ONE BRAVE NIGHT A Benefit for A Brave New Day At Safe Harbor United Church of Christ 1345 Flowood Drive Flowood, MS
Friday Night 11.11.11 • 7-10 PM • Drag Queen Bingo! • Everybody Wins Raffle • RuPam’s Drag Race & Variety Show! Featuring World Premier Food by: Sugar Mag Takery
Grand Prize $250 Gift Card Join us for the AFTER-PARTY 11:11 PM at Bottoms UP! with a Special Benefit Show by Jackson’s Finest Entertainment For ticket information contact: A Brave New Day 601. 713. 3999 or Facebook Us A Brave New Day is a peer-driven nonprofit. We are survivors helping survivors. We sponsor a statewide HIV support network, a local HIV support group open to all HIV+ people, and a transgender support group.
The Fall Home Issue
November 9 - 15, 2011
Using Color • Adler Style • Home Ownership Dealing with Clutter • Green Cleaning Man Caves • Décor on the Cheap • When to Remodel
Advertisement deadline: November 11, 2011 Publication date: November 16, 2011
November 9 - 15, 2011
10 NO. 9
contents LACEY MCLAUGHLIN
6 Reaching Out Jackson’s Fresh Start program is helping ex-offenders find work and reducing recidivism. R. L. NAVE
Cover photo of Craig Noone courtesy Parlor Market
Republicans have long touted how great the state is for business. Is it true? Maybe not. MODENAROID
angela taylor ployment with the Department of Rehabilitation Services in Mississippi. “I have found that disabled people being unable to get work is a widespread problem (in Mississippi),” Taylor said. She helps make sure people understand their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. She also mentors children with all types of disabilities, teaching them and using her education as a source of inspiration for the children and their parents to show that their disability doesn’t have to hold them back from getting good educations. Taylor’s primary volunteer work involves helping the elderly as a member of the Highland View Apartments Activity Council. “I try to make sure they get the supplies they need,” Taylor says. “We provide bingo, Bibles and computer labs. A lot of the residents can’t drive, and it’s the brightest spot in their day to use these computers.” Taylor also teaches classes on using the Internet, helps residents get their prescriptions and collects donations of items such as coffee, printer paper and movies for the residents. “My advice to the disabled community is to never give up,” Taylor says. “Be informed; be active; watch the news; go to the library; know the laws; know your rights. ... People should be informed and learn to stand on their own. You need to find another way to get around obstacles.” — Dustin Cardon
31 Sweet Butterfly The Mississippi Opera brings in top talent for a new production of “Madama Butterly.”
42 Layering 101 Fall is the perfect season to meld, blend and layer your wardrobe. Here’s how to do it right.
Angela Taylor grew up in a family that taught her to help others and be an independent thinker. “My parents were active in the Civil Rights Movement,” she says. They helped establish an integrated hospital waiting room in Wayne County, and named each of their children after people in the movement. “My name comes from Angela Davis of the Black Panthers,” she says. Taylor’s sister, Coretta, is named after Martin Luther King Jr.’s wife, Coretta Scott King. Her brother, Dub Clayton, is named for W.E.B. Dubois and Adam Clayton Powell. Taylor, 40, is originally from Millry, Ala. In 1993, she earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and in 1995, a master’s degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling from Jackson State University. Today, Taylor dedicates her time to helping the elderly and disabled live better, more active lives. She works a day job as a dispatcher for 911 in addition to her volunteer work for the disabled community. Taylor says she has encountered difficulties in seeking employment due partially to her disabilities. She has suffered from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since age 7. Symptoms of the condition include deformity in the joints of her hands and feet, causing difficulty walking and manipulating objects with her hands. She tried unsuccessfully for years to get em-
4 ............. Editor’s Note 4 ................... Slowpoke 7 .......................... Talks 12 ................... Editorial 12 .......................... Day 12 .................... Stiggers 13 .................. Opinion 26 ........................ Food 31 ............... Diversions 32 ..................... 8 Days 33 .............. JFP Events 34 ........................ Music 36 .......... Music Listing 38 ...................... Sports 41 ................. Astrology 41 ..................... Puzzles 42 .......... Fly Shopping
Tom Ramsey Chef Tom Ramsey (of Underground 119) also teaches private cooking lessons, writes poetry, runs with the bulls and has produced an album or two. He owns Ivy & Devine Culinary Group. He wrote the cover story about the late, great Craig Noone.
R.L. Nave Reporter R.L. Nave grew up in St. Louis, graduated from Mizzou (the University of Missouri), and lived a bunch of other places before coming to Jackson and joining the JFP news team this month. He wrote several news pieces. Email him story tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dustin Cardon Copy Editor Dustin Cardon is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi from Brandon. An English major, he enjoys reading fantasy novels and wants to write them himself one day. He wrote the Jacksonian, and edited and factchecked many stories.
Diandra Hosey A Bay Springs native, Diandra Hosey played basketball at Jones County Junior College and Mississippi College. With a degree from Mississippi College School of Law, she is an associate with the law offices of Matt Greenbaum. She wrote a sports feature.
Andrew Dunaway Food writer Andrew Dunaway knew his friends and family were tired of hearing him talk constantly about food, so he took to writing about it. He’ll do his best to keep it to a dull roar. He wrote a food feature. He is also the JFP’s Freelancer of the Month for October.
LaShanda Phillips Editorial Assistant LaShanda Phillips is a recent graduate of Jackson State University. She is the third oldest of seven children. She wrote a food piece for this issue and coordinates the food section. Send her foodie story ideas to: lashanda@ jacksonfreepress.com.
Meredith Sullivan Former New Yorker Meredith W. Sullivan is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology. She spends her days dreaming about where to travel next. She is enjoying life in Fondren with her husband and Diggy dog. She coordinated the FLY feature.
November 9 - 15, 2011
Account Executive Adam Perry is a local musician who lives in Flowood where he, his wife and daughter are herded through life by two supreme beings posing as unruly house-cats. He manages JFP and sales accounts.
by Donna Ladd, Editor-in-Chief
The Best We Can Be
ast week, I attended one of those uniquely Jackson events that national media never seem to know about when they paint us with a broad brush. It was a performance of “Defamation,” a play by a Chicago playwright that allows the audience to act as jury and decide whether a black woman or a Jewish man should win a defamation suit she brought against him because he assumed she stole a watch from him and then caused her to lose business as a result. Much like the film “Crash,” the play has all sorts of circular prejudice messages wound up in it and some powerful lessons about ingrained racism most of us never see, especially if we’re white and part of the majority culture. I enjoyed the play and the discussion, but it was a quick statement the playwright made during the Q&A afterward that stuck with me. Earlier in the week, they had performed the play for students at Lanier High School, and in a straw vote afterward, the students had split about a third for the woman, a third for the man and the third undecided. The playwright then told us, off the cuff, that Lanier had one of the best and smartest student audiences he had encountered. I was, and still am, stunned at how important a statement that was—and how seldom we hear it in this city where so many like to slam and stereotype our inner-city youth, especially those at Lanier, any chance they get. The playwright wasn’t being defensive; he wasn’t trying to paint a rosy picture; he wasn’t involved in our local race politics. He just noticed that his Lanier audience contained a lot of sharp thinkers. They were the best. His statement left me wanting to shout: BELIEVE IN OUR KIDS AND THEN WATCH WHAT THEY CAN DO. And I don’t want to just yell this at white folks and bloggers and radio-show hosts; I want to shout it at media, and their parents and teachers and professors; and at everyone who touches our young people every day. We must believe in ourselves and each other and our youth. In a recent GOOD Ideas issue about crime, our staff went deep into research about what causes crime and how to prevent it. Not surprisingly to us, the evidence is incontrovertible that young people who hear on a regular basis that they are not worthy are much more likely to (a) believe it and (b) do things that neglected children do. One result is crime, especially for kids who have economics stacked against them and are growing up with a parent or two who went through the same cycle. The deliciousness of hearing this playwright make this statement after “Defamation,” of course, was that the play was about a racist assumption cycle: that the woman of color must have done it. In the play, even the man’s accomplished black female attorney talked about how people treat her because she is black, drawing false assumptions. Not to mention, they performed the play in a state that many people make assumptions about. Because of a relatively small handful of
people with backward ideas—that we allow to control the world’s impressions of us—the world looks at Mississippi and assumes that we’re the most racist place on the planet. When national media parachute in, they are usually so busy looking for where we haven’t changed that they don’t notice the remarkable progress happening among our people (those who do notice usually remark that they never witness our kinds of frank race conversations and diversity back in their big city). But as a result of the assumptions about us (yes, granted, self-inflicted), our residents have long believed we can’t be the best—ironically proving the effect that bigotry of low expectations has on our children. I have seldom, if ever, met a Mississippian of any race that doesn’t feel the weight of growing up in a state considered such a hellhole. Yes, we all get angry at media and politicians beyond our borders who treat us like we’re all uneducated hicks, but how often do we collectively act to change it? How often do we get together and fight the good fight right here at home, challenging the people, political parties and corporate media chains that play us against each other and assume we’re dumbasses? Yes, some of us fight it more often than others. Sadly, though, we collectively give into it too often and just assume it can’t change. It doesn’t have to be this way. Mississippians have the passion, the creativity, the humor, the hubris and the diversity to be the best state in the country for our people. Sure, we have a ways to go. But considering how awful we were on “the race question” (let’s be frank: the worst and most violent in the nation) just 40 years ago, it’s remarkable the progress we’ve made to date. Let’s be proud of that. It is time to build on that progress. And
we have an incredible generation of young people now—from Lanier to Jackson Academy—who are sick and tired of the way it’s been. They have action-oriented hearts and the hubris to believe they, we, can be the best right here at home. This issue is a tribute to one of them—Craig Noone, J.A. graduate—who not only believed in Jackson’s foodie potential, but rallied all those foodies to help a local institution, Peaches Restaurant, survive. Fortunately, there are others to carry on Craig’s spirit of greatness. Many work, or have worked, right here at the JFP and BOOM Jackson. Last week at our staff meeting, we discussed how our mission at the JFP really comes down to one simple goal: to help Jackson, and Mississippi, be the best. That means that we have been looking for the best—instead of the worst—since our first issue in September 2002. We’ve believed from the start that the best is found, and cultivated, in two groups: local people and local businesses. (Our second issue in 2002 had a huge headline: “Think Global, Shop Local”: a fresh idea then.) We then asked our entire staff to identify and vote for the top ways we help find and promote the best. They chose: (1) Courageous journalism that provides research-based context to important issues; (2) Creating and building community; (3) Helping small local businesses grow; and (4) Telling readers about all the events they can support in Jackson. This week marks the official kickoff of “Best” season in our city. We ran the area’s first Best of Jackson ballot in our very first issue and announced our initial winners 10 years ago this January. We are proud to have been looking for (and expecting) the best in our city and state for 10 years. The Best of Jackson ballot is on page 17 and at bestofjackson.com.
