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December 14 - 20, 2011

jacksonian

VOL.

1 0 N O . 14

contents JERRICK SMITH

CAMILLE MOENKHAUS

6 Mired in Quagmire The JRA has reworked a deal for a proposed hotel development, but faces a Dec. 31 deadline. WILLIAM PATRICK BUTLER

Cover photograph Courtesy Heather McTeer

31

THIS ISSUE: Esperanza

The annual Esperanza Plantation Holiday Showcase at the Pix Capri features top musical talent. FILE PHOTO

gene moore The site also provides inspirational stories of how people have overcome or learned to live with their health problems. Moore does most of the work for yourhealthnote.com, but various physicians and health professionals donate their time. He has a few corporate sponsors, but mostly it is Moore’s passion and vision to provide a service to his fellow Mississippians that keeps the operation alive. “I am totally committed, regardless if I am the only one,” he says. After graduating from Summer Hill High School in Clinton, Moore, now 53, attended Jackson State University and graduated with a degree in mass communications in 1980. Moore and his wife, Toni, met at JSU. They’re married 27 years now, and spent 1980-1996 away from the Jackson area working in Illinois, North Carolina and Memphis, Tenn., before returning to Jackson. “Jackson is home,” he says of his decision to take the position with WJTV-12. “Jackson has great potential; Memphis struggled and has become a great city, and Jackson reminds me of Memphis in those days.” Moore has two children, Kiana and Kandis, 25 and 20 respectively. The girls attended Callaway High School followed by Tougaloo College, where the youngest still is. Kiana is now a teacher in Crystal Springs. “They are the joy of my life,” Moore says. —Richard Coupe

37 Cookin’ Up Christmas This year, let someone else cook the spread while you relax and enjoy friends and family.

41 Hooked Our Girl About Town makes plans to “hook up” and bakes some fancy cupcakes to boot.

jacksonfreepress.com

Gene Moore is a chaser of dreams and determined to do what he can to leave the world a better place. In 2003, he left his position as the news director for WJTV-12 to start his own business, T-KAM Video Production. “No weddings,” he says with a wry smile. “We provide legal video services for corporations and law firms.” In the back of his mind, Moore always had a desire to use his skills to improve the lives of his fellow Mississippians. After many years of observing the serious health problems of those around him, he developed an idea to use the knowledge and experience he had gained after a career in TV news and video production. In January 2011, while maintaining his production company, he began a project to provide a resource to improve the quality of life. Service is a way of life for the Moores. His wife, Toni, works for Hudspeth Regional Center, an inpatient facility for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Moore used his own finances and long experience in communications to create yourhealthnote.com early this year. The website features webcasts on a variety of topics related to health, such as recipes for eating right with step-by-step instructions, exercise tips and access to medical professionals to answer questions.

JULIE SKIPPER

4 ............. Editor’s Note 6 .......................... Talks 7 .. The Week in Jacktown 12 ................... Editorial 12 .................... Stiggers 13 .................. Opinion 26 ............... Diversions 28 ....................... Books 29 ..................... 8 Days 30 .............. JFP Events 31 ........................ Music 32 .......... Music Listing 34 ...................... Sports 36 ................. Astrology 37 ........................ Food 39 ....... Girl About Town 41 ................. Body/Soul 42 ................. Gift Guide

3


publisher’snote

Robbie Ward Journalist Robbie S. Ward has a master’s in public policy and administration from Mississippi State University and created the Johnny Cash Flower Pickin’ Festival in Starkville. He blogs at starkvillecityjail.com. He wrote the cover story.

Richard Coupe Richard Coupe, avid fan of the beautiful game, husband, brother and father of four, is still wondering what he wants to be when he grows up. He wrote the Jacksonian.

Greg Pigott Greg Pigott is truly an avid fan of every kind of music. He’s also the guy who takes karaoke seriously. He wrote a music piece.

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. He wrote Talks for this issue.

Casey Purvis Casey Purvis is a Fondrenite who loves planting flowers and watching birds in her backyard. She is owned by Phoebe, a 9year-old Lhasa apso. She works as a nurse in one of the local hospitals in her spare time. She wrote a book review.

