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Greensboro / Winston-Salem / High Point Nov. 25-Dec.2, 2020 triad-city-beat.com

GREENSBORO EDITION

FREE

C U R TA I N CA L L Preston Lane steps down from Triad Stage amidst allegations of sexual abuse PAGE 6 Evicted in Forsyth PAGE 8

‘Our Messy Democracy’ PAGE 10

Thanksgiving pie PAGE 11


Nov. 25-Dec.2, 2020

EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK

This quarantine life We cruised Hence our Friday cruise through town. around for a My daughter and I share a healthy couple hours respect for the coronavirus. We spend our on Friday, my weekdays boxed in the house, avoiding daughter and contact with the invisible enemy and I, searching for the unknown thousands who carry it. a likely spot to We decline invitations from friends and get no-hassle avoid most trips away from the house. by Brian Clarey coronavirus tests. We stopped going out to lunch; we have We didn’t qualify for the free ones at CVS the delivery folks leave the food on the — no symptoms, and we’ve been living front porch and go get it after they drive like mole rats with very little opportunity away. This was our first time out together for exposure to anyone who’s sick. And in weeks. we got turned away at the Cone Health We found a doc-in-a-box that would facility on Green Valley Road, just an do it, but for that we would need to fill hour after they opened for the day, due to out lengthy online forms before being apoverwhelming demand. proved for an appoint“Maybe try back after ment. We could have 2,” the guy posted at the driven to Burlington, or entrance said. Reidsville, or WinstonThe free COVID-19 That would not do. each with its own tests are becoming Salem, We couldn’t risk waiting aggravating circumuntil the afternoon for a stance. And anyway, all harder to get. maybe. of them faced increased Against CDC on-site demand and guidelines, despite a bottlenecks in testing renationwide surge in coronavirus cases sults. We might — might — get our results and with a carefully calculated risk-reward back in five days. equation, we will be traveling this ThanksSo screw it. We went to Triad Behavgiving — not by plane or other public ioral Resources off Spring Garden Street, means of conveyance, and not even, really where rapid tests took 15 minutes and cost by choice. It’s been a season of medical $125 apiece. Too much lag in turnaround emergencies in our family, not due to time, they said, to bother with the stanCOVID-19 but consequential enough to dard tests. warrant a small, in-person holiday with Now we both know for sure we’re corocoronavirus rules in effect: eight people navirus free, for now. And we know how to from three households, with outdoor keep it that way. gathering areas, daily temperature checks and a recent negative test result from everyone.

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 jordan@triad-city-beat.com

ASSOCIATE EDITOR Sayaka Matsuoka sayaka@triad-city-beat.com

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1451 S. Elm-Eugene St. Box 24, Greensboro, NC 27406 Office: 336.256.9320 COVER: SPECIAL SECTION EDITOR Nikki Miller-Ka Greensboro: Preston Lane leaves niksnacksblog@gmail.com Triad Stage amist allegations of EDITORIAL INTERN Michaela Ratliff sexual misconduct. [Design layout ART by Robert Paquette] ART DIRECTOR Robert Paquette robert@triad-city-beat.com SALES

KEY ACCOUNTS Drew Dix

drew@triad-city-beat.com

CONTRIBUTORS

Carolyn de Berry, Matt Jones

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

Winston-Salem: Despite programs and moratoriums, Sierra Graves was still evicted from her Winston-Salem home. [Photo by Sayaka Matsuoka]


Nov. 25-Dec.2, 2020

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Nov. 25-Dec.2, 2020

CITY LIFE Nov. 26-29 by Michaela Ratliff

THURSDAY Nov. 26

FRIDAY Nov. 27

Christmas Toy Drive @ Triad Health Center (GSO) 8 a.m.

Sonic Forest @ Hamburger Park (GSO) 9 a.m.

Winter Wonderlights @ Greensboro Science Center (GSO) 5:30 p.m.

News

Up Front

Gratitude in Motion @ High Point Yoga School (HP) 9 a.m.

HPYS is hosting a Thanksgiving morning yoga workout designed to “open the heart, soften the spirit, and fill you with gratitude.” Register on HPYS’s website.

BBA Sexual Chocolate Release @ Foothills Brewing (W-S) 12 p.m.

SUNDAY Nov. 29

Singin’ in the Rain @ the Carolina Theatre (GSO) 2 p.m.

Opinion

Thanksgiving @ the Katharine Brasserie and Bar (W-S) 11 a.m.

Triad Health Center is partnering with Toys for Tots to provide Christmas gifts to children in need. For each toy donated, Triad Health Center will match it! Visit the event page for drop-off hours.

Downtown Greensboro presents Sonic Forest — an interactive installation of electronic Christmas trees complete with music, environmental sounds and colorchanging LED lights. Visit downtown GSO’s website for more info.

Culture

Celebrate Black Friday with the release of coffee-infused Bourbon barrel aged Sexual Chocolate at all three Foothills locations. Lobster Dogs food truck will be there providing dinner. Check out the event page for more info.

Relax this Thanksgiving. Chef Eric Brownlee will be at the Katharine preparing your choice of French brasserie or a classic Thanksgiving meal. For pricing and reservation info, visit the event page.

Antique Glass Ornament Display @ Reynolda House Museum of American Art (W-S) 10 a.m.

Thanksgiving @ the Brooklyn Pizzeria (GSO) 12 p.m.

Puzzles

Shot in the Triad

SATURDAY Nov. 28

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Brooklyn Pizzeria is offering free meals to first responders, the homeless and anyone in need of a warm meal on Thanksgiving.

