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JANUARY 12, 2022 · VOL. 36 · NO. 1 · FREE

Elijah Johnston Day Off at the Zoo  p. 13


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Dozens of Athens residents gathered at City Hall in a cold rain Jan. 6 to rally for democracy on the anniversary of Trump supporters storming the Capitol in an attempt to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.

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Redistricting Ousts Commissioners

Legislative Preview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Hey Bonita . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

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comments section “This is so incredibly sad. Like many, I regularly saw Mr. Pugh around town.” — Rachel A. Fusco From “Athens Hit-and-Run Suspect Turns Herself In” at flagpole. com.

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J A NU A R Y 12, 2022 · F L A GP OL E .C OM



city dope

The Jan. 6 Coup, Part Two


By Blake Aued and Jessica Luton news@flagpole.com

ning for Georgia secretary of state, urged on the rioters who stormed the Capitol by calling it “our 1776 moment,” and since has staunchly defended Trump’s “big lie” about the stolen election. Afterwards, Georgia Republicans passed a law limiting absentee voting, which many of them falsely claimed was rife with fraud in 2020. Then they drew new state and federal maps that promise to preserve their majorities in the Georgia House and Senate for another 10 years and flip back a congressional seat that turned blue in 2018. “If we don’t stand up now, we will lose democracy,” said one of the speakers, District Attorney Deborah Gonzalez. “We can’t let the forces that want to end democracy succeed.” [Blake Aued]

Three progressive Athens-Clarke County interest to protect incumbents, we took the redistricting and spoke in favor of a fair and commissioners won’t be able to run for approach of keeping neighborhoods and transparent process at an Athens hearing re-election if a new commission district communities of interest whole to reach [an] held by the House and Senate reapportionmap proposed by Athens’ four Republican equal population in each commission disment committees. legislators is approved. trict. Our proposal is more geographically “One of the guiding principles repeated Races in odd-numbered districts are on compact. It has less deviation in population, at both sessions was to not draw elected the ballot in 2022. But a map introduced ensuring the principle of ‘one person, one officials out of their districts,” Myers said. last Thursday by Republican state Reps. vote.’ This map also includes four minority “This whole thing is the opposite of a transHouston Gaines and Marcus Wiedower and opportunity districts that have a population parent process with public input, something Sens. Bill Cowsert and Frank Ginn places that is less than 50 percent white. It also my three colleagues who did not support commissioners Melissa Link, Tim Denson doubles the current number of these oppor- the local maps approved by the commission What is usually a noncontroversial vote and Russell Edwards in even-numbered tunity districts in Athens-Clarke County, in [December] were so concerned about. districts that aren’t up until 2024, meaning which is one more than as proposed by the This is a politically motivated move to rebal- on the mayor pro tem for 2022 exposed yet again the division between the more liberal they’ll have to relinquish their seats. Link commission and gives greater minority ance our county commission in a direction and moderate wings of the Athens-Clarke is paired with Commissioner Marah Parker, representation in Athens-Clarke County,” that better suits our Republican state reps County commission. Denson with Commissioner Commissioner Carol Myers, Jesse Houle and Edwards with Clarke Commission Districts from the left faction, was elected Commissioner Mike Hamby. 6-4 at a Jan. 4 meeting with the “They basically ousted us,” support of five other progressive Edwards told Flagpole. “What a commissioners who often vote way to commemorate Jan. 6.” together and without support Redistricting is a mandatory from three other commissioners once-a-decade process to adjust who often clash with those six. populations after a census. The The two nominees, Commissioner state legislature is responsible Ovita Thornton and Myers, voted for drawing state House, Senate for themselves, while Myers was and congressional maps, and also joined by commissioners Mariah has the authority to approve local Parker, Melissa Link, Jesse Houle, maps. Those state legislators had Russell Edwards and Tim Denson, put ACC officials on notice that and Thornton was joined by comthey would draw their own map if Map layers missioners Mike Hamby, Allison a locally drawn version that made District Wright and Patrick Davenport, only minor tweaks didn’t pass the who is something of a wild card. commission unanimously. The mayor pro tem advises the Two commissioners, Hamby mayor on the agenda, represents and Allison Wright, voted against the mayor when the mayor is the local map last month, while absent and has enormous influCommissioner Ovita Thornton ence over the budget as the person abstained, despite their colleagues who chairs hearings on the maypleading with them to support it. or’s proposed budget. “The Athens-Clarke County mayor Edwards, the previous mayor and commission have been unable A new map drawn by local Republicans moves three commissioners and tens of thousands of voters into new districts. pro tem, said he nominated Myers to reach a consensus; therefore, because she isn’t up for re-election this this delegation worked to create a draft the Republican delegation members said in and senators and to dilute the power of year and has “displayed a willingness to map,” according to a news release from their joint news release. progressive county commissioners fairly make those phone calls throughout the Gaines, Wiedower, Cowsert and Ginn. The map proposed by ACC this elected to our local government.” organization, seize the work and recognize Several commissioners placed blame on year, though, is based on the map that Edwards wasn’t the only one to see symthe personal aspect of this work, check their colleagues who voted against the local Republicans themselves drew 10 years ago bolism in legislators choosing to introduce in on people and try to cultivate those map, while also accusing Republicans of over the objections of local officials and vot- their map on the anniversary of Trump usurping the will of Athens voters. ers. Republicans also said at that time that supporters’ insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. relationships.” Link said she turned down requests to “If you can’t beat them, suppress their their map would result in greater minority “If the events of January 6, 2021 and the serve as mayor pro tem but turned it down votes. If you don’t like their policies, divide representation, but for several years the subsequent slashing of voting access and because she is running—or was, until the their votes to make it hard for them to commission had only one Black member. It partisan takeover of the election system in new district map was introduced—and not run,” Commissioner Patrick Davenport now has three, two of whom supported the our state was not enough to convince you just because of the time demands. “Election said by email. “Athens is overwhelmingly local map and opposed opening the door for that Republicans hate democracy and will years can get testy, and someone in that Democrat, but we now have one extra the GOP to draw one. exercise fascist control when given [an] deliberative position should have a clear Republican state representative with only Meanwhile, the districts of the three inkling of opportunity, I present your new head,” Link said. She praised Myer’s “delibone Democrat state representative out of commissioners who objected to the locally Athens-Clarke County Commission district erations and ability to do the research and four. Athens is also represented by two drawn map remain largely untouched. One map,” Link wrote in a Facebook post. ask the hard questions.” Republican state senators. And now three of them, Wright, specifically objected to a Just an hour after the map was released, Wright nominated Thornton. “We do of my colleagues who are up for re-election dividing line on Gran Ellen Drive, where about 100 Athens residents gathered have cliques in the group, but I’ve seen are surprisingly drawn out of their districts houses would be in one district but their outside City Hall for what, except for a Ovita reach beyond that on many occawho overwhelmingly won their elections [in mailboxes across the street would be in cold rain, would have been a candlelight sions,” Wright said. She and Hamby also 2018] even preventing a runoff. Pay attenanother. The Republican map creates the vigil commemorating the Jan. 6 attack. cited Thornton’s 20 years on the commistion folks, this is what voter suppression exact same issue for Davenport along It was sponsored by progressive groups sion and the school board. Myers has only looks like. The fight never ends.” Morton Road. Indivisible Georgia District 10, the served a year in elected office. Republicans unilaterally redrew ACC Commissioner Carol Myers called the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement, Hamby said, “I want someone who’s commission districts in 2011, as well, but map “a political tsunami.” Even those comEconomic Justice Coalition, Unitarian going to fight…” who will stand up to Mayor kept all 10 incumbents in their districts. missioners who remain in their districts Universalist Fellowship of Athens and the Kelly Girtz and Manager Blaine Williams This time, they’re taking it a step further would have radically different constituenNew Georgia Project, which brought a box when it comes to controversial agenda by drawing commissioners out of their cies next time they run, and many Athens truck proclaiming “Jody Hice: Dangerous items. “I see Ovita doing that, and I think districts. voters will find themselves in new districts, to Democracy.” Hice, a Republican who that’s an important part of the job.” “Instead of carving up communities of said Myers, who took a training class on represents Athens in Congress and is run-

Mayor Pro Tem Vote Exposes Rift

Client: Legislative Del Plan: LegisDel-Draft-2022 Type: Local









Districts County



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F L A GP OL E .C OM · J A NU A R Y 12, 2022

In contrast, Myers has the ability to “respectfully disagree” and is capable of representing the will of other commissioners, Parker said. What Wright called Thornton’s “abrupt” personality rubs some of her colleagues the wrong way. “Commissioner Myers never uses ad hominem attacks,” Houle said, “and always makes points that are consistently on point and clearly worded and about the substance of the business we’re considering.” Thornton has also skipped a number of meetings and executive sessions, according to Houle. As for seniority, Parker, who won a special election and took office in June 2018, has served on the commission longer, Houle pointed out. Thornton said she would refrain from personal attacks in the coming year but won’t stop forcefully advocating for what she believes in. Not that there aren’t instances of cooperation: For example, Denson, Link and Thornton partnered on a compromise regarding rents charged to local nonprofits for the use of government facilities that passed unanimously. For more than two years, commissioners have struggled to find an equitable formula for such leases. Some organizations, most notably the Town & Gown Players community theater group, objected to a proposed policy. Town & Gown’s rent for its donated Grady Avenue building would have risen from $1 to $5,000 a year. Under the compromise, Town & Gown and four other groups that submitted proof that their services benefit the community—Athens Tutorial, the East Athens Development Corp., Hancock Avenue Development Corp. and Historic Athens— will pay $1 a year for fiscal 2023. Five other organizations that receive substantial ACC funding—the Athens Neighborhood Health Center, ACC Library, Athens Welcome Center, Clarke County Health Department and Advantage Behavioral Health—will also pay $1 a year. Commissioners also unanimously approved a plan to expand the Athens Neighborhood Health Center’s McKinley Drive location. The $15,000 a year ANHC is saving thanks to its new $1 lease agreement will help pay for the expansion, along with a $574,000 federal grant. The project will double the size of the facility, including adding nine medical exam rooms and three dental exam rooms, and is expected to cost a total of $1.2 million. [BA]

Trash Hauler Suspends Service Customers are upset that trash and recycling hauler Republic Services has canceled or delayed pickup several times since November and recently told them that recycling pickup will be delayed indefinitely. In a statement to Flagpole, Will Blanchetti, general manager for Atlanta North, blamed the situation on the pandemic. “As COVID-19 case numbers have risen across the state, Republic Services has also experienced a recent increase in positive cases across our workforce in Athens,” Blanchetti said. “The labor shortages experienced across many industries have had less of an impact for us locally. In fact, our headcount is at an all-time high. This week we temporarily suspended recycling, bulk and yard waste collections due to driver constraints with COVID-19. This allows us to prioritize

trash collection for all of our customers. Unfortunately this latest COVID wave hit during the holiday period when we traditionally see an increase in waste from households, which increased delays. “We will notify the community when staffing allows us to resume regular recycling, bulk and yard waste collection.” Commissioners Mike Hamby and Jesse Houle said at the commission’s Jan. 4 meeting that Republic should be held accountable. “People are paying them to pick up the recycling,” Hamby said. “So whatever we need to do as a county to get the recycling picked up for these folks, that needs to happen.” Blanchetti did not provide a timeline for restoring service. Athens-Clarke County Solid Waste Director Suki Janssen said that her department has reached out to Republic because the suspension violates an ACC ordinance but has not heard back. While the government could revoke Republic’s franchise to operate in ACC for failing to provide recycling pickup as required by law, in the short term there is little Solid Waste can do, Janssen said. “Quite frankly, for the last three years, we have seen poor performance by Republic in many areas in ACC,” she said. “ACCGov has very little control over the performance of the private haulers—we have allowed customers to control what type of service they get through choice.” While residents in the “urban services district”—essentially, inside what were the city limits before unification—have their trash and recycling picked up by ACC (and pay extra for it), residents in the formerly unincorporated county have their choice of a private hauler. Janssen urged Republic customers to pick another provider, such as AAA Sanitation, Curbside Services, Jimmy Johnson or Waste Pro. Several drop-off sites for recyclables are available as well. They’re located at the ACC landfill and outside the ACC jail, both off Lexington Road, the Danielsville Road and Jefferson Road fire stations, the Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials on College Avenue, the fire department maintenance depot in Winterville, Georgia Square Mall by the old movie theater and ACC Fleet Management on Newton Bridge Road. The commission has periodically considered expanding ACC’s trash and recycling service to the entire county, but dropped the idea because of the cost of buying more trucks and pushback from private haulers, their customers and residents who like to save money by hauling their own trash to the landfill. [BA]

