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OUR 1746TH ISSUE 08.11.22
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ANATOMY OF AN ELECTION
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OUR 1746TH ISSUE 08.11.22 Welp, here I am, back on page 3, writing the Letter From the Editor. It’s weird, sure, but I’ve only done this 837 times in the last 20 years, so I think I can handle it. The Flyer staff is rotating this column until we hire a new full-time editor, and this week, the honor is mine. As most publications do, the Flyer keeps close track of its internet traffic. Editorial staffers get a read-out each week of which web posts drew the most readers. Food stories get a lot of action. So do breaking news posts and oddball stories, like, say, a wallaby escaping from the zoo. My “At Large” column typically makes it somewhere into the top 10, though not every week. I don’t say this to brag, but to help illustrate the following point: Facebook literally shapes what you read. Here’s a real-world example: On Wednesday morning, when the weekly Flyer issue goes online, I post my column on my Facebook page. Within two hours, I know whether or not Facebook approves of the content. Most weeks, by noon, I have 75 to 100 “likes.” Over the course of the rest of the week, I usually hit 120-140 likes and 40 or 50 comments. Several people usually “share” my post, which also helps get it out into the world. Facebook is a big driver of readers to the Memphis Flyer site, and not just for my column. But then there are those weeks when Facebook apparently decides that nobody needs to see “At Large.” Two hours after I post it, the column will have two or three likes. At the end of the week, maybe 20 people will have seen the story link on Facebook. My friends say they don’t see it in their feed, even though they “follow” me. I can’t figure out what negative algorithms are being triggered on these off-weeks, but it’s frustrating as hell, knowing Facebook is “curating” my audience. And, sadly, it’s about to get worse. In late July, Meta, er, Facebook announced it was moving entirely to algorithmic, “recommendation-based” content rather than that of a true social media platform based primarily on friend/acquaintance-based content. Instagram, owned by Meta, has already made the switch, which is why you’re seeing tons of “reels” from strangers on IG, instead of pictures of your friend’s vacation. Instagram’s algorithms are prioritizing content based on your browsing habits and geo-fenced locations, not your social media contacts. All this is helping further de-platform and destroy local news-media operations. Facebook has since its founding used content from news operations without paying for it. News is just another piece of “content,” along with cat videos and comely “influencers” dancing on TikTok. There is a bipartisan bill called the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) that’s been floating around Congress for months. It would provide a temporary, limited-antitrust, safe harbor for local news publishers to collectively negotiate with Facebook and Google for fair compensation for the use of their content. The act is tailored to ensure that coordination by news publishers protects trustworthy, quality journalism and rewards publishers who invest in journalists, giving them a higher portion of the funds that result from the negotiations. If you value trustworthy local news produced by legitimate journalists, I urge you to learn more about the JCPA and bring it to the attention of your congressperson. And on that note, if you’re reading this online, I urge you to scroll down below this column, read the text in that big yellow box, and then click the black bar that reads “donate.” You’ll learn how to support the Flyer’s work by chipping in any amount you’d like. You’ll also see a list of the hundreds of folks who already support us as part of our Frequent Flyer program. NEWS & OPINION THE FLY-BY - 4 If you’re reading this in print, we NY TIMES CROSSWORD - 6 thank you, as well! We take pride in SPORTS - 8 being one of the very few progressive FINANCE - 9 voices in the Mid-South, and we’d apCOVER STORY preciate your help in keeping that voice “CHANGE IS COMING” alive and free to the public. Facebook BY JACKSON BAKER - 10 WE RECOMMEND - 14 sure isn’t going to provide original local MUSIC - 15 news or content. … And they’re probCALENDAR - 17 ably going to make it really difficult for FOOD - 19 you to read this column. TV - 20 Bruce VanWyngarden CL ASSIFIEDS - 22 The Memphis Flyer is now seeking canLAST WORD - 23 didates for its editor position. Send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CITY REPORTER By Flyer staff
Risk in the Air
IT’S A SIGN
EPA warns of harmful emissions from Memphis facility.
A piece of Memphis past is now part of Cooper-Young’s future. The eagle-eyed Hunter Demster spotted a crew installing the above sign in Cooper-Young last week. Keen-minded commenters remembered that the sign, and the Silver Horse Shoe Motel it belonged to, used to be on Summer Avenue. That was all confirmed (as most Memphis history things are) with a link to a Memphis magazine story about the hotel by our company’s own Vance Lauderdale.
PHOTO: COURTESY VANCE LAUDERDALE
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August 11-17, 2022
Edited by Toby Sells
Memphis on the internet.
POSTED TO FACEBOOK BY HUNTER DEMSTER
Questions, Answers + Attitude
Reddit user u/GoodOlSpence recently shared this photo to the Memphis subreddit. The image features some random dude and his high school class. Happy Elvis Week! BOM Best of Memphis voting closes in less than a week, folks. So remember to head over to our website and let fly your opinions on everything from bartenders to bikini waxes. (Voting closes on August 17th at 5 p.m.)
Citizens living around the Sterilization Services of Tennessee facility (2396 Florida Street) are at an elevated risk of harmful emissions, and the federal government will visit with them soon. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will visit 20 communities across the country to discuss the risks posed by air emissions of ethylene oxide (EtO). Those community meetings will also help inform the EPA as it develops tighter standards for the Clean Air Act as it pertains to EtO. “EPA analysis indicates that the air near facilities like Sterilization Services of Tennessee does not exceed shortterm health benchmarks,” the agency said in a statement. “However, the concern is that a lifetime of exposure to EtO emissions could lead to long-term health impacts if some of the facilities continue to emit at the current levels.” Sterilization Services of Tennessee uses the gas to sterilize medical equipment and has eight employees, according to the EPA. It has been in operation in Shelby County since 1976 and has been permitted by the Shelby County Health Department (SCHD) since 1985. The facility is in compliance with the EPA’s current rules. But the agency has “new information about EtO emissions at certain commercial sterilizer facilities” that will be shared during the community meetings. The community meeting in Memphis is set for September 8th. A risk map of the area around Sterilization Services (right) shows the lifetime cancer risk of those who live near the facility. The risk is greater for those who live next to the facility between Industrial Avenue and Bodley. But the PHOTO: EPA risk map includes an area that spreads from Peebles in the The affected areas close to Sterilization south, South Parkway in the north, Lauderdale in the east, Services of Tennessee and (roughly) Riverside Drive in the west. EtO is a colorless and flammable gas that is used in makHere’s what the EPA says: ing other chemicals and products like antifreeze and plastic “Major effects observed in workers exposed to ethylene bottles, and to sterilize medical equipment and some spices, oxide at low levels for several years are irritation of the eyes, the EPA said. skin, and respiratory passages and effects to the nervous Exposure risks include eye pain, leukemia, and spontane- system (e.g., headache, nausea, memory loss, numbness). ous abortion. “Some evidence exists indicating Here’s what the Occupational that inhalation exposure to ethylene Safety and Health Administraoxide can cause an increased rate of tion (OSHA) says: miscarriages in female workers. VariThe concern is that a “In addition to eye pain and ous reproductive effects have been lifetime of exposure to EtO sore throat, exposure to EtO can noted in inhalation exposure studies emissions could lead to cause difficult breathing and of animals, including decreased blurred vision. Exposure can also number of implantation sites, long-term health impacts. cause dizziness, nausea, headache, decreased testicular weights and convulsions, blisters, and can sperm concentration, and testicular result in vomiting and coughing. degeneration. “Both human and animal studies show that EtO is a “Human occupational studies have shown elevated cases carcinogen that may cause leukemia and other cancers. EtO of lymphoid cancer and also breast cancer in female workis also linked to spontaneous abortion, genetic damage, nerve ers. Ethylene oxide has been shown to cause lymphoid candamage, peripheral paralysis, muscle weakness, as well as im- cer and tumors of the brain, lung, connective tissue, uterus, paired thinking and memory. In liquid form, EtO can cause and mammary glands in animals exposed to ethylene oxide severe skin irritation upon prolonged or confined contact.” by inhalation.”