Tam Curley Editorial intern Tam Curley loves telling about her move from liberal California to begin a new life with her hubby and daughter in conservative Mississippi. She is an Arkansas native and enjoys time with her two lab puppies. She co-wrote the food piece.

Tony Parkinson Tony Parkinson is a hardcore foodie, dining critic and wine aficionado. He has authored several books on cooking and health. He is originally from Staten Island, N.Y., but now calls Mississippi home. He wrote the Body/Soul feature.

December 14 - 20, 2011

Latasha Willis

4

Events editor Latasha Willis is a native Jacksonian, a graduate of Tougaloo College and the mother of one cat. Her JFP blog is “The Bricks That Others Throw,” and she sells design pieces at zazzle. com/reasontolive.

by Todd Stauffer, Publisher

Don’t Marginalize Women, Empower Them

I

’m not sure what Gov. Haley Barbour is “running” for now—vice president? chief of staff?—but I was dismayed to read about his recent speech in which he focused on how churches and church leaders need to help stave off “illegitimacy” in Mississippi. Well, dismayed and bemused. After all, it was reported last week that the fundamental reason that Barbour decided not to run for president was that his “opposition intelligence” was so embarrassing that the staffers assigned to do it didn’t want to confront him over it, according to Politico.com. So to see him fire up a quick “family values tour” has at least a whiff of irony. “I spoke about this yesterday in Tupelo and set a goal to reduce illegitimate births by half within five years,” Barbour said, according to the text of the speech. “The high illegitimacy rate isn’t the only negative facing Mississippi’s K-12 schools. Yet it does point us in the right direction for improving school results.” Not only did the governor reach into the dark recesses of the 1950s to find the term “illegitimacy” and apply it haphazardly to vast swathes of children in his state, but the governor balanced the rest of his vintage argument on another tottering old political sawhorse— the unwed, teen-aged mother. According to the governor, 55 percent of the births that take place in Mississippi are “out-of-wedlock, often to teenage girls. This isn’t a new problem, but it is a worsening problem. This is everybody’s problem,” he said. Which is true and interesting. I agree that there are things to be done on this front. But what surprises me most about this speech is what the governor didn’t say. In fact, there are two words that are completely missing from the text of the speech—I have the press release and did a word search. Those words are: “men” and “boys.” It seems to me that if you’re going to face the scourge of teenage births, and you decide to leave the male of the species out of the discussion entirely, you’re missing a fundamental part of the equation. You need a culture of accountability for males, who are at least half the problem when it comes to the issue of women getting pregnant when they shouldn’t. I think the bully pulpit provided to the governor would be a great place to make this point, but even the simple arithmetic of the phrase “it takes two to tango” seems to elude the Guv. First thing worth mentioning: Not all children born of teen-aged mothers necessarily had teen-aged fathers. You might get that mental image of “Jack and Diane” when politicians talk about teen-aged mothers; but it’s worth remembering that some young mothers are talked (or worse) into their circumstances by older boys and men. (The legal age of consent in our state, after all, is 16.) So, if you want fewer teenage or outof-wedlock pregnancies in Mississippi, then

you’ll need informed and empowered young women who know their rights, know the biology and are encouraged to speak up by their culture. You also need young men who are held just as accountable as “teen mothers” for unwanted pregnancies. It begins with education. You’re going to need to have an intelligent plan for sex education in public schools, and abstinence-only doesn’t cut it. “Abstinence Plus” is a silly dance by legislators who apparently pretend to have no recollection of their own teenage years. But it’s all we have to work with so far. Barbour could start right now with an endorsement of Abstinence Plus; unfortunately, his response, as quoted in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, was to joke about it: “‘I don’t think that the problem with these kids is lack of sex education,’ outgoing Gov. Haley Barbour said Thursday. ‘I think they’ve got it down pat.’” Hill-arious, Haley. Pass the Dewar’s. Second, Personhood was an egregious over-reach on women’s rights, one that Barbour, in the end, publicly supported. If you’re going to back a constitutional amendment that forces any girl or woman to have a child regardless of rape, incest or health of the mother then you are—by definition—going to have more one-parent (and no-parent) children to contend with. Fortunately, stronger thinkers than the governor proved to be on this issue defeated the initiative. Third, Mississippi needs both a culture and a legal landscape that gives women the tools they need to get out of abusive relationships. Women in this state need to be able to leave and divorce men who abuse them, and