Omicron variant wave, hospitalizations are now increasing to levels comparable to this time last year. As of Jan. 5, 907 total Clarke County residents had been hospitalized with COVID-19, 33 of them admitted last week. Furthermore, Athens hospitals have seen a rapid rise in the number of COVID19 patients from surrounding counties. As of Jan. 7, 215 regional patients, or 30% of all hospitalizations, were for COVID-19. While hospitals contended with a rapid rise in cases and hospitalizations last year, this new surge of hospitalizations is further complicated by the oncoming of the flu season and other medical patients seeking care. St. Mary’s Hospital and Piedmont Athens Regional issued a joint statement urging people with mild or no symptoms to seek testing and primary care options elsewhere instead of coming to the hospital. “Both Athens hospitals are once again experiencing a staggering surge in adults and children with COVID-19 symptoms and diagnoses,” the Jan. 5 release stated. “Collectively, the health care systems have experienced 100 to 200 percent increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations in the past eight days, and the vast majority of inpatients are unvaccinated. This comes at a time when the health systems are preparing for an influx of patients with seasonal flu. “Emergency room activity has also increased significantly for both emergent and non-emergent situations, including those seeking COVID-19 testing without the need for further care or treatment. To keep emergency rooms available to individuals who have the most critical health needs, individuals should obtain care at the most appropriate medical facility for their condition and seek COVID-19 testing at primary care locations, public health and mass testing sites or use at-home testing kits.” To accommodate higher demand for testing, the Northeast Georgia Health District moved its Athens testing site, run by Mako Medical, from the Mitchell Bridge Road fire station to Holland Park, just off Newton Bridge Road and Vincent Drive. Clarke County has yet to see an increase in residents dying from the Omicron variant at this point, but deaths often lag behind cases. To date, 181 Clarke County

residents have died from the virus. UGA infectious diseases professor Erin Lipp’s wastewater lab data last week showed viral “levels not observed since January 2021,” and viral levels that were higher than 93% of all samples the lab has collected to date. With such high levels of community transmission before the return of UGA students to campus for the spring semester, and no mask or vaccine mandate on campus, the community will likely see a continued increase in new cases in the coming weeks. At least a handful of professors have said they intend to hold classes online for the first couple of weeks of the semester in violation of University System of Georgia rules. Eight also signed a letter to UGA President Jere Morehead urging him to cancel a scheduled watch party at Stegeman Coliseum for the college football national championship game Jan. 10. Among them were microbiologist Anne O. Summers and College of Public Health epidemiologist Mark Ebell. They called holding an indoor event with 5,000 attendees “startlingly irresponsible.” The rise in cases has caused AthensClarke County courts to cancel jury trials through Jan. 21. Clarke County students went back to school on Jan. 6, with no immediate plans to go virtual, but the latest update from the school system urges parents to keep children with symptoms home, notify the school system if there’s a positive case and send students to school with a well-fitted mask. Public health officials and medical experts continue to urge the public to get vaccinated and get the booster shot. Clarke County currently has 64,761 residents, or 51%, with at least one dose of the vaccine, and 59,986 residents, or 48%, who are fully vaccinated. About 42% have been fully vaccinated with a booster shot. The Pfizer vaccine booster shot was approved last week for children ages 12 and up, but vaccination rates for children in Athens continue to move at snail’s pace, with 1,336 Clarke County children ages 5-9, or 23% and 2,609 children ages 10-14, or 43%, who have received at least one dose. [Jessica Luton] f

COVID Cases Skyrocket Over Holidays Athens continued to see a rapid increase in new COVID-19 cases last week, with the seven-day moving average of new cases increasing from 18 per day on Dec. 20 to 147 on Dec. 31 to 191 on Jan. 5, the last day data was available before Flagpole’s print deadline because of a data glitch on the Georgia Department of Health website. There were more than two times the amount of cases in the last two weeks compared with the previous two weeks, with over 900 new cases in Clarke County last week and 2,115 new cases in the last two weeks. To date, there have been 20,165 cases of COVID-19 in Clarke County. While new cases were expected with the

J A NU A R Y 12, 2022 · F L A GP OL E .C OM





By Stanley Dunlap and Ross Williams news@flagpole.com Editor’s Note: The Georgia legislature gaveled in for its annual 40-day session on Jan. 10. Here’s a look at some issues they’re likely to tackle from georgiarecorder.com:

actual crises that are going on inside public schools, and then there’s CRT,” he said. “They’re two completely separate things.” Owens said he’ll be watching House Bill 10, which would provide additional funds to schools that serve students living in poverty. “Georgia is one of only eight states in the union that doesn’t provide additional funding specifically to educate students living in poverty, so we’re hoping that we can advance a bill like House Bill 10,” he said. “That’d be about $343 million. It’s a bipartisan issue, this is something that Gov. Deal’s Education Reform Commission came up with in 2015, and now, Democrats have signed onto a bill, we’re hoping to get a good bipartisan legislation across the finish line.”



Guns, Guns and More Guns Gov. Brian Kemp plans to make firearms a central issue of the coming legislative session with the announcement of his support of legislation to expand gun rights. Kemp did not go into specifics speaking at a Jan. 5 press conference at a massive gun store and indoor shooting range in Smyrna, but he pledged to support “constitutional carry,” a term used by gun rights advocates to describe states where those who are entitled to own a firearm do not need a license. “It will be a true constitutional carry, and I’ll kind of defer that to us working the details out,” Kemp said. “And the good thing is I think there’s like 12 constitutional carry bills that are filed, many by members that are standing behind me today, so we’re going to work with them to perfect the legislation, and we’ll be talking more

Kemp’s announcement comes after former Sen. David Perdue, his most serious challenger in the GOP primary, criticized the governor for not passing a gun right expansion sooner. “Law-abiding citizens should be able to exercise their Second Amendment rights to carry a firearm without having to pay for and carry a government permit,” Perdue said in a statement. “Twenty-one states have constitutional carry, but despite his promises on the campaign trail, Brian Kemp has failed to make it a reality in Georgia. As governor, I’ll work with the state legislature to finally enact constitutional carry.” The campaign of Stacey Abrams, the Democrat Kemp or Perdue will likely face after the primary, also took a swipe at the move. “The same guy who pointed a gun at a teenager on TV now panders with reckless proposals threatening Georgia lives,” tweeted Abrams’ campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo. “As her opponents run to dangerous extremes and fight desperately to salvage their political careers, @staceyabrams is fighting for Georgians and their safety.” [Ross Williams and Stanley Dunlap]

Setting the Senate Agenda


eachers and administrators from across the state agree critical race theory is not discussed in Georgia grade school classrooms, but it likely will be a hot topic in January as lawmakers return for an election-year legislative session. But with restrictions on schools teaching about racism and other cultural issues dominating the discussion before the session begins, some worry more pressing problems like school funding could get short shrift. Critical race theory, a term for a legal framework developed in the 1970s defining racism as arising from social forces rather than individual prejudice, has become a catch-all for instruction that acknowledges racist structures in American history like redlining and Jim Crow. Opponents argue focusing on these issues and tying them to modern problems weighing on racial minorities is divisive and paints people as oppressors or victims based on their race. According to Google Trends, searches for critical race theory were mostly flat from when tracking began in 2004 until last May, when internet interest spiked. That’s about the same time parents started showing up to school board meetings across the state to demand an end to so-called critical race theory lessons. During a May Cherokee County school board meeting, state Rep. Brad Thomas, a Republican from Holly Springs, said he had already started writing a bill to ban critical race theory in schools. The next month, the Georgia Board of Education approved a resolution that did not mention critical race theory by name but asserted that the United States is not racist and that public school students should only be taught that slavery and racism are betrayals of the country’s founding principles. Cumming Republican state Sen. Greg Dolezal listed the idea as one of the top targets of Georgia’s new Freedom Caucus, which he chairs. “When we see dangerous ideology creeping into our schools, we think that monitoring, making sure our children are taught how to think and not what to think is at the forefront of what we can do legislatively,” he said. “Our K through 12 education budget represents 38% of the budget here in the state of Georgia, and we want to make sure that investment is spent in a way that parents can be proud of.” Parental involvement in school decisions and minority representation are both important discussions, said Stephen Owens, senior policy analyst at the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, but it can be frustrating when cultural clashes seem to drown out more grounded issues. “We have kids in the middle of a pandemic, with this new wave of the coronavirus, schools are operating under historic budget cuts, we’re having a difficult time staffing schools, specifically with substitute teachers and school bus drivers, so there are

way that actually increases staff for fear that it’s going to be gone in a couple years.” [Ross Williams]

Gov. Brian Kemp delivers his State of the State address in 2021. This year’s speech is scheduled for Jan. 12.

It’s also a good bet that private school vouchers will come up again in 2022. In 2021, a bill from Woodstock Republican Rep. Wes Cantrell to expand vouchers to more families passed out of committee but never got a full House vote. The state budget might be the one piece of legislation with the greatest impact on Georgia’s public school students. The budget passed earlier this year marks the 18th year out of the past 20 that Georgia has failed to meet the minimum public school funding based on its Quality Basic Education formula, or QBE. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia schools have received nearly $6 billion in federal money from the CARES Act, CARES II and the American Rescue Plan. “We have really solid revenue numbers, there is absolutely opportunity to fill in QBE, do a number of other policies, such as perhaps finish off the teacher pay raises,” Owens said. “But I think moving forward is my bigger concern. We continue to balance budgets in the state of Georgia on the backs of children. Right now, we have this historic investment in federal dollars, it’s really good for these one-time issues, such as fixing the HVAC, extending the school day, maybe one-time bonuses for staff. But schools are afraid to use this money in a

F L A GP OL E .C OM · J A NU A R Y 12, 2022

about that in the days to come, but this is basically just going to give people their constitutional right to carry without a piece of paper from the government.” Kemp can’t pass legislation on his own, but he wields significant influence at the state Capitol as the Republican governor of a Republican majority state. He made gun issues a central issue of his 2018 campaign, gaining national attention for one ad in which Kemp jokingly pointed a firearm at a young man who wanted to woo his daughter. Last year, a bill to expand gun rights faltered after a deadly shooting spree at Asian American-owned spas in Cherokee County and Atlanta shocked the nation. House Speaker David Ralston told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last month he could be open to constitutional carry legislation during the session, depending on the specifics of language. Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan struck a similar tone speaking with reporters at the Capitol Jan. 5, calling himself a strong Second Amendment supporter, but saying he will need to see the details of Kemp’s proposal before deciding whether he will support it. “I’m looking for which vehicle makes the most sense for the 11 million Georgians,” he said.

Duncan’s to-do list during his final year includes a tax credit to boost law enforcement, more resources for foster care, and higher wages for correctional officers. Duncan said that his focus will remain on completing his duties and getting his priorities passed before his time in the Senate concludes at the end of 2022. Then he plans to focus on his GOP 2.0 initiative aimed at retaking the Republican Party from the grips of former president Donald Trump and moving on from the 2020 election. During the passage of the controversial election law overhaul through Senate Bill 202 last year, Duncan refused to preside over a debate on restricting absentee voting access, but ultimately supported the final Republican measure that’s now facing multiple lawsuits over claims of voter suppression. During the upcoming session, Duncan said lawmakers should not focus on sending political messages or dwelling on the false claims of a stolen 2020 presidential election. “I think from a political perspective, I think we should be done talking about the 2020 election cycle and we should move forward politically in a way that makes the most sense and builds more consensus,” Duncan said. Additionally, Duncan elaborated on his crime-fighting plan, the “Less Crime Act,” which would set up a $250 million tax credit for individuals and businesses that donate to local police departments and sheriff’s offices through certified law enforcement foundations. Duncan’s plan is for departments to use the donated money to hire more officers, increase pay, provide more training, purchase equipment and improve resources to handle mental health related emergencies. Duncan said he also hopes to create a foster care program that provides wraparound services as teens age out of foster care. Another foster care initiative will be to work with Kemp and agencies to provide more resources to keep children out of extended-stay hotels when they don’t already have a foster parent. [Stanley Dunlap] f


pub notes


hey, bonita…

Live Free or Die

Was I Exploited for Christmas?

By Pete McCommons pete@flagpole.com

By Bonita Applebum advice@flagpole.com


The news broke like a fifth at the Bottle Shop: Five Points is leaving Athens! At least, that’s the word from a stealth committee holding itself out online as the City of Five Points Exploratory Committee. In their opening salvo, they justify their actions with a reference to the movement in Atlanta for Buckhead to break away and form a rich enclave. Our committee is serious: “With unmatched residential, commercial, and retail space, the City of Five Points could thrive as an independent community committed to safe streets, high performing schools, and economic development and prosperity.” No need to go into code words here, but, you know, the committee has its work cut out for it. Whose schools would these be? Is the committee contemplating secession from the Clarke County School District, too? For that matter, whose fire station? Whose streets and curbing and traffic signals? The assumption is, of course, that COFP would have its own police force, even though it would have no crime of its own.

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Eastside from following suit, and of course the University System of Georgia will be forced to incorporate Uga City to hold on to its properties that could be considered Five Points. Is the stadium in Five Points? Surely the track field and Butts-Mehre are. Is the botanical garden? The science center? Ah, there’s the rub. Where and how do you draw the lines? Where is Five Points, anyway? And as they draw their lines, will the committee respect the dissenters and allow them to opt out, creating a crazy quilt city limits? Or, abetted by compliant legislators, will COFP just level a preemptive strike that incorporates the new city, and anybody who doesn’t like it can just damn leave? There’s no need to be nostalgic about dear old Athenstown. What has it done for us lately, anyway? The COFP committee is not looking backward, but forward. “Right now, local cityhood advocates are using highly advanced modeling programs to determine the feasibility of cityhood. “We are also reviewing the historic boundaries of Five Points and surrounding areas, assessing demographics, and charting growth throughout Athens-Clarke County, Oglethorpe, and Oconee Counties.” Wait a minute! This thing may be bigger than we thought. We all know that our local legislators can do anything they want to us in Atlanta. Does this mean that COFP’s cherry-picking might reach across county lines and, say, create a municipality that incorporates, for instance, all those businesses along the Oconee Connector, including doctors’ offices and law firms, too? Can this new city reach into Oglethorpe County and incorporate Wolfskin? Can it grab Athens Academy? For that matter, maybe they’re negotiating with the Board of Regents to include the whole university campus into a new city more amenable to UGA, without restrictions like mask mandates or drinking hours. We’ll just have to wait for the answers to all these questions. After their startling newsbreak, the committee has left us for now with nothing but its bare-bones, unsigned website which promises: “We are running a volunteer-based, streamlined operation but will ramp up following the 2022 Legislative Session. Stay tuned for updates!” It’s possible that this whole endeavor may turn out to be a tempest in a tallboy, anyway, though. The Realtors™ have already extended Five Points to include all of Athens. f


Happy New Year, and welcome to COVID season 3! I know that the best of us tried as hard as we could to minimize this mess, but here we are, still masking and distancing as Omicron descends on our town. Well, at least it’s not football season. Hey, Bonita! I’m trying to figure out if I’m justified in having some post-Christmas angst regarding one of my two siblings. There had been some weird COVID-related disagreements with her in the days leading up to Christmas—I wanted all of us to get tested before Christmas as a precaution, and the rest of my family is not cautious about COVID whatsoever. I’m having a hard time separating that debacle enough to distinguish if this situation actually warrants me being upset, or if it’s largely because I’m generally over her. So, Sister 1 asked me to split the cost of a Nintendo Switch with her as a gift for our other sister (her twin Sister 2). For context, I’m in school and am supported by my wonderful boyfriend, who

anything close to the gift we got for Sister 2 (something like a book would have been awesome), but it’s now a few days after Christmas, and I’m still pissed that we got completely ignored after months of her hyping up getting this gift for our other sister. I feel kind of taken advantage of and disrespected, but is that an overreaction? Thanks for your help, Bonita! Anon Hey Anon, Nah, dude, your reaction is fully warranted. Sister 1’s actions come across as selfish, demanding and inconsiderate to me. It’s easier to be lousy to siblings than one would be to a friend or even a random stranger, though, which sucks when that manifests as entitlement towards resources that she knows are finite for you and your boyfriend. You’d be right to confront her about how that felt for you, and you’d be right to express any expectations that you have for mutual respect, support and consideration.