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The New York Times Syndication Sales Corporation 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10018 For Information Call: 1-800-972-3550 For Release Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Crossword ACROSS 1 Commercial prefix with Turf 6 Inspiring lust 10 Like about half the games on a team’s schedule 14 First little pig’s building material 15 Rouse 16 Snitched 17 Representatives Sessions (R-TX) and Aguilar (D-CA), for instance? 19 “Famous” cookie name 20 A pop 21 “Bali ___” (Rodgers and Hammerstein show tune) 22 Nauru’s capital 24 Sault ___ Marie 25 Why many people visit Napa? 28 Key on the left side of a keyboard
29 “Handy” thing to know, for short? 30 RR stop 31 Nurseries? 36 Bud in baseball’s Hall of Fame 38 A thou 39 Outlet from the left ventricle 41 “Je t’___” (“I love you”: Fr.) 42 Fairy tale baddies 44 What ice trays typically do? 46 Its symbol is Sn 47 Western tribe 49 Overrule 50 President Herbert’s wife and mother, e.g.? 54 Company with a mascot named Leo 57 ___ di Pietro, artist better known as Fra Angelico
ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE W A D E O P E L K E E L S T I S A L I G A G M O G L E G O U N S A T E C O M E E N O L R A J A B L I N
S C O P E D O N T A S K
W H O K N E W
N O V A
B E E F
L I A E R U R A O T P A R
E T A T S H U L U
A S R U R C O R K W E E B R H A S A H E K A D E I N E T A T O N O U N T
C H A I
R U N N Y
A R T I E
P A S T S
O P O O N E B A Y N I F E S S T T B L E A I R S L E G O L U S T
58 “___ Majesty” (what to call a king) 59 De ___ (by law) 60 Singer Guthrie 61 Play “Name That Tune”? 64 Where Cinderella lost her slipper 65 Swarming pest 66 Biblical queendom 67 French buddies 68 They may cover a lot of ground 69 Mountain chain about 5,000 miles long … or a hint to 17-, 25-, 31-, 44-, 50- and 61-Across DOWN 1 Fire remnants 2 Relative of a mink 3 Query after a knock-downdrag-out fight 4 Reckless, as a decision 5 Fall behind 6 Say on a stack of Bibles 7 Weird Al Yankovic’s first hit 8 Classic Jaguar model 9 “Oh, absolutely!” 10 Game company that introduced Breakout 11 Movement that Ms. magazine developed out of 12 Period enjoyed by an introvert 13 Football stats: Abbr. 18 Irrational fear 23 Hole punches
Edited by Will Shortz 1
PUZZLE BY JOHN CIOLFI
25 Followers of mis
26 “___ mañana!”
54 Less bright, as colors
35 Word following “Able was I …” 37 French waters 27 Wise ones 40 “Gunsmoke” star 28 Rug rat James 31 Alternative to the 43 Went after, in a counter at a diner way 32 Cardiologist’s 45 Modern prefix X-ray with gender 33 Mathematician 48 Band with the Daniel after whom 1966 #1 hit “Wild a principle is Thing,” with “the” named 51 Baroque stringed 34 Words repeated instruments by Lady Macbeth in Act V, Scene 1 52 In the lead
55 Diving bird 56 Monument Valley sights 59 Lav 60 Bygone court org. — or current court org. 62 Half of due 63 Org. based in Fort Meade, Md.
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August 11-17, 2022
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The possible federal ban on the flavored cigarettes got one step closer to reality last week, spurring praise and rebuke.
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More than 18 million Americans smoked menthols in 2019.
he process to possibly ban menthol cigarettes got a step closer to reality last week, while the move got the nod from a high-ranking politician and disapproval from the convenience store lobby. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the longawaited move toward a menthol ban in April. The agency has worked on the issue since at least 2011. A 2009 law banned all flavors in cigarettes, except for tobacco and menthol. The FDA estimated in 2019 that more than 18.5 million people aged 12 and up smoked menthols in the U.S. It recorded high rates of use by youth, young adults, African Americans, and other racial and ethnic groups. The FDA said banning menthol cigarettes in the U.S. would lower smoking by 15 percent nationwide over the next 40 years, and over that time, an estimated 324,000 to 654,000 smoking deaths overall and 92,000 to 238,000 African-American deaths could be avoided. The FDA opened the proposal up for public comment in April, a necessary step in federal rule-making. The comment period was expanded by 60 days in June at the urging of lobby groups advocating for convenience stores, truck stops, and marketers of gasoline and diesel. That comment period closed, getting the move one step closer to reality, on Monday, August 1st. U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, told the FDA he approved the move to ban menthols in a
letter last week. He said menthols are the only flavored cigarette left on the market, and they “make smoking less harsh and easier to inhale,” thereby helping people — and many young people — to start smoking. “Research has found that tobacco companies controlled the menthol levels in their cigarettes to increase brand sales among specific groups and gain market share,” Pallone said in his letter. “Even more concerning, the tobacco industry has aggressively targeted marketing of menthol cigarettes to specific populations and certain racial and ethnic groups, particularly Black Americans and young people.” In June, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing (NACS) said banning menthols “would decimate businesses operated by hardworking men and women” who legally sell legal products. Banning menthols — or any legal product — “for consenting adults has never and will never be good policy.” NACS said the menthol market accounts for about 34 percent of cigarette sales and that flavored cigars account for 51 percent of cigar sales. Banning these products, the group said, will push their sales to “the illicit market.” “History has proven that prohibition of a legal product that has an established user base doesn’t work and has negative consequences for our communities,” stated Anna Blom, NACS director of government relations. “Unfortunately, many current users of these products will seek out illicit sources who don’t check IDs and who sell counterfeit products smuggled into the country.”
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NEWS & OPINION
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earing the end of his rookie season on the PGA Tour, Chad Ramey will be in the field at this week’s FedEx St. Jude Championship. Having earned his first win in March, Ramey has reached 80th in the FedExCup standings. (The top 125 players will compete at Southwind in the first of three playoff tournaments.) The Fulton, Mississippi, native — a graduate of Mississippi State — shared some thoughts before making his FESJC debut. Memphis Flyer: What have you learned about yourself as a rookie on the PGA Tour? Chad Ramey: I’ve been able to go to a lot of new places and play a lot of great golf courses. I can’t complain at all, picking up my first PGA Tour win. I wish I’d been a little more consistent, but I’ve learned a lot and can build off that. What stands out in your memories of that win at the Corales Puntacana Championship? Those four rounds were really good, but they were far from perfect. You don’t have to be perfect to win. You’re gonna miss golf shots. It’s whoever moves on and gets over them the quickest. I can get in trouble with myself when I want everything to be perfect. Sometimes things can be good, and you create a problem in trying to make them better. I’m working on that. Did nerves hit you on Sunday? No doubt. They were there from the first tee to the last putt. I kept telling myself they’re just thoughts, feelings. Stay within myself and execute the game plan. Trust that hard work will pay off. Have you played Southwind? I Monday-qualified [for the FESJC] in 2015. And being so close to home, I’ve actually played it quite a bit. I really like the course. I’ve never played it as firm as it was during the tournament. The PGA Tour is going to set it up as firm and fast as they can. I think it’s very fair. If you can get the ball in position off the tee, you’ll have enough scoring clubs in your hand.
This is the first time in Memphis for the FedExCup playoffs. What’s your perspective as a player on the magnitude of the event? Everyone’s going to be on high alert, hoping to make the top 70 and get to Delaware [for the second playoff tournament]. This will be my first playoff experience. Can’t wait to be there. Have you visited St. Jude? Any thoughts on the charitable impact the FESJC makes? It’s absolutely amazing, what St. Jude does. I haven’t had the chance to visit the hospital, but I’d love to. The caddy bibs, with the pictures the children draw … it’s a great foundation. I couldn’t be more proud of what St. Jude does.
PHOTO: COURTESY PGA TOUR
Chad Ramey The Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour has shaken the sport this year. Do you have thoughts on the changing landscape? Golf ’s in a weird spot right now. I haven’t put a lot of thought into it, to be honest. I’ve tried to be focused on the PGA Tour. My entire life, this is where I’ve wanted to play. And I’m staying true to that. You attended the Masters as a fan when you were 10 years old. What would playing at Augusta mean to you at this stage of your growing career? It would mean everything. I’ve never played there. It would be special to finally get there. A dream come true. The ultimate goal was to play on the PGA Tour, but for the Masters to come along with it … that would be special.