Until Dec. 31st, stop by Reynolda to view a historic collection of Christmas ornaments. Visit Reynolda’s website to purchase tickets.

Carolina Theatre is providing a showing of Singin’ in the Rain — the hilarious tale of two silent movie stars whose latest film is transformed into a musical. Purchase tickets on the theatre’s website.

Winter Wonderlights is Greensboro Science Center’s new holiday light show. The zoo will be surrounded by shimmering lights in addition to more surprises. To purchase tickets and view future dates, visit GSO Science Center’s website.


(As of Tuesday, Nov. 24, compared to last week)

Nov. 25-Dec.2, 2020

Coronavirus in the Triad:

Documented COVID-19 diagnoses 339,192 (+21,699)

Forsyth

12,249 (+1,067)

Guilford County

15,485 (+1,159)

News

COVID-19 deaths

Up Front

NC

NC

5,045 (+190)

Forsyth

157 (+7)

Guilford

230 (+12)

293,555 (+17,423)

Forsyth

9,925 (+764)

Guilford

12,707 (+983)

Culture

NC

Opinion

Documented recoveries

Current cases 40,592 (+4,086)

Forsyth

2,167 (+305)

Guilford

1,384 (-256)

Shot in the Triad

NC

Hospitalizations (right now) 1,724 (+187)

Forsyth

(no data)

Guilford

152 (+34)

Puzzles

NC

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Nov. 25-Dec.2, 2020 Up Front News Opinion Culture Shot in the Triad Puzzles

6

NEWS

Preston Lane steps down from Triad Stage amidst allegations of sexual abuse by Jordan Green Trigger warning: Mention and description of sexual assault is included in this article. Preston Lane, the playwright, director and co-founder of Triad Stage, is resigning from his position as producing artistic director, following an internal review of claims of sexual abuse. Descriptions of sexual abuse by Lane were shared with two board members and an outside lawyer brought in to review the matter during a Zoom meeting this past summer, according to multiple sources with either direct or secondary knowledge, who spoke to Triad City Beat on condition of anonymity. Board Chair Deborah Hayes and board member Phil Barrineau, along with attorney Patti Ramseur, attended the meeting. “The survivors’ stories were very detailed and graphic,” said one man who reported his experience to the board members, speaking to TCB on condition of anonymity. “The overarching theme was how [Lane] played his game with tequila and pornography videos. [Each of the accounts] were different in how far he got, and how it played out.” Hayes, the board chair, said board members received notification from Lane on Nov. 9 that he is resigning from his position at Triad Stage, adding, “It is our standard practice to not discuss confidential personnel practices publicly.” Lane responded through an attorney that he “denies any and all allegations of sexual abuse.” The men whose experiences were shared with board members were all UNCG students at the time of the incidents, according to the person who spoke to TCB, adding that he didn’t want to specify the time period out of concern that if Lane were able to identify them it could have negative repercussions on their acting careers. Lane previously taught acting and directing as an adjunct instructor at UNCG. Lane’s unrivaled stature as a director and playwright in the Triad made him an awe-inspiring figure, and getting to work with Triad Stage was considered a potentially career-making opportunity for students in the UNCG School of Theatre, alumni interviewed for this story told TCB. Lane last worked at UNCG in December 2019, said Eden Bloss, the university’s senior director for external commu-

nications. Bloss confirmed that during a Zoom meeting in August, Bruce McClung, the dean of the School of Visual and Performing Arts, informed alumni “that Preston Lane is not working at UNCG this year, and that there are no current plans for him to hold a position here in the future.” Lane has also taught at NC A&T University, UNC School of the Arts, Greensboro College, Southern Methodist University and the Professional Actors Workshop at the Dallas Theater Center, according to an official biography on the Triad Stage website. “What seemed to be a common theme is Preston wanting to hang out,” the man who reported his experience to the board members told TCB. “So, he would get guys one on one. It was easy to do. Everyone was in awe of him. That’s a dream. Alcohol was the next step: tequila straight. Then it was this game: ‘Let’s work on monologues. Let’s work on breathing.’ He would address it so he was giving you a one-on-one study. It usually involved undressing. He would say, ‘Let’s strip down to your underwear. Let’s get naked.’ If there was any hesitancy, it’s, ‘Are you a homophobe? Are you a pussy? I’m not going to do anything.’ “A lot of the straight guys he would want to get them aroused,” the man added. “With straight guys, it wouldn’t work. He would bring in what he called ‘straight porn.’” The man who spoke to TCB said he told Lane he was “done” before anything physical happened, and Lane responded by crying and apologizing. The man said Lane told him: “I’m sorry. I’m a sad old man.” In hindsight, he said he came to view Lane’s display of contrition as a calculated act of self-preservation. “When he was on the cusp of sexual intercourse or experiencing rejection, he breaks down and cries,” the man said. “When you see someone who is your hero and he’s breaking down, you think, He’s humanizing his predatory behavior. “It was just a manipulation,” he continued. “Preston is a master manipulator. When he’s done with it, he’s done with it.” Other students’ encounters with Lane went further, according to the man who spoke to TCB. “The other track is these men were