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Driving tour of Oxford and Ole Miss with historian, Jack Mayfield. Tours include stops at two historic homes: the L.Q.C. Lamar House and Cedar Oaks Mansion. Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for children 12 & under. Tour departs from the Skipwith Cottage Visitors Center on the Square, next door to City Hall. For more information, contact the Oxford CVB at 662-232-2477.
Sunday â€˘ November 13th 1:00pm & 2:00pm
NOV. 17 - 20 Mississippi Coliseum jacksonfreepress.com
Tour is Scheduled for:
news, culture & irreverence
Thursday, Nov. 3 Cuba’s communist government announces it will allow people to buy and sell real estate for the first time in more than 50 years. … Gov. Haley Barbour says he voted in favor of the Personhood Initiative by absentee ballot after expressing concerns about the measure earlier in the week. Friday, Nov. 4 The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that unemployment was at 9 percent in October, down slightly from 9.1 percent in September. … AT&T Mississippi president Mayo Flynt defends his company’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile. Sprint and Ridgeland-based C Spire have filed a lawsuit to block the merger. Saturday, Nov. 5 A record-setting 5.6 magnitude earthquake rattles Oklahoma and is felt in six other states. … Supporters and opponents of the controversial Personhood Initiative rally at the state capitol. Sunday, Nov. 6 Vandals pull down a life-size statue of former President Ronald Reagan in a park in California. Police say the vandals might have tried to take the statue to sell as scrap metal. … The University of Missouri announces it will join the SEC.
November 9 - 15, 2011
Monday, Nov. 7 A jury finds Dr. Conrad Murray guilty of involuntary manslaughter in Michael Jackson’s death. … Ole Miss announces that head football coach Houston Nutt will resign at the end of the season after the Rebels lost 12 SEC games in a row.
Tuesday, Nov. 8 A federal appeals court upholds President Barack Obama’s health care law. … Mississippians go to the polls to vote for a new slate of political leaders and make decisions on three ballot initiatives. See coverage at www.jfp.ms. Get news updates at jfpdaily.com.
ichael Williams is the man behind the movie projector at the Russell C. Davis Planetarium. He is responsible for making sure the independent art films and sky shows run on schedule without any technical glitches. The 32-year-old former Jackson State University student and music producer also served five months in jail this year for a felony drug possession charge in 2010. It was the first time he had ever been arrested. Upon his release May 12, Williams worried that he would not be able to find steady employment. That’s when he found out about Jackson’s new Fresh Start program, which helps ex-offenders find jobs and provides other services to them. Ex-offenders in the city will be able to get even more help finding jobs due to a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. The grant will help the city strengthen the Fresh Start program. During the Jackson City Council’s work session Oct. 31, Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. announced the grant for the city program. “A large majority of the crimes being committed now are being committed by people who have a record of previously committing a crime,” Johnson said. “We really need to tend to the ex-offender re-entry issue as a way of preventing crime. Cutting back on recidivism, we think, will be an offshoot of this effort.” In January, the city’s Human and Cul-
by Lacey McLaughlin tural Services Department started the groundwork for Fresh Start with $50,000 from the city’s general fund. The U.S. Department of Justice grant matches the city’s existing funds, and Johnson said he is looking for more funding. “It started off very quietly, because we were just in the planning stages, and we don’t want to build expectations until we have the resources to develop the program,” Jackson Department of Human and Cultural Services Director Michael Raff said. Fresh Start Coordi- Michael Williams is a production technician at the Russell C. nator Karen Quay helps Davis Planetarium.The city hired him through its new Fresh offenders write resumes, Start program that helps ex-offenders find work. coaches them through the interview process and he is lucky, because unlike most offenders, he then refers them to businesses for employ- had an education and job experience. ment based on their skills. To date, the city has “I don’t think my situation is representahired 10 ex-offenders and is helping a total of tive of the average situation,” he said. “I had a 70 ex-offenders find work. The program also pretty good education and background. I just reviews ex-offenders’ case files and vets them got caught up in a couple of bad decisions. before helping them find work. But a lot of guys in there don’t have that.” Before he got a job with the city, Williams Williams said that employers who are said he worried about the stigma an employer CHANCES, see page 7 would face for hiring an ex-offender. He said
Wednesday, Nov. 2 A general strike in Oakland, Calif., turns violent as protesters take over a vacant building and throw rocks. Police respond with tear gas and arrest more than 100 people. … A 10-year-old boy dies after being struck by a car while walking to his school bus in Richland.
Mississippi has reduced traffic fatalities by 25 percent. In 2009, the state had 700 fatal car wrecks, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, down from 931 in 2005.
David Barney was homeless but not impoverished. p8
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“The evil dark side that exists in this world is taking hold. And they’re saying, what we want you want to be able to do is continue to extinguish innocent life. You see, if we could do that, Satan wins.” —Lt. Gov. and gubernatorial candidate Phil Bryant regarding opponents of the Personhood amendment.
Some exotic foods are just plain weird, OK? Though these delicacies are traditional aspects of a region’s culture, we can’t help but be a little grossed out. If you’re an adventurous foodie, try them—at your own risk. • Jellied Moose Nose, popular in Alaska, is said to be like tinned ham. The meat is boiled with onions and garlic and cooled overnight. • Casu Marzu is Sardinian for rotten cheese. Popular, and illegal, in Sardinia, Italy, this cheese is soft from larvae eating the fats in the cheese. The cheese is eaten with the maggots still alive. • Kopi Luwak coffee is red, ripe coffee cherries eaten and excreted by palm civet cats of Indonesia. This exotic coffee sells for $100 to $600 a pound. • Witchetty grub, moth larva, is an Australian treat. This bug is a great source for vitamins and nutrients. • Fried bee larvae and fried grasshoppers are popular in southeast Asia. Insects are abundant and rich in protein. • Eating insects, or entomophagy, is popular in the U.S., too. Folks use cricket and grasshopper salt in recipes across the country. • Pig intestines is a dish cooked all over the world. They’re called chitterlings in the U.S., “Isaw” barbecued in Asia, and mondongo in the Caribbean and Latin America.
news, culture & irreverence
CHANCES, from page 6
concerned about hiring ex-offenders should not rush to judgment, but take applicants on a case-to-case basis. “That should not discount someone from being able to do the work,” he said. “Anybody can fall into a number of circumstances and find themselves in a bad situation or behind bars really easily.” During the Oct. 31 meeting, council President Frank Bluntson and Ward 7 Councilman Tony Yarber expressed concerns that the program was moving too slow. The grant only provides funding for planning, and not for actual implementation of the program. “Since January, there has been a pilot program—that’s 11 months of data that can be looked at. In this situation, it appears that the $50,000 is to just start the program when the program started almost a year ago. It seems like those funds could go to enhance the program instead of start it,” Yarber said. Yarber said he is looking into NAACP
initiative called “ban the box,” which calls for employers to remove the part of a job applications asking applicants if they have ever been convicted of a felony. “The bottom line is, when it comes to getting folks getting out of jail, their empowerment is going be to employment,” he said. Raff said that the additional funding provides resources for the program’s planning, so that it can grow its efforts and make partnerships with existing businesses in the city. He said will continue to help ex-offenders, but he is being cautious about advertising the services before having a strategic plan. “In order to get these large federal grants through the U.S. Department of Justice, you have to have a strategic plan,” Raff said. ... Once we have completed the planning progress, we are more inclined to get more money from the Department of Justice.” Comment at www.jfp.ms.