deadbeat dads on any level need to be held accountable—both by the law and by their communities and leaders. Not only did Barbour fail to prove a champion of such measures, but he’s also the governor who rather notoriously and inexplicably pardoned a series of men who had maimed or killed their wives or girlfriends in domestic disputes—a revelation Ronni Mott and Sophie McNeil first exposed here in the Jackson Free Press. Enough, in fact, that it was starting to look like a pattern there for a little while. (Maybe that was some of the opposition research that embarrassed his team?) So what, exactly, Barbour expects when he lays all this on the church’s doorstep isn’t clear. If he had at least said that churches should be turning out upstanding and respectful young men who learn to act with responsibility and dignity toward the women in their lives—that would, at least, be a start. But, remember, I did a word search. The only appearance of the word “men” in the speech had “wo-” in front of it. With Barbour headed out of office (and, probably, back to D.C.), maybe it isn’t worth it to try to prod him in a direction that might offer more progress for women in his home state. There’s a nice mix of laws, education and emphasis that the governor failed to address at all during his eight years in office. But if Barbour wants to make amends on his way out the door, he could do a lot better than call on clergy to solve the problem—he could step up to the microphone himself and put the emphasis on empowering women, not scapegoating them. Comment at www.jfp.ms.


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news, culture & irreverence

JERRICK SMITH

JRA Faces More Hotel Hurdles

Thursday, Dec. 8 A man shoots a campus police officer at Virginia Tech before killing himself. â&#x20AC;Ś Gov. Haley Barbour sings the praises of skills-training programs at his Keep Mississippi Moving conference.

December 14 - 20,. 2011

6

Tuesday, Dec. 13 The United Nations says more than 5,000 people have died in Syriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s crackdown on a nine-month uprising in the country. â&#x20AC;Ś The National Center of Family Homelessness ranks Mississippi 49th in confronting the problem of child homelessness, and shows that the number of homeless children in the state is up 38 percent since 2007. Get daily news updates at jfpdaily.com.

did not return calls before this issue went to press. The terms of the deal outline that the JRA will issue $89 million in bonds to the developer and the developerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s parent company would guarantee payments. If payments arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t made, the city will sue the company. In a worst-case scenario, the city could force the developer into bankruptcy and sell the hotel to someone else. The Jackson City Council and the city attorneyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office now have thick stacks of documents to review detailing the deal the JRA worked out to build the hotel. If the City Council approves the terms, the city will back the requested $89 million in bonds to build the hotel. The cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s credit rating will lower the interest rate enough to make the hotel deal feasible, the terms say. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is a deal that involves some risks,â&#x20AC;? Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. told 16 WAPT News. He explained that proceeds from the hotel would pay the debt, but if the proceeds were not enough to cover the debt, then the company would pay. If the company couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t pay, the city would sue. The city has been between a rock and a hard place regarding the hotel project. The Jackson Convention Center needs the hotel, its advisers say, to attract more conventions and to make a profit. TCI, the Dallas, TexasHOTEL, see page 8

Wait, Wait: I Missed That

C

ampaigns in the United States have historically been a mix of facts and, um, â&#x20AC;&#x153;creativeâ&#x20AC;? story-telling to win the hearts and minds of American voters. With presidential elections coming up in less than a year, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to start boning up on your campaign trivia so you can impress your friends. Start here. The answers are at the bottom.

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ADAM LYNCH

Monday, Dec. 12 President Obama marks the end of the war in Iraq, which lasted almost nine years. The American embassy in Baghdad is its largest, with more than 15,000 people stationed there. â&#x20AC;Ś The Center for Violence Prevention gives the Clinton Municipal Court its 2011 Angel Award for its efforts to protect victims of domestic violence and encourage intervention for abusers.

