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Polyamory, Y’all Love Is Never Having To Say You’re Sorry—Repeatedly p. 13
Wrestling Is Back Mayhem and Madness Are Just a Short Drive Away p. 16
Hood Spills Guts
Read Our Excellent Interview With That Drive-By Trucker p. 18
Oconee Observations p. 9 · Migos p. 21 · Hip Hop Awards p. 22 · Vagina Monologues p. 22
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Desperate Times Youâ€™ve probably heard about the new bill in the Georgia legislature to allow concealed firearms everywhere from day-care centers to courthouses to college campuses. Maybe, it will get shot down again, but the strength of the concealed-carry advocates within the Republican majority is instructive. They are pursuing a self-fulfilling prophecy. The world is a dangerous place because there are so many criminals and weirdos that everybody must be armed, that itâ€™s a sanctity of life issue, affirmed by the head of the Southern Baptist Convention. The longer these ideologues rule our state, the further and faster we are pushed into becoming a society radically split between rich and poor, have and have-not. Slashing expenditures for public education while supporting private education with money siphoned from the state budget, refusing federal money to fund Medicare, fighting the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, criminalizing our Hispanic population, disenfranchising the poor, giving public money to corporations while cutting support for the unemployed. Thus is our state accelerated into being one where the majority grows more desperate while a minority grows richer and more fearful.
from the blogs ď?ž CULTURE BRIEFS: See a gallery of photos from the Southern Fried Championship Wrestling series. (See story on p.â€‰16.) ď™Ž HOMEDRONE: Check out the premiere of Behind the Scene, our new web series where we profile folks who work offstage to make Athens music what it is. ďˆŽ IN THE LOOP: Get the latest on Snowpocalypse 2014: The Quickening. (Assuming you havenâ€™t been eaten by cannibals.)
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Their solution is to oppose using the government to push us toward more equality, to lessen the divisions between rich and poor. Instead, they exacerbate the gap, thus necessitating measures whereby the rich can protect themselves against the poor. Hence, their monomania that every good citizen must be armed, since sooner or later, at home or in church or at school, a bad person is bound to appear and attack and only if the good citizens are armed will they be able to survive. They know that Georgia is a dangerous world, because they are doing everything in their power to make it so. This is not just a question of the right to carry concealed firearms, it also concerns the growing need for gated communities, exclusive clubs and schools and churches. It means a closer and closer approximation to countries like Brazil, where the disparities of income are much greater than we have yet, and where the murder and violence rate is so high that the well-to-do live and work behind walls with bodyguards and venture out only in armored automobiles. At least thereâ€™s good news on that front. DuPont has recently developed a lightweight, less-expensive armor for automobiles, which it advertises thus: â€œIn many parts of the world, violence remains a daily threat for average citizens. In Brazil, the murder rate can reach 40,000 a yearâ€”enough to seriously concern middle-class families. Until recently, providing a family car with car armoring, including bullet-resistant panels and protective window layers, was a largely unrealized safety and protection dream. But not anymore.â€? There are no doubt many Georgians already riding in armored automobiles, perhaps even some legislators, and it can only be considered a growth industry here. It would be dĂŠclassĂŠ, though, for them to live in their cars, so they must be armed for all those moments of public exposureâ€”walking their kids into kindergarten, meeting a friend for lunch, joining the congregation in prayer. If you think that sounds weird, you are behind the times. You donâ€™t realize the level of desperation that surrounds us. Our Republican legislators and our governor do very much realize how sick our society has become, and they are determined to guard against the symptoms, instead of treating the disease.
â€œI donâ€™t understand what they are thinking with Prince Ave. being turned into two lanes. Crazy. Look how that worked on Hawthorne. It didnâ€™t. It is a terrible traffic nightmare. It has kept many of us away from that street. And now they are going to do that to Prince? That is not the solution.â€? â€” Becky Matheny Comments are up and running on flagpole.com! Play nice.
