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OUR 1738TH ISSUE 06.16.22 Much ado has been made over the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol. Some people wonder if “insurrection” is the proper term for the violent storming of the nation’s Capitol; others, namely the Republican National Committee, argue that the attack was “legitimate political discourse.” As of this writing, two of seven promised hearings on the event have concluded. Some citizens wonder why all the hullabaloo, why the first hearing was aired on prime time. Others seem to agree that it would be a good idea to understand what happened and why. Those who don’t understand the attempted violent overthrow of the government by a militant political minority are doomed to repeat it, as the saying goes. But I can’t bring myself to spill more ink over this subject. Feeling obligated to do so, I gave it my best shot. I typed out a sincere column about the difference between political discourse and political violence, and I wrote a satirical column about more or less the same thing. Neither attempt felt right to me, and I would rather start over a third time than publish something I’m not proud of. So, with a deadline looming, I’ll use this space to preview this week’s excellent issue of the Flyer. Our cover story, “Sun Shine,” is about the promise and potential for solar energy in Memphis and Tennessee. It’s a complement to our “Sun Block” story, in FREE which we outlined many of the challenges and shortcomings related to that issue. Toby Sells, who wrote both pieces, has spent a great deal of time considering the subject of solar power, and you, dear reader, get to be the beneficiary of his hard work. You’re welcome! Sells also wrangled the Fly-By section. This week we have stories about OUR “SUN BLOCK” STORY DETAILED THE CHALLENGES TO the Tom Lee Park renovation project, a SOLAR POWER HERE. NOW WE’RE CASTING A LIGHT ON ITS POTENTIAL. dancing baby man, and Tennessee governor Bill Lee’s plans for school safety. Discover where a career at FedEx can take you. In “Bogus Is as Bogus Does,” our politics correspondent, Jackson Baker, writes about yet another phony ballot. These fraudulent lists of candidates purportedly endorsed by a local branch of a political party have become something of a frequent occurrence here in Memphis, and Mr. Baker has covered the issue diligently over the years. Read his most recent report on page 8. In both our Steppin’ Out section and Last Word columns, we discuss the Juneteenth national holiday, albeit from different perspectives. In Steppin’ Out, Abigail Morici writes about Juneteenth festivities happening this week, while in the Last Word, TONE’s Victoria Jones considers the holiday as a chance to celebrate the successes and sacrifices of previous generations of Black Americans, while also paving the way for future generations. It’s a beautiful column, and I’m proud to feature it in the Flyer. Our music editor Alex Greene pays tribute to the late Alan Hayes, an electronic music pioneer and producer who helped many young artists discover their sound. Hayes was involved in the production of a variety of styles of music, which stands as a testament to his versatility and open-mindedness. Greene’s writing is a touching tribute, handled with the care and kindness I’ve come to expect from our resident music historian. Fitting, considering the upcoming release of Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic, our food and party columnist Michael Donahue interviews Mario Torres, the senior food and beverage director at The Guest House at Graceland. Torres has a great story, which will come as no surprise to any devotees of Donahue’s column. In this week’s film column, Chris McCoy takes on the newest installment in the Jurassic Park series, Jurassic World: Dominion. McCoy is always especially entertaining when he doesn’t love the NEWS & OPINION movie he’s reviewing, and this week is THE FLY-BY - 4 no exception. I won’t spoil it any more NY TIMES CROSSWORD - 6 than I already have, except to say that if POLITICS - 8 FINANCE - 9 you like actor Jeff Goldblum, this one is COVER STORY definitely worth your time. “SUN SHINE” That takes us through this week’s BY TOBY SELLS - 10 issue of Memphis’ only free print altWE RECOMMEND - 14 weekly. I hope you’ll continue to pick up MUSIC - 15 this paper on newsstands and read our CALENDAR - 16 FOOD - 18 new stories (posted daily) on the web. FILM - 20 As always, thank you for reading. CL ASSIFIEDS - 22 Jesse Davis LAST WORD - 23 email@example.com
June 16-22, 2022
Edited by Toby Sells
CITY REPORTER B y To b y S e l l s
Memphis on the internet.
Tom Lee Park’s Tailout Trail
DANCING BABY MAN?
The riverside park renovation plan wins big with $3.7 million federal grant.
POSTED TO FACEBOOK BY MARCOES BEAN
Questions, Answers + Attitude
A Memphis video posted to Facebook last week is so fun and crazy that describing the action ramps up the crazy fun. The video opens with a disturbance at the trolley stop at the corner of Main and Huling (close to the Grecian Gourmet Taverna). The camera operator wades through a crowd looking on and phone-filming a pregnant woman lying on the ground, apparently going into labor. The camera pans across a white sheet laying over her legs. Between her feet pops out a grown man, dressed all in black but with white shoes and a blue pacifier in his mouth. Someone throws a blue smoke bomb on the ground beside him. Once the man stands, he dances silently in Hammer pants, pacifier still in his mouth. He then falls on his hands and drags his body across the sidewalk, under an ambulance where he disappears. The camera operator walks around the ambulance in search of Baby Man until he finds him dancing (again with the pacifier in his mouth) in the middle of the street. He dances in the crosswalk and someone off-camera throws that blue smoke bomb back at his feet. The video ends. “Gotta love Memphis,” Marcoes Bean captioned. As of press time, the video had been shared more than 5,300 times.
A key piece of the Tom Lee Park renovation project won a $3.7 million federal grant, announced Tuesday, June 7th, and is expected to trigger nearly $9 million in additional funds. The Tailout Trail section of the park redesign is expected to give “visitors an immersive experience of an ecologically diverse area at the far south end of the park.” The elevated walkways and Canopy Walk overlook there are the keys to the more natural southern PHOTO: STUDIO GANG/SCAPE end of the park, called The elevated walkway through the tree canopy is expected to create a “one-of-a-kind Habitat Terraces in river experience” that “offers stunning 360-degree river views.” design documents. Memphis River Parks Partnership (MRPP) described it as “a unique, elevated environment to experience the sights and sounds of the walkway through the tree canopy that creates a one-of-aMississippi River.” kind river experience and offers stunning 360-degree river “We’re thrilled to receive this competitive grant because views.” it is confirmation by EDA of the economic importance of The $3.7 million grant is from the U.S. Commerce Tom Lee Park,” said Carol Coletta, president and CEO of Department’s Economic Development Administration MRPP. “We’re thrilled even more that in competition with (EDA) for the Tailout Trail, a “canopy boardwalk” along projects throughout the Southeast, our project was chosen the Mississippi River. The EDA said the grant will be for this federal support. matched with $6 million in local government funds and “The Tailout Trail will be a spectacular addition to is expected to generate $2.8 million in private investment. Memphis’ new signature park [Tom Lee Park] and will give Funding for the trail is not included in the $61 million visitors and Memphians an unforgettable walk out above budget for the park itself, MRPP explained online last the Mississippi River at its widest and wildest point.” week. This grant is the first commitment for the trail to be U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Memphis) said the trail will matched by more than $6 million. be a win for tourism and the local economy. “This project will provide a unique opportunity to “The Tailout Trail will be one-of-a-kind, inviting experience the natural splendor that Memphis and visitors up and (during high water) over river habitat the Mississippi River have to offer, while creating for spectacular views of the Mississippi, the Arkansas opportunities for new local businesses in river touring, floodplain, and the more than 325 bird species,” Cohen biking, and hiking,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce said in a statement. “The project will draw national for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. attention and support to Memphis and is expected to bring Habitat Terraces, where the Tailout Trail will be located, thousands of new visitors to the riverfront. is one of four distinct segments of the new park design. “These visitors will have a significant impact on nearby The others, from north to south, are the Civic Gateway, the restaurants, music venues, and hotels. Once completed, the Active Core, and the Community Batture. Tailout Trail will be a major focal point for eco-tourism in Designers described the Habitat Terraces as “a more Memphis, spawning new small businesses associated with intimate experience of the natural landscape. It is expected river touring, biking, and hiking, which will help increase to include a Canopy Walk that connects the park to the employment opportunities, spur private investment, and city by means of an elevated path through the biodiverse advance economic resiliency throughout the region.” forest of Tom Lee Park’s southern zone and immersive Visit the News Blog at memphisflyer.com for more local news platforms which offer park-goers a quiet acoustic just like this.
