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Greensboro / Winston-Salem / High Point May 17 - 23, 2018 triad-city-beat.com

R. KELLY

FREE

THE STORM HAS

JUST BEGUN PAGE 7

A fire in GSO PAGE 10

Ramen Empire PAGE 11

Big Ron shines on PAGE 13


May 17 - 23, 2018

EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK

Tom Wolfe is no more! It was the tiny mummies. It was the zzzzzzzzzzzzzz Acid Tests! It was “The Kandy-Kolored TangerineFlake Streamline by Brian Clarey Baby” in its original context. It was never The Right Stuff, but he knew that. It was about the scene and the sass and that casual elegance he affected, like a duke on holiday or a particularly stylish ghost. The suits — so white against the navy tie — and that casual dangle of the hand. The pocketwatch, so subtle. The sp-spsp-sp-spats. Spats! Would you get a look at these things! They cover the whole damn shoe. Like a grandpa! Like a greatgrandpa! Like a Prohibition-era dandy with those freakin’ spats! But then there was the work. It was the way just sort of ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; broke it apart and ]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]] deconstructed it all. Cubist! Impressionistic! This dandy can write! Also: Disrespectful! Subversive! Whodoes-this-guy-think-he-is? Genius? One would never use that word but… in this case… maybe? He cared not for your cocktail crowd, your fundraiser bunnies, your -0-0-00-0-0-0-0- tweedy, literate types that

c-r-e-e-p through New York society like sharp-toothed eels that have taken over a reef — not at first, when they ignored him. Shunned him. Mocked him even as he mocked them in thousands of words every week, in ratty newsprint with the rest of the bestubbled upstarts, available on the streets of New York City for a dime a copy. And definitely not after. Definitely not. It was the books. Those ………. Damn ………. Acid Tests. The whole point was to freak everybody out, and then they started putting it on high school reading lists, for crying out loud. So Bonfire put a thumb in their eye. They weren’t supposed to like it! But, of course, they did. Charlotte Simmons was an indictment for chrissakes. And can we just forget about The Right Stuff for a minute? And all he really wanted to do was write essays. Essays! Those cute little, pieceof-my-mind, look-what-I-learned-today, shame-on-you dispatches, more antiquated even than the spats. He ridiculed them as backwards ran their infinitives, as they flexed their sternocleidomastoid muscles, as they hooked up amid the F-word patois, as they declared themselves Masters of the Universe. And that was the best stuff of all. Goodbye, Mr. Wolfe. Thanks for everything. Everything.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK In incidents where police kill people who don’t overtly appear to deserve death, often there’s very rarely punishment that seems commensurate to the loss of life. It’s unlikely that no one’s watching. It seems almost insane that we could have the cameras and not see what happens. It seems like that’s the point; that’s the impression that we would hope to create.

— Crystal Blackwell, in the News, page 9

BUSINESS PUBLISHER/EXECUTIVE EDITOR Brian Clarey brian@triad-city-beat.com

PUBLISHER EMERITUS Allen Broach allen@triad-city-beat.com

EDITORIAL SENIOR EDITOR Jordan Green

SALES

KEY ACCOUNTS Gayla Price

gayla@triad-city-beat.com DISTROBUTION MANAGER

jordan@triad-city-beat.com

Jen Thompson

lauren@triad-city-beat.com

CONTRIBUTORS

STAFF WRITER Lauren Barber

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1451 S. Elm-Eugene St. Box 24, Greensboro, NC 27406 Office: 336-256-9320 Protesters outside the R. ART Kelly concert in Greensboro ART DIRECTOR Robert Paquette on May 11, photo by Jordan robert@triad-city-beat.com Green

jennifer@triad-city-beat.com Carolyn de Berry, Spencer KM Brown, Matt Jones, Kat Bodrie

TCB IN A FLASH DAILY @ triad-city-beat.com First copy is free, all additional copies are $1. ©2018 Beat Media Inc.


May 17 - 23, 2018

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May 17 - 23, 2018

CITY LIFE May 17 -23 by Lauren Barber

THURSDAY

Up Front

Of Love, Death & Beyond @ Wake Downtown (W-S), 4:30 p.m. Wake Forest music professor David Levy holds a Q&A session following a screening of Jason Starr’s 2011 documentary featuring music from Mahler’s 2nd Symphony. Register for a free ticket and learn more at wssymphony.org.

Paperback @ New York Pizza (GSO), 8 p.m.

News

Baby Boy @ Aperture Cinema (W-S), 6:30 p.m.

Opinion

Paperback kicks off their tour at Tate Street’s NYP alongside Messenger Down, Outside, Burn the Rose and Sludgemuffin. Find the event on Facebook. Candid Yams Kickback presents snippets of this 2001 classic before critical discussion, music and soul food. Learn more at aperturecinema.com.

Nite Moves’ dance party @ Monstercade (W-S), 10 p.m.

Blue Cactus and Chris Frisina @ Centennial Station Arts

Culture

Playing May 18-22

Geeksboro’s Saturday Morning Cartooon Cereal Breakfast is back with a new lineup that includes Scooby-Doo, Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers, Sailor Moon, Justice League, and Adventure Time! Cartoons run at 10 a.m. and 12 pm. on Saturdays! Free admission! Bowls of cereal are $2.50 each or $5 for a BOTTOMLESS BOWL OF CEREAL! Let out your playful side out with fun physical challenges and dancing for prizes, including a new Huffy bicycle. Find the event on Facebook.