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city dope Stonewalled on the Lyndon House
$45,971. She had $35,055 cash on hand as of Jan. 31, according to a report filed Feb. 7 with the Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections. Denson’s donors included Watkinsville City Councilman and Athens Downtown Development Authority board member Brian Brodrick ($200), former ACC Commissioner Charles Carter ($250), University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby ($200), liquor distributor and Board of Regents member Don Leebern ($1,200), Clerk of Court Beverly Logan ($250), Commissioner George Maxwell ($150), Republican school board member Carl Parks ($250), Tax Commissioner Mitch Schrader ($250), former Gov. Roy Barnes’ law firm ($1,000) and Clarke County Democratic Committee Chairman Joe Wisenbaker ($250). Denson also brought in a substantial amount of money from development and real estate circles, including downtown merchant and landlord Irvin Alhadeff ($250), zoning lawyer and past Athens Area Chamber of Commerce chairman Michael Morris ($500), developer Carl Nichols ($1,000), developer Mike Power ($250), student apartment developer Wes Rogers ($1,000) and commercial real estate agents Don Sumner ($250) and Gerry Whitworth ($250) Nancy Denson’s only opponent, Tim Denson, reported raising $1,620 in January and has $1,975 on hand. He received $250 each from retired lawyer and author Grady Thrasher, artist Kathy Prescott and homebuilder Michael Songster and $150 from University of Georgia professor and immigration activist Pamela Voekel.
Dozens of people crowded into the lab at Ciné to press Reddish did specifically deny that officials are considerAthens-Clarke County officials on the future of the Lyndon ing moving any government employees other than the Leisure House Arts Center at a Federation of Neighborhoods forum Services facilities supervisor into the Lyndon House. “Some Monday, Feb. 3. They left with scarcely more answers than they rumor that we’re bringing in someone from public works or brought. wherever is absolutely unfounded,” he said. Leisure Services Director Pam Reidy said she and her staff Reddish and Reidy ended the forum by chiding attendees are trying to answer four questions regarding the Lyndon House for focusing on the negative and believing rumors they hear and the entire department: What programs and services are rather than seeking answers directly from the source. “Build a we offering? What programs and services should we be offerrelationship with me,” Reidy said. “Pick up the phone. Call me. ing? What personnel are needed to provide those programs and Email me. Take me out for coffee. Take me out for lunch.” services? What financial resources are needed to provide those Dan Hope—a longtime parks and recreation official who is programs and services? critical of the department—said he’s been asking questions Lots of rumors have been going around about Reidy’s plans for years and gotten no answers. The local government’s attifor the Lyndon House, but she and ACC Manager Alan Reddish did little to dispel most of them. “We will be moving forward in answering those four questions,” Reidy said in response to one question from the audience. Will artists be involved in decisionmaking? “When we get to the point where we answer those four questions, their opinions will be asked” at public forums, on social media and through Downtown Internet: Speaking as mail and telephone surveys, she said. someone who’s worked downtown for Will art groups still be able to nine years, the Internet connection use the Lyndon House for free if it’s suuuucks. ACC Commissioner Kelly being rented out for weddings and Girtz is floating the idea of starting a meetings? “The fact of the matter is, city-run broadband service. I don’t have those answers for you Officials are concerned about because we haven’t answered those spotty broadband downtown and four questions for the Lyndon House,” believe it could be an impediment to she said. enticing tech companies. The Athens The department is dealing with Downtown Development Authority met budget cuts by trying to recoup more with local Internet service providers a of the costs of providing programming few months ago, but apparently none for adults while preserving programs of them are interested in upgrading, for children, Reddish said. $240,000 even though ACC is leaving space for in fees went uncollected last year new fiber optics underground as part because of the scholarship program for Children learn to paint animals at the Lyndon House Arts Center. Could such classes fall by the wayside? Officials aren’t saying. of the Clayton Street streetscape projlow-income families, he said. “I point ect and tried to get companies to lay that out, because many times that’s a clientele that doesn’t tude is: “Pretend you’re listening to citizens but ignore them, new lines while the street is torn up. have a very loud voice in this community, but it is a clientele because they’ll get tired and stop