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Governor Lee’s school safety plan does not include new gun laws.
ov. Bill Lee signed an “I reject the notion that we are executive order Monday, helpless against confronting gun June 6th, directing violence,” said state Sen. Raumesh Tennessee schools and law Akbari (Memphis). enforcement to double down on existing “Tennessee families believe in school safety protocols in the wake of a responsible gun ownership, and they shooting that killed 19 children and two support laws that would deny firearms teachers at a Texas elementary school. and weapons of war to people who But the Republican governor said can’t pass a background check,” Akbari restricting access to guns is off the added. “That’s not radical. That’s just table, and he called for continuing the common sense.” state’s “prioritized practical approach to Lee’s four-page order comes two school safety.” weeks after an 18-year-old legally That means greater fortification of purchased an AR-15-style rifle and schools to make it more difficult for opened fire on a classroom filled an intruder to enter them — a policy with children and teachers at Robb that former Gov. Bill Haslam, another Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Republican, stepped up in 2018 after a before being killed by law enforcement. shooter killed 17 people at a high school And over the weekend of June 3rdin Parkland, Florida. 5th, a string of shootings left at least 15 At a morning news conference, PHOTO: MAX KLEINEN | UNSPLASH Lee said school communities can expect more unannounced security inspections to make sure all doors are locked so that visitors have only a single point of entry when the new school year begins. people dead and more than 60 others The governor directed the Tennessee wounded in eight states, including in Law Enforcement Training Academy to Tennessee, where three people were work with the state safety department to killed and 14 were injured early in the evaluate training standards in activemorning, Sunday, June 5th, outside shooter situations and announced a nightclub in Chattanooga, and two required training for security guards people died of gunshot wounds in at private schools. He called on state southeast Shelby County. troopers to familiarize themselves with Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly, who school patterns and school communities described himself as an “avid hunter” in their regions to become more and gun owner, called on Congress to involved in school safety. enact “common sense regulations” such And he directed the state education as mandatory background checks and a department to seek federal permission ban on high-capacity magazines that let to use federal Covid-relief funding to shooters fire dozens of rounds without conduct independent school safety having to reload. assessments that identify needed But Lee rejected those ideas when building upgrades. asked whether Tennessee would seek to “There are things we can control, and issue its own regulations. there are things we cannot,” Lee said “We are not looking at gun after signing his order. “And one of the restrictions or gun laws as a part of a things that we can control … [is how] to school safety plan going forward,” he improve the practical, pragmatic steps told reporters. to making a school safer.” Chalkbeat (chalkbeat.org) is a nonprofit Democrats, however, characterized news site covering educational change in Lee’s order as a photo opportunity that public schools. won’t lead to meaningful change.
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POLITICS By Jackson Baker
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1 36 WEB STER AV E. O P E N DA I LY 8 A M - 8 P M
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A new counterfeit list of endorsees — this one purporting to be Republican — makes the rounds. The practice several artistic variations on the of deception elephant iconography of the actual — perhaps Republican Party, and the link one should provided in the initial text lists the say, the “art” of sponsoring organization’s website as deception — is an republicanpartyofshelbycounty.com. ingrained aspect Apprised of the document, Cary of how politics Vaughn, current chairman of the is practiced in Shelby County. Over actual Shelby County Republican Party, the years, and even quite recently, pronounced it a “rogue effort” and much attention has been lavished “bogus.” Vaughn said the party has in this space on the phenomenon of decided on a list of its actual endorsees, “bogus ballots” — glossy printed sheets which it intends to distribute widely bearing the likenesses and names of later this month. various candidates “endorsed” by shell As for the “endorsees” on the companies purporting to be high“Republicans of Shelby County” minded civic organizations. list, most of them appear reasonable In reality, the “endorsees” on such for a GOP endorsee list. The one ballots have paid, sometimes dearly, to exception is in the list of endorsees have themselves so advertised. for countywide office. Everybody Sometimes the operators of these on it is the official nominee of the for-profit shell companies have clothed Republican Party, except for assessor their enterprises with names suggestive candidate Melvin Burgess, who is the of established Democratic political nominee for parties — like that position. the “Greater Asked about Memphis his inclusion Democratic on such a list, Club.” Burgess said As a result he had no of legal action knowledge of brought by the sponsoring the actual organization or Shelby County the list or how PHOTO: JMCI | DREAMSTIME.COM Democratic his name got Party, special there. Judge William Acree has put the The person most likely to be affected ballot vendors on injunction to cease by the list, of course, is Steve Cross, the and desist such deceptions on pain of official Republican nominee for the post criminal prosecution. and Burgess’ opponent. As Vaughn had It remains to be seen if a similar previously, Cross described both the fate will befall whoever it was that “Republicans of Shelby County” and its recently texted out several copies of alleged list of endorsees as “bogus.” an “endorsement” list of candidates Bogus it undoubtedly is, and the under the auspices of “Republicans aforesaid art of deception is well of Shelby County.” Recipients of the evidenced in a note attached to the text will discover, after clicking on a text copy received by the Flyer. The provided link, that they are looking at note read, “Judges recommended a polished-appearing document listing include Stewart [sic] Breakstone and preferred candidates for the judicial Joe Ozment who marched in the pride and governmental positions on the parade. Wow!” This disingenuous bit — forthcoming August county election regarding the purported participation ballot. Another link leads to a page on in Pride Week activities, along with the website of the Tennessee Secretary numerous other public figures, of of State containing instructions on how judicial candidates Stuart Breakstone to find one’s legal polling place. and Joe Ozment — can be regarded In something of a disclaimer, the as a misdirection of sorts, intended to document includes a brief section saying obscure the question of legitimacy of “Who Are We? Republicans of Shelby the list and the sender. County is a group of indviduals [sic] that For the record, the sender of the give you the information on candidates text is represented solely by a phone that judge / vote conservatively.” number: (901) 860-5640. Good luck Elsewhere the document features trying to get an answer on that line.
FINANCE By Gene Gard
Restart Your Mindset
Change your view.
Sometimes the best way to save money is to manage how you spend money.
To create abundance, consider greenlighting certain spending guilt-free. Examples include a healthier lunch spot you like, unavoidable bills like utilities, and consumables like household staples, toiletries, or makeup that you actually have used up. Some families find that rather than attacking their grocery budget, greenlighting grocery store spending itself can be helpful compared to expensive dining out, takeout, and delivery. Manage your credit cards. Studies have shown that you spend more with credit cards compared to non-credit alternatives even if you pay off your cards each month. Try it for yourself — use a debit card with a balance low enough that you have to pay attention for a month and see how much less you spend. No-spend periods are an interest-
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ing way to reset your spending mindset. When I ran my transactions for last year there was only one day without a card swipe or online charge — December 25th. Can you go a day, a week, or a month with no discretionary spending? You can easily find online groups attempting to make it a year or more. While they seem extreme, even a brief no-spend stint can be a good way to reset your mindset. Closets can easily get out of control. Try moving things to one side of the closet or front of the drawer after each wear. In a few months you’ll clearly see what gets worn and what doesn’t. Do a purge to a reasonable wardrobe footprint with items you actually use and then consider a net-zero approach — old clothes have to go for each new clothing item brought in. Consider a no-buy period for clothes if the size of the wardrobe is an issue for you. Amazon allows you to see all purchases since 1995. Look back to when you started using Amazon in earnest and scroll through the purchases from years ago. How much of the stuff is still in use today? How much was worth the money? How much would you buy over again today? What will your future self think about this year’s purchase history? Are you in the warehousing business? We laugh about Saudi princes who have warehouses full of sports cars, but many of us do the same thing on a smaller scale. Do you pay for a storage unit? Do you have bedrooms, garages, or outbuildings full of stuff ? How much of your belongings have been touched in the last year? Is your big house for you or for your seldom-used belongings? The best budget system is worthless if you don’t use it. Those who have successfully attacked their spending tend to make a written plan and stick to it. Hopefully these tips can be useful as you craft the path to your secure financial future. Gene Gard is Chief Investment Officer at Telarray, a Memphis-based wealth management firm that helps families navigate investment, tax, estate, and retirement decisions. Ask him your questions or schedule an objective, no-pressure portfolio review at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up for the next free online seminar on the Events tab at telarrayadvisors.com.
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here are many well-documented systems to budget and pay down debt. If common approaches don’t resonate with you, here are a few tips that might be helpful when coming up with a plan for you. Paying bills, paying off your credit card each month, and keeping your bank accounts in the black are necessary but not sufficient to properly manage your finances as your income rises. A sense of abundance is usually good, but most people need a slight sense of scarcity in their personal accounts to effectively manage spending. Consider keeping a checking account as your “operating account” with a balance low enough that you have to at least momentarily consider each purchase.
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SUN SHINE C O V E R S T O R Y B y To b y S e l l s
June 16-22, 2022
OUR “SUN BLOCK” STORY DETAILED THE CHALLENGES TO SOLAR POWER HERE. NOW WE’RE CASTING A LIGHT ON ITS POTENTIAL.
olar power is not blazing hot in Memphis or Tennessee, but some rays of light promise the dawn of its brighter future here. Barriers to solar power do exist in Memphis and Tennessee (as critics outlined in our previous story), but moves are underway to build the sector here and ingrain it as a sustainable portion of our power system. This story endeavors to tell that side of solar. “We look at [solar power] two ways,” Scott Fiedler, a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) spokesman, said last week. “It’s green and green, green for money and green for the environment.”
