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is in the air at Graduate Athens this Valentines Day.
valentineâ€™s dinner + show packages
810 N. Chase St., Athens, GA 30601
The UGA Saturday Morning Club Donâ€™t miss these great shows just for children ages four through twelve and their parents and grandparents.
sunday, february 14th
â™Ľ dinner for two
â™Ľ concert tickets to the 10th annual
valentineâ€™s day performance by francine reed & java monkey
Visit graduateathens.com/valentines for package details & reservations.
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University Theatre presents Fires in the Mirror, a play chronicling the 1991 race riots in Brooklyn, this week. See Theater Notes on p. 13 for more.
table of contents Pub Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Movie Reviews . . . . . . . . 19 Capitol Impact . . . . . . . . . . 5 Flick Skinny . . . . . . . . . . 19 This Modern World . . . . . . 5 The Calendar . . . . . . . . . 20 City Dope . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Bulletin Board . . . . . . . . . 26
Apartment Shuttles . . . . . . 8 Adopt Me . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
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Central Presbyterian . . . . 10 Art Around Town . . . . . . . 27
from the blogs
Theater Notes . . . . . . . . . 13 Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
HOMEDRONE: Hear the new single from Athens band Eureka California’s upcoming album. CULTURE BRIEFS: Designer Natalie Chanin gave a fascinating lecture on sustainable fashion last week as part of the Athens Fashion Collective’s Georgia Sewn expo and the Willson Center’s Global Georgia Initiative. ⋔ GRUB NOTES: Find out how to get a free calzone from D.P. Dough.
athens power rankings: FEB. 1–8 1. Alan Reddish 2. John Bell Hood 3. AthFest Educates 4. Space Kroger 5. Bob Bohler Athens Power Rankings are posted each Monday on the In the Loop blog on flagpole.com.
Widespread Panic . . . . . . 14 Crossword . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Gláss . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Sudoku . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Threats & Promises . . . . . 17 Local Comics . . . . . . . . . 30 Record Review . . . . . . . . 17 Advice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 EDITOR & PUBLISHER Pete McCommons ADVERTISING DIRECTOR & PUBLISHER Alicia Nickles PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Larry Tenner ADVERTISING SALES Anita Aubrey, Jessica Pritchard Mangum, Carey McLaughlin MANAGING EDITOR & MUSIC EDITOR Gabe Vodicka CITY EDITOR Blake Aued ARTS EDITOR & DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Jessica Smith CLASSIFIEDS & OFFICE MANAGER Stephanie Rivers AD DESIGNER Kelly Hart CARTOONISTS Lee Gatlin, Missy Kulik, David Mack, Jeremy Long ADOPT ME Special Agent Cindy Jerrell STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Joshua L. Jones CONTRIBUTORS Bonita Applebum, Andy Barton, Lauren Blais, Dina Canup, Tom Crawford, John Huie, Gordon Lamb, T. Ballard Lesemann, Rebecca McCarthy, Chad Radford, Drew Wheeler CIRCULATION Charles Greenleaf, Emily Armond, Will Donaldson, Marie Uhler WEB DESIGNER Kelly Hart EDITORIAL INTERNS Madeline Bates, Katharine Khoury, Maria Lewczyk COVER PHOTOGRAPH of Widespread Panic by Andy Tennille (see feature story on p. 14)
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in the Georgian and back before that of the Sunday evening smorgasbord that attracted a bunch of really heavy eaters from nearby Greensboro, who had never heard that word before but took all-you-can-eat to frightening new heights unheard of by my Aunt
Terrell Austin is playing Mrs. Robinson in Town & Gown’s production of The Graduate this weekend and next. (See Theater Notes on p. 13.) Terrell is familiar at Town & Gown as an actor and a director, and she is a (hyper)active participant in many community activities as well as being a mother and a wife and a fitness enthusiast. This season, Town & Gown wanted to do some plays that would make people flock to the theater, and The Graduate should do that. The play is based on the movie, which was based on the novel, so what you see will be familiar but quite different. Versatile T&G veteran Bryn Adamson directs a well cast group of actors. Multiinstrumentalist Michael Wegner plays Simon and Garfunkel songs from the movie. My wife, Gay Griggs McCommons, is an assistant director, but that of course does not color my judgment in predicting that The Graduate will sell out fast. The other AD is three-time Flagpole cover guy Nathan Altman. The Graduate runs Friday, Patrick Dudley is Ben, and Terrell Austin is Mrs. Robinson in Town & Saturday and Sunday Gown’s The Graduate. (matinee) this weekend and Thursday–Sunday (matinee) next weekend. Nelly McCommons Bryant, when a generaTicket info is available at townandgowntion earlier she dined in the Palm Room at players.org, and, yes, they take plastics. the Georgian Hotel. The short-lived herald of the Athens music scene, Tasty World, was published from a couple of upstairs rooms during the early ‘80s, when the Georgian was a decayEverybody has memories of the ing wreck above the ground floor. Trash, Georgian ballroom. When we were in there rubble, dangling wires and dust added to recently for the celebration of the unithe bombed-out decor that came with the fied government’s 