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OCT 28-NOV 3, 2020 NEWS, ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY CONNECTSAVANNAH.COM

UP ON THE ROOF SORRY CHARLIE’S EXPANDS WITH ROOFTOP BAR

PHOTO BY ALEX NEUMANN


CONNECT SAVANNAH | OCT 28-NOV 3, 2020

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THURSDAY 10.29

The Davenport House Museum will stage stories of Savannah as they were being experienced by the city’s residents 200 years ago. Though only one household and family, the Davenports’ experiences were common to Savannahians of the time. This special program coincides with the Davenport House Museum’s 200th birthday, which is being observed throughout 2020. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Davenport House, 324 East State St. myhsf.org

Trick or Treat with Savannah Police during our drive thru Halloween event at Daffin Park. Participants will drive through the park, stopping at decorated stations to receive Halloween goodies for children inside the vehicle. Participants MUST BE in a vehicle. Walkups will not be allowed for safety purposes. Participants will need to enter from Bee Road. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Daffin Park, 1198 Washington Ave.

SavPhil Live from Victory North: Atlanta Celli

Four classically-trained cellists who push the boundaries of traditional cello music performing the intricacies of the classics, as well as rock and pop and their own original works. In-person-audience socially distanced seating is limited to 70 guests. 7:30 p.m. Victory North, 2603 Whitaker Street. $0-$85 savannahphilharmonic.org

FRIDAY 10.30

Ardsley Park Trunk or Treat

Hey Ardsley Park neighbors! Team Kristin Brown will be hosting a trunk or treat. We will be handing out individual bags, and we will be wearing masks, gloves and will provide hand sanitizer. All ages are invited, even adults! We all deserve a little fun these days, so please come down and join us! We are also hosting virtual events for those that want to isolate on our facebook page: @itsislandtimesavannah there is a costume contest running, as well as a pumpkin carving contest. We will be announcing the winners of the virtual events on facebook live at the Hull park event! We are also accepting non-perishable

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Halloween Rooftop Party at Electric Moon

1820 House Tour

Drive Thru Trick or Treat with Savannah Police

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Awaken all spirits! Join our Halloween rooftop party at Electric Moon, exclusively in Plant Riverside District. Wear your best costume and join us on October 31st from 8pm to 1am for festive offerings including a live DJ and an exclusive Costume Contest. *$20 cover for admission. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Electric Moon Skytop Lounge + Moon Deck, 500 West River Street. $20

Islands Farmers Market

Savannah Carnaval: A Fundraising Fiesta! FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 7-11PM

It’s time to celebrate (safely, of course) with everyone’s favorite service & therapy dog organization, SD Gunner Fund. The award-winning Savannah Carnaval is back and more action packed than ever before! Join us for Savannah Carnaval: A Fundraising Fiesta at Starland Yard. Witness jaw-dropping ACROBATICS and jugglers from First City Fitness and Aerial Elements. Take your picture with real-life MERMAIDS and painted ladies. Explore your latin-inspired DANCE moves with DJ Will Smith, dress to impress to be entered in our first ever COSTUME CONTEST. And back by popular demand, compete in our legendary Rock, Paper, Scissors contest! To guarantee admission you must purchase the ALL ACCESS PASS! See our Eventbrite Link for more details. www.eventbrite.com/e/savannah-carnaval-a-dia-demuertos-fundraising-event-tickets-120425687473 Temperature checks and contact tracing will be available. Masks are mandatory to enter the event. 7-11 p.m. The Clyde Venue, 223 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. $45 - $80 food donations for America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia! 4:30-7 p.m. Hull Park, 54th Street and Atlantic Avenue.

SPOOKY FUN FOR EVERYONE!

Bring the whole family for a fun, spooky night at the Y! Visit our pumpkin patch and enjoy an outdoor screening of Monsters vs. Aliens at Memorial Park. Grab a blanket and join us for a safe & spooky night. 5:30 p.m. YMCA Tybee, 204 5th St. 912.786.9622

SATURDAY 10.31

Forsyth Farmers Market

Local and regional produce, honey, meat, dairy, pasta, baked goods and other de-

lights. Rain or shine. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Forsyth Park, Drayton St. & East Park Ave. Free to attend. Items for sale. 912-484-0279. forsythfarmersmarket.com

Front Porch Improv

Important - you can watch this show online OR in-person (with limited capacity seating at our theatre). Front Porch Improv: Fun House is a neverseen-before improvised comedy show. Using audience suggestions the cast will create original comedic scenes and games. It’s like a live choose-your-ownadventure novel come to life. 8-9:30 p.m. Front Porch Improv, 210 W. Victory Drive.

Enhanced social distancing between vendors. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Islands Farmers’ Market, 401 Quarterman Dr. facebook.com/islandsfarmersmarket

Shops at Tybee Oaks

Dress uo in your scariest costumes and parade in front of the shops for candy and goodies. 3 p.m. Tybee Island, Tybee Island.

SUNDAY 11. 1

Shalom Y’all Virtual Jewish Food Festival & Jewish Food To-Go The 2020 Shalom Y’all Jewish Food Festival is going Virtual!

Featuring cooking demonstrations, lively music, and stories woven in about Savannah’s Jewish History, the History of the Shalom Y’all Jewish Food Festival, and the History of Jewish Food. Jewish Festival Food Available To-Go: Order ahead for Curb-side Pick-up Sun, Nov 1st or Mon, Nov 2nd. (10am - 5 pm) Menu includes: Stuffed Cabbage with Beef and Rice, Chicken Matzah ball soup, Sweet Noodle Kugel, Coney Island Style Large Potato Knish, and Honey cake. Plus Shalom Y’all Merchandise for sale online! Go to https://mickveisrael.org/food-festival for information and online ordering 7-8:30 p.m. Congregation Mickve Israel, 20 East Gordon Street. Virtual Event is Free, Food and Merchandise online prices vary 912-233-1547. info@mickveisrael.org. mickveisrael.org/food-festival

CONNECT SAVANNAH | OCT 28-NOV 3, 2020

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TO HAVE AN EVENT LISTED IN WEEK AT A GLANCE EMAIL WAG@CONNECTSAVANNAH.COM. INCLUDE DATES, TIME, LOCATIONS WITH ADDRESSES, COST AND A CONTACT NUMBER. DEADLINE FOR INCLUSION IS 5PM FRIDAY, TO APPEAR IN NEXT WEDNESDAY’S EDITION.

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NEWS & OPINION FEATURE

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MEET MICHAEL BROWN: Savannah’s Latest Acting City Manager But I would try to stay long enough to get another good manager. BY BEVERLY WILLETT

CS: Any idea how long that might take? Well, it’s not two or three months, but hopefully not much longer than six. It’s speculative because you’re trying to recruit in a pandemic and attract qualified people and that’s not just achieved by advertising. And then get people that can really appreciate Savannah and be devoted to the issues the City faces.