FINANCE By Gene Gard
Your Loan,Your Way
It’s common for investors to be overconfident.
decade of daily experience in financial markets, several rigorous financial certifications, and a respected MBA, I suspect I’d be better at picking stocks than an average reader of this article. With that said, you might be surprised to learn that I think you would be foolish to ask me (or any other investment professional) to build a portfolio for you by picking a handful of individual stocks and bonds! What value can an investment advisor add then? I don’t think an advisor can pick stocks to beat the market,
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but I do believe there are ways to beat the market in the long run without outguessing the market by picking the right kinds of funds. Aside from curating the investment portfolios, much of the value an advisor can add is behavioral. Talking clients off the ledge when they want to go to all cash almost always has been the right choice historically. Most people like to spend money on things and experiences, and a good advisor can get the signal from the noise and help determine if the time is right for a big purchase. Probably most importantly, advisors can figure out if those approaching retirement are likely to be okay or need to revise their plans. If we were all like Star Trek’s Mr. Spock, then financial planning would be easy. We’re all fully human though, so you and advisors like me will have to continue to overcome our natural biases and emotions to make the best decisions amid uncertainty on our long-term financial paths. 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 email@example.com. Sign up for the next free online seminar on the Events tab at telarrayadvisors.com.
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NEWS & OPINION
he body of knowledge now called behavioral finance has been developing in earnest since around 1980. The more we learn about the way we interact with money, the more we see that our instincts are often not as useful today as when humans were developing many years ago. Our natural misconceptions are somewhat predictable and fall into identifiable categories. One of the most common biases is overconfidence, which manifests in many ways when it comes to investing. For example, we will feel most comfortable investing in things we know well, even if it means we’re undiversified. One great example is the tendency to maintain large positions in your employer’s company stock. Geographic home bias is a problem, too, in that we’re more confident in investments in places we know. U.S. home bias has outperformed for the last few years, but then again Japanese investors did great investing locally up until the 1989 crash, too. Thirty-plus years later, the price return of the Nikkei 225 average is still underwater! When AT&T broke up into seven regional companies, investors were found not to invest in the Baby Bell with the best investment prospects but rather almost always in the one they knew locally. To be provocative, perhaps the most costly form of overconfidence is when investors think they can select individual stocks and outperform the market consistently year after year. Most busy people have a hard time picking up their dry cleaning, so the idea that a working professional with family obligations can have the time to be effective at selecting individual stocks and bonds over the long run is a stretch, at best. What’s worse is that sometimes investors think they are winning, but it’s only because they remember the winners and forget about the losers. I remember a TV show that did a tour of famous poker player Daniel Negreanu’s house outside Las Vegas. There was a large pool table in the basement, and the host asked him if he’s any good at pool. I remember he looked at her for a long moment and simply replied, “Well, I’m better than you are.” In the same way, with over a
COVER STORY & PHOTOS By Jackson Baker
CHAISNGE COMING (left) Gubernatorial hopeful Jason Martin of Nashville
August 11-17, 2022
he election of August 4, 2022, in Shelby County will likely go down in history for more reasons than the length of its ballot, the longest in local history. Some 31 years since a political revolution occurred in the county’s core city of Memphis, electing an African-American mayor and broadening the concept of both citizenship and officialdom, a similar process is about to occur in Shelby County at large. The county will still be the site of six suburban municipalities that are predominantly white in population and Republican in disposition, but these enclaves — their populations inflated by a generation of evacuees from the earlier transformation of Memphis — will now be subject to a governing apparatus that is increasingly diversified and bent on reform. Shelby County already had a Black chief executive, Mayor Lee Harris, who had launched a number of initiatives designed to extend opportunity and ameliorate the lot of the county’s traditional underclass. As a result of the election, the mayor’s partners in power will include a legislative body, the Shelby County Commission, whose 13 members will have a Black and female majority and 10 a Democrat-to-Republican ratio of 9 to 4; a Juvenile Court judge who is the
(center) Mulroy promises new age of fairness as Democrats sweep.
scion of African-American civil rights pioneers; and a Democratic district attorney general who, though white like the Republican DA he defeated, has declared an agenda that targets the residual racial inequities of the county’s criminal justice system. Tennessee state government has become as inflexibly Republican and Trump-dominated as much of the rest of the old Confederacy and, via intensified assertion of its authority on home-rule local governments, has managed to suppress the influence of the state’s urban centers. Nashville had been a bastion of progressivism and New South sensibilities, but the capital city saw ruthless state gerrymandering in January that drastically reduced its legislative capacity and virtually scuttled its hundred-year tradition of electing Democrats to Congress. As Memphis Congressman Steve Cohen, almost surely destined to be the state’s last surviving Democratic member of the U.S. House, foresaw back in the spring, Nashville’s loss would mean a potential gain in leadership possibilities for the Memphis area, where a Black majority made such disenfranchisement of its political base impractical. Among other things, Shelby County now becomes, post-election, a kind of laboratory for governmental experimentation. The Democrats elected and re-elected last week are free to propose remedies
ANATOMY OF AN ELECTION
(right) Candidates Mulroy, Harris, and Sugarmon, with former NAACP head Johnnie Turner, make last-minute pilgrimage to a statue of Ida B. Wells.
not only to legacies of neglect in Shelby County government but also to the increasing arrogation of power to a Republican-dominated state government. Consider only the three top-of-theticket officials newly confirmed by voters — Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris, District Attorney General Steve Mulroy, and Juvenile Court Judge Tarik Sugarmon. All are long-term Democrats with specific ideas for new agendas. (Technically, Sugarmon’s office is nonpartisan, and accordingly he ran without party label, as, for that matter, did his defeated opponent, current — now outgoing — Judge Dan Michael, who essentially was considered a Republican.) Harris, who invoked “segregation” as the county’s most severe problem during his first race for mayor in 2018, has bent his efforts toward the abolition of racial and economic disparities affecting the county’s underserved population. He has pioneered in the issue of criminal justice reform, in the establishment of re-entry programs for first-time offenders, and in the creation of a new Juvenile Justice Center. He has shown a willingness to take on the establishment’s sacred cows, as when he vetoed funding for a posh new swimming facility at the University of Memphis, holding to his opposition long enough to extract a pledge from university officials to move toward a $15-an-hour pay for all employees,
the same plateau he has instituted for county workers. Harris’ Republican opponent in the recent election, Memphis City Councilman Worth Morgan based his wellfinanced campaign on the idea that “we deserve better,” though he never was able to articulate any specifics behind that and other pleasantly-put platitudes. The final vote was 78,552 for Harris to Morgan’s 56,789 and might have been larger, had Harris turned on the jets full-blast. The bottom line was, he didn’t need to. A major background issue in the campaign, largely unvoiced, was the tension that had prevailed between county government and the state at the height of the Covid pandemic. Early difficulties in the county’s administering of vaccines were one problem; the state’s insistence on overriding home-rule medical authority, hardened and codified into law during a special legislative session, was another. It is widely assumed that Harris’ future political ambitions run to a congressional bid down the line; it is less well-known that he has also thought of running for governor and, in fact, had considered that idea, among others, before opting for a second mayoral term. That mayoral race was run, more or less, as a partnership with the campaign of Mulroy for district attorney general. Candidates Harris and Mulroy,
numbers worked against her. For one thing, political affiliations in Shelby County were too heavy for Democrats, and the early voting especially was in sync with that. One set of numbers had especially adverse implications for the incumbent — those indicating a continuing upward climb in the crime rate, especially for crimes of violence, during her 11year tenure. Mulroy was not shy about mentioning that fact and carried with him on the stump a cardboard graphic with bars depicting the steady rise. For her part, Weirich launched an ad campaign depicting Mulroy, without explicit evidence, as a Defund the Police activist. Mulroy responded with ads noting the incumbent had been officially reprimanded more than once for judicial misconduct and called her the “worst” district attorney in the state.