Balch and Associates, told the Jackson Free Press Tuesday. He did not explain why. The JRA board voted Friday, Dec. 9, to issue the bonds as long as a lawyer approved the deal. The Jackson City Council would also have to approve the terms. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It has complexities,â&#x20AC;? John Reeves, vice chairman of the JRA board, told the JFP Tuesday. Reeves said the first lawyer had backed away from the project and that the second lawyer (from Basch and Associates) didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to get involved. He did not say if another lawyer was working on the deal. Jason Brookins, JRA executive director,

1. Who used the slogan â&#x20AC;&#x153;Keep Hope Aliveâ&#x20AC;? for his campaign? a. John Kennedy b. Franklin Roosevelt c. Barack Obama d. Jesse Jackson COWBOY FROM BROOKLYN TRAILER

Sunday, Dec. 11 The Denver Broncos, led by quarterback Tim Tebow, beat the Chicago Bears 13-10 in overtime. Bloggers rush to weigh in on evangelized Tebowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on-field religious displays. â&#x20AC;Ś The National Weather Service will recognize Raleigh, Miss., in Smith County, for its proactive approach to preparing for storms. Smith County is the most tornado-prone county in the nation, a Mississippi State study reports.

W

ith a Dec. 31 deadline looming for acquiring federal GO Zone bonds, the Jackson Redevelopment Authority faces another hurdle in issuing bonds for a proposed convention center hotel. After one lawyer questioned the legality of finding a developer for the project within 15 days as opposed to waiting the usual 30 days, JRA sought legal advice from Balch and Associates in issuing GO Zone bonds for the hotel. But now Balch and Associates wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t represent JRA, either. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We were asked to represent, and we declined,â&#x20AC;? Chris Waddell, an attorney with

COURTESY FB

Saturday, Dec. 10 Republican presidential contenders make their pitches in a televised debate. Yes, another one. â&#x20AC;Ś The Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet presents â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Nutcracker.â&#x20AC;?

The Jackson Redevelopment Authority reworked a deal so that the developer of the proposed convention center hotel must cover all payments and shortfalls. JRA is expected to choose a developer at a meeting Friday, Dec. 16.

JERRICK SMITH

Friday, Dec. 9 Donald Trump says he might cancel plans to host a Republican presidential debate after only two candidatesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorumâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;agree to attend. â&#x20AC;Ś Police use pepper spray to control fights at a Greenville high school.

by Valerie Wells and Elizabeth Waibel

2. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Return to Normalcyâ&#x20AC;? was which candidateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s slogan? a. Ronald Reagan b. George W. Bush c. Warren Harding d. James Polk

3. How about â&#x20AC;&#x153;Let the People Ruleâ&#x20AC;?? a. Andrew Jackson b. William Henry Harrison c. Thomas Jefferson d. Richard Nixon 4. Who are the only two presidents buried at Arlington Cemetery? 5. What president served two nonconsecutive terms? 6. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the average length of a candidateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s TV sound bite these days? ANSWERS: 1, d; 2, c; 3, a; 4, John Kennedy and William Taft; 5, Grover Cleveland; 6, 7.2 seconds.

Wednesday, Dec. 7 Americans mark the 70th anniversary of the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that launched the United States into World War II. â&#x20AC;Ś Snow flurries and slick roads may be to blame for a three-vehicle crash in Pearl that injures eight students on a school bus.

Of the six African Americans who have served in the U.S. Senate, two were from Mississippi, both elected during the Reconstruction era: Blanche K. Bruce (1875 to 1881) and Hiram Revels (1870 to 1871). Revels was the first black man ever elected to the U.S. Congress.

Gov. Haley Barbour praises community colleges and then warns about more cuts. p 10


talk

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course. The course included a $95 emergency response manual and, upon completion, a NECI certificate. NECI Executive Director Charles Carter instigated the investigation when he sent a complaint to Pickering’s office in October 2007, accusing Graham of failing to obtain permission from the Mississippi Board of Emergency Telecommunications Standards and Training to conduct the training and of using copyrighted NECI materials without paying NECI. Carter said that aside from defrauding the state of Mississippi, Graham also defrauded the city of Jackson by conducting private contract work while on the city’s payroll, a practice commonly called double dipping. Graham, who did not respond to questions Monday, in June questioned why Pickering, who is a Republican, released the results of his investigation during an election year, considering Pickering’s office had been working on the case for four years. “The timing seems suspect,” said Graham whose Republican opponent for the District 1 supervisor’s spot, Roger Davis, dropped out of the race weeks before the Nov. 8 election. Graham defeated John Dennery, who took Davis’ spot on the ballot. Comment at www.jfp.ms.