Shot in the Triad

SATURDAY

Puzzles

--OTHER EVENTS & SCREENINGS--

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Board Game Night 7 p.m. Friday, May 18th. More than 100 Games FREE TO PLAY Midnight Radio Karaoke Admission is FREE with a drink purchase! The event starts at around 11:15 p.m. Saturday, May 19th. Totally Rad Trivia 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 22nd $3 Buy-In! Up to Six Player Teams! Dragonball FighterZ Tournament League 5 p.m. Sunday, May 20th $5 Venue Fee! $5 Entry Fee! Beer! Wine! Amazing Coffee! 2134 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro geeksboro.com •

336-355-7180

Center (HP), 7 p.m. Chapel Hill-based country duo Blue Cactus perform everything from honky-tonk to heartfelt ballads alongside singer-songwriter Chris Frisnia of Wilmington. As always, the bar is open for craft beer and wine. Find the event on Facebook.

FRIDAY

Farewell, My Peking Opera @ the Historic Brookstown Inn (W-S), 5 p.m. Head out of work a little early for the screening of a new film from a Wake Forest documentary film program student. Find the event on Facebook.

Music and craft fair @ Fairgrounds Farmers Market (WS), 8 a.m. The Fairgrounds Farmers Market kicks off the summer season with a crafts fair featuring vendors selling flowers, handmade items, desserts, breads and jams. Musician Barrie the Vagabond takes to the stage at 9 a.m. Learn more at wsfairgrounds.com/venues. Children’s author readings @ Central Library (GSO), 10 a.m. The library hosts three young children’s book writers for a morning of readings and accompanying activities. Author Kate Torney, author of What Do Llamas Do?, brings a live llama in the children’s room. Learn more at greensboro-nc. gov.


May 17 - 23, 2018

Pride of the Community scanning day @ LGBTQIA Center of Greensboro, 1 p.m.

Up Front

Flyin’ West @ Caldcleugh Multicultural Arts Center (GSO), 7:30 p.m. Playwright Pearl Cleage will engage the audience in a talk-back session following Scrapmettle Entertainment’s performance of her play Flyin’ West. Learn more at scrapmettle.net.

SUNDAY

Swanhilda in Dr. Coppelius’ Workshop @ Kaleideum Downtown (W-S), 3 p.m.

News Opinion

PRIDE! Of the Community: Documenting LGBTQ History in the Triad is a broad-scale effort to document LGBTQ+ history in the Triad. This is the first of several events inviting locals to bring materials that in some way document LGBTQ+ social life, history, activism, organizations and business in the Triad to be scanned and made available on the web. Learn more at library.uncg.edu. MayDay on McGee @ Little Brother Brewing (GSO), 1 p.m.

Open Mic

Friday, May 18th @5-8pm

Nathan Black

Friday, May 18th @ 8pm

Jamie Anderson

Saturday, May 19th @ 7pm

Stay Wavy

Tuesday, Feb 24th @ 8pm

Open Mic

Greensboro Bound Literary Festival presents a panel discussion examining Latinx identity with authors Naima Coster and Daisy Hernández Castillo. Maria DeGuzmán, founding director of UNC Chapel Hill’s Latinx Studies Program, moderates. Find the event on Facebook and learn more at greensborobound.com.

Puzzles

Carolina Blues Festival @ LeBauer Park (GSO), 2 p.m. Piedmont Blues Preservation Society presents the 32nd annual Carolina Blues Festival, the longest running blues festival in the Southeast. Vendors join headliners Nikki Hill, Gary Hoey Lakota John, and Cory Leutjen & the Traveling Blues Band. Learn more about supporting Second Harvest Food Bank’s food drive at the festival at fest.piedmontblues.org.

Thursday, May 17th @ 8pm

Shot in the Triad

Jah Works, a local nonprofit dedicated to ensuring access to clean water, healthy food and equitable job opportunities, throws a spring celebration neighborhood block party featuring blues, rock, reggae and folk musicians. You know the drill: craft beer, food trucks, vendors and side activities. Little Brother throws the beforeand after-parties. Find the event on Facebook.

Latinx/ Misrecognition panel @ Greensboro Public Library, 3:30 p.m.

EVENTS

Culture

Edge Performing Arts students perform mazurka and a grand waltz during a 20-minute adaptation of the classical ballet Coppelia and stick around to mingle with the audience afterwards. Find the event on Facebook.

602 S Elam Ave • Greensboro

(336) 698-3888

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May 17 - 23, 2018 Up Front News Opinion Culture Shot in the Triad

Maestro Robert Moody by Lauren Barber

School dads by Jordan Green My sister, who holds a PhD in nutritional biology and wrote an excellent book about parenting, once pointed out to me that men today occupy a rare historical sweet spot. Society increasingly embraces the idea of men contributing to the family through active parenting, yet expectations are still relatively low, so any father who makes even a minimal effort is typically celebrated. With a child finishing pre-K and preparing to enter kindergarten next year, I’ve continued to experience this unearned windfall of goodwill. And now not only as coequal parent, but in a new role, both humble and exalted: school dad. It hasn’t always been smooth. I had the awkward experience of showing up for a PTA meeting, and discovering that I was the only male in the room. I had to ask myself: Do I challenge the gendered division of volunteer labor and keep showing up, or defer to the accepted social order and find a way to contribute that’s less likely to make waves? In the meantime, I enjoyed chaperoning my daughter to the Greensboro Children’s Museum. At first it stung slightly to know that only a handful of parents were asked to show up, as guardians to children with a reputation for wandering. But I got over it, and I ended up feeling good about my contributions, from modeling attentive listening to body-blocking 4-year-olds bolting for the exits. On Tuesday evening, I took the opportunity to work on a project with other dads at my daughter’s school to make cardboard arcade games for the upcoming school carnival. Happily, some moms showed up as well. I came with a battered cardboard box for a Dewalt Compact Miter Saw Stand that the previous occupants of our house left behind, and with a nagging feeling that I was going to make a fool of myself. Miraculously, through attaching cardboard tube legs and carving holes in the panel, with plastic fruit baskets attached as pockets, I fashioned something that reasonably functions as a speedball game. Before I was even finished, my handiwork had attracted a succession of 10-year-old boys eager to test their aim. If I can entertain kids, maybe I’ve amounted to something after all.