completely inebriated and passed out when Preston made it physical,” he said. The sex acts included oral sex and handjobs, according to the man. He said there were no reports of penetration during the encounters, at least by the four people who came forward to report their experiences to the board members. Since founding Triad Stage with fellow Yale School of Drama alumnus Richard Whittington in 1999, the two men built the Greensboro theater company into a regional powerhouse. Lane’s artistic reputation has grown alongside the theater, for which he has written at least 20 adaptations and original plays. A native of Boone, much of Lane’s work centers on the experiences of outsiders and artists in the South. The fictional town of Hawboro that provides the setting for many of his plays has in a sense forged a literary identity for the North Carolina Piedmont region. Whittington stepped down as managing director in 2019, ceding business operations to Lane. Lane was awarded a three-year playwrighting residency with the Sally and Don Lucas Artists Residency Program in California, allowing him to take three months out of each year to focus on his craft. The intertwined rise of Triad Stage and its artistic director have also provided a point of pride for downtown Greensboro’s revitalization over the past two decades. Lane was the 2008 recipient of the Betty Cone Medal of the Arts, which “honors local artists who have achieved clear excellence in their discipline and/or have made extraordinary contributions to the community through their artistry or expertise.” In 2010, Lane and co-founder Whittington received Downtown Greensboro Inc.’s J. Edward Kitchen Leadership Award, and in 2013 they received the Adelaide F. Holderness/H. Michael Weaver Award from UNCG for distinguished public service. Triad Stage’s development also included the renovation of the Montgomery Ward building in downtown Greensboro, eventually accommodating a studio and office space used by North Carolina Public Radio. Triad Stage expanded into WinstonSalem in 2013 and, with support from the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, began presenting plays at Hanesbrands Theatre. A press release issued by Triad Stage

Triad Stage co-founder Preston Lane.

COURTESY IMAGE

on Monday evening quoted Hayes, the board chair, as saying that “planning for leadership succession is underway.” The press release did not acknowledge the accounts of sexual abuse reported about Lane. “We are looking forward to building on our rich artistic history as we continue to work toward the day when Triad Stage can return to live productions in a post-pandemic world,” Hayes said. The man who spoke to TCB about reporting sexual abuse to the board members and another person who spoke on condition of anonymity said they are aware of six or seven people who have been abused by Lane. The man told TCB that the harm caused by Lane and the fear that prevents survivors from coming forward is twofold. “A lot of people are hurt; a lot of people will carry this for the rest of their life,” he said. “In the world of theater, where power is structured, this was unchecked power. “It’s especially hard because in our society, men who are sexually assaulted are the butts of jokes,” he continued. “Straight men who are put in this situation, there’s no coming back. It could be humiliating. That’s a big factor for a lot of these guys. We all had friends who are gay, lesbian, bisexual. These guys are terrified they’re going to be the butt of a joke. Society does not view men as sexual assault victims.” The man said he was initially reluctant to speak publicly about his experience, but ultimately decided he needed to do it for the other men. “I want to tell the other survivors, ‘It’s okay. You have a voice. It’s not your fault,’” he said. “I want to give them a voice. Sexual assault is disgusting and terrifying. I want to make sure these guys have a voice, and take a weight off their shoulders so they can move on.”


Nov. 25-Dec.2, 2020 Up Front

News

Opinion

Culture

Shot in the Triad

Puzzles

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Nov. 25-Dec.2, 2020 Up Front News Opinion Culture Shot in the Triad Puzzles

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Despite federal and state protections, tenants still evicted in Forsyth County by Sayaka Matsuoka Sierra Graves did everything she could to stay in her apartment. The single mother of three recounted the story of the last year of her life as her kids watched reruns of the “Amazing Life of Gumball” on the hotel room’s television. Her two daughters shared a double bed towards the back of the room while her son laid on his stomach with his eyes glued to the screen. The walls of the room at the Quality Inn off of University Parkway in Winston-Salem were painted orange and a sheer white curtain covering the sole window offered the family a thin layer of privacy. For the last two weeks, this had been the family’s home. “It has been really bad,” Graves said, as she wiped tears through her mask. “I’ve never gone through an eviction before.” On Nov. 11, Graves and her kids were evicted from their home at Woodbriar Apartments in Rural Hall. Housing experts say that the coronavirus outbreak made an already volatile housing market worse. “Evictions were already a problem in Winston-Salem but now COVID-19 and evictions have compounded each other,” said Rachael Fern, a court observer for Housing Justice Now, a tenant advocacy group. According to data analyzed by the Eviction Lab project at Princeton University, Winston-Salem ranked number 16 out of the 100 top evicting large cities in the United States based on 2016 data; Greensboro ranked number seven. During the pandemic, some states put eviction moratoriums in place to offer tenants relief. In North Carolina, an order in March by NC Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley put a halt on evictions through June 23. Federal eviction protections ended in late July under the CARES Act. Then, in September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made the unprecedented move of temporarily halting evictions through Dec. 31 to curb the spread of COVID-19. The CDC’s order specified that tenants could fill out an affidavit and qualify for eviction protection if they met a list of certain criteria. On Oct. 28, Gov. Roy Cooper issued Executive Order No. 171 which strengthened the CDC’s eviction protections and put the onus on landlords to give their tenants blank copies of the CDC form to fill out. Despite all of these protections however, Graves’ land-

Sierra Graves is currently living a hotel room with her three kids: (from left to right) Jasiah, Morriyah and Destiny. SAYAKA MATSUOKA

lord at Woodbriar Apartments evicted her and her children earlier this month. She said she did everything she possibly could to try and prevent that from happening.