HOTEL, from page 6

deal … and therefore will give full recourse and will give you the best deal,” Swerdling said. If the city did find another developer, however, Swerdling said he thinks TCI would sell the land to the city. The JFP reported in 2009 that TCI provided a timeline to the Mississippi Development Authority to secure its GO Zone funding eligibility. GO Zone funds will not be available after Dec. 31. The Jackson City Council will have to vote on the deal before issuing the bonds. See www.jfp.ms/hotel for full coverage of the convention-center hotel saga. Comment at ww.jfp.ms.

WARD SCHAEFER

Introducing new stylist: Nicki Nichols!

Hood, said the agency’s policy prohibits her from confirming or denying an investigation. The trouble for Graham started in May 2011 when Pickering’s office issued a demand for wages Graham received from the city between 2004 and 2007 when he worked as a spokesman for Hinds County Supervisor Robert Graham (left) hasn’t paid money the Jackson Police Dethe state auditor alleges he owes. partment. Citing time sheets, Pickering alleged ore than five months since receiv- Graham also conducted dispatcher certificaing a demand from Mississippi tion classes while on the city’s payroll. State Auditor Stacey Pickering, In June, Graham characterized PickHinds County District 1 Supervi- ering’s investigation as political. “I believe sor Robert Graham has not paid the $45,736 they’re going after me,” Graham told the the auditor said Graham owes the state. Jackson Free Press at the time. “I’m not findLisa Shoemaker, a spokeswoman for the ing anything coming out of the state auditor’s auditor, said that Graham has not paid the office on any relevant issue against Republimoney he received in salary as a city of Jack- cans, but I see that they’re investigating me.” son employee while, according to Pickering, Graham worked for the National Emeralso operating a private business. gency Communications Institute as a conShoemaker said the matter has been tract instructor. Emergency-response agenhanded over to an investigator from the cies such as fire departments and American state attorney general’s office. Jan Schaefer, Response Ambulance service paid Graham a spokeswoman for Attorney General Jim $495 each for their employees to take his

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based developer tied to the project for years, however, owns the land. While earlier deals called for the city and developer to split responsibility for profits and losses on the hotel, city adviser Porter Bingham of Malachi Financial Group told the council Monday that state law does not allow that kind of partnership. JRA reworked the deal so that the developer must cover all payments and shortfalls. If the developer does not pay, the city can force them into bankruptcy. The developer for the project would likely be TCI, which bought the land where

the city wants to build the hotel during Mayor Frank Melton’s administration with his blessing. JRA has sent out a request for proposals to other developers. The deadline to submit proposals was Dec. 13. JRA is expected to vote on a developer Dec. 16. WAPT reported Dec. 13 that another developer did submit a proposal by the deadline, but that officials had not released the name. Bob Swerdling, managing director of Denver-based Swerdling and Associates, is advising the city on the hotel deal. He said he has not found any other developer other than TCI willing to take full recourse for the project. “In my opinion, TCI is captive in the


justicetalk

by Ronni Mott

Holiday Edition

Angel of the Court RACHEL BUSH

tic abuse in the Jackson suburb. The court has even set aside one day a month on its busy calendar to deal specifically with DV cases. That allows representatives from the center to be on hand to talk with victims, offenders, and prosecutors immediately and provide their recommendations. “They pulled together all the necessary elements to have a coordinated response,” Middleton said. “It’s just working so beautifully. … Everybody’s plugged in and trained.” While it’s too early to gauge whether the response is lowering the incidence of domesticviolence cases in the community, Middleton said that batterers in Sandy Middleton, executive director of The Center Clinton who have gone through for Violence Prevention in Pearl, presented the the center’s intervention program center’s annual Angel Award to the Clinton Municipal have had zero recurrence. Court this week. “The judges and I are just thrilled over the recidivism rate,” Middleton said. hen it comes to domestic violence, Judge Steven Price Nixon agreed with the best defense is an orchestrated, Middleton. “We sincerely appreciate the integrated justice system. That’s Center’s efforts in helping to prevent recidithe kind of system that earned the vism in domestic-violence cases and in seekClinton Municipal Court this year’s Angel ing to deal with the root issues that lead to Award from The Center for Violence Pre- domestic violence,” he said in a statement. vention on Tuesday. The CVP is a Pearl non“We have had notable success with their profit that provides shelter and advocacy for program, as reflected by the low rates of redomestic-violence victims and an offender- cidivism we see in our court, and we look intervention program. forward to continuing to work with them in CVP Executive Director Sandy Middle- the future.” ton said that the Clinton court has worked The CVP’s 24-week batterer’s intervenwith the group to provide a seamless response tion program, or BIP, is based on the Duto domestic-violence cases. luth Model, first implemented in Minnesota The court recognizes the need to pro- in 1981. The model provides a blueprint vide safety to victims, while putting the bat- for community response and inter-agency terer’s intervention program into its sentenc- coordination to stem the tide of domestic ing toolkit for offenders. violence. It recognizes that social and justice Every aspect of the Clinton justice systems work best together to protect victims system, from police and prosecutors, court from ongoing abuse, which is the overarchclerks to judges, has received training on the ing goal of every action within the model. causes and cures for domestic violence. EvFor example, police, prosecutors, and eryone works hand-in-hand to curb domes- judges need guidelines and training to re-

