincidence happened earlier in the quarter when free safety D.J. Swearinger launched his shoulder pad towards the arm of the ball-carrying Cornhusker, who braced himself for impact but didn’t secure the ball, shooting the ball into neutral air until being quickly recovered by the boys in garnet. Nebraska was trying for their third touchdown of the half on the play. They would not sniff pay dirt again after that turnover. Sure, people will remember the fight in the third quarter that sent Jeffery (Capital One Bowl MVP) to the showers, and also the unspeakable throwing motion of Cornhusker quarterback Taylor Martinez. (He’s only a sophomore, folks. There’s plenty more of where that came from.) But for as much happiness the rings Spurrier commissioned for his players will bring, Gamecock nation simply can pop in a copy of the game and smile in knowing that they played their best. And won.

ONTHEBALL

36 METRO SPIRIT 01.05.12

V. 23 | NO. 01

ADVICEGODDESS

Axing A Girl Out

You overlooked the danger when you replied to the woman who was invited on a hiking date by a man she’d had a crush on. You said that he probably got interested because he saw her with her new boyfriend. Well, he could also have wanted to murder her because of that. Every year, there’s news of a female body being found in a remote area — or not found after a disappearance. — Prudent Woman

Recall that this guy spent seven years barely noticing this woman before noticing she had a boyfriend and asking her out. This is not exactly the behavior of a man obsessed, brimming with jealous rage. Chances are, he just thought, “Hmm, I could hit that.” (And I very much doubt he meant “over the head with a shovel.”) How likely is it that a date could end in a shallow grave? Well, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2005, 513 women in the U.S. were murdered by “boyfriends” (men they were dating but not married to) and 164 men were murdered by “girlfriends.” (And yes, men, too, are victims of domestic violence, much of which goes unreported.) These intimate partner murder stats are a bit unreliable because the FBI doesn’t always identify the perp/victim relationship, but even if you include the 2,363 uncategorized murders of women, a woman’s chances of being a victim of “dinner and a murder” are seriously small. Divide the 513 number by the population of unmarried American women ages 15 to 64 — 45,752,000, per a 2009 Census Bureau sample — and a woman has an 11 in a million chance of getting offed by her date. (Statistically, she’s far more likely to speak Cherokee.)  Of course, those odds of getting murdered really only apply if she’s anywoman on anydate with anyman. Unfortunately, partly because people are reluctant to be seen as “blaming the victim,” there’s a politically correct popular notion that intimate partner violence happens at random, to random victims, kind of like an air conditioner falling out of a high window just as you’re underneath walking the dog. But, various authorities on violence, including personal security expert Gavin de Becker and domestic violence researcher Jacquelyn Campbell, have independently identified very similar coercive, autonomy-limiting behaviors in men who murder their female partners. These behaviors echo the four items from a 1993 Statistics Canada survey that researchers Martin Daly and Margo Wilson noted were strong predictors that a woman will experience serious violence from a male partner: “1. He is jealous and doesn’t want you to talk to other men; 2. He tries to limit your contact with family or friends; 3. He insists on knowing who you are with and where you are at all times; 4. He calls you names to put you down or make you feel bad.” Although government agencies and victim assistance organizations parrot the politically correct warning that intimate partner violence “can happen to anyone,” the truth is, certain women are more likely to be victimized, and research shows a stew of contributing social, financial and cultural factors. (Poverty and prior experience of family violence are two biggies.) Amazingly, there’s almost no research showing the particular psychology that might make one more prone to get into (and stay in) a physically violent relationship. (In the scant findings there are, researchers are unable to tease out whether, say, low self-esteem precipitated victimization or was caused by it.) But it seems likely that women who have low self-worth, who are “pleasers” and who have abandonment issues — women who are more likely to stay in emotionally abusive relationships — are more likely to stay in physically abusive ones. De Becker, in his vast experience with victims and victimizers, concurs, observing in “The Gift of Fear” that “men who cannot let go choose women who cannot say no.” The muzzle of political correctness — intended to protect the feelings of victims — actually makes women more likely to be victimized by stifling discussion about who becomes a victim and how they might prevent it. Interestingly, the bounds of political correctness don’t extend to how we portray men. But demonizing all men as deadly is like demonizing crossing the street because many people die each year at intersections (983 in 2009). A better idea is to look both ways. In relationships, this means assessing your individual risk for victimization and fixing feelings of low selfworth instead of trying to plaster over them with a partner — a partner you may feel compelled to cling to no matter what. In dating, this means engaging your judgment — not going off into the woods with some guy you barely know but also not seeing life as one giant “Law & Order” episode: “Hey, pretty lady… in the mood for a murder-suicide, or would you rather just see a movie?”

