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October 26 - November 1, 2011
10 NO. 7
contents COURTESY WATKINS PARTNERS
6 Farish, Please Developer David Watkins sees just one more hurdle to Farish Street’s opening: money. AMILE WILSON
Cover illustration by Mike Day
A business study links the importance of early childhood education to economic progress. COURTESY NEW STAGE
césar vázquez also helps clients with day-to-day concerns such as doctor’s appointments, jail visits and meetings with attorneys. Vázquez is involved in a number of outreach programs through the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, headed by his sister Karla Elmore Vázquez, who also holds a law degree from Mexico though she can’t practice law here, yet. César Vázquez publicizes Elmore & Associates in the Hispanic community and explains laws in Spanishspeaking churches. The transition from Mexico hasn’t been easy for him. “At first, I worried that I couldn’t be an attorney here,” he says. “But then I started understanding that I can help my people, anyway.” Vázquez says he loves it here in Mississippi: “Jackson is a smaller town than Monterrey, much calmer. Most people are very friendly.” He says he enjoys experiencing a culture different from his own, while helping the Hispanic population of Mississippi. He hopes to study law in Jackson soon. Vázquez also realizes that some people have negative perceptions of Hispanics, and he wants to change that. “I am an immigrant,” he says, “so I know how hard it is to transition between cultures. I know how the people feel alone and helpless. I am here to help them, and they need all they can get.” –Sadaaf Mamoon
26 Bite This New Stage Theatre puts a new production of “Dracula” on stage just in time for Halloween.
36 No Delays It’s time to make your plan for the Zombie Apocalypse. Bryan Flynn tells you what you’ll need to do.
Growing up in Guadalajara, Mexico, César Vázquez never thought he’d be working in the United States. The 25-year-old traveled a lot as a child, living for short amounts of time in Esfahan, Iran and Frankfurt, Germany. Vázquez has always liked to travel and experience different cultures, and that interest brought him to Mississippi two years ago. Due to his enjoyment of people and his interest in human rights, Vázquez decided he wanted to be an attorney. He graduated from the University of Nuevo Leon in Monterrey in 2009 where he specialized in labor law and international human rights. Vázquez is a licensed attorney in Mexico; however, he has lived in Jackson since graduating, and is employed as a legal assistant and translator at Elmore & Associates P.A. law firm downtown. Vázquez works to bridge the language gap between Mississippians and Hispanic immigrants. He speaks fluent English as well as his native Spanish and caters to Mississippi’s growing Hispanic population, helping clients with limited English skills navigate the legal system. “Many of the people I work with have very little money or means to get the help they need,” he says. Some of Vázquez’s duties include assisting immigrants in the naturalization process, translating in courts, handling criminal charges and fighting for workers’ compensation. He
4 ............. Editor’s Note 4 ................... Slowpoke 7 .......................... Talks 12 ................... Editorial 12 .................... Chatter 12 .................... Stiggers 13 .................. Opinion 22 ............... Diversions 24 ..... Zombie Survival 28 ..................... 8 Days 30 .............. JFP Events 32 ........................ Music 33 .......... Music Listing 35 ................. Astrology 36 ...................... Sports 38 ........................ Food 42 ......... FLY Shopping
No Child’s Play
Robbie S. Ward A Mississippi native and USM grad, journalist Robbie S. Ward also has a master’s in public policy and administration from Mississippi State and created the Johnny Cash Flower Pickin’ Festival in Starkville. He blogs at starkvillecityjail.com. He wrote the cover story.
Mike Day At Hinds Community College, Mike Day won top cartoonist awards from the Mississippi Press Association and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. He was also a cartoonist for the Hattiesburg American. He illustrated the cover.
LaShanda Phillips Editorial Assistant LaShanda Phillips is a recent graduate of Jackson State University. She is the third oldest of seven children. Her motto is: “Make-up is fantastic!” She wrote a FLY DIY feature and a food feature.
Sadaaf Mamoon Editorial intern Sadaaf Mamoon is a senior at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School. She loves film scores, Greek mythology and naming inanimate objects. Her spirit animal is a Pink Fairy Armadillo. She wrote the Jacksonian.
Amanda Barber Amanda Barber is a student, guitarist, recycler, rain enthusiast, and all-around nice guy. She and her cat, Gauri Kaur Little Bunny Foo-Foo Ellen, live downtown. She wrote a music feature.
Andrew Ousley Laurel native Andrew Ousley lived in Scotland and Wyoming before moving to Jackson. Andrew frequently watches Modern Marvels alone on Friday nights. Andrew misses the days when you could win free Cokes under the cap. He wrote a Halloween feature.
Steve Patrick Steve Patrick is a cotton farmer in Madison County. His brief journey into journalism was to see Horrible Movie’s 40-year anniversary honored. He wrote a Halloween feature for this issue.
October 26 - November 1, 2011
Advertising Designer Andrea Thomas is a native of Ridgeland and is a recent Antonelli College graduate. She loves to sing, dance and write poetry in her free time. She has one message for the zombies: Bring it.
by Ronni Mott, Managing Editor
Finding What’s Right
t’s easy to criticize. I know this intimately. In fact, I’m considering hiring a private detective to search for that half-full glass. I used to think that finding the proverbial flies in life’s ointment was one of my greatest strengths. Give me a scenario, and I can find something that could go wrong, one barrier to overcome, one reason why it won’t work. That mind set served me well when I tested software and wrote user manuals. Finding and fixing potential “gotchas” made the products better, even if it didn’t do much for my social life: Engineers hate to be wrong. The editing process gives me ample opportunity to find stuff that could be better. I try never to let my questions go unanswered, and I never assume that another reader will understand something that puzzles me. OK, call it ego, but my first working thesis for editing is that if I don’t get it, neither will you. I can be overly tenacious for some writers. Tenacious probably isn’t the word they use. If I have one guilt-soothing thought about my talent for finding what’s wrong instead of what’s right, it’s that I know I am not alone. Certainly, when it comes to politicians, the entire country is quick to blame and slow to praise. Politics turns the bunch of us into glass-half-empty Negative Nancys. Granted, the president, Congress and even local politicians get some deserved hits. I don’t know about you, but when something goes wrong, I look for the guy in charge. I really want to know, for example, whose good idea it is not to clamp down and tightly regulate the financial industry. You know, the same financial industry that brought us the near collapse of the global economy. My heart is with the Occupy movement, although my back does better on my Posturepedic. I love the Occupy Wall Street (and Mississippi) folks even as they lurch about trying to find their true north. I’ve been ranting about corporate greed for eons and can rattle off a near-alphabetical litany of Big Business’ ills brought to bear on unsuspecting citizens, from avarice to pollution to war profiteering. Ask me about the good things public corporations have done lately, and I’ll need some time to ponder. And don’t get me started on Citizens United, one of the most egregious Supreme Court rulings ever. It says that corporations are people, too, and gives them the ability to fund candidates of their choice. We Americans need a heck of a kick in our collective pants to get us up off our comfy couches and into the street to protest. For conservatives, the country delivered that kick when it elected its first African American president. Yeah, I know: The color of Barack Obama’s skin had nothing to do with it. Whatever. Still, no other single event has galvanized the political right as strongly that I can remember. And I’ve never seen a new political party spring up with the alacrity and money-might of the Tea Party. It is a force to be reckoned with. I also can’t remember a time when our two great parties were so thoroughly intractable. It
really makes no difference what side of the aisle you favor when both parties cross arms and turn backs, insisting that negotiation isn’t a possibility. That kind of behavior may work in hostage situations, but who exactly are the hostages here? Take your pick of the rhetoric: The hostages are the American people. But if we’re the hostages, who is asking for ransom? Obama has attempted appeasement and diplomacy. Give the man credit for trying, but like Yoda said, trying ain’t doing. And with their leader’s efforts bearing little fruit, Democrats are spinning on their self-made hamster wheels like emasculated lab rats. In the midst of the ubiquitous stalemates and hysteria, it’s easy to lose sight of progress. Especially when the GOP presidential hopefuls work hard to present themselves as good looking enough for the prom and far right enough for Tea Party reactionaries. I was glad to see the president finally embracing the “Obamacare” moniker for the health-care reform bill—lest we forget, the centerpiece of his candidacy. His promise of universal health care is why Americans voted for him, but that was a couple years ago, and we’ve forgotten that in an unrelenting barrage of condemnation. Clearly, “Obamacare” is intended to act as a constant thorn in the paws of those who voted against him. “They call it ‘Obamacare,’” the president told an audience in St. Louis recently. “I do care, that’s right. The question is: Why don’t you care?” It’s a damned good question for those who would have millions of Americans suffer for lack of health care, as well as for those who trumpet its cost while ignoring the fact that the country pays for not having universal care through absurd insurance premiums,
huge public-health costs and declining wellness milestones at every turn. If we’re to live up to our “greatest country” rhetoric, we simply can’t do it by disregarding millions of sick and impoverished people. It doesn’t take a big leap to realize that as long as 46.2 million live in poverty (including one out of every five children), every citizen suffers. Mississippi has the highest rate of poverty in the country at 22.5 percent. Impoverished, sick people don’t contribute; impoverished, sick children don’t learn. And yes, I’ve heard the rants about how America’s poor aren’t really poor—not like the poor in India or Guatemala. Fine. You try to live on $11,139 (about $214 a week) in America and tell me how it works out for you. The Affordable Care Act is a huge step toward achieving health equity for all citizens, despite its being imperfect, complicated and sprawling like our democracy. But the act has already provided Mississippians with peace of mind, eliminating lifetime limits and pre-existing conditions for children. Kids can stay on their parents’ policies until they’re 26, and gramps can get his prescriptions filled at half off. Mississippi also has quietly taken millions in grants to improve its public-health infrastructure, build community health centers, expand its home visiting programs for at-risk families and much, much more. You won’t hear about any of this from the GOP or the Tea Party in Mississippi. It doesn’t serve their purpose. What I want to know is why the hell the Democratic Party isn’t shouting it to the rooftops. Maybe it’s because half the beneficiaries of the act are people of color. No. That can’t be the reason. I guess it’s just easier to criticize when your purpose is winning at all costs. Yeah, that’s it.
news, culture & irreverence
Thursday, Oct. 20 Former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi dies following an eight-month civil war to overthrow his regime. … Farish Street Entertainment District developers say they still need $13 million to complete the interiors of buildings on the historic neighborhood’s first block. Friday, Oct. 21 Herman Cain, contender for the GOP’s presidential nomination, tells an audience in Detroit that people living below the poverty line won’t pay the 9 percent flat tax under his 9-9-9 plan. … Former Sen. Trent Lott says he has supported Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign since last year. Saturday, Oct. 22 Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal wins re-election. Jindal, a Republican, raised $15 million for a campaign that attracted no Democratic challengers with statewide recognition. Republicans control all seven statewide elected posts and both chambers of Louisiana’s Legislature. … Sarah Palin wears blue suede shoes during her visit to Tupelo, Elvis Presley’s birthplace.