GREEN INVEST We opened our “Sun Block” cover story by hypothetically hooking up 10 Ford Motor Company’s massive Blue Oval City project straight to TVA’s
current electricity grid. Ford plans for its electric truck factory to be carbonneutral when it opens in 2025, though nearly half (45 percent) of TVA’s grid is a mix of coal (19 percent) and natural gas (26 percent). To bridge the gap, Ford will manage some of their carbon-neutral goals on their own. The Haywood County campus was designed for the potential use of geothermal, solar, and wind power. For the rest, the company will likely depend on TVA and its Green Invest program. Green Invest is TVA’s largest solar-power program with the highest profile, involving the most money building the biggest projects, and the most likely to knock the most carbon from more carbon footprints. (It was also the largest omission from “Sun Block.”) For TVA, Green Invest is an economic development tool attracting
businesses, jobs, and investments. It’s something of a green-energy match-making program. Through it, TVA connects companies with environmental goals to solar-project developers throughout the Tennessee Valley. Since 2018, Fiedler said Green Invest has attracted more than $3 billion in investment through the TVA service area from companies seeking solar — companies like Google, Jack Daniel’s, Facebook, and others. The program was used to bring a large-scale, 150-megawatt solar farm to Millington. That $140 million project will provide energy for a Facebook data center across the state in Gallatin, Tennessee. Green Invest has also been used by non-business entities like the city of Knoxville and Vanderbilt University to build solar facilities. Like the one headed for Millington, many of these solar installations are not built
close to the entities that will use them. Knoxville’s project, for example, will be built in Walls, Mississippi. Bryan Jacob, solar program director for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), said such arrangements might lead some energy consumers to believe that the solar farm down the street will power their street lights. However, electrons follow physics, he said, and you really can’t trace where they will flow. He said, “power off that solar panel in northern Mississippi is not going to make its way to Knoxville.” But Knoxville can still feel good about sourcing solar, no matter where it comes from, Jacob said. “It is legitimate,” he said of renewable energy credits, the accounting mechanism that allows Knoxville to take credit for cutting carbon in East Tennessee with a solar farm in DeSoto County, Mississippi.
TVA GENERATION FLEXIBILITY PROGRAM In August 2019, TVA began allowing the local power companies it serves (such as Memphis Light, Gas and Water - MLGW) to generate 5 percent of their power needs through sources like wind, solar, or natural gas. However, locals can only use the Generation Flexibility program if they’ve signed one of TVA’s 20-year “long-term partnership agreements.” Jacob said about 140 of the 153 local utilities TVA works with have signed the agreement. MLGW has not signed the contract, as it weighs the decision to stay with TVA as a power provider or leave it. In August 2021, East Tennessee’s Loudon Utility Board (LUB) used the program to begin work on the Dancing Horse Solar project. That 7.5-megawatt facility is expected to “power over 1,000 homes with carbon-free energy and will assist LUB in controlling rates with customers.” The board also hopes to leverage the renewable energy credits that come with the installation to “attract and retain industrial customers to this part of Tennessee.” SOLAR AT HOME Today, solar panels are mostly an exotic feature on Memphis homes or businesses. When Nike and Ikea added solar panels to their campuses, it made headlines in this newspaper. Chris Koczaja, president and CEO of LightWave Solar and president of the Tennessee Solar Energy Industries Association (TenneSEIA), said without a financial incentive for solar or net metering (in which electricity flows in and out of a home) in Tennessee, “there’s no financial payback” to doing smaller-scale solar projects. “It is either altruistic or based on resiliency because now that I’ve got solar and [battery] storage, I’ve got my own little microgrid,” Koczaja said. “So, when these big storms come through, I’ve got power generation available for my home. [Going solar in Tennessee] is really looking at those opportunities, but they’re much fewer and farther between.” TVA ended its Green Power Providers program at the end of 2019. The program bought electricity from those with independent solar systems, like homeowners, who did not use all of it themselves. MLGW continued the program but reduced payments for that
excess solar power from a retail rate to a wholesale rate. It also instituted an electric service availability fee (of about $12 per month) for solar users. But MLGW said the fee is equal to the flat monthly customer charge now paid by regular MLGW electricity customers. The solar fee exists because MLGW’s monthly charges for electricity don’t cover the cost of serving its customers, said
Becky Williamson, MLGW’s strategic marketing coordinator. “When customers generate their own electricity, they’re buying less from us,” Williamson said. “We’re not made whole. So, as a public utility, we decided in late 2016 to add this charge.” A common comparison for these fees among solar advocates is a grocery store charging a customer more for tomatoes because they grow some of
ALPHASPIRIT | DREAMSTIME.COM
TODAY, SOLAR PANELS ARE MOSTLY AN EXOTIC FEATURE ON HOMES OR BUSINESSES.
their own tomatoes at home. “So, I generate some of my power — but not all of my power — at home and they are going to tax me for what I buy at MLGW?” said Jacob, the solar program director with SACE. “It doesn’t sit right with me.” Fiedler from TVA said the legacy Green Power Providers program still has 69 participants in Shelby County. Williamson from MLGW said applications for the program here, however, have “exploded” in the years after TVA ended the Green Power Providers program. In its “on” years, the program would yield an average of 19 applications, of which maybe eight would be built, she said. In 2020, 85 applications for solar projects were filed. In 2021, 117 were filed. So far this year, MLGW has received 40 applications for solar projects, on pace to beat 2021’s record year for such projects. “When critics say that TVA closing the program really disrupted the solar market, we’re not finding that to be true in Memphis at all,” Williamson said. “We have far more customers interconnecting now behind the meter than we ever had under the year of TVA’s incentive program, even back to when it paid as much as 12 cents above the retail rate.” Scammy predators roam the solar space, said TenneSEIA’s Koczaja, promising deals (many on the internet) that seem too good to be true — because they are. Some solar companies will install shabby panels that won’t work or will con a customer into believing their new solar system will somehow be paid for by the government. “It’s difficult because on one side you’ll see there is a lot more [solar] activity,” said Koczaja. “But on the other side, some of that activity or a good portion of it maybe shouldn’t be happening because of the predatory sales practices.” To address that problem, TVA recently launched its Green Connect program. It is a network of solar contractors vetted by TVA to ensure they are insured, licensed, bonded, and will do an installation up to TVA standards. MLGW and TVA customers do, however, have a solar option that doesn’t require installing a single black panel on their homes. That option is TVA’s Green Switch program. Like businesses getting credit for building solar farms elsewhere, customers can buy blocks of renewable power made elsewhere on TVA’s grid. The blocks are $2 each, and with each one TVA adds 200 kilowatt hours of renewable energy to its grid. Customers can buy as many blocks of green power as they like. A Green continued on page 12
COVER STORY m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m
For one, he said, without the credits, the Mississippi solar farm might not have been built at all, leaving more carbon in the air. What’s more, many cities might not be able to find the open acreage in their footprints to build a massive solar farm. Placing them somewhere else makes them more affordable and, thus, achievable.
continued from page 11 Switch calculator on TVA’s website will show you how many blocks you’d need to offset all or part of your monthly electricity usage. For a monthly bill of $115 (1,200 kilowatts), for example, you’d need to buy six blocks of Green Switch power for $12. Around 1,000 MLGW customers participate in Green Switch, buying about 465,000 kilowatt hours of renewable (not just solar) energy each month. BACK IN THE DAY Though still rare here, solar is not new around Memphis. In an April ribbon cutting, onlookers eyed more than 4,160 black panels lounging like a silent battalion of backyard sunbathers at Agricenter International. It was the largest solar site in the state at the time, and its panels were the first in Tennessee to move side to side, following the sun. It was expected that over the next 25 years, the panels would remove tons of toxins from the air, equivalent to taking 5,000 cars off the road or planting 7,500 acres of trees. “This solar farm will not solve America’s energy needs, but this farm and others like it are undoubtedly part of a long-term, more sustainable
future,” said then-Agricenter chairman Bill Gillon at the time. That time was April 2012, 10 years ago. Agricenter’s $4.3 million array was built and owned by Silicon Ranch, a company founded by former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen. The company gave Agricenter 10 years to decide if they wanted to buy the solar farm. Ten years ago, then-Agricenter President John Charles Wilson said his organization would buy it if it was making money like it was supposed to. Current Agricenter President John Butler said Agricenter has not yet decided to buy the solar farm. But he says it does bring in revenue from the land lease agreement with Silicon Ranch, provides power for the campus, and more. “You’ve got 100,000 cars that pass the campus every day [on Walnut Grove]; you’ve got thousands of kids on the campus,” said Butler. “So [the solar farm] is a really good opportunity to incorporate it not only in our education but in our research.” For many, Agricenter’s installation was the first solar farm they’d ever seen. But even back then solar panels were not new to Memphis. Agricenter’s panels were made just across town at the Sharp Manufacturing Company of America. Between 2003 and 2010, Sharp made 2 million solar panels here, enough to
THOUGH STILL RARE HERE, SOLAR IS NOT NEW AROUND MEMPHIS.