Correction: An article in this space last week, “Ranked: The Triad College Commencement Speaker Face-Off,” incorrectly identified Greensboro College’s commencement speaker as the Rev. Tim Moore. The actual speaker was Geoff Lassiter, Class of ’99, who since 2017 has been president of the Carolina League, which has 10 teams playing Class A Major League baseball. His speech was titled, “The View from the Valley.” This error affects Greensboro College’s ranking, placing them in a toe for 9th place. Triad City Beat regrets the error.

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Maestro Robert Moody finishes his tenure as music director of the Winston-Salem Symphony this month.

COURTESY PHOTO

Maestro Robert Moody, now music director for the Memphis Symphony in Tennessee, concludes his 13-year tenure as music director of the Winston-Salem Symphony with Classics Series concerts titled “Maestro’s Farewell: Mahler Symphony No. 2” on Saturday, May 20 and May 22. What fills you with pride when you consider your tenure as director? It’s been an incredible ride but the thing I’m most proud of is we’ve broken down a lot of barriers. There does continue to be a sort of Victorian era, ivory tower ways of thinking about orchestras and it couldn’t be further from the truth. I didn’t grow up in a classical-music household; I grew up with country music and ’80s pop. My message from the beginning has been: Great music is great music is great music. It doesn’t matter about genre — live music is where it’s at. What is one of your fondest memories with the symphony? A couple years ago, a concert fell on my birthday and I began conducting the opening piece of music but the orchestra was playing something that was not on my stand. I freaked out but after about two seconds I realized they were playing “Happy Birthday” to me. They had a good laugh watching the panic on my face. Which programs and community partnerships did you most enjoy? Certainly, when we brought in some key superstars both in the world of classical and popular music like with Yo Yo Ma, with Renee Fleming, with Van Cliburn, also with Amy Grant and Chris Botti — those will long stand out in my mind. We partnered a lot with the North Carolina School of the Arts, which maybe people would presume, but we also partnered a great deal with Winston Salem State University. I’m extremely proud that that’s a much stronger relationship now. What makes the Winston-Salem Symphony unique in your eyes? Winston-Salem plays at a level much greater than the size of the city, which is to say many cities the size of Winston-Salem don’t have even a fraction of this level of an orchestra. It’s both the fact that the School of the Arts is in residence in Winston but also a century-plus long dedication to the arts. It’s not just a moniker that we are the City of Arts and Innovation. People really roll their sleeves up and I’m mammothly grateful to Winston-Salem for going the extra 10 miles to support the arts.


NEWS

Fans turn out for R. Kelly’s Greensboro concert, but protesters say the time is up for the embattled R&B singer who has been accused of a pattern of mistreating women.

Up Front News Opinion Culture Shot in the Triad

Cherizar Crippen, an organizer with Black Lives Matter, speaks out against R&B singer R. Kelly outside the Greensboro Coliseum on May 11.

of the coliseum, Burney-Scott warned that their message might not be universally well received. “We know that there might be some really funky-ass attitudes out here tonight,” she said. “Look, keep yourself safe. Don’t engage.” She added that if people wished they could hand out onepage fliers that explained why they were protesting. Later, a few concertgoers politely

accepted the fliers. Reaction from some passing motorists was rougher, with some people flipping the middle finger or vocalizing mocking laughter. Inside the venue, the Associated Press reported that stagehands passed out Tshirts reading, “Turn up R. Kelly.” The singer reportedly addressed the criticism indirectly during his one-hour performance, saying, “Sometimes, some storms ain’t gonna stop. As long as my

JORDAN GREEN

fans are calling me, I’m gonna be on that stage, singing these songs.” The Associated Press also reported that Kelly resisted calls for him to tone down his act, at one point rubbing a fan’s cell phone between his legs in the midst of his sexually suggestive repertoire. Some protesters expressed a sense of betrayal towards the fans who purchased

CONTINUED ON PAGE 8

Puzzles

Omisade Burney-Scott stood in the middle of a circle of mostly women, some transgender people and very few men on a grassy patch near Stamey’s Barbecue, across the street from the Greensboro Coliseum. “We want to make sure that folk know that in this city of Greensboro, that in North Carolina, we believe black women, we trust black women, we are not going to allow folk to stand here and say that, ‘Hey, this is not a big deal,’” said Burney-Scott, who is the director of strategic partnerships at SisterSong, a Durham nonprofit that supports reproductive justice. “It is a big deal. And we are no longer going to stand on the sidelines and say that we are no longer going to do anything about that.” About 35 people showed up to picket R. Kelly’s performance at the Greensboro Coliseum on Friday as part of the #MuteRKelly campaign to pressure the music industry and his fans to sever financial ties with the R&B singer, who has been accused of a decades-long pattern of sexual abuse. Despite the fact that management at the city-owned coliseum did not heed calls to cancel the concert, there are signs of momentum in the effort to hold Kelly accountable. Burney-Scott said that the campaign began about a year ago with an effort by two women in Atlanta to get Kelly’s concert canceled. Then a May 5 concert in Chicago was canceled. And then, in quick succession, Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music reportedly some of Kelly’s songs from their streaming services in the past couple days. And on Thursday, the Greensboro Human Relations Commission voted 6-1 to recommend Kelly not be allowed to perform at the coliseum. Yet the concert went on as scheduled. Kelly said via his Twitter account that the concert drew 8,000 attendees. Andrew Brown, spokesman for the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, said that Kelly’s last show at the coliseum in 2016 brought in about 5,000 fans. The coliseum otherwise declined to comment on the calls for cancelation. Before the protest group crossed Gate City Boulevard to demonstrate in front