regime backslid and committed a brutal carjacking murder of Autura Eason-Williams, a revered local Methodist cleric. Both candidates were on the spot; almost reflexively, Weirich sought a transfer of the youth to adult court, while Mulroy fished somewhat inconclusively for a proper rhetorical response. The moment passed, and so did a brief sensation arising from Weirich’s decision to be interviewed on “truthin-sentencing” by “shock jock” Thaddeus Matthews, who had an harassment case pending that technically would call on her to prosecute. In the end, Mulroy would win with surprising ease, polling 76,280 votes to Weirich’s 59,364. Still, Mulroy’s victory, like Harris’, came somewhat as expected, and for all the Sturm und Drang of the DA race, for all the late money Mulroy got from a national network of criminal justice reformers, allowing him to compete on equal terms for advertising time, his margin of victory might simply
(above) Former GOP candidate turned poll-watcher Patti Possel (right) Cordova Commission winner Shante Avant waves to well-wisher. In a series of debates, the two candidates lambasted each other. There were genuine differences on the issues, with Mulroy outlining a progressive agenda seeking, among other things, reforms of the cash-bail system, a post-conviction review procedure, and a reduction in the number of juveniles whose cases were remanded to Criminal Court. He also vowed to amend what he saw as a disparity in the DA’s office, in which 80 percent of the attorneys were white and 95 percent of the accused in their caseloads were Black. He opposed “truth-in-sentencing,” which eliminated parole for certain violent felonies, while Weirich celebrated its codification into state law. Late in the contest, what might have become a test case occurred on the matter of juvenile transfers. A youth whom Weirich had put on a restorative justice
have been owing to the superfluidity of blues over reds in the voting population. More uncertain for most of the campaign season was the fate of the third member of the de facto reformist triad, Tarik Sugarmon. The 2022 campaign was the second race for Juvenile Court judge by Sugarmon, who had run unsuccessfully in 2014 against incumbent Dan Michael, a loyalist in the administrations of former longtime Judge Kenneth Turner and Turner’s successor, Curtis Person. By 2022, Sugarmon was a judge himself, having won election to Memphis Municipal Court in the meantime, but he still hankered for the job of Juvenile Court Judge. The son of civil rights pioneer Russell Sugarmon and the brother of Erika Sugarmon, who won a race for the Shelby County Commission in the
May Democratic primary, Sugarmon believed, like the other two members of his de facto triad, that Black youths had been badly served by the existing social and judicial systems. At a joint press conference held in June in which he was endorsed by Harris and Mulroy, Sugarmon actually reached into the past and unexpectedly espoused a scheme, first advanced by then County Commissioner Mulroy and others in 2007, to double the number of Juvenile Court judges in order to deal with an ever-mounting caseload. The proposal, when made in 2007, would have replaced one in which the Juvenile Court judge of record was assisted by 12 appointed referees or magistrates who actually tried cases and dealt with offenders. It was a system dictated originally by the fact that Judge Turner did not have a law degree and could not fully function in the judicial sense. The second-judge concept was approved by the County Commission at the time but brushed aside later by a state appeals court. Sugarmon, who had researched the matter, believes it can be successfully revived by the new group of county commissioners. It remains to be seen if he — and they — will try again. In any case, the trio of Harris, Mulroy, and Sugarmon, who triumphed in a four-candidate race, edging out Michael by 10,000 votes, can be expected to proceed with an era of reforms in their respective jurisdictions. And something of the sort can surely be expected of the newly elected County Commission. Early in the current century, this 13-member body was dominated by seven white male Republicans. Come September, the body will number nine Democrats and four Republicans; eight Blacks and five whites; seven women and six men; seven returnees and six neophytes (though the firebrand Henri Brooks, back for a second run, should perhaps not be so described). No longer will the balance of power be held by what has been called a white patriarchy. For the record, the names of the new commissioners are as follows, those of incumbents in caps: District 1, AMBER MILLS, R District 2, DAVID BRADFORD, R District 3, MICK WRIGHT, R District 4, BRANDON MORRISON, R District 5, Shante Avant, D District 6, Charlie Caswell, D District 7, Henri Brooks, D District 8, MICKELL LOWERY, D District 9, EDMUND FORD JR., D District 10, Britney Thornton, D District 11, Miska Clay Bibbs, D District 12, Erika Sugarmon, D District 13, MICHAEL WHALEY, D This, folks, is change. And city government is on the flipper, too. There continued on page 13
COVER STORY m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m
who had served together on the law faculty of the University of Memphis, shared a busy campaign headquarters at the intersection of Poplar and Highland, and there was generous overlap between them at the supporter and strategic levels, as well. The district attorney’s race became the marquee event to the county election campaign, and there were several reasons for that — one obvious one being that DA Amy Weirich was the last possessor of a county elective office for the Republican Party, which, for most of the time in the era of partisan county elections, had been predominant locally. That trend ran counter to the fact that demographics — notably, in the growing African-American percentage of the county population — were increasingly favorable to Democrats. The GOP, which led the way toward partisan elections in 1992, had been able to do well on the strength of good candidates with crossover platforms. By 2018, the year of the “blue-wave” election, locally as well as nationally, the county’s Democrats had developed that knack, while Republicans, saddled with Trumpism, had drifted toward ideological extremism. Mulroy — articulate, self-assured, and a demon for work — had been an active political force for years, leading crusades ranging from reforms in the mechanics of voting to efforts to maintain the Libertyland amusement park and its legendary Zippin Pippin roller coaster. He served from 2006 to 2014 on the Shelby County Commission and hazarded a race for county mayor, losing in the Democratic primary to Deidre Malone. As he liked to say, he had served in “the Bill Clinton Justice Department” and had experience in both the prosecution and defense aspects of criminal law. Highly active and respected as an academic scholar, Mulroy had ambitions to serve as a federal judge but, as a white male liberal, didn’t check the requisite number of boxes for an appointment in either Democratic or Republican administrations. In local Democratic ranks, his credentials were considered nigh to perfect for the DA’s race, however, and, after coming out ahead in a three-way primary race, he threw himself into the general election showdown with Weirich, brandishing an agenda for reform that jibed with that of Harris and reflected cutting-edge ideas in legal and law-enforcement circles. Weirich, though not anybody’s idea of an ideologue, styled herself as “Our DA” and campaigned as a law-andorder traditionalist concerned essentially with victims and their rights. She had financial assets of close to a million dollars for the campaign, but other
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were two items on the ballot for city voters only. One was a race for City Court judge. The incumbent, former county equity officer Carolyn Watkins, was turned out by Kenya Woods, the city’s chief prosecutor. More important for what it augurs was the overwhelming defeat by Memphis voters of proposed Memphis Ordinance 5823 by a convincing margin of 52,582 to 26,759. That referendum victory for a twoterm limit means not just that neither Mayor Jim Strickland nor any City Council member who is now in a second term can run again in city government. It also mandates that the controls will pass to new faces and, mayhap, to new ideas. For some time the names of retiring county Commissioner Van Turner, Downtown Memphis Commissioner Paul Young, and state House Minority Leader Karen Camper have been circulated as possible mayoral aspirants. More names and more energies are almost sure to come. There were anomalies elsewhere in the election, notably in the ranks of the judiciary. But first, props are called for in the case of longtime Republican activist Charlotte Bergman, an African American who has toiled in party ranks for more than a generation and became in the process a perennial primary candidate for the 9th Congressional District seat held, more or less in perpetuity, by Democrat Steve Cohen. There was a tendency for outsiders to see her activities as feckless, but she has jus, and in the Republican primary, decisively turned away a moneyed entrepreneur named Brown Dudley, who supposedly had the wherewithal to give Cohen a run for his money in November. Clearly, GOP voters consider Bergman a legitimate voice for grievances and aspirations. More kudos. Carol Chumney, the onetime state legislator and City Council member who made two races for Memphis mayor and then, to most eyes, had slipped away. Actually, she started taking care of her law practice and went to work on an interesting memoir, published just months ago. Now, after a spell of useful activism on the voting reforms front, she has won the election as Circuit Court judge in Division II. A good year, indeed. And a tip of the hat to Joe Townsend, who came out of nowhere to beat veteran Judge Karen D. Webster in Probate Court, Division II, by 66,186 to 47,660. There were, to be sure, unforeseen turns in the judges’ ballot as well. Most drastically, Mark Ward, Criminal Court judge in Division IX and the author of the primer on criminal law which is basic
reading for all Criminal Court judges, went down to newcomer Melissa Boyd. Joe Ozment, who had every known endorsement from various groups, including the Bar Association itself, lost in a multi-candidate race to Jennifer Fitzgerald for the Criminal Court, Division II, post. Gerald Skahan, junior member of a brother-sister judicial team, lost his seat on the bench in General Sessions Criminal Court, Division 9, to Sheila Bruce-Renfroe, who won a judgeship on her second try. Meanwhile, Skahan’s sister, Paula Skahan, was run unexpectedly close by Michael Floyd in Criminal Court, Division I. And Christian Johnson, a bankruptcy lawyer with a penchant for wearing cowboy hats, upset Judge Loyce Lambert-Ryan in General Sessions Criminal Court, Division 15. There were other surprises and close calls, enough to suggest that, to an unusual degree, change was the order of the day.