Some of us might still try to break through to buy a book at Avid or a bottle at the Shop, so somebody would have to monitor our behavior. The guiding idea of the exploratory committee seems to be that we’re rich and successful, so why should we pay taxes to support the rest of the town that is not up to our standards? That’s a fair question, and it will no doubt be thoroughly debated by those in the Five Points area who are not keen on being taken into a new city. But wait. Who’s to say Normaltown shouldn’t bolt? We’ve got our businesses, our brewery, our medical school—who needs Athens? Uh, oh. Boulevard will want to go out, too, and we’re liable to have border wars again, though maybe the economic power of Five Points will force us to combine as the City of Normlevard. If Five Points secedes, there’s nothing to stop Newtown, East Athens or the far-flung

kindly agreed to foot the bill for half of the Switch. Sister 1 then asked if he could buy Sister 2 a particular game to go along with the Switch as his gift to 2, which we agreed to do. In hindsight, I should have said no, because they are all aware that he supports me, so it would be understandable for us to just give her one gift from both of us. Ultimately, we ended up spending over $200 for just Sister 2’s gift at the urging of Sister 1, which is a lot for us since we’re both living on one income. Additionally, I guess Sister 1 had already told Sister 2 that she was getting a Switch. It’s a long, pointless story as to why, but Sister 1 actually gave Sister 2 half of the gift without us being there (weeks before Christmas) for no reason other than her own convenience. FINALLY, though, we got to Christmas, and Sister 2 seemed pleased about getting the Switch and the game we got her (although she didn’t say thank you)… but I noticed something a little odd—Sister 1 didn’t get me or my boyfriend anything for Christmas. I certainly wasn’t expecting

Squeezing $200 out of you for presents while not even getting you a Christmas gift in return feels more than inconsiderate to me, almost vindictive in a way. You’re right to side-eye that behavior. She’s family, so of course I don’t recommend torpedoing your relationship with any “my way or the highway” talk, but remember that you have free will at the end of the day. You have every right to say no to any demand from any person in your life. You have the right to expect lifelong relationships to evolve and mature beyond petty jibes and crude contrarianism. Once when I was 12, a friend pissed me off, so I soaked some casino tokens in an open sewage cesspit and slipped them into the cracks of his locker so that when he picked them up, he’d be touching human dookie. I’m still friends with that person today, and I’d definitely just talk to him before ever dealing with a disagreement like that again. Adult relationships command respect from everyone involved. f

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By Paul Rosenberg


roject Censored’s co-directors, Mickey Huff and Andy Lee Roth, title their introduction to this year’s edition of State of the Free Press “A Return to News Normalcy?” drawing a direct parallel between our world today to that of postWorld War I America, “[w]hen the United States faced another raging pandemic and economic recession,” with other sources of tumult as well: “The United States then had experienced a crackdown on civil liberties and free speech in the form of Espionage and Sedition Acts; racial tensions flared during the Red Summer of 1919 as violence erupted from Chicago to Tulsa; Prohibition was the law of the land; and the first wave of U.S. feminism ended with the passage of the 19th Amendment.” At the time, they noted, “People yearned for a return to ‘normalcy,’ as then–presidential hopeful Warren G. Harding proclaimed.” But it was not to be. “The desire for simpler times, however, was more a phantom than a reality, as millions of Americans ultimately had to adjust to an ever- and fast-changing world,” including a rapidly changing media landscape—most notably the explosion of radio. And we should expect much the same. Every major change in the media landscape has brought with it the promise of expanded horizons and democratic possibility—the potential for a broader, more inclusive public conversation—only to see many of the old patterns of division, exclusion and demonization recur in new ways as well as old, as recent revelations about Facebook vividly remind us. Project Censored isn’t alone in drawing parallels to a century ago, of course. The pandemic above all has expanded journalistic horizons, as a matter of necessity. To a lesser extent, the threat to American democracy—part of a worldwide trend of democratic backsliding—has done so as well. But though some have expanded their horizons, many more continue as if little or nothing has fundamentally changed. Day-to-day news stories perpetuate the fantasy that normal has already returned. And in one sense, they’re right: The normal patterns of exclusion and suppression that Project Censored has been tracking for over 40 years continue to dominate, with even the latest wrinkles fitting into well-established, if evolving, broad patterns that are depressingly familiar. These patterns are reflected in Project Censored’s top 10 list, with two stories each about labor struggles, racism, threats to health, the environment and free speech. Yes, that’s 12 stories, not 10, because some stories fit into more than one pattern—and some readers will surely find more patterns as well. Several stories this year deal with topics that have gotten widespread attention— but with aspects that have been virtually, or entirely ignored. The No. 1 story, for example, deals with prescription drug costs, a widely covered story, but with a significant difference in focus: how much those costs translate to in lost lives. The No. 9 story


deals with police violence against people of color, but with a new focus that’s actually quite old: vicious police dog attacks. The No. 4 story deals with climate change, again with a different focus: how heavily-industrialized nations like the U.S. “have effectively colonized the global atmospheric commons for the sake of their own industrial growth.” The point of Project Censored has never been just to expose significant stories that have been ignored, but rather to expose them as portals to a wider landscape of understanding and action. In that spirit, here is our summary of this year’s top 10 censored stories:

High Prescription Costs Are Killing Elderly Americans “Soaring prescription drug costs have been widely reported by corporate news outlets,” Project Censored notes, but they’ve utterly ignored the staggering resulting cost in human lives. More than 1.1 million seniors enrolled in Medicare programs could die prematurely in the next decade due to unaffordable prescription drugs, according to a November 2020 study reported on by Kenny Stancil for Common Dreams. “As medicines become increasingly expensive, patients skip doses, ration prescriptions or quit treatment altogether,” Project Censored explained, a phenomenon known as “cost-related nonadherence,” which will become “a leading cause of death in the U.S., ahead of diabetes, influenza, pneumonia and kidney disease” by 2030, according to the study by the nonprofit West Health Policy Center and Xcenda, the research arm of Amerisource-Bergen, a drug distributor. “The good news is that policy changes can curb the power of Big Pharma, resulting in far fewer avoidable deaths,” Stancil reported. “Medicare negotiation is projected to reduce drug prices and seniors’ cost-sharing, which could prevent nearly 94,000 seniors’ deaths annually and save $475.9 billion,” the study stated as one of its key findings. “As a model for policymakers, the study pointed specifically to the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3),” which passed the House in December 2019, but died in the Senate, Project Censored noted. It’s been reintroduced after Joe Biden “declined to include Medicare negotiation in his $1.8 trillion American Families Plan proposal,” they explained. A May 2021 op-ed in The Hill, co-authored by Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), cited the studies figures on preventable deaths and explained its basic framework: “H.R. 3 would limit the annual out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries to no more than $2,000, and would establish a top negotiated price for drugs at no more than 120% of the average of six other wealthy nations…. H.R. 3 would support and protect innovation and new drug development by investing some of the expected sav-

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ings into the world-class research funded through the NIH.” But this op-ed was a rare exception. “The public’s understanding of the debate surrounding H.R. 3 and other proposed legislation designed to control inflation in prescription drug prices ought to be informed by accurate information about the grim repercussions of continuing the status quo,” Project Censored noted. “Sadly, the corporate media have failed to provide the public with such information for far too long, and the consequences could turn out to be deadly for millions of seniors.”

Global Elites Threaten Journalists Investigating Financial Crimes Financial crimes of global elites, involving the flow of dirty money through some of the world’s most powerful banks, have made major headlines in recent years, most notably with the Panama Papers in 2016 and the FinSen Files in 2020. But we’d know a great deal more if not for the flood of threats faced by journalists doing this work—a major story that hasn’t been told in America’s corporate media, despite a detailed report from Foreign Policy Centre (FPC), “Unsafe for Scrutiny,” released in November 2020. The report was based on a survey of 63 investigative journalists from 41 countries, which found that 71% had experienced threats and/or harassment while doing their investigations, with a large portion of those (73%) experiencing legal threats as well. Its findings were described by Spencer Woodman in an article for the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). “The report found that legal threats are chief among the types of harassment facing journalists conducting financial investigations, and often seek to exploit a skewed balance of power between often-underfunded reporting enterprises and the legal might of attorneys hired by the world’s wealthiest people and corporations,” Woodman wrote. “Focusing on frivolous cases known as ‘strategic lawsuits against public participation,’ or SLAPPs, the report asserts that such actions ‘can create a similar chilling effect on media freedom to more overt violence or attack.’” Legal threats are often communicated via private letters, “and, if successful in achieving their aim, the public will never know,” the report said. Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered by a car bomb in Malta in October 2017, but Woodman added, “The report asserts that an assassination is often not a starting point for those seeking to silence reporters but instead a crime committed after a pattern of escalating threats, noting that Caruana Galizia had faced numerous legal threats and actions and that her family is still fighting 25 lawsuits over her reporting.”

Project Censored noted Galizia’s murder along with that of Slovak investigative journalist Ján Kuciak, adding that “According to FPC’s report, an additional 30 reporters from Brazil, Russia, India, Ukraine, Mexico and other countries who were researching financial corruption have been murdered since 2017.” As for legal threats, “Unlike Canada, Australia, and certain U.S. states, the United Kingdom has not passed anti-SLAPP legislation, making its courts an attractive venue for elites seeking to use the law to bully journalists into silence,” Project Censored noted, citing a May 8, 2021, Guardian column by Nick Cohen which described the UK’s court system as “the censorship capital of the democratic world.” Cohen in turn cited the case of financial reporter Catherine Belton, author of the 2020 book, Putin’s People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took On the West. “As Cohen explained, in response, a host of Putin’s super-wealthy associates are now bombarding Belton with one lawsuit after another,” Project Censored observed. The silence about this silencing has been deafening, Project Censored noted. There has been some coverage overseas, but “To date, however, no major commercial newspaper or broadcast outlet in the United States has so much as mentioned the FPC’s report.”

Historic Wave of Wildcat Strikes for Workers’ Rights After millions of people were designated “essential workers” when the U.S. went into lockdown in March 2020, thousands of wildcat strikes erupted to challenge dangerous working conditions and chronic low wages, exacerbated by refusal to protect against COVID-19 and cutting or sharply increasing the cost of medical insurance, for those who had it. A further strike surge was driven by “Black and Brown workers using digital technologies to organize collective actions as a way to press some of the demands for racial justice raised by Black Lives Matter and George Floyd protestors,” Project Censored noted. The nation’s fourth busiest port, Charleston, SC, shut down during George Floyd’s funeral on June 9, for example. At the labor news website Payday Report, Mike Elk created a continuously updated COVID-19 Strike Wave Interactive Map, which had identified “1,100 wildcat strikes as of March 24, 2021, many of which the corporate media have chosen to ignore,” according to Project Censored, including “more than 600 strikes or work stoppages by workers in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement,” in June 2020 alone, according to Elk. “While local and regional newspapers and broadcast news outlets have reported on particular local actions, corporate news coverage has failed to report the strike wave as a wave, at no time connecting the dots of all the individual, seemingly isolated work stoppages and walkouts to create a picture of the overarching trend,” Project Censored reported. The sole exception where there was national coverage was in August 2020 when highly-paid baseball and basketball pro athletes walked out in violation of their contracts to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake by Wisconsin police. The coverage


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ended quickly once they returned a few days later. Wildcat strikes occur when workers simply stop working, often in response to a specific incident, such as employer actions putting lives at risk by skimping on protective gear or attempting to cut workers’ healthcare. The situation was exacerbated by the Trump administration’s failure to issue mandates requiring specific safety measures, as reported by Michael Sainato at the Guardian. Examples covered by Elk that Project Censored cited include: • In Santa Rosa, CA, 700 health-care workers went on strike because their hospital lacked sufficient personal protective equipment to keep employees safe, and management warned employees that their insurance fees would be doubled if they wanted continued coverage for their families. • In St. Joseph, MO, 120 sheet metal workers went on strike due to management’s repeated attempts to cut their healthcare benefits during the pandemic. • In May 2020, workers at 50 McDonald’s, Burger King, Starbucks and other fast food establishments throughout Florida staged a day-long strike for higher pay and better protective equipment. • In April 2021, employees at Chicagoarea Peet’s Coffee & Tea locations staged a coordinated work stoppage along with the Fight for $15 campaign to demand workplace protections and quarantine pay. Furthermore, Elk noted that the 600 strikes in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement “is likely a severe underestimation, as many non-union Black and brown workers are now calling out en masse to attend Black Lives Matter protests without it ever being reported in the press or on social media.”

