Metro Spirit 06.20.2002
The Metro Spirit is a free weekly newspaper that serves readers in the Augusta and North Augusta area. Editorial coverage includes Richmond County and Columbia County politics and events, arts, entertainment, people, places and events.
2 M E T R O S P I R I T J U N E 2 0 2 0 0 2 Who Says You Can't Have Too Much of a Good Thing? UNLIMITED CALLING No Contract, No Credit Check, No Deposit. Yum. $39 Augusta: 3241-C Washington Rd. 706/868-0086 � West Augusta: 1347 Augusta West Pkwy. 706/651-7003 North Augusta: 346 E. Martintown Rd 803/613-0096 � Aiken: 170 Colony Pkwy. 803/502-0155 Mon-Fri 9:00-7:00, Sat. 9:00-5:00 � www.cell1se.com � Award Ceremonies � Executive Portraiture � Contents The Metropolitan Spirit JUNE 20-26, 2002 � FREE WEEKLY � METSPIRIT.COM Children � Infants � Families � Graduations � Special Events � Passports � Copy Work � Reunions � Press Releases � 3 M E T R O S P I R I T J U N E 2 0 2 0 0 2 ON THE COVER Smutty Summer Reading Creating Unique Environmental Portraits for over 14 years By Stacey Eidson....................19 Cover Design: Natalie Holle Book Covers Courtesy of Borders Books and Music 2105 Kings Way � Augusta GA � 706.729.9900 � fax 706.667.6777 � firstname.lastname@example.org FEATURES The All-Seeing Eye's Upon Us By Brian Neill.................................................16 ON 0% FINANCING A 2002 A LL CCORDS Opinion Whine Line ......................................................................4 Words ..............................................................................4 Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down ..........................................4 This Modern World ........................................................4 Suburban Torture ...........................................................6 Letter to the Editor .........................................................6 Austin Rhodes ................................................................8 Insider ...........................................................................10 HURRY, LIMITED TIME ONLY! $16,990 2002 Accord LX Cinema: Movie Listings............28 Model # CG5542 Metro Beat Up Close with David Mascaro .....................................11 Commission Takes on X-Rated Store ... and the Constitution ...................................................................12 Group Wants To Pull Sunday Cork ..............................14 Arts Killer Beaz Coming to Coyote's ..................................24 Greater Augusta Arts Council Awards ........................25 "Tom Sawyer" Continues to Delight ..........................26 5-speed, A/C, AM/FM Cass, Cruise & Much More $239/mo 2002 Civic LX Model # EM2152 or Cinema Movie Listings .............................................................28 Review: "Minority Report" ..........................................31 Movie Clock ..................................................................31 EDITOR & PUBLISHER David Vantrease ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR Rhonda Jones STAFF WRITERS Stacey Eidson, Brian Neill ADVERTISING SALES MANAGER Joe White ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Kriste Lindler PRODUCTION MANAGER Joe Smith GR APHIC ARTISTS Stephanie Carroll, Natalie Holle ASSISTANT TO THE PUBLISHER Meli Gurley RECEPTIONIST/CLASSIFIED COORDINATOR Sharon King ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT ASSISTANT Lisa Jordan CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Meli Gurley SENIOR MUSIC CONTRIBUTOR Ed Turner EDITORIAL INTERN Aimee Pavlik CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Chuck Shepherd, Rob Brezsny, Austin Rhodes, Amy Alkon, Rachel Deahl CARTOONISTS Tom Tomorrow, Julie Larson $13,839 Events Music 8 Days a Week .............................................................32 Kari Gaffney Goes National .........................................37 Music By Turner ............................................................38 Ph Balance: Great Music That's Great for Your Hair ................................................................................38 Nightlife ........................................................................ 39 $179/mo or 5-speed, 2-door, A/C, AM/FM Cass, Power Windows & Door Locks, Cruise & Much More Stuff THE CSRA'S #1 HONDA DEALER 36 MO. LEASE. 12,000 MILES PER YEAR. 2002 ACCORD LX MODEL # CG5542 $16,990.00 OR $239.00 PER MO. PLUS TAX, TAG & TITLE. 