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Trustee Regina Newman compares election totals with fellow Democrat David Cocke. Judicial races aside, most of that change, to repeat, was at the expense of the Republican Party in overtly partisan matchups, and it is hard, given demographic realities, to see how that trend will be reversed. Increasingly, the politics of Shelby County will be antithetical to those of Tennessee state government. JB Smiley of the Memphis City Council made a brave, and perhaps premature, run at the Democratic nomination for governor. He won in Shelby County but lost statewide to Dr. Jason Martin of Nashville, another area which, like Memphis, has grievances against the state. Perhaps, Martin can do better than expected against Republican Governor Bill Lee. Even if not, the bench of potential gubernatorial hopefuls, many of them from Memphis and many mentioned in this article, is almost certain to expand. And the change that got started in this year’s Shelby County election is just on its first legs.
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Elvis hasn’t left the building, or rather Elvis hasn’t left the hearts of fans who keep his legacy alive, some even on stage where his star once shone so brightly. Ted Torres Martin is one such figure — a full-time Elvis tribute artist — and he’ll be here this week performing as Elvis in Aloha from Memphis. Ever since an 11-year-old Martin caught a glimpse of the King in Jailhouse Rock, he has been enthralled with Elvis’ musicality and charisma. “I was just hooked,” he says, and his attraction to Elvis the musician was natural, seeing that his parents were professional musicians and he’s studied music all his life. “I became a musician first, and I learned to appreciate all kinds of music, but Elvis was always in the back of my mind. … His catalog is so extensive, more than people listen to, beyond the hits.” Eventually, Martin began attending Elvis conventions. “I started meeting more people who knew him — family members, band members,” he says. “They heard me sing at open mics and told me I could [become an Elvis performer]. I was like, ‘No, I have long hair’ — I still kinda do. Like, ‘I’m a musician; I’m a songwriter. I’m not going to become an Elvis impersonator. There’s only one Elvis, blah blah blah.’” PHOTO: CLUB ELVIS ESPAÑA But as he grew closer to the people who once knew Elvis — especially Ted Torres Martin as Elvis D.J. Fontana, Elvis’ longtime drummer, and Gordon Stoker from The Jordanaires who sang backup for him — Martin began to know Elvis the person. “I thought it was kinda weird how many similarities and parallels I found between his life and mine, character-wise as well, from what his friends told me,” Martin says. “Our personalities are pretty similar. By learning more about him from his friends, musicians, and family, I learned that he was such a good-hearted person. That attracted me to him even more.” So, despite his initial resistance, Martin began his Elvis performances full-time nearly 20 years ago. “I’m like, ‘Okay, let me try to do this respectfully and as authentic as I can, at the same time keeping myself separated where I don’t get so lost where I think I’m Elvis or anything like that.’ I’m Elvis on stage, but when I step off the stage, I’m Ted.” For Elvis Week, Martin will take over the Halloran Centre’s stage. “We’re doing a complete recreation of the Aloha from Hawaii, including what they called the insert songs that he did in montages,” Martin says. “We’re celebrating the upcoming 50th anniversary which will be in January in 2023. We’re getting ahead and going to do it during Elvis Week, which I feel is a very special thing.” ALOHA FROM MEMPHIS STARRING TED TORRES MARTIN, HALLORAN CENTRE, FRIDAY, AUGUST 12, 3 P.M., $60-$85.
August 11-17, 2022
VARIOUS DAYS & TIMES August 11th - 17th
2 1 6 6 C e n t r a l Av e . Memphis TN 38104
Service & Sips Old Dominick Distillery, Thursday, August 11, 3-7 p.m. Join Old Dominick and their charitable arm, Glass Half Full, along with Clean Memphis and Downtown Memphis Commission, for an afternoon of service and sips. From 3 to 5 p.m., volunteers will divide into teams and set out to beautify the community by cleaning up some areas of much-needed attention. Afterward, volunteers will head back to Old Dominick Distillery for some tasty bites and cold beverages. Each registered volunteer will receive one free drink ticket. Snacks will be provided. After your free drink, the bar will be open and offering happy hour specials until 7 p.m.
MicroCinema: 2022 Sundance Institute Indigenous Short Film Tour Crosstown Theater, Wednesday, August 17, 7-8:45 p.m. Indie Memphis and Crosstown Arts are thrilled to screen the 2022 Sundance Institute Indigenous Short Film Tour, a 91-minute program of six short films selected from this year’s festival from alumni of Sundance Institute’s Indigenous Program. The Indigenous Short Film Tour spotlights important works by Native filmmakers across fiction and documentary. This year’s program is a celebration of Native perseverance and an exciting look at a variety of inventive storytelling from Indigenous artists with Sundance ties. The screening is pay-what-youcan. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Read to Relate: An Interactive Play Discussion Group Theatre Memphis and Cordova Branch Library, various dates through October 4, $15 The group will discuss plays written by and about AALANA (African American, Latinx, Asian, Arab, Native American) and/or differentlyabled communities. Discussions will be moderated by a local AALANA and/or differently-abled theatre artist. Each play will be scheduled for two sessions: one where the script will be read and one to delve into the literary, social context, and production qualities of the script. For more information, please contact the program manager at firstname.lastname@example.org. The first discussion will occur on August 16th and will center around Is God Is by Aleshea Harris.
MUSIC By Alex Greene
The Vibe of Old Memphis Dale Watson brings Dalevis to Hernando’s Hide-a-Way.
festival, devoted to “music with a prominent roots influence.” In keeping with that aesthetic, Hernando’s other star on the 16th will be none other than Jason D. Williams. If Williams conjures strong echoes of Jerry Lee Lewis, he too is an artist in his own right. The way Watson sees it, the unique identity that he and Williams embody is the point. “John Lennon said that ‘One’s inability to imitate their influences, that’s where originality lies,’” quips Watson. “Even with these Elvis tribute acts, when they’re trying to imitate Elvis, they have their own originality in their inability to completely imitate him.” Even those latter artists will have their moment at Hernando’s, when the club hosts “Images of the King,” a wellcurated show of Elvis tribute acts, from Saturday, August 11th, until Monday, August 15th. But what cinches Hernando’s claim to the Presley vibe is Priscilla Presley’s fondness for the place, ever since she dropped by the club in 2020. “It was on his birthday,” Watson recalls. “She’s been there several times since. And she’s gonna try to come in there that Tuesday [August 16th]. Of course I’m sure with that Elvis movie, things have been kicked up a notch, a little bit like they used to be. She’s got to play it by ear. But she likes the place a lot and she told us that it gives her the vibe of old Memphis.”