IF HE LOOKS familiar, that’s because he is. He’s called Savannah home since 1980, when he began serving as Assistant City Manager. He left in 1989 to take the City Manager position in Columbus, then returned to the helm of Savannah’s government from 1995-2010. He’s since maintained a consulting business, working CS: Will you consider making your with city governappointment perments throughout manent if Council Georgia. is interested? The City Council unanimously No. I don’t think appointed him Actthat’s their intent, ing City Manager and it’s not mine. during its October 22 meeting. CS: What needs He’ll assume office to happen on the November 3, followCity Council’s end ing in Pat Monahfor them to attract an’s footsteps, who’s someone of quality held the interim job they can agree on? since June 2019. The City has been I have some ideas, without a permabut I think it’s betnent City Manager ter for me to describe since Rob Hernanthat and Council to dez resigned. The hear about that in the Mayor Van Johnson and the Savannah City two previous jobcoming weeks. But I Council announced the selection of Michael holders had simithink there’s got to be Brown as interim City Manager to replace larly short tenures. Patrick Monahan who will retire on Nov. 2. some additional steps And just last month, taken to attract and after a nationwide research and interview- get people on board, both the candidates ing the top three finalists, the Council and the elected officials. could not reach consensus. Enter Michael Brown. He’s on-board for CS: Why did you agree to come back, an initial 90 days. His contract automatiespecially in the middle of all this cally renews in three month increments, mess? unless otherwise terminated. He’ll be paid the same as his predecessor, $20,000 per Well first of all, city government is diffimonth, plus a $600 monthly car allowance. cult so you can characterize it any way you On the eve of his appointment, we spoke want, but this is difficult work. Secondly, I live here. I care about it. Two out of my about his plans, priorities, and the chalthree children were born here, they grew lenges he faces in the months ahead. up here. Also when the Mayor on behalf of CS: You know how difficult it’s been for Council asked me, I can’t just say no. I get the feeling from Pat, he’s done it willingly. City Council to find a permanent City But he didn’t expect it to go on forever. Pat Manager. How long are you prepared and I joked about it – I’m not a Superhero. to stay? He did a great job and now it’s time for someone else to pick it up. I’ll let others conclude about the difficulty. But how long I stay is up to them.


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CS: What was the biggest accomplishment of your previous tenure? I think it was neighborhood revitalization, by doing garden homes in Ashley Midtown, Strathmore Estates on Pennsylvania Avenue, the Fellwood, certainly projects within Cuyler-Brownville, including the Charity Hospital. The planning and infrastructure and neighborhood engagement. The other thing, and I think they’re dual, was the deplorable drainage situation, flooding really, in which there was a great deal of structural flooding in Savannah. Now, I would never say it’s not a problem, it is, but Savannah can take a much bigger hit literally, much bigger storm, bigger rainfall, we can do that with less damage. It is significantly better. There are people that say no-no that we need to do more and that’s true. Baker, Jenks, and Fell Streets were at the center of the worst structural flooding in the City. People literally woke up in the middle of the night and there was two feet of water in their bedroom. This happened all the time. The City took 2 major steps: 1. Construction of a new, major storm line through the area and a major pump station, and 2. Purchase of approximately 40 homes. The vacated area is now a park. Ardsley Park,

too, water went up into the houses often. We constructed large conveyance structures and also retention basins in a number of other neighborhoods, and I estimate we purchased approximately 300 to 400 structures that would have been at a very high risk of flooding even with the structural projects. CS: The scope of your job isn’t exactly the same as when you left. The budget’s much larger. Probably more city employees, other changes. How does this make your job more challenging? I don’t think size is the hard part. Sometimes problems that appear to be intractable, that’s the hard part, so you have to work through to get beyond what appears to be intractable and get it into the doable. In some ways truly affordable housing, helping addressing the equity issues of Savannah. Those problems were here. I hope we made some progress, but it was not enough. We MUST address affordable housing and we MUST address the challenges of family incomes and economic equity. CS: What are your immediate priorities?

The most immediate is working with Council, assisting with why I’m here. They gotta get a permanent manager, and then these normal things, balancing the budget and keeping the projects going while those first two are being done. CS: There’s an estimated 2020 budget shortfall of $13.2 million. Plus, the City didn’t receive an expected second installment in coronavirus relief from CARES. How will you address the budget shortfall? I did it for 9 years as assistant, 6 years in Columbus, 15 years as manager in Savannah, and my work involved financial analysis for 150 cities. So am I prepared? I’ll find out. Everything is in the pot. We have to make our choices and some of them are not easy. CS: Our costly arena concerns many citizens, especially in the age of Covid19. Is it too late to pull the plug? Arenas are expensive. Communities our size have one. The community’s decision was to build a center. I built an arena in Columbus. The same exact issues – designing it, keeping costs down, making it attractive, workable. There’s not a magic

answer, just stay on it and try to make it work. CS: You’ve read about some of the divisions within City Council that have impacted their ability to work together. How will you help fix that? That relationship has to be sound and never stopped in my 15 years as manager or all the years I spent as manager in other places. I’m not going to crow about this, but I wasn’t out of the game for the last 10 years. With my associates, we have worked with about 150 cities, their mayors and their elected officials on local option sales tax, service delivery plans, SPLOST negotiations, fiscal analysis, all over Georgia. I’ve seen these issues in other cities. From Atlanta to Zebulon. It has been highly adversarial at times. CS: Any last words? I just want to close with a point because I really think this is important for me personally to approach this with humility. I really mean that. And to approach it with a sense of we care what we’re doing and enjoy that, enjoy serving the community.

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MUSIC FEATURE

Savannah Music Festival Announces 2021 Dates BY TAYLOR CLAYTON THE SAVANNAH MUSIC FESTIVAL announced their new 2021 dates on Friday, as music-lovers can still groove to their favorite funky tunes in-person from May 18-30. Annual festival-goers are accustomed to the festivities previously taking place in late March and early April, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, SMF wanted to accommodate both musicians and attendees to the best of their ability. “Part of the comfortability factor has been moving the majority of our

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

performances outdoors, but also assuring that we will have a well-rounded safety protocol with public health in mind, so that people don’t need to be crowded,” said Savannah Music Festival Artistic Director Ryan McMaken.

The festivities will move forward with limited-seating outdoor and indoor concerts. Outdoor live performances will be held on the main stage at the Trustees’ Garden, rain or shine, while chambermusic performances will be held with

limited-capacity and socially distanced seating indoors at the Trustees’ Garden’s Kehoe Iron Works building. “For us being able to work at Trustees’ Garden, we know the capacity of the space is over 6,000 people,” said McMaken. “We

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are working at a one-third capacity there and we won’t expand that until we know it is safe to do so.” The festival is being pushed back not only to ensure the safety of everyone attending, but also to reduce the risk of musicians canceling their performances, which has occurred several times in 2020. As a response, SMF has a number of those performers who were forced to cancel their shows earlier this year, performing at the 2021 Savannah Music Festival, with hopes of more shows possibly being announced in early January. “We will have a full festival lineup on January 11. I can say because they were previously scheduled, that many artists are coming back and are part of the 2021 schedule already, along with a variety of Classical jazz, traditional, and roots music performers that will be announced as well,” said McMaken. Those confirmed are Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Béla Fleck & The Flecktones, and David Finckel & Wu Han. Being able to provide live concerts to the people of Savannah will hopefully provide a sense of normalcy among those who want a chance to enjoy the vibrations and inner feelings that only live music can provide.