‘Take Risks; Make Changes’ by Elizabeth Waibel
Public schools do more than educate children. They measure a city’s pride. They reflect community. They predict the social and economic well-being of a city’s future. For 20 years, Parents for Public Schools of Jackson has worked to keep our public schools strong, to empower parents as leaders for positive change, and to engage community support of our public schools.
Join us. For our city. For our children. For our future.
Founding Chapter, Parents for Public Schools, 1989 200 N. Congress, Suite 500, Jackson, MS 39201
COURTESY JIM BARKSDALE
ackson Public Schools has nine last month, and Nolan said the board plans months to hire a new superintendent to meet with them sometime this month. before interim Superintendent Jayne Carol Burger, president and CEO of Sargent’s contract expires in July. United Way of the Capital Area, is one of The district may get some financial the committee members. She plans to host help from Jim Barksdale, a series of meetings prior former president and to the search process to CEO of Netscape. Barksget input from parents dale has offered funds to and other community help find and pay a new leaders about what the superintendent. board should look for in Board President a new superintendent so Kisiah Nolan said she she can take their conreceived a letter from cerns to the board. Barksdale officially offerBurger’s top concern is ing the board financial the district’s dropout rate, help last week, but needs and she said traditional clarification before disways of keeping students Jim Barksdale has offered to cussing with the board. in school will not work. contribute toward JPS’ search JPS board mem- for a new superintendent. “I think we’ve got to find ber George Schimmel somebody who’s willing said last month that he to come in and take risks thought the board would be receptive to and make changes,” she said. “Our presBarksdale’s assistance. He said JPS offers ent system needs to be fixed, and it can’t be one of the higher salaries in the state, but he fixed by the status quo.” does not know how the district’s pay comIn 2009, JPS had a graduation rate of pares to comparable cities in other states. 74.1 percent. This year, however, the gradu“To my knowledge (the district’s sala- ation rate had dropped to 63.6 percent. ries) haven’t been a major difficulty,” he said. Susan Womack, executive director of “... On the other hand, it certainly could be the Greater Jackson chapter of Parents for an issue as we go forward.” Public Schools, is also on the committee. Nolan said the board is looking for a “I think that we really ought to be looking consultant to help with the search and is for somebody with some experience in urworking on a list of qualities needed in a ban school districts and moving an urban new superintendent. After the board hires school district forward,” she said. a consultant, it will set a more specific timeSargent has agreed to serve as superintable for hiring a new superintendent. tendent until July, or until the board hires The school board voted in September a new superintendent. The board hired her to form a Community Advisory Com- last June after voting not to renew thenmittee to get input on the superintendent Superintendent Lonnie Edwards’ contract. search from key stakeholders in the district. Sargent previously served as superintendent JPS announced the committee members of JPS from 1997 until she retired in 2002.
Best Salon & Best Hair Stylist
- 2010 & 2011 Best of Jackson -
by Lacey McLaughlin
Homeless and Boxed In LACEY MCLAUGHLIN
living the below the pover- when comparing Jackson to cities in the surty level and homeless,â€? he rounding suburbs. says. â€œIâ€™m not where I want The study finds population in extremely to be, but Iâ€™m on my way.â€? poor neighborhoods (where 40 percent or Barney, who now lives more of residents live below the poverty line) in Byram, said that he sees in the country rose by one-third over the past individuals on a daily basis 10 years, and southern metro areas reported who feel like they canâ€™t es- a 33 percent increase in growth in the numcape their situation and be- ber of poor individuals in concentrated poor come discouraged. Because areas. The Jackson metro area ranks No. 6 for they have trouble envision- its increase in concentrated poverty for the ing themselves with a job, 100 cities profiled in the Brookings report they are more prone to give with a 12.2 increase. up looking. The city of Jackson had the seventh â€œSome people get boxed highest increase in concentrated poverty in,â€? he says. â€œSome people in the country of the cities profiled at David Barney became homeless in 2010 after paying funeral are allowing themselves to be 22.4 percent. expenses for his parents. He works as a security guard at Stewpot Community Services Opportunity Center. enablers rather than reaching In the Jackson metro area, the concenfor a helping hand.â€? trated poverty rate was 22.7 percent from Individuals who live in 2005 to 2009, compared to inside the city lthough David Barney was homeless neighborhoods where 40 percent or more of limits where the rate was 35.2 percent. The for several months, he never thought residents live below the poverty line are more suburbs had a 10.6 percent rate of poverty. of himself as living in poverty. Barney, likely to face additional burdens and remain The total metro area has 20,892 poor people 43, got laid off from a construction in poverty, reports the Brookings Institution living in extremely poor neighborhoods, and job in 2010, and after both his parents died in its study, â€œThe Re-Emergence of Concen- 4,954 of those people live in the suburbs. within months of each other, he was over- trated Poverty: Metropolitan Trends in the Nationally, the population in extremewhelmed with funeral costs. 2000s,â€? released Nov. 3. The report finds that poverty neighborhoods rose twice as fast in The New Orleans native started sleeping areas of concentrated poverty in the Jackson suburbs as in cities. Historically, pockets of in local shelters and looking for work. He sent area are on the rise, and that these areas cre- extreme poverty have occurred primarily in out several job applications, but had trouble ate additional obstacles and burdens for in- urban areas. The number of extreme-povfinding work. While at Stewpot Community dividuals such as lack of quality education, erty neighborhoods in suburban communiServices Opportunity Center, Barney asked increased crime rates, lower property values, ties grew by 54 percent, compared to cities, Opportunity Center Director Heather Ivery and lack of goods and services. Poverty also which grew at 18 percent. if she was hiring. He soon started working as strains local governments, which is evident Comment at www.jfp.ms. a security guard. â€œShe gave me the opportunity, and I *&0 )NDEX 0OVERTY &ACTORS IN -ISSISSIPPI started working, and now Iâ€™m slowly climbÂ‡+LJKVFKRROJUDGXDWLRQUDWHSHUFHQWFRPSDUHGWRWKHSHUFHQWQDWLRQDODYHUDJH ing up the ladder to the status I was before,â€? Â‡3HUFHQWDJHRI\RXQJDGXOWVDJHVWRZLWKDQDVVRFLDWHÂˇVGHJUHHRUKLJKHUSHUFHQWFRPSDUHGWR Barney says. WKHSHUFHQWQDWLRQDODYHUDJH Â‡:DJHJDSEHWZHHQPDOHDQGIHPDOHZRUNHUVFHQWVHDUQHGE\DZRPDQIRUHYHU\GROODUHDUQHGE\D Barney oversees the day shelter, which 60 PDQGRLQJWKHVDPHMREDVFRPSDUHGWRWKHFHQWVRQWKHGROODUIRUWKHQDWLRQDOUDWH to 100 people use each day. Barney also tries Â‡3HUFHQWDJHRIWKHVWDWHSRSXODWLRQOLYLQJZLWKRXWKHDOWKLQVXUDQFHSHUFHQWFRPSDUHGWRWKH to encourage people who have similar stories, SHUFHQWQDWLRQDOUDWH Â‡1XPEHURIELUWKVE\WHHQDJHUVELUWKVSHUFRPSDUHGWRWKHELUWKVSHUDWWKHQDWLRQDOOHYHO telling them that their situation doesnâ€™t have Â‡1XPEHURIFKLOGUHQOLYLQJLQIRVWHUFDUH to be permanent. Stewpot Community SerÂ‡3HUFHQWDJHRIKRXVHKROGVVWUXJJOLQJZLWKKXQJHUSHUFHQWFRPSDUHGWRSHUFHQWQDWLRQDOUDWH vices offers job training, housing referral serÂ‡3HUFHQWDJHRIXQHPSOR\HGZRUNHUVUHFHLYLQJXQHPSOR\PHQWLQVXUDQFHSHUFHQWFRPSDUHGWRWKH vices, employment opportunities, shelter and SHUFHQWUDWH Â‡3HUFHQWDJHRISHRSOHZLWKRXWFKHFNLQJRUVDYLQJVDFFRXQWVRUÂłXQEDQNHGÂ´SHUFHQWFRPSDUHGWRWKH meals to individuals in need. QDWLRQDOUDWH â€œI never let it set on my mind that I was SOURCE: HALF IN 10 CAMPAIGN
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November 9 - 15, 2011
Vote Counts 8
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Redistricting Redux COURTESY THE MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATIVE
which would cut into the number of blackmajority districts in the House plan floated earlier this year. On the House side, Democratic leaders say the state needs an equitable number of majority-black districts to reflect the state’s high proportion of African American voters (who tend to vote for Democrats). After the Senate refused to approve the House’s second map in May, the NAACP filed a suit in federal court, asking that the court take redistricting out of the hands of the deadlocked Mississippi Legislature and institute a plan reflecting the state’s sizable black population. Every 10 years, states are required to look at their electoral boundaries and redraw the maps to reflect shifts and growth in population. Giving this power to state legislatures means the process is often highly politicized, frequently manipulated by political parties to ensure electoral smoothsailing for their candidates. Common tactics include redrawing districts to concentrate geographically dispersed voters of the same political persuasion into a single district, diluting the strength of a voting bloc by grouping them with a larger group that tends to vote the other way and redrawing the lines around incumbents to force them to run in new districts. Because of the tendency for hyper-politicization of redistricting at the state level, a number of states instead charge bi-partisan commissions with the task. Mississippi is one of 36 states in which the responsibility falls to the state Legislature. The next step for Mississippi will be determined by the outcome of the Nov. 8 election, which was underway as the Jackson Free Press went to press. Rhodes said the issue now falls back to the Legislature, which has until the end of the session to come up with a reapportionment plan. If lawmakers fails to do so by the end of the session, the task falls to a three-judge panel in Washington, D.C., Rhodes said. Comment at www.jfp.ms.