Elk also noted that “[M]any Black workers interviewed by Payday Report say that, once again, white labor leaders are failing to understand non-traditional organizing that has developed from viral social media movements… Instagram automation and similar automation on Facebook and Twitter help to build a huge following for grassroots movements, so something that had no following a month ago can suddenly go viral and reach millions of people within hours or even minutes.”


Canary Mission Cancels ProPalestinian Student Activists Before the “critical race theory” moral panic fueled a nationwide uprising to censor discussions of race in education, there was an opposite moral panic decrying “cancel culture” stifling certain people—especially in education. But even at the peak of the “cancel culture” panic, perhaps the most canceled people anywhere in America— pro-Palestinian activists and sympathizers—got virtually no attention. Even though a well-funded, secretly run blacklist website known as Canary Mission explicitly targeted thousands of individuals— overwhelmingly students—with dossiers expressly intended to ruin their careers before they even began, and which “have been used in interrogations by Israeli security officials,” according to the Forward, a Jewish publication. They’ve also been used by the FBI, as reported by The Intercept. The website, established in 2015, “seeks to publicly discredit critics of Israel as ‘terrorists’ and ‘anti-Semites,’” Project Censored noted, but its careless style of accusation has caused a backlash, even ➤ continued on next page


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among pro-Israeli Jews. “While some of those listed on the site are prominent activists, others are students who attended a single event, or even student government representatives suspected of voting for resolutions that are critical of Israel,” the Forward reported. More than that, it reported three examples when Canary Mission was apparently retaliating against critics, including Jews. But by far, its main targets are Palestinians, particularly activists involved with the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions or BDS movement that works to peacefully pressure Israel—similarly to South Africa in the 1980s—to obey international law and respect Palestinians’ human rights. As the Intercept reported in 2018, “While Canary Mission promotes itself as a group working against anti-Semitism, the blacklist’s effective goal is to clamp down on growing support for Palestine in the United States by intimidating and tarnishing Palestinian rights advocates with the brush of bigotry.” The list itself has had a chilling effect on First Amendment rights, another Intercept story reported. “A survey of over 60 people profiled on Canary Mission, conducted by the group Against Canary Mission, found that 43 percent of respondents said they toned down their activism because of the blacklist, while 42 percent said they suffered acute anxiety from being placed on the website.” Some have even received death threats. “For many otherwise unknown activists, a Canary Mission profile is their most visible online presence,” Project Censored reported, “‘It’s the first thing that comes up when you Google my name, the claim that I’m a terrorist supporter and an extremist,’ one former activist on Palestinian issues told the Intercept.” “Beyond Canary Mission,” Projected Censored noted, “a variety of pro-Israel organizations that seek to suppress pro-Palestinian activism have pursued litigation against chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine,” as reported in The Nation by Lexi McMenamin. A highlighted example at UCLA demanded the release of the names of speakers at a national conference, whose identities had been protected “in order to prevent them from being put on no-fly lists, potentially denied entry to other countries, or contacted by the FBI over their organizing work.” In March 2021 a California judge rejected that demand, noting that disclosure of their names “would violate their rights to freedom of association, anonymous speech and privacy.” Project Censored also cited a May 2021 federal court ruling that the state of Georgia cannot compel groups or individuals who contract with public entities to disavow support for the BDS movement against Israel, finding that the state’s law “places an unconstitutional incidental burden on speech.” Georgia is one of 35 states with similar anti-BDS laws or executive orders. “Heightened violence in Israel/Palestine in May 2021 has focused attention on powerful pro-Israel media biases in U.S. news coverage, but Canary Mission and legal efforts to suppress pro-Palestinian activism have nonetheless received minimal corporate news coverage,” Project Censored summarized, citing a handful of exceptions,


a New York Times and a Washington Post opinion, plus two New York Times articles “dating back to 2018, [that] made passing mention of Canary Mission, as a ‘shadowy organization,’” But, Project Censored concluded, “Aside from this coverage, major establishment news outlets have provided no substantive reports on the role played by Canary Mission and other pro-Israel organizations in stifling the First Amendment rights of pro-Palestinian activists.”

Wealthy Nations Have ‘Colonized’ the Atmosphere The United States and other developed countries in the global north are responsible for 92% of all the excess carbon dioxide emissions driving global warming, according to a study in the September issue of The Lancet Planetary Health. The U.S. alone was responsible for 40%, followed by Russia and Germany (8% each), the United Kingdom (7%) and Japan (5%). The study’s author, economic anthropologist Jason Hickel, told Sarah Lazare of In These Times that his research began from the premises that “the atmosphere is a common resource” and that “all people should have equal access” to a fair share of it. He calculated each nation’s fair share of a sustainable global carbon budget, based on population, along with an analysis of “territorial emissions from 1850 to 1969, and consumption-based emissions from 1970 to 2015.” In turn, this was used to calculate “the extent to which each country has overshot or undershot its fair share,” according to the study. The results, he told In These Times, show that “the countries of the Global North have ‘stolen’ a big chunk of the atmospheric fairshares of poorer countries, and on top of that are responsible for the vast majority of excess emissions… [T]hey have effectively colonized the global atmospheric commons for the sake of their own industrial growth.” In contrast, the study found that “most countries in the Global South were within their boundary fair shares, including India and China (although China will overshoot soon).” The leading climate creditors to date are India (34% of global “undershoots”), China (11%), Bangladesh and Indonesia (5% each) and Nigeria (4%). “High-income countries must not only reduce emissions to zero more quickly than other countries, but they must also pay down their climate debts,” the study said. “Just as many of these countries have relied on the appropriation of labour and resources from the Global South for their own economic growth, they have also relied on the appropriation of global atmospheric commons, with consequences that harm the Global South disproportionately.” “Other studies and analyses have pointed to the disproportionate responsibility of the Global North, and wealthy countries, for driving the climate crisis,” Lazare noted. Most dramatically, a 2015 study by Oxfam International “found that the poorest half of the world’s population—roughly 3.5 billion people—are to blame for just 10% of ‘total global emissions attributed to individual consumption,’ yet they ‘live overwhelmingly in the countries most vulnerable to climate change.’” She reported,

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“In contrast, the richest 10% of people in the world are responsible for roughly 50% of global emissions.” “Corporate news outlets appear to have entirely ignored the findings of Jason Hickel’s Lancet study,” Project Censored noted. “Although it may be imperative to act “quickly and together” to reduce carbon emissions, as Vice President Harris asserted at the April 2021 climate summit, corporate media have failed to cover Hickel’s cutting-edge research, which demonstrates that the United States and other would-be leaders in addressing climate change are in fact, as the world’s worst climate debtors, disproportionately responsible for climate breakdown.”

Toxic Microplastics Increasingly Prevalent in Oceans According to a pair of scientific studies published in the summer of 2020, microplastic particles and a family of toxic chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS have become more widespread in the world’s oceans than previously realized and have begun to contaminate the global seafood supply. The two problems are related because PFAS—a family of highly stable “forever chemicals” with more than 4,700 known members— can occur as microplastics, they can stick to microplastic particles in water, and are involved in the production of plastics. In July 2020, a German-American study published in the scholarly journal Environmental Science & Technology revealed that PFAS—which are used in a range of products including carpets, furniture, clothing, food packaging and nonstick coatings—have now been found in the Arctic Ocean. “This discovery worries scientists,” Project Censored explains, “because it means that PFAS can reach any body of water anywhere in the world and that such chemicals are likely present in our water supply.” This is concerning because, as Daniel Ross reported for Truthout, there are “Known human health impacts… include certain cancers, liver damage, thyroid problems and increased risk of asthma. As endocrine disruptors, these chemicals have been linked to increased risk of severe COVID-19.” “PFAS’s are probably detectable in ‘all major water supplies’ in the U.S.,” according to an Environmental Working Group study, Ross reported. “What’s more, over 200 million Americans could be drinking water containing PFAS above a level EWG scientists believe is safe, according to the organization’s most recent findings.” The second study, in August 2020, also published in Environmental Science & Technology, came from researchers at the QUEX Institute, a partnership between the University of Exeter and the University of Queensland. They looked for and found microplastics in five seafood products sold in Australian markets: crabs, oysters, prawns, squid and sardines, which had the highest concentration. According to the study’s lead author, as reported by Robby Berman in Medical News Today, a seafood eater with an average serving “could be exposed to… up to 30 mg of plastic when eating sardines,” about as much as a grain

of rice. “Roughly 17% of the protein humans consume worldwide is seafood,” Berman noted. “The findings, therefore, suggest people who regularly eat seafood are also regularly eating plastic.”

Google’s Union-Busting Methods Revealed In 2018, Google dropped its longtime slogan, “Don’t be evil,” from its code of conduct. In 2019, Google hired IRI Consultants, a union avoidance firm, “amid a wave of unprecedented worker organizing at the company,” as Vice’s Motherboard put it in January 2021, while reporting on leaked files from IRI that provided a disturbing picture of how far Google may have strayed in its willingness to sabotage its workers’ rights. The 1935 National Labor Relations Act makes it illegal for companies to spy on employees and guarantees workers the right to organize and engage in collective bargaining. “Nevertheless,” Project Censored noted, “companies like Google attempt to circumvent the law by hiring union avoidance firms like IRI Consultants as independent contractors to engage in surveillance and intimidation on their behalf.” “[E]mployers in the United States spend roughly $340 million on union avoidance consultants each year,” Lauren Kaori Gurley reported for Motherboard, but their practices are apparently so disreputable that IRI doesn’t identify its clients on its website “beyond saying the firm has been hired by universities, renewable energy companies, auto-makers, ‘the nation’s largest food manufacturers’ and ‘several top ten worldwide retailers,’” she reported. “Consultants specialize in operating in the grey areas of the law,” John Logan, a professor of labor and employment studies at San Francisco State told Gurley. “They’re not quite illegal but they’re sort of bending the law if they’re not breaking it.” “The [leaked] documents show that the firm collected incredibly detailed information on 83 Seattle hospital employees, including their ‘personality, temperament, motivations, ethnicity, family background, spouses’ employment, finances, health issues, work ethic, job performance, disciplinary history and involvement in union activity in the lead-up to a union election,’” Project Censored noted, “including descriptions of workers as ‘lazy,’ ‘impressionable,’ ‘money oriented,’ and ‘a single mother.’” The documents Motherboard reported on didn’t come from Google, but from two Seattle-based hospitals owned by Conifer Health Solutions who hired IRI on the sly—a common practice. “Tracking the union avoidance firms behind anti-union campaigns is intentionally made difficult by firms that subcontract out work to other firms that hire independent contractors to avoid federal reporting requirements laid out by the Department of Labor and shield themselves from public scrutiny,” Motherboard explained, adding that the union organizing the workers had no idea of IRI’s involvement. “Google is not the only Big Tech company to enlist union avoidance consultants in recent years. In fall 2020 and spring 2021, employees at Amazon’s massive fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama launched a much-publicized unionization effort,” Project Censored noted. “As John

Logan detailed in a lengthy article for LaborOnline, Amazon responded to the Bessemer drive by spending at least $3,200 per day on anti-union consultants Russ Brown and Rebecca Smith and by bringing in a second union-busting consulting firm,” as well as hiring “one of the largest law firms in the country specializing in union avoidance.” Employees voted more than 2-1 against joining the union, but the election was overturned for a set of eight labor law violations after Project Censored’s book went to the publisher—a decision that Amazon is appealing. “There has been some establishment press coverage of large corporations hiring union-avoidance firms to undermine workplace organizing, mostly focusing on tech giants like Google and Amazon,” Project Censored noted, including late 2019 stories in the New York Times and Washington Post reporting that Google had hired IRI, and a Feb. 23, 2020 New York Times Magazine cover story entitled “the Great Google Revolt,” which “mentioned in passing” the use of anti-union consultants by Google and others in Silicon Valley. “However, there has been no corporate news coverage whatsoever of the sensational leaks that Motherboard released in January, and there has been very little in-depth corporate media reporting on the use of union-busting consultants in general,” Project Censored summed up, concluding, “The documents leaked to Motherboard confirm and greatly elaborate upon what labor organizers and educators have suspected of the specific tactics the union-busting firms employ.”