“There has been a big void in people’s lives with the lack of live music and concerts, certainly we are seeing industrywide a lot of trepidation,” said McMaken. “We feel like this May timeframe will be on the front edge of when it will be safe to reopen, but we’re still planning it with safety measures in place.” SMF is preparing for all possible outcomes in regards to how the pandemic will look in 2021 and those who would like to view live classical performances from the comforts and safety of their own home will still have the option to do so. “Mainly, because of our classical audience, we want to add some online support for those listeners who might not want to come back to a public event so soon,” said McMaken. “The indoor events at Kehoe Iron Works will be live-streamed and there might be some more planned, we just don’t know what at this point. Tickets for the 2021 Savannah Music Festival will be available online at their website savannahmusicfestival.org, over the phone at 912.525.5050, and at the Savannah Box Office, located at 216 E. Broughton Street. Donor presale tickets will be available the day after the full lineup is officially announced on January 12 and to the public on January 19.

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FOOD & DRINK EPICUROPEDIA

From Seafood to Sea Drinks, Sorry Charlie’s expands with two new concepts. BY LINDY MOODY

CONNECT SAVANNAH | OCT 28-NOV 3, 2020

EXTENDING UP was a natural progression for Sorry Charlie’s owner Harley Krinsky. The restaurateur has long held the hearts of locals and tourists alike, so reaching for more success seems right. According to him, empty space and opportunity is the perfect reason to do something new. I will admit, I excitedly watched the restaurateur build and improve the historic building that holds Sorry Charlie’s. As scaffolding went up rumors quickly spread of a new Sorry Charlie’s Tiki bar that would soon hit downtown Savannah. I was pleasantly surprised, as I imagine most fans of the oyster house were, to learn that the expansion included more than just one bar. Sorry Charlie’s is now a restaurant group, housing the original concept, The Bamboo Room, The Rooftop, and an event

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space dubbed Gibbons Hall. All four concepts can be found under one historic roof. It is still in the eye of the historic district. A brand new rooftop bar, The Rooftop at Sorry Charlie’s Oyster Bar, sits over Ellis Square in the heart of downtown. Locals can step away from the crowds of City Market and joyfully watch the masses from above. I know I enjoy the occasional reprieve from the wooing of a bachelorette slow ride. The Rooftop is now the only reclaimed wooden rooftop bar that sits in its central location. According to General Manager Mike Kent, “Every floor has a unique set of offerings. Every floor has a different cocktail program, there is a little bit of overlap on certain items. Everything is independent to give each floor its own unique feel and identity.” I am partial to Rooftop’s house made adult slushies, like the Thunder Punch or Pina Colada. Keeping with the airy feel of the top floor, the majority of specialty libations list centers around lighter drinks and champagne features. Staying refreshed is key for those hotter Savannah months. With ample cover, palm trees, and movable windows, the chic new sky-high watering hole is comfortable no matter the time of year – even without the natural breeze that whisks off the Savannah River. The food menu for City Market central rooftop bar showcases small bites and appetizer based items. The bites have a hint of Polynesian to them, because the same kitchen services the Bamboo Room. After eating a belly full of fresh hand shucked oysters downstairs then checking out the sunset from the rooftop, you should hit the second floor, or what is now known as the Bamboo Room. The Bamboo Room is a fully subversive Tiki experience with

The Sorry Charlie’s sign is a local landmark that the Historic Foundation identified as a historic artifact.

house made cocktails and bar snacks. Krinsky explained the idea behind the new concept, “You don’t know what time of day it is. You don’t know where you are. But you know you are in the Bamboo Room. We are transporting you there.” Every single detail encasing the bar was curated by the team. “It was a really, really fun build to be a part of. There is a crazy subculture of a subculture of Tiki people that are so intense. We had all kinds of different artisans. Everybody from carvers to people who did stamped paintings, and just a ton of people involved, and just a bunch of grade A carpenters who helped put the dream together,” Krinsky said. The bar menu was backed by an artisan cocktail enthusiast as well, the team from Alley Cat Lounge and Scott Marshall. They joined up with Krinsky and his team to

impart some of their Tiki knowledge into the drink list. “We spent just as long working on the beverage program as we did building out the space. There has been a lot of time and attention for all of the drinks,” Kent said. In house, the Bamboo Room features from 150-175 different bottles of rum. Rum enthusiast or not, you will have no problem finding a light or dark rum to your liking. The rum mixed into the Room’s specialty cocktails includes a unique house blended rum, a white spiced and dark rum combination. “We have a couple of different blends of that we do in house—that is consistent throughout every single rum based drink on the menu,” Kent said. The house specialties are all plays on original Tiki drinks but with a Bamboo Room twist. For example, the “Charlie


EPICUROPEDIA

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The Bamboo Room is a exotic tropical hideaway in Downtown Savannah. Enjoy classic tiki drinks, modern tropical cocktails, and an extensive rum selection from around the world.

Don’t Surf” is an upgraded version of a classic surfer on acid. It has received nothing but a positive response. Instead of a “Singapore Sling,” you’ll get the “Savannah Sling,” created with gin, peach, pinnacle, and lime then served in custom glassware of course. All of the cocktails are painstakingly made with hand juiced mixers and the freshest ingredients. The food menu centers around high quality seafood but with a Polynesian punch. Crispy Crab Rangoon Puffs, a Seared Tuna Plate, and the Pupu Platter, which is by far the most popular item, can all be tasted as part of your Tiki experience. The Pupu Platter has a sampling of all the best parts of the menu. If you didn’t quite get enough fresh hand shucked oysters during your first stop downstairs, the bar offers them as

part of the Polynesian menu. Because peel and eat shrimp are in constant demand, the sorry Charlie’s team had to include the crustaceans as part of the bar’s menu. Sundays and Wednesday are special at the Tiki bar. Sundays feature a list of high quality rums for $5. Wednesday’s guests get half price house cocktails. Sorry Charlie’s, and everything else its team has to offer, has been steadily growing. Multiple concepts, and bars, have given the team a workable space to create social distance for bar seating. Given enough time, I am told, the team plans to host a blowout grand opening for Tiki connoisseurs everywhere. Sorry Charlie’s 116 W Congress St, Savannah (912) 234-5397 www.sorrycharlies.com

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CONNECT SAVANNAH | OCT 28-NOV 3, 2020

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NEWS & OPINION COMMUNITY

Local Leaders Perform Stand Up Comedy And Raise Cash for Kids BY BRANDY SIMPKINS

CONNECT SAVANNAH | OCT 28-NOV 3, 2020

SAVANNAH, GET READY for an evening of laughter and good fun as Performance Initiatives is back with its second year of the “Stand Up for Kids” comedy competition and fundraiser. Local celebrities, Marianne Ganem Poppell, Bret Bell, Wade Herring, Christopher Soucy, Paul Meyer and Samantha Oughtred, will put on their comedian caps as they perform stand-up routines and skits to raise funds for at-risk youth in our communities. The event is set for Nov. 7, from 7-9:30 p.m., to help the nonprofit in their efforts to raise funds in support of its program’s mission. PI’s mission is to inspire and implement principles in programs that will enrich the lives of others physically, psychologically

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and spiritually. Tickets to the event are $40 per person and the proceeds are cycled into the organization as a part of the fundraiser earnings. This year’s emcee is Paul Meyer of Meyer & Sayers, LLP. Meyer has been personally involved with Performance Initiatives and their mission for years. “I started off as a mentor of the kids about six or seven years ago,” Meyer said. “This just meant that I trained with them, got to know them, and learned their names which led to me helping on homework, and then just genuinely being around. Currently, I’m serving as the board chair.” Meyer & Sayer’s, LLP also is a sponsor of this year’s community event. “I watch young people, who don’t think they have hope, exceed and excel and come back and build into the younger kids, Meyer said. “When one person has