May 17 - 23, 2018

R. Kelly show goes on, but Greensboro protesters vow it will be his last by Jordan Green

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May 17 - 23, 2018 Up Front

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7 tickets to the concert. “We now know that there are 5,000 more people in the city of Greensboro and the Triad area that we can’t trust,” Brandi Collins-Calhoun said. “There are 5,000 people who purchased tickets and put money in his pockets for him to continue to oppress and abuse young, black women and girls. And it’s really important that we uplift that in a few weeks there’s gonna be a circus in the same auditorium that a predator is inside of right now. It’s important to uplift that tomorrow people who have paid thousands of dollars to attend college in this city are going to walk across the stage where there’s a predator tonight.” Music critic Jim DeRogatis, who cohosts the syndicated public-radio show “Sound Opinions,” began publishing investigative stories about Kelly’s alleged sexual misconduct in 2000. The allegations ranged from marrying R&B singer Aaliyah when she was 15 to sex with underage girls and child pornography. Last summer, DeRogatis published a Buzzfeed investigation reporting that Kelly kept six women in a sex cult. Earlier this month, DeRogatis and Marisa Carroll published a follow-up story in Buzzfeed quoting yet another woman, Lizzette Martinez, as saying that Kelly had sex with her before the age of consent.Kelly has denied allegations that he abused women and kept them in sexual servitude. Collins-Calhoun published an open letter earlier this week calling on the coliseum to cancel the concert. Similar to the resolution passed by the human relations commission, Collins-Calhoun said she plans to address Greensboro City Council next Tuesday to ask for a policy that sets a community standard for performances at the city-owned venue. She added that in the meantime she doesn’t intend to spend any of her money at the coliseum, and didn’t think anyone else at the protest would either. “Getting a justice policy so they don’t keep bringing predators to our town [is the aim],” Collins-Calhoun said. “And also holding white men just as accountable. Sex offenders shouldn’t make money, no matter how famous they are. After all, it’s their fame that allows them to continue to commit these crimes.” Asked in an interview what threshold for objectionable behavior and proof of misconduct should be applied, CollinsCalhoun responded, “One victim is enough.”

Cherizar Crippen, an organizer with Black Lives Matter, said the patrons who bought tickets to see Kelly remind her of the adults who didn’t believe her when she tried to tell them about the sexual abuse she experienced as a teenager. “I was a teenage girl who went through countless experiences of sexual assault,” Crippen said. “The black women who are coming to this concert are, to me, the same as the women I went to who didn’t support me. It’s not just about R. Kelly; we have to hold the boys and men in our neighborhoods accountable, too. People say there was consent. You can’t have consent when there’s manipulation and coercion involved, and drugs and alcohol.” Although most of the speakers and attendees at the protest in Greensboro were women, Irving Allen, a member of the Greensboro Human Relations Commission and Black Lives Matter organizer, said men have to take responsibility for changing the culture. “I’m just committing to be more active and to do better on my behalf of getting more folks like myself out here to give their voices, their power and their talent to this cause,” he said. Kelly is scheduled to appear at the Level Nightclub in Raleigh tomorrow for an event billed as a “pre-Mother’s Day bash” and “official afterparty.” While most of the commentary during the protest focused on misconduct by men, Burney-Scott alluded to the role of white supremacy in promoting sexual abuse and violence directed at black women. “I’m standing here today because my great-grandmother was sexually assaulted by her employer, causing her to give birth to my grandmother,” BurneyScott said. “I’m here because one in four women have been violated by sexual violence and sexual assault. I’m here because black women, cisgender and transgender, are not listened to. I’m standing here myself. I’m standing here for my great-grandmother. I’m standing for these children who got spanked because they spent too much time in the kitchen with a sexual predator who still gets to come to the damn cookout.” Then she turned her attention to R. Kelly. “He will never be able to come to this city again,” Burney-Scott vowed. “He will never be able to come to this state again. His venues are going to dry up. His revenue is going to dry up. He’s going to be moving from shadow to shadow.”


Residents remind officials that they still want transparency in the officer-involved shooting of Edward McCrae. The State Bureau of Investigation review of the fatal shooting could be complete in about two weeks, but an autopsy is likely to take longer.

Up Front News Opinion

Crystal Blackwell, a student organizer at Winston-Salem State University, addresses the public safety committee of Winston-Salem City Council on Monday.

an administrative investigation by the police department. Scott Williams, special-agent-in-charge for the State Bureau of Investigation’s Northern Piedmont District, said agents have completed interviews and he anticipates that the agency will be able to submit a report to the district attorney in two weeks. However, an autopsy of McCrae could take two to four months. Capt. Steve Tolley, who oversees the criminal investigation division at the Winston-Salem Police Department, said the agency is still investigating whether there was a crime committed against Officer McGuire by the other occupants of the vehicle who were with McCrae. Taylor said if District Attorney O’Neill does not release the video “in a timely manner,” he believes the city council will ask the city attorney to pursue release.