25th anniversary, Doc cheap rent. Eldridge remarked to me that his wedding Hurrah for South Restaurant + Bar for reception was there. You can multiply that their plans to bring back this jewel of a by half the people in Athens, plus people all community landmark. Here’s to lots more over the state who attended fraternity and communal memories to come, when the sorority dances and dinners there. ballroom is restored. Now, South Kitchen + Bar is going to restore the ballroom and begin using it again for community events. Lindsey Kayal, director of marketing and events for South Kitchen + Bar, would love to hear Now that UGA retirees are living in the stories about the old ballroom (lindsey@ brave new world of DYI health insurance, southkitchenbar.com). And meanwhile, the The Grumpy Retiree Facebook page conAthens-Clarke Heritage Foundation held tinues to function as the only user-driven a “last look” party Monday evening for its clearinghouse for sharing information members to see the old ballroom one more about coping with the new retiree insurance time and get a sneak preview of restorauniverse. Joe Wisenbaker, the grumpy guy tion plans from Zack Brendel of Oneta himself, shares his experiences in trying Woodworks. The Foundation is always to make the new system work, and a lot doing fun things like that, and you can easof fellow retirees chime in with their own ily join them at achfonline.com. problems and insights. It’s worth keeping People of my generation have happy an eye on The Grumpy Retiree. You are not memories of Friends Restaurant and Bar alone. f
The Georgian Ballroom Lives Again
UGA Department of Comparative Literature 2nd Annual Betty Jean Craige Lecture
Remember The Grumpy Retiree
Thursday, February 4 at 4pm UGA Chapel
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Bringing the World to Georgia and Georgia to the World
Hello, Mrs. Robinson
Re-Fighting the Civil War State Legislators Remain Stuck in the Past By Tom Crawford firstname.lastname@example.org You may have the impression that the Civil War ended sometime around 1865, after the Confederate armies stacked their weapons, the soldiers went back to their homes, and the Southern states were re-admitted into the Union. It would be entirely reasonable to think that, but in some areas of the Georgia capitol, it would also be a big mistake. Today, more than 150 years after Robert E. Lee surrendered to U.S. Grant at Appomattox, battles continue to rage between some of our state legislators over the late unpleasantness and how it should be remembered. In Georgia and all over the South, weâ€™re still having squabbles over the display of the Confederate battle emblem and whether statues of Confederate generals and leaders have a rightful place in any public area. The â€œgeneralâ€? in this latest conflict is a balding, retired history teacher, state Rep. Tommy Benton (R-Jefferson), who has often displayed his fondness for the â€œlost causeâ€? of the Confederate States of America. During his 12 years in the House, Benton has made numerous speeches about historical figures of the Civil War. â€œI think what they tried to do was very noble,â€? he told one reporter in a typical comment. Bentonâ€™s sympathies for the Confederacy and its associated causes have never been a secret to the capitol crowd. But he now finds himself in the middle of a raging controversy for restating his well-worn opinions in several media interviews last week. In the interviews, Benton reiterated his belief that the Ku Klux Klan â€œwas not so much a racist thing but a vigilante thing to keep law and orderâ€Ś It made a lot of people straighten up. Iâ€™m not saying what they did
was right. Itâ€™s just the way things were.â€? Benton also claimed that the Civil War â€œwas not fought over slavery,â€? an assertion that is not held by most serious historians whoâ€™ve written about that conflict. Bentonâ€™s words aggravated a legislative conflict that has been going on this session with state Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta), a black Democrat. Fort has introduced a bill that would prohibit the designation of any state holidays honoring the Confederacy. He and other black lawmakers have said itâ€™s time the state stopped paying tribute to the Confederacy at Stone Mountain Park. Benton introduced a bill that would require the reinstatement of Robert E. Leeâ€™s birthday and Confederate Memorial Day as state holidays. He sponsored another measure that would preserve the Confederate memorials at Stone Mountain Park. Benton compared Fort to a Muslim terrorist: â€œThatâ€™s no better than what ISIS is doing, destroying museums and monuments.â€? Fort replied: â€œIâ€™m not going to respond to anyone whoâ€™s an apologist for the Klan and for slavery.â€? Nikema Williams, first vice chair of the Georgia Democratic Party, accused Benton of â€œspewing the kind of half-witted hatred that divides. Benton should be ashamed and his party should denounce him.â€? Better Georgia, a progressive organization, called for House Speaker David Ralston to remove Benton from his post as a committee chairman. â€œHis defense of the KKK ignores a grave and dark history of violence and racism in Georgia,â€? Executive Director Bryan Long said. I doubt there will be any changes in the level of hostilities among lawmakers. Weâ€™ve kept on fighting the Civil War for 150 years. Why stop now? f