2002 CIVIC LX MODEL # EM2152 $13,839.00 OR $179.00 PER MO. PLUS DEALER INSTALLED OPTIONS, TAX, TAG & TITLE, AND FIRST PAYMENT . SUBJECT TO CREDIT APPROVAL. SEE DEALER FOR DETAILS. Food: D. Timm's ...........................................................23 News of the Weird .......................................................42 Brezsny's Free Will Astrology .....................................43 New York Times Crossword Puzzle ............................43 Amy Alkon: The Advice Goddess ................................44 Date Maker ...................................................................45 Classifieds ....................................................................47 www.geraldjoneshonda.com BUY ONLINE 2003 Gordon Highway Augusta THE METROPOLITAN SPIRIT is a free newspaper published weekly on Thursday, 52 weeks of the year. Editorial coverage includes ar ts, local issues, news, enter tainment, 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 publishers. Visit us at www.metspirit.com. Copyright � The Metropolitan Spirit Inc. Reproduction or use without permission is prohibited. Phone: (706) 738-1142 Fax: (706) 733-6663 E-mail: email@example.com Letters to the Editor: P .O. Box 3809, Augusta, Ga. 30914-3809 GERALD JONES HONDA 733-2210 4 M E T R O S P I R I T J U N E 2 0 2 0 0 2 Whine Line hey had a big celebration for the queen's jubilee last weekend: 50 years on the throne. They say the queen has the highest popularity rating in the country for any unelected official. You know, kind of like George Bush here. If Ed McIntyre is elected mayor, Augusta will have a convicted crook in charge of a government filled with corruption. A convicted crook and corruption sounds like a match made in heaven. Not even Hollywood could write a script this good. Columbia County Commissioner "Lighthead" Mercer is keeping his head down and remaining silent on the issue of a separate chamber for the county. When he first ran for office, he favored a separate organization. Has he had a change of heart or did someone get to him? I think it's a case of the latter for he is not capable of much independent thinking or positive leadership. Linda Schrenko's latest term as superintendent has been four years of haggling with the governor and the board -- all Democrats. Should she by some stroke of luck become governor, what do you think Georgia would gain? My bet is four more years of haggling and battle with the legislature because she does not understand that politics is "the art of compromise." I would like to suggest that you start another page in The Met Spirit, one where people who observe crimes or repeat offenders can write in and warn others about the offenders. T For example the man who keeps coming by the gas station every three or four weeks and drives off without paying. Perhaps if all the stations around were watching for him we could catch him and get him off the streets. One offender in Columbia County was sentenced to 12 months in jail for driving off on a $10 gas ticket. Maybe Richmond County needs some judges like that. Please don't compare an honest, gifted group like The Three Stooges to those unethical, moronic, racist commissioners Williams, Beard and Mays! Wake up Augusta! Be honest with yourself, and admit these leeches are more concerned about their own agenda than the welfare of Augusta. There must be a reason why thousands of people have moved from Richmond County to Columbia County. Let's see...no Williams, Beard, etc. over there! Bravo to Mr. Hightower for his eye-opening article on Wal-Mart. As a Wal-Mart associate I can tell you everything in that article is true. Our pay is very small and not what people think it is compared to what we put up with. The biggest retailer in the country's top executives make more money than the president of the United States, while its workers work their backsides off to make a living. The biggest retailer in the country wants the public to think it's a down-home company with down-home values. When Mr. Sam was alive it was, but not now. They have become greedy. They don't care how their associates think or feel. Bravo again to Mr. Hightower! It's about time the public knew of the facade Wal-Mart likes to put on. I find it interesting that Dr. (Charles) Larke is getting a 9-percent raise increase from the RCBE and the teachers are only getting 3 percent. There is not one word of truth to Governor Barnes' ads on TV. The schools are still socially promoting children that don't meet the requirements. Teachers cannot get rid of disruptive students. That Kansas / R.E.O. Speedwagon concert Friday night on the lawn out at Fort Gordon was excellent. Everything about it was top drawer. Both of those bands were great, on time, and they didn't miss a lick. Tickets were reasonably priced and so were the varied concessions that they had! (They even had roasted turkey legs -- yum!) The Army does it right, I must say...so clean and organized and they didn't try to gouge your last buck from you as other venues do. Even the weather was right. I've been to a slew of concerts in my time and this one ranks up there with the best of good times and great music. It is a shame the local news stations spend more time telling what is coming next than actually reporting the news. Evidently they are more concerned the viewer might switch to one of the other stations during the frequent and extended commercials. If there aren't enough commercials there is always the filler about what a good news station you are watching. I was wondering why they plowed the median of Riverwatch Parkway instead of mowing it. Now it's just one big mass of dirt. Why doesn't the city of Augusta plant some flowers to make it more beautiful? We are, after all, "The Garden City" not "The Plowed Mud City"! It is quite apparent all