Back row, left to right: Valerie Walker, Samantha Oughtred, Christopher Jean Soucy, Kerri Goodrich. Front row left to right: Paul Meyer, Sophie Mendez, Cecilia Mendez and Ahmad Minor. PHOTO BY ANNE ROBINSON

a change of heart and makes friends with somebody else, it creates a healthy relationship, and it’s just a snowball effect down the road. That’s why I love this place” Samantha Oughtred of SAM+PR, Strategic Advertising Marketing and Public Relations will perform in the competition with her 7-year-old daughter, who may be

funnier than she is! Oughtred is no stranger to raising funds for good-cause community events. Oughtred has a history of raising funds with Savannah Chatham CASA, Solomon Family Solutions (as Director in Cleveland, TN), CASA of Bradley County (as AmeriCorps VISTA then Director of Youth

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involved youth. “The goal of PI is not to win gold medals,” Sayer said. “It’s to pour hope into people and to build young men and women of integrity by working with their minds, their spirits, and their bodies. That’s why we have tutoring, we run a kid’s café, and we have athletic programs.” Tickets may be purchased at https://pifitness. networkforgood.com/projects/94772-standup-for-kids-2020. Ticket holders will receive sponsor decorated boxes, delivered by grown adults in fairy costumes, which will include two mini liquor bottles, popcorn, everybody’s favorite theater candy, and of course the signature Stand Up for Kids Groucho Marx glasses.

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Advocacy), and in April 2021, she will participate as a dancer in Dancing with Savannah Stars to benefit Savannah Chatham CASA. “Traditionally, pre-COVID, I would do public speaking events at churches and civic groups to raise awareness of the organization and ask for donations on its behalf,” Oughtred said. “Now, I focus efforts on the promotion of events through social media and email marketing.” “I admire Kerri, the owner and operator of the nonprofit, and how she used her own personal mission to help these children and use her own skills to really give them focus and keep them on track,” Oughtred said. “My daughter and I began raising money for Stand Up for Kids in February of 2020. The event was originally scheduled for May 16. Due to COVID-19, fundraising was placed on hold. After the date of the virtual event was announced, we began fundraising again. Currently, we have raised $1,320 toward our goal of $5,000.” Contrary to what some may believe, due to some of the youth being U.S. World Team athletes, Performance Initiatives is not government funded. Therefore, the Stand Up for Kids comedy event is held in good faith to support the future of the

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NEWS & OPINION COMMUNITY

Parker’s Raises $137,000 to Support Education, Healthcare

CONNECT SAVANNAH | OCT 28-NOV 3, 2020

The 8th Annual Parker’s Fueling the Community Golf Tournament, which teed off at The Club at Savannah Harbor in Savannah, Ga. on October 20, raised more than $137,000 to support education and healthcare in communities across coastal Georgia and South Carolina. Parker’s CEO and founder Greg Parker, right, and Parker’s Chief Operating Officer Brandon Hoffman, second from left, congratulated the Wilson Electric team — including Kevin Wilson, Tyler Wilson, Ryan Wilson and Mike Wilson (l-r) — on earning second place honors at the tournament.

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THE 8TH ANNUAL Parker’s Fueling the Community Golf Tournament teed off on October 20, 2020 at The Club at Savannah Harbor in Savannah, Ga., raising a record $137,000 to support education and healthcare in coastal Georgia and South Carolina. All proceeds from the tournament will benefit local communities where Parker’s operates stores. The 2020 Parker’s Fueling the Community Golf Tournament attracted 144 registered golfers from across the region, including a number of vendors, suppliers and supporters. A popular raffle included a wide range of prizes, from flat-screen TVs to beach cruisers. Tournament proceeds directly benefit education and healthcare in Georgia and South Carolina communities where Parker’s operates retail stores. “We appreciate all the support from the sponsors and the players, year after year,” said Parker’s Chief Operating Officer Brandon Hofmann, who organizes the annual Parker’s Fueling the Community Golf Tournament. “This is a tournament that nobody wants to miss. It’s a great experience for a great cause.” The Imperial Dade team – which included Daniel Gerkin, Brandon Rollins, Rob Freeman and John Marzetta – earned top honors at the golf tournament. The Wilson team won second place, and the Homrich Berg team took third place. Tom Alshouse won the Longest Drive Contest, and Tom Feldman won the Closest to the Hole Contest. The scramble-format event also featured a catered barbecue lunch, live music and an awards ceremony. Launched in 2011 with a mission to give back to every community where Parker’s does business, the Parker’s Fueling the Community charitable initiative distributes more than $200,000 annually

to public and private schools throughout Georgia and South Carolina. Through the Fueling the Community charitable giving program, Parker’s donates one cent from the sale of every gallon of gas sold on the first Wednesday of each month at all Parker’s locations to schools across Georgia and South Carolina. The funds raised by the golf tournament will supplement the onecent Wednesday donations to help Parker’s support education and healthcare initiatives throughout the region. Deeply engaged with the communities it serves, Parker’s endows the Parker’s Emergency and Trauma Center at Memorial Hospital in Savannah, Ga. and spearheads the Keep Savannah Clean anti-litter campaign. In 2019, Parker’s also donated a record $5 million to create the Parker College of Business at Georgia Southern University. Founded in 1976, Parker’s was recently named the 2020 Convenience Store Decisions Chain of the Year and is known for having the cleanest stores in the industry. Parker’s serves award-winning Southern-inspired food, offers an acclaimed Parker’s Rewards program and gives back to every community where it does business through the Fueling the Community program. Parker’s has been included on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing companies for five years and was honored by Food and Wine as one of America’s Best Convenience Stores, by The Shelby Report as the Southeast Retailer of the Year and by Convenience Store News as the Foodservice Leader of the Year. The company employs more than 1,200 individuals throughout the region and completes more than 125,000 transactions daily.


MUSIC FEATURE

LIVE MUSIC IN THE SOUNDGARDEN FRI, OCT 30 7PM

Reverend Bro Diddley and the Hips PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

Bero Bero PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

BUCKY & BARRY

SAT, OCT 31 12PM

The Train Wrecks PHOTO BY GEOFF L JOHNSON

VS. SUN, NOV 1

Victory North to host 5-band rock show josephine@connectsavannah.com

COVID-19 MAY have canceled most of 2020’s musical offerings, but on Halloween night, get your fingers primed and ready for throwing those devil horns because Victory North celebrates the occasion most raucously. Five local bands will perform tributes to artists like Tom Petty, No Doubt, Stray Cats, and Rilo Kiley. They’re ready to rock, loud and proud! Socially distanced, of course, and with all necessary coronavirus precautions in place. “We wanted to offer an event that would

to COVID-19, we’re limiting that night to 300. We’re also opening up the courtyard to help with social distancing,” explained Da La Higuera. Patrons are required to wear a mask for the event. Guitarist and event organizer, Kevin Rose, who plays that night with The Train Wrecks band in a tribute to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, is looking forward to getting loud. “It’s been months since my last official show with lights, good sound, and a cohort of players,” Rose said. Rose has a soft spot for Petty. Just after the icon’s death in 2017, Rose organized a benefit for the Coastal Conservation