m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m
own right, and his Dalevis repertoire mainly consists of originals. “My Dalevis set consists of songs I’ve written that were inspired by Elvis. And then I mix in Elvis songs as well.” Indeed, the songwriter confesses, Elvis is never far away from his music. “On the new record that I just cut in Nashville, I recorded ‘Nothingville’. Remember that song? Most people don’t because it was done in passing on the ’68 special. It’s just a snippet in a medley, and it’s only on that NBC ‘Comeback Special’ album [the 1968 RCA LP, Elvis].” No doubt that number will find its way into Watson’s set on the 16th, as well as other Presley tracks. Indeed, all of The King’s output falls neatly into what Watson calls the “Ameripolitan” sound. “The good thing about Ameripolitan is, it not only covers rockabilly and Elvis’ early stuff, but also the honky tonk stuff he did in the later years, like his country hits. There’s even some covers Elvis did that he made his own, that we play, too. Like ‘Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues.’ His version is my favorite recording of that song.” For Watson, that mix of genres is true to the spirit of this city. “Memphis in general fits that whole thing,” he says. “Memphis has it all. And of course during Elvis week, we’re going to be promoting Ameripolitan coming up in February.” That’s when Hernando’s will host the Ameripolitan Music Awards
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ne of the greatest ironies of Elvis Week in Memphis is that the joint most likely to conjure up the vibe of The King’s reign here is a place Elvis Presley almost never visited. But don’t think less of the place for it: That was just because it was a bar. “Priscilla [Presley] said Elvis and the Memphis Mafia never went there because Elvis didn’t like anybody drinking. He didn’t really go in there after the ’50s,” says the bar’s co-owner, singer/songwriter/guitarist Dale Watson. Of course, that’s a dead giveaway that we’re talking about Hernando’s Hide-a-Way, just a mile or so up Elvis Presley Boulevard from Graceland. Since its soft reopening in late 2019, Watson has helped captain the club that was a legendary hangout for nearly every other Memphis musician except Elvis, and in so doing, has helped keep the spirit of Elvis alive there. That’s partly because, as Watson freely admits, “I’m such an Elvis fanatic.” That will be most apparent on August 16th, the precise anniversary of The King’s death, when Watson takes to the Hernando’s stage to perform numbers from his 2014 album, Dalevis, as well as from a much earlier selfreleased EP of the same name. But don’t expect the singer to become a “tribute act”: Watson is an artist in his
PHOTO: MATTHEW VLACHOS
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August 11 - 17
An exhibition that explores the variety of swag birthed from Black culture through the ability to remix and reinvent oneself and the meaning of the world around them. Through Oct. 15. TONE
“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
ART HAP P E N I N G S
“Art of a Scientist” Opening Reception
Opening reception for exhibition of recent works by Dr. Gopal Murti. Friday, Aug. 12, 5:30-7:30 p.m. CHURCH HEALTH
“This Is Not My Beautiful House” Opening Reception
Opening reception for exhibition of paintings by Will Ferguson. Friday, Aug. 12, 7-11 p.m. SERAPHIM GALLERY
B O O K EVE N TS
Kimberla Lawson Roby Book Signing
A spectacular night with Kimberla Lawson Roby discussing her newest release, Sister Friends Forever. Monday, Aug. 15, 6 p.m. BARNES & NOBLE
C O M E DY
Desi Banks is an actor, comedian, and cultural influencer based out of Atlanta. $55. Friday, Aug. 12-Aug. 14. CHUCKLES COMEDY HOUSE
Drafts and Laughs at Memphis Made
Presenting some of the best stand-up comedians from the Mid-South free of charge!
FO O D A N D D R I N K
MEMPHIS MADE BREWING COMPANY
Cold Supper, Hot Whiskey, and a Touch of Fever
COM M U N ITY
Enjoy a whiskey tasting and food pairing suited to the sultry summer nights. $60. Friday, Aug. 12, 6-9 p.m.
ReStore Blitz Night
Spend a fun night at the ReStore, processing donations, staging furniture, and restocking the floor. Sandwich boxes and drinks will be provided. To sign up, contact mthornton@ memphishabitat.com. Tuesday, Aug. 16, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
WOODRUFF-FONTAINE HOUSE MUSEUM
P E R FO R M I N G ARTS
Hellzapoppin: Circus Sideshow
Hellzapoppin is one of the world’s last authentic circus sideshows featuring death-defying stunts using the human anatomy and demonstrations of mind over matter. $20-$35. Sunday, Aug. 14, 6 p.m.
Service & Sips
Volunteer with Old Dominick and help clean up and beautify our community. Afterward, enjoy a happy hour with tasty bites and drinks (including one free drink ticket!). Thursday, Aug. 11, 3-7 p.m. OLD DOMINICK DISTILLERY
PHOTO: JULIETA CERVANTES
Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird comes to life on the Orpheum’s stage.
LAFAYETTE’S MUSIC ROOM
S PO R TS E LVI S W E E K
Aloha from Memphis
Ted Torres Martin’s portrayal of The King of Rock-and-Roll is one of the top tributes in the world. $60-$85. Friday, Aug. 12, 3 p.m. THE HALLORAN CENTRE
Bill Cherry ... The Final Curtain
The 2009 Ultimate Tribute Champion, Bill Cherry, will pay tribute to Elvis’ CBS Special with this show. $65-$100. Saturday, Aug. 13, 3 p.m., 6 p.m. THE HALLORAN CENTRE
After an opening ceremony at the Gates of Graceland, fans are invited to walk up the driveway to Elvis’ gravesite and back down carrying a candle in quiet remembrance. Free. Monday, Aug. 15, 8:30 p.m. GRACELAND
#ElvisMovie Fan Showing
First 50 ticketed fans in attendance receive a collector goody bag. Special appearance by UTA winner Billy Cherry. Tuesday, Aug. 16, 8:30 p.m. MALCO STUDIO ON THE SQUARE
Elvis Movie Screening
Watch Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis on the big screen. Tickets are limited to two per person. Tickets are free, but you must reserve. Tuesday, Aug. 16, 1 p.m. GUEST HOUSE AT GRACELAND
Hound Dog Tours
This 2.5-hour tour gives the inside story on the Memphis that Elvis knew and loved, the places that played an important role in his life. $30. Saturday, Aug. 13, 1 p.m.; Tuesday, Aug. 16, 1 p.m. ALFRED’S
“Memphian Theater” Elvis Tours
These professional tours will include a discussion of Elvis Presley’s connection with the Memphian Theater. $5. Monday, Aug. 8, 10 a.m. PLAYHOUSE ON THE SQUARE
Sony Listening Party
Learn about the upcoming Elvis On Tour release in this special panel. Free. Sunday, Aug. 14, 2 p.m.
empowers people with disabilities. Saturday, Aug. 13. VIRTUAL EVENT/REGISTER ONLINE
FA M I LY
Back-to-School Community Health Fair with Memphis Health Center
School supplies, goodie bags, food, game truck, and healthcare services available on site. Saturday, Aug. 13, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. MEMPHIS HEALTH CENTER
Dino & Dragon Stroll
Get up close to lifelike and life-size dinosaurs and dragons. $24.99. Saturday, Aug. 13, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, Aug. 14, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. AGRICENTER INTERNATIONAL
Bring your own water guns and super soakers and MoSH will provide the fun with H2O! $5. Saturday, Aug. 13, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. MUSEUM OF SCIENCE & HISTORY
GUEST HOUSE AT GRACELAND
The 40th Annual Elvis Presley 5K Run and Elvis 100 Challenge
Crosstown Arthouse presents Johnny Guitar
In support of LivItUp which
Johnny Guitar is ostensibly a Western about a saloon owner
balancing her relationship with her local customers and possible outlaws. $5. Thursday, Aug. 11, 7:30-10:30 p.m. CROSSTOWN THEATER
Dinner & A Movie: Everything Everywhere All at Once
A screening of the eyepopping, mind-boggling Everything Everywhere All at Once, plus a three-course meal with recipes not from “our” universe but no less delicious. $30. Thursday, Aug. 11, 6:30 p.m.
Memphis Redbirds vs. Indianapolis Indians Monday, Aug. 8-Aug. 14. AUTOZONE PARK
T H EAT E R
I Love You Because
A young, uptight greeting card writer’s life is changed when he meets a flighty photographer. What ensues is a modern-day musical love story. $15-$20. Friday, Aug. 12-13, 8 p.m.; Sunday, Aug. 14, 2 p.m.