The United States had an estimated 41 million potential trick-or-treaters in 2010—children 5 to 14. Of course, many other children—older than 14 and younger than 5—also go trick-or-treating.
SOURCE: U.S. CENSUS BUREAU, 2010 CENSUS,
Farish: Must ‘Make a Profit’
ackson developer David Watkins seemed to quell concerns when he presented a list of tenants for the long-awaited $100 million Farish Street Entertainment District project during a public presentation last week. The developer still needs approximately $13 million to complete construction, however, for businesses to actually open. The Farish Street Group, a limited liability company Watkins Partners formed to oversee the project, has invested more than $9 million and secured a $4 million loan from the Mississippi Development Authority. The development was scheduled to open in summer 2010, but that schedule is now pushed out to summer 2012. Watkins’ original plans called for the tenants to finance improvements to the interiors of their buildings. The developers have “white boxed” the buildings, meaning that the exteriors are complete, but the spaces lack amenities such as furnishings, kitchens and décor. Watkins said that the Farish Street Group will assume ownership of four clubs and finance the build-outs. The Oct. 19 public presentation of the district’s progress resembled a pep rally for Mississippi’s cultural heritage and the promise of a development that could revitalize Jackson. Mississippi musicians—including Zac Harmon and members of the Williams Brothers Gospel Group—spoke about personal connections to Farish Street as well as
Delayed again: Developers now say that the first block of the Farish Street Entertainment District will come online summer 2012.
plans to move into the district. Harmon plans to open a blues club on the corner of Griffith and Farish streets, and the Williams Brothers plan to open a recording studio in the second block of the district. Watkins said the district also has signed leases with a cigar bar and sports lounge and with former Cool Al’s owner Al Stamps for a restaurant. Other potential restaurants and clubs include Lumpkin’s BBQ, Wet Willie’s, Van Buren’s and Sage/The Raw Bar. The Far-
October 26 - November 1, 2011
Tuesday, Oct. 25 The John C. Stennis Space Center celebrates its 50th birthday. NASA announced plans to build the rocket-testing site Oct. 25, 1961, five months after President John Kennedy announced his goal to send an American to the moon. Get news updates at jfpdaily.com.
ish Street Group has secured a 15-year lease agreement with B.B. King’s Blues Club. Watkins said tenants would pay $8 to $12 per square foot for rent each month. Business owners will also pay a percentage of their gross income and a maintenance fee to pay for things like water, sewer, insurance, security and utilities. FARISH, see page 7
Dress Up Time!
Sunday, Oct. 23 A 7.2-magnitude earthquake strikes Turkey, killing more than 400 people. Monday, Oct. 24 WikiLeaks suspends operations and may shut down by the end of the year. Several U.S.-based financial institutions blocked the website, which publishes leaked corporate and government information. … People as far south as northern Mississippi see the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis. The colorful streaks in the sky result when the sun’s energy particles interact with the earth’s magnetic field, but they usually are not visible in the South.
by Lacey McLaughlin COURTESY WATKINS PARTNERS
Wednesday, Oct. 19 The Obama administration says it will resume talks with North Korea in hopes of persuading the reclusive communist nation to abandon its nuclear program. … Lockheed Martin opens a new Mission Support Center in the former WorldCom building in Clinton.
Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran wants your vote to be the state treasurer. p 11
It’s time to pull out all of the creativity stops and come up with a fabulous costume for Halloween. Like many of our favorite rituals, donning costumes to celebrate goes way, way back into our history. Legend says the Celts wore animal skins and heads to tell fortunes and mark the end of summer. But you won’t need to kill any woodland creatures. Here are a few ideas to spark your imagination, courtesy of a few JFP staffers’ fond (or not so fond) memories. Be Christmas! Get a few friends together and wrap yourself in tree lights and tinsel. Then go from outlet to outlet and plug yourself in. —Elizabeth Waibel Be a Hollywood celebrity and his or her malfunction, such as Lindsay Lohan accompanied by a bag of flour. —Holly Harlan
“People don’t want a political party that rolls over and plays dead. We’re not going to do that anymore.” —Mississippi Democratic Party Executive Director Ricky Cole, regarding the future of the party in the state.
Be a sexy ladybug in short-shorts and fishnet hose. —Andrea Thomas Pick a planet and transform yourself to become its prince or princess, e.g., Princess Pluto. —Kristin Brenemen Black Widow, baby. —Donna Ladd
Be Chuck E. Cheese. —Kimberly Griffin Paint your face like a cat or dog. —Erica Sutton
If all else fails, head to a costume shop for you or your kids’ alien or zombie duds. —Latasha Willis
news, culture & irreverence
FARISH, from page 6
“We have to make a profit off of what we are doing in order to operate the street and do all the marketing,” Watkins said. “We are planning on spending a half million a year on advertising all over the world, and that doesn’t go very far.” Watkins Partners Vice President Jason Goree said B.B. King’s Blues Club is focused on opening a Las Vegas location and has experienced setbacks. In February, the owner of B.B. King’s Blues Club at the Las Vegas Mirage Hotel and Casino filed for bankruptcy to restructure $3.7 million in debt and other liabilities, the Las Vegas Sun reported. “It’s not that they don’t have the money,” Goree said. “But now they are doing another building (in Las Vegas). They can raise their own money (to do the Farish Street buildout), but if they do it, it’s going to take longer. So what we have decided to do is try to help them come up with the money for this place so they can come here quicker.” Representatives from B.B. King’s Blues Club declined a request for an interview. Standing in his future club last week, Harmon shared stories about Farish Street, telling an audience of more than 100 that his father, George Harmon, owned a pharmacy on the street for more than six decades. He also shared plans for the mainstream blues club, which will draw musicians such as Tommy Castro and Ronnie Baker Brookes. Harmon declined to speak about the details of financing the club, however. “As far as the business goes, I don’t discuss my business,” he told the Jackson Free Press. “We can talk about the club, what the club will look like, and we can talk about my career, but we can’t talk about the business.”
Bill Bynum, CEO of Hope Enterprises Corp., a nonprofit financial institution, said his organization was committed to working with developers to obtain New Market Tax Credits and up to $14 million in financing. Watkins has obtained historic tax credits for the project, which requires all buildings to keep their existing facades and structural integrity. During the presentation, development partner Socrates Garrett suggested that the city consider offering public financing for the project. Watkins said he has not asked the city for financing, but it could be a possibility in the future. Watkins also announced long-term plans for the district last week, including some new projects. The second block will include a “business hub” for video and audio production, sound stages and a mixed-use residential building. The third block will include a gospel music museum, a boutique hotel and an eight-screen movie theater that will also serve dinner. “We just have to have a long view and make sure that we don’t let minor hiccups along the way turn us away from it,” Watkins said. “There is great enthusiasm and excitement, and it’s not just David Watkins and (Downtown Jackson Partners President) Ben Allen having a pep rally. We have people all over the world interested in this project. “It was a risky project from the beginning, but we know that because of the high risk and leverage, it’s going to have a high return.” Comment at www.jfp.ms.
Census Snapshot: Multiracial Nation
he 2010 Census found that more Americans are identifying as multiracial than ever before. More than twice as many people reported their race as both black and white in 2010 than did in 2000. The number of people who reported as both white and Asian increased by 87 percent during the same time period. Of all U.S. cities with more than 100,000 people, Jackson had the secondhighest percentage of people who report-
ed their race as black; it ranked near the bottom in the percentage of people who reported as black in combination with another race. People of Hispanic or Latino origin made up about 2.7 percent of the state’s population, with more than twice as many people reporting as Hispanic or Latino than in 2000. The median age of Mississippians is 36, younger than the national average of 37.2. Maine had the oldest population in the country, with a median age of 42.7. The Census Bureau has also released data on homeownership around the country. Mississippi has one of the highest rental vacancy rates in the country, with 11.6 percent of rental units vacant. Nearly 69.6 percent of the housing units in the state are owner-occupied, however, putting Mississippi above the national average 65.1 percent for owners who live in their homes. Comment at www.jfp.ms.
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convention center and accompanying hotel may seem like a foolproof economic tool for many cities trying to boost tax revenue by bringing visitors to their downtown area. The idea is that if you build it, tourists will simply come to the city eager to spend their disposable income. But an academic expert who has extensively studied this model says it is flawed. Harvard-educated Heywood Sanders has research that doesn’t back up those claims. City leaders advocated for an adjoining hotel to foster economic growth long before completion of the Jackson Convention Center in 2009. But relying on future revenue projections and financing such lofty developments can be a sticky situation. Cities such as Baltimore, Md., Savannah, Ga., and Denver, Colo., are building convention hotels—using similar public/private partnerships. In 2006, Mark Small, president of MJS Realty in Dallas, formed TCI-MS, a limited liability company, as a partnership with the publicly traded Transcontinental Realty Investors, also based in Dallas, to purchase the property located between Pearl, Mill and Pascagoula streets in downtown Jackson for $1.5 million and to build the hotel. The company also used a $7 million Department of Housing and Urban Development grant, allocated through the city, to acquire the land. They agreed to pay the loan back with revenue generated from the hotel. TCI is closely connected with Basic Capital Management founder and former CEO Gene Phillips, whom former Mayor Frank Melton championed for high-priced development in Jackson. The JFP reported as early as April 2006 that Phillips has a history of controversial business involvements. His company, Phillips Development, filed bankruptcy in 1973, showing $30 million in debt. A second company that Phillips chaired, Southmark Corp., went bankrupt in 1989 during the high-profile savings-and-loan scandal. The FBI also indicted Phillips in 2000 for his participation in an alleged Mafia bribery
scheme, but he was acquitted of those charges in 2002. In September, Standards & Poor’s gave TCI a “C” ranking, stating for the second quarter of 2011 TCI reported a net loss of 40.79 million. Small is still the president of MJS Reality, but he is no longer in charge of the Jackson project. Earlier this fall, TCI Vice President Alfred Crozier took a lead role in the project. The city is in the midst of securing a public-private ownership of the hotel with Transcontinental Investments. It seems that city and business developers all agree on one thing: The convention center needs a hotel. But just how to finance that hotel and who to trust to carry out the deal is an ongoing topic for debate. Earlier this month, Jackson City Council members expressed frustration over the lack of details they received on the financing structure for the hotel. But they expressed that frustration more than a week after passing a resolution that allows the city and TCI to issue $70.1 million in tax-exempt Gulf Opportunity Zone bonds through the Jackson Redevelopment Authority and $22.5 million in taxable bonds to help pay for the project. Total funding for the hotel would be $96.1 million with the developers contributing some private funds. The majority of the council’s questions involved the city buying back the land from the developers for $14 million. Those details are still being worked out, city spokesman Chris Mims said. Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. assured the council Oct. 3 that the city isn’t writing the developers a check for the property. The city will be responsible for paying 50 percent of the bond debt payments (totaling $96 million) through revenues the hotel generates, and the developers will be responsible for the remaining 50 percent. In the event that the hotel does not generate enough revenue to pay off the debt service, the city and the developers will split any losses, city financial consultant Porter Bingham of Malachi Group told Jackson Redevelopment Authority board
members last week. Bingham predicted a lawsuit could come into play if the developers do not pay their portion of the debt. Heywood Sanders, author of “Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit” (University of Nebraska Press, 2008, $19.95), is critical of publicly financed convention centers and hotels. He says that city leaders will typically voice overwhelming support for convention centers, saying it will save dying downtowns. But his research has shown that convention centers only do about half the business they promise over the long run. That’s when the call for a hotel usually comes in as leaders cite the additional business they could have if they had a hotel, Sanders says. Over the last year, convention centers have seen business decline by 20 percent or more. Sanders, a University of Texas public administration professor who got his doctorate at Harvard University, says convention centers are “a flooded, oversupplied” market. “Lost business doesn’t mean that they would come if you had a hotel,” he said. “It just means that they chose not to come to Jackson. In this market environment, convention center hotels are giving away their spaces for free in order to get business.” In a 2005 Brookings Institution report, “Space Available: The Realities of Convention Centers as Economic Development,” Sanders found that from 1995 to 2005, public spending on convention hotels doubled to $2.4 billion while demand for conventions decreased. Sanders said events booked at convention centers in the South have also declined. For example, the New Orleans convention center booked more than 800,000 events in 2007 compared to just 495,000 in 2010. The Jackson Convention Complex reported last year that attendance at the Jackson Convention Center increased over last year, with 146,635 people visiting the complex, compared to 128,590 visitors the previous year. The complex also extended its event days from 323 days in 2009 to 343 days in 2010. Kelvin Moore, general manager for the Jackson Convention Complex, has worked in several convention centers throughout the country. He disagrees with Sanders’ criticism and said that right now Jackson can’t compete with other cities without an adjoining convention center hotel. He said that with the Farish Street Entertainment District coming online soon, Jackson could be a big attraction for visitors and conference organizers. “There are no blanket statements that I would say for every city that you go to,” Moore said. “Every market is unique. Every market has its individual circumstances. For Jackson, what I have been able to determine, for our downtown area and economic development strategy, the convention center is a focal point of that. … A headquarter hotel for a convention is key.” Comment at www.jfp.ms.