of the anti-Robin Williams whines in last weeks' Spirit are being generated by those who truly-fear the election of someone who possesses and knows how to use the political and business savvy needed to unite and bring our county forward. Man, after reading all these whines about the candidates running for office, I will bet most are written by the opposing candidate and using the Whine Line for free unedited publicity and potshot name-calling. According to The Spirit, black voters would vote for Ed McIntyre just because he's black. Not this voter! I'm loyal to my community, but there's no way I'd vote for a felon. McIntyre had the chance of a lifetime when Thumbs Up It's about time that Aiken pushed for a revision to antiquated laws that prevent it from serving alcohol at restaurants on Sundays. Now that Aiken, in the past year or so, has seen restaurant chains like Chili's and Outback move into its city limits, it only makes sense that it abolishes the outdated blue laws. Otherwise, many Aiken residents will keep driving to the Outback and Chili's in Augusta on Sunday. Thumbs Down Reading Aiken Mayor Fred Cavanaugh and others go on in The Augusta Chronicle about the Character First program was nauseating, to say the least. The program, which the city actually pays for to the tune of about $8,000 a year, relies on billboards and TV ads dedicated to trying to drill monthly installments of character aspects such as "honesty" and "sincerity" into people's heads. There is no solid proof that the program works. Of course school principals in some cities are going to say it does, particularly when the mayors of their cities are promoting it. Maybe if we start putting billboards around the Middle East with words like "peace" and "compassion," it will take root. W O R D S "We will be back out there in force. Basically, we're standing by until they (federal plutonium transports) say they're coming.'' -- Sid Gaulden, spokesman for the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, as quoted in the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, referring to the placement of state troopers at the entrance to the Savannah River Site to stop future plutonium shipments, despite a federal court's ruling to allow passage of the shipments. elected as Augusta's first black mayor. The only thing he managed to do was embarrass himself. I hope the people who voted for McIntyre before won't make the same mistake twice. I wrote Mayor Young an e-mail weeks ago asking for aid in having storm damage picked up. He responded by stating that the city has no legal obligation to pick up my storm trash. (I have no legal obligation to vote for Mayor Boob in November.) Augusta Public Works Director Teresa Smith and Deputy Administrator Fred Russell cannot think outside the box. They have one crew working the entire county! Put some extra dump trucks and jail trustees to work. Duh! I don't understand the Whine Line anymore. It seems to suppress negative news about the Sheriff's Department. It's OK for the sheriff to hassle the Red Lion Pub. But if we write about the lack of attention the Sheriff's Department pays to super bikes racing on the Calhoun Expressway or to the cars playing their boom boxes too loudly, the whine editor apparently deletes it without a second thought. The Metro Spirit is apparently losing its zeal for real reporting, for turning over rocks. Columbia County Rep. Harbin thinks, "Regionalism is best if everyone in the region is considered equal." Get real, and recognize that some are always "more equal." Columbia County needs its own economic development organization now instead of the horrible lash-up we presently have with the Metro Chamber. Hey job-hunting teen-agers! Here're three tips on how to get that job. 1) Dress neatly when picking up and returning the job application: No street clothes! 2) Fill out the application legibly in blue or black ink or else the application will not be reviewed. 3) Do not call the employer to see if they are hiring; go in person during business hours. Some businesses have special days or hours for accepting applications. Also remember this: When you walk into a company that is hiring, your "first impression" toward them will determine if you get that job. Do not use slang when you speak or answer any questions. Wine is usually judged by its age and, in most cases, the more mature the wine the better the wine. When it comes to the Whine Line, all we are served in Augusta Richmond County is "Young" whine, whine that is aimed at discrediting the only really qualified candidate for Mayor and that's Robin Williams. You know the constant orchestrated attempt of the cronies of our present mayor to paint Robin Williams as a puppet of Charles Walker is only an attempt to drive a wedge between the black and white voters of our community. By using this approach they hope to influence the white voter to vote against Robin out of a fear of an alliance that does not exist. No mention is ever made of the support by civic leaders such as former Sheriff Charlie Webster, Richard Colclough, or former Mayor Charles DeVaney. Voters, please do not let this tactic influence your decision in the voting booth. Robin Williams is nobody's puppet and is the most qualified person in the race. continued on page 6 5 M E T R O S P I R I T J U N E 2 0 2 0 0 2 Twin Mattresses Starting At $ Queen Mattresses Starting At 97 Ea. Pc. $ Reveille Now Only $ 197 Queen Size Set Twin Ea. Pc...