One thing after another

Graves, who currently works at the McDonald’s down the street from the hotel, lost her job as a manager at Popeye’s at the end of 2019 after getting into a car accident when she swerved out of the way of a family of deer. At the time, she was still a new resident at the apartment complex and got behind on rent payments for about two months because her car was totaled. Shortly afterwards, she got a job as a laundry attendant at a hotel in Clemmons. She continued to make partial payments on rent when the

pandemic hit and she lost her job. In the weeks that followed, she stayed home with her kids, who were now doing remote learning, and was able to stay in her apartment because of the statewide eviction moratorium. She told her landlord about her financial situation and worked out a payment plan. By August, Graves had filed for unemployment and eventually paid her landlord a lump sum but was still behind by about $600. She began working from her apartment, making graphic logos for friends starting new businesses and setting up social media accounts — anything to make a little extra money. “My daughter was going to the store and buying candy and reselling it to our neighbors,” Graves said. “My kids were asking the maintenance man if they

could help take out the trash.” In early October, Graves and a handful of her neighbors began getting yellow notices on their doors — eviction letters. Graves immediately started looking for additional rent relief and turned to outlets like the Salvation Army for help but wasn’t able to secure anything. That’s when she found out about the CDC’s moratorium. According to the CDC’s website, the order protects individuals who face eviction for nonpayment of rent and are unable to pay because of “substantial loss of household income.” Individuals must also have used “best efforts to obtain all government assistance for rent or housing” and used “best efforts to make timely partial payments.” They also cannot make more than $99,000 a year.


Culture

To support Graves and her family, donate to her Cashapp at $Qu33nsi89 or Venmo at @SierraG2020.

Opinion

hearings that have been backed up, start taking place again. “I think we are embarking on a very dark winter,” Fern said. “We are already seeing an avalanche of evictions…. There’s no safety net for people.” Fern said she feels most for tenants like Graves who have children. “I think about Sierra’s children,” she said. “Those children had sheriff’s deputies with guns tell them they had to get their stuff in 10 minutes and get out or they would be arrested…. This is going to be an experience they carry with them forever.” Both Fern and Rose said they want to see a blanket eviction moratorium and also mentioned that there should be a mortgage freeze too, to help landlords. “We need real rent relief if we’re going to turn around the housing crisis and public health crisis that we’re facing,” Rose said. Graves pointed to a box of nonperishable food items in the corner of the hotel room that her family is eating like mac-and-cheese. She said her kids need underclothes and she’s low on toiletries but that she’s trying to keep her head up and stay positive. She’s working as much as possible and paying to stay in the hotel one day at a time while still trying to save up for an apartment. “I don’t want anybody to have pity for me,” Graves said. “I just tell my kids, ‘We’re going to get through this.’”

News

For those facing eviction, Sharp had this advice for tenants: 1. Call 211 for eviction assistance 2. Then fill out the CDC declaration form and deliver it to your landlord

Shot in the Triad

3. At your eviction hearing, make sure the magistrate knows that your landlord has been served the CDC declaration form 4. If need be, serve your landlord the declaration form at the eviction hearing again if they refused to take it before

Puzzles

According to the CDC’s order, “courts should take into account the order’s instruction not to evict a covered person from rental properties where the order applies.” The order also states that “a person who violates the order may be subject to a fine of no more than $100,000 or one year in jail, or both.” Graves’ landlord, Andraos Shafic, said in a phone call on Monday that he didn’t understand what the CDC order was for and that he had only evicted one or two people in the last month. Shafic declined to give his name during the interview, but LLC filings showed his name listed as the managing member for Kelly Blue, the company that owns Woodbriar Apartments. Ed Sharp, a supervising attorney for Legal Aid, said that the wording of the CDC’s order is ambiguous and that both the order, and Gov. Cooper’s mandate, are being widely ignored by multiple entities. “It has made a huge difference, but it’s very inconsistent,” Sharp said. “That’s one of the frustrations. The CDC order has helped thousands of tenants in the state of North Carolina, but it’s applied by some magistrates and not others, and it’s generally not recognized by clerks of superior court who issue the writs of possession.” In an article by WFDD, Forsyth

counties are following Forsyth’s lead in continuing to evict tenants. He also said that in his experience, he’s found that magistrates are following the terms of the CDC order but that the sheriff’s office and clerk of courts seem to be passing the buck of responsibility when it comes to evictions. Tenant advocates with Housing Justice Now disagree with Sharp’s impression that magistrates are following the order. “We’ve had tenants report that magistrates refuse to even look at their CDC declaration,” said Dan Rose, an assistant professor at Winston-Salem State University and a member of Housing Justice Now. Rachael Fern, a court observer for Housing Justice Now, said that in one case, a magistrate asked a tenant what efforts he made to get governmental assistance and when the tenant mentioned two programs, the magistrate decided that the tenant hadn’t tried hard enough. “The subjective nature from what I’ve seen is working against tenants,” Fern said. And that’s if the tenants know about the order to begin with. Fern said that as she’s been canvassing outside of the courthouse in Winston-Salem, she finds that most tenants going into their eviction hearings had no knowledge of the CDC order. “Overwhelmingly I found that people have never heard of it,” Fern said. “They certainly had never seen the affidavit. There’s just so many things floating around out there that people get confused.” Gov. Cooper’s clarifying mandate that put the onus on landlords to provide their tenants with blank CDC forms was meant to fix that problem, but according to Sharp, that’s not what’s actually happening. “A lot of landlords are not bothering to give blank CDC forms to tenants they are evicting,” he said. Graves decided to take it upon herself to help her neighbors from facing eviction too after she found out about the CDC protection. She said her landlord never gave her the form. “I bought a printer and was printing out papers for people who were getting evicted,” Graves said. “I gave them every resource I could.” Court dockets for Tuesday and Wednesday of this week show multiple hearings involving Woodbriar Apartments and their tenants. Tenant advocates say that in the next couple of months, there will be a deluge of evictions, especially in January when court