Puzzles

— that’s something that would never be resolved,” Blackwell observed. “It would always be private.” City Attorney Angela Carmon told council members she believes it’s possible that the footage could be released at a later date. “I would think that if the judge has provided a basis for not releasing or not disclosing the body-worn video, and once that stated basis expires… I would think the judge — if that is the case, if the reason for not releasing it is no longer valid — I would think the judge would release it at that point,” Carmon said. “I cannot guarantee that. Coming back with another motion and petition I would think would be heard.” The shooting, which took place during a traffic stop on March 30, triggered three separate investigations: a criminal review by the NC State Bureau of Investigation, a criminal probe by the Winston-Salem Police Department, and

Shot in the Triad

local body-camera program, we did so with the intent of bolstering community confidence and police-officer safety by being able to release in a timely, orderly fashion to show what actually transpired in an event. The statute as enacted by the General Assembly is frustrating the community and jeopardizing our officers as well.” Besse, who is a Democrat, is challenging Republican incumbent Donny Lambeth for the House District 75 seat in November. Some of the objections to releasing the video brought up by District Attorney Jim O’Neill include the privacy of the person killed by the police and the need to maintain the integrity of a potential criminal prosecution of Officer DE McGuire, who fired the fatal shot. “Some of the issues that were brought up such as the intimate details of someone’s death — they were saying it was private information in that regard

JORDAN GREEN

Culture

Residents in Winston-Salem are reminding city officials that they haven’t forgotten about the fatal police shooting of Edward McCrae in late March, and still expect transparency and accountability. Residents have held protests to keep McCrae’s case in public view since the Forsyth County District Attorney’s office successfully argued before a superior court judge in April that police bodycamera video should not be released to the public, a response to a request by the Winston-Salem Journal. Judge Stuart Albright said he wanted to honor the wishes of the McCrae family to review the video prior to any public release, but the ruling appeared to leave open the possibility of release at a later time. City leaders, including Councilman James Taylor, chairman of the public safety committee of Winston-Salem City Council, have pledged transparency in the matter. “In incidents where police kill people who don’t overtly appear to deserve death, often there’s very rarely punishment that seems commensurate to the loss of life,” said Crystal Blackwell, a student organizer at Winston-Salem State University. “It’s unlikely that no one’s watching. It seems almost insane that we could have the cameras and not see what happens. It seems like that’s the point; that’s the impression that we would hope to create.” “You guys on the city council have mentioned the effect of public confidence,” Blackwell continued. “I think that public confidence and accountability are kind of the same thing — different sides of the coin. I would find it to be a shame and a sham if we had cameras that we can’t see. It’s no power; it’s just a concession. I would press for true accountability.” The current law requiring a court order to release police-body camera was enacted by the state General Assembly in October 2016. “We’re clearly seeing some of the problems with community confidence that come as a result of a poorly crafted, hastily enacted law,” Councilman Dan Besse said. “When we established our

May 17 - 23, 2018

Winston-Salem residents play long game in effort to see police video by Jordan Green

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Shot in the Triad

Culture

Opinion

News

Up Front

May 17 - 23, 2018

OPINION

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EDITORIAL

Placing blame for the Greensboro fire Nobody sets a house fire on purpose.

Well, sometimes they do, but that clearly was not the case in the Greensboro house fire at the Heritage Apartments that claimed the lives of five children, an entire generation from this family who emigrated to the city from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Still, there is plenty of blame to go around. The Agapion family, owners of the property, have been cited numerous times over the years for squalid conditions at some of their more affordable rental units, and in 2006 paid out a settlement to a family whose child got lead poisoning in one of their apartments. The father of the deceased children told the News & Record he had complained that his stove would set small fires in his kitchen. According to the article, smoke detectors that are required by law to be in the place never went off. Police told the N&R that no work orders exist for this unit, meaning there has never been any intention to repair any of these things. Greensboro once had a citywide rental unit certificate of occupancy ordinance, requiring landlords’ The only innocents buildings to pass are the five children inspection before renting the units who perished. They inside. It passed can no longer speak in 2003, and was threatened by for themselves. councilmembers and developers for years. Perhaps all who opposed it now might reconsider their position? RUCO went down in 2013 — the result of a new state law enacted in 2011, shortly after the Republicans took the majority of the state legislature for the first time since the 1800s. The law, sponsored by Sen. Harris Blake (Harnett, Lee, Moore; died in 2014), Sen. Andrew Brock (Davie, Iredell; retired in 2017), Sen. James Forrester (Iredell, Gaston, Lincoln; died in 2011); Sen. Ralph Hise (Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Yancey; serving his fourth term) and Sen. Jerry Tillman (Moore, Randolph; now the Senate majority whip), May the smell of charred flesh never leave their nostrils. We can also blame real estate lobbyists like TREBIC, who pushed for this law, developers large and small who supported their efforts, voters who supported the politicians who voted for the law and plenty of other parties. The only ones who were innocent were those five children who perished in the blaze. And they’re not here to speak for themselves.