power 65,000 U.S. homes. In 2011, the factory employed nearly 500 union members to build the panels, more than double the 230 working at Sharp in 2007. Business was booming, it seemed. But the company scuttled solar-panel production here and at a plant in Wales in 2014 under a restructuring of its solar business. A major milestone for Tennessee solar was 2009’s Volunteer State Solar Initiative. Introduced by Bredesen, the program used $62.5 million from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to establish the Tennessee Solar Institute. That entity designed and built the West Tennessee Solar Farm in Haywood County, helped fund 171 solar installations across the state, trained 350 in a state solar workforce development class, and gave technical help to solar companies. “This statewide initiative puts Tennessee in a leading role nationally to promote and capitalize on the solar industry and in turn curb our nation’s dependence on foreign oil,” then-Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Murfreesboro) said at the time (2009). The West Tennessee Solar Farm, by the way, was built in part to help market the Memphis Regional Megasite to prospective companies. That site, of course, will become Ford’s clean-energy Blue Oval City campus.
Memphis Area Prevention Coalition Presents
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This project is funded under a Grant Contract with the State of Tennessee DepartmentofMentalHealthandSubstanceAbuseServices.
TVA’s Fiedler said he couldn’t speak to specifics of Tennessee’s deal with Ford, especially whether the company was attracted by its Green Invest program. But he could say that “TVA has made our region the premier destination for businesses who want to achieve their sustainability goals.” GLOBAL AND NATIONAL PERSPECTIVES The world is still pretty dim when it comes to solar. According to the latest data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), solar power supplied just a bit over 5 percent of the world’s electricity last year. But there’s no denying that solar power has turned a market corner and is hurtling toward the future at a breakneck pace. Consider that record numbers of solar installations have been installed all over the world in the last two years, even as the pandemic slowed materials production and gunked up supply chains. For perspective, in 2010 about 17 gigawatts of solar power capacity was added. In 2021, 172 gigawatts of new solar installations were built. By the end of last year, more than half (57 percent) of solar installations were in Asia, 21 percent were in Europe, and 16 percent were in the Americas, according to the federal National Renewable Energy
THE WORLD IS STILL PRETTY DIM WHEN IT COMES TO SOLAR.
Laboratory (NREL). China leads the way as the unmatched global champion for solar installations. Last year alone, China added nearly 55 gigawatts of capacity for solar energy, nearly a third of all new solar power installations in the world. In the first quarter of 2022, China added 13.2 gigawatts of solar, a 148 percent increase in solar production from the same period last year. Still, China (at around 4.5 percent) ranks just below the global average (5 percent) for solar as a percentage of its total electricity generation. Though the United States’ solar market was second only to China’s last year, the U.S. installed 23.6 gigawatts of solar last year, not even half of China’s increases. The U.S. total solar capacity was 120 gigawatts last year, less than half of China’s 309 total gigawatts. The U.S. also falls slightly behind the global average of solar in its overall electricity mix (at 4 percent) behind China, the United Kingdom, South Korea, South Africa, and Morocco, according to the IEA. Australia leads the way globally on using solar, as nearly 15 percent of all its energy came from solar last year. The top five is rounded out by Spain, Greece, Honduras, and the Netherlands. But if California were a country, it would top this list. The Golden
State’s total electric generation mix is 25 percent solar. Other U.S. states would top Australia on this list, too. Behind California is Massachusetts (at 19.7 percent), Nevada (at 18 percent), Hawaii (at 17.1 percent), and Vermont (at 16.12 percent). Oh, and how does Tennessee rank against other states on solar? It sits at 43rd place. The Volunteer State’s percentage of total energy from solar is 0.0056 percent, according to the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA). That’s enough solar to power 61,904 of the state’s 2.4 million homes. It’s still enough, however, to have 109 solar companies in the state that employ 3,948 people. The total investment of Tennessee’s 608 megawatts of installed solar power is about $918 million, according to the SEIA. However, the agency projects Tennessee’s solar capacity will more than double over the next five years (to 1,314 megawatts) and rank 22nd nationally. Note: This story is a companion piece to “Sun Block,” our cover story from March on solar in Tennessee and the South. That story largely outlined challenges and barriers to solar power here. This story focuses on the opportunities for solar and the investments being made in it, and it frames Memphis in the global and national context of solar power.
T H I S W E E K at
CROS STOWN ARTS TUESDAY
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PETER SLAVOV with THE TED LUDWIG QUARTET MUSIC | THE GREEN ROOM | 7:30pm
INDIE MEMPHIS SCREENING of NEPTUNE FROST presented with INDIE MEMPHIS’ BLACK CREATORS FORUM, TONE, CROSSTOWN ARTS, and DEDZA FILMS FILM | CROSSTOWN THEATER | 7:00pm BRASILIS STRING QUARTET MUSIC | THE GREEN ROOM | 7:30pm
BLACK MUSIC MONTH POP-UP SERIES: AZPEN MUSIC | CENTR AL ATRIUM | 5:00pm CROSSTOWN ARTS RESIDENCY ARTIST TALK THE GREEN ROOM | 6:00pm | FREE, OPEN TO THE PUBLIC CROSSTOWN ARTHOUSE presents WESTWORLD FILM | CROSSTOWN THEATER | 7:30pm
GARRISON STARR: EIGHTEEN OVER ME 25th ANNIVERSARY TOUR MUSIC | CROSSTOWN THEATER | 7:30pm BILL MIZE MUSIC | THE GREEN ROOM | 7:30pm
FOLK ALL Y’ALL presents THIN LEAR MUSIC | THE GREEN ROOM | 7:30pm
For more info visit CROSSTOWNARTS.ORG or call 901.507.8030
COVER STORY m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m
PAY IT FORWARD & GET PAID
SHOOT & SPLICE: A CASE STUDY OF FLOATING PILGRIMS with DAVID GOODMAN FILM | CROSSTOWN THEATER | 6:30pm
Live music at
We Recommend: Culture, News + Reviews
Family Reunion june 17th Marcella Simien and Her Lovers
june 18th Cedric Burnside
By Abigail Morici
PHOTO: COURTESY TONE
2021 performer Dame Mufasa
Last summer, President Joe Biden declared Juneteenth a federal holiday, making it the first holiday to be approved since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established in 1983. In honor of this year’s Juneteenth, a relatively under-celebrated and under-appreciated holiday, TONE is hosting a weekend celebration, complete with a Saturday night gala and a Sunday festival. This will be the first time TONE will host these events in conjunction with each other. Kai Ross, a visual artist and marketing manager at TONE, explains that the first (and only, so far) gala was held in 2019. “A gala was always supposed to be the plan,” they say, but due to Covid, TONE wasn’t ready to bring it back until now. This year’s gala at Beale Street Landing is Afrofuturism-themed, with a request for attendees to wear Afrofuturistic attire. “Come dressed in your best black-tie but put it in like 2060,” Ross says. “One thing about Juneteenth is acknowledging the past to look forward. So we kind of went with a sankofa concept.” The gala will feature a keynote speech by artist and TONE board member Derek Fordjour, in addition to a reading by Afrofuturist author Sheree Renée Thomas. Chef Eli Townsend of Sage will cater, and an after-party on the Mississippi Queen Riverboat III will follow. Tickets have been sold out, but if you couldn’t get your hands on a gala or after-party ticket, worry not: The second annual Juneteenth Family Reunion Festival is free and open to the public. In lieu of a gala in 2021, TONE threw its first festival on the 10 acres surrounding the Orange Mound Tower, the site of the community-focused development project led by TONE founder Victoria Jones and Unapologetic founder James Dukes, aka IMAKEMADBEATS. “We knew we had to do something outside and that was Covid-safe,” Ross says. “We started to think about the fact that a lot of us — even just staff — hadn’t seen each other in so long. We hadn’t seen each other in over a year. And we were like, ‘This is about to be a family reunion.’” And the family-reunion theme stuck. “It was a very beautiful experience,” they say. “It’s very important to do this celebration in the first Black neighborhood in this country. Just to do it on those grounds is always a special moment when we think about it.” This year’s festival will include food trucks, vendors, games, and live music. The packed set list, headlined by rapper and Memphis native Duke Deuce, includes the Memphis Youth Arts Initiative Drumline, Mante Carlo, Bodywerk, Talibah Safiya, Texas Warehouse, Hitkidd, and Lukah. For more information, visit tonememphis.org and keep up with TONE’s socials, @tonememphis901 on Facebook and @tonememphis on Instagram. JUNETEENTH FAMILY REUNION FESTIVAL, ORANGE MOUND TOWER, SUNDAY, JUNE 19TH, 5 P.M.-11 P.M., FREE.