$127 Full Ea. Pc...$177 and King Size Set...$597 447 $ Ea. Pc. Duchess Now Only $ Northfield Now Only REMOVAL OF YOUR OLD BED Queen Size Set Twin Ea. Pc...$147 Full Ea. Pc...$197 and King Size Set...$597 497 $ Queen Size Set Twin Ea. Pc...$247 Full Ea. Pc...$297 and King Size Set...$897 597 Prestige Pillow Top Now Only Queen Size Set Twin Ea. Pc...$347 Full Ea. Pc...$397 and King Size Set...$1097 897 6 M E T R O S P I R I T J U N E 2 0 2 0 0 2 continued from page 5 After reading that little piece of fascist fiction masquerading as a letter to the editor written by Tom Hunter in this week's Spirit, I could hardly contain myself. Mr. Hunter serves a perfect exemplar of the extreme right-wing hatemonger so prevalent today. If Mr. Hunter hates The Metropolitan Spirit so much, why does he read it? If he wants to read something more agreeable to his narrow mentality, he should stick with The Augusta Chronicle. Yes, Mr. Hunter. Hatred is alive and well in Augusta. You are living proof. And your nasty diatribe notwithstanding, The Metropolitan Spirit is a great little paper, and the only one which tells both sides of a story. I guess that is what you fascists can't tolerate. It's only a matter of time before a serious accident occurs due to cars headed south on Windsor Spring Road flying through the red light at the intersection of Richmond Hill Road. Something needs to be done! So, you don't think Austin is smarter than 90 percent in Augusta. You are so right. He is smarter than 99 percent. No whine here. Great story by Brian Neill concerning "The Valley." Brian gets a Thumbs Up ! Letter to the Editor Monday � 7:30pm Channel 4 In Praise of Gov. Hodges am a South Carolinian by birth living in Georgia now, but I believe every South Carolinian should be thankful for having a great governor like Jim Hodges for his valiant stand against the Department of Energy over the plutonium issue. Republicans are trying to demonize Governor Hodges, yet he is the only one who is making any sense. Governor Hodges does not oppose bringing plutonium to S.C., he is simply telling the DOE that he does not want them to bring plutonium here unless they submit to an enforceable agreement to build a processing plant, a commitment to process the plutonium, and a timetable to remove it from SRS. This is the only proposal I've heard that will bring hundreds of jobs to SRS and prevent S.C. from becoming a nuclear waste dump site. Senator Strom Thurmond and Rep. Learn The NASCAR Secrets! Donnie Allison, NASCAR Legend discusses ASU's NASCAR 101 I COMCAST takes You inside NASCAR! Green Party Candidates Nanette Garrett, Gubernatorial Candidate Kerrie Dickson, Agriculture Comm. Candidate Lindsey Graham are proposing a fine of $1 million per day against the DOE for failing to meet a deadline to remove the plutonium from SRS. This sounds good at first glance, yet they fail to tell people that the money is taxpayers' money and the DOE could care less about a fine. My guess is that Governor Hodges will lose this fight in the federal court system, but I am also reminded of something my dad used to say when he was making a point about one of his predictions. He would say, "Paul, just mark my words such-and-such will surely happen." Well, you can mark my words that, if the DOE is permitted to bring plutonium to SRS without an enforceable agreement to remove it, that plutonium will stay there for many decades. Sincerely, Paul L. Cook Plus Comcast Kids! Call in your questions & comments to 739-1822 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org Replays: Daily at 12 Noon, 3pm, and 10:30pm on Channel 66 -- Call our Whine Line at 510-2051 and leave your comments. We won't use your name. Fax your whines by dialing (706) 733-6663 or e-mail your whines to email@example.com If You Don't Get The Metropolitan Spirit ... You Just Don't Get It! Suburban Torture by Julie Larson " I am emailing to thank you for `exposing' Crabby Abby's on Peach Orchard... I took the wife there and was delighted totally with the food and the service... It is the best seafood I have had in the area, including Savannah. Even had fried green tomatoes on the buffet!! I heartily recommend this restaurant to any seafood lover... 