MicroCinema: 2022 Sundance Institute Indigenous Short Film Tour
To Kill a Mockingbird
A 91-minute program of six short films selected from alumni of Sundance Institute’s Indigenous Program. Wednesday, Aug. 17, 7-8:45 p.m. CROSSTOWN THEATER
Vertigo Talk & Movie – Movies & Mixers
Don’t miss this classic Alfred Hitchcock mystery-romance thriller. Steven J. Ross will give a talk on the making of the film. $23. Saturday, Aug. 13, 5:30-9:30 p.m. MUSEUM OF SCIENCE & HISTORY
A new play by Aaron Sorkin, based on Harper Lee’s classic novel. $29-$125. Tuesday, Aug. 16-Aug. 21. ORPHEUM THEATRE
TO U R S
Backstage Experience Tour
Each week, the Shell is opening up the Green Rooms for an incredible and immersive guided tour that will take you from its 1936 beginnings all the way to the present. $15. Monday, Aug. 15, 2-3 p.m. OVERTON PARK SHELL
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“Itutu: Diddy Ain’t Invent The Remix”
Saturday, Aug. 13, 7:30 p.m.
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The Secret Smash Society is a smash.
hhhhh. It’s The Secret Smash expected,” Downing says. “And they were Society. ready to go the second Cole threw that It consists of three chefs: first piece of meat on the flat-top. Harrison Downing, chef/ “It helped that we all cooked in kitchsandwich artist at Greys Fine Cheese; ens before and were able to verbalize and Schuyler O’Brien, who is in culinary not look up, keep our heads down, and operations at City Silo Table + Pantry; keep going. Schuyler, being the experiand Cole Jeanes, chef/owner of Kinfolk enced guy he is, talked us to where we restaurant. were supposed to be. We would have been They sell smash burgers at pop-ups, in rough waters if he wasn’t there.” which are supposedly secret, but they’re “I think we hit around 120 [burgers] not. They post the locations a few weeks ’cause we had a little meat left over,” Jeanes in advance at The Secret Smash Society says. “We ran 120 to 150 in two hours, on Instagram. “The secret is where we’re two patties each. My arm was pretty much going to be next,” Downing says. numb by the time we got done.” The pop-ups usually are held at breweries or other places that don’t have a kitchen. They set up their flat-top and get to work. A smash burger is just what it sounds like. “It’s a cheeseburger,” Jeanes says. “We do two patties, three ounces each. The smash comes from PHOTO: MICHAEL DONAHUE a burger press. Schuyler O’Brien, Harrison Downing, and Cole Jeanes You smash it until it’s completely flat. The idea is to get as Using a burger press, they pressed much surface area as possible. It’s thin and “about 300 burger balls,” Downing says. crusty. It’s all about texture.” “It’s a handheld piece of metal that’s “It’s a faster cook time,” Downing says. flat. And you just make sure that it’s “The fat goes back in the meat ’cause it greased up.” doesn’t have time to render out.” The first pop-up was a hit. “People Their beef is from Home Place really loved it. Within a week after, I had Pastures in Como, Mississippi. “We use almost every brewery reaching out wantMartin’s potato roll,” Jeanes says. “It’s a ing us to do one there.” four-inch roll.” They’d like to do pop-ups “ideally, once “We toast that,” Downing says. “It’s a month,” Downing says. They all have three-ounce patties with cheese, Kraft their own work schedules, but, he says, “I singles. Classy. It’s got to be Kraft singles.” think we’re moving toward getting more The pickles have to be “on the bottom. I’m on the books.” a big advocate of pickles, lettuce, tomato, The next pop-up will be September 4th and really finely shaved onion.” at The Hill Country Boucherie at Home They then add what they call their Place Pastures. Daddy’s Sauce — “a burger sauce we In addition to sharing a love of cookmake. Duke’s mayo-based sauce, ketchup, ing, O’Brien and Jeanes are fathers of new mustard, Worcestershire. It’s similar to a baby boys. Downing and his wife are exBig Mac sauce.” pecting a baby boy in October. “Right after Downing describes their smash burger our first one was when Luca was born,” as “a sophisticated Big Mac.” The hamsays O’Brien, who refers to their shared burger comes with a bag of potato chips. experience of fatherhood and starting But only one kind. “I’m a classic Lays their smash burger pop-ups as “the battle man,” he says. of the babies. We’re learning how to do all They don’t know of anybody else in this while we’re all living the dad life.” Memphis doing a smash burger. “We just “Schuyler went ahead and coined decided to hop into it.” our new name as The Patty Daddies,” The first Secret Smash Society pop-up Downing says. Find @thesecretsmashsociety on Instagram was at High Cotton Brewing Company. to book a pop-up. “We had a lot more people there than we
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TV By Chris McCoy
In Dreams Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel masterpiece The Sandman receives a faithful Netflix adaptation.
ere’s a question: Does Morpheus the Lord of Dreams look like Neil Gaiman, or does Neil Gaiman look like Morpheus? Back in the late 1980s, Gaiman was a budding young writer for hire, having penned a fan-focused biography of Douglas Adams and some comic scripts for DC. It was a period when the comic book industry was in flux. The “Wham!” and “Zing!” era of superhero stories had gone stale, and new writers were elevating the form by ignoring what had come before. Much like Alan Moore had done with Watchmen, Gaiman picked an obscure character from the DC archives and started from a blank slate. Thus, The Sandman, a guy named Wesley Dodds who wore a gas mask and hunted evildoers with the aid of a sleeping gas gun, became Dream of the Eternals, an anthropomorphic representation of what happens when you go to sleep. The Sandman comics, which ran from 1989 to 1996, helped usher in the “graphic novel” era, where readers and
critics recognized comics’ potential to tell more serious stories. Gaiman rejected superhero tropes — crossovers with other DC characters (besides the sorcerer John Constantine) were rare — and used Dream as a catalyst for more psychologically complex stories, usually based in his deep knowledge of mythology from many cultures. The Sandman became a cult hit, with Dream’s sister Death, whose look was based on Cinamon Hadly, an American goth girl who was friends with artist Mike Dringenberg, was a breakout character, especially among college-aged women who were picking up comic books for the first time. As for Dream, he was a pale, skinny guy in a black overcoat who, as drawn by Dave McKean, had a face that kinda looked like the author’s. Soon, Gaiman started wearing all black and adopted the same flyaway haircut. It was partly a branding exercise and partly just a goth living their best life.
Tom Sturridge plays DC’s Dream, who, to repair his kingdom, journeys across different worlds.
After years in development hell, The Sandman finally got a screen adaptation from Netflix in the form of a 10-episode series. It begins, as the comics did, with Dream (Tom Sturridge) imprisoned in a glass sphere by Roderick Burgess (Charles Dance), a 19th century English occultist known as the Magus, whom Morpheus contemptuously calls “an amateur.” He and his son John Dee (played as an adult by David Thewlis) steal Dream’s three magical totems — his gas-mask-like
Buwty’es Bazaar Musical
helmet, a bag of magic sand, and a ruby that makes dreams come true — and keep the Lord of Dreams in their basement for more than a century. When he finally escapes, he returns to find his kingdom The Dreaming in tatters, and the humans whose dreams are his charge in not much better shape. Recovering the emblems of his office means a visit to actual, non-development Hell, where he must face off against Lucifer (Gwendoline Christie), and a trip to a small-town diner, where
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lis, who steals the episode “24/7” as the emotionally stunted son of an abusive wizard, and Christie, who plays the devil as a vain and envious fallen angel to absolute perfection. I found Sturridge’s taciturn Morpheus a little off-putting at first, but he grew on me as the show progressed. The only big miss is Patton Oswalt, whose instant recognizability gets in the way of voicing Dream’s sidekick Matthew the Raven. The Sandman’s deliberate pacing and philosophical tone may not be for everyone, but this faithful adaptation will satisfy legions of Neil Gaiman readers and those fantasy fans who are ready for a new Dream. The Sandman is streaming on Netflix.