Up Front

‘It’s very inconsistent’: How the CDC order is being followed

County Clerk of Superior Court Renita Thompkins Linville said that the court’s position is that “the clerk does not have judicial authority to determine whether a tenant is covered under the CDC order.” She said she is simply carrying out her duty. Sharp also said that because of the order’s ambiguous wording, he’s not exactly sure who is breaking the law. “I do think that going forward with an eviction when there’s a valid, truthful CDC declaration in place, is illegal,” Sharp said. “But is it the clerk who should be on the hook for this?” On Nov. 9, Legal Aid of North Carolina filed a suit in Wake County Superior Court suing state and county court officials to stop the issuance of eviction orders that violate CDC order and Gov. Cooper’s mandate. Specifically, the suit asked Archie Smith, the clerk of superior court for Durham County, from ordering county sheriffs to evict tenants. The suit also asked the court to order McKinley Wooten, the director of the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, and Nicole Brinkley, the assistant counsel for the AOC, to direct all clerks of county courts to stop issuing writs of possession until a judge orders that a writ be issued. Sharp said that it’s also possible that the landlords are the ones at fault. “Should the clerk be engaging in conduct that allows someone else to commit a crime?” Sharp asked. “Or should the sheriff’s deputy be standing there when landlords are executing their writ?... I would say that the elected officials shouldn’t be doing such things, but they have their own lawyers who have looked at these things and have come to different conclusions.” Christina Howell, the public affairs officer for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office said in an email to TCB that “The sheriff’s office is responsible for serving all writs of possession that are issued by the clerk of court.” Howell’s email included a guideline provided to local sheriff’s offices by the NC Sheriff’s Association and stated that “any violations of [the order] are against the landlord and not the sheriff’s office.” Sharp said sheriff’s offices across the state have come to different conclusions about the governor’s order. In Guilford County, James Secor, the sheriff’s attorney, told TCB in an email that if a tenant has completed and signed the CDC declaration and the basis for the eviction is because of failure to pay rent or fees, they are not executing evictions. Still, Sharp said that most other

Nov. 25-Dec.2, 2020

Graves immediately printed out the form, filled it out and took it to her landlord but was told that he wasn’t accepting any of those forms. A few days later, Graves was sent a summons to show up for her eviction hearing, but on the day of, she forgot her mask in the car and ended up being five minutes late to her hearing. Because of that, the judge ruled in her landlord’s favor. Graves tried to appeal the ruling, but was told that it would cost her $147 which she didn’t have. She applied for assistance through the NC Hope program but didn’t hear back in time. And on Nov. 11, a sheriff’s deputy showed up at her apartment and told Graves that she had 10 minutes to pack up her stuff. Her landlord was nowhere to be found, and Graves said she had no choice but to grab whatever clothes she could and pack her kids in the car. “I knew that if I had my black pants and no-slip shoes that I could find a job somewhere,” Graves said. “I brought them here and I went in the bathroom and just cried. I felt so defeated.”

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Nov. 25-Dec.2, 2020 Up Front News Opinion Culture Shot in the Triad Puzzles

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EDITORIAL

2022 NC Senate race already overrun with losers

OPINION

The dust hasn’t quite settled yet on the GOP luminaries for this coveted post: 2020 election — Michigan certified its current White House Chief of Staff Mark election results Monday evening; PennsylMeadows has expressed interest. Former vania and Georgia have already certified; governor Pat McCrory’s name has come yet the Trumpers are still not quite cogniup. Last week, some suggested that zant of the results. President Trump’s daughter in-law Lara, But here in North Carolina, where a native of Wilmington, might consider a we are still owed a recount in the state run for the seat, though she has said she’s Supreme Court chief justice race, savvy flattered, but not interested. Republicans have already cut their loss at We haven’t always elected the best the top of the ticket and are now eyeing in North Carolina, where our list of past Richard Burr’s US Senate seat, which will senators includes Liddy Dole, who never not have the benefit of an incumbent in spent much time in the state after winning 2022. the seat vacated by Jesse Helms, a racial Burr announced he demagogue who tainted NC wouldn’t run for re-election politics for 50 years, 30 of them four months before he won in the US Senate. On the other We need in 2016 — perhaps the chair we’ve got John Edwards, better Senate side of the Senate Intelligence whose extramarital dalliances candidates in destroyed his political career. Committee sensed a change for his party in the wind. Or It’s possible the seat could North maybe he just wants to be a go to a Democrat, even in a Carolina. lobbyist. midterm election with a D in the Either way, Rep. Mark White House. Erica Smith has Walker announced his intenalready announced her intention tions to run for the seat shortly after he to run; she lost her bid for Thom Tillis’ seat got drawn out of his congressional district this year in the primary, falling to Cal Cun— the 6th, redrawn after several proclamaningham by more than 20 points. tions by three-judge panels called out the And we all know what happened with state GOP’s efforts to disenfranchise black Cal: In the middle of the most expensive voters with “surgical precision.” Senate race in US history, he began an Kathy Manning won the congressional affair with a staffer that may have paled seat this year, by the way, which now covin comparison to Edwards’ exploits, but ers Forsyth and Guilford counties, includalmost certainly cost him the election. ing their biggest cities. All this goes to show that we need betBut a Senate seat is not something on ter Senate candidates in North Carolina, which someone can call dibs. Walker will and we’ve got a couple years to find them. feel pressure from all the North Carolina

Claytoonz by Clay Jones

claytoonz.com


Nov. 25-Dec.2, 2020

Nik Snacks This Thanksgiving, butternut squash takes the pie

R

Up Front News Opinion

While the much-lauded sweet potato, pumpkin, pecan and apple pies rule the roost, it’s time to talk about the underrated butternut squash.