Pfizer Bullies South American Governments Over COVID-19 Vaccine “Pfizer has essentially held Latin American governments to ransom for access to its lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine,” Project Censored reports, the latest example of how it’s exerted undue influence to enrich itself at the expense of low- and middle-income nations going back to the 1980s, when it helped shape the intellectual property rules it’s now taking advantage of. “Pfizer has been accused of ‘bullying’ Latin American governments in COVID vaccine negotiations and has asked some countries to put up sovereign assets, such as embassy buildings and military bases, as a guarantee against the cost of any future legal cases,” according to reporters at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. In one case it resulted in a three-month delay in reaching a deal. “For Argentina and Brazil, no national deals were agreed at all,” BIJ reported. “Any hold-up in countries receiving vaccines means more people contracting COVID-19 and potentially dying.” It’s normal for governments to provide some indemnity. But, “Pfizer asked for additional indemnity from civil cases, meaning that the company would not be held liable for rare adverse effects or for its own acts of negligence, fraud or malice,” BIJ reported. “Some liability protection is warranted, but certainly not for fraud, gross negligence, mismanagement, failure to follow good manufacturing practices,” the World Health Organization’s director of the Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law, Lawrence Gostin, told

BIJ. “Companies have no right to ask for indemnity for these things.” During negotiations, which began in June 2020, “the Argentinian government believed that, at the least, Pfizer ought to be accountable for acts of negligence on its part in the delivery and distribution of the vaccine, but, instead of offering any compromise, Pfizer ‘demanded more and more,’ according to one government negotiator,” Project Censored summarized. “That was when Pfizer called for Argentina to put up sovereign assets as collateral. Argentina broke off negotiations with Pfizer, leaving the nation’s leaders at that time without a vaccine supply for its people,” in December. “It was an extreme demand that I had only heard when the foreign debt had to be negotiated, but both in that case and in this one, we rejected it immediately,” an Argentine official told BIJ. That same month, “just after the United States approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, In These Times’ Sarah Lazare filed a detailed report on the history of the pharmaceutical giant’s opposition to expanding vaccine access to poor countries, beginning in the mid-1980s during the negotiations that eventually resulted in the establishment of the World Trade Organization in 1995. “Both globally and domestically, Pfizer played an important role in promoting the idea that international trade should be contingent on strong intellectual property rules, while casting countries that do not follow U.S. intellectual property rules as engaging in ‘piracy,’” a view they promoted to multiple business networks, shielded from wider public debate. “It was not a given, at the time, that intellectual property would be included in trade negotiations,” she explained. “Many Third World countries resisted such inclusion, on the grounds that stronger intellectual property rules would protect the monopoly power of corporations and undermine domestic price controls.” “It is difficult to think of a clearer case for suspending intellectual property laws than a global pandemic,” and “a swath of global activists, mainstream human rights groups and UN human rights experts have added their voices to the demand for a suspension of patent laws,” Lazare noted. But Pfizer was joined in its opposition by pharmaceutical trade groups and individual companies, such as Moderna, another COVID-19 vaccine maker. As a result, “One could make a map of global poverty, lay it over a map of vaccine access, and it would be a virtual one-to-one match,” she wrote. “Once again majority Black and brown countries, by and large, are left to suffer and die.” “Pfizer’s dealings in South America are not exactly secret,” Project Censored noted, but “[a]s of May 2021, there has been no corporate media coverage of Pfizer’s actual dealings in South America or how the pharmaceutical giant helped establish the global intellectual property standards it now invokes to protect its control over access to the vaccine.” Nor is this anything new, it concluded: “Big Pharma has a long, underreported track record of leaving developing nations’ medical needs unfulfilled, as Project Censored has previously documented.” f Paul Rosenberg is senior editor at Random Lengths News, an alternative weekly in Los Angeles. See more at flagpole.com.

J A NU A R Y 12, 2022 · F L A GP OL E .C OM







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Elijah Johnston’s Day Off SOMETIMES IT TAKES A ZOO

By Sam Lipkin editorial@flagpole.com


you often find yourself chatting up a musician and suddenly discovering they play in or with half a dozen bands around Athens? You would find the same to be true of Elijah Johnston, but he’s built an inspiring network that continues to propel him forward in his mission to grow as an artist. When Johnston moved from Snellville to Athens five years ago to attend UGA, he already had a couple of albums streaming—although the releases were much more “arbitrary” than purposeful. During his time at the university as a music business school student, Johnston went on to produce two more projects that helped define his sound, but the arrangements came from a need to record the songs he played live that fans had become familiar with at shows. This time around, the pandemic changed his perspective and goals as an artist, resulting in the meticulous album Day Off that will be released under his name Friday, Jan. 14. Although the songs were written pre-pandemic, the album was recorded in the middle of it and reflects the state of music. “There was no current, ‘Oh we have to make sure we can play this live.’ It was like, ‘Let’s just get in the studio and put as many parts in it as possible,’” Johnston explains. “I think there was a bit more attention to detail in the studio and in the recording of it. There isn’t anything in it that feels like an afterthought.” As of Flagpole’s print deadline amid once-again shaky times for live music, an album release show at Flicker Theatre & Bar is slated for this Friday at 9 p.m. with support from Nicholas Mallis and Mary Margaret Cozart. While Johnston’s live performance and recording process includes a multitude of collaborations, two main team members are at the core of arranging Day Off alongside Johnston: his brother Gideon Johnston and fellow Well Kept bandmate Tommy Trautwein. As a release under the We Bought a Zoo Records label, Trautwein had a significant role in producing the entire album while also playing bass and occasionally guitar on the tracks. All three musicians have their hands in a number of projects and groups, from Well Kept and Wanderwild to Drew Beskin and Hotel Fiction. For Johnston, these collaborations have been valuable learning experiences. “Being in Well Kept has been helpful because Tommy is there, and he’s very professional and very structured and

organized. I’m good friends with Jess and Jade from Hotel Fiction, and have gone on a couple shows with them far out of town and seen the benefits of touring. Even my brother, he’s very driven and hardworking to be better at his craft, which has been helpful to learn and be motivated to be a better player, be a better musician all around,” says Johnston. More than a group of musicians, this group of friends organically came together under the We Bought a Zoo Records umbrella. The intertwined collaborations led to Johnston and Trautwein discussing how to connect all of their involvements, and they came up with the amusing idea of a record label. We Bought a Zoo Records was a name Trautwein suggested—drawn from the 2011 comedy of the same name starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson—that stuck with everyone the most, and it became a practical demarcation of the projects Trautwein produces. However, in a larger sense, it’s a group of friends collaborating together while also working on different but related projects. Back in the beginning of November, the main artists who put out music under the label came together for a one-day festival at The Lewis Room at Tweed Recording. To start the year off with a taste of what this conglomerate has to offer, a surprise live album, We Bought A Zoo Records Festival Live at the Lewis Room, will be released on Jan. 21. It will feature one song from each artist that performed at the fall festival, including Well Kept, Hotel Fiction, CannonandtheBoxes and Zac Crook in addition to Elijah Johnston. This “fun little appetizer,” as described by Johnston, provides a taste of each individual artist after you listen through his collaborative album. While the WBAZ bunch trade songs back and forth from time to time, their individual inspirations in songwriting separate the music from all melding together as one sound. Johnston notes that being inspired by fellow musicians’ hard work and effort rather than the actual sounds being

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created helps to keep what he does as Elijah Johnston unique and identifiable as himself. Described as an emo singer-songwriter and aspiring pop star, Johnston grew up listening to experimental electronic and ambient music that has influenced his approach to creating. “There’s moments on the album where I was thinking a lot about texture and thinking about sound in sort of [a way] how you look at a canvas rather than this is just a piece of the song.” f

WHO: Elijah Johnston, Nicholas Mallis, Mary Margaret Cozart WHERE: Flicker Theatre & Bar WHEN: Friday, Jan. 14, 9 p.m. HOW MUCH: $10

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J A NU A R Y 12, 2022 · F L A GP OL E .C OM


threats & promises

Tomorrow’s News Today THE MUSIC SCENE’S HIGHS AND LOWS OF 2022

By Gordon Lamb threatsandpromises@flagpole.com Needless to say, the crystal ball over here at Flagpole got shattered about 18 months ago, along with everyone else’s. Even so, seeing as how we’re still committed to convenience and soothsaying, here’s your annual roundup of tomorrow’s news today. We rode into 2022 with a spirited, if trepidatious, gallop and this is what happened. JANUARY: This is literally happening as you read this, so just look outside. The call is coming from inside the house. FEBRUARY: For the second year in a row, romantic partners of all stripes were stuck in the weird limbo of “will they or won’t they” as none could make solid plans to celebrate Valentine’s Day due to rolling closures. A few forward-thinking restaurateurs eschewed the now-common curbside pickup in favor of drive-by greetings. Patrons scheduled a specific time to slowly roll past different establishments and paid a premium to be fed by slingshot. MARCH: This was the month when the sun poked its head out a little. That one promoter everyone knows kept trying to make spring happen by booking a steady onslaught of shows hoping no one noticed that the term “super spreader” only applies to events we don’t personally like. If it’s something we all dig, then it’s safe as pie. Everyone knows that. APRIL: Fans from around the country piled into Athens for the annual Heathens Homecoming shows by Drive-By Truckers. Although originally slated for January, these rescheduled shows exemplified the band’s dedication to its fans and safety from COVID. While some who had originally planned to attend in January couldn’t make the new dates, those who did were

pleased by the extra legroom. MAY: The University of Georgia celebrated the class of 2022 which, of course, included many music scene participants. Officials had been sweating who to book as an appropriate speaker, especially after the recent re-awakening of campus consciousness across the country. In the end, those at Sanford Stadium for the ceremony were treated to an uninterrupted screening of the “Donna Martin Graduates” episode of “Beverly Hills, 90210,” which is noted for both its theme of graduation as well as featuring student demonstrations. One unnamed official remarked, “This is the kind of thing that just makes people feel good!” JUNE: No fewer than three local bands announced tour dates this month. By month’s end, no more than one would publicly admit that it had been a bad idea that would take at least the rest of the summer to recover from economically. Nevertheless, each was edified by social media comments such as “Sick!” and “Have a rad time, bro!” Unofficial sources seemed to indicate that at least one bro did indeed have a rad time. JULY: Nothing happens in July, and 2022

was no different. A few folks stayed vaguely on top of things by asking questions like “When is AthFest?” and “Didn’t we just see The Pink Stones?” For the most part, townies and musicians just kept busy recording at home and collaborating through the internet, which distinguished them all in no particular way. AUGUST: Music fans prepared for the expected heat wave this month by securing five-gallon buckets for themselves. It got so hot this month that pre-gaming for shows now meant heading over to the Twice The

calendar pick Celebrate MLK Day | A longstanding tradition, the 20th annual Athens MLK Day of Service invites community members to “make it a day on, not a day off” by spending the federal holiday volunteering for various projects. In addition to annual staples like Adopt-A-Highway cleanups, landscaping and other beautification projects, highlights include creating wooden butterflies for Butterfly Dreams Farm Therapeutic Riding Program, crafting tiles for the Linnentown Mosaic Project and lending a hand at Sweet Olive Farm Animal Rescue. A kickoff event will be held outdoors at Clarke Central High School Monday, Jan. 17 at 8:30 a.m. Preregistration is encouraged at accgov.com/5038/MLK-Day-of-Service. That same day, the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement and United Group of Artists will co-present the sixth annual Athens MLK Day Parade & Music Festival, a family-friendly event featuring live music, food and vendors, downtown in the historic Hot Corner block. The parade will begin moving at 3 p.m. and will be followed by an honoree ceremony. Highlights include speakers on the main stage at Hull and Washington streets, youth activities at Little Kings Shuffle Club, a hip-hop showcase at World Famous and a reception recognizing community elders, with live performances held at all four locations. Check out athmlkparade.com for details. [Jessica Smith]

Ice machine on Chase Street to fill one’s bucket before each event. This course of action would prove cumbersome, though, as local venues had to start hanging “no outside ice” signs. This has never before happened anywhere, so chalk up a new one for ol’ Athens. SEPTEMBER: This was the month that nearly every local musician performed a self-paton-the-back for being clever enough to post an Earth, Wind & Fire-based meme on the 21st of the month. Great job, y’all. OCTOBER: If the pandemic taught us anything, it taught us the King of Halloween (aka Timi Conley) would not be hindered by snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night nor anything else, and his Wild Rumpus event took place for its 100th time. While many participants could not be located for comment due to having been in disguise all weekend, those available were appreciative of having an opportunity to leave home, at least for a little while.

NOVEMBER: Have y’all heard about Bandcamp Friday? The one day a month when the popular streaming site eschews its portion of income and gives it all to the artists? We were reminded of this phenomenon for the 500th time, and lucky local punters were able to sock away an additional 10 bucks or so. DECEMBER: This was the year the local Christmas album came roaring back. Mimicking the tradition established by the now-historical annual Flagpole Christmas releases, a few local tastemakers got together to make a new album for 2022. Everything was recorded digitally, and in an attempt to be as historically accurate as possible, the album, Have A Dang Ol’ Christmas, Already, was released exclusively on cassette tape. No one seemed bothered by the fact that, no matter what anyone says, not a single cassette tape has been played anywhere in the world for at least 20 years. Whew! f




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F L A GP OL E .C OM · J A NU A R Y 12, 2022




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live music calendar Tuesday 11

theatreandbar.com ELIJAH JOHNSTON Local indiefolk singer-songwriter. Album release show! NICHOLAS MALLIS Local artist featuring tinges of Bowie-esque drama, surf-rock and melodic pop. MARY MARGARET COZART Local songstress of Common Currents.

Southern Brewing Co., Monroe 7 p.m. www.sobrewco.com FUNKY BLUESTER Blues outfit inspired by traditional Chicago and Texas styles.

Nowhere Bar 9:30 p.m. www.facebook.com/ NowhereBarAthens SUNNY SOUTH BLUES BAND Local band combining a blues and soul spirit with riffy rock and roll. BRAD COCHRAN Member of Atlanta band Rolling Nowhere plays a solo set.

Wednesday 12 Flicker Theatre & Bar 9 p.m. FREE! www.flickertheatre andbar.com DR. FRED’S KARAOKE Featuring a large assortment of pop, rock, indie and more. Porterhouse Grill 6–9 p.m. www.porterhouseathens. com/jazz JAZZ NIGHT Enjoy standards, improv and originals by a live jazz trio every Wednesday night over dinner.

Thursday 13 Georgia Theatre 7:30 p.m. (doors), 8:30 p.m. (show). $13–15. www.georgia theatre.com HOTEL FICTION Undefined, multigenre duo inspired by nostalgia and personal stories. NORDISTA FREEZE Psych-rock project from Nashville, TN. LIGHTHEARTED Soft alternative band anchored by twins Gracie and Eliza Huffman. Hendershot’s Coffee 8 p.m. $8 (21 and up), $10 (under 21). www.hendershotsathens.com FOUR FATHERS Funky soul organ quartet.