by Elizabeth Waibel
A Blueprint for Success development they need at home to prepare for kindergarten. “The issue is that in today’s world, the family network in many, many families has disintegrated,” he said. “So, we have to have a different system to make sure children are being read to and given the basic skills that I received from my family.” Laurie Smith, executive director of Mississippi Building Blocks and vice president for public policy at the Mississippi Early Childhood Association, said Wilson helps business leaders understand the role early childhood education plays in the future work force. “Sometimes people think about early childhood as babysitting,” she said. “He sees it as an economic-development issue in that what we invest today is what we will have in our state later on.” Smith said that for now, with budgets for K-12 education already strained, improving existing child-care centers is more cost-effective than adding an extra grade in every elementary school. “Down the road, when our state starts to reap the benefit of that earlier investment, I think pre-K will naturally be the next step,” she said. Wilson agrees that funding is a hurdle for early childhood education proponents. The Mississippi Economic Council sup-
ports Mississippi Building Blocks, a program that helps improve existing child-care centers. While it’s a far cry from making pre-kindergarten available to every child Business leaders recommend that Mississippi invest in under the age of 5 in the education, creativity and improving race relations. state, Wilson said improving existing child-care providers is a cost-effective way to give more children a such as the person who designs logos for a facbetter chance at success. tory. The study found that Mississippi’s creBlueprint Mississippi also recommends ative economy provides jobs for about 60,000 supporting the state’s “creative economy” as Mississippians, making up about 3 percent of defined in a recent report by the Mississippi the state’s total economy. Arts Commission and the Mississippi DevelBlueprint Mississippi also recommends opment Authority. promoting diversity in the work force and in The Blueprint recommendations sug- management throughout the state, and investgest promoting entrepreneurship and small ing in local projects to promote interracial cobusiness growth among small creative firms, operation. The recommendations place a spehelping communities preserve their cultural cial emphasis on youth programs to “ensure heritage, using more art in business marketing future generations of leadership are mindful of and developing strategies to grow the state’s diverse perspectives.” tourism industry. The committees that worked on BlueThe creative economy is made up of any- print Mississippi released their recommendaone who is involved in a creative enterprise, tions before the full report to focus attention including chefs, designers, performing artists on their priorities ahead of the elections. and writers. It also includes people who might Blueprint Mississippi will release its full not normally be associated with the arts, such report in January. Read more of the initial recas the people who make stoves or print books, ommendations at blueprintmississippi.com. and do creative jobs in non-creative industries, Comment at www.jfp.ms.
PA I D A DV E RT I S E M E N T
ou know his legendary Senegalese Peanut Chicken soup. You know that Jacksonians line up for his signature smoked brisket wrap. But, did you know Steve has opened a second location, “Uptown” to serve you? Make your way to Steve’s Uptown Café and Bakery located in City Centre North for all your favorite recipes, with an “uptown” twist. Steve’s Uptown Cafe & Bakery What’s new Uptown? How about breakfast for starters. You know them for lunch, but their breakfast is one of downtown’s best kept secrets. The same scratchbaked quality and attention goes into every breakfast item. Choose from ham and cheese croissants, breakfast biscuits made with four farm-fresh eggs with your choice of bacon or ham. Feeling like a muffin? With your choice of blueberry streusel, banana walnut, and bran granola crunch, your day just got a little sweeter. For lunch, choose from Steve’s eight signature sandwiches and wraps, including the Baja Burger and City Centre Club. The daily quiche is always a popular choice made with fresh eggs, cream, and cheese baked in a handmade, flaky tart crust. Try your quiche with one of Steve’s handmade soups and you have a lunch fit for royalty! If you’re looking for lunch on the lighter side, Steve’s Uptown is the place to go. Give one of his fresh salads a try. Choose from the Uptown Chicken with sliced grilled chicken breast, walnuts, red grapes, tomato, and fresh mozzarella cheese or if you’re feeling a little more carnivorous, the Carburetor with hot sliced roast beef or sliced smoked brisket will make your day. All of Steve’s salads are served with fresh, house-made dressings. Don’t forget about the daily specials! Steve’s Uptown keeps you on your culinary toes with fresh, creative specials daily. The best way to find out? Hit up Steve’s Uptown on the Web at www.StevesTown.com for the most up-to-date information on your lunch plans. Ready to party? Let Steve’s Uptown do all the work while you play. From the office meeting for five to a party for 500, Steve’s Uptown Catering has got you covered. Just make sure you save room for dessert. With fresh daily offerings like the Butter Toffee Chip cookies, Sweet Potato Pecan cookies, and more, you can have your ice-citrus teacake and eat it too!
arly childhood education, the creative economy and interracial cooperation are crucial to Mississippi’s economic development, state business leaders say. The Mississippi Economic Council, Momentum Mississippi and the Mississippi Partnership for Economic Development released their Blueprint Mississippi 2011 recommendations earlier this month. The groups’ other advice includes capitalizing on the state’s creative economy and improving interracial cooperation. Blake Wilson, president of the council, encouraged early childhood teachers to stay committed to their students at the Mississippi Early Childhood Association’s annual conference Oct. 14. “Mississippi is a state of limited resources, folks,” Wilson said. “We have to be faster, smarter, cheaper and better, and we have to celebrate small victories, even if the total victory isn’t won every year that we try to win it.” Wilson told the Jackson Free Press that education comes up consistently when he talks to business leaders, and 4th-grade testing scores are critical in determining whether children will succeed in the rest of school and enter the work force able to compete. Unfortunately, many young children—especially those living in poverty—do not get the educational
by Valerie Wells
Undocumented v. Illegal
October 26 - November 1, 2011
The SPJ resolution calls for a continuous discussion and re-evaluation of the use of “illegal immigrant” in news stories. So how many times is it used in the media? This past week, a Google search shows that mainstream allAmerican newspapers and other news outlets used the term at least 11,000 times. GILBERT & GIHON [PUBLIC DOMAIN],VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
he Society of Professional Journalists is urging reporters and editors to stop using the phrases “illegal immigrant” and “illegal alien.” At its annual convention in New Orleans last month, SPJ delegates passed a resolution to ask journalists to apply the organization’s code of ethics when writing about undocumented workers. Editors also cringe at the informal use of the adjective “illegal” as a noun. Grammatically, it’s wrong. Psychologically, it reveals a belief that some humans have no right to exist. One of the ideals expressed in the code is a journalist’s quest to be “honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.” The reality, however, is that media outlets frequently use phrases such as “illegal immigrant” and “illegal alien,” and they do so often to describe Latino undocumented immigrants. The SPJ diversity committee, which drafted and rewrote parts of the resolution, noted that the commonly used phrases are politically charged, offensive and bureaucratic. It’s also un-American to call another human being “illegal.” SPJ noted that a fundamental principle in the U.S. Constitution is that everyone (including non-citizens) is considered innocent of any crime until proven guilty in a court of law. Because only a judge decides who is guilty, reporters can’t blindly group a set of people as “illegal.” Journalists know to be careful when writing about an alleged murderer. Editors take pains to ensure their publications or broadcasts don’t cross that line of accusing a suspect of a crime before he or she has gone to trial and been convicted. Why have so many in the journalism profession looked the other way when it comes to finding words to describe Latinos who might be here without the right documentation? Is it sloppy journalism, lazy assumptions or simple prejudice? The National Association of Hispanic Journalists has spoken out against the increasing use of pejorative and inaccurate terms to describe the estimated 11 million undocumented people living in the United States.
Who are you calling an illegal immigrant?
Granted, many of those references did pop up in opinion pieces from contributors who take pride in being rude and offensive, but a few straight news items show up as well. The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, a Gannett-owned paper in New York, has a story on its website this week with this headline: “Regents backing educational path to citizenship for illegal immigrant students.” It reads as an objective news story, but the slurs stand out. In another example, an Associated Press story about a man charged with posing as a sheriff’s deputy in Arkansas referred to the suspect as an “alleged illegal alien.” Alabama’s draconian immigration law has led to many news stories throwing the “illegal immigrant” label around. AP stories appearing in many Alabama newspapers repeat the phrase in reporting how police can arrest anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant if they’re stopped for any other reason. If that’s what the officials are saying, should the reporter reword it, put it in quotes or challenge the prejudice? Editor’s note: The JFP has a long-running policy against these pejoratives.
by Lacey McLaughlin
Connie Moran is running for state treasurer.
onnie Moran was six weeks into her first public-office position as the mayor of Ocean Springs when her world turned upside down. Hurricane Katrina nearly destroyed her coastal town, displacing residents and razing homes. Leading residents through the disaster and using it as an opportunity to reinvent her town are just a few of the experiences Moran, a Democrat, likes to talk about when she lists her qualifications to hold the office of state treasurer. The Ocean Springs native is running against Republican Lynn Fitch in the treasurer’s race. She may not have as much name recognition as Fitch, who is the former executive director of the state personnel board, but Moran has a long list of qualifications. Moran earned her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in finance and international commerce from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. In the 1990s, Moran served as managing director for the Mississippi European Office in Frankfurt, Germany, recruiting new business and industry to the state for the Mississippi Development Authority. She also worked as an economist at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.