CITIZEN GREEN

Dangerous housing, evictions, supply all go together

No experience could be more cruel or heartbreaking for a parent to endure. A couple from the Democratic Republic of Congo lost all five children, according to reporting by the News & Record about the horrific Heritage Apartments by Jordan Green fire. Their mother was working an overnight shift at a chicken plant several counties away, as reported by Nancy McLaughlin. A neighbor told McLaughlin she saw the children’s father climbing the side of the building to get to a window on the second floor as fire consumed the apartment. The fire began in the kitchen, Greensboro fire officials said. There were smoke detectors with batteries in the apartment, but they didn’t activate, Assistant Chief Dwayne Church said, adding that it’s not clear whether the batteries were dead or the detectors just malfunctioned. The fire department responded at 3:54 a.m. on May 12. Friends and family say the children’s father repeatedly complained to management about fires breaking out around the stove, the News & Record reported. The fire department is examining the stove to try to determine the cause of the fire, but Church said there are no work orders or other physical evidence to support the claim. Whatever the validity of the claim, the aging Heritage Apartments, which is located at the busy Summit AvenueCone Boulevard intersection in northeast Greensboro, has a track record. A 2008 profile by Lorraine Ahearn, then the News & Record’s metro columnist, indicates that at the time city code inspectors were “unaware that a majority of the units still had rotting floors and electrical problems.” When Ahearn visited the complex, tenants — many of them immigrants with limited command of English — eagerly invited the code inspector in to show multiple violations, including “crumbling bath tiles, broken doors, stoves and overhead fixtures that didn’t work, eaves set to collapse.” Then, as now, Heritage Apartments was owned by the Agapion family, notorious for blighted conditions and health hazards; one led to a 2006 settlement with a Montagnard tenant whose daughter suffered from lead poisoning, according to Ahearn’s reporting. McLaughlin’s recent piece in the News & Record reports that after the tragic fire resident Tamika Muse told Councilwoman Goldie Wells that her refrigerator hasn’t worked since she moved in three months ago. Her sink is infested with mildew, and water trickles around the sink whenever someone uses a shower in the apartment upstairs. Wells asked why she continued to live there. “It’s affordable,” Muse reportedly responded. “The rent is $525, and I don’t have a good background for renting. I have an eviction in my past. But they let me move in.” We wonder why people, especially children, are forced to live in dangerous housing conditions. As the neighbor of the devastated Congolese family attests, part of the answer has to do with evictions and the limited options for people with poor credit histories. And a high number of evictions has everything to do with a lack of affordable housing.

Only two days before the five children perished at Heritage Apartments, Stephen Sills, director of the Center for Housing and Community Studies at UNCG, spoke on North Carolina Public Radio’s “The State of Things” about why GreensBYRON Five children died in a fire at boro ranks No. Heritage Apartments. GLADDEN 7 on the list of top evicting cities in the United States. Sills’ center estimates there are 20,000 cost-burdened families in Greensboro that spend more than 30 percent of their gross income on housing. “So they’re desperate to find any housing that they can at the lowest rate possible and are willing to take some pretty negative conditions of the properties in exchange,” he said. The seasonal ebb and flow of evictions explains what triggers the calamity of displacement: Families don’t have any extra income to cover unexpected expenses. “We see peaks in January, February, when they’re paying their electric bills, trying to make the decision between do I pay Duke Energy or Piedmont Natural Gas, or do I pay my rent?” Sills said. “We see stressors in the family over medical bills and transportation. And then we see a valley in the eviction rates around April as people are getting tax returns. Then the highest month: May. Kids are back out of school, the cost of childcare, the cost of food increases, and families don’t have the fat really in their budget to maintain month-to-month rents.” The Center for Housing and Community Studies just completed an 18-month study that showed a significant correlation between neighborhoods with high numbers of evictions and those with a high number of emergencyroom visits for pediatric asthma. “The same numbers where rents are low, but poverty is high, where there’s a high proportion of renters to homeowners, and it’s the most impacted,” Sills said. “We see negative health outcomes for children. We see for adults with long-term impacts from being in food deserts and medical-supply deserts, or obesity and Type 2 diabetes.” Affordable housing may seem like an expensive investment, but the alternative is even more costly: asthma and death by fire.


May 17 - 23, 2018

CULTURE Tampopo expands the ramen empire

By Brian Clarey

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Up Front News Opinion Culture

Pork broth graced with miso, fresh herbs and vegetables, the telltale egg and pork chashu round out the finest bowl at Tampopo Ramen & Hibachi.

where a bowl of ramen is as easy to find as white tuna sashimi. In the years since I schooled the guys, I have had plenty of ramen for lunch. Ginsburg has become something of an aficionado of the dish; in his new home of Brooklyn ramen places are as ubiquitous as delis and bagel joints. And Green will forever have powerful sense memory associated with the dish. It was at Ramen Tatsu-ya in Austin, Texas, just hours after receiving an award for political writing at the Association of Alternative Newsmedia convention in July. It was Triad City Beat’s first national award. And it was his first bowl of real ramen. Though now, a couple years later, he’ll tell you that the ramen is its own reward.

Puzzles

Stock is made in house every morning, our server assured us, and there is an authenticity to the base that cannot be denied. The noodles, too, are the real thing. Where Tampopo falls short, perhaps, is in its ambition. With everything else on point, Tampopo’s signature dishes are somewhat pedestrian: tofu blocks and fried chicken nuggets anchor two-thirds of the menu, with your best bet being the pork chashu, rolled porkbellies prepared in-house in the traditional manner — meaning, not just a big chunk of porkbelly. Pair that with the miso broth, and it puts me back in New York City, at Totto ramen, where a friend and I performed an amazing feat of gastric ability, or Japantown in San Francisco,

ROBERT PAQUETTE

Shot in the Triad

hey laughed at me, five years ago, when I told them what I really wanted for lunch was a great bowl of ramen. Jordan Green rolled his eyes and Eric Ginsburg gave a great guffaw. Ramen?! Clarey wants ramen noodles for lunch! But after I shook my head in pity for these poor fools, I showed them the Insta shots my friends from New York City, San Francisco and other civilized climes posted of their bountiful servings of ramen, nestled gently in large bowls with fresh herbs, braised porkbelly, softcooked eggs and other delectables. Immediately, Ginsburg and Green wanted ramen for lunch, too — but there was nowhere in this pho-heavy town to acquire a proper bowl. And now, like cupcakes, nitro coffee and the Cheesecake Factory, we have it too. There are at least four places in the Triad to score a proper ramen feast, and that’s not counting pop-ups, food trucks and late-night menus, which happen with some regularity. The latest brick-and-mortar, Tampopo Ramen & Hibachi, makes its home — where else — in FantaCity on West Market Street, where Mongolian barbecue, local tofu and the exotic riches inside the Super G Mart have been drawing Triad foodies for a decade. The décor fits the bill: paper, bamboo and black lacquer, small enough at 35 seats to qualify as a noodle joint but nice enough for a first date. The menu features some basic apps, a couple essential salads and a hibachi selection of chicken, steak, shrimp and tofu, which is fine, I’m sure, but not really my thing. Otherwise, there is very little to distract from the noodles. No bao-bun sliders, no bang-bang chicken, just some basic dumplings and tempura, but a sweet-and-spicy chicken with Korean sweet potato looks to be the pick of the litter. I regret not ordering it on my visit in the same way I regret not eating two muffalettas the last time I was in New Orleans. The ramen menu takes up an entire page, describing choices between broths — pork, chicken or vegetable — with variations that include miso and a toneddown version of spicy that can easily be remedied with add-ins and pepper paste. Diners can choose between two types of noodles as well: yellow or white.