bothering us,” he said. “Private industry isn’t interested in that locally,” Girtz said. that needs to be served,” he said. Another community meeting on the Lyndon House is sched“Maybe it’s time for us to step forward.” Another questioner tried to pin Reidy down again on future uled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, also at Ciné. Girtz also said he’s interested in a municipal electric utility plans for the Lyndon House. “I know it must be frustrating to that would focus on sustainable energy sources like solar and hear four questions, four questions, four questions, but I think Mayor McMoneybags: Mayor Nancy Denson raised $28,356 clean-burning methane from the county landfill. Customerthat’s what makes the department good,” she said. last month for her re-election campaign, bringing her total to owned EMCs are nothing new; Jackson and Walton counties
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both have one, as do many other cities and counties throughout the state. Campus Carry: The guns-on-campus bill is back and loaded for bear. House Bill 875, which sailed through committee last week, wouldnâ€™t let permit-holders holster their concealed handguns in study hallâ€”but it would reduce the penalty to a mere $100 ticket. Not only that, the bill would legalize guns in bars, churches and government buildings like libraries and city halls (though not the state capitol). Zoning spats might get a lot more interesting. Aussie Aussie Aussie! OI OI OI!: The Athens-Clarke County Commission approved an agreement Tuesday, Feb. 4 with the Australian city of Geelong that could bring down-under biotech companies to Athens. Geelong, located in southeastern Australia, is similar in size to Athens and also has a university, manufacturing plants and a growing life sciences industry. â€œThey are trying to reinvent themselves as a life sciences/biotech community,â€? Commissioner Andy Herod said. The memorandum of understanding will open the door for Australia-based biotech companies to expand to the U.S., Herod said. â€œI feel like if we have a relationship with Geelong, they might choose Athens to get their feet wet,â€? he said. New Laws: The commission also gave final approval to a law allowing community gardens in residential neighborhoods, where they were previously banned because they were considered agriculture. Neighborhood residents can now cooperatively start gardens up to one acre in size on vacant land with the property ownerâ€™s permission and a permit from the ACC Planning Department. Another law passed last week requires planners to hold a public hearing early on in the process of creating a new historic district, in response to all the misinformation floating around during the Buena Vista debate last year. And neighbors within 400 feet will be notified by letter whenever a historic building is about to be torn down. UGA Hazing: Eleven members of UGAâ€™s Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity were charged with hazing Thursday, Feb. 6 stemmed from a pledge event Jan. 27 and 28, according to University of Georgia police. According to their arrest warrants, members lined up pledges shoulder-to-shoulder against a wall and punched and slapped them in the stomach or allowed others to punch and slap the pledges. Kourtland Wills Jones, Rictavious Jerome Bowens, Robert Lee Ellis, Fakari Jalen Gresham, Julian Deandre Hoyle, Austin Johnson, Jason Rashaan Moffitt, Acarre Dejon Patton, Nicholas Brandon Pope, Raheen Thompson and John Allen Wood were each charged with one count of hazing, a misdemeanor. [David Schick] Say What?: Tenth District U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, from Athens, is only the 196th most conservative House member out of 435, according to the political magazine National Journal. Thatâ€™s the lowest ranking of any Republican member of Georgiaâ€™s delegation. Ninth District Rep. Doug Collins, from Gainesville, is the most conservative, ranking 16th. First District Rep. Jack Kingston, Savannah, is 17th and Eleventh District Rep. Phil Gingrey, Marietta, is 23rd. Like Broun, Gingrey and Kingston are running for Senate. Something seems fishy about these rankings. One theory is that the magazine filed under â€œliberalâ€? all the things Broun voted against because he thought they werenâ€™t conservative enough. Oconee County Observations: With the OC woefully underserved by the news mediaâ€”the Enterprise barely has a website, the Banner-Herald rarely covers it anymore and Oconee Patch is now managed out of Atlantaâ€”itâ€™s time for Flagpole to start paying more attention to the OC. Weâ€™re joined at the hip. Stories like the current debate over legalizing liquor by the drink and Atlanta Highway retailers moving to Epps Bridge Centre affect Athens residents, too. And so we are proud to welcome Lee Becker into the fold. The University of Georgia professor has four decades of experience as a journalist and academic and covers Oconee civic affairs in greater depth than anyone else. Starting this week, weâ€™ll be running excerpts from his blog, Oconee County Observations, in print and online. Check it out on p.â€‰9. Correction: The article about reconfiguring Prince Avenue on p.â€‰6 of the Feb. 5 Flagpole incorrectly described Ed Nichols. He is no longer working on redeveloping the 740 Prince medical complex. Blake Aued firstname.lastname@example.org