Moran, now 55, moved back to Ocean Springs in 2005, after her daughter, Magdeleine, was born with autism and cerebral palsy. The divorced, single mother said her experiences in raising a special-needs child have made her an advocate for more public funding and resources for parents of disabled children. What’s it like being a mom, a mayor and running for statewide office? Well, it’s a challenge. I am responsible still for the day-to-day operations of the city of Ocean Springs. When I am out of town, we have a mayor pro tem. Any time I leave the city, he is there, but they can reach me by phone. We just passed our budget, and that’s taken up a lot of time. What does that budget look like? We have $14 million in our general fund. We cut 13 percent, but without any employee furloughs. The year before, we cut the budget by 16 percent, and we did not have any employee furloughs at that time. What are your thoughts on the state capitalizing on creative economy? I think that’s a perfect niche for Mississippi to focus on. Ocean Springs has long been a creative community, starting with Walter Anderson’s family in the 1920s. … What we are doing to support that is honor what people value as art. We have just renovated the community center where Anderson painted his murals. He painted them for $1, and now they are worth $30 million, and thousands of people come to view the murals. … There has been a lot of hands-on influence that myself and the board of alderman have had, … but we can’t do it all ourselves, so we partner with other civic organizations. What will be the treasurer’s role in overseeing state bonds? The state bond commission is made up of three people: the governor, attorney general and state treasurer. They take a look at the bond projects that are passed and authorized by the Legislature. They determine which
projects are really necessary. … The bond commission has input on the types of projects that go forward, and that’s huge. Do you think anything about the process should change? I think it’s a bit convoluted. Right now, the projects first go to the Mississippi Development Authority, and MDA passes a resolution with the projects that are then presented to the bond commission. It’s not a transparent process when you have some projects that the Legislature passes, and somehow, by the time it hits MDA, it is transformed into something else. The fact that the governor can pull something off the agenda without the other members having any say-so, I think that needs to change. That gives one person too much power.
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Regarding the special session, some legislators complained that they did not receive notice before deciding whether to use taxpayer money to fund projects. That’s not unusual. I remember when I was running the state European office for MDA, we were very competitive to get the Mercedes-Benz project. We offered a very lucrative package to try and bring them to the state, and then suddenly, at the drop of a hat, the governor of Alabama called a special session and matched our project plus $80 million in incentives. In order to entice a project, it’s not uncommon for a governor to call a special session without any warning. It’s how the competitive economic-development game is played. What about doing due diligence? After all, we are still haunted by the defunct beef plant. You don’t want to commit millions of taxpayer dollars flying by the seam of your pants. It comes back to local entities and the state doing due diligence on projects before jerking the chain of the Legislature to cough up cash. Comment at www.jfp.ms.
COURTESY CONNIE MORAN
Moran Pledges Smart Development
opining, grousing & pontificating
The Dems’ Missed Chances
e’ve said it before: It’s tough to be even marginally progressive in Mississippi. It’s as if the DNA of old habits has gotten into our water, and it won’t work itself out. Politicians in our state, right and (so-called) left, think the only way to win elections here is to play to the ridiculous-right on about every issue, the rest of us be damned. Even a moderate Mississippian is supposed to just understand that—wink, wink—the only way to get public education even marginally funded or keep the crazies from taking over the entire state is for all of us to hold our noses and vote for candidates on Election Day who pander to the most right-wing ideologues who then end up keeping the state on the bottom. Guess what? It’s not working. Note the crazies taking over the state as everyone panders to the extremists behind the “personhood” initiative or we listen to our Democratic attorney general extol the virtues of the death penalty even as DNA is releasing innocent “killers” from Parchman. It is as if we’re supposed to turn our even remotely educated brains off on Election Day, and to hear Democratic Executive Director Rickey Cole tell it, we’re supposed to start sending lots of little checks to the Democratic Party that couldn’t figure out how to run someone for secretary of state or lieutenant governor while its chairman was off fighting about his wife’s affair. Meantime, this state is perhaps poised to be majority moderate/progressive statewide and even in national elections due to a very simple (and complicated) fact: our racial demographics. At 37 percent, we have the highest proportion of black residents in the nation, and most of them vote Democratic—or would if inspired to turn out for progress. But, let’s be frank: The Democratic Party in Mississippi is a disaster. It relied almost solely on donations from trial lawyers until one of its own, Ronnie Musgrove, sold his party up the river on “tort reform,” which was anything but evidence-based. (Google our 2003 “Hoodwinked” story to get the real skinny on that scam.) Its candidates pander to the radical right almost as much as Phil Bryant does (OK, not quite that much). And worse, it does little if anything to figure out how to inspire a new generation of voters of all races who do not hate government, but who do not go along with pretending to be a wingnut to get votes (and many, thus, take their brains and leave the state). In the 2004 presidential election, John Kerry (of all people) drew 63 percent of voters under 30 in Mississippi to Bush’s 36 percent—the highest proportion of any southern state including Texas and Florida, where the below-30 crowd chose Kerry only 52-48 over Bush. If that wasn’t a call for Democrats to stop playing wink-wink politics, nothing was. What did state Dems do with that information? Ignored it. As they keep doing to educated progressives.
October 26 - November1, 2011
hef Fat Meat: “Cream-O-Wheat Man, Brother Hustle, Bubba Robinski, Ernest ‘Monday Night Football Head’ Walker, Rev. Vegan and I had an important meeting at the Vegetarian Church, International. We discovered some shocking information about hunger in America. According to the world Hunger Education Service, 17.2 million households or 14.5 percent (approximately one in seven) were hungry, the highest number ever recorded in the United States. Also, in 1 percent of households with children, one or more of the children experienced a whole lot of hunger in which meals were irregular and food intake was below levels considered adequate by caregivers. And for the unemployed, the saying ‘If you don’t work, you don’t eat’ is now a stark reality. “Therefore, we the Ghetto Science Team Hunger Task Force won’t stand by and watch the poor and middle classes starve. The Cream-O-Wheat Food Bank Foundation and Bubba Robinski’s Feed Our Famished Families Coalition will combine forces to provide hot bowls of Cream-O-Wheat and hearty Soy Protein Imitation Sausage Biscuit Sandwiches for children, seniors and adults. Brother Hustle will use his mobile food service and ‘Juicy Juice on Ice’ truck to offer lunch treats and refreshing drinks for the hungry masses. Also, Rev. Vegan and I will team up at the Vegetarian Church’s soup kitchen to feed the people vegetable soup and ‘Fat Meat’ sandwiches during ‘Chef Fat Meat’s Double Dip Recession Supper.’ “So, if you’re affected by the recession, come and break bread with your 12 friends from the Ghetto Science Team Hunger Task Force.”
Good Food for Good Work
here’s not much going on in Jackson that I don’t know about. I try to stay up to speed on all of the good things that the city has to offer, but occasionally, I’ll run across something that really sparks my interest. It might be something that I never knew about at all. And of course, when I’m turned on to great things, I want to pass that good news on. Most recently, I joined the board for the downtown YMCA. Now you may be saying to yourself, “That’s no big deal.” Everyone knows about the YMCA, right? It’s the place we go to work out, lose weight and maybe take a swim. What a lot of people don’t know is that the YMCA provides so much more. I was impressed when I went to check out the downtown facility. I thought it would be just a place with exercise and weight machines. My visit ended up being an experience that changed my perception of the YMCA forever. The facilities are truly family friendly. The “Y” has grown to include child care, camps for special-needs kids, child-abuse prevention services, job training and even supervised visitation services. The YMCA even has specialized programs for kids and seniors. And here I thought that it was just a place to pump iron and shoot baskets with a few friends. What stood out to me most on my tour was what I learned next: The YMCA developed a “Safe Haven” program that provides a resource for children and adult victims of domestic violence. And it’s located right in the downtown
area. But I can’t forget about the Farish Street YMCA, which is still near and dear to me because of my connection to the area. I know how vital that lifeline is to the people of that area. The YMCA has the same challenge of other non-profit organizations—specifically, money—finding the funding to keep its many great programs afloat. The “Y” survives on grants and what we can give. Recently, I thought of a good way you guys can help. My good buddies Jeff Good and Dan Blumenthal over at Sal & Mookie’s (565 Taylor St., 601-368-1919) were gracious enough to name one of their new signature pizzas in my honor. The Franklin Street is the latest menu item available to Jacksonians. It includes ground turkey, creamed spinach, artichoke spread, mozzarella, sharp yellow cheddar, tomatoes and creole seasoning. But here’s the important part: During October and November, when you purchase a Franklin Street pizza at Sal & Mookie’s, you’ll automatically donate $2 to both the downtown and Farish Street YMCAs. That’s a couple of bucks that can add up to help maintain some of those great programs I mentioned earlier. In my humble opinion, anything to help our kids and seniors is a good thing. So round up your family and your appetite, and head down to Sal & Mookie’s. Order the Franklin Street, and join in a delicious way to give back to our community. And that’s the truth ... shonuff.