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A Permanent Vacation for Manager Reddish Plus, School ‘Reform’ and the Legislature’s Latest Shenanigans By Blake Aued and John Huie email@example.com Athens-Clarke County Manager Alan Reddish is retiring, but after 35 years in local government, he’s not about to go cold turkey. “You just don’t lay all that down immediately and walk away,” he told Flagpole. He’s “going to try to do a little part-time work that’s related to government,” and has a couple of possibilities in mind. He will continue to live in Athens. Before signing on as ACC’s manager, Reddish was associate director of UGA’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government. Before that (and after graduating from UGA), he managed governments in Albany and his native Jesup. His long-running tenure managing Athens’ unified government has gone smoothly, Reddish says, partly because the 10-member elected commission has never overstepped its bounds—for example, by trying to dictate his decisions about hiring or firing employees. Working as manager in ACC, Reddish said he’s found citizens here much more involved than in most places—and he, in turn, has come to value citizen input more than he once did. “This is a place where you do have a lot of opportunity to be heard, and to change things,” he said. For many years Reddish has also taught University of Georgia students in public administration, and nowadays more students than ever want to go into local government, rather than state or federal. “I think they’ve figured out that’s where things happen: at the local level,” he said. Running for public office doesn’t tempt him, Reddish said, but he has “great respect” for those who do and wishes more would—but to represent all citizens, not just a single issue or neighborhood. Sometimes candidates run on single issues, he said, but “when they get here, they find the complexity of local government is far beyond those particular concerns… and sometimes they can’t seem to step away
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from that.” Today it’s easy for citizens to contact their commissioners; still, “there are a lot of people out there who, for whatever reason, don’t get involved in the conversation,” and the issues a commissioner hears a lot about may seem more significant in the larger community than they really are. And state legislators sometimes get too involved in issues of local government, Reddish said. “I wish
“I don’t think [local officials] mind being challenged,” he said. “I don’t think they want to be challenged in an uncivil or disrespectful way, and I think that happens on many occasions.” Besides working part-time, Reddish said he will hone his hobbies: woodturning, preserving jellies and jams and a new interest: drawing. [JH] School Takeover: For a group that is generally extremely skeptical of government, Georgia voters are oddly trusting when it comes to Constitutional amendments. With its super-vague ballot language about “chronically failing public schools” and “improv[ing] student performance,” SR 287, like most amendments, almost certainly will pass by a wide margin, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a really terrible idea. At least, that’s what educators (and most Democrats) will tell you. The referendum—on the ballot in November—would allow Gov. Nathan Deal to create an “Opportunity School District,” appointing an administrator (not the elected state school superintendent) to oversee up to 100 of the “worst” schools statewide, as defined by a rather opaque metric. One school that suddenly and mysteriously popped up on the list last year was Gaines Elementary here in Athens. Those schools have one thing in common: poverty. State Rep. Spencer Frye (D-Athens) calls it the “Occupy School District”— and it’s not about helping students, but lining the pockets of for-profit charter school chains, he believes. “This will give private companies local tax dollars to run our schools,” he said at a separate forum organized by the Clarke County Democratic Committee. The legislation is modeled after “school reform” experiments in places like New Orleans, Tennessee and Michigan. Another panelist, Marc Ginsberg, the Clarke County School District teacher of the year, said he was intrigued by New Orleans’ transformation a few years ago, but when he went down for a job interview, he came away… less than impressed. “It sounds great,” he said, but “it was one the most disorganized train wrecks I’d ever seen.” At the heart of the “school reform” movement are two things: schools run privately with public dollars, and teachers who are paid based at least in part on their students’ test scores. Deal has also proposed “merit pay” for teachers, though he’s backed off for the time being.
Gone Fishin’ — Alan
they’d focus their efforts on trying to solve problems at the state level and not try to be so involved in everything that happens all over the state.” Politics is “part of our system,” yet candidates are “criticized for everything they’ve ever said or done,” he said. Local government is not led by professional politicians, he said, but by citizens willing to serve, “and we have fewer people who are willing to do that.
The Assembly Line: Here’s what the Georgia General Assembly’s been up to lately. Your government at work, folks.
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