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SHELBY COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING
AMENDMENT TO THE CONSOLIDATED PLAN AND ANNUAL PLAN (AP2) Shelby County Department of Housing (SCDH) is amending the Planning Year 2020 (PY20) Annual Plan in order to accommodate jurisdiction input. Through stakeholder engagement we determined a need to alter planned projects, and as such SCDH proposes amending the PY 2020 Annual Action Plan. This change will include the modification of the scope of activities planned with CDBGCV (CARES ACT funds). Each year, Shelby County assists local municipalities to provide safe, aesthetically pleasing, and functional communities for their residents. Specifically, this amendment shifts project funding amounts from addressing solely Public Service needs to including Community Development and Infrastructure needs in response to community input. Our proposed substantial amendment will include funding eligible parks and outdoor facilities which will benefit low- to moderate-income communities. An amount not to exceed $1,400,000 will be transferred to address these Community Development and Infrastructure needs for parks and outdoor public facilities in Millington, TN with remaining funds available for ongoing Public Service needs for eligible residents of the urban county. The substantial amendment to the PY 2020 Annual Action Plan will be available for public review from August 1-31, 2022 online via the Memphis and Shelby County’s Division of Planning and Development Department of Housing at the following link: https://www. develop901.com/housing/planningReporting. This information will also be distributed via email through the City of Memphis main library listserv. Written comments should be addressed to Dana Sjostrom (firstname.lastname@example.org), Shelby County Department of Housing, 1075 Mullins Station Road, Memphis, TN 38134. SCDH will respond to written comments within five working days of their receipt. For questions concerning the Amendment to the Consolidated Plan, please contact the Dana Sjostrom via email or phone at 901-222-7601. The Shelby County Department of Housing does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age or disability in employment or provision of services. Equal opportunity/equal access provider. Lee Harris Shelby County Mayor
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John Dee tries to use stolen dream magic to create a world without lies. The 10-episode series is devoted to rendering the original stories and art as faithfully as possible. That’s always a tricky proposition because what works in the comics or on the page may not always work on the screen. In this case, the strengths and weaknesses of the series largely flow from the source material. Pains have been taken to recreate frames designed by artists McKean, Dringenberg, and Sam Keith — I have only a passing familiarity with the originals, but I still caught chills from several hauntingly familiar images — but this comes at the expense of expressive camera movement. Some casting choices are inspired, such as Thew-
N O T I C E ]
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FILING FOR DIVORCE I, Lloyd Horton, am notifying Rosie Smith Horton of Memphis, TN of my ﬁling for a divorce, since I have not heard from you concerning this matter and we’ve been separated for over 5 years.
SAP SOLUTION MANAGER AND TEST TECHNOLOGY needed at International Paper in Memphis, TN. Must have a bach degree in Comp Sci or related & 8 yrs’ SAP Solution Manager exp, including: Implementation, conﬁguration, upgrade, enhancement & performance tuning activities for large scale SAP environments including SAP transport management (STMS) in support of Change Request Management (ChaRM); Must have at least 6 yrs’ software Test Management & Test Automation experience; including the design, deployment, integration & support of testing processes & automation for SAP systems w/ the following applications: Microfocus Application Lifecycle Management(ALM)/Quality Center (formerly HP ALM/ HP Quality Center or QC); Microfocus Uniﬁed Functional Testing (UFT) (formerly HP Quick Test Professional or QTP); SAP Test Acceleration & Optimization (TAO). Email resumes to IT.HR@ipaper.com. Equal Opportunity/afﬁrmative action employer including vets and disabled.
NEWLY RENOVATED ONE BEDROOM APTS 226 S. Lauderdale. One block from Beale Street & FedEx Forum. All appliances included (Refrig., stove, washer & dryer). Rent Starting at $899 per month w/ water included. Deposit Required $795. Proof of Income required (2.5x rent). Background Check Required. Apply at www.proliﬁc901properties.com. Showings are available on Saturdays and Sundays. Call 901-334-6963 to schedule an appointment.
EMPLOYMENT R & D GROUP MANAGER needed at Buckman Laboratories International, Inc. in Memphis, TN. Must have PhD in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Microbiology or related & 7 years’ research exp in the pulp and paper industry (or Master’s degree &10 years’ exp), including: Development & application of chemical technology with tissue, pulp, & packaging paper manufacturing; Managing innovation portfolio including IP opportunities; Planning & executing product / technology development from lab scale to commercialization; Developing test methods and design equipment; Providing support of ﬁeld trials, marketing materials development; Deﬁning problems, collecting data, conducting data analysis, establishing facts, and drawing conclusions. Email CVs to email@example.com. EOE - M/F/D/V.
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THE LAST WORD By Coco June
Doctors and Dollars
I have never understood this sort of thinking. I don’t think I ever will.
THE LAST WORD
This past Wednesday, I experienced a parenting milestone that I’ve been dreading ever since I became pregnant: my child’s first emergency room visit. All things considered, it could have been a lot worse. My son came out of the hospital the same night he went in (well, technically the next morning, at 1 a.m.). He didn’t have to be admitted, his life wasn’t at risk, there were no broken bones. Every single staff member we encountered at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital treated us with compassion and care. But I’m still left shaken at the thought that he is old enough now to most likely remember the whole thing. After all, some of my earliest memories are from the emergency room. My first tryst with the emergency room occurred after I tripped over a crack in the sidewalk outside of Snowden Elementary and went face-first down some concrete stairs. Every childhood picture from the immediate years after that little tumble caused my older brother to remark, “You look like a hockey player.” He’s not wrong. But the trip to the hospital that keeps coming to mind since last Wednesday night happened later that same year. Like my son, I was four years old. Also like him, I went because of an ear infection that had morphed into a more serious issue. The similarities end there. NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE My son’s ear infection was coupled with a virus. Mine caused my Good health and good healthcare is a privilege. eardrum to rupture. “Explode” is the word the doctors used, and that always stuck with me, probably because of the dramatic flair. What I remember from that night is that my dad didn’t take me to the hospital right away. Four-year-old me begged to go as we walked together through the house, my dad holding me and humming, desperate to alleviate my pain, but hesitant to make the 30-minute drive to the emergency room in the middle of the night. It was about 4 a.m. when he finally called my grandmother to accompany us. He was new to the area and needed directions (this was before the internet, MapQuest, or GPS). Growing up, I never truly understood my dad’s reluctance until I became a parent myself. The sheer logistical nightmare of taking a child even to their own pediatrician is enough to make you want to be certain. I can’t tell you how many times my son and I have gone to his doctor’s office only to find out that he essentially had a cold. It’s hard to know what to do when your kid is too young to articulate what’s wrong. There’s another reason I can now sympathize with my dad’s plight. Every time I’ve been to the emergency room as an adult, it has been preceded by a drawn-out attempt to avoid the ordeal at all costs. At all costs. Every time, that’s what makes me stall, despite the pain (I’ve been to ER three times for kidney stones. The pain is no joke.). I know friends and family members who have done the same. The cost of an emergency room visit, even with health insurance, has made me delay even when in the worst pain of my life. My child’s trip to Le Bonheur was the first time I didn’t hesitate when faced with going to the hospital. While I will be forever grateful for the wonderful care my son received from every doctor and nurse involved in his stay, the reality has been brought home to me, for the millionth time since becoming a mother: Good health is a privilege. The stark reality is that money is deeply entwined with my son’s, and every child’s, healthcare. He needed blood work, a urinalysis, and an IV. I am highly aware that for many parents, these things would be beyond their budgetary capabilities. Heck, if it weren’t for my ex-husband’s great insurance, they all would have been beyond my budgetary capabilities. It is almost impossible to articulate the mixed feelings of deep relief that my son was provided for and the unrelenting guilt that so many children are left by the wayside. It is almost impossible to articulate the deep confusion and crushing sadness that so many people can write off universal healthcare where children are involved. Even without my own personal experiences weighing medical cost vs. medical need, I have never understood this sort of thinking. I don’t think I ever will. Coco June is a Memphian, mother, and the Flyer’s theater columnist.
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An emergency room visit reminds that good healthcare (even for kids) is deeply entwined with money.
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