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ississippi’s ongoing battle over redisThe recent redistricting ruling is just the tricting will keep going on at least latest wrinkle in a saga that has been unfoldinto the near future. ing all year long. Last December, before the On Nov. 1, the U.S. Supreme legislative session began, many believed that Court declined to hear an appeal from the redistricting would go smoothly as the state’s Mississippi conference of the NAACP over population grew by just 120,000 individuals the matter. In doing so, between 2000 and 2010. the court affirmed a lower The incremental growth court’s decision to allow rate didn’t stop Missisthe 2011 elections to take sippi politicians from place without having a resquabbling, however. districting plan in place. Over the course of The NAACP called the year, the House, Senthe ruling “unfair,” arguate, Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, ing that allowing the elecSecretary of State Deltion to proceed violates bert Hosemann and the the constitutional prinNAACP all weighed in ciple of one-person onewith plans of their own. vote. “Some voters live in In March, the Redistricts that have twice publican-controlled the population as other Senate and the House, districts,” the NAACP which Democrats consaid in a statement about trol, each shot down the the ruling, vowing to other chamber’s rediscontinue litigating the is- The existing map of Mississippi tricting plan. That same sue, which will be costly House districts. month, the civil-rights to both the NAACP and organization asked a state taxpayers. federal court to convene Carroll Rhodes, the a three-judge panel to NAACP’s attorney, told prevent legislators from the Jackson Free Press this week that with running in their existing districts in the Authe lawsuit, the organization hopes to save gust primaries, claiming that the districts Mississippi taxpayers some money. did not represent black voters equitably. “This is at a time when revenue for the For decades, the House and Senate apstate is dwindling,” he said. If lawmakers reach proved the opposite chamber’s plan without a redistricting agreement in the coming legis- issue in a kind of “gentleman’s agreement,” lative session, Rhodes said it’s possible that a House Speaker Billy McCoy, D-Rienzi, told special election will be held in summer 2012. the Jackson Free Press earlier this year. Such an election, he estimates, could cost anyThis year, however, at Bryant’s urging, where from a couple million dollars to admin- the Senate refused to approve the House ister the election up to the tens of millions in plan multiple times. Bryant argued that the legal fees and candidate fundraising. Having House plan does not create enough new the special election coincide with federal elec- majority-Republican House districts to retions would not only be more cost effective, flect population growth in conservative disaccording to Rhodes, but it would aid African- tricts over the last 10 years. American candidates as black voter turnout is Republicans believed their party should expected to high next year when President have more GOP-tilting districts in the House Barack Obama is up for reelection. to reflect growth in majority-white districts,
by R.L. Nave
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Stateâ€™s Biz Climate Iffy
Gov. Haley Barbour is proud of the job he has done to make the state business friendly.
November 9 - 15, 2011
l Mezquite Bar and Grill has opened for business at 4240 Robinson Road (in the former El Chico site) near Metrocenter Mall. Luther and Magda Reyna own the new restaurant and say it will be different than El Chico. The Reynas plan a grand opening in a couple of weeks. â€œI want the waiters to iron all the kinks out first,â€? Magda Renya said. The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturdays. For information, call 769-251-0745. Best Fried Chicken A recent Yahoo Travel article named Two Sistersâ€™ Kitchen one of the top 10 best fried-chicken restaurants in the United States. The restaurant opened in June 1989 in a his-
New Restaurant, Old Favorite
Small Business Development Centers at the University of Mississippi, gave Barbour high marks for creating a â€œserious but friendly environmentâ€? to do business. He hadnâ€™t seen the CNBCâ€™s climate rankings but said that his agency, which helps people navigate the bureaucratic minefield of setting up a business, is excited about the growth of everything from mom-and-pop stores to sophisticated high-tech firms. Where the state does appear to be holding its ownâ€”at least on CNBCâ€™s business climate surveyâ€”is in the area of work force. For the past two years, Mississippiâ€™s work force has come in at Nos. 20 and 21. One explanation for the strong showing in the work-force category could be that Mississippi has low participation in labor unions, which businesses consider advantageous to their profitability. Barksdale hopes that the â€œbig hairy bodacious ideaâ€? of investment in public education will help to improve the quality of the stateâ€™s work force. Barksdale, the former chief executive officer of Netscape Inc. and a Jackson native, cited new test results that show improvement for Mississippi students in key areas, including math, but says more is needed. â€œA child in poverty needs an A teacher, not an average teacher,â€? said Barksdale, who supports early childhood education, unlike many Republican elected officials. Echoing Barksdale on the importance of education, Bryant called for the creation of new vocational opportunities so that students at risk of dropping out of high school could learn a trade. Bryant said that, if elected governor, his administration would do more to aid businesses by scrutinizing state regulations. â€œIâ€™m going to look at every regulatory agency in the state and if that regulation is hurting businesses, weâ€™re going to see if we canâ€™t do something about it,â€? Bryant said. Comment at www.jfp.ms.