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ednesday, Oct. 26, marks the 40th day. The Occupy Wall Street protesters in Zuccotti Park and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have been playing tug-of-war for control of New York Cityâ€™s streets. And the wave has washed over the entire globe. Thatâ€™s right, even to Antarctica and right here in Jackson. This is what a modern revolution looks like. â€œThe book youâ€™re holding carries a message that your first instinct will be to distrust. That message is, we can change the world.â€? So reads Kalle Lasnâ€™s â€œCulture Jam: The Uncooling of America,â€? first published in 1999. Estonian-born, Canadian-dwelling Lasn is the guy behind the fusion of art and activism that is the Adbusters Media Foundation. Through print media, video and Internet, Adbusters has been proponents of â€œculture jammingâ€? for more than two decades, campaigning with the serious intent to infiltrate the mainstream against over-consumption and consumerism. The style is punchy and clever, also highly organized and strategized. Culturejammer highlights include the promotion of â€œTV Turnoff Weekâ€? (Lasn has cited TV as a major mental-health problem) or â€œBuy Nothing Dayâ€? for the day after Thanksgiving rather than participation in the start of the holiday over-spending sprees. While opposing over-reliance on TV, partially because of rampant advertising, obvious and covert, the Adbusters team realizes the functionality of working from within. They create â€œsubvertisingâ€? for billboards and TV, pleas for paradigm shifts to our mental environments, and ask viewersâ€”perhaps too aggressively sometimes, with frightening or disturbing imagesâ€”to question their values. Though some of their anti-consumerism commercials never hit airwaves, the implications rippled and planted seeds. True to its method of challenging the dominant economic, political and social regime, Adbusters launched â€œOccupy Wall Streetâ€? back in July. The Occupy Wall Street website says itâ€™s not directly affiliated with Adbusters, although the flint for the fire came from the magazine when it called for â€œ20,000 people to flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months.â€? The Internet helped spread the word, but the inspired action came from elsewhere. American history already has instances of this sort, from Vietnam War protests to civil rights to art collectives. Occupy protesters and homeless people alike are shacking up in â€œtent cities.â€? Citizens donate food, bedding and other amenities. Occupiers clean up after themselves, play drums and guitar, do yoga, paint signs. But unrest and dissatisfaction arenâ€™t new. As a country, weâ€™ve been quite perturbed about our military involvement in Iraq (which is now finally over?) and Afghanistan, and about perceived political misconduct in general. Why havenâ€™t people mobilized to this
scale for other issues? In fact, they have, in a different zone of the spectrum with the Tea Party, for instance. Must be something in the air. Now itâ€™s also called â€œOccupy Everythingâ€? and â€œOccupy Together.â€? One critique of the revolution is for being too ambiguous or too broad in its complaints. Many want to know what the Occupiers want. Yet the movement has enormous support. The general ideology revolves around a critique of greed and economic corruptionâ€”tax breaks for the richest and bank bailoutsâ€”and outsourcing and loss of jobs. Famous folks are in on this, too, including artists, musicians, writers and some politicians, for that matter. Occupy Writers touts a list of supporters as long as the Magna Carta including Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, Salman Rushdie and Alice Walker. Occupiers are wearing costumes, too: â€œcorporate zombies,â€? people wearing masks from mainstream movies like â€œV for Vendettaâ€? or â€œScream,â€? or big coin-head masks. Protesters are taping dollar bills over their mouths. Anything symbolic and subversive goes. Occupy Wall Street even has its own printing press. When barred from using electronic microphones and amplification systems without a permitâ€”in the aptly named Liberty Plazaâ€”the Occupy participants didnâ€™t miss a beat. They spread the word like the foot soldiers they are: Hundreds of peopleâ€”in unisonâ€”literally repeated the speakersâ€™ words, becoming â€œhuman megaphones.â€? The movement is swiftly evolving and taking on the character of its respective cities. Some places seem more playful, musical and whimsical. Others are more straight-up business, meeting and making points. Some cities report incidents of police brutality, though most arrests are peaceful if they happen at all. In Jackson, folks have held â€œgeneral assemblyâ€? meetings of about 50 to 100 people in Smith Park since mid-October. Last week, a smaller group protested in front of the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, and another group has protested on the Coast. No matter the size, active and outspoken expression and support can unify. In a sense, as wealthy and obese as our â€œsuper-powerfulâ€? country is, we are starving. Not just from radical economic imbalance, but for art and imagination. We are in the midst of newly recycled creative energy: opposition to the status quo, real voice and volume. Class war isnâ€™t new, either, but in his book, Lasn prophetically stated that there is â€œgrowing discomfort for the gulf between the worlds of the rich and the poor.â€? Guess the discomfort coin has finally landed on its head. Charlotte Blom lives and writes in Hattiesburg where she also teaches in a GED preparation program at the South Mississippi Planning and Development District.
CORRECTION: In â€œDoing It For Jacksonâ€? (Vol. 10, No. 6), we incorrectly said that the Mississippi Arts Hour airs on WLEZ FM. The program is now on Mississippi Public Broadcasting. The Jackson Free Press apologizes for the error.
Annual Halloween Bash & Costume Contest FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28TH
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Mu s i c L i s t i n g s
OCT 26 | Shaun Patterson 9:30p OCT 27 | Aaron Coker 9:30p OCT 29 | Amazinâ€™ Lazy Boi 9:30p NOV 01 | Open Mic w/ Kenny Davis & Brandon Latham 9p
6270 Old Canton Rd. Jackson, MS 39211
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Editor in Chief Donna Ladd Publisher Todd Stauffer
A Dim Future for
State Dems? DuPree Campaigns Against the Tide
Y MIKE DA
by Robbie Ward Illustration by Mike Day
October 26 - November 1, 2011
nation elected its first black president. For DuPree, he’s now finishing his third term as mayor of Hattiesburg. However, a key question remains unanswered: At a time when convincing white voters to support even white Democrats is difficult, does the Mississippi Democratic Party have the organization in place to help a black man become governor? Dem Dysfunction? The quip by the late American cowboy and humorist Will Rogers about his politics never goes stale. “I’m not a member of an organized political party,” he said. “I’m a Democrat.” To the chagrin of Mississippi’s Yellow and Blue Dogs—Yellow Dogs are Democrats who would vote for a yellow dog over a Republican, and Blue Dogs are more conservative Democrats who sometimes vote with Republicans—in most of the Magnolia State’s 82 counties, Rogers’ humor still reflects a grim reality. It’s easy to spot the dysfunction in today’s state Democratic Party. For starters, look at the top leadership post of party Chairman Jamie Franks, a failed lieutenant governor candidate and former state representative from Mooreville in northeast Mississippi. While Franks should have been out finding potential candidates to run for statewide office over the last couple years,
he spent time embroiled in a scandal in- years, we have had somebody that has not volving his now-former wife Alisa’s extra- stood up for Mississippi values, but somemarital affair with another public official. body who has stood up for the values of Earlier this year, news accounts quoted some other state like California,” Franks said Franks as saying he felt “vindicated” after a in a radio interview during the primary. judge dismissed a lawsuit against him filed Franks isn’t expected to seek another on behalf of Lee County School District term as Democratic Party chairman when Superintendent Mike Scott, who claimed his term expires this year—probably to the Franks committed extortion by pressur- dismay of Mississippi Republicans. ing him to resign for having an affair with To help clean up some of the mess Franks’ wife. Jamie and Alisa Franks di- within the state party, Franks called on provorced in June 2010. Also distracting for Franks’ leadership role with the state party, he decided to run this year for his former seat in the state House of Representatives. He lost in the primary election after trashing a fellow Democrat, Mark DuVall, accusing him of not being Mississippi—or prolife—enough to represent his former district. Franks sounded like a Republican as he slammed his opponent for supporting legislation limiting the use of unmarked cars in drug raids, saying DuVall had “stood up for drug Ronnie Musgrove was the state’s last Democratic governor— dealers.” and hurt the party’s funding by pushing “tort reform.” “Over the past four
decade ago, Johnny DuPree, while running for re-election to the Forrest County Board of Supervisors, answered a phone call from thenLt. Gov. Ronnie Musgrove asking for help with his campaign for governor. DuPree, cruising toward re-election in south Mississippi, helped shepherd Musgrove to area high-school football games and African American churches. By this time, DuPree had lost his first bid for mayor of Hattiesburg and hadn’t decided whether to try again. The University of Southern Mississippi graduate helped many Democratic candidates connect with voters in the area and contributed his connections to Musgrove’s successful 1999 campaign seemed like second nature. The county supervisor couldn’t have imagined the foreshadowing happening at the time. For a year and a half now, DuPree, 57, has made those same requests, asking for help from people throughout the state, looking to be elected governor of Mississippi this Nov. 8. “It was a unique coincidence,” DuPree said recently of helping Musgrove reach out to voters. He was traveling from a Jackson campaign fundraiser back home to Hattiesburg. “Now, we’re doing the same thing.” Times have changed for DuPree, the state Democratic Party and the overall political landscape compared to a decade ago. 14 One of the more obvious changes: The
“I tend to think nice guys finish last,” Cole said. “The two party-system is important to keeping the other side on its toes.” Cole spoke candidly about the current state of the Mississippi Democratic Party. He didn’t hide his shame in the party failing to field candidates for three statewide offices and high-quality, viable candidates for each of the eight statewide offices on the ballot in November. Along with Attorney General Hood and DuPree, other Democratic candidates for statewide elections appearing on the ballot include Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran for state treasurer, Pickens Mayor Joel Gill for commissioner of agriculture
lican these days, voting along strictly racial lines makes Democrats a long-term minority party, literally and figuratively. Democrats in the state don’t seem have a confident response when asked if whites will vote for a black Democratic gubernatorial candidate. “We’ll find out on Election Day,” Cole said simply.