ous holiday perennial favorite. Practice this butternut squash pie now, and then make it again next year when you’re able to invite the whole crew over as an alternative to the pies everyone else will bring. It’s a beautiful dessert, and when cut into slices, it freezes and travels really well. You know, for when it’s safe to venture outside again. Butternut Squash Pie Yield: One 9” pie

Puzzles

Preparation Pre-heat your oven to 375°F. Make homemade crust or blind bake a prepared frozen pie crust: Line the entire frozen pie crust with heavy duty foil. Pressing the foil against the sides and bottom of the crust. Fill with sugar to weigh down the

crust to prevent it from rising and bubbling up during the baking process. Dry beans and rice also work (but do not try to cook the beans or rice after this use). Bake for 25 minutes. While crust bakes, prepare filling: Combine eggs, vanilla, brown sugar, salt and spices in food processor, and process until smooth. Add squash purée, and process until smooth. With machine running, pour in heavy cream, and process to combine. Scrape filling into hot prebaked shell, and bake for 20 minutes. Turn the oven up to 425°F and continue baking for another 20-25 minutes until filling is set two-thirds of the way in from the perimeter and the center still jiggles, about 40-45 minutes total. Tent edges loosely with foil if browning too quickly. Remove pie from oven, and cool to room temperature on rack. Garnish with whipped cream and the relish, if desired. Notes: To make roasted butternut squash purée, heat oven to 400°F. Trim the stem from 1 butternut squash and then cut through it horizontally, where bulb begins. Reserve the bulb for another use. Cut squash neck in half lengthwise. Coat with 1 tablespoon olive oil or other light or neutral-flavored oil, and place in a single layer on a sheet pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Cool slightly, remove skin with a paring knife or a fork. You should have 1 ½ to 2 cups of purée. Cool to room temperature before making the pie recipe. It will keep under refrigeration for up to four days or in the freezer up to two months.

Shot in the Triad

INGREDIENTS 1 9” frozen pie crust or homemade pie crust For the filling: 2 large eggs 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract ¾ cup dark brown sugar Pinch of salt 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg Pinch of cayenne pepper 1 ½ cups roasted butternut squash purée (see note) ½ cup heavy cream Whipped cream, for garnish (optional)

NIKKI MILLER-KA

Culture

emember when we were all staying home and baking a lot? Let’s channel all of that energy into this holiday season. It’s been fairly well documented that you shouldn’t try new recipes for the Thanksgiving meal, but there’s nothing by Nikki Miller-Ka to say that you can’t get a little creative with the after-dinner treats and digestifs. Why not try something other than pie for Thanksgiving dessert this year? It’ll go with this year’s theme of “anything goes”. Here are just a few options for you to try: Create a no-churn ice cream for your small gathering: Whip 2 cups heavy cream with one 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk and fold in pumpkin puree and ground cinnamon. Freeze for a new treat. A stack of pecan pie-inspired cookies is easy to share: Add 2 cups chopped pecans and 2 teaspoons almond extract to your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Orange velvet cake may start a new tradition: Add orange food coloring and omit the cocoa powder in your tried-and-true red velvet cake recipe for a seasonal wardrobe change. Try a fig and maple sangria with red wine, maple syrup, brandy and fresh or dried figs. For alcohol-free version simply omit the wine, brandy and add Concord grape juice. Egg nog season begins on Thanksgiving, so add a little Grand Marnier, brandy or espresso and sprinkle a little ground cinnamon on top for garnish. This year I am definitely ready to spend the holiday with my immediate family instead of the usual 20-person gastronomic extravaganza due to the pandemic. I am having a very low-maintenance ramshackle Thanksgiving dessert spread this year too. I threw myself into the planning of the main meal, trying new things that I practiced multiple times in the weeks ahead. My boyfriend convinced me to pare down the menu of sides, but I’ve managed to fill the roster with several comforting dishes. While the much-lauded sweet potato, pumpkin, pecan and apple pies rule the roost, it’s time to talk about the underrated butternut squash. Lest you not forget that your canned pumpkin really isn’t pumpkin, this squash is the real hero of the traditional Thanksgiving dessert table. The golden-hued fruit is indeed buttery in flavor and not as vegetal or watery as a pumpkin. The smooth skin gives way to tender flesh that is sturdy enough to hold up after a high-heat session in the oven, but delicate enough to be pureed and seasoned with warm spices, herbs and dark brown sugar. The undercurrent of caramel flavors come through if you’re fortunate enough to have molasses or cane sugar in your pantry to use as an addition in the recipe below. When roasted, butternut squash tastes creamy, nutty and sweet with butterscotch tones. The rind is edible once cooked, but is usually peeled away. Similar to sweet potato but far enough away from pumpkin to be different, the butternut squash pie is poised to be a seri-

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Nov. 25-Dec.2, 2020 Up Front News Opinion Culture Shot in the Triad Puzzles

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CULTURE Live at the Ramkat is ‘high standard’ during low times by Michaela Ratliff