Americaâ€™s Top States for Business Mississippi Rankings, 2008-2011 9EAR 2YHUDOO &RVWRI'RLQJ%XVLQHVV %XVLQHVV)ULHQGOLQHVV :RUN)RUFH (GXFDWLRQ &RVWRI/LYLQJ
by Valerie Wells
State Biz Gets $163.9 M Mississippi businesses got more than $163.9 million in federal government contracts and modifications between Oct. 1, 2010, and Sept. 30, 2011. The U. S. Juicy Drama Opens Small Business Administrationâ€™s Juicy Drama, a womenâ€™s 8(a) and HUBZone programs clothing store, opened Oct. 22 certified these businesses in an in Magnolia Marketplace in Flo- Juicy Drama has effort to allow small businesses moved to Magnolia wood, moving from Dogwood Marketplace in to receive a fair share of the proPlaza. Merchandise includes Flowood. curement pie. dresses and accessories, such as SBAâ€™s 8(a) program helps quirky headbands and novelty small disadvantaged businesses earrings. As part of its opening, Juicy Drama compete in the marketplace. The HUBZone is searching for a model. Anyone interested program helps small businesses in urban and should submit portfolios by this Friday, Nov. rural communities gain preferential access 11. The new store is at 5352 Lakeland Drive, to federal procurement opportunities. Both Suite 300, Flowood. Call 601-672-3240. programs encourage more diversity in the toric two-story home that was built in 1902. Two Sistersâ€™ Kitchen (707 N. Congress St.) is only open for lunch, 11a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday through Friday. For information, call 601-353-1180. COURTESY JUICY DRAMA
ov. Haley Barbour touted his administrationâ€™s probusiness bona fides for the last time in his role as state governmentâ€™s chief executive before a throng of mostly business folks at the Mississippi Economic Councilâ€™s Hobnob event Nov. 2, perhaps engaging in a bit of legacy preservation. Eight years earlier, when the then-lobbyist was seeking the governorship, Barbour noted that he had stood before many of the same folks and said that Mississippi didnâ€™t have to be last. â€œWe can do better,â€? he recalled saying to 2003â€™s hob-nobbers. â€œAnd we are doing better.â€? Several other speakers echoed Barbourâ€™s optimism about the direction of Mississippiâ€™s economy, including gubernatorial candidates Johnny DuPree and Phil Bryant, as well as businessman Jim Barksdale, who keynoted the event. To be sure, the state has seen a number of high-profile economic success stories in recent years. The extent to which Mississippi is a more welcoming place to hang out oneâ€™s shingle than other states is a bigger question. By at least one metric, Mississippi remains in the bottom tier of states when it comes to business friendliness. In CNBCâ€™s Top States for Business survey for 2011, published Oct. 31, Mississippi placed 47th. Mississippiâ€™s ranking, just below West Virginia and ahead of Hawaii, was good enough for next to last, which was also a drop from the same study conducted in 2010 when Mississippi finished at No. 45. Going back even further, Mississippi had rather lacklus-
ter showings in CNBCâ€™s 2009 and 2008 surveys as well with rankings of 45 and 46, respectively. The annual survey scored states on criteria including the cost of doing business, work force, transportation and infrastructure, education, technology and innovation, access to capital and cost of living. While Mississippi finished in the Top 10 in terms of low living costs, it ranked 31st for cost of doing business, tumbling from 11th place in 2010. Still, Barbour, who will be replaced as governor in January, made the case for the business-friendliness of his administration over the past eight years. He cited two other reports that show Mississippi gaining ground in terms of its conduciveness to operating businesses. The first comes from the Fraser Institute, headquartered in Canada, whose 2011 Global Petroleum Survey found Mississippi to be the most attractive place in the world for oil and gas investment (not â€œfor doing energy projectsâ€? in general as the governor suggested in his remarks to the Hobnob). Site Selection, a magazine for economic-development officials and real-estate professionals, picked Mississippiâ€™s business climate as 17th in the nation, ahead of larger states like California, Illinois and New York. Area Development, a magazine for facility-planning consultants, ranked Mississippiâ€™s business climate 9th in the nation in a recent survey released in October. In the same study conducted in September 2010, Mississippi ranked 7th. Barbour touted his record on attracting energy projects, rattling off as proof projects such as the proposedâ€”and controversialâ€”Kemper County lignite coal mine, Chevronâ€™s expansion of its Pascagoula refinery, KiOR bio-fuels and the Twin Creeks Technologies solar manufacturing plant. The departing governor isnâ€™t the only one beating the drum in support of the seeming uptick in business expansion here. Johnny DuPree, the Democratic nominee for governor, bragged that he hasnâ€™t raised taxes in his 10 years as mayor of Hattiesburg. As a result of increasing government efficiency, Hattiesburg is the only city in the state to have one of the best neighborhoods in the U.S., according to the American Planning Association. And while some areas languish from brain drain resulting from the exodus of young, educated professionals, DuPree quoted Census figures showing that the 24- to 29-year-old segment of his cityâ€™s population grew 27 percent over the past decade. Robert Forster, chief operating officer of the Mississippi
marketplace and help struggling companies succeed and learn to stand on their own. Mississippi has 47 firms in the 8(a) program and 235 certified companies in the HUBZone program. The agency wants to increase the number of firms and types of industries in these programs, according to a news release. SBA also introduced its WomenOwned Small Business certification program on Feb. 4, 2011, aimed at expanding federal contracting opportunities for women-owned small businesses and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses. The firm must be at least 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more women, and primarily managed by one or more women. For information, call 601-965-4378 or visit SBAâ€™s website (sba.gov/ms).
opining, grousing & pontificating
ov. Haley Barbour has long been bullish on Mississippi’s business environment, announcing every new business his administration brings into the state—large and small—and every new development with great fanfare. Like every governor in the nation, he knows that job creation is on his constituents’ minds, and he’s been busy making sure every Mississippian knows how hard he’s working to get that job done. The governor gives away lots and lots of goodies to companies who want to put down roots in the Magnolia State. Just say the word, and the state will hand your business all kinds of incentives to open or expand your business here—from infrastructure improvements to exempting your company from state income taxes to creating a legal atmosphere that is heavily skewed to favor corporations. Barbour understands that in a world where business is king and jobs are manna from heaven, this is how states play the game of business. He’s a master. But beyond Barbour’s cheerleading lies a state full of people with little to offer a modern, high-tech operation. Our prospects are not particularly bright when it comes to attracting companies that are looking for an educated, healthy and highly skilled work force. If you’re looking for factory workers, Mississippi is the place to be. If you’re looking for knowledge workers, not so much. As R.L. Nave’s story on page 10 points out, Mississippi is in the absolute bottom tier of states as far as being attractive for business. Look a little closer at what makes a state a good place to operate a thriving 21st-century business, and an educated work force is high on the list. Yet schools haven’t been high on Gov. Barbour’s list of priorities. In another story in this issue, Lacey McLaughlin looks at poverty in the Jackson area. Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. announced a program to find jobs for former offenders and reduce recidivism. That program looks at individual needs to resolve larger problems of crime in the city. We think that’s the right approach: Begin with the individual to fix big societal problems, one human being at a time. It may be the only way something ever really gets accomplished, from the bottom up. As long as our leadership insists on looking at every problem from a 10,000-foot view, we’ll continue to get solutions that focus from the top down. Of course Mississippians need jobs. But like Ronald Reagan’s trickledown economics, top-down corporatism has failed to work in the long term. It’s time Mississippi puts its emphasis on building our future through early childhood education and other programs that focus on individual people. And the best time to start is now.
Oh Lord Have Mercy
November 9 - 15, 2011
sychologist Judy McBride: “Dr. Silas P. Rathbone asked me to counsel the newly unemployed and unskilled workers who use the services of the ‘Oh Lord Have Mercy I Really Need a Good Paying Job Center for Unemployment.’ He also informed me that most of you suffer from Post Traumatic Unemployed Stress Disorder. “What you are experiencing today is part of a 30-year plan to render you helpless, hopeless and compliant. A lot of you wished you saw this plan coming. But how could you be forewarned when you were too mesmerized by the greed aspect of capitalism? You waited anxiously for the money to trickle down into your consuming hands, only the government gave tax breaks to wealthy folk and too-big-to-fail corporations. You fell for that trick and are now treated like economic outcasts undeserving of a good education, job, home or life. “I realize that your current situation is hard to take, but do not be despondent. Remember that life is a period of adjustments. I suggest you adjust by becoming critical thinkers and challenging the motives of predatory capitalism. Also, think about acquiring the skills you need to get back to work and readjust your traumatized and stress-filled life. “I know it’s like a jungle sometimes, but allow me, Dr. Rathbone, and the dedicated staff of the ‘Oh Lord Have Mercy I Really Need a Good Paying Job Center for Unemployment’ show you how to keep from going 12 under. Ah huh-huh-huh!”
Let’s Talk, Dems
ey, Mississippi Democratic Party: Can we talk? We’ve heard some pretty strong accusations that you aren’t as powerful as you used to be. In fact, a few folks are whispering that you’ve become a shell of your former self. You’re reeling right now and on the verge of becoming irrelevant. Unless you guys are prepared to do some innovative, out-of-the-box renovating and planning, I fear your days ahead will be more difficult. Let’s start with your most recent underwhelming performances. In 2011, Democrats failed to field a candidate in all of the state races. Can we say that not having Democratic challengers in the lieutenant governor’s, secretary of state’s or auditor’s races is a travesty? The lone Democrat in state office, Attorney General Jim Hood, faced formidable opposition that forced him to campaign much harder than he should have had to. What you are witnessing is a well-oiled machine making clearly calculated moves. At work is an obvious grooming and mentoring process and a hierarchy put in place long before an election year comes around. I defy you to tell me that it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that Lt. Gov Phil Bryant was primed to take Barbour’s place. Convince me that Tate Reeves wasn’t groomed to rise to Bryant’s old job once Bryant became governor. On your side of the aisle, Democrats appear to be getting their candidates by pure happenstance. Sure, Johnny DuPree, the first black Democratic nominee for governor, generated a lot of excitement. He ran a magnificent, history-making campaign, but methinks he excelled in spite of, and not because of, the state Democratic Party. The party rolled out celebrity names like Morgan Freeman and Bill Cosby—icons indeed, but about as politically relevant to this new generation of voters
as Howdy Doody. Then you bring Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz here to stump for DuPree. That went off with a whimper, didn’t it? In contrast, the Bryant campaign brought down the proverbial house by bringing in New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, perhaps the hottest Republican in the country. Advantage: Republicans. Over the past two years nearly 30 state Democrats have switched parties. You’ve callously taken the black vote for granted. You’ve watched the more liberal left run off the moderate Dems. Most importantly, you’ve done a poor job of mentoring and grooming new talent. The long-term viability of the state Democratic Party hinges on your ability to introduce fresh, capable faces to the political landscape. I suggest you start looking to municipalities and counties for talent and begin developing a long-term strategy (if you haven’t already) that will help you win this chess game that you’re currently losing. Out-ofthe-box thinking is in order. You may dismiss this as harsh, but it’s criticism long overdue. I was once an ardent Democrat but am now Independent. I vote person not party. I’ve lost faith in the Dems’ ability to woo voters in this state. It’s time for the old guard to go, from top to bottom. You’ve done a noble job, but it’s time for someone else to take the helm. If this were a football team, the head coach and his staff would have been fired months ago. So, state Democratic Party: good talk. I hope you were taking heed. I’m only saying what many have been secretly saying for the past year. As it stands, I see us inaugurating Tate Reeves as governor of Mississippi in 2020, or maybe sooner if you’re not careful. And that’s the truth ... sho-nuff.