and many white Mississippians still in the Democratic Party. Marty Wiseman, director of Mississippi State University’s Stennis Institute of Government, said one key difference between many black and white Democratic candidates seeking office involves a willingness to associate with the national Democratic Party. Most white Democrats keep their distance from Washington A Long Slog Southern Strategy and the national party, even as Republicans A self-described Yellow Dog DemoDon’t forget that the party of civil- try to connect them at every turn, especially crat, Cole is traveling the state again trying rights activists Aaron Henry and Fannie on signs at the Neshoba County Fair drawto rebuild his party’s organization and credLou Hamer also shares roots with segre- ing parallels between white candidates and ibility. Since he began his position about gationists Jim Eastland and Ross Barnett. black Democrats such as Obama and U.S. two months ago, Cole has logged 10,000 However, most of the political grandchil- Rep. Bennie Thompson. miles in his 2005 Crown Victoria, a retired dren of Eastland and Barnett have migrated Wiseman said hot-button, national ishighway patrol vehicle he bought sues like abortion and gun control at an auction two years ago. have most white Democrats holdIn 1999, Democrats held all ing national party leaders at more non-federal, statewide offices exthan an arm’s length. cept for auditor, held then by Phil Black Democrats in the state, Bryant, first appointed to the pohowever, remain comfortable assosition by former Gov. Kirk Fordciating with national Democrats, ice, the state’s first Republican to particularly Obama, who turned hold the state’s top government a record number of them out to job since Reconstruction when the vote for him. As for shared poGOP was a very different party. litical values, blacks and whites in Now, Democrats find themthe Democratic Party today have selves on the losing end of this role more in common than ever before, reversal, holding only the statewide including conservative views on office of attorney general, held by issues like abortion and gay marJim Hood, who supports the death riage. “Black Democrats are fairly penalty, the personhood anti-aborindistinguishable from Southern tion initiative and other conservawhites with religion, church affilitive social positions. ation and so on,” Wiseman said. Compared to 2007 statewide “Liberals in Mississippi are few and primaries, about 400,000 voters far between regardless of color.” voted in this year’s Democratic Pri“Many of the conservative mary, nearly a 12 percent decrease. Democrats left over from the segFor Republicans, about 282,000 regationist era have crossed over votes tallied in their primary, show- Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree is running as a conservative Democrat—representing a very disorganized to the Republican Party,” Wiseand adrift party. He is also running in a state where many white Democrats may not vote for a black man. ing a nearly 43 percent increase. man said. “So not nearly the split The trend looks even starker when remains in the Democratic Party compared to just 24 years ago. In 1987, and commerce, and former Moss Point to the state GOP, part of Richard Nixon’s that did exist.” 18,853 people voted in the Republican Mayor Louis Fondren for commissioner of southern strategy to appeal to white racists primary, while more than 800,000 voted in insurance. in the Democratic Party. Defending the Social Contract the Democratic gubernatorial primary. “It’s embarrassing to not field a candiBy the time Ronald Reagan—with Cole said segregationists migrating to Cole’s streaks of gray hair, along with date for the open seat of lieutenant governor,” young Republican strategist Haley Barbour the GOP helped the Democratic Party focus his conservative suit and yellow tie, may Cole said. “It’s equally as embarrassing to field cheering him on—borrowed the approach on “Democratic values” that make sense for fool many people into thinking the Ovett a candidate who doesn’t have a chance.” for drawing white southerners to the so- Mississippi voters, although the party execunative with a deep southern drawl has been While some candidates like Gill have called “Party of Lincoln,” language had tive director refuses to give examples of those around longer than his 45 years. developed an air of unelectability, can- become less racially overt, with phrases like values. Instead, he says Democrats generally Before sitting down in a booth at didates like Moran appears to be a solid “states’ rights” replacing the overt bigotry of value people in communities working toHarvey’s restaurant in Starkville, Cole choice with an impressive record—but Barnett and friends. “State’s rights” became gether for common goals while Republicans handed me a news release from the Mis- with little party support. code for a position by many segregationists tend to be more individualistic. sissippi Democratic Party questioning the A decline in Democratic candidates, and those who opposed civil-rights legisla“We’re the defenders of the social conhomestead exemption filings of Republican voters and organization says a lot, but that tion, claiming that each state should have tract,” Cole said of Democrats. “You won’t Deborah Tierce of Fulton. doesn’t cover all the state party’s pains these the right to decide for itself whether to in- hear me give a laundry list of what it means.” “I like to go on offense when we can,” days. The “race issue” and lagging fundraising tegrate public schools and other laws that As for long-term plans, Cole sees the he said with a half grin. also continue to worry party insiders. benefited African Americans. Mississippi Democratic Party’s role as the A Democratic Party activist since 1982, Few people dispute that voting patJackson State University professor and appropriate structure to expand the DemoCole enjoys the horse race of politics. He terns in the South follow racial patterns, head of its Department of Political Science cratic base in the state as close to 50 percent likes finding mistakes the opposition makes especially in Mississippi where 2008 exit D’Andra Orey said the late political scien- as possible. To recruit more Democratic acand isn’t afraid to exploit them, such as in polls showed that 88 percent of whites tist V.O. Key’s racial-threat theory explains tivists, he believes it’s vital to not pay attena press release he sent out this week stat- voted for John McCain of Arizona in the why Mississippi politics has become more tion to labels or identification like conservaing that Republican candidate Steve Simp- presidential election, while 98 percent of racially polarized. “In high concentration tive or liberal, rich or poor, black or white. son “should withdraw.” In it, Cole accused blacks supported Barack Obama of Illinois. areas of blacks, whites felt threatened that He said they should come from all walks of Simpson of falsifying state documents to African Americans comprise 37 percent of they would lose their power in the Demo- life, incomes levels, shapes and colors. pay for a $400 steak dinner. (An hour and the state’s population, the highest propor- cratic Party. Many of those conservative, “One thing about Mississippi Demotwo minutes later, an email from Simpson tion of blacks in any state. But compared white Democrats have realigned with the accused his opponent of “negative, personal with the white population of more than 59 Republican Party,” he said. DEMS, see page 16 15 attacks”—and asked for donations. percent, which is overwhelmingly RepubDifferences remain between blacks jacksonfreepress.com
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duce farmer and former state Democratic Party Chairman Rickey Cole to serve as executive director of the state party. Cole began in the position Aug. 29. Cole’s time in his previous party position coincided with Musgrove’s term in office, 2000 to 2004, the last time Democrats had a strong grip on statewide offices.
DEMS, from page 15
October 26 - November 1, 2011
Nash, citing connections to candidates in the Nov. 8 election, declined to comment for this story. Wiseman elaborated, however, saying that Musgrove thought the media spotlight on a number of multi-milliondollar jury awards in places like Jefferson County caused massive pressure to pass tort reform. Phrases like “jackpot justice,” repeated often in state media such as The ClarionLedger, created public sentiment for limits on punitive jury awards. (The media fixation on “runaway juries” ignored evidence, published by the Government Accounting Office of Congress and other researchWhite Republicans dominate the decisions of the supposedly Democratic state Senate and are working ers, that “lawsuit abuse” was hard to control the House as of next year. It’s uncertain whether Democrats can stop them. overblown by business intercrats,” Cole said, “they certainly defy all these ideas and positions, Cole resisted, sayests and the GOP in states stereotypes,” describing a “potbelly farmer” ing he had only in his position for a few including Mississippi.) like himself as an example. months. Musgrove responded to the hype by The state party under Cole’s leadership getting behind tort reform. “They were will further develop databases of voter infor- Legacy of ‘Tort Reform’ flabbergasted that one of their own would mation to help candidates and party leaders The question on many minds today is: open legislation like this,” Wiseman said of identify Democratic voters and those who Can Mississippi Democrats find the right trial attorneys. could be swayed to vote for Democratic formula to win more than a single statewide After Musgrove lost the governor’s candidates, he promised. Using social me- election, if that, in November? mansion to longtime GOP strategist and dia and new technology to target people At least one answer is: They may not lobbyist Haley Barbour, the state’s second to support Democratic candidates also will be able to afford it—especially against Re- Republican governor intensified tort reform play a role in expanding the party in the publican opponents who are well funded that the Democrat started, further decreasstate, while Cole still places heavy emphasis by business interests backed by the U.S. ing income for trial lawyers—and contrion having the party’s presence seen and felt Chamber of Commerce. Political parties butions to state Democratic candidates. at functions and events all over the state. and individual candidates need resources to “He’s a master of unleveling the play“We have to do a better job of market- help get the public’s attention and reach in- ing field in a legal way,” Wiseman said of ing,” Cole said. “I think we have a competi- dependent voters—and Mississippi Demo- Haley Barbour. “He knew signing tort retive brand, but we have to do better.” crats’ main source of cash dried up, starting form would end up cutting down the monon a Democratic watch earlier this decade. ey available to the trial lawyers, who were The Elusive ‘Middle’ Ronnie Musgrove’s term as the last 90 percent Democrat.” “The gold right now is in the middle,” Democratic governor isn’t a coincidence Cole, taking a circumspect approach to Cole says of independents in the state. to many political observers. He seemed to Mississippi Democrats’ fundraising probPolitical scientist Wiseman said while commit Democratic Party treason by pro- lems, said the state Democratic Party made surveys show 50 to 60 percent of the state’s moting “tort reform”—the phrase most a giant mistake years before Musgrove’s spevoters identify as Republican, that number commonly applied to limiting the financial cial session by largely counting on a single can mislead. “Regardless of what they say, compensation juries can award to plaintiffs source of donations. Mississippi is at least half or better indepen- in excess of actual damages. “No political party should depend largedent in reality, although it leans RepubliTo many Mississippi plaintiff attor- ly on one business sector, one interest group can,” he said. “Basically, the bulk of Missis- neys, often called trial lawyers, Musgrove— for its revenue,” he said. “It didn’t serve the sippians prove to vote independently.” a lawyer—bit the hand that fed him and party well or the trial lawyers, either.” So which issues resonate with indepen- other Democrats. He led the effort that reFor Democrats depending so much on dents? Is it social issues like abortion and sulted in slashing incomes of the most gen- trial lawyers, the party gambled by not diveropposition to gay marriage as so many Re- erous donors to the Democratic Party—a sifying and reaching out to more types of popublicans and Democrats seem to believe? result astute political watchers know is one tential donors. “If all of the doctors in MisNot according to this state Democratic of the major goals of tort reform. sissippi had their income cut by two-thirds, Party veteran. “Everybody I talk to is conRecounting the Aug. 23, 2002, break- the Mississippi Republican Party would still cerned with the economy,” Cole said. “Mis- fast between Musgrove and trial lawyers be funded,” he said. sissippi’s unemployment went up again last who had supported him, the book “MissisFor Democrats to gain enough resources month. We’re seeing some pretty desperate sippi Politics: The Struggle for Power, 1976- to help candidates stay competitive, they will times all over the country.” 2006” described the governor explaining to need to broaden fundraising nets to include State Democratic Party leaders see eco- his key financial contributors that political smaller donors. Cole said the state party’s nomic issues as key to regaining some of the pressure had become too much to ignore. biggest revenue stream will soon be repeat political ground lost in recent years. They “Now a Democratic governor would donors, many giving $10 to $25 month. He see job creation and getting the unemployed begin the process by which the single larg- has a goal of having 1,000 donors contribute working again as key issues—issues that est source of funding for Democratic candi- $10 a month by 2012. Now, 140 contribudon’t seem to be resonating on Democrats’ dates would be permanently undermined,” tors give that much each month. behalf in today’s Mississippi. When asked Jackson-based Democratic consultant and Cole believes more small donations 16 how state Democrats have communicated co-author Jere Nash wrote. will come as the public sees a more orga-