©2011, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or email adviceamy@aol.com. Also visit advicegoddess.com and read Amy Alkon’s book: “I See Rude People: One Woman’s Battle to Beat Some Manners Into Impolite Society” (McGraw-Hill, $16.95).

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METRO SPIRIT 01.05.12 37

Jenny Wright lives in Summerville with her husband, who she calls The Man, and two kids, who she affectionately calls The Boy and The Girl. She enjoys taking photos, cooking and playing tennis.

It’s Not “Chopsticks”

Practice makes perfect… and it makes mama crazy

My coffee mug is full, the tree is lit, I’ve got a new book on my Kindle and there’s piano music. Beethoven’s “Fur Elise,” to be exact. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? Well, that depends. The coffee is pure Kona and the book entertaining. The song is playing over and over, as if it is a CD stuck on repeat. Again. And again. Don’t get me wrong. I love the song. I love the piano. I really like just about anything musical. Here’s the hard part. My seven and a half year old son is playing it. I can’t deny his interest in trying an instrument, and he comes by that desire honestly. We have many family members who sing or play musical instruments. I played piano, and later played French horn in middle school band. When I got bored with horn, a friend taught me to play the clarinet, and I taught myself a few scales on the flute. A self-proclaimed band nerd. Any girl who didn’t play the flute had flute envy, too. Admit it. It was the easiest to carry to and from school, it was the cutest instrument and flute players always had the best parts in the music. Back to the piano playing. He’s learning, and it’s a pretty neat process. I love hearing that he’s figured out another measure of music. For days, he seemed to be stuck on the fourth measure. I put in an emergency call (okay, Facebook message) to Jim Nord, organist/pianist extraordinaire. “Do you by any chance have some beginner sheet music for ‘Fur Elise’?” Thankfully, Jim showed up the following day, music in hand, just in time to hear the familiar first four measures echo through our living room. We’ve come a long way since then. No one learns to play an instrument

38 METRO SPIRIT 01.05.12

immediately. My parents endured countless hours of me practicing the instruments I played. I can’t even imagine how it was during the brief year that I played the viola. String instruments only sound good when played by someone who knows how to play them. It’s something we, as parents, have to just deal with. We want to enrich their lives. They need to practice regularly. We may not want them to practice regularly, but they must. Is it wrong to wear noise cancelling headphones, claiming they only enhance the beauty in that 100th round of “Ode to Joy?” I wouldn’t do that of course. I can’t afford good noise cancelling headphones. I remember when my grandfather gave my three-year-old brother a drum set for Christmas. What on earth was he thinking? My brother banged on that thing night and day. Fortunately, we had a basement, so we couldn’t hear too much. The floor rattled, and I can’t imagine what the neighbors thought. Today, he earns a living playing in a band. He still plays loudly, but at least it all makes sense now. I’d love that for The Boy. We have a long way to go, but “Fur Elise” is a start, right? Hopefully, he’ll be taking proper lessons soon, and our repertoire will grow. For now, I can handle a few missed notes and the same three songs. I tell him that it isn’t funny to purposely mash the wrong keys just to upset his mother’s sensitive ears. I tell him that everything he plays is beautiful, and encourage him to play more. As we speak he seems to be teaching his sister. It’s “Fur Elise” in stereo, with four hands! Strange. I feel the sudden urge to run the vacuum constantly. Over and over. Again. And again. V. 23 | NO. 01


Metro Spirit 01.05.2012