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support a range of local musicians, musicians that used to play downtown, and bring them together for the community,” said Andrea De La Higuera, Lighting and Marketing Director at Victory North, “and we’re very aware of having that in a space where people will be and feel safe.” Safety is the venue’s first priority. Victory North will have a person stationed outside taking temperatures as well as multiple hand sanitizing stations inside. “We have a special GPS air filtration system that clears particles and viruses, it’s been in place since we opened,” Da La Higuera said. Victory North will also be operating at reduced capacity. “We can hold about 600 people but due

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Association of Georgia where the Train Wrecks/ Tom Petty tribute came to life. He recalls a couple of his favorite tunes from that show also on the Halloween set list “There’s a vibrato guitar solo in ‘You Got Lucky’ that made me first want to learn guitar when I heard it,” Rose said. “And the song ‘Swinging’ hits the mood of so many of us right now fighting the good fight.” He also acknowledges the precautions in place. “It’s one of the most high-tech and safest venues in town because of its ventilation system, and everyone in this event is aware of where we are in history, and hopefully this is a step forward for safe, live performance in Savannah,” Rose said. Veronica Garcia-Melendez, front person of the band Bero Bero, echoes a similar sentiment. “We’re super excited to get back out and be safe about it. Our last full public performance was at Savannah Stopover in March.” On Halloween night, Garcia-Melendez will lead a No Doubt tribute. “I wanted to do something femalefronted and different from Bero Bero,” explained Garcia-Melendez, “and No Doubt seemed fun, something womanfronted from the 90s.” Bero Bero, a synth-driven two-piece, teams up with members of The Al Gore Rhythms to create the guitar-heavy sound of No Doubt. “We’re only using a sequencer on one song,” Garcia-Melendez said, “which is a fun break from our usual performing practices to play with a full band.” Aware of No Doubt, but never really a big fan, Garcia-Melendez admits that in the work of learning the songs, she’s not so keen on all of the music, “but the hits are bangers! They are catchy and fun to dance to.” Phillip Price, on-the-scene keyboard and accordion aficionado, will join the ensemble that night.

For singer Jenn Carroll the opportunity to perform at Victory North came unexpectedly. During quarantine Carroll spent much of her time learning ukulele and working up the nerve to accompany herself. She kept at it and even shared a few videos to social media. And then one evening hanging out at a local bar, Carroll’s tribute band, Salute Your Jorts, was born. “I was at Lone Wolf, and so was Robby Melton, Joe Kapcin, and Peterson Worrell and we found that we all loved Rilo Kiley,” she said. Since then, the fledgling band has been rehearsing, working up a set list, which so far includes “Love and War” and “Portions for Foxes.” “I just really like Rilo Kiley and the energy of the band and am happy to be able to do this,” Carroll said. In fact, Halloween night will be Carroll’s first ever public performance. “I’m eager and looking forward to people dancing and hanging out in as normal and safe way as we can right now.” If you go: 21+ bring a mask When: Saturday, October 31 Where: Victory North, 2603 Whitaker Street, Savannah, GA, 31401 Doors: 7:00 pm until 1:00 am-ish

SHOW LINEUP:

No Doubt band tribute performed by: Bero Bero www.beroberoband.com Tom Petty band tribute performed by: The Train Wrecks Band www.thetrainwrecksband.com The Sonics band tribute performed by: Reverend Bro Diddley and the Hips www.facebook.com/revbrodid Stray Cats band tribute performed by: Rumble in Broughton Rilo Kiley band tribute performed by: Salute Your Jorts Learn about Victory North’sCOVID-19 precautions: www.victorynorthsavannah.com/ covid-19

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GET OUT THE Live Bluegrass from one of our favorite local bands, Swamptooth! FRIDAY, OCT. 30 FROM 6:00-8:30 P.M.

WEDNESDAY 10.28

KARAOKE

LIVE MUSIC

Club One Karaoke, 10 p.m. McDonough’s Karaoke, ongoing, 9 p.m. The Wormhole Karaoke, 9 p.m.

TRIVIA & GAMES

FRIDAY 10.30

The Wormhole Open Jam, 9 p.m. Service Brewing Company Trivia Night with Jess Shaw, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Trivia Night with Daniel, 6:30 p.m.

KARAOKE

Club One Karaoke, 10 p.m. McDonough’s Karaoke, ongoing, 9 p.m. Wet Willie’s Karaoke, 9 p.m.

THURSDAY 10.29 LIVE MUSIC

Cohen’s Retreat Music & Munchies, 4-9 p.m., Munchies and Music, 5-9 p.m. The Perch at Local 11 ten Billy Brennan, 5:30 p.m. Rancho Alegre Cuban Restaurant Gypsy Jazz, 7 p.m. Totally Awesome Bar Standup Comedy Open Mic, 8 p.m. Victory North SavPhil Live from Victory North: Atlanta Celli, 7:30 p.m.

TRIVIA & GAMES

B & D Burgers Pop Culture Trivia, 7:30 p.m. McDonough’s Trivia, 7 p.m.

LIVE MUSIC

Bar Food Jason Salzer, 3-7 p.m. Coach’s Corner Bucky and Barry, 7 p.m., Bucky and Barry, 7-10 p.m. Jazz’d Tapas Bar Jawan and Nico, Jawan & Nico, 7:30 p.m. Molly McGuire’s The Charlie Fog Band, 6 p.m. Rancho Alegre Cuban Restaurant Live Jazz Music, 6:30 p.m. Service Brewing Company Bluegrass By The Pint with Swamptooth, 6-8:30 p.m., Bluegrass By The Pint w/ Swamptooth, 6 p.m. Wild Wing Cafe Hunter Price, 7-10 p.m.

TRIVIA & GAMES

PS Tavern Beer Pong Tournament, 10 p.m.

KARAOKE

Bay Street Blues Karaoke Blueberry Hill Karaoke, 9 p.m.-3 a.m. Club One Karaoke, 10 p.m. McDonough’s Karaoke, Karaoke, ongoing, 9 p.m.

SATURDAY 10.31 LIVE MUSIC

MONDAY 11. 2 LIVE MUSIC

El-Rocko Lounge Booze & Boo’s, 1:30 p.m. Jazz’d Tapas Bar Ray Lundy, Kyle Yardley Blues Duo, 7:30 p.m. Rancho Alegre Cuban Restaurant Live Jazz Music, 6:30 p.m. Victory North Halloween Night, 8 p.m., Halloween Night, 7 p.m.

Club One Super Gay Bingo, 5:30 p.m.

KARAOKE

BAR & CLUB EVENTS

Bay Street Blues Karaoke Club One Karaoke, 10 p.m. McDonough’s Karaoke, ongoing, 9 p.m.

SUNDAY 11. 1 LIVE MUSIC

Collins Quarter at Forsyth Live Music, 3 p.m. Congress Street Social Club Voodoo Soup, 10:00 p.m. The Perch at Local 11 ten Rachael Shaner, 5:30 p.m.

TRIVIA & GAMES

Moon River Brewing Co. Trivia, 6 p.m.

KARAOKE

Club One Karaoke, 10 p.m. McDonough’s Karaoke, ongoing, 9 p.m.

TRIVIA & GAMES

The Flying Fish Trivia Night, 7-9 p.m.

KARAOKE

Club One Karaoke, 10 p.m. McDonough’s Karaoke, ongoing, 9 p.m. Wet Willie’s Karaoke, 9 p.m. Fia Rua Irish Pub Family Movie Night, 8 p.m.

TUESDAY 11. 3

YOUR CHOICE, YOUR VOTE. VOTE TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 3.