nized, aggressive Mississippi Democratic Party. “People don’t want a political party that rolls over and plays dead,” he said. “We’re not going to do that anymore.” And as if anyone could forget, the state economy continues to sag, making fundraising even more difficult and $200 or less donations even more critical. “The way you do it is to ask, ask, ask,” Cole said. Wiseman says the Democratic Party must rebuild almost from the ground up. He points out how few young people seem attracted to the Mississippi Democratic Party now. “As support is galvanized by the Democratic Party, that will begin happening with young people,” Wiseman said. “I’m saying this in the context of ‘when’ it happens, but there’s probably a question of ‘if’ it happens, too.” Hell Freezing Over? While hell didn’t freeze over when the nation’s electorate chose an African American for president, it’s hard not to wonder what will happen if Mississippi—the most Dixie of southern states—elects a black man to the state’s highest office. Will the sky open up and lightning strike everyone who made it happen? Will property values plummet from Southaven to Madison to Bay St. Louis? Will all businesses leave the state in search of a place with elected officials with less melanin? After all, that’s what happens when cities elect African Americans as mayors, right? Just look at Hattiesburg—a city of 45,989 residents and home to the University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey University—since DuPree began leading the city in 2001. When the father of two daughters decided to run for mayor of the Hub City, a number of whites throughout the city whispered that crime would run rampant and property values would drop. Twenty-five-year Hattiesburg resident Paul Laughlin, a trust officer at a local bank, recalls hearing whites in the city voice concerns about a black man elected to run the city, including fears that a black mayor would be soft on crime. Not true, said Laughlin, who is white. “They seem as zealous in curbing crime as much as their predecessors did,” he said of the DuPree administration. Laughlin hasn’t made up his mind on who will get his vote for governor in just under three weeks, but he has appreciated seeing growth and progress in the Hub City during DuPree’s time in office. He especially appreciates the community’s focus on renovating properties around the downtown train depot, a place in disrepair for decades. “There was a reputation that downtown was a high-crime area,” Laughlin said. “People have realized that’s not the case.” When Allan McBride—chairman of the University of Southern Mississippi’s Department of Political Science, Interna-
DEMS, see page 19
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erty for the purpose of private, commercial projects. Bryant and DuPree have both endorsed this initiative, while Gov. Barbour opposes it, saying the change would hurt economic development of future large projects such as automotive plants. Beyond Election Day Before state Democratic Party Executive Director Rickey Cole left that Starkville restaurant for Jackson, he seemed defiant in a state whose political landscape has changed so much in recent years. “Republicans have succeeded too often because we’ve conceded the field,” he said. “As we make changes, it’s going to be less easy for them to win by default.” The Mississippi Democratic Party has found a fighter in Johnny DuPree. Weeks from the general election, he and his wife, Johniece, continue to visit as many festivals, football games, coffee shops and all other sorts of events dotted all over the state. Having the same position as Republican Bryant on the personhood initiative, DuPree has positioned himself as fairly conservative on social issues; however, he stands traditionally Democratic on the issue of education. These stands can’t hurt DuPree in the eyes of some whites who would consider voting for a Democrat. Wiseman said one of DuPree’s possible strategies to winning could involve staunch support for public education and support for the state employee retirement system (PERS), whose future remains uncertain after Gov. Barbour created a group to study changing it. Even with aches and pains from the campaign trail, DuPree said no one should expect him to slow down before Election Day. He mentioned his days of running track in high school. He didn’t run to the finish line; he ran “through” it. “That’s been my attitude about this campaign from day one,” he said. As the DuPree campaign gathers at the Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg the night of Nov. 8, they and the rest of the state will find out if organizing efforts accomplished enough support to win the governor’s mansion. For the Mississippi Democratic Party, this election’s results will give party leaders an idea of how much rebuilding they have to do—and perhaps how. Rickey Cole has an idea of what needs to happen to win elections, but he knows it will take resources, racial unity and optimism. For now, he counts just showing up as a small victory. “I don’t have to be a magician,” he said. “This isn’t rocket science, but we’re all looking for the winning formula.” jacksonfreepress.com
tional Development and International Af- ly as when the Tigers scored a touchdown. But will a hyper-focused campaign of fairs—moved to Hattiesburg in 1996, he Fans in the crowd stopped him to have their organizing be good enough to win? When and his wife, a public school teacher, found photos taken with him. Others shouted asked if enough whites will vote for him, the community’s support for public schools “DuPree” and “Governor” as he passed. DuPree pointed to his time in Hattiesburg. a big draw. He stills sees a group of commitMany in the black community say “All I can do is what I’m doing,” he said. “I ted parents, teachers and an engaged com- DuPree represents much more than a long- have a history of working with people from munity supporting public schools. McBride shot politician facing a mighty challenge all walks of life and was elected by votes also appreciates downtown revitalization ef- against the GOP’s juggernaut (and Tea from people of many different groups.” forts and business growth in the city. Party-courting) nominee, Phil Bryant, the Hendrix sounded confident when “If DuPree hasn’t been specifically current lieutenant governor. asked about whites in the state being willresponsible for this, he certainly hasn’t Older African Americans and their ing to choose the Hattiesburg mayor over blocked it,” McBride said. children in the state say DuPree brings GOP nominee Bryant. “That’s also a sign of leadership.” something to Mississippi they never “If anything we’ve seen in the last few In his third term, DuPree enjoys shar- thought they would live to see—a man weeks is an indicator, we’ll have significant ing Hattiesburg’s story. Addressing groups, with their skin color running for the state’s white vote—not just white Democrats, but festivals and other gatherings throughout highest office, who decades ago would get independents and Republicans,” he said. the state, he talks about jobs “People look at Mayor DuPree’s that have come to his city record and see he’s the best caneven as the nation struggles didate.” economically. “Healthier, more eduDriving a Wedge? cated, wealthier—that’s for Voters will decide Nov. 8 formula for getting rid of more than just which candidate poverty,” he said at a banquet they want in office. They will also in Booneville for the Eliza decide on three separate initiaPillars organization, a black tives related to eminent domain, nursing association. voter identification and a legal “All of us want the same definition of “personhood.” things,” he said at the nurses’ All political observers conbanquet. “We all want a bettacted for this story expect each ter community.” The audiinitiative to pass. However, ence responded to his meswhich candidates and party will sage, applauding. benefit the most from them Contrary to skeptics’ on the ballot remains unclear. warnings, DuPree’s record in While DuPree and Bryant Hattiesburg shows an African both endorsed the personhood American can lead a prosamendment to the state constiperous city, even help grow tution, religious fundamentalit stronger. DuPree brags on ists have strong support for it, his city—pointing out that while many moderates, liberals, the Blue Cross & Blue Shield medical professionals and even Foundation of Mississippi clergy oppose it. Some concerns named Hattiesburg the larginclude unintended conseest, healthiest city in the state quences related to how the legal this year, how the city has pri- Gov. Barbour signed on to the “southern strategy” alongside definition of personhood can afPresident Reagan as a way to recruit white southerners to the GOP. oritized healthy infrastructure fect procedures such as in vitro like bike paths and sidewalks, fertilization and block common how the citywide smoking ban has helped the hell beat out of him, even murdered, forms of birth control. freshen up everybody’s air. just for trying to vote. Bryant supports voter ID, and DuPree “Just this month, a Hattiesburg neighSheaneter Johnson, 53, a Nettleton is against it. During the most recent legborhood made history as the first in the native who attended DuPree’s speech in islative session, the House and the Senate state highlighted in the American Planning Booneville, sees this election as important passed a bill requiring identification before Association’s annual list of 10 great neigh- as ever for the African American commu- voting, but Gov. Barbour vetoed it because borhoods,” DuPree told the Booneville nity to elect one of their own as governor. of his opposition to a provision that would nursing banquet. “Because of people who died before us also allow early voting. He kept gushing about his city and the to make this happen, we have to keep carVoter ID has become a political hot butpartnerships that made progress possible. “It rying on their voices,” Johnson said. “We ton for Republicans who say it will help curb took us three years, and we brought every- have to make this happen.” voter fraud (although voter fraud tends to be body to the table,” DuPree said. “But now, From black nursing organizations to with absentee ballots, which wouldn’t be afwe have a smoke-free city. We have some churches to fraternities, African Ameri- fected), and for older African Americans—a of the best neighborhoods in the state. We cans in Mississippi seem focused and ready staple in the Democratic Party base—who have more jobs, and we didn’t raise taxes.” to help elect Mississippi’s first governor of still have sharp memories of poll taxes and color. DuPree’s deputy campaign manager, other trickery used to disqualify them from Rock Star Candidate Tyrone Hendrix, spoke like a man on a voting many decades ago. As DuPree campaigns throughout the mission. His background as the Mississippi As for the eminent-domain initiative, state with his wife, daughters and grandson director of Organizing for America—Presi- it seems to be the least partisan of all on joining whenever they can, crowds of Afri- dent Obama’s political organizing group, the ballot, Wiseman said. This populist can Americans greet him with a rock star’s now a part of the Democratic National referendum first received support from the welcome. At JSU’s homecoming football Committee—has prepared Hendrix for farming community, specifically Mississippi game weeks ago, large pockets of supporters finding as many people in the state who Farm Bureau. If passed, it will limit governin the crowd cheered for him almost as loud- may consider voting for Mayor DuPree. ment’s authority to take individuals’ prop-
Read more campaign coverage and candidate interviews at jfppolitics.com. Disclosure: While a student at USM, freelance journalist Robbie Ward campaigned for DuPree’s second mayoral campaign. Later, he became an editor of USM’s school paper and started covering DuPree as a journalist. 19
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DIY: Healthy, Green Halloween by LaShanda Phillips
osting a healthy Halloween party for kids is a great way to have fun without inviting cavities, obesity and other health problems. TOPS Club Inc., a nonprofit weight-loss support organization, suggests limiting candy consumption by eating a nutritious meal before the treats and substituting fruit and nuts for sugary snacks. Plan craft stations for little guests, where they can focus on creating something fun instead of eating junk. Here are three easy and fun DIY ideas from TOPS Club Inc.
Green Slime 2 mixing bowls measuring cups spoons 1 cup glue 4 teaspoons borax green food coloring warm water
Veggie Skeleton CO
Paper Mice, Spiders and Bats
Using creativity and imagination, create a skeleton out of the vegetables above or any variety of vegetables you might have on hand. Use cauliflower or broccoli chunks for the skeleton’s hands and feet. Slice the cucumber and use the slices for the torso. Carrot and celery sticks are perfect for making its shoulders, arms and legs. Cherry tomatoes can serve as knees and elbows. Use olives for the eyes and a bowl of ranch dip for the head.
Mix together three-quarters cup warm water, glue and several drops of green food coloring in the first bowl. In the second bowl, combine four teaspoons borax and one-and-one-third cup of warm water. Pour the contents of the first bowl in the second bowl. Do not stir. Let it stand for one minute, then lift the “slime” out of the bowl. Use plastic bags to store your slime. Divide the slime so that each child has a piece to play with. Keep away from children younger than 3 because borax is toxic in large doses. Tell children to not eat the slime.
sliced red peppers carrot sticks broccoli cherry tomatoes cucumber celery sticks cauliflower olives ranch dip
black or orange construction paper scissors assorted colors of paint paint brushes
On construction paper, draw mice, spiders and bats. Paint to decorate creepy creatures with eyes and elaborate designs. Cut out the drawings and tape them strategically around your house with masking tape. What are your Halloween party suggestions for a wholesome gathering? Comment at www.jfp.ms.
Scarticia of Jackson by Steve Patrick
October 26 - November 1, 2011
Scoop Gravely, left, and the mysterious Scarticia hosted “Horrible Movie” in the early 1970s on WAPT. The short-lived series still has a cult following in Jackson.
reetings, animals.” A gaunt witch stared through the television screen at late-night viewers in Jackson, taunting them for several years in the early 1970s. Long before “Elvira” or countless other late-night horror-movie hosts, Jackson had its own mistress of the night. Scarticia hosted “Horrible Movie,” a weekly scary movie series on Saturdays on WAPT Channel 16 starting in 1971, showing classic monster films. For many viewers, the show was their first introduction to films like “Dracula” (1931), “Frankenstein” (1931), “Wolfman” (1941), “The Mummy” (1932), “King Kong” (1933), “Creature from the Black Lagoon” (1954) and “Bride of Frankenstein” (1935). Scarticia was a most unpleasant woman with a wicked and dark sense of humor. The actress was Annette (who refuses to
give her last name), a secretary at WAPT. She had a sidekick, Scoop Gravely, who was sort of her servant and a gravedigger. Legendary local dee-jay Ed Hobgood played the role. Scoop wore a fedora with a “press” card stuck in the side—he was always trying to get a scoop on a supernatural story. Soon, teens and older folks began having “Horrible Movie” parties. Scarticia and Scoop introduced the film and came back on before and after each commercial break. They would say how stupid the movie was and make fun of the actors and even the fans who wrote in with a stunning amount of fan mail each week. The nastier the hosts were, the more we liked it. The show ended in 1974, and Scarticia disappeared. Annette spent 40 years in the TV business and retired to an undisclosed town. She had some final words for her old fans: “Rock on, animals.”