Father’s Day Party VARIOUS DAYS & TIMES June 16th - 22nd
june 23rd John Nemeth benefit show
June 16-22, 2022
june 24th Memphis All Stars
june 25th THE PRVLG Presents: Save the Soil Music Fest
2 1 6 6 C e n t r a l Av e . Memphis TN 38104
“Michael Ngo Exhibition” Art Museum at the University of Memphis (AMUM), on display through September 30th Los Angeles-based fashion and pop culture designer, Michael Ngo is known for creating one-of-akind pieces that celebrate freedom, sexuality, and strength. Specializing in entertainment fashion and custom designs that embody those sentiments, Ngo’s superstar clients such as Jennifer Lopez, Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Lil Nas X, Doja Cat, Camila Cabello, and many more can be seen wearing his creations all over the world. See some of his designs yourself at AMUM. AMUM is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free, and masks are strongly recommended for all visitors.
Gazebo Grooves Cooper-Young Historic District, Thursday, June 16th, 6 p.m., free The Cooper-Young Community Association, with the help of a group of musicians from April’s Porchfest, is bringing a series of free shows to the neighborhood on Thursday evenings throughout June and July. The artists are all playing on a volunteer basis, so everyone attending these events is encouraged to tip, either with cash or electronic platforms, which will be provided at each show. Performing this week are Pyrrhic Vic and Scott Rayburn. Bluff City Balloon Jamboree Shelby Farms Park, Friday-Sunday, June 17th-19th, 4 p.m.-10 p.m., $25 The annual festival is expected to include more than 20 hot air balloons, tethered hot air balloon rides, a balloon glow event, carnival, arts and crafts, and live music.
TriState Black Pride Memphis Music Festival Overton Park Shell, Sunday, June 19th, 3 p.m.-10:30 p.m., $10-$75 The second annual TriState Black Pride Memphis Music Festival will feature rap sensation Trina and local singer Bird Williams, and more than 20 artists have been added to the lineup. Eddie Wiley will host. Vendors, food trucks, and a cash bar will be on site. Grab your lawn chairs, coolers, and tents, and enjoy a variety of music genres. Laugh to Keep from Crying Happy Hour The Comedy Junt, Saturday, June 18th, 6 p.m., $20 Laughter is always the best form of healing, and some of the best standup comics are ready to prescribe the perfect medicine of laughter. Raising awareness for Alzheimer’s and dementia.
MUSIC By Alex Greene
Remembering Alan Hayes The late electronic music pioneer and prolific producer leaves a mark on many musicians’ lives and sounds.
Alan Hayes are unorthodox.” Underscoring hip-hop’s role in the vanguard of electronic experimentation, Hayes’ synth-pop bona fides led him where other white producers rarely went. “I bought my first synthesizer, a Minimoog, in about 1971 or ’72,” he said. “And I’ve always been just as enamored by sound and texture as actual music, you know? So hip-hop was a huge opportunity to just go wild with weird sounds.” And yet he was open to a multitude of styles. “It hasn’t all been hip-hop,” he told me. “I’ve worked with Smokie Norful, a big [Grammy-winning] gospel artist. A lot of music ministers have brought different people from their congregations. And I’ve done film work for Morgan Fox. My versatility was a big part of my success.” Chad White points out that Hayes’ eclectic clientele included artists ranging from Detroit soul man Willie Hutch to local punk heroes The Oblivians. “It says something about him, that he could hang
with all these different people. He kept an even keel,” says White. Musician Linda Heck agrees. “Alan was open-minded, but he was also very knowing. I liked working with him because he didn’t just agree with me. He would talk about how to do things. I still hear him in my head when I’m working. ‘Just do it right!’” Yet throughout the decades of engineering and producing others, Hayes never lost sight of his own art. “He really continued to create his own music up until the end,” Rebekah says. White agrees, adding, “He was also an incredible visual artist, from painting to sculpture. His entire house was like a gallery of his own work.” Putting a finer point on it, White notes that Hayes’ favorite phrase stressed the importance of creative action over mere thoughts or plans, an axiom that White lives by to this day: “It’s all about the doin’.” Alan Hayes is survived by his wife Rebekah and three daughters, Serena, Layna, and Ayden. A celebration of his life is planned at Stop 345 on Saturday, July 9th , 4-8 p.m.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
PHOTOS: REBEKAH HAYES
m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m
fondly recall a day many years ago when the great Alan Hayes, co-founder of Memphis’ groundbreaking ’80s synth-pop band Calculated X, called me about a piano lesson.“Oh,” I thought, “here’s another skronk-happy keyboardist who wants to dabble in a bit of traditional music.” Then he showed up, sat at the piano, and proceeded to play contrapuntal jazz with such power and finesse that I ended up asking him for lessons. As his daughter Ayden now says, “People always talk about how rough he was on pianos. His parents talked about him growing up, breaking strings and keys. He went to Harding Academy and they wouldn’t let him play the piano in the band room because he was just too hard on it.” Such memories of Hayes have become bittersweet since he passed away on May 27th at the age of 65 from a grade IV brain tumor. He touched many lives in the Memphis music world, especially after he built a professional studio, House of Hayes, aka Al’s Harmonic Salon, in his home. As Hayes’ wife Rebekah points out, “Kids from our neighborhood would save their money and come in here and do sessions, and he would really support and encourage them. What a difference he made in their lives.” Chad White, aka Mr. White, the renowned DJ/mixologist, was one such youngster, mentored by Hayes in the early-mid 2000s, and claims that the artists Hayes helped over the years number in the thousands. He was instrumental in helping early hip-hop stars make their first professional recordings. Speaking to me in 2018, Hayes recalled recording his first rapper, Alley Cat, in 1991. “The producer was Carlos Broady,” said Hayes. “This was right after he had done the stuff with Biggie Smalls, and Biggie had gotten killed in New York City. So he was all paranoid about people coming after him.” Undaunted by such concerns, Hayes sought out more work in the local hip-hop scene, working on early tracks by the likes of Drumma Boy and Yo Gotti. “He was probably 15 or 16,” Hayes recalled of Yo Gotti. “I had oodles of synth rack gear and actual keyboards, and I did a lot of stuff with him. And I did a whole album with Gangsta Blac here. I really like the hip-hop because they don’t really have any rules. The sounds they wanna make
CALENDAR of EVENTS:
June 16 - 22
ART AN D S P EC I A L E X H I B ITS
An exhibition of Nancy Cheairs’ single work comprised of 50 canvases. Through July 16. TOPS GALLERY: MADISON AVENUE PARK
“Memphis Proud: The Resilience of a Southern LGBTQ+ Community”
Explore the history and culture of Memphis’ LGBTQ+ community. Through Sept. 26. MUSEUM OF SCIENCE & HISTORY
Nimitz Virtual Reality Experience
The Navy’s Virtual Reality Experience, the Nimitz, will be at MoSH to spread awareness and give 360-degree virtual reality view of what it’s like to be on a special warfare mission. Through June 16, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. MUSEUM OF SCIENCE & HISTORY
“Rapid Response Exhibition: POVERTY TODAY!”
Exhibition that highlights the current Poor People’s Campaign Movement and dire issues impacted by the pandemic. Through Dec. 31. NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM
“Sculptures & Small Objects”
Exhibition based around sculpture, object making, and 3D work by Black makers. Through July 9. TONE
Exhibition of work by Pinkney Herbert, known for his expressive abstract paintings and pastel works on paper comprised of dynamic gestures and multi-dimensional forms in sharp color. Through July 1. DAVID LUSK GALLERY
ART HAP P E N I N G S
“Many Mansions” Opening Reception
June 16-22, 2022
Opening reception for an exhibition of Nancy Cheairs’
single work comprised of 50 canvases. Sunday, June 19, 2-4 p.m. TOPS GALLERY: MADISON AVENUE PARK
Send the date, time, place, cost, info, phone number, a brief description, and photos — two weeks in advance — to email@example.com. DUE TO SPACE LIMITATIONS, ONGOING WEEKLY EVENTS WILL APPEAR IN THE FLYER’S ONLINE CALENDAR ONLY. FOR COMPREHENSIVE EVENTS LISTING, VISIT EVENTS.MEMPHISFLYER.COM/CAL.