Friday 14 Buvez 8 p.m. www.facebook.com/buvez athens ESKIZO Chaotic two-piece from Macon, GA. FOODEATER Thrashy hardcore punk featuring members of Apparition, American Cheeseburger and The Fuzzlers. PERVERT New band featuring members of Shade and Fart Jar. Flicker Theatre & Bar 9 p.m. (doors). $10. www.flicker

Curtis Harding performs at the Georgia Theatre Saturday, Jan. 15. The Lewis Room at Tweed Recording 6 p.m. (doors), 7 p.m. (show). $12 (adv.), $14. www.lewisroom.com SAM BURCHFIELD The Atlantabased singer-songwriter plays a set of his folk-pop tunes. Madison Morgan Cultural Center 6 p.m. (doors), 7 p.m. (show). $70, $100 (VIP). www.mmcc-arts.org MUSIC CITY COMES TO MADISON The third installment of this Nashville in the round singer-songwriter series features Eric Dodd, Dylan Altman, Hannah Dasher and Phil Barton. Followed by a VIP meet-and-greet cocktail party. Normal Bar 8 p.m. $10. www.facebook.com/ normal.bar.7 HONEYPUPPY Athens-based, Breeders influenced pop band featuring members of Telemarket and The Pink Stones. CANARY AFFAIR Local groove pop. CONVICT JULIE Soulful alternative R&B artist and producer who uses her platform to raise awareness against social injustices.

Rabbit Hole Studios 7 p.m.–12 a.m. www.facebook. com/whiterabbitproductionsllc OPEN DECKS JiiG and djbobfish host open decks for first timers or seasoned vets. DJs should bring flash drives. Ramsey Hall Faculty Artist Series. 7:30 p.m. pac. uga.edu LIZ KNIGHT Mezzo soprano who has performed in choral ensembles across the country. Southern Brewing Co. 8 p.m. (doors), 9 p.m. (show). $7 (adv.), $10. www.sobrewco.com WYLD STALEYZ Hot-blooded, ball-clenching power rock from members of Manger, Gear Jammer and Noise Mountain. GIMME SABBATH Black Sabbath tribute band. HYPERSLEEP Local sci-fi-fueled psychedelic doom four piece.

Saturday 15 Athentic Brewing Co. 6 p.m. www.athenticbrewing.com JULIA RYAN Solo performer

performing hits from all genres and decades. Flicker Theatre & Bar 8 p.m. www.flickertheatreandbar. com MERCY MERCY Poppy, scrappy garage-rock group from Jacksonville, FL. GINO AND THE GOONS Fast, loose and loud garage-rock band from Florida. Georgia Theatre 7:30 p.m. (doors), 8:30 p.m. (show). $16–18. www.georgia theatre.com CURTIS HARDING Atlanta singer-songwriter whose “slop ‘n’ soul” style carries influences of blues, gospel, psychedelia, R&B and rock. JOSHY SOUL Neo soul musician inspired by Donny Hathaway, Otis Redding, Ray Charles and Little Richard. Hendershot’s Coffee 8 p.m. FREE! www.hendershots athens.com ONE TON TOMATO An eclectic blend of Salsa, Mambo and Latin Jazz. International Grill & Bar 7 p.m. www.facebook.com/ IGBAthens HENDERSON/WILLIAMS Don Henderson and Henry Williams play hits from across different generations and genres. Southern Brewing Co. Outdoors. 7 p.m. www.sobrewco. com JIM COOK Local solo performer playing acoustic blues, classic rock and Americana.

Sunday 16 Akademia Brewing Co. 12–2 p.m. www.facebook.com/ akademiabc JULIA RYAN Solo performer performing hits from all genres. Buvez 8 p.m. $10. www.facebook.com/ buvezathens SMOKE BELLOW Baltimore-based band that is “an exercise in pastiche, catharsis, fun and positivity.” IMMATERIAL POSSESSION Local psychedelic-pop group with ties to the surreal and abstract theater. JOHN FERNANDES Local musician playing ambient looped clarinet inspired by birdsong and Brian Eno.

IMOGEN SLAUGHTER Alt pop cyber girl making dance music and spoken word.

Monday 17 Flicker Theatre & Bar 7 p.m. (doors). $5. www.flickertheatreandbar.com EMILY NENNI Nashville singer-songwriter influenced by ’60s girl groups and ’70s outlaw country. THE PINK STONES Rootsy local cosmic country group led by songwriter Hunter Pinkston. A.C. DARNELL Austin Darnell of The Darnell Boys, Sawmill Slang and The Howdies performs country and blues.

Tuesday 18 Flicker Theatre & Bar 8 p.m. (doors). $7. www.flickertheatreandbar.com ANNIE LEETH Experimental violinist and multi-instrumentalist composer. IHLYATT Abstract electronic music by multimedia artist J. Anderssen. THE ELECTRIC NATURE Athens-based experimental drone and noise-rock outfit. SARS No info available. SAME DEATH No info available.

Hugh Hodgson Concert Hall 7:30 p.m. $29–59. pac.uga.edu ON BROADWAY Hear hits from Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Company My Fair Lady and West Side Story. Southern Brewing Co., Monroe 7 p.m. www.sobrewco.com FUNKY BLUESTER Blues outfit inspired by traditional Chicago and Texas styles.

Wednesday 19 Flicker Theatre & Bar 9 p.m. FREE! www.flickertheatreandbar.com DR. FRED’S KARAOKE Featuring a large assortment of pop, rock, indie and more. Georgia Theatre 6:30 p.m. (doors), 7:30 p.m. (show). $15–18. www.georgiatheatre.com SPORTS Childhood friends from Oklahoma create a dreamy blend of synth-pop, indie-funk and psychedelic rock. Porterhouse Grill 6–9 p.m. www.porterhouseathens. com/jazz JAZZ NIGHT Enjoy a live jazz trio every Wednesday night over dinner.

pandemic protocols Akademia Brewing Co.: masks encouraged Athentic Brewing Co.: masks indoors Buvez: masks indoors Flicker Theatre & Bar: proof of vaccination or negative COVID test within 48 hours; masks indoors Georgia Theatre/Rooftop: proof of vaccination or negative COVID test within 72 hours; masks indoors Hendershot’s Coffee: proof of vaccination or negative COVID test within 48 hours Hugh Hodgson Concert Hall: masks encouraged International Grill and Bar: masks encouraged The Lewis Room at Tweed Recording: proof of vaccination or negative COVID test; masks indoors Madison-Morgan Cultural Center: masks encouraged Normal Bar: masks indoors Nowhere Bar: proof of vaccination or negative COVID test within 48 hours Porterhouse Grill: masks encouraged Rabbit Hole Studios: masks encouraged Ramsey Hall: masks encouraged Southern Brewing Co.: masks indoors


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J A NU A R Y 12, 2022 · F L A GP OL E .C OM


bulletin board Deadline for getting listed in Bulletin Board is every THURSDAY at 5 p.m. for the print issue that comes out the following Wednesday. Online listings are updated daily. Email calendar@flagpole.com.

Art ATHENS CREATIVE DIRECTORY (Athens, GA) The ACD is a platform to connect creatives with patrons. Visual artists, musicians, actors, writers and other creatives are encouraged to create a free listing. athenscreatives@gmail.com, www. athenscreatives.directory CALL FOR ART (Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation: OCAF) “Reinvented & Reclaimed: A Recycled Art Exhibition” seeks wearable art made from “trash” and recycled materials such as plastic bags, newspaper, soda cans, bottle tops and foil. Deadline Feb. 28. Fashion showcase held on Global Recycling Day, Mar. 18. www.ocaf.com COMMERCE FOLK TO FINE ARTS FESTIVAL (Commerce Civic Center) Seeking regional artists for the 10th annual festival. Deadline to apply is Feb. 15. Event held Mar. 4, 3–8 p.m. Mar. 5, 9 a.m.–7 p.m. 706-335-6417, folktofinearts@ commercega.org, www.folk-fine arts.com 47TH JURIED EXHIBITION (Lyndon House Arts Center) The 2022 juried exhibition is currently accepting online submissions through Jan. 21. The exhibition opens Mar. 3 and is juried by Miranda Lash of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. www.accgov.com/lyndonhouse JOKERJOKERTV CALL FOR ARTISTS (Online) JOKERJOKERtv is open to ideas and actively accepting proposals for collaboration from visual/musical/video artists and curators living in Athens. Artists worldwide can also submit music videos, short films, skits and ideas

to share with a weekly livestream audience. www.jokerjokertv.com/ submit MATERIAL ALCHEMY (Athens Institute for Contemporary Art: ATHICA) Seeking applications for “Material Alchemy: Metal and Color,” an exhibition of works informed by metal and its collaboration with color. Deadline Jan. 15. Pay-whatyou-will entry fee. Exhibition runs April–May. www.athica.org QUARTERLY ARTIST GRANTS (Athens, GA) The Athens Area Arts Council offers quarterly grants of $500 to local organizations, artists and events that connect the arts to the community in meaningful and sustainable ways. Deadline Mar. 15. www.athensarts.org/grants

Classes ACTING FOR CAMERA AND STAGE (work.shop) Learn how to act with professional actor and coach Jayson Warner Smith (“The Walking Dead,” “The Vampire Diaries,” “Outer Banks”). Mondays, 10 a.m.–1 p.m. $400/12 sessions. jwsclassinquiry@jaysonsmith.com, www.jaysonsmith.com/teacher CHAIR YOGA (Sangha Yoga Studio) This class is helpful for flexibility, strength, balance and increasing circulation and energy. All levels welcome. Every Thursday, 12–1 p.m. $16 (drop-in), $72 (six weeks). 706-613-1143 CHAIR YOGA AND MINDFULNESS (Winterville Center for Community and Culture) Nicole Bechill teaches a well-rounded, gentle and accessible chair yoga class to promote breathing, mindfulness and inward

art around town ACC LIBRARY (2025 Baxter St.) On view in the Quiet Gallery, Elinor Saragoussi’s “Moments of Reprieve” includes large-scale felt works and pen-and-ink illustrations. Through Mar. 6. ARTWALL@INDIGO (500 College Ave.) “All of Nothing” considers the intersection of natural and industrial beauty through the works of Alexa Rivera, Christina Matacotta and Zahria Cook. THE ATHENAEUM (287 W. Broad St.) Stockholm-based artist Lisa Tan’s video work, “Dodge and Burn 2017–2020 July 4,” documents three consecutive failed attempts at filming fireworks on the 4th of July from the vantage point of a passenger on a commercial airliner destined for Los Angeles. Virtual art talk Jan. 12 at 6 p.m. On view Jan. 14–Apr. 2. ATHENS INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART: ATHICA (675 Pulaski St.) “Duo: Kelly Boehmer and Mark McLeod” combines the soft sculptures of Savannah-based artist Boehmer with the layered wood pieces of Murfreesboro-based artist McLeod. Through Feb. 17. ATHICA@CINÉ GALLERY (234 W. Hancock Ave.) Elizabeth Withstandley’s installation “A Brief History of Happiness” is a 25 channel video composite of various musicians covering the song “Happiness” by Elliot Smith combined with audio excerpts from motivational speeches and conversations about happiness. Through Feb. 25. AURUM STUDIOS (125 E. Clayton St.) The Athens Plein Air Painters present a collection of framed pastels inspired by nature. CLASSIC CENTER (300 N. Thomas St.) “Hello, Welcome!” presents abstract worlds by Maggie Davis, Jonah Cordy, Carol MacAllister and Jason Matherly. • “Classic City” interprets the city of Athens, GA through the works of James Burns, Sydney Shores, Thompson Sewell and Allison Ward. CREATURE COMFORTS BREWING CO. (271 W. Hancock Ave.) René Shoemaker presents “The Doors of Athens,” a series of paintings on silk identifying local businesses by their main entrances. The exhibition is accompanied by a silk screened poster featuring 16 unique Athens businesses.


F L A GP OL E .C OM · J A NU A R Y 12, 2022

listening. Every Monday, 9 a.m. $10. www.wintervillecenter.com CLAY CLASSES (Good Dirt) Registration opens on the 15th of every month for the following month’s classes and workshop. Classes range from wheel, unique handles, hand building sculpture and more. Studio membership is included in class price. www.gooddirt.net COMMUNITY MEDITATION (Rabbit Hole Studios) Jasey Jones leads a guided meditation suitable for all levels that incorporates music, gentle movement and silence. Wednesdays, 6–7 p.m. jaseyjones@gmail. com DEDICATED MINDFULNESS PRACTITIONERS (Online) Weekly Zoom meditations are offered every Saturday at 8:30–9:30 a.m. Email for details. richardshoe@gmail.com INTRO TO IMPROV COMEDY (work. shop) Learn the fundamentals of improv comedy such as making offers, creating interesting scenes, joining the scene, cultivating spontaneity and following your intuition. Jan. 16–Feb. 20, 5:30–7:30 p.m. $150. www.flyingsquidcomedy. com/classes LINE DANCE (Bogart Community Center) For beginners and beyond. Every Thursday, 6:30–8 p.m. $7. ljoyner1722@att.net MINDFULNESS PRACTICE EVENINGS (Online) Discuss and practice how to change your relationship with difficult thoughts and emotions. Email for the Zoom link. Second Friday of the month, 6–7 p.m. FREE! mfhealy@bellsouth.net PAINTING CLASSES (Private Studio on Athens Eastside) One-on-one or small group adult classes are offered in acrylic and watercolor

painting. Choose day workshops, ongoing weekly classes or feedback sessions. laurenadamsartist@ icloud.com SIP-N-PAINT CLASSES (Blanc Canvas, 138 Park Ave.) Sip-n-paint classes are held every Thursday and Sunday evenings. RSVP to pre-register. $40. 1210@blanccanvas.boutique, www.blanccanvas. square.site SPANISH CLASSES (Athens, GA) For adults, couples and children. Learn from experts with years of professional experience. Contact for details. 706-372-4349, marina bilbao75@gmail.com, www.marina-spain-2020.squarespace.com YOGA CLASSES (Revolution Therapy and Yoga) “Yoga Flow and Restore with Nicole Bechill” is held Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. Online classes include “Trauma Conscious Yoga with Crystal” Thursdays at 6 p.m. and “Yoga for Wellbeing with Nicole Bechill” on Saturdays at 10:45 a.m. Visit website to register. www.revolutiontherapyandyoga. com ZOOM YOGA (Online) Rev. Elizabeth Alder offers “Off the Floor Yoga” (chair and standing) on Mondays at 1:30 p.m. and “Easy on the Mat” yoga classes on Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. Ongoing classes are $5/class or $18/month. 706-612-8077, ommmever@yahoo.com

Events ART EVENTS (Georgia Museum of Art) “Curator Talk: Prints by Sophie Taeuber-Arp” is held Jan. 12 at 2 p.m. “Creative Aging Seated Yoga” is held Jan. 13 at 10:30 a.m. “Family Day: Views of Empire” is held Jan. 15 at 10 a.m. “Toddler Tuesday: Circles, Rectangles and Squares, Oh My!” is held Jan. 18 at 10 a.m. “Artful Conversation: Ricky Swallow” is held Jan. 19 at 2 p.m.