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first met Craig Noone at 2 a.m. in a bar. I suppose thatâ€™s not surprising. It was fall 2009, and he had recently moved back to Jackson to open his dream restaurant. A couple of months earlier, I received an email from Downtown Jackson Partners President Ben Allen introducing Craig so that he could get involved in Jackson. I had corresponded with him via email, but I didnâ€™t meet him in person until the night he wandered into Underground 119 at closing time. As the staff cleaned up, we sat at the bar along with Matt Allen (Benâ€™s son), talking about our hopes for the city to which weâ€™d all returned after leaving for a while. I went home that night without a doubt in my mind that Craig would do something big here. The next day, I started telling people, â€œThereâ€™s this guy opening a restaurant downtown, and itâ€™s going to be amazing.â€? But beyond that, I knew this would be more than just a restaurant. Craig was someone Jackson needed, and I knew I would work with him to change this city. I told him so, and from that day until a few weeks ago, we talked every single day about just that. When Craig said Parlor Market was his dream restaurant, he wasnâ€™t lying. He threw himself into the project with a laser focus. Watching the processâ€”from the details of the buildout to assembling his teamâ€”was nothing short of exhilarating. As he built that restaurant, he also built a community. The excitement for what he was doing and his love of Jackson and her people was contagious. He convinced rockstar chefs to move here from other states to be a part of it. They came and grew to love this place, too, and they created a restaurant family. But Craig didnâ€™t stop there. He helped other restaurantsâ€”through collaboration and helping them find new talentâ€”and in doing so, helped contribute to a sense of camaraderie and community in a rather competitive industry. Craigâ€™s spirit extended to each person he encountered. â€œI like to make people happy,â€? he said quite simply. Whether it was the highest-end customer or James, one of our neighborhood homeless people whom he invited to a birthday dinner, Craig treated each person as a special guest. He loved to make people feel comfortable and cared for; he was always doing something for someone else. That extended to his friends, his staff and strangers. Knowing that he always had the best intentions made it easy for people to believe in him and want to be a part of his efforts. As a result, he succeeded with ideas
no one had attempted in Jackson before. Craig didnâ€™t just have vision. He had confidence that we were ready for things others might not have thought would take holdâ€”be it fine dining downtown, pop-up restaurants or certain proteins on the menu. He taught us that doing what you love, and doing it well, makes people trust you and want to go with you on your journey. Craig was always thinking about what was nextâ€”the next pop up, the next iteration of the menu, the next restaurant, the next publication, the next event to plan. That constant movement, always striving to do more, to push to be the best and keep getting better, is something Iâ€™ll remember. It raised the bar. He expected the best of himself and of everyone around him. As anyone who has spent a late night out with him can attest, Craig did everything full throttle. From getting the perfect green suit and accessories for Malâ€™s St. Paddyâ€™s Parade, dressing up to go out after the restaurant closed on Cinco de Mayo or donning a Great Scott suit for a fancy occasion, he never did anything halfway. He was always late as a result, but did he ever make an entrance and an impression. Which brings me back to that bar at 2 a.m. I knew from that first night I met Craig that Jackson would never be the same as a result of his being here. None of us lucky enough to know him, even for a little while, will be the same. He gave all he hadâ€”physically, mentally, financiallyâ€”for Jackson. He loved being part of something bigger than himself, and he had the ability to bring that out in others, and thatâ€™s the true mark of a visionary leader. Dining at Parlor Market is a grand culinary experience, yes, but itâ€™s also part of a movement. Craig had a glorious full year of running his dream restaurant. For that, I am thankful. For the chance to know him, I am beyond grateful. By what he did here and for what he taught us, I am humbled. And for the diverse group of talented people he brought together, with whom I will work and play for years to come as we continue to do it all for Jackson, I am energized. May you rest in peace and be proud of your beloved Jackson, sweet friend. Julie Skipper writes the Girl About Town feature for the JFP. She is an associate at Watkins Development, LLC, and is a proud resident of downtown. Julie graduated from Millsaps College and Vanderbilt University Law School.
Craigâ€™s spirit extended to each person he encountered.
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Editor in Chief Donna Ladd Publisher Todd Stauffer
Unfinished Business Friends Unite to Continue Chef’s Vision by Tom Ramsey
November 9 - 15, 2011
eople leave unfinished business. Sometimes ton if there was anything we could do. They were wading to town for Craig’s visitation and funeral, the King Edthey just move on to other projects. Or they through papers trying to sort out the responsibilities they ward’s chef, Nick Wallace, assembled an ad-hoc team made meet with tragedy, leaving others to complete would soon be shouldering. up of him, Chef Deon Hence (of Rust in Clarksdale) and the unfinished business. It is the living who “We’ve got a wedding to cater in New Orleans next Levi Minyard (University Club, Oxford). The Steel Chef follow through on these unfinished dreams, week, and I don’t have a clue what we are doing. Not to committee turned the competition into a “tribute exhibiplans and business. They are the tion dinner in honor of Craig Noone,” and the ones who can help define the life evening went off without a hitch. of the deceased and leave an undying legacy. The wedding that needed sorting was for It is a cruel twist of fate that those who perish Craig’s friend, fellow chef and former colleague in medio cannot see their work come to fruiPatrick Tague and his bride in New Orleans. tion or control how or by whom the end of the The PM crew was going to prep everything in symphony is written. Jackson and head down to New Orleans on When the torch of unfinished works is Halloween day to finish off the cooking and lifted and carried through to the end, much is serve the wedding guests. said about the one who fell, but much more Craig had worked it out in his head, but can be said about those who remain. had yet to share all of the details with everyone Therein also hides a trap. Those carrying else on the team. Between handwritten notes on the unfinished business must walk a fine and Facebook, Ryan, Jesse and the Parlor Marline of honoring those who have passed withket crew were able to piece it all together and out sacrificing their own dreams, goals and follow through. Sensing the difficulty, emotionplans. It can all get a bit messy. ally and logistically, for the Parlor Market staff, Two weeks ago, in an instant of tragedy, Mr. Tague and his bride-to-be offered to let the I lost a friend. My loss paled in comparison guys off the hook. But, according to Ryan, they to the loss of others—those who lost a son, felt “emotionally obligated to follow through.” a business partner, a sibling, a lover, a boss, a To make this happen, Ryan and Jesse companion, and the list goes on. But in a larger wound up packing their knives and making community sense, all of us who want to see the trek south. Since almost everything was Jackson move ahead lost an agent of change. done, they just provided a couple more sets of When Craig Noone died in a car accident early talented hands to make the reception happen Oct. 14, he left unfinished business. according to Craig’s original menu. Since Craig’s accident, many people have South Jackson native Craig Noone ran his dream restaurant for one impressive “Really, we could have let them handle it been asking “what will happen next?” This is year. He died early the morning of Oct. 14 in a car accident. Here he poses as a all,” Jesse echoed. “But it was nice seeing Craig’s BOOM Jackson Young Influential in 2010 on the roof of the King Edward. where dreams end and a legacy begins. picture on the remembrance table, and Patrick truly appreciated us being there.” Following Through On the morning of Oct. 14, I joined a group of the mention that we are supposed to compete in Steel Chef The New Helps the Old Parlor Market family and the close-knit Jackson restaurant Monday night,” Ryan answered. Parlor Market started the trend of “pop-up” restaufamily as we shared hugs, tears and disbelief. As people The Steel Chef competition was not quite as big a rants in Jackson with PM Steak on March 21. Essentially, do at these times, I asked chefs Ryan Bell and Jesse Hous- knot to unravel as the wedding. Since so many chefs came the entire restaurant (the menu, the décor and the name)
changed for one night and one night only. Parlor Market was transformed into an oldschool steak house with classic salads, simple appetizers, hearty side dishes and big-asyour-head cuts of meat. PM Burger, PM Taco and PM BBQ followed, each one more successful than the previous one. Jackson residents rapidly warmed to a national trend, and lots of people headed downtown on Monday nights with crowds swelling from 100 to 400, 600 and eventually 1,200-plus. Popups were great for business, and the idea spread. The restaurant where I work, Underground 119, launched an Italian pop-up just the month after PM Burger and did a Cuban pop-up concept on Halloween, both to great success. A few weeks before he died, Craig and I discussed other pop-up concepts we were considering and looked at different dates so as not to step on each otherâ€™s toes. It was then he told me about his next big project ... PM Soul. This one would be a little different and actually take place at Peaches on Farish Street instead of at Parlor Market with the proceeds from the sale of the food going toward much needed repairs on the Peaches
facility (an idea he got from Walter Zinn). Craig wanted to remain true to the pattern of the other â€œPMâ€? concepts. The idea was to take traditional soul food and ramp it up to dizzying heights. The Peaches event was scheduled for less than 30 days from the day of Craigâ€™s death, and the planning was still unfinished. When Jesse and Ryan saw all the food other restaurants were sending them that sad Friday morning (most of it comfort food), they decided it would be a great tribute to Craig to have all these different places add something to the menu and create new relationships between distinct groups of people, all of whom are connected by their choice of profession. â€œWe had all of these people coming up to us and saying â€˜what can we do?â€™ and I just came out and said it. â€˜You can take some of this burden off of me and really help the communityâ€™ by being part of PM Soul,â€? Jesse said. When the call went out for help, it was immediately answered with a resounding â€œYES!â€? To date, 10 restaurants have agreed to donate food for the event that will be held Monday, Nov. 14. (The JFP signed on as a
Looking for Miracles Craigâ€™s first love was athletics, particularly baseball. He was the all-time homerun leader in the history of Jackson Academy. Before the door of Parlor Market ever opened to the public, Craig was working to bring Miracle League to Jackson. This nonprofit organization enables disabled children to participate in the sport of baseball. The Miracle League fields are constructed to allow for wheelchairs, walkers and other disability aids. Each player gets the opportunity to bat, field and score and no one, regardless of physical or mental condition, is denied the experience of participating in a team sport. Ryan Bell told me that he and Craig (both sports fanatics) talked at length about how great it would be to bring Miracle League to Mississippi. They had started the paperwork, joined the national organization and had hoped to start raising money for the construction of a field early next year. â€œOf all of Craigâ€™s big dreams and crazy ideas, this is the one I feel most attached to,â€? Ryan said. â€œWhen people started talk-
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305 North Congress Street Jackson, MS 601-353-9691 English 601-362-3464 Spanish www.gallowayumc.org
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Craig Nooneâ€™s right-hand chefsâ€”Jesse Houston (front center) and Ryan Bell (right in other striped apron)â€”are leading a dedicated staff trying to keep the Parlor Market dream alive.