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capitol impact Budget, Guns Moving Fast
When legislators launched this yearâ€™s episode of the General Assembly, they were determined to get it completed quickly so Friday, February 14 they could start campaigning for early primary elections on May 20. It appears they really $ meant what they said. Barely a month after 70 per couple the session convened on Jan. 13, lawmakers Premium Chardonnay are already past the halfway point of the ses& Cabernet sion and pushing hard towards an adjournment date in the middle of March. Two Salads The General Assembly adopts two budgets Two Surf & Turf in each session. The first is a supplemental (NY Strip & Lobster) budget that makes routine adjustments in One Dessert state spending for the current fiscal year, such as giving additional money to local school Â˘ systems to handle student enrollment growth. 706-548-3648 Last year, the House and Senate completed 163 E. Broad Street 706-548-3648 163 E. E. Broad Street their initial votes on the supplemental www.bel-jean.com Downtown Athens 706-548-3648 706-548-3648 163 E. Broad 163 Street Broad Street www.bel-jean.com Downtown Athens 706-548-3648 706-548-3648 163 E. Broad Street 163 E. Broad Street 706-353-TUNA â€˘ 414 N. Thomas St. www.bel-jean.com www.bel-jean.com Downtown Athens Downtown Athens budget by Feb. 22. This year, the two www.bel-jean.com www.bel-jean.com Downtown Athens Downtown Athens www.squareonefishco.com chambers completed their initial votes on this measure by Feb. 6, more than two weeks earlier. The speed with which lawmakers voted on the supplemental INDUSTRY NIGHT - 7PMâ€“CLOSE budget is proof they are serious '( 25% off for All Service Industry Employees about an early adjournment. KARAOKE - 9PM One of the benefits of a faster * session is that fewer bills are CARLA LeFEVERâ€™s - 9PM '( passed, thus keeping some unnecesLounge Lizard Jam Party sary laws out of the state code. While many of the bills our lawmakers sponsor are % / THE GEORGIA HEALERS - 9:30PM Your Friendly well-reasoned pieces of legislation, a lot of Neighborhood Bar &' / WILD CARD - 9:30PM silly junk gets out there as well. The late Bobby Franklin, who sponsored 0QFOQN.POEBZ'SJEBZBOEQN4BUVSEBZt)PNFXPPE)JMMT4IPQQJOH$FOUFSt dozens of nutty bills as a lawmaker, once proposed a measure requiring the state to pay its bills in gold or silver coins. Georgians would have had to pay their state taxes with the same kind of currency. There was one little problem with Franklinâ€™s bill, however. Georgia spends and takes in more than $18 billion annually, which means there would not have been enough gold and silver available to pay out that much money each year. As one publication noted at the time: IN THE â€œIt would have immediate and catastrophic consequences for Georgiaâ€™s economy. Among
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other things, the U.S. Mint simply does not make very many gold and silver coinsâ€”the Mint has even suspended sales of precious medal coins when demand rises above very low levelsâ€”so it is unlikely that enough coins even exist to allow Georgia taxpayers to pay more than a fraction of their tax obligations if they are required to do so in U.S. minted gold or silver.â€? Fortunately for Georgiaâ€™s economy, that bill never passed. The short session that lawmakers are working this year makes it less likely that such harebrained ideas will get a vote. There are always exceptions, of course. The House of Representatives is working on a bill that would expand the stateâ€™s gun carry laws to allow firearms on the premises of churches, bars, K-12 schools and many government buildings. Thereâ€™s also a provision that could potentially open the door to guns on college campuses. One section of the bill says that a governor cannot issue an executive order during a state of emergency to confiscate firearms and ammunition. When he was discussing that particular provision in committee, Rep. Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper) explained: â€œThis part is dedicated to Bobby Franklin.â€? It may be time for Georgia citizens to start worrying. Gov. Nathan Deal was a little squeamish about the idea of putting guns on college campuses full of binge-drinking students, so he and the Senate leadership worked behind the scenes last year to kill a similar gun bill. Deal could be even more squeamish about the issue this year, because heâ€™s in the middle of a reelection campaign and polls show that a majority of Georgians oppose the idea of putting firearms on college campuses. If anything can knock legislators off course in their efforts to adjourn early, it would be because they got caught in a crossfire on the gun bill. Letâ€™s see if they can hold their fire. Tom Crawford email@example.com