FLICKER THEATRE & BAR (263 W. Washington St.) Artwork by Esther Carrillo. Through January. GEORGIA MUSEUM OF ART (90 Carlton St.) “Inside Look: Selected Acquisitions from the Georgia Museum of Art” features previously unseen works from the museum’s collection of over 18,000 objects. Through Jan. 30. • “Collective Impressions: Modern Native American Printmakers.” Through Jan. 30. • “In Dialogue: Views of Empire: Grand and Humble” displays two print collections that create a conversation about what it meant to be a working-class citizen in mid-19th-century Russia. Through Aug. 21. • “Jennifer Steinkamp: The Technologies of Nature.” Through Aug. 21. GLASSCUBE@INDIGO (500 College Ave.) Zane Cochran presents “Aurora,” a sculptural interpretation of the aurora borealis using 3D geometric figures and lights. HEIRLOOM CAFE (815 N. Chase St.) Susan Pelham’s collages are influenced by magic realism, nursery rhymes, haiku, limericks and children’s camp songs. Artist reception Feb. 15, 5:30–6:30 p.m. Currently on view through Feb. 28. LYNDON HOUSE ARTS CENTER (211 Hoyt St.) AJ Aremu presents a largescale installation for “Window Works,” a site-specific series that utilizes the building’s front entrance windows for outdoor art viewing. • “Figure Ground” explores positive space versus negative space, or figure versus ground, through the artworks of Kevin Cole, William Downs, Phil Jasen, Susan Nees, Terry Rowlett, Kate Windley and Sunkoo Yuh. Through Jan. 15. • Curated by Kendall Rogers, “Curation of Self Image” includes works by Parawita Stamm, Anjali Howlett, Lauren Schuster, Monsie Troncosco, Emmie Harvard and Alan Barrett. Through Jan. 15. • “Follow Like Friend” investigates issues surrounding social media through the works of Alyssa Davis, Kimberly Riner and Stephanie Sutton. Through Jan. 15. • Collections From Our Community presents Bill Raines’ collection of antique toy pond boats. Through Jan. 16. • Curated by Maria Elias as part of the Guest BIPOC Curator program, “Dignos y sin Barreras” (“Dignified and without Barriers”) explores identity, body issues and mental health through the works of Alondra Arévalo, Bianca Becerra, Jorge Rocha and Elias. Through Mar. 12. • “Be Careful What You Get Good At: Collages by Tommy Kay” shares

“Artist Talk: Yatika Starr Fields” is held Jan. 20 at 5:30 p.m. “Teen Studio: Geometric & Modern” is held Jan. 20 at 5:30 p.m. “Yoga in the Galleries” is held Jan. 20 at 6 p.m. “Morning Mindfulness” is held Jan. 21 at 9:30 a.m. “Sunday Spotlight Tour” is held Jan. 23 at 3 p.m. “Zoom Artist Talk: Arthur Tress” is held Jan. 26 at 2 p.m. “Henry D. Green Symposium of the Decorative Arts” is held Jan. 26–28. www. georgiamuseum.org ATHENS MLK DAY PARADE & MUSIC FEST (Hull and Washington streets) The Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement and the United Group of Artists Music Association host the sixth annual parade. Vendors and participants can still register. Jan. 17, 3 p.m. www.athmlkparade.com ATHENS SHOWGIRL CABARET (Sound Track Bar) Fabulous Friday will party like it’s 1999 with ’90s-themed routines. Jan. 28, 10 p.m. www.athensshowgirlcabaret. com BOGART LIBRARY EVENTS (Bogart Library) “Bob Ross Paint-Along” is held Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. www. athenslibrary.org/bogart COLORFUL HAT CIRCUS & VARIETY (Morton Theatre) This show features high-flying acrobatics, balancing, juggling, extreme jump rope, magic tricks and illusions. Jan. 27–28, 7 p.m. Jan. 28–29, 2 p.m. Jan. 29, 6 p.m. $25–45. www. colorfulhat.com DIGNOS Y SIN BARRERAS (Online) The Lyndon House Arts Center presents virtual artist and curator talks for the current exhibition “Dignos y Sin Barreras,” which was curated by Maria Elias and features works by Alondra Arévalo, Blanca Becerra and Jorge Rocha. Event in English on Jan. 20 at 6 p.m. Event in Spanish on Feb. 17 at 6 p.m. www.accgov.com/exhibits GAMECHANGERS: ATHENS TOP 10 UNDER 40 (Rialto Room) The Athens Area Chamber of Commerce will recognize 10 community leaders under the age of 40 at a luncheon. Jan. 25, 11:30 a.m. $40. marissa@athensga.com GEORGIA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY CELEBRATION 2022 (Special Collections Building)

The museum hosts a fundraising dinner with guest speaker Kirk Johnson, director of Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, who will discuss “The Future of Natural History Museums.” Jan. 29, 5 p.m. gmnhfriends.org/ friends-events/2022-annual-celebration GORGEOUS GEORGE’S IMPROV LEAGUE (Buvez) Come out for some home-grown townie improv. Bring some interesting suggestions and a loose funny bone to help create some improv magic on the spot. Every Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. (except Jan. 19, Jan. 26, Feb. 2). $5. www.flyingsquidcomedy.com/ events THE GREAT AMERICAN GUMBO TOUR (Hendershot’s Coffee) Former Athenian and professional chef Bernard Pearce presents a special dinner to raise funds for The Selma Alabama Art House, a new artist/activist residency program Pearce recently founded. The event includes a bowl of gumbo made from scratch, a short presentation on Selma, the Selma Alabama Art House project and the history of gumbo. Gumbo cooking lessons are also available. Jan. 14, 8 p.m. www.hendershotsathens.com HARRY POTTER TRIVIA NIGHT (Hendershot’s Coffee) Hosted by Oliver Merritt. Jan. 12, 8 p.m. www. hendershotsathens.com MADISON CO. LIBRARY EVENTS (Madison Co. Library) The inclusive book club will discuss Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories on Jan. 12 at 11 a.m. Friends of the Madison County Library host a general meeting Jan. 23 at 3 p.m. www. athenslibrary.org/madison MARGO METAPHYSICAL EVENTS (Margo Metaphysical) Monday Tarot Readings offered 1–5 p.m. ($6 per card). Tuesday Tarot with Davita offered 4–6 p.m. ($5 per card). Wednesday Night Sound Healing with Joey held 6–7:30 p.m. ($35). Thursday Tarot with Courtney is offered 12–5 p.m. ($10–45). Friday Henna Party with Aiyanna ($10–75). 706-372-1462, jfurman 65@gmail.com MLK AWARDS BANQUET(Online) The 43rd annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Banquet will honor individuals

works from an obituary collage project the artist began in the mid-‘90s. Jan. 15–Mar. 12. • In 1972, Gwendolyn Payton was denied a studio art degree from Mercer University after her works were deemed too controversial. “Excerpts from Faith of a Dreamer: Artworks by Gwendolyn Payton” shares some of those paintings as well as recent works. Jan. 15–Mar. 12. • Collections from our Community presents Oliver Domingo’s vinyl collection of instrumental library music from the ‘60s–’80s. Jan. 18–Mar. 12. MADISON-MORGAN CULTURAL CENTER (434 S. Main St., Madison) “MAG POPS!” is a group exhibition of artwork by members of the Madison Artists Guild. Through January. OCONEE COUNTY LIBRARY (1080 Experiment Station Rd.) Sam Watson explores the line between organic and geometric forms through stylized landscapes and illustration. Through January. OCONEE CULTURAL ARTS FOUNDATION (34 School St., Watkinsville) Juried by Atlanta gallery owner Marcia Wood, the 27th annual “SouthWorks Exhibition” is a nationally juried show featuring approximately 150 works ranging from sculpture, painting, photography, ceramics and more. • “Bright City:Textiles by Wini McQueen” includes artist books, photo fabric art collages and layered mixed media paintings. • “Women of Watercolor” features watercolor paintings by Pat Adams, Lori Hammer, Gail Karwoski, Diane Norman Powelson, Janet Rodekohr, Barbara Schell, and Mia York. Opening reception for all exhibitions held Jan. 14, 6–8 p.m. Through Feb. 25. UGA SPECIAL COLLECTIONS LIBRARIES (300 S. Hull St.) The new Ted Turner Exhibition Hall and Gallery showcases CNN founder and environmentalist Ted Turner’s life and legacy through memorabilia, photographs and other items. • “Not Only for Ourselves: The Integration of UGA Athletics” celebrates the 50th anniversary of integration of the Georgia Bulldogs football team. Through Spring 2022. • “At War With Nature: The Battle to Control Pests in Georgia’s Fields, Forests and Front Yards” includes 3D models of insects alongside newspaper articles, government documents and photos to take viewers through the entomological and horticultural wars that Georgians have waged in their own yards, as well as the environmental, ecological and public health concerns related to pests and eradication efforts. Through May 27.

and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to human relations through volunteer work or by addressing various social issues. Jan. 15, 1 p.m. $20. www.humanrelationscouncil.org MLK DAY OF SERVICE (Multiple Locations) Honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. by making Jan. 17 “A Day On and Not a Day Off.” A kick-off celebration will be held at Clarke Central High School at 8:30 a.m. over 30 different community organizations and schools will host volunteer service projects. Register to volunteer at www.accgov.com/ mlkday MLK ECUMENICAL SERVICE (Online) The Interfaith Clergy Partnership of Greater Athens presents a formal observance of the life and

Help Out ACTS COAT AND BLANKET DRIVE (Bogart Library) The library is collecting clean coats and blankets in good condition for all ages to help those in need this winter. Drop off bagged items in the foyer of the library through Jan. 15. www. athenslibrary.org CASA TRAINING (Online) The next training class runs Thursdays from Mar. 17–Apr. 14, 10 a.m.–1:30 p.m. and 5:30–9 p.m. www.athens oconeecasa.org NEW THEATER (Bishop, GA) Seeking volunteers interested in acting, staging and other elements of theater production to help form a new small theater in the Bishop area.

Jan. 12 at 6 p.m. “Lego Olympics” is held Jan. 19 at 6 p.m. “Indoor Camping” with s’mores and campfire songs is held Jan. 26 at 6 p.m. www.athenslibrary.org/oconee RIPPLE EFFECT FILM PROJECT CALL FOR FILMS (Athens, GA) Submit a short film interpreting this year’s theme is “Healthy Water, Healthy World.” Open to Pre-K through 12th grade filmmakers. Deadline Jan. 15. www.rippleeffect filmproject.org SATURDAY CRAFT (Treehouse Kid and Craft) Each week’s craft is announced on Instagram. Saturdays, 10–10:45 a.m. (ages 3–6) or 11 a.m.–12 p.m. (ages 6–10). www.treehousekidandcraft.com, www.instagram.com/treehouse kidandcraft

five-week resource building psychotherapy group held for trauma survivors. Held virtually Mondays, Feb. 7–Mar. 7, 6 p.m. (RSVP by Jan. 31) or in person Thursdays, Feb. 17–Mar. 17, 10:30 a.m. (RSVP by Feb. 10). $35 per group session. Brianna@HeartStoneTH. com SEX ADDICTS ANONYMOUS (Athens, GA) Athens Downtown SAA offers a message of hope to anyone who suffers from a compulsive sexual behavior. Contact for location. www.athensdowntownsaa.com

Word on the Street THE CLOCKED IN CREATIVE PODCAST (Athens, GA) Hosted by

Elizabeth Withstandley’s video installation “A Brief History of Happiness” is currently on view at ATHICA@Ciné Gallery through Feb. 25. goals of Martin Luther King, Jr. Jan. 16, 4 p.m. FREE! www.human relationscouncil.org/ecumenicalservice OCONEE CO. LIBRARY EVENTS (Oconee Co. Library) “Third Monday Book Club” will discuss Toni Morrison’s Beloved on Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. Guest speaker Rod Davis presents “War at the End of the World” about his journey to the Central Pacific Islands Campaign of WWII on Jan. 30 at 3 p.m. www. athenslibrary.org/oconee REALLY, REALLY FREE MARKET (Reese & Pope Park) Just like a yard sale, but everything is free. Bring what you can, take what you need. Second Saturday of every month, 12–2 p.m. reallyreallyfree marketathens@gmail.com RABBIT HOLE EVENTS (Rabbit Hole Studios) Acoustic Fire Pit Jams are held every Monday, 7–11 p.m. Athens Crypto Society meets Wednesdays at 9 p.m. Fake Zappa hosts Crazy Cowboy Night, an evening of redneck fashion, outlaw country and poor taste with live music, comedy and more. First and third Thursdays, 7 p.m. White Rabbit Collective hosts a drum circle every Sunday from 5–7 p.m., followed by an afterparty with painting, singing, games, yoga and more from 7:30–11 p.m. www. rabbitholestudios.org SOUTHERN STAR STUDIO OPEN GALLERY (Southern Star Studio) Southern Star Studio is a working, collective ceramics studio, established by Maria Dondero in 2016. The gallery contains members’ work, primarily pottery. Every Saturday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. www.southernstarstudioathens.com