sponsor as well.) The sale of tickets, coupled with the donated food, will have a serious impact on Peaches that no single fundraiser could accomplish. â€œItâ€™s taking the â€˜soulâ€™ part of this â€˜soul foodâ€™ quite literally,â€? Jesse said. This piece of unfinished business will get wrapped up neatly when the event takes place Nov. 14. The PM team will serve two meals: lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and dinner from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The price of admission ($15 lunch, $25 dinner) will include food and entertainment. Julie Skipper, part of the Farish Street redevelopment team, a JFP columnist and a friend of Craigâ€™s, is pleased to see this event go on in the spirit he had envisioned. â€œWeâ€™re excited to see such an outpouring of support for one of our tenants coupled with the opportunity to showcase the Farish Street community. Peaches has been here for a long time, and we want to do whatever we can do to help them stay a vibrant part of Farish Streetâ€™s future,â€? she said.
Unfinished Business, from page 15
ing about giving to a charity in lieu of flowers, I immediately started thinking about Miracle League.â€? The project is ambitious, to say the least. They will need 4 acres of land and about $300,000 to see it through, but they have already started negotiations with different non-profit organizations to help them through the maze of grants, regulations and fundraising. When I spoke with Craigâ€™s mother, Sharon, she summed it up beautifully: â€œI really canâ€™t think of a better way for Craig to be remembered than by helping disabled children play the game he loved. He just had a heart of gold and loved children.â€? An account has been established at Trustmark to receive donations, which can be mailed to: Miracle League c/o Parlor Market, 115 W. Capitol St., Jackson, MS 39201. Rockinâ€™ It Out Craigâ€™s vision for Jackson didnâ€™t end at his own restaurant. While Parlor Market was under construction, Craig and I had the luxury of spending some evenings hanging out and talking about the culinary scene in Jackson and where we thought it was going. Over the past few years, Jackson has transformed itself into a budding foodie community. Old-guard restaurants like
Congratulations to Our Staff Award Winners Falcon Award
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Lacey McLaughlin News Editor
Kick Ass Award
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Freelancer of the Month
November 9 - 15, 2011
[Chosen by the Editorial Staff]
Stuart Ramsey, the authorâ€™s son and a foodie himself, got a â€œRock It Outâ€? tattoo in Craig Nooneâ€™s honor. Heâ€™s not the only one.
such as Derek Emerson of Walkerâ€™s and Local 463, have had the opportunity to more fully explore their culinary talents in ways that didnâ€™t seem possible 10 years ago. All of this change was occurring when
Craig arrived on the scene, and he fit right in. As he brought in his team for Parlor Market, he also helped to recruit chefs into the restaurants of his new friends. Chefs at several local restaurants such as Mint and Babalu came to Jackson as part of Craigâ€™s effort to recruit talent into the market. To continue this effort, the Mississippi Restaurant Association has established the Craig Noone â€œRock It Out!â€? Memorial Scholarship, named for a phrase he would shout when giving a toast, starting a dinner service or any other opportunity. Itâ€™s a phrase so associated with Craig that several service industry friends of Craigâ€™s (including my son and me) have had it permanently affixed as tattoos. The $5,000 scholarship will assist one culinary student each year to pay for culinary school, so long as that student maintains a 3.0 GPA. Get information at www. msra.org. Tending the Store Not all unfinished business is as glamorous as building ball fields or raising money for scholarships. Some unfinished business is just, well, business. Parlor Market had just held its first anniversary party with the fourth pop-up concept, PM BBQ. By no
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Nickâ€™s have started a migration to newer and fresher dishes. As consumers become accustomed to new tastes, restaurateurs and chefs, TOM RAMSEY
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November 9 - 15, 2011
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Unfinished Business, from page 16
means was the restaurant on autopilot. The idea for Parlor Market was conceived as a team effort. Although Craig was a well-trained and accomplished chef in his own right, he assembled a culinary team to carry out his vision while he transitioned from the dining room to the kitchen and back again. Craig may have been the face of Parlor Market, but the muscle and the bones were the team operating behind the scenes. Craig recruited an all-star line up from the beginning and trusted them enough to stay out of their way when things were working properly. Between Jesse and Ryan in the kitchen, Elise Erhardt and Jenny Breaux on the floor, and Robert Arender, John Ingram and Steve Oâ€™Neill behind the bar, Craig could afford to take a little time away from the business on occasion because the team was and is fully capable of running the show. Although his charm is missed, and he no longer weaves through the crowd â€œtouching tablesâ€? as we say in the restaurant business, his team continues his vision. Jesse and Ryan recently sat down with me over a Cuba Libre and a cold Southern Pecan and talked about the origins and the future of Parlor Market. â€œThe concept has always been and always will be to educate. That is not about to change,â€? Jesse told me. â€œCraig put a lot of trust in people, maybe too much. And that can be both a blessing and a curse. We know his vision was to keep the menu constantly changing, but we have to do that in a way that stays true to the reasons we opened this place to begin with,â€? Ryan explained. In talking with them, I could feel the awesome burden they are shouldering. They have a thriving business that is missing one of its main ingredients, and they feel the need, even the obligation to make it great. And here is where that balancing act comes into play: Parlor Market was a team effort and the team is still marching on. I can say without a doubt that the food is every bit as great as it was the last dozen times Iâ€™ve put my feet under their tables. This result is by design. Jesse and Ryan were in charge of the
kitchen the month, week and day before Craig died, and they still are today. They know the vision they shared, and they know how to execute it. The burden they feel is to keep it fresh without giving off the impression that they are leaving Craig out of the picture. Their entire concept is seasonal and fresh, so they canâ€™t memorialize their lost friend in the menu. They have to do it by continuing to innovate, create and educate. COURTESY PARLOR MARKET
Craig Noone (left) with Parlor Market chefs Jesse Houston and Karl Gorline (in hat).