TRIVIA & GAMES

Basil’s Pizza and Deli Trivia, 7 p.m. Coach’s Corner Texas Hold ‘Em, 7 p.m. CoCo’s Sunset Grille Trivia, 7 p.m. Congress Street Social Club Trivia, 10 p.m. Fia Rua Irish Pub Trivia, 7:30 p.m. McDonough’s Bingo, 7 p.m. Savannah Taphouse Trivia, 7 p.m.

EARLY VOTING ENDS FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30

KARAOKE

Blueberry Hill Karaoke, 9 p.m.-3 a.m. Club One Karaoke, 10 p.m. McDonough’s Karaoke, ongoing, 9 p.m. Wet Willie’s Karaoke, 9 p.m.

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CONNECT SAVANNAH | OCT 28-NOV 3, 2020

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MUSIC THE BAND PAGE

NEUTRAL SNAP @ BARRELHOUSE SOUTH

An up-and-coming Pop-Punk band from New Orleans that has been making waves. With the release of their debut album, Sorry, I Passed Out, the band is continues to stand. They are not to be miss if you’re into fast paced pop rock with a punk edge. SATURDAY OCT 31 & SUNDAY NOV 1, 9PM

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CONNECT SAVANNAH | OCT 28-NOV 3, 2020

Great songwriting duo, this husband/wife team lead a band known for bringing country/Americana vibes. FRIDAY, OCT 30, 7PM

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ATLANTA CELLI @VICTORY NORTH

These four classically-trained cellists push the boundaries of traditional cello music . This Thursday, they’ll be featuring the world premiere of Phoenix Rising, arranged by Nan Kemberling and narrated by Roger Moss. Be the first to hear this incredible piece! THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29, 7:30 PM

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NEWS & OPINION CRIME

BY BRANDY SIMPKINS IN THE MIDST of hosting its 23rd annual film festival that concludes Saturday, the Savannah College of Art and Design always strives to amaze their viewers, and, at the same time, celebrate handpicked visual artists and films from across international lines. For the 2020 festival, one of the great international works to be featured is “Kusasa.” Premiering for the first time in the southeast United States, on Thursday at 9 a.m., the black experience documentary follows the story of a South African football (soccer) team and their journey to compete in the Gothia Cup – the world’s largest football tournament. Each year, around 1,700 teams from 80 nations take part in the cup as it stands on its principal of being a meeting place for young people, internationally, regardless of color, gender or religion.  The documentary, Kusasa, follows the team’s exciting and heart-tugging journey between traveling to Sweden to play football in an international competition and their homelife in their shanty town in Cape Town, South Africa. The director, Shane Vermooten told CDFF’s “Everyone Has a Story” Podcast: “My approach was ‘yes, this is about football, but how do we make this a human story and not a football story.’” The film was produced over a five-week period. Vermooten and the production crew followed the team one week before they left for Sweden, two weeks while in Sweden, and one week after they returned home. “This is not a Disney film; this is life,” Vermooten said on the Podcast. “I think there’s this trope that sports can change everything and sports can change your life, and it’s true, but only to a certain extent. At the end of the day, while we’ve been on this entire journey with these kids, they still go home to a house with the leaky roof. Their floors are tattered. They still go home to substandard education, and that’s the kind message we want to put across. “The inspiration behind this film is the Kusasa football team. I don’t think it is possible for anyone to come across this incredible team and not leave with a smile on their face, but this, despite the joy

Several members of the the Kusasa football team

and passion, they come from difficult circumstances. During the film, we wanted to showcase the power of football being a great equalizer. When the team was in Sweden they were not identified by where they came from, how they look, or how much money they have. They were identified as footballers.” Vermooten compares the players to gladiators that were often adored by their crowd audiences for being brave and strong, but the gladiators were often men of the lower class who were forced to fight. “What to do with this emotion is up to the audience, but what I take away is that everyone can make a difference,” he said. “The two coaches, Dumisa and Rasta, despite coming from similar difficult circumstances, have committed their lives and resources to support these boys and change their lives. If a gas station attendant can make a huge difference, what is stopping you?”

Vermooten recalls the peculiar way in which a friend of his from BRICS (the five major emerging national economies-- Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) requested from him a story about ways in which young kids can be uplifted through playing football just days after he had already agreed to direct the documentary, Kusasa. “When I first heard about this team and their journey to Sweden, I immediately connected with it and knew I needed to tell this story,” he said. “I then brought my longtime producer, Bianca Schmitz, who in turn reached out to another South African producer, Vlokkie Gordon, and from there we were able to secure an international coproduction with China.” Prior to filming or even writing the script, the production crew interviewed each member of the team, made up of boys aged 11-13, and narrowed the focus of the documentary down to 10 of them, which ultimately became three boys and two coaches. The director shared that a lot of work had to be put in to get the children to truly open up enough to be vulnerable. The biggest challenge, Vermooten said, in directing Kusasa was that most of the interviews were with boys between the ages of 11 and 13, and it can often be a struggle to get kids of that age to reflect and express deep emotion. The production team spent much time with the team before starting production to give the kids time to get comfortable talking to the team and the camera.

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Eventually, the boys did become familiar and comfortable enough for one boy to recall memories of his father, and his mother opening up about her husband being murdered in front of her. Another boy told his story about going to jail for robbery. Recorded moments including such details were often reenacted to make the scenes more visual for the audience. The documentary takes the audience through Vermooten explained that at one moment the children may be recalling a horrific or traumatic memory, and the next moment they will be bright-eyed for cake or to play football. Vermooten said he sought to relay the type of attitude carried by the children despite their conditions. The hope of the director is that when people see the film, they are spurred to question what they can do to help in their own communities and other communities in need. No matter how big or small, you can make a difference in someone else’s life, Vermooten said.

KUSASA

Thursday, Oct. 29 at 9 a.m. Tickets for this virtual showing can be purchased at https://filmfest.scad.edu/schedule/ kusasa. The film will be accessible for 24 hours after the scheduled start time.

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South African film ‘Kusasa’ to premiere in southeast US at SCAD festival

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NEWS & OPINION BEST OF SAVANNAH AWARDS PARTY

Best Of Savannah 2020

CONNECT SAVANNAH | OCT 28-NOV 3, 2020

This year’s Best of Savannah awards party was held this past Tuesday at Kehoe Iron Works and a fantastic time was had by all. Enjoy these scenes from the night by photographers John Edwards and Alex Neumann! Thanks to party sponsors Gigi’s Cupcakes, Leopold’s Ice Cream, Tequila’s Town, Wild Wing Cafe, and The Pirates’ House.!