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he stage lights at the Ramkat radiate shades of red and blue behind indie-pop band Victoria Victoria as they perform their song “What to Do.” The NC-based band was the featured act during the 28th episode of “Home Sweet Home: Live at the Ramkat”, an ongoing effort since April 27 by the Ramkat bar and live music venue to provide entertainment to the community through pre-recorded musical performances since closing on March 19. The acts are livestreamed through the venue’s Facebook page and can be viewed later on YouTube. “The emphasis in terms of starting this series was really just trying to fulfill the mission of the Ramkat by providing entertainment,” says Andy Tennille, partner at the Ramkat. “And also providing an opportunity for local musicians to get their music out in a high-quality way.” Each performance is filmed in 1080p HD and edited by Tennille who is also a photographer. All audio is mixed by sound engineer Brian Doub, and lighting engineer Michael Schmid provides the light show for the musicians. Victoria Victoria’s set was marked with a mixture of mellow melodies and high-energy songs including “Ivy” and “Roots Run Deep.” “What to Do” was upbeat despite the sadness felt by the song’s subject as they struggled to deal with the important things in life slipping away. “All my minds are making up and moving on without me,” sings Tori Elliott, a singer-songwriter from Chillicothe, Ohio who fronts Victoria Victoria. The ruffled hem of Elliott’s pale pink dress swayed to the rhythm of each song, contrasting the stillness of the bright orange monarch butterflies in her hair. A set of drums, two electric guitars and a keyboard created the head-bobbing tunes by Victoria Victoria during the set. A jazzy element was infused in “Ivy”, which was decorated with short bursts of saxophone solos. According to Tennille, the crew at the Ramkat sought a way to still be able to provide entertainment to its regulars by reaching out to acts who had already performed at the Ramkat and some potential new ones. After the holidays, they’ll be meeting up to film more episodes that should run in the spring.

Tori Elliott, the frontwoman for Victoria Victoria, recently performed at the Ramkat for the venue’s online Home Sweet Home series.

SCREENSHOT

In addition to ‘Home Sweet Home,’ the Ramkat is offer“Those performances rely on the energy exchange between ing music documentaries to rent for the artist on stage and the audience streaming and until Dec. 4, May It Last: in front of them,” says Tennille. “The A Portrait of the Avett Brothers, will be virtual performance with no audience Home Sweet Home: Live at available to purchase. May It Last offers in attendance, it’s almost the exact opan in-depth look at folk rock band’s colposite.” the Ramkat premieres each laboration with producer Rick Rubin as Still, they aim to provide somewhat Sunday at 8 p.m. on the they created their album True Sadness, the same pleasant experience a visitor Ramkat’s Facebook page. To which would be nominated for Best would get actually visiting in person. Americana Album at the 59th Annual “The standard by which we have purchase May It Last: A PorGrammy Awards. The song from the booked the room and curated the room trait of the Avett Brothers for album, “Ain’t No Man,” was nominated in the two years prior to the pandemic streaming, visit Eventive. for Best American Roots Performance. happening last March, we hold ourselves Tenille says comparing in-person perfor the ‘Home Sweet Home’ series to the formances and virtual performances at same high standard,” he says. “When the Ramkat is like “comparing apples to people tune in on Sunday night at 8 kiwis.” The Ramkat emphasizes enjoying live entertainment as o’clock, we want to try and transport viewers to make it feel a group, so the change to virtual has been extremely different, like they’re standing on the floor of the Ramkat watching the Tennille says. band or artist perform.”


by Sayaka Matsuoka

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Up Front News Opinion Culture Shot in the Triad Puzzles

at Frum likes to tell people that “It was pretty upsetting,” Oct. 31 was the first, second, third Frum says. “We really set out and fourth time he’s ever been with the goal of humanizing tear-gassed. everyone…. But the candidates, “It’s debilitating,” Frum says. maybe because of the new BoFrum recalls his time in Graham durrat movie, they just did not feel ing the I Am Change Legacy March to comfortable letting cameras in the Polls during which Alamance County unless they knew who we were.” police deployed pepper spray at about When Frum told GOP candi250 people who were taking part in the dates that they were indepenpeaceful demonstration. Frum was there dent and unbiased, that seemed with a documentary crew to shoot footto be a red flag to them. age for his upcoming film, Our Messy “It’s an unfortunate bias of Democracy, in which he casts North the piece but you can only cover Carolina as a microcosm for the politiwho lets you cover them,” Frum cally divided country as a whole. says. While Frum has used the term “tear In the Triad, Frum’s crew folgas,” local law enforcement agencies lowed Democratic NC House have alleged that they never used tear District 59 candidate Nicole gas, only pepper spray during the event. Quick who ended up losing Still, Frum says it was a terrible experiagainst incumbent John Hardence. ister, and in Alamance County, “I mean it was horrifying. I think there they followed District 63 candiwas a lot of sense among people being date Ricky Hurtado, who beat tear gassed like, ‘Why are you doing Republican incumbent Stephen this?’ It wasn’t necessary; it was, frankly, Ross. His crew also interviewed bad policing.” voters and candidates near Frum grew up in Washington DC and Charlotte and Fayetteville. And has been involved in politics his whole of course, they were following life, he says. His father, David Frum, is the events in Graham. currently a senior editor of The Atlan“We had heard about the tic and is a former speechwriter for statue and the controversy A man stands between protesters and law enforcement during the March to CAROLYN DE BERRY President George W. Bush. His mother around the statue,” Frum says. the Polls in Graham on Oct. 31 is a journalist, so politics were always “We had gone to the statue to welcome at the dinner table, he says. take video and had been con“We tended to find that people on the right side had a lot of The film is his first documentary as a fronted by a pro-monument group so we kind of knew that it economic problems and concerns,” Frum says. “Like they said director and Frum says he had always was a volatile place.” the cities are doing really well but there are parts of the state wanted to be in a swing state during an When Frum learned about the March to the Polls, he and that feel like they are being left behind. A lot of people resent election, and North Carolina seemed as his crew decided to show up to capture footage for the film. the Charlottes and the Durhams that are blowing up and leavgood as any. When they arrived, Frum says marchers were kneeling in ing their towns behind.” “North Carolina has always been honor of George Floyd. What happened next was sudden and Frum says that those on the left also had similar concerns very interesting to me,” Frum says. “It’s confusing, Frum says. about economics, but also about racial equity. the state of Jesse Helms, but also John “There seemed to be a designed escalation by local police to “They were two sides of the same coin,” Frum says. “You’d Edwards. It’s always seemed to be a make it appear like a riot,” Frum says. “They were very quick to be in a town like Burlington or King where there’s a lot of truly purple state. I wanted to be there use pepper spray.” economic anxiety amongst voters and a lot of fear that their to get a better That’s when Frum and his staff got needs aren’t being talked about. That was a common thread.” understanding of caught up in the clouds of smoke. Triad As for the candidates, Frum says that seeing them work so how local politics City Beat’s senior editor Jordan Green and hard was what inspired him the most. Learn more about the docuand state races play photographer Carolyn de Berry were also “Just really seeing democracy in action was really cool,” mentary on Instagram at @ out.” on the scene at the time. Frum says. “It’s easy out in LA to be quite cynical about During the course “I saw children getting tear gassed ourmessydemocracy and on politics, and it’s easy to forget that there are people who are of about a month, and elderly people getting tear gassed,” genuinely trying to do good.” Twitter @swingstate2020. Frum and his crew Frum says. “It was just so unnecessary….It For the next couple of weeks Frum will be editing the film, followed local and seemed like they wanted a fight.” and he hopes to release it sometime in February or March. He state candidates as And while the event in Graham underalso plans to submit it to local film festivals like RiverRun in they worked on the campaign trail prior to standably takes up a portion of the film, Frum says that the Winston-Salem and the Full Frame Festival in Durham. And he Election Day. Frum says that he reached whole piece is much more than the events of just that day. says he’s not done with North Carolina. out to both Democratic and Republican He recalled how they traveled across the state and were “I don’t think I’m done being fascinated by politics, and candidates, but found that those associable to talk candidly to voters across the political spectrum North Carolina politics is still a story that’s going on,” Frum ated with the Republican party weren’t as and really get a sense for what they were concerned about says. “It’s not a resolved story by any means.” open to being interviewed. leading into the election.