There will be a thousand times when someone will think or say, â€œHow would Craig have done this?â€? or â€œCraig would have done it differently.â€? And they may be right, but what they should really be thinking is, â€œCraig had the foresight to surround himself with people who shared his culinary and customer-service values.â€? These guys didnâ€™t agree on everything before Craig died. Quite the contrary: They had heated arguments about many, many things because they shared such passions. It would be almost insulting to Craigâ€™s memory for them to now slip into some type of gastronomic memorial sacrificing the talents of those left behind to carry the torch. I think Jesse said it best when he told
me: â€œParlor Market has always been about pushing the boundaries of seasonal, southern, local cooking and great service. It always will be. By looking forward while not forgetting our roots, we can look our customers in the eye and say that Parlor Market will continue to honor reasons we opened the door in the first place.â€? I may miss my friend, but I look forward to my next meal at his restaurant. The Legacy Occasionally, the unfinished business of great people can become their legacy. Gilbert Stuartâ€™s portrait of George Washington was never finished, yet that image went on to become the most viewed face of our first president, gracing the front of the one-dollar bill. Mozartâ€™s â€œRequiem,â€? Gaudiâ€™s Sagrada Familia, Schubertâ€™s 8th Symphony, Da Vinciâ€™s â€œGran Caravelloâ€? and Coleridgeâ€™s â€œKubla Khanâ€? are further examples of the great, unfinished works left behind with the question of â€œwhat if.â€? To me, their limbo is part of their beauty. There is so much promise in the voidâ€”so much to dream about, so much to hope for. Janis Joplinâ€™s â€œMercedes Benzâ€? was a hastily recorded â€œreference trackâ€? that her band was going to use when recording the instrumental portions of the song. When they were done, Joplin would have laid down the final vocals while listening to the recorded instruments. She never got that chance, but we got to hear raw talent and pure joy. The next time you head down to Capitol Street for whatever the team at Parlor Market are dishing out, slip the album â€œPearlâ€? into your CD player and hit track 8. As you hear that sexy, Texas twang belting out her pleas, listen closely to the background. Youâ€™ll hear the metronome clicking away as the only accompaniment. Keep singing it to yourself and tap the floor with the sound track in your head as you order â€œCraigâ€™s Late Night Pork Bellyâ€? and savor each bite. Now that is some unfinished business we want to keep around for a long time. Parlor Market is at 115 W. Capitol St. Visit its website at parlormarket.com.
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hen Wilora “Peaches” Ephram opened Peaches Restaurant in 1961, she had $45 in her pocket. She took that money and cooked hotdogs for her first customers until she made enough of a profit to start buying vegetables and meats to make the restaurant’s famous soul-food plates. The restaurant, located at 327 N. Farish St., is a crucial part of Jackson’s history. During the civil rights era, Peaches fed the movement’s leaders, many of whom had offices on Farish Street. In 2008, President Barack Obama stopped at Peaches while campaigning in Jackson. Although Peaches is a simple restaurant that prides itself on treating customers like they are family, keeping its doors open for so long hasn’t been easy. On Thursday, Nov. 3, Wilora’s son Roderick, who now manages the restaurant, talked about the business’ challenges as he helped himself to a plate of fried chicken, yams and black-eyed peas. When the Farish district began to deteriorate in the early 1980s, Wilora struggled to make ends meet. She began using her Social Security check to pay the bills. She refused to raise her prices for meals, and today, customers can purchase a plate lunch for only $6. “She never thought about herself,” Roderick Ephram said. In 1996, Roderick took over the restaurant after Wilora suffered a heart attack. At 87 years old, she still comes by the restaurant most days to eat lunch and talk to customers. “When I took over, the only amount of money she was able to transfer over to me was $150,” Ephram said. “But at least she had established a very positive name. It wasn’t about the money. We have no business loans and no major equipment costs. For the last 10 years, we have been operating on the cash flow that we make day to day.” Ephram said his mother has dreamed of someday owning the property where the restaurant sits. The Jackson Redevelopment Authority owns it, and developer David Watkins sublets it to Peaches as part of the Farish Street Entertainment District. Peaches had special meaning for the late Parlor Market Executive Chef Craig Noone, who died Oct. 14 in a car accident on Capitol Street. He would often come and make soul food with Roderick in the kitchen. Noone appreciated “cooking from the gut,” which Roderick describes as using basic ingredients and elbow grease instead of machinery. “He said this is how he was trained in culinary school,” Roderick said of Noone. “He just took off with it, and said he wanted to do something for us.” In the weeks before his death, Noone
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Wilora “Peaches” Ephram (left) and her son Roderick Ephram have made Peaches Restaurant a Jackson staple, but it hasn’t always been easy. You can help them out.
was helping organize a pop-up restaurant at Peaches called PM Soul. The idea was that Parlor Market and Peaches staff members would come together to serve soul food and raise money for Peaches for one night. The event took on a greater sense of meaning after Craig died and is now scheduled for Nov. 14—marking the one-month anniversary of his death. “Craig had so many ideas. He walked all behind the counter and in the kitchen, talking about ways we could modernize this place,” Roderick said. “We have never had no one come down here and talk about doing a fundraiser, and we have been open 50 years.” Although the restaurant doesn’t have a lot of kitchen equipment, Roderick said he’d like to purchase coolers so that he can also serve salads. Peaches also needs roof repairs and other renovations such as upgrading its booths. Watkins has also promised to do renovations when the second block of Farish Street Entertainment District comes online. As Roderick talked about the future of Peaches, Watkins and his business partner Jason Goree emerged from a booth after finishing a lunch meeting. “We are moving and progressing, and we are going to get there. They have been patient, and I’m sure they will be for a little while longer,” Watkins said about Peaches. Renovations and repairs aside, Roderick hopes that the fundraiser will bring together the community and draw attention to Farish’s history. “I think it will generate attention and, hopefully, it will bring people back and help them realize the importance of supporting Farish Street,” he said. Peaches (327 N. Farish St.) is open Monday through Saturday at 6:30 a.m. (times vary for closing). It serves breakfast each of those days until 11 a.m. Call 601354-9267.
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What Craig Taught Me by Jesse Houston COURTESY PARLOR MARKET
of crowds. But during Craig’s interrogation process, he made me feel comfortable, and it seemed that he genuinely cared about who I was and where I have been and what I have done with my life. He told me this was the southern way. It wasn’t long before we realized we had both moved from our homes and gone to the same culinary school in Austin, Texas: the Texas Culinary Academy, now renamed the Le Cordon Craig Noone (left) taught friend and fellow chef Jesse Bleu College of Culinary Arts Houston a valuable lesson about dealing with people. Austin. (Craig and I both hated this name change, as we were met Craig Noone the summer of 2008 proud TCA Alumni). at Stephan Pyles Restaurant in Dallas, What a small world! He graduated the Texas. I had just graduated from culi- year before me and had been working for nary school in Austin, moved back to The Ritz-Carlton in Dallas as a prep cook. Dallas and landed a dream job working for He went in at 7 a.m., cleaned lobsters, my then-culinary idol, Stephan Pyles, at peeled potatoes (he was the self-proclaimed his flagship restaurant in the arts district fastest potato peeler of all time) and credowntown. After a stage and an interview, ated lunch specials. He then was at Stephan they put me to work in the oyster and tapas Pyles by 3:30 in the afternoon to work the bar, front and center, right in the middle of ceviche station. the restaurant. Caroline Hodges Peters worked the With a mountain of ice in front of oyster bar with us as well. It wasn’t long beme and a roaring wood-burning pizza oven fore Craig was probing her with questions behind me, I had to wear a silly black hat and, before you know it, they were busy and shuck oysters for guests sitting at the talking about how they were both from counter. Every once in a while, I had to Jackson, and quickly naming their mutual turn around and check to make sure I wasn’t friends, alma maters, favorite Mississippi burning a pizza in the 700-degree oven while restaurants and chefs, and all other things answering questions about the menu. But Jackson, which might as well have been what kept me busiest was making ceviche. China to me. They were both surprised and The menu offered eight different cevi- maybe downright offended that I had never ches (nine if you included the special signa- been to Jackson, or even Mississippi. Boy, ture ceviche only available to VIP guests and did I have a lot to learn. those who purchased the expensive tasting As our months on the ceviche and menu), everything from tuna to scallops, tapas station went by, Craig and I got to shrimp to hamachi, sea bass and salmon know one another extremely well. He told and, of course, lobster. I could probably me that he couldn’t sleep after his 16-hour make them in my sleep. days and hour-long commute because he After my first week on the ceviche sta- was spending the few last precious hours tion, a new guy was hired and assigned to compiling menu ideas, saving recipes, rework with me because it was a two-man searching the country’s top restaurants and operation, sometimes three on a really busy chefs, paying very close attention to the night. He enthusiastically introduced him- James Beard Awards and planning to evenself to me as Craig Noone from Jackson, tually turn all this stuff into a restaurant of Miss., and during his training, began to ask his own in Jackson. questions about where I was from, where I He would drive to Jackson on his days went to school, who my family was and if I off to look for places to put his restaurant, played any ball. talk to potential investors and do more reI am actually pretty shy when it comes search. While mixing tiny bowls of exotic to getting to know people on an intimate ceviche, we would collaborate on ideas and basis. I get kind of nervous when introduced recipes and menu items, and I told him that to people, and I’ve often been told I can be when he was ready to open his restaurant, rude—sometimes very rude. I don’t mean I would help him do it, even though I had it, and I can’t say I was raised that way be- never been to Jackson, or Mississippi, or recause my dad loves to ask questions and get to know who you are. For some odd reason, LESSON, see page 24 I’m actually much more comfortable in front
Craig Ashton Noone August 12, 1979 - October 14, 2011
May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand. ~ Ancient Irish Blessing
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