Nancy Cheairs’ “Many Mansions” is a single work comprised of 50 canvases of images replicating an archetypal house, on display at Tops through July 16th.
“Chopp Shop: A Barber Expose” Opening
bite from food trucks or dinner to-go from your Downtown favorites. Free. Thursday, June 16, 7:30 p.m. COURT SQUARE PARK
Family Movie Night: Trolls
An exploration of the history of Black barbershops, barbers, the therapeutic aspect of grooming, hair artistry, female and male hair hygiene, and the therapy that lies underneath it all. Friday, June 17, 6-9 p.m.
Arrive early for dinner at a local food truck and live music by Michelle and Jeremy Shrader. Then settle in for a family-friendly movie. Free. Saturday, June 18, 6-9 p.m.
OFF THE WALLS ARTS
GERMANTOWN PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
B O O K EVE N TS
Time Warp Drive-In: Nicolas Cage Against the World!
Meet the Author: Amy W. Daughters
Novel welcomes Amy Weinland Daughters in conversation with Dana Rivera to celebrate the release of Dear Dana: That Time I Went Crazy and Wrote All 580 of My Facebook Friends a Handwritten Letter. Thursday, June 16, 6 p.m. NOVEL
Meet the Author: Bill Walk
Novel welcomes Bill Walk to celebrate the release of Holes in the Soles of His Gucci Loafers. Saturday, June 18, 2 p.m. NOVEL
C O M E DY
J.J. has performed via the television circuit on The Monique Show, Russell Simmons’ HBO Def Comedy Jam, Comedy Central, Showtime at the Apollo, and BET ComicView. $60. Thursday, June 16, 8 p.m.; Friday, June 17, 7:30 p.m., 10 p.m.; Saturday, June 18, 10 p.m.; Sunday, June 19, 8 p.m. CHUCKLES COMEDY HOUSE
Laugh to Keep from Crying Happy Hour
Some of the best stand-up comics are ready to prescribe the perfect medicine of laughter. $20. Saturday, June 18, 6 p.m. THE COMEDY JUNT
COM M U N ITY
Save Soil Walkathon
The next decade is the chance to overcome the soil crisis. Walk to save the soil this weekend. Free. Saturday, June 18, 7:30-8:30 a.m. H.W. COX COMMUNITY CENTER
Shop Talk Orange Mound: Lead Poisoning Prevention x Black Men’s Health
A dope conversation about lead poisoning prevention and Black men’s health. Saturday, June 18, 1-3 p.m. XPLICIT CUTZ & STYLEZ
Stone Cleaners Orientation & Demonstration
Learn the proper techniques for gently and carefully cleaning the stonework in the cemetery. This class is required before joining the volunteer Stone Cleaners Group. Saturday, June 18, 10 a.m.-noon. ELMWOOD CEMETERY
FA M I LY
Mad Hatter’s Family Tea Party Enjoy Drink Me teas and Eat Me treats alongside whimsical characters as you create craft projects that will please any
Wonderland wanderer. $20/ members, $25/nonmembers. Sunday, June 19, 1-3 p.m. MEMPHIS BOTANIC GARDEN
Small But Mighty Storytime: Juneteenth Edition
Dory Lerner, K-12 educator, will read Juneteenth Story: Celebrating the End of Slavery in the United States by Alliah L. Agostini. Sunday, June 19, 2-2:30 p.m.
Memphis Vegan Festival
Vegan food, live music, vendors, and family fun! Saturday, June 18, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. PIPKIN BUILDING
This first-class aviation event will feature military demonstrations, aerobatic performances, static display aircraft, and local emergency response helicopters. Saturday, June 18-June 19.
NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM
¡Viva el Teatro! Bilingual Theater with Cazateatro (all ages)
TriState Black Pride Weekend Music Festival
Explore fun bilingual theater activities for the whole family. This is your chance to practice Español! Free. Saturday, June 18, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. THE DIXON GALLERY & GARDENS
Featuring select artists from around the nation convening in Memphis Juneteenth weekend. Tristate Black Pride is a four-day event. Check out tristateblackpride.com. $10-$75. Sunday, June 19, 3-10:30 p.m. OVERTON PARK SHELL
F E ST IVA L
Bluff City Balloon Jamboree
The annual festival is expected to include more than 20 hot air balloons, tethered hot air balloon rides, a balloon glow event, carnival, arts and crafts, and live music. Friday, June 17-June 19, 4-10 p.m. SHELBY FARMS PARK
F I LM
Cemetery Cinema: My Fair Lady
Cemetery Cinema takes place as the final light of the day washes away. $15. Friday, June 17, 8:30 p.m. ELMWOOD CEMETERY
Movie starts at 8 p.m. Grab a
Unleashing the fury of one of Hollywood’s most beloved and eccentric actors, with screenings of Face/Off, Mandy, and Drive Angry. $25/vehicle. Saturday, June 18, 8 p.m. MALCO SUMMER 4 DRIVE-IN
Weird Wild Sinema: Pink Flamingos
Sick. Disgusting. Obscene. Perverse. Filth. These were the words used to describe his infamous midnight movie trashterpiece Pink Flamingos. 18+. Free. Friday, June 17, midnight. BLACK LODGE
Imagine a theme park where instead of a rickety roller coaster, you get to live a fantasy of times past where everyone else around you is a robot you can either kill or have your way with. $5. Thursday, June 16, 7:30-10 p.m. CROSSTOWN THEATER
FO O D A N D D R I N K
Tea Talk & Tasting
Ginger and Rick Winn will cover tea types and flavors, blending, creating a tea garden, and herbal honeys, and will have samples of their teas and honeys to taste. $8-$20. Monday, June 20, 12:30-2:30 p.m. MEMPHIS BOTANIC GARDEN
Virtual Wine Down
Join the Dixon online to learn about wine! Tickets include wine and appetizer pairings
CALENDAR: JUNE 16 - 22 guest artists, as well as selections created by New Ballet students. $15. Friday, June 17, 7:30 p.m. THE HALLORAN CENTRE
S P E C IA L E V E N TS
MBG will be open late for dog-friendly hours with food trucks and curious cocktails, plus special guests, vendors, performances, and more. Thursday, June 16, 5-8 p.m. MEMPHIS BOTANIC GARDEN
J U N ET E E NTH E V E N TS
A Juneteenth Celebration Featuring Callie Day
Memphis Black Arts Alliance celebrates its 40th anniversary with this Juneteenth concert featuring vocalist Callie Day with Prizm Ensemble. Friday, June 17, 7 p.m. CHRIST MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH
BLKFreedom.org Hosts Juneteenth Virtual Event
A virtual program that will explore the U.S. Constitution through the eyes of historic museums and anthropologists. Sunday, June 19, 11 a.m. NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM
“Focused on Freedom” Community Event To extend the celebration of freedom, the museum is offering a free admission day. Tuesday, June 21, noon-7 p.m. NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM
Juneteenth Arts Festival: 901 Celebrating Diversity
Featuring gospel jazz saxophonist Dr. Alvin McKinney and many other special guest performers, local artists, small businesses, authors, and the JOBLINC bus. Saturday, June 18, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. CORDOVA BRANCH LIBRARY
Juneteenth Family Reunion Festival
Hosted by TONE and featuring live performances, local vendors, food trucks, games, and more. Sunday, June 19. ORANGE MOUND TOWER
Juneteenth Feeding the Root GROWS Market
Feeding the Root will have locally grown produce, herbs, plants, food, yoga, and vibes. Stay for a farm-to-table plantbased luncheon. Saturday, June 18, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. FEEDING THE ROOTS GROWS MARKET
Juneteenth Concert and Festival Featuring music by Devin Crutcher, Da Sketchz, and Carmen Hicks. $20. Friday, June 17, 7 p.m. LEMOYNE-OWEN COLLEGE
Juneteenth Festival and Health Fair
Health screenings, vaccinations, and information for mental and physical wellness. Featuring cultural events, vendors, and food trucks. Free. Saturday, June 18, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. LEMOYNE-OWEN COLLEGE
Juneteenth Shop Black Festival
Featuring 100 Black businesses, 15 food trucks, and 10 food vendors, with a music lineup including Gerald Richardson, Carmen Hicks, and Courtney Little. $10. Sunday, June 19, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. PIPKIN BUILDING
Memphis Juneteenth Festival
Two fun-filled days, complete with eclectic music, arts and crafts, food vendors, steppers, a car and bike show, activities for seniors and kids, and more. Saturday, June 18June 19, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. HEALTH SCIENCES PARK
Rhymes on the River: Juneteenth Poetry Slam
Comedian Rob Love hosts as poets prepare for a three-round elimination poetry night in honor of Juneteenth. Free. Friday, June 17, 7-10 p.m. FOURTH BLUFF PARK
P E R F O R M I N G A R TS
Open Stage with Wednesday Moss
Wednesday Moss and guest host “National Showgirl at Large” Makenna Michaels bring you newest faces in LGBTQ+ entertainment! Sunday, June 19, 6 p.m.