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May 17 - 23, 2018 Up Front News Opinion Culture Shot in the Triad Puzzles

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CULTURE The Greensboro Bound Literary Festival, curated

by Spencer KM Brown

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or Triad readers, writers and bibliophiles, the time has finally come. Over the course of three days, starting Friday and running through Sunday, May 20, Greensboro will host its first festival of authors, independent publishers and books at Greensboro Bound: A Literary Festival. More than 50 events, workshops and panels with at least 70 authors will take place over the three days. Greensboro Bound aims to set itself apart from other book festivals and fairs, featuring panels and workshops ranging from religious and mentalhealth writing and appearances from gender-fluid , Muslim and feminist authors. Whether voracious reader or aspiring author, the weekend will offer every element of what a literary festival should, with a unique look at North Carolina authors and presses. With so much going on, here are a few events festival attendees need mark on their schedules. Lee Smith and Michael Parker, Van Dyke Performance Space, Saturday,

10 a.m. Author Lee Smith converses with novelist and short-story writer Michael Parker. Smith is the author of 13 novels, four collections of stories, and a memoir, including the bestsellers Oral History, Fair and Tender Ladies and The Last Girls. A Virginia native, Lee Smith’s works are often set in the Southeast and concern themes ranging from coming-of-age and heroic, to darker tragedies of poverty and broken homes. Smith has earned countless awards and accolades because of her unique vision of Southern culture and gritty, poverty-stricken female characters. In her novel The Last Girls, Smith approaches the page with a complex and layered story of friends rafting down a river and unveils each character’s story and history with grace and poetic charm, something that has made her a giant in modern Southern literature. This event is unique at Greensboro Bound and offers the opportunity to hear about the authors’ histories, writing processes, and difficulties and successes over their decades-long careers. Ray Morrison, Krystal Smith and Steve Cushman, Greensboro Historical Museum, Saturday, 4:30 p.m. For lovers of short stories, a panel featuring writers Ray Morrison, Krystal Smith and Steve Cushman will be held at the Greensboro History Museum. KEVIN GREENBLAT Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow Birds and A Shout in the Ruins, Morrison’s short-story collection In reads at the ICRCM on Staurday evening. a World of Small Truths, published by previous works, examines the United States’ brutal history Winston-Salem-based Press 53, is arof violence and exploitation. Powers’ works challenge readguably one of the finest story collections to come out of North ers to reckon with the United States’ bloody past. Held at the Carolina in recent years. Morrison’s stories explore the bizarre International Civil Rights Center & Museum, this reading and and dark underbelly of the South, with prose that channels discussion is a rare chance to hear from one of America’s leadWilliam Gay and Barry Hannah but with a voice excitingly ing literary voices. fresh. Discussing matters from the masterful art of the short story to Over the course of the weekend, developing voice on the page, this For a full list of events and schedules, there is much to see and read. And panel is prime for readers and writvisit greensborobound.com. yet Greensboro Bound has made ers alike. each event extremely accessible for attendees. All events of the festival Kevin Powers, International are free (except for Nikki Giovanni’s appearance, which is sold Civil Rights Museum, Saturday, 7 p.m. out) and the events of each day are staggered and in close The headlining author for Saturday is acclaimed, bestselling proximity to each other. The way to build a strong, united author Kevin Powers. Powers is the author of The Yellow Birds, community of readers and writers is by creating an environfinalist for the National Book Awards, and most recently A ment of joy and openness, and Greensboro Bound aims to do Shout in the Ruins, from which he will read and discuss with just that. the audience. A former US Army veteran, Powers is a masterThe chance to see such powerful and masterful writers at ful writer of immense vision, grit and talent. Powers’ latest work is rare and should not be overlooked. novel spans more than 100 years, from antebellum era to the 1980s, and tells the story of generations of inhabitants living on a plantation near Richmond, Va. The novel, like Powers’


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Up Front News Opinion Culture Shot in the Triad Puzzles