Come Check Out Our Booo....tiful Selection of Black Rock Wine.
The Zombies are... coming to FONDREN Mississippi Optometric Foundation & Southern Optical presents
The First Annual
Zombie Charity Crawl, Family Festival & Prom
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Zombie Charity Crawl & Family Festival 5:30p.m. - 7:30p.m. | Duling Green
FREE! • Costume Contest • Pumpkin Decorating Trick-or-Treating • “Get Zombiefied” Tent • Inflatables
Zombie Prom featuring The Jason Turner Band
Always Drink Responsibly
Duling Hall (formerly The Auditorium) 21 & Up, Call 601.853.4407 for Tickets Proceeds directly benefit under served children with vision issues. Zombie Charity Crawl & Prom
(Next door to McDades Market Extra) Mon. - Sat., 10 am - 9 pm • Maywood Mart Shopping Center 1220 E. Northside Dr. • 601-366-5676 • www.mcdadeswineandspirits.com
8:00p.m. - 11:00p.m.
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20% OFF Total Bill Tues - Thur Only
Liver Mousse (Indie Rock 8pm)
Spirits of The House
(Traditional Irish Music) 8pm
Yazoo Brewery Pub Crawlers visit the pub at 10pm with free swag!
Kids Eat Free!
ON SUNDAYS includes chicken strips & hamburgers excludes shrimp
Buie, Hammon & Porter (Classic Rock 9pm)
Cheer the arrival of The Jackson Bike Association
The Bailey Brothers (Rock & Blues 9pm) MONDAY 10/31
Superhero Karaoke 8pm
Free Costume Contest 8pm-10p m Annoucing Winners 11pm $200 Grand Prize
-Wood Fired Brick Oven Pizzas-Hookahs on a Beautiful Patio-Now Serving Lebanese Wine-Now Serving Spirits1896 Main Street, Ste A in Madison 601-853-0876 • mezzams.com
M-Th 11-2, 4:30-9 • F-Sat 11-2, 4:30-10
Drink Specials Oct 27-31 Samhain Celebrations
Monday Oct. 31st 8p-10p Free Costume Contest & Superhero Karaoke
$200 Grand Prize & more cash prizes!
Visit our Facebook for details!
For the Mind of America Saturday, Nov. 5 Winners Circle Park
100 Winners Circle, Flowood
Check-in Time: 9 a.m. Walk Start Time: 10 a.m. Proceeds benefit NAMI Mississippi, the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Join JFP’s team or
donate at bit.ly/jfpnami11
Open Mic hosted by Jason Bailey
The Dummy Mummy Returns by Andrew Ousley
COURTESY NEW STAGE
No Sparkle, No Twang: Just Bite by Andrew Ousley
October 26 - Nowvember 1, 2011
ampires these days, quite frankly, are dreadful. Between the ersatz southern drawls on “True Blood” to the sparkly emo-ness of “Twilight,” vampires have become annoyingly overused. Count Dracula, however, will eternally be cool. New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St., 601948-3531) presents him in all his gory glory with its production of “Dracula,” running Oct. 25 to Nov. 6. Francine Thomas Reynolds directs the show, which is based on a Steven Dietz adaptation. Reynolds, creative director at New Stage since 2006, is aware of the frustrating popularity of vampires, but she says this adaptation is faithful to Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel. “It’s a complex production with some very psychological themes, but I just knew we could pull it off,” she says. Reynolds describes the play as sensual and puzzling, not macabre. “The idea of transferring blood and eternal life personified reveals some very powerful aspects of human nature,” she says. Tickets are $25 with discounts for students, senior citizens and groups. Those attending the play in costume will receive a $3 discount on the ticket price at the Saturday, Oct. 29, performance. Also, New Stage is offering a $5 discount to anyone donating blood to Mississippi Blood Services on Oct. 31. For ticket information and more, visit newstagetheatre.com.
Randolph Curtis Rand stars as Dracula and Kerri Courtney Sanders as Lucy at New Stage.
icture this: An intrepid medical student from a local Then, in 1967, a University of Mississippi Medical university gets permission to examine the most prized Center student X-rayed the mummy as a research project. artifact in the state’s history museum: a centuries-old That’s when the whole thing unraveled. Egyptian mummy. The stu“Surprisingly, I wasn’t surdent, simply taking part in an advenprised,” said Dr. Gentry Yeatman, turous exercise to further his medical who was the young med student studies, makes a startling discovery who revealed the mummy as a fraud. that shocks the city and the antiqui“When we turned it over and closely ties community. examined the mummy, it was clearly Was the mummy that of an imnot real. We even saw German-print portant Egyptian ruler? Nope. newspaper shreddings.” Was the mummy adorned in Instead of being cast aside as a valuable jewels and gold? Nope. sham, though, the mummy remains a Was the mummy a total fake, popular attraction at the Old Capitol filled with everyday items like nails Museum. Now every October, the and newspaper? Yep. museum resurrects the mummy as a In the 1920s, someone donated tribute to days gone by when people a purportedly authentic mummy to thought it was something more than a the Mississippi Department of Ardirty bag of cloth filled with rubbish. chives and History. For years, it was The Mummy is part of Jackson lore. “The ‘Dummy Mummy’ has a the most popular exhibit at the new strong connection to the city of JackCapitol building, where state officials son. I think a lot of its appeal is just displayed artifacts before the Old Capitol Museum opened nostalgia … nostalgia and curiosity. That’s why we pull it out in the 1960s. around Halloween and the State Fair,” Williams said. “I’ve had people tell me stories about how they used What started off as intriguing as a Dan Brown novel to go visit the mummy every Sunday after church,” said turned out to be as silly as a Brendan Fraser movie. Clay Williams, director of the Old Capitol Museum, add- The “Dummy Mummy” on display throughout October at the ing that it was a key display in Jackson during the 1930s, Old Capitol Museum (100 S State St., 601-576-6902). Admis1940s and 1950s. sion is free.
Halloween Happenings “Dracula” Oct. 25-Nov. 6, at New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.). The play is an adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic novel about a vampire’s siege on residents in 19th-century London. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25-29 and Nov. 2-5, and 2 p.m. Oct. 30 and Nov. 6. $25, $22 seniors and students; call 601-948-3533, ext. 222. Events at Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.). Call 601-352-2580. • Boo at the Zoo Oct. 27-29, 5-8 p.m. Trick-or-treat at more than 30 stations and enjoy a haunted hayride, a play area, a costume contest, a visit from Inky the Clown, movies, and train and carousel rides. $9, $6 children 12 and under; members: $7, $4 children under 12. • Pumpkin Smash at the Zoo Oct. 29, times TBA. Watch the animals enjoy special pumpkin treats for Halloween. $9, $8.10 seniors, $6 children ages 2-12, members and babies free. Family Fall Fest Oct. 27, 5 p.m., at Pearl Public Library (2416 Old Brandon Road, Pearl). Enjoy games, crafts, a haunted alley and a Halloween scavenger hunt. Free; call 601-932-2562. The Monster Monologues Oct. 27-31, at Warehouse Theatre (1000 Monroe St.). Fondren Theatre Workshop presents the play about 13 monsters who discuss their issues at another monster’s funeral. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. with two bonus shows at 10 p.m. Oct. 28-29. For ages 12 and up. Limited seating; RSVP. Costumes encouraged. $13, $10 students and seniors 60 and older; call 601-301-2281. Fathom Thriller Thursdays Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m., at Tinseltown (411 Riverwind Drive, Pearl). See the films “Butterfinger the 13th”
at 7:30 p.m. and “Jack the Ripper: The Definitive Story” at 8:15 p.m. $11.50, $10.50 seniors and students, $9.50 children.; call 601-936-5856. Bravo II: Hitchcock at Halloween Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m., at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.). The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra performs pieces such as “Funeral March of a Marionette,” “Ritual” and “Symphonie Fantastique.” $20 and up; call 601-960-1565. Blocktober Oct. 29, 8 p.m., at Congress Street. The Downtown Neighborhood Association’s annual Halloween block party includes a costume contest with cash prizes and music from the Southern Comfort Brass Band. Free admission; call 601-9412567. “Ghouls Night Out” Triple Record Release Show Oct. 29, 9 p.m., at Hal & Mal’s (200 S. Commerce St.). T.B. Ledford, Wooden Finger and The Weeks perform to celebrate their new albums. Cathead Vodka provides spook-inspired drinks. Costumes welcome. For ages 18 and up. $10; visit esperanzaplantation. com. E.C. Puffin’s Haunted Burlesque Oct. 29, 9 p.m., at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). Performers include the Magic City Sirens and Jezabelle von Jane. For ages 18 and up. Also enjoy house music from deejays Charles Faulk, Scott Swanner and Patrick Duvall. $20; call 601-376-9005. “Rocky Horror Picture Show” Oct. 29, 10 p.m., at Heroes and Dreams (5352 Hwy 25 Suite #1650). Enjoy a drive-in style screening of the film. Free; call 601-992-3100.
Pumpkin Trail Oct. 30, dusk, at Clinton Community Nature Center (617 Dunton Road, Clinton). $2, free for children under 3; call 601-926-1104. “Paranormal Inactivity.” The Detectives Mystery Dinner Theatre presents the four-act interactive comedy. RSVP. Call 601-291-7444. • Oct. 30, 7 p.m., at Mint (1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 5002). Call for details. • Oct. 31, 7 p.m., at Kismet’s Restaurant (315 Crossgates Blvd. #G). $39. Halloween—City of Jackson Observance Oct. 31. The city of Jackson designates Oct. 31 as the night for trick or treating this year. Call 601-960-2378. The Mummy Returns through Oct. 31, at Old Capitol Museum (100 S. State St.). The famous “Mummy” returns to the museum for Halloween. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. Free; call 601-576-6920. Fall Harvest Festival Oct. 31, 5 p.m., at Woodland Hills Baptist Church Gym (3327 Old Canton Road). The event features trick-or-treating, games and refreshments. Costumes encouraged. Free; call 601-981-1441. Havana Halloween Oct. 31, 6 p.m., at Underground 119 (119 South President Street). In the parking lot. Enjoy music from Raphael Semmers, salsa dancing and lessons, and Carmen Miranda and Ernest Hemingway costume contests. Bring a carved pumpkin and receive a free mojito. Free; call 601-352-2322. Find and add more events at jfpevents.com.
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