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PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOHN ALEXANDER


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PHOTOGRAPHS BY ALEX NEUMANN

CONNECT SAVANNAH | OCT 28-NOV 3, 2020

BEST OF SAVANNAH AWARDS PARTY

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NEWS & OPINION POLITICS

The challenge to Tony Riley’s run for Chatham County Commissioner: What happened and what happens next

BY BEVERLY WILLETT “ARE YOU eligible to run for District 2 County Commissioner?” I asked Tony Riley, the Democratic candidate. He said: “Yes I am.” The Chatham County Elections Board disagrees, at least preliminarily. On October 12, 2020, the board voted 3-2 to challenge Riley’s eligibility. Chairman, Thomas Mahoney III, a local attorney, cast the tie-breaker, the other four board members having split the vote, 2-2. The Board will hold a formal hearing to determine Riley’s qualifications on October 27. The basis for the Board’s initial ruling was that 10 years had not elapsed since Riley completed his sentence for a felony

drug conviction. “[Riley’s] sentence was November 1, 2011 and reduced to time served plus ten days, which makes it November 10, 2011 – less than the ten years required to be qualified,” Mahoney pointed out. While Riley admits 10 years haven’t passed, he contends he was never convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude. Democratic Board members Antwan Lang and Malinda Hodge voted “no.” They told me that their concerns related to the precedential nature of the process and its fairness. Before voting, Lang sought legal advice on the meaning of “moral turpitude,” the ability of the Board to call witnesses and subpoena documents, and the effect of disqualification this late stage in the election. Hodge had unanswered legal questions too, stating that her lay reading of the law suggested that the Board’s ability to challenge candidacy existed only up until a candidate had been elected by their

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party. She realizes though that it’s her duty to consider the merits next go-around, when a county attorney will be present. Mahoney was prepared to hold the hearing immediately, but agreed to give Riley and his attorney more time to prepare their defense. Meanwhile, early voting in Chatham County started the same day the Board issued its ruling. For now, Riley remains on the ballot, opposite Republican candidate Larry “Gator” Rivers, a former Harlem Globetrotter.

The Qualification Process

Candidates for office qualified in early March by establishing residency in their district, paying a $750 fee, and filing a sworn affidavit with the local offices of the Democratic and Republican parties. The sworn affidavit contains various representations, including an acknowledgement that the prospective candidate has not been convicted of any “felony involving moral turpitude.” And, if so, that the candidate’s civil rights have been restored and at least 10 years have elapsed since completion of the sentence, without a subsequent felony conviction. These eligibility requirements come straight from the Georgia Constitution and Georgia Code. (Similar provisions restrict the voting rights of

felons.) Rivers ran unopposed during the June 9 primary election. In a three-way race for the Democratic spot, no candidate – Clinton Edminster, Michael Hamilton, or Tony Riley – received at least 50% of the vote. So Edminster and Riley, the top two contenders, headed to an August 11 runoff. Riley won. “I was surprised at how simple the process was, with the onus on the candidate to vet themselves,” Edminster said. “It’s a great example of why we should trust but verify.” He assumed someone would check the veracity of his affidavit. Indeed, knowingly false statements subject candidates to criminal penalties. Did the Democratic Party nonetheless conduct a background search on Riley? Chatham County Democratic Committee Chair James “Jay” Jones did not respond to requests for comment. Riley claims he squared away his eligibility with Jones after filing his papers, but not specifically when. He said he got the green light from his attorney beforehand: “I did my due diligence. You think that I would throw away $750!” Rivers has also had his run-in with the law. He was arrested in 2015 on charges of possessing a controlled substance and


related offenses. District Attorney Meg Heap confirmed that the charges were dismissed in August 2019 because the traffic stop was questionable. Edminster brought River’s arrest to the attention of the Elections Board. But Mahoney declined to hold a hearing, saying there was no doubt the charges against Rivers had been dropped. Don Hodges, chairman of the Chatham County Republican Party, said most local Republican candidates don’t need background checks because they’re already well-known to party members. And once applications are filed, they’re turned over to the Elections Board, putting the matter in their court. But Rivers came to him about a week after filing and disclosed his arrest. After he had Rivers meet with an attorney and confirmed dismissal of charges with the D.A.’s office, Hodges said he told Rivers he was in the clear.

The Official Challenge to Riley’s Candidacy

Enter Carry Smith, a resident of District 2, political science professor, and member of the People’s Agenda, an Atlanta-based, non-partisan non-profit, which serves as an election watchdog and voter advocacy group. She’s also completing her Ph.D. with a dissertation on the Georgia Voting Rights Act. Noting she’s an Independent, Smith said she voted for Edminster in the runoff. His loss prompted her to dig into the backgrounds of Riley and Rivers beginning August 15, when she also began researching candidates for other offices. Smith said she’d previously interviewed Riley on her WRUU political radio show and had been inclined to support him. After a quick Google search, however, she discovered a 1998 federal court appellate decision, U.S. v. Riley, which alarmed her. She also mentioned that the date Riley completed his sentence – November 10, 2011 – was readily available on the website of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The appellate court decision denied Riley’s appeal from the Southern District of Georgia and upheld his conviction. Riley had been indicted for “aiding and abetting” a “conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine in both powder (hydrochloride) and ‘crack’ (base) forms.” According to the Eleventh Circuit, Riley and his coconspirator were “involved in a large organization that provided powder, processed it into crack, and then distributed it in the Savannah Georgia area.” The Court noted that Riley was also a crack addict and right-hand man to the alleged leader of the organization. After comparing her findings against the requirements to hold office in Georgia, along with Riley’s affidavit, Smith decided to present her evidence to the Elections Board. “I had this big burning question as a

resident of District 2, why a person running for office didn’t disclose this,” she said. She turned over her findings on October 11, the night before the Board voted, sending the materials to Mahoney, with a copy to Rauers, who she knew from working on voting issues.

Who Knew What When

Why did Smith wait nearly two months to notify the Board? Smith said she was assembling her research, vetting it, studying the Georgia Constitution and Code, and examining other candidates. She maintained she’d heard talk in the community about Riley’s conviction, too. “I didn’t want to incriminate anyone. I just wanted to give Mr. Riley the opportunity to answer questions to the public,” she explained. The next day the Elections Board voted to hold a disqualification hearing. “The timing of it stinks. It’s horrible,” Mahoney said, claiming the March qualification period is the best time for opposing candidates and members of the public to assert challenges. If the question of Riley’s eligibility had come up then, he believes Riley never would have made the June ballot. This qualifying period only lasted five days, from March 2-6. Who’s in a better position to vet the candidates during this window, the political parties, the Elections Board, or the citizens? Hodges told me the Republican Party requested a background check on Riley on or about September 1. After learning of Riley’s conviction, he said he put the Elections Board on notice through Rauers, giving her the information “somewhere between the 11th and 17th of September,” a month before Smith sent her emails. Rauers could not be reached for comment. The month before, the Elections Board had voted to censure Rauers for her pattern of interfering with elections workers, her second such censure. Irate, Riley claims the drug conspiracy laws under which he was convicted are a relic of Jim Crow, orchestrated decades ago by the Democrats –“Joe Biden did that” – which disproportionately affect African Americans. Laws still on his back despite his working to change his life by getting married and holding a number of respectable jobs. He blamed the current dispute, though, on a Republican Party “plot” to force him out, a conspiracy of its own devised by Rauers. Although Board member Hodge acknowledged that the optics of the Board’s vote appeared to be along party lines, she believes her colleagues are fair-minded. Republican Board member Marianne Heimes agreed, but has heard rumors of a

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POLITICS

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JONESIN’ CROSSWORD BY MATT JONES ©2017, 2020 Answers on page 23

“RHYMES AT THE ZOO” --A GROUP EFFORT FOR TAKE YOUR KIDS TO WORK DAY. [#831, MAY 2017]