MUSEUM OF SCIENCE & HISTORY
S PO R TS
Memphis Redbirds vs. Nashville Sounds Through June 19. AUTOZONE PARK
T H E AT E R
A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline
A theatrical tribute to the legendary country and pop icon, Patsy Cline, as seen through the eyes and heart of a local radio disc jockey in Patsy’s hometown of Winchester, Virginia. Friday, June 17-July 17. PLAYHOUSE ON THE SQUARE
Devil I Am Not for Sale
Zach and Elaine Thomas open their home to two troubled teens, who bring drama to their once quiet community. $25. Friday, June 17-June 18, 7 p.m.; Sunday, June 19, 2 p.m. THE EVERGREEN THEATRE
Three distinctly American tales are woven together — a stifled upper-class wife, a determined Jewish immigrant, and a daring young Harlem musician. $35. Through June 26. THEATRE MEMPHIS
An honest, witty, and raw look at childhood sexual abuse and how those victims carry the shame, anger, and confusion into their adulthood. $15. Friday, June 17-June 18, 8 p.m.; Sunday, June 19, 2 p.m.
m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m
THE DIXON GALLERY & GARDENS
The whole family can enjoy the Bluff City Balloon Jamboree this Father’s Day weekend.
TO U R S
Open Late: Hydrangea Tour
Enjoy a stroll through the gardens and learn about hydrangeas. Thursday, June 16, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
JUNE 28-JULY 3
THE DIXON GALLERY & GARDENS
Rainbow Rumble Under the Sea
Pawing Through History: Animal Symbols in the Stones
BROADWAY SEASON SPONSORED BY:
Rainbow Rumble returns for an under-the-sea-themed lip-sync competition that will leave you wet and wanting more! $15. Saturday, June 18, 7:30-10:30 p.m. BLACK LODGE
Featuring original works choreographed by international
Dogs, cats, horses, roosters, butterflies, elk, lambs, and many more animals are found carved into the stonework at Elmwood Cemetery. This tour will visit them and explore their meaning. $20. Saturday, June 18, noon-1:30 p.m. ELMWOOD CEMETERY
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
available for pickup. $25-$60. Thursday, June 16, 6-7 p.m.
MoSH hosts the U.S. Navy for three days of exciting activities, including the U.S. Parachute Team, the Ceremonial Guard, and the Nimitz, its Virtual Reality Experience. Thursday, June 16-June 17.
FOOD By Michael Donahue
Food Fit for The King Mario Torres is executive chef at Graceland.
A Very Tasteful Food Blog
June 16-22, 2022
Dishing it out at .com.
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ario Torres wasn’t sure about Memphis when he moved here almost 20 years ago. “It was a shocker,” he says. “From food to culture to everything.” And, he says, “It took some time for me to adjust.” Now, he’s about as “Memphis” as you can get. Torres, 41, is senior food and beverage director at The Guest House at Graceland. He loves the culinary scene. “I think Memphis has a Southern influence when it comes down to dishes. But a lot of chefs came here and brought an attitude of their own and made those dishes unique.” Like Torres. He makes chicken and waffles, but they’re “marinated with chipotle sauce, and the gravy is made with ancho peppers.” A native of Mexico City, Torres moved to Dallas when he was 8 years old. “When I first got to America, my parents used to own a small taqueria, just a small family business.” Torres did prep work, but he also cooked. He grew up with “traditional Mexican cooking. I love food. I was always in the kitchen eating whatever my mom was cooking or in the restaurant trying something new. Food was always my passion.” After the restaurant closed, Torres got a job as a dishwasher at The Adolphus hotel in Dallas. The hotel helped him enroll at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts - Dallas. He then moved up the ranks to become sous-chef. He was a chef with Royal Caribbean Cruises before he moved to Memphis after his mother remarried. He took a job at Paulette’s. “I loved it. To me, it was going back to the French cuisine I was used to.” But he wanted to cook for larger numbers of people. “I was going from the Royal Caribbean feeding 2,000 people daily. I found Paulette’s very small. I was looking for big challenges.” He was at Flight Restaurant and Wine Bar before taking a job as executive chef at Hilton Memphis. “I used to drive by 240 and see the beautiful round building. I said, ‘I want to be a chef there one day.’ The building says ‘Memphis’ to me. I love it.” He later moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, where he was executive chef at the Little Rock Marriott. He was executive chef at The Don CeSar hotel in St. Pete Beach, Florida, until he opened his own restaurant consulting business in Memphis. He was the consultant for several Marriott and Hilton properties in Chicago, but, he says, “Memphis has always been my
home. I’ve always had a house here.” He spent time with his family during the pandemic. And then when things began opening up again, he finally thought, “I think my traveling days are over. I want to be a part of the community. I want to give back.” He took the job at The Guest House at Graceland 11 months ago. “It’s funny. I’d been in Memphis all this time and I never went to Graceland.” But, he says, “Elvis is a Memphis icon.” While at the Hilton, Torres created the King Sandwich, which was “Texas toast with banana flambé. Elvis has always been present in my culinary side.”
PHOTO: MICHAEL DONAHUE
Mario Torres Torres is in charge of the food at all of Graceland’s restaurants, including Vernon’s Smokehouse, where barbecue is served; Gladys’ Diner, which is designed to look like an old-school 1950s diner, where cheeseburgers, hot dogs, and pizzas are among the fare; Delta’s Kitchen, a fine-dining restaurant where the 28-ounce ruby tomahawk steak with its bourbon glaze is very popular; and EP’s Bar & Grill, where diners can get the Delta Burger with its tangy “Elvis” sauce. “All the menus are mine,” Torres says. He doesn’t serve any strictly Mexican dishes, but his dishes have a Mexican influence. “I implement different flavor profiles through Hispanic spices. Achiote, one of my favorite spices, is a two-dimensional spice. It’s not only savory, but it balances out the acidity.” As for his preferred food item, Torres says, “I love tacos.” His favorite food truck is on Summer Avenue. “Tacos are my favorite food of all time. I’m from Mexico. Everyone in Mexico knows a good taco.”
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FILM By Chris McCoy
Please Don’t Feed the Dinosaurs Jeff Goldblum rides to the rescue of Jurassic World: Dominion.
June 16-22, 2022
ow many ways can you screw up a dinosaur movie? It seems like a slam dunk. The people are coming for the dinosaurs, so you give them dinosaurs. When you’re not doing that, just point your camera at Jeff Goldblum — because, I assume if you’re making a movie about dinosaurs, you’ve paid your Goldblum money. In attempting a Star Trek Generations move by uniting the old and new casts of a legacy franchise, Jurassic World: Dominion inadvertently exposes the biggest flaw of the Jurassic Park reboot trilogy: the lack of Jeff Goldblum. In the new film, Chris Pratt finally achieves his quest to render his character Owen Grady completely void of personality. The former Navy Seal turned velociraptor whisperer is just there to be good at things like riding motorcycles and wrangling wild theropods, not to feel any pesky emotions. His sole move is to straight-arm dinosaurs into compliance, which he does eight times, by my count, in Dominion. Since appearing in 2018’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Bryce Dallas Howard has come into her own directing career, helming episodes of The Mandalorian, so her performance as
former Jurassic Park manager turned dinorights activist Claire Dearing is predictably checked-out. When Dominion begins, they’re living together in a cabin in rural Montana with Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon), the clone of the daughter of OG Jurassic Park researcher Sir Benjamin Lockwood. Instead of instantly dying from the Anthropocene world’s onslaught of pollution and disease, the dinosaurs who escaped the exploding volcano on Isla Nublar have spread across the planet. This sounds like the basis for
a good story. Imagine dinosaurs tearing a swath through the modern world, and our heroes, led by Jeff Goldblum, trying to find a solution which preserves both humankind and dino-kind. It’s the proverbial unscrewable pooch. Life, in the person of writer/director Colin Trevorrow, finds a way. It turns out that Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) has been spending the years since her 1993 visit to Jurassic Park studying the effects of genetic engineering on the ecology. She’s hot on the trail of a mysterious new species of giant locust that has been bioengineered to eat everything not produced by megacorp Biosyn. This will cause a worldwide famine if she and her old paleontologist flame Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill, remarkably well-preserved) can’t find proof of the plan. Luckily
Jeff Goldblum dominates the screen in the dino-lacking dinosaur flick. for us, Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff freakin’ Goldblum) has already infiltrated Biosyn by gaining the trust of its founder Dr. Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott, in a Shatnerian performance). Even though dinos are now roaming wild through the woods and plains of the world, Biosyn has gathered a collection of the creatures into a large, protected space — a kind of park, if you will — through which our ever-growing collection of heroes will have to navigate in order to save a kidnapped clone, a baby velociraptor, and also the world’s food supply. Maybe a more skilled filmmaker could successfully juggle three competing story-
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FILM By Chris McCoy lines, but the truth is, a skilled filmmaker would know better than to try. The giant locust attack seems to be an attempt at a climate change allegory, which is a weird choice for a story that already features a world overrun by allegorical dinosaurs. Were the filmmakers under the impression that we’re begging for a stealth remake of Beginning of the End, the 1957 giant locust movie skewered by Mystery Science Theater 3000? I thought we were here for dinosaurs. In fairness, there is some crunchy dino-action. The second act features a Spielbergian set piece, with trained velociraptor assassins under the command of a smuggler named Santos (Dichen Lachman) chasing a motorcycle-mounted Pratt through the streets of Malta. But even when Trevorrow
manages to conjure a string of exciting images, the Adderall-addled script can’t sustain any momentum. When things do perk up, it’s usually because of Jeff Goldblum. He effortlessly dominates the screen, helping the schlock go down easy with his trademark sly wink at the audience. I was reminded of the infamous story of when Michael Caine, another actor who was always the best thing in bad movies, was asked about appearing in another rock-bottom sequel to a great Steven Spielberg film, Jaws: The Revenge. “I haven’t seen it, and by all accounts, it is terrible,” he said. “But I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.”