Nov. 25-Dec.2, 2020

CULTURE New documentary about the election casts NC as main character

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East Lindsay Street, Greensboro

Nov. 25-Dec.2, 2020 Shot in the Triad

Culture

Opinion

News

Up Front

SHOT IN THE TRIAD

Puzzles

Liz Mason of Honey Bee Hills Farm at the Greensboro Farmer’s Curb Market. Pre-Thanksgiving Market is Wednesday 8 a.m.-noon.

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CAROLYN DE BERRY


by Matt Jones

Up Front

©2020 Jonesin’ Crosswords

(editor@jonesincrosswords.com) © 2020 Jonesin’ Crosswords (editor@jonesincrosswords.com)

Culture Shot in the Triad Puzzles

15 Laws of planetary motion discoverer 17 Chest chamber 21 “That’s sooo cute!” 27 Checkbook record 28 Godiva’s title 29 Audibly in shock 31 Damage 32 “___ I’m told” 33 East, in Spain 34 Louboutin item 36 Islands off Spain 37 Movie that brought on “Army of Darkness” 38 “25 Words ___” (game show) 39 Way of doing things 42 Prof’s helpers 44 Faithful about 45 Plenty 46 “1984” working class 49 1977 George Burns film 50 Shell source in the Mario Kart series 52 Clean-up clinic 54 “___ Well That Ends Well” 55 Two-___ sloth 56 ___ de deux (two-person dance) 59 Genetic info carrier

Answers from previous publication.

Opinion

Answers from last issue

News

Across 1 “Cinderella Man” antagonist Max 5 Stacks of cash 9 First name in Fighting Irish history 12 Sansa’s sister on “Game of Thrones” 13 ‘80s-’90s TV legal drama with a license plate in the title screen 14 “Star Trek” captain 16 Show excessive stubble, perhaps 18 High point? 19 As originally located 20 Old-timey hangout with a counter 22 Step unit 23 Repair tears 24 ___ the cows come home 25 Huge success 26 ___ Nublar (“Jurassic Park” setting) 30 Party invitation blank 32 Dark times? 35 Firing figure 36 Tourists’ warm-weather wear 39 2011 NBA champs, for short 40 Exciting way to take the world 41 “Middlemarch” novelist 43 Tangerine cover 44 Leading 47 ___ Aviv, Israel 48 Peachy keen 51 “File not found,” for example 53 Was still in the running 56 Phony 57 “Moral ___” (Adult Swim show) 58 Lizzo song of 2016 60 Rotary phone part 61 Starts the betting 62 To ___ (precisely) 63 Music collection 64 Marcel Duchamp’s art style 65 Overseer Down 1 Send packing 2 “___ just the cutest?” 3 Made ___ (flirted, in a way) 4 Circle measurements 5 Cartoon baby’s cry 6 “Sad to say” 7 Swiss host city for the World Economic Forum 8 Any ABBA member 9 Aliases, for short 10 Basic file format that allows for bold and underlining 11 Ornate cupboards 13 “Geaux Tigers” sch.

Nov. 25-Dec.2, 2020

CROSSWORD ‘Hyphen It Up’—but a bit longer. SUDOKU

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Profile for Triad City Beat

TCB Nov. 25, 2020 — Curtain call  

Scandal at Triad Stage, Thanksgiving desserts, evictions in Forsyth, a NC election documentary, the Ramkat and more.

TCB Nov. 25, 2020 — Curtain call  

Scandal at Triad Stage, Thanksgiving desserts, evictions in Forsyth, a NC election documentary, the Ramkat and more.

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