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ACROSS

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1 Sound of a punch [E] {I created this puzzle for Take Your Kids To Work Day in collaboration with my then-nine-year-old twins. Clues followed by an [S] were written by Sid, and clues followed by an [E] were written by Ella.} 5 Green paper that you pay with [E] 9 They make up stairs [E] 14 Make goo-goo eyes at 15 Tennis’s Arthur ___ Stadium 16 Like some dirt bike tracks [S] 17 Fearsome cat that spends moolah on Lamborghinis and mansions? [S] 19 Former “Come on down!” announcer Johnny 20 “I ___ open this jar. Can you help, Daddy?” [E] 21 Monkey that eats curtains? [E] 23 “Gimme ___! ... What’s that spell? Ella!” [E] 24 There are 100 in a century (abbr.) [S] 26 Something a toy poodle says [E] 27 Rat-a-___ [E] 28 Something that people say in awe [E] 30 Pookums [E] 35 Scaly creature that likes to eat frosted sweets? [S] 37 Ninja Turtle that wears red, to his friends [S] 40 Getting from ___ B 41 Kid that can have a cellphone [S] 42 Bird that smokes and does vandalism? [E] 47 Sneaky little animal [E] 48 ___ gin fizz

49 Kid who is “epic!” [S] 52 The ___ on the Shelf [S] 54 Sid: “I’m not ___ years old anymore.” Me: “No, I mean ___ as in ‘I ___ some food.’” 55 Palindromic Turkish title 56 Water animal with flippers that makes barters 24/7? [S] 61 Wants really badly [S] 63 Go off-script (sorry, Ella, it doesn’t mean “get more pounds”) 64 Slow animal that grows wings and gets in your clothes? [E] 66 She was a princess “long ago” [E] 67 “The coolest kid in the universe” [E] 68 Lake that sounds scary [E] 69 Me: “How about the clue ‘Used needles,’ Ella?” Ella: “No, new needles. You have to use them because it affects the fabric more than you expect.” 70 Martens and McStuffins, for instance [S] 71 Air France fliers, once

DOWN

1 Type of wild “kitty-kitty” :) [E] 2 Type of lizard in “Sing” [E] 3 Horse’s mesh protection against pests, maybe 4 Sinn ___ (Irish political movement) 5 Spike thrown in the road to stop robbers [S] 6 “___ was saying ...” [E] 7 Like show horses’ feet 8 “___ Danger” (Nickelodeon show) [E] 9 Quaint stores (you’d think, based on how they’re spelled) 10 Piece that goes on the floor [S] 11 Queen in Arendelle [E]

12 Water drop sound [E] 13 “Auld Lang ___” 18 Something said in an “argument party” [S] 22 Teacher’s helper [E] 25 Region with Legoland, informally [S] 29 Dislikes [S] 31 Poker money 32 “Call Me Maybe” singer Carly ___ Jepsen [E] 33 “I Like ___” (‘50s political slogan) 34 “Hallow” ending 35 Someone who might cook meatballs for you [S] 36 Animal that’s cute, fuzzy, lazy and gray [E] 37 ___ for “Ricky Bubwick” (apparently a name that Sid just made up) 38 Everyone [S] 39 Toilet paper layer 43 Turns evil or moldy [E] 44 Remote control car part [S] 45 Tag situations? [S] 46 Looks rudely 49 Enjoys, as food [S] 50 “Understood” [S] 51 Marks that are lines [S] 53 Popular [E] 56 Parents “who do puzzled goodness” [S] 57 Brickell whose band is the New Bohemians 58 “There ought to be ___” 59 It may be parallel [E] 60 Olympic hurdler/bobsledder Jones 62 Drinks that are alcoholic [S] 65 “Waterfalls” trio

POLITICS

CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE

plot, as well. If there is one, she stated she’s not part of it. Hodge did, however, express reservations about one Board member who remained nameless. “I think it should be investigated,” she added. Adding another twist, while admitting he had no proof, Mahoney opined that it “smells an awful lot like it was orchestrated to prevent having Clinton Edminster or Michael Hamilton from being a candidate.”

Defender for 15 years. Per his research of Georgia law, the cases indicate that the definition of crimes of moral turpitude is broad enough to encompass any felony conviction, including Riley’s offense. If the Board disqualifies Riley, signs will be placed at polling places letting voters know – it’s too late to remove his name from the ballot or replace him with another candidate. Riley’s next recourse would be an appeal to the Chatham County Superior Court, which has discretion whether or But do politics even much matter if not to stay the Board’s ruling, while voting the law’s the law? continues. Smith feels caught in the middle – after “I’m going to run. I’m going to fight. I’m all, the burden of contesting qualifications not going to back down,” Riley told me. is primarily on citizens. She asserted that What does all the hoo-ha mean for she’s been unfairly labeled a racist and voters? secret Republican with something to gain The questions are many, the answers from merely performing her civic duty. few. Last week I received a call from an indiWhat does this mean for those who have vidual who asked to weigh in – another already voted for Riley? Are they somehow “concerned citizen.” disenfranchised if Riley is removed from Having heard about the backlash against the ticket this late in the game? Smith, this individual agreed to speak with But what about fairness to Rivers? If me on the condition of anonymity. “X” told Riley is in fact ineligible, state law prevents me the question of Riley’s eligibility had him from taking the oath of office. been in the wind for some time, so X made And what effect does this situation have an anonymous call to the Elections Board on voters continuing to cast their vote? Is it and spoke with Supervisor Russell Bridges, fair to those who have already voted not to sometime between September 16-20. X told have had full disclosure of the facts before him all about Riley, X said, and learned only casting their vote in the first place? Or do then that the Board didn’t conduct backvoters assume the risk because they are the ground searches: “I had the sense that the designated watchdogs to begin with? burden of finding proof was 100% with the What if the Elections Board disqualipeople.” fies Riley, but he appeals and the Superior Repeated attempts to reach Bridges Court grants a stay, allowing voters to throughout the week went unheeded. continue voting for Riley? What if he wins and is later disqualified? Does Rivers win The October 27 Hearing automatically or would there be a special Although 10 years haven’t expired since election? Edminster said he’s keeping his completion of Riley’s sentence, have his expectations wide open and looking to the civil rights nevertheless been restored? Democratic Party for direction. (Again, And was his felony one of moral turpitude? they could not be reached for comment.) These – and perhaps other matters we don’t Is there an intersection of fairness where yet know about – will be aired during the the letter of the law and its spirit meet? Board’s hearing. On the other hand, isn’t there another Although the Georgia Code doesn’t way altogether of looking at this, by appredefine “moral turpitude,” it’s generally ciating the grand privilege we as Americans understood to mean baseness, vileness or have to participate in the decision-making depravity, acts that are contrary to justice, process – together, however divided we honesty, good morals, and duties that indi- may be? viduals owe each other. A guide to holding Maybe candidates should be required to elected office in Georgia published by the attach police background searches to their Secretary of State’s office has extensive candidacy affidavits, Hodges suggested, an commentary on the law. easy fix through amendment of the elecAccording to Walter Jones, Communitions laws. Until then, why can’t our politications Manager for Voter Elections with cal parties perform searches of their own? the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, the (They receive half the $750 filing fee from Georgia Supreme Court has ruled that all every candidate – and searches are inexfelonies in Georgia are considered felopensive.) They don’t need a state legislative nies of moral turpitude. Still, in the first mandate to do that. instance, it’s a question to be answered by Sadly, none of this helps voters in the the Elections Board in accordance with current election. state law. The last word goes to Hodge: “It’s a clasSavannah attorney Robert Persee sic conundrum.” concurs. Now in private practice hanCertainly that’s something on which dling criminal cases and appeals, Persee everyone can agree. served as Chatham County’s Chief Public


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