“Full of humor, spirit, and sass …” Everything That’s True — Selected Writing from the Memphis Flyer and Memphis magazine is a great read — and a great gift.
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LEGAL NOTICE • EMPLOYMENT • REAL ESTATE • SERVICES
WATER R&D TEAM LEADER needed at Buckman Laboratories International, Inc. in Memphis, TN. Must have Ph.D in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, or related & 2 years’ water treatment industry exp, including: Creating basic chemical formulations for stability & testing purposes; Handling standard chemical raw materials including polymers, corrosion inhibitors, & biocides; Developing testing protocols & design equipment to simulate customer process conditions: pilot cooling towers, ﬂow loops, & on-line chemical treatment systems; Operating standard laboratory instrumentation; Developing experimental procedures including Design of Experiments, statistical analysis, & other data analysis; Data analysis software packages: Minitab, Excel, or JMP; Planning & execution of product/ technology development from lab scale to commercialization; Developing experimental protocols for technical ﬁeld trials designed to demonstrate viability of technology & identify value streams; Providing support of marketing trials, marketing materials development, & customer facing presentations. Must be able to travel to domestic customer sites and international Buckman sites (Brazil and India) 10% of time. Must be able to provide hands-on support for ﬁeld trials at industrial locations. Email CVs email@example.com. EOE - M/F/D/V
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HELP WANTED! Need plumbers & helpers to install plumbing in commercial buildings and remodels of existing buildings. $15 to $35 hr. Paid holidays and vacation. Must have transportation to job. Full time, part time. Call, text, or email. 901-870-0287 Draplumbing@yahoo.com
BUY, SELL, TRADE WANTED: OLD WINDUP Victrolas & old 45 & 78 records. Call Paul 901-734-6111.
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AUTO AUTO AUCTION Culp & Sons Towing, 3614 Jackson St. Memphis, TN 38108 on June 20th, 2022 between 12 & 3 PM. 2003 Honda Odyssey VIN: 5FNRL18923B052114, 2012 Nissan Altima VIN: 1N4AL2APXCN409459. NOTICE OF SALE THESE ABANDONED VEHICLES WILL BE SOLD ON 06/16/2022 at Null’s Towing & Move Over Towing, 992 Stage Ave, Memphis, TN 38127. 2017 Hyundai Accent VIN: KMHCT4AE0HU267306, 2011 Lincoln MKT VIN: 2LMHJ5FR1BBJ54818, 2004 Ford Expedition VIN: 1FMFU17L14LB71926, 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe VIN: KM8SM4HF8JU258317, 2005 Yamaha XVS VIN: JYAVM01EX5A084992, 2003 Chevy Trailblazer VIN: 1GNDS13S032395747.
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THE LAST WORD By Victoria Jones
Relay Through Generations Juneteenth is a chance to celebrate the milestones reached by Black Americans through the years.
PHOTOS: COURTESY TONE
m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m
Orange Mound’s 2021 Juneteenth festival
THE LAST WORD
The first years of my Big Mama’s life were spent in a home where generations of my ancestors resided. The eldest of whom was enslaved as a child, her great-great-grandfather. They lived on the same land that my people owned and had existed on since her great-great-grandfather was freed from slavery. Big Mama farmed this land with her siblings, cousins, parents, aunts, and uncles. When the time came for her to venture out on her own, she started a family. My grandfather was a bit of a rolling stone and left my grandmother to support their five children. She took a job at the Procter & Gamble factory in Jackson, Tennessee, and raised my mother and her siblings there. My mother was a basketball star in Jackson and had an opportunity to play ball at Lane College. After graduating, my mother joined the United States Navy to get out of Jackson. While there, she met my father and they started a family. As successful officers in the Navy, they were able to build an upbringing for my sister and me filled with the privileges of financial security, quality education, and support. Now my sister and I have been handed a baton, and for the first time in my lineage, since my people arrived in this country shackled and enslaved, we have been given an opportunity to ask ourselves who we want to be and what we want to do. Due to the perseverance and strength of the generations who came before us, my sister and I have been allowed to move outside of what we must do and granted the freedom to imagine, to dream, and to construct lives built on what we want to do. Our collective freedom in this country has been a relay race — every generation compelling us forward toward liberation, carving their own mark into the baton. We go up for Juneteenth as an opportunity to celebrate the perseverance of our people participating in this relay. It gives us a concentrated moment to lift up our ancestors and celebrate the endurance, the love, and the brilliance displayed during their legs of the race through enslavement, Jim Crow, redlining, voter suppression, lynching, and the prison industrial complex. We lift up the miracle of the Black folks who came before us who found ways to keep dreaming and pushing against all odds, the magic of Black folks who found song and dance despite the violence and persecution this country assigned to them. We lift up the innovation of our ancestors who gave room for our culture while the rest of the country was still debating our humanity. We marvel at the marks that they left on the baton. It takes us out of a vacuum and puts our work in direct conversation with the giants whose shoulders we sit upon. I can think of no celebration greater or more powerful than the one I can share with my ancestors and elders. It’s our moment to watch the race as it comes to us. It’s our running start when we are timing our step with the runner before us and preparing to take off with the baton. Now we have the baton and it’s time to run like all hell. It’s our moment to push this as far as we can. Our chance to decide what mark we want to leave on the baton. Our chance to figure out how far we can propel our people today. This is our chance to celebrate the innovation and the stamina of today. We get to dream and imagine in this moment and celebrate the potential of the future we will build. With the legacy of our ancestors still powering our step forward, we get to boost off like Sha’Carri. The beauty of this relay is that it’s very much about how you perform, how you show up, and at the same exact time it is about all of us, how our entire team is running and has run. It’s our chance to celebrate getting in step with one another. At some point in our sprint we’ll catch a glimpse of the next leg. They’ll be timing their step with us the same way we timed ours with our elders. With the same vigor and passion that we ran, we will be tasked with handing that baton off. Timing this hand-off correctly will be a determining factor of all of our journey toward liberation. This means that there will be a chance for us to hang up our armor and rest. We are not running this alone on the front or back end, and we must trust those running ahead to make their own mark on the baton. The exhaustion my team at TONE and I have faced makes the promise of rest worthy of celebration. Our young folks need to know that when it’s time to hand that baton off, it will be done in cheer and in celebration. So we go up for the babies watching too. Juneteenth is not some fixed day in our past; it’s not a freedom finish line. Instead it is a celebration of the race and of the runners. It is an opportunity to build an altar around this centuriesold baton, a chance to dance and to cheer and to celebrate just how far we’ve come. A chance to celebrate the victories and triumphs of today. A chance to celebrate the next leg so that they will be ready when the time comes to hand it off. Juneteenth gives us this opportunity to celebrate the liberation of Black folks in this country like no other day. We owe it to our ancestors, to ourselves, and to our future generations to celebrate and experience joy like our liberation depends on it. Victoria Jones is the founder and executive director of TONE, and the co-founder and president of Orange Mound Tower.
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