The group will meet in January to plan its first production. Contact Carol, 706-612-6934

Kidstuff ART CARD CLUB (K.A. Artist Shop) Katy Lipscomb and Tyler Fisher lead weekly gatherings to create, trade and exhibit miniature masterpieces the size of playing cards. Some materials provided, but participants can bring their own as well. The club meets on Fridays, 4:30–6 p.m. (ages 10–12) and 6:30–8 p.m. (ages 13–17). www.kaartist.com BOGART LIBRARY EVENTS (Bogart Library) KnitLits for ages 16 and up meets every Thursday at 6 p.m. “Toddler Time” is held Jan. 12, 19 & 26 at 10 a.m. “Tween Saturday: Interactive Mystery Movie” for ages 9–12 is held Jan. 15 at 2 p.m. “Discover My World: Magnets!” is held Jan. 22 at 11 a.m. “Monday Funday: Over in the Arctic” is held Jan. 24 at 10 a.m. “Dungeons & Dragons” is held Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. www.athenslibrary.org/bogart MAKING DANCES (work.shop) This alternative dance class teaches improvisation and choreography techniques. For ages 10–14. Taught by Lisa Yaconelli. Tuesdays, 6:15– 7:30 p.m. $60/month, $210/14 weeks. lisayaconelli@gmail.com, www.lisayaconelli.com OCONEE CO. LIBRARY EVENTS (Oconee Co. Library) “Family Throwback Movie Night” featuring The Princess Bride is held Jan. 14 at 4 p.m. “Dungeons & Dragons” is held Jan. 24 at 6 p.m. “Anime Club” is held Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. “Stop Motion Film Tutorial” is held

TUTORING (Online) The Athens Regional Library System is now offering free, live online tutoring via tutor.com for students K-12, plus college students and adult learners. Daily, 2–9 p.m. www.athenslibrary. org

Support Groups FAMILY CAREGIVER SUPPORT GROUP (ACC Library, Classroom A) Alzheimer’s Association Georgia presents a support group conducted by trained facilitators that is a safe place for those living with dementia and their caregiver to develop a support system. First Wednesday of every month, 6–7:30 p.m. 706206-6163, www.alz.org/georgia LGBTQIA+ VIRTUAL ALPHABET FAMILY GATHERING (Online) This is a safe space for anyone on the LGBTQIA+/TGQNB spectrum. Fourth Sunday of every month, 6–8 p.m. uuathensga.org/justice/ welcoming-congregation PARKINSON’S SUPPORT GROUP (First Baptist Church) This group is to encourage, support and share information with fellow sojourners who manage the challenges of Parkinson’s disease or other movement disorders. Second Friday of every month, 1 p.m. gpnoblet@ bellsouth.net RECOVERY DHARMA (Recovery Dharma) This peer-led support group offers a Buddhist-inspired path to recovery from any addiction. Visit the website for details. Thursdays, 7 p.m. FREE! www.athens recoverydharma.org RESTORING RESILIENCE (Heart Stone) “Restoring Resilience” is a

Seth Hendershot, a new podcast called “The Clocked In Creative” will touch on entrepreneurship, business models, IP rights, branding, etc. for creatives. Episodes will feature Serra Jagger of Indie South, Sanni Baumgartner of Community, Michelle Davis, Bertis Downs, Shil Patel of Tiger Bomb Promo, Rashe Malcolm of Rashe’s Cuisine and Nick Canada of Satisfactory. Check it out at @theclockedincreative on Instagram FREE COVID-19 VACCINES (Clarke County Health Department) Vaccines are available by appointment or walk-in. No insurance or ID required. www.publichealthisfor everyone.com OLLI MEMBERSHIP (Athens, GA) Join OLLI@UGA, a dynamic learning and social community for adults 50 and up that offers classes, shared interest groups, social activities and events. www.olli.uga.edu SUPPORT FOR SENIORS WITH PETS (Athens, GA) The Athens Area Humane Society and Athens Community Council on Aging have partnered to offer support services to seniors enrolled in ACCA programs. This includes emergency pet fostering, affordable wellness care, pet health workshops and pet training. www.accaging.org WINTER LEISURE ACTIVITIES (Athens, GA) ACC Leisure Services will offer a diverse selection of activities highlighting the arts, environmental science, recreation, sports and holiday events for adults and children. Programs include tai chi, baton, youth cooking classes, gymnastics, nature programs, theater and more. Now registering. www.accgov.com/ myrec f

Contactless Rentals! Locally Owned!

1006 Virgil Langford Rd. EppsBridgeStorage.com J A NU A R Y 12, 2022 · F L A GP OL E .C OM


classifieds Buy It, Sell It, Rent It, Use It! Place an ad anytime, email class@flagpole.com

 Indicates images available at classifieds.flagpole.com



Instant cash is now being paid for good vinyl records & CDs in fine condition. Wuxtry Records, at corner of Clayton & College Dwntn. 706-369-9428.

HOUSES FOR RENT House in Normaltown, 3BR/2BA. HWflrs., CHAC, quiet street. Grad students preferred, couples, or couples plus one. Rent negotiable. Available now. 706372-1505.



Adult or teen acrylic, watercolor, drawing classes with professional artist in private studio. Individual or small groups. All levels welcome. Students provide their own supplies. laurenadamsartist@ icloud.com, 404-913-3597

INSTRUCTION Athens School of Music. Now offering in-person and online instruction in guitar, bass, drums, piano, voice, brass, woodwinds, strings, banjo, mandolin and more. From beginner to expert, all styles. Visit www.athensschoolof music.com, 706-543-5800.

CLEANING Peachy Green Clean Cooperative, your local friendly green cleaners! Free estimates. Call us today: 706-248-4601

VOICE LESSONS: Experienced teacher (25+ years) retired from day job, ready to expand studio. Ages 12–90+, all genres. Contact stacie. court@gmail.com or 706424-9516.

Need old newspapers? An art project? They’re free at the Flagpole office! Call ahead, then come grab an armful. Please leave current issues on stands. 706-549-030

flagpole classifieds REACH OVER 30,000 READERS EVERY WEEK! Business Services Real Estate Music For Sale BASIC

Employment Vehicles Messages Personals RATES *

Individual Real Estate Business (RTS) Run-‘Til-Sold** Online Only***

HOME AND GARDEN Plumber Pro Service & Drain. Upfront pricing. Free estimates. $30 Flagpole discount. Call 706-769-7761. Same-day service available. www.plumberproservice.com

JOBS FULL-TIME Apparel and poster screen printing company RubySue Graphics is looking for a fulltime printing press assistant. Located just 2.5 miles from downtown Athens. Must be able to multitask, have a good eye for detail and be able to lift 40 lbs. Work hours are Mon–Fri., 9 a.m.–6 p.m. w/ hour lunch break. Contact jobs@rubysuegraphics.com to set up an on-site interview and for more information. Eaton Corporation – Athens, GA. Plant Controller. Prepare, analyze and verify annual reports & financial statements, using accepted accounting and statistical procedures to assess financial condition and facilitate financial planning. Send resume to https://eaton.taleo. net/careersection/conf_ex/ jobdetail.ftl?job=112904 Requisition: 112904.

Graduate Athens Hotel is hiring for multiple positions! Kitchen Manager, Maintenance Technicians, Banquet Servers, Cook, Room Attendant, & Guest Services Representatives. Full and part-time positions available. Please visit www.graduate hotels.com/careers Taste of India is now hiring! (Busser, host, floater team member.) Competitive pay, paid weekly, employee meals, flexible schedules, fulltime or part-time, no experience needed. $12–15. APPLY IN PERSON. UberPrints is now hiring for multiple positions! Both full and part-time positions available. For more information and applications, go to uberprints.com/company/jobs White Tiger is now hiring! No experience necessary, proof of vaccination required. Email resume to catering@whitetigergourmet. com

PART-TIME Athens Farmers Market is hiring a new Assistant Manager! To learn more and apply by Feb. 4, please visit athensfarmersmarket.net/join Find employees by advertising in the Flagpole Classifieds! Call 706-549-0301.

Helper needed for rental properties. Pay negotiable depending on experience. Painting, clean-up, maintenance and basic carpentry skills needed. Part-time and/ or second job. Flexible days/ hours. 706-247-1259 or nos newsnna@yahoo.com Learn to be a transcriptionist at our South Milledge location! No customer interaction! Work independently, set your own schedule (16–40 hours, M–F weekly). Relaxed, casual, safe space office environment. Extremely flexible time-off arrangements with advance notice. New increased compensation plan. Start at $13 hourly. Make up to $20 or more with automatic performance-based compensation increases. Show proof of vaccination at hire. No resumés required. Self-guided interview process. Work at your own pace! Hours 8 a.m.–8 p.m. www.ctscribes.com Viva Argentine is looking for a few nice hardworking folks to be part of the team! Competitive hourly wages for all positions. $10/hr. training, $12/hr. hosting and kitchen, $5/hr. + tips servers (must be 18+). Please email resumes to vivaargentinecuisine@ gmail.com

NOTICES MESSAGES All Georgians over the age of five are eligible to be vaccinated! Call 888-457-0186 or go to www. publichealthathens.com for more information. COVID testing in Athens available at 3500 Atlanta Hwy. Athens, GA 30606. (Old Fire Station in the corner of Atlanta Hwy. & Mitchell Bridge Rd. near Aldi and Publix.) Mon–Fri. 8:30 a.m.– 4:30 p.m. To register, call 844-625-6522 or go to www. publichealthathens.com Get Flagpole delivered straight to your mailbox! It’s convenient for you or it can be the perfect present for that buddy who just moved out of town. $50 for six months or $90 for one year. Call 706-549-0301 or email front desk@flagpole.com.

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Visit athenspets.net to view all the cats and dogs available at the shelter

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*Ad enhancement prices are viewable at flagpole.com **Run-‘Til-Sold rates are for MERCHANDISE ONLY ***Available for individual rate categories only

PLACE AN AD • Call our Classifieds Dept. 706-549-0301 • Email us at class@flagpole.com

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These pets and many others are available for adoption at: • Deadline to place ads is 11:00 a.m. every Monday for the following Wednesday issue • All ads must be prepaid


F L A GP OL E .C OM · J A NU A R Y 12, 2022

Athens-Clarke County Animal Services 125 Buddy Christian Way · 706-613-3540 Call for appointment



Edited by Margie E. Burke

Difficulty: Medium

5 9 8 6


1 3



4 2 6 4

7 9 4 2 1

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Copyright 2022 by The Puzzle Syndicate


Each row must contain the numbers 1 to 9; each column must contain the numbers 1 to 9; and each set of 3 by 3 boxes must contain Week 1/10/22 1- to 1/16/22 theofnumbers 9.

The Weekly Crossword 1












7 4 32 2 38 3 42 6 8 49 9 53 1 60 5

3 1 6 5 9 2 50 7 4 8

5 9 8 7 4 1 51 2 3 6

9 5 7 1 43 2 46 6 3 8 4

8 6 139 9 3 4 5 2 761


4 2 3 8 7 47 5 6 954 1










1 333 5 244 8 7 4 655 9


230 631 8 7 4 9 6 4 5 1 9 3 1 852 756 5 3 2


34 40

41 45


57 62








ACROSS 1 Music genre 5 Conn. neighbor 9 Come in second 14 "____ Karenina" 15 Film segment 16 Soft palate sound 17 Glance over 18 Type of cherry 20 Beat around the bush 22 Measure (out) 23 Bead anagram 24 Expenditures 26 Provide counsel 28 Toto's only Billboard #1 30 Piano technician 32 Yellow-flowered weed 34 Home on the range 38 Turn red, maybe 39 Silver flaw 41 Romano, for one 42 Marsh plant 44 Throw in, as a question 46 Clear the slate 48 Was a lodger 49 Fictional band, ____ Tap 52 Bottle dweller





9 16

Solution to Sudoku: 24 25 28

by Margie E. Burke


Copyright 2022 by The Puzzle Syndicate

53 54 57 60 63 64 65 66 67 68 69

Crescent Malta money Listlessness Magnetic force Fruity pastry Shade of pink Furthermore Result of honing Small hill Follow, as advice Consider to be

DOWN 1 Obi, e.g. 2 ___ and for all 3 Sans frills 4 Lacking zip 5 Roman 1900 6 1836 battle site 7 Paddock papa 8 Petty argument 9 Pipe material 10 City on the Seine 11 Out of sorts? 12 Christmas candies 13 Waste away 19 Astin of "Rudy" 21 Catchall phrase 25 Fancy party 27 Remove, as a monarch

28 Puts two and two together? 29 Joan portrayer in "Mommie Dearest" 30 Metric heavy weight 31 College credit 33 Western blue flag, e.g. 35 Strolling site 36 Nonchalance 37 Surveyed 40 All dried out 43 Military bigwig 45 Like some questions 47 Oscar winner Guinness 49 Something to pick up 50 Stage, as a show 51 Preface, briefly 52 "Silly" bird 55 Home of the Jazz 56 Agitate 58 Hankering 59 Tabloid twosome 61 ___-in-one 62 Doze (off)

Puzzle answers are available at www.flagpole.com/puzzles

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