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Every woman is at risk. Now through a grant from the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, the University Breast Health Center offers you a free mammogram, individual screening and education. *Free mammograms through the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade are available for those individuals 40 and older who qualify. Opinion: Austin Rhodes Fugate Execution ... Not! uesday afternoon, murderer Wallace Fugate ate like a man with no tomorrow. That was because he didn't have one. The Putnam County man was set to die by lethal injection for the 1991 murder of his exwife Pattie. Unfortunately, the 7 o'clock execution never took place. Thanks to an absolutely ludicrous ruling by Fulton County Judge John Goger, ultimate justice was delayed in the case. Goger stayed the execution because, get this, the state Board of Pardons and Paroles is operating with four members right now instead of five. All it takes is three members voting to proceed with an execution to make it happen. The short-handed board voted four to zip, in favor of execution. Even though the fifth vote was meaningless, Goger ruled the absence of that vote was enough to delay the procedure. Way to go, Judge Nimrod. Using Goger's logic, no governing body from the U.S. Senate to the Social Circle City Council can deliberate and vote unless all members are present. In one sweeping motion, Judge Goger just made single members of deliberative bodies all-powerful. Even if the ruling reflected just on the Pardons and Paroles it would be chilling. If one member wanted to halt all actions before the board, all he has to do is stay home on meeting day. Goger's decision may go down as one of the single dumbest orders in Georgia legal history. I hope the voters in Fulton County are made aware of his stupidity. But don't count on it. Most Fulton County voters are kept informed either by TV news or by The Atlanta JournalConstitution. Neither has given the Fugate case a thorough examination, in fact, the AJC editorial page would have you believe Fugate is the victim of an inadequate legal defense system. While they rightly point out the wife-killer didn't exactly have Perry Mason defending him in the case, they fail to address the horrific nature of the murder, and the fact that Wallace Fugate told several people that he would kill Pattie if he ever got her alone. They also fail to report that Fugate violated a court order to stay away from the woman, and that moments before he fired the bullet that ended her life, he beat the ever-loving Hell out of her. Fugate did all this in front of the 15year-old son he shared with his victim, and just for good measure, he took a shot at his kid as well. The AJC is fast to report that the court case against Fugate lasted only two days, and that the jury deliberated only 27 minutes. What they don't tell you is, there was enough concrete evidence to prove Fugate intended to kill his exwife that day that Ray Charles could see it. While there were some discrepancies in the case, here are a few points no one disputes: 1. Wallace Fugate threatened to kill Pattie, on numerous occasions. 2. Wallace Fugate showed up at Pattie's home in direct violation of a court order, and he did it with a loaded gun. 3. Wallace Fugate beat Pattie severely in front of their son, moments before she was killed. No one, even Fugate himself, disagrees with T www.universityhealth.org For more information, call the University Breast Health Center at 706/774-4141. Breakfast Lunch Dinner Any time's a good time for IHOP 2525 Washington Road � 738-0554 the above facts. What he does say is that the gun went off accidentally, and that he didn't mean to kill her. I guess a vicious beating was all he had in mind that afternoon, and he brought the loaded pistol that day to hunt snipe. The AJC makes their case to the entire state, but specifically, they make it to the politicians inside the perimeter. Don't think they don't relish the fact that the decision-makers read their paper every morning, before they go out and make decisions. Mike Luckovich said exactly that a few weeks ago during a presentation for the Atlanta Press Club which I attended. The incredibly gifted AJC cartoonist was asked if he knew of an occasion where his work influenced any major policy decisions. He said he believed his efforts on behalf of Augusta killer Alexander Williams may have led the Pardons and Paroles board to eventually commute his death sentence. He said it with pride. After the meeting, I introduced myself and asked him about the case. He knew less about the details of the Aleta Bunch murder than I know about college calculus. All he knew was that Williams is mentally ill today. He had no idea that the killer was healthy as a horse the day he killed 16-year-old Aleta, or that he took great pride in molesting her and torturing her before he ended her life. But Luchovich and the rest of the AJC editorial staff can celebrate because their mission was accomplished. The fact that they were operating with less than half the pertinent information in the case didn't matter. Same as with the Fugate case. State leaders need to address the many shortcomings in our capital punishment system, so that the incessant delays and ridiculous commutations cease. Right now we have a Pardons and Paroles board that can easily be manipulated by a left-wing editorial board, and an uneven public defender system that depends on too many country bumpkin attorneys and judges to be just. What Georgia needs, immediately, is a statefunded public defenders pool that handles all capital cases. We also need to certify a special collection of judges