other’s Day morning, bluesman Big Ron Hunter leaves his WinstonSalem home in sweatshorts, a button-down pinstripe shirt and a backwards baseball cap on a mission to secure fried chicken for an extended family gathering. Then he gets a call. He’s set to perform at Muddy Creek Music Hall in an hour, and he does, chuckling to the heavens at his near gaffe, giddy with the unbridled bliss he excavates between guitar strings. “I used to play here, run around as a little kid when this used to be an old mill,” Hunter says of Muddy Creek. “My friend, he used to be the mayor here, lived right back here — Tommy P. Roth. We used to play in the same band. I used to come to his house in the sixth grade. Used to go to Rural Hall Elementary up there.” Born to a sharecropping tobacco farmer LAUREN BARBER Big Ron Hunter both celebrates and laments the South. “I’ve grown to laugh at the things that happened, bit it really wasn’t funny.” and a mother who cleaned houses, the Imbert. He’s graced stages at the Lincoln Center and the New though; he says after years of aiming to mimic titans like blues singer and guitarist came of age in Orleans Jazz Festival, too. Eric Clapton, Jimmy Hendrix and James Brown, it eventually a home between Oak Street and now“I like writing about my upbringing, about how my folks dawned on him that showing up as himself unapologetically extinct 10 ½ Street, near the moderntaught me what to do and nurtured better writing, day bus station, where his guitar-playing act right when I grow up,” more dynamic performances cousins Liddy and Bo Peep piqued his Hunter says. “The way the and transformational joy. interest in music. Learn more about Big Ron Hunter on Facebook South was… I’ve grown to “Everyone calls me the “They used to leave the guitars layin’ laugh at the things that haphappiest blues man,” Hunter and listen at to his latest music at bigronhunton the bed and my mama and my aunt pened, but it really wasn’t says. “I like the opportunity would teach me to pray… and I’d reach er.bandcamp.com. He performs at the Carolina funny. They was hanging to tell people the true parts up on top of the bed to touch those guiBlues Festival in Greensboro this Saturday. black folks down there and about life, the goodness tars. They’d say, ‘Ronnie, get yo’ hands that’s the truth. Now they about life in the songwriting off of them guitars and pray!’” shootin’ us.” and conversations from the A second-place win at the 4H Club “I’m a firm believer in God stage.” for a rendition of “Shake it Up, Baby” and one thing about believin’ in God is you have no fear,” he Whether he knows it or not, Hunter is a storyteller first and at age 8 set him on his path. Years later continues. “Fear holds people back, keeps people in the house, a musician second. The music is simply his channel, another he’s a member of the Music Maker Relief keeps people from lovin’ other people — that’s what fear does. language to tell tales of the heart and the everyday stories beFoundation, an organization that supAnd it causes prejudice.” hind his smile. He’s not the first or the last bluesman to mine ports traditional blues musicians, and Hunter isn’t as interested in the politics of race as he is in personal pains for universal meaning, but what makes him still finds himself performing in theaters telling the stories of his kin or in cultivating authentic condistinct are his sunny twists on the blues and his infectious, across France, often with close friend nections with any soul willing to stop for conversation. His undying delight in living through another day. and renowned jazz saxophonist Raphaël comfort with vulnerability on stage took decades to develop,

May 17 - 23, 2018

CULTURE Big Ron Hunter, the happiest blues man

by Lauren Barber

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May 17 - 23, 2018

S. Elm Street, Greensboro

Puzzles

Shot in the Triad

Culture

Opinion

News

Up Front

SHOT IN THE TRIAD

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Thomas the Cat at the Crooked Tail Cat Cafe.

CAROLYN DE BERRY


“The Curly Shuffle”--it’s stylin’ in each theme answer. by Matt Jones

63 65 68 69 70 71 72 73

Box office event 2001 Nintendo video game with a really thin premise? Dot on a state map Mushroom in miso soup Holed, as a putt Lion lairs Star-___ mole “___ quam videri” (North Carolina’s motto)

Answers from previous publication.

Opinion

43 Sprung up 47 Come back after renovation 48 Nissan SUV named for a suburb of Venice 50 “Z” director Costa-___ 51 Advertising promos of sorts 52 Minigolf motion 56 State tree of North Dakota 59 Possesses 60 Mailing centers, for short 62 Facilitate 63 Pt. of PST 64 Long-handled farm tool 66 Make do, with “out” 67 Relieve

News

Down 1 ”Hey, how’s it going?” 2 Pet lizard 3 Astronomer Johannes 4 March middle 5 Direct relatives, slangily 6 “Mr. Blue Sky” band ©2018 Jonesin’ Crosswords (editor@jonesincrosswords.com) 7 Expansive 8 Balance 29 Tiger Woods’s ex Nordegren 9 Be sympathetic 30 Bed frame piece 10 “Ye ___ Shoppe” 32 “Not ___ out of you!” 11 Prefer 34 Guy with an eponymous scheme 12 Ominous sight in shark movies 35 Jason who plays Aquaman 13 Took to the couch 37 Impassioned 18 Dusting item 39 Lines at the checkout? 22 “Silas ___” (George Eliot novel) 40 Scheme 25 Email that gets filtered 41 “Quiet!” 26 Cal ___ Resort & Casino (Lake Tahoe property 42 Top quality once co-owned by Frank Sinatra)

Up Front

Across 1 Collaborative website 5 Not as many 10 Sign-___ (farewells) 14 Like fine whiskeys 15 Up and about 16 Sci-fi royal 17 Naomi Campbell or Cindy Crawford, e.g. 19 It might be hammered out 20 Chips go-with 21 Tooth material 23 Article from France 24 Channel with “Wheel of Fortune” repeats 27 “Respect for Acting” author Hagen 28 Primus frontman Claypool 31 Chute opening? 33 It’s a real grind at dinner? 36 Finnish Olympic runner Nurmi 38 Wireless company named after a Finnish city 39 Top of the corporate ladder 44 Practiced 45 Swashbuckler who left his initial as a mark 46 Place to extract some chalcopyrite 49 Business reps. 53 Start of many Quebec place names 54 Opposite of old, in German 55 Pasture mom 57 British isle that sounds like a number 58 Ending of many nonprofit URLs 61 Old voting machine part

May 17 - 23, 2018

CROSSWORD

SODUKO Culture

Answers from previous publication.

Shot in the Triad

©2018 Jonesin’ Crosswords (editor@jonesincrosswords.com)

Puzzles

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TCB May 17, 2018 — R. Kelly: The storm has just begun  

Despite national protestations, the R. Kelly concert in Greensboro was very much a go.

TCB May 17, 2018 — R. Kelly: The storm has just begun  

Despite national protestations, the R. Kelly concert in Greensboro was very much a go.

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