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â€œItâ€™s bomb-proof!â€? he assured me. He would have known; he once designed an explosives plant. I remember thinking, sure, just another one of his tall tales. The thing about Paul was that he was so full of experience that it was hard to believe he contained it all in what ended up being one all too short a life. Iâ€™ve scoffed with coworkers that if he had actually done what he said, heâ€™d be 100 years old. As the years unfolded, it seemed like every story he ever told me was verified by a conversation with an old friend or a picture he had found and brought to the office or by his mother, over her evening beer. William Paul Cassilly, architect, passed away on the evening of Thursday, Jan. 16: for certain, a tremendous loss felt by all who knew him. Drained by a battle with other medical issues, he was fodder for pneumonia, which cut him down with astounding efficiency. â€œIt seems impossible,â€? said one friend. Itâ€™s hard for those who saw him almost daily to understand, because he worked so hard not to have his illness affect those around him. That alone must have been exhausting. I first thought it was because he didnâ€™t want to seem weak. And, although that was probably a part of it, Iâ€™ve come to understand that he didnâ€™t want the people who cared about him to worry. Paul almost always believed that the solution was lighter than what was required: a minimalist of the first order. Less is more. His structural mind would push a two-by-four piece of lumber past what anyone thought it could do, just to do it. As an architect, he would show you the elegance in the balance required to make that piece of wood work by detailing it perfectly. He lived that way, too, committed to living and treading lightly upon the earth and providing that example by the way he lived and worked. It factored into every single decision he made. Less is more. He believed in people and was generous to a fault. He was a quick study of a personâ€™s intellect and ability, two qualities he valued greatly. He used that skill to elevate those in which he found value and often took personal risk to his credibility and finances to give a second and even third chance to those he believed in. He did not tolerate fools, but he did try to better them. Failing that, he went through or around them and often just maneuvered them into doing what he thought was right by convincing them it was their idea.
Paul was fierce and fearless, the characteristics that stocked his lifetime of experience. He approached every task, no matter how unpleasant or menial, with great commitment and conviction and never with a negative attitude. His mother taught him the phrase â€œlife is work.â€? Not that life is drudgery, but rather that the value in life lies in the effort to live it both full and well as opposed to the comfort of living it easy. He saw and felt the critical little things others do not, with a keen mind for detail and an inquisitive passion to discover why sometimes the details donâ€™t add up, followed by an intense need to fix or improve it in some way. Nothing went unsolved in his mind. He loved with near abandon and burned brightly as a result. And the loss of that flame is the tragedy for the rest of us. This isnâ€™t an obituary or a eulogy. Itâ€™s a cautionary tale, one youâ€™ve heard before about loss and regret. The loss of my dear friend Paul ranks with the loss of family and my best black dogs. And every time it has happened Iâ€™ve thought to myself, â€œI always thought there would be more time.â€? But there isnâ€™t; there never is. When I returned to the office following my own motherâ€™s passing 10 years ago, I wrote a similar sentimental note to the office, and I offered at the end that if your mother is still alive, â€œtell her you love herâ€Ś because there wonâ€™t be enough time.â€? Paul met me in my office the next morning in tears; it had struck him hard. His mother, Mary, was aging, and in the closing years of his own life, through his own struggles, he was constantly on the road back home to Owensboro, KY to see her. Theirs was a beautiful and admirable relationship. No doubt her passing not quite six months ago left him without perhaps his most kindred spirit. Heartbreak canâ€™t be discounted. I always thought there would be more time, but Iâ€™ll just have to miss Paul now. And, for all of the above reasons, itâ€™s left me in a place where I know I need to be more, need to be better. I need to be more adventurous, compassionate, loving, observant, thoughtful and kind. Paul always thought there would be more time, too; he had recently finished preparing his property for a retirement filled with his passionsâ€”reading, design and building. But that must lie unfulfilled. Life, after all, is fragile and fleeting and far from bombproof. Scott Messer
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