and prosecutors to handle the complexities of capital case prosecution. These professionals would receive the special training they need to eliminate the mistakes that we see over and over again throw cases into appeals. Don't count on Governor Roy Barnes or House Speaker Tom Murphy to ever suggest such common-sense solutions. As members of the Georgia Bar they love to see a tangled legal system where no one ever profits but the lawyers. In the meantime, Wallace Fugate awaits another "final" meal like the one he had Tuesday afternoon, and oh yeah, Pattie Fugate is still dead. -- The views expressed in this column are the views of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher. The archived Austin Rhodes columns can now be seen at www.wgac.com. 9 M E T R O S P I R I T J U N E 2 0 2 0 0 2 Mazda Proteg�5 Mazda Proteg� Mazda 626 Mazda Miata $2 OVER INVOICE ON ALL `02'S Mazda Millenia Mazda MPV Mazda B-series Mazda Tribute ANDY JONES MAZDA 803-202-0002 WWW.ANDYJONESMAZDA.COM OPEN MONDAY-FRIDAY 9AM-8PM, SATURDAY 9AM-7PM AT THE TOP OF THE RISE ON THE AIKEN-AUGUSTA HIGHWAY IN NORTH AUGUSTA Hurry, LIMITED TIME ONLY! 10 M E T R O S P I R I T J U N E 2 0 2 0 0 2 Opinion: Insider Will Augusta Cut Off Chamber? Don't Bet On It ity Administrator George Kolb, state Sen. Charles Walker, and a handful of Augusta Commissioners have hinted at the idea that the city should withhold the money it gives to the Metro Augusta Chamber of Commerce annually and use the funds to form an in-house economic development department to recruit business to Richmond County. That sentiment has the folks at the Chamber scrambling to justify their existence, several Augusta commissioners wondering how the city can afford to fund a new department, and Columbia County insiders pondering a policy that will separate its economic development from Richmond County. The idea has created an intense behind-thescenes debate that pits the Chamber against the certain commissioners and Richmond County against Columbia County. Some Augusta comJim West missioners are steamed that the Chamber joined the effort to change the way local government operates. After sitting on the fence for weeks during the legislative sesGeorge Kolb sion, the busi- C ness community finally forced the chamber to criticize the Augusta Commission and call on the local legislative delegation to make changes. This issue dominated the session, pitted members of the delegation against one another, and further pointed out the racial divide that dominates Augusta politics. Ultimately nothing was done. Hard feelings resulted. Several commissioners have publicly criticized the Chamber and some acknowledge that it is payback time. Meanwhile, Columbia County officials are fed up with Richmond County. After a failed attempt to separate from the Metro Chamber and form an independent Columbia County chamber several years ago, relations between the neighboring counties have been tenuous, at best. Most businesspeople and public officials in Columbia County realize they should have fought harder to free themselves from the constraints placed on them by their association with the Metro Chamber. The necessity of working together on a regional approach to recruit business is the selling point that city power brokers promote to maintain strong economic development ties with Columbia County. If Richmond County forms its own in-house department, look for Columbia County to go its own way. Insiders report that the powers-that-be in Columbia County are sitting back, waiting for Augusta to make its move. Reliable sources indicate an alliance between Columbia County and surrounding Georgia counties is likely if the Augusta Commission votes to create the new department. This new alliance will exclude Richmond County. Several Augusta Commissioners are aware of this possibility and will move to squelch the effort to form an in-house economic development department. First, Augusta doesn't have the money to fund it. The money that it gives to the chamber represents only a portion of the costs required to effectively operate such a department. For a city that can't manage its current budget without property tax increases, this idea is folly. The creation of an in-house department will also give Columbia County a blameless opportunity to cast off on its own, to the detriment of Richmond County. An in-house economic development department for Augusta government is not likely anytime soon. Brian Green Should Sit Down Perennial candidate Brian Green is at it again. After losing two races for a seat on the Augusta Commission, Green has been waiting for an opportunity to run again. The political wannabe has Brian Green been telling people for months that he will become a candidate for mayor of Augusta. Then, a few weeks ago, a group of politicos attempted to recruit Green to run against state Sen. Charles Walker. Ultimately discussions broke down after the parties couldn't agree on the amount of money it would take for Green to mount a campaign against Walker. So, Green's name is back in the press as a mayoral candidate. How ridiculous. Does Green want to run for mayor; Walker's seat, or does he just enjoy seeing his name and picture in print? Green's credibility is suffering. Even those who like Green and could possibly support him for something are beginning to dismiss him as a political gadfly with more gall than talent. It's time for Green to take a reality check. He has no support. His candidacy for any office this year will result in an overwhelming defeat that would further tarnish his already-blemished political reputation. As The Insider has observed over the years, some people who are bitten with the political bug are easily swayed to run for office too often without regard to strategic thinking about their potential political career. Green is one of those people. After gaining respect from the local political power structure for his impressive race against Augusta Commissioner Lee Beard (District 1) a few years ago, Green had an opportunity to garner support for a possible political future. Instead, he moved into District 4 and ran for that commission seat. He was defeated by current Commissioner Richard Colclough. His eagerness and resulting loss turned off his supporters and created an image of Green as someone who lacks focus and just wants to hold a political office � any office. Green's best move now is to take his name out of the mayoral discussion, build his career resume, and work behind the scenes in political races he believes in. His credibility will improve and he can set himself up to run for the District 1 commission seat when Beard's seat comes up in 2004. Term limits built into the consolidation bill prohibit Beard from seeking office again in that year. If Green decides to run for mayor or continues to talk about it and doesn't run, he will be the big loser. He has absolutely no chance of winning, regardless of who enters the mayor's race. Let the Games Begin As The Insider goes to press, candidates are qualifying for the Aug. 20 primary election. The deadline for these political hopefuls is Friday, June 21, at 12 noon. Keep your eyes on The Metropolitan Spirit as the campaign season takes shape. --The views expressed in this column are the views of The Insider and do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher. Hot Foods By Calvin SAMPLE MENU 10 fresh seafoods daily Fresh garden salad 22 fresh vegetables daily Smoked turkey & dressing BBQ chicken & ribs Meatloaf NY strip steaks Philly Beef & Chicken Breakfast served daily! Dine In � Take Out Catering � Delivery 8am-11pm Daily 2027 Broad Street, Augusta, GA 738-5666 � Fax 738-5688 www.hotfoodsbycalvin.com Just beadin' around at YaYa Beads! Classes available, sterling silver, hand blown glass beads and much more! GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE! h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h Southern Cuisine At Its Best! DUI -- -- --ATTORNEY AT LAW -- -- -- h h h h h h h h h h h h G IN RUBBER S MPIN G TA BE Workshops � Gift Ideas � Greeting Cards � Eyelets & Tins Supplies � Art Rubber Stamps CLASSES FOR ALL AGES h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h YaYa Beads Beading Supplies Behind Applebee's on Washington Rd. 706.651.1147 � firstname.lastname@example.org Tuesday-Friday 10am-5:30pm Saturday 10am-4:30pm Free Phone Call Monday - Friday 10-6 � Saturday 10-4 4015-K Washington Road Across from Blockbuster in Ashley Square William Sussman (706) 724-3331 347 Greene Street � Augusta, Georgia 860-2998 10% off entire purchase expires 6/30/02 6/30/02 expires h h h h h h h h h h h h UpClose painting showing a small Spanish olive among towering eggplants and other vegetables visually tells the story of Millard the olive. "I use, in this case, fruits and vegetables to tell a little story or to get a point across," Mascaro says. "I just think they're cute." Five years ago Mascaro gave up the meticulous field of medical illustration for the freedom to paint everything from scenes of olives and eggplants to those of breathtaking sunsets. The timing was right for him to return to the expressive roots that he developed as a young man in art school, he says, and the Dunlap Gallery, where Mascaro was among friends, was the right place to do it. For Mascaro, who describes his work as "quiet, colorful and well-painted," much of his inspiration comes from places such as his mountain home in Brevard, N.C., where Mascaro says the scenery is stunning. Or as one of his paintings of a sunset on Broad Street shows, sources of inspiration can be found just beyond the gallery door. "Sometimes you dream up things to paint, other times you literally paint what you see," he says. "Around Augusta, you see a sunset and it stops you and the next thing in my mind is, `I wonder what it would be like to try to paint it.'" As a medical illustrator, Mascaro says that the style of his work was called "super realism," which he says meant that "every little pore and wart had to be there." For this reason Mascaro welcomes the ability to be more laid back with the creation and completion of his paintings. "It's nice not to have a timeline and a deadline, and now I have neither one of 11 M E T R O S P I R I T With Davi