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spond to domestic-abuse situations appropriately. Offenders need to be put behind bars when necessary, or be put into programs designed to give abusers the opportunity to change. All the while, social agencies provide victim safety and advocacy. It is this model that Clinton has taken to heart. Clinton municipal judges order abusers to take part in the intervention program, intended to confront abusers with their behavior and allow them to take responsibility and break the cycle of violence. The classes delve into abusers’ beliefs and show them how they use intimidation and emotional and economic abuse to control their victims. “It just works. If you can change the behavior and change the beliefs, the deep-seated beliefs of these offenders that they have a right to treat other people like that, then it’s magical,” Middleton said. “They don’t do it any more. They just stop. … It’s powerful.” She added that when victims see that they have the justice system behind them keeping them safe, they respond. “There’s a spirit of really wanting to empower the victims, which makes all the difference in the world,” Middleton said. Contact The Center for Violence Prevention at 601-932-4198 or visit mscvp.org. Comment at www.jfp.ms.

)T´S.OT9OUR&AULT If you are the victim of abuse: • You did not cause the abuse. • No one has the right to abuse you. • Know that most children raised with abuse learn to use violence as one way to control others by using power and force. • Know that relationships based on fear, power and control are abusive. • Know that others understand why you would want to stay and that leaving a relationship is not easy. SOURCE: THE CENTER FOR VIOLENCE PREVENTION

Thurs. Dec. 15 9:15 pm at Hal and Mal’s

My Office Is Cooler Than Yours!

Nominate local offices for BOOM’s Coolest Office Contest by sending photos and an e-mail explaining why it’s a cool place to work to editor@boomjackson.com by December 31, 2011. BOOM will choose finalists and send a team of judges in January to pick a winner. Winner will be featured in March 2012 BOOM and win a catered staff lunch.

d trified Wood an Handcrafted Pe s ck pi r Agate guita

Gorgeous Pakistani Onyx vases and bowls

jacksonfreepress.com

Just In Time For Christmas Come by & see our gift shop.

9


politicsbeat

Send political tips to news@jacksonfreepress.com

by Elizabeth Waibel

Barbour Touts Skills Training

Gov. Barbour said skills training can help keep teens in school and strengthen the economy.

at community colleges and universities. Fans and alumni should pay for intercollegiate athletic programs, not taxpayers, he said. Colleen Hartfield, vice president for community relations at Hinds Community College, said she is pleased the governor recognized the contributions that community colleges make. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We very much view what we to at the community college as job creation, because people come to the community college

ELIZABETH WAIBEL

How to Win (or Lose) an Election

Phil Bryant, right, dramatically outspent Johnny DuPree in the race for governor.

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December 14 - 20, 2011

ohnny DuPree faced an uphill battle in his race for governor this year. As a Democrat running in a state trending more Republican, an African American where people often vote along racial lines and a mayor without the state-level political experience of his opponent, his chances were slim. Having one-seventh of the funds that his 10 opponent had didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t help, either.

by R.L. Nave

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FILE PHOTO

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ov. Haley Barbour is singing the praises of skills training programs at community colleges and high schools while warning of future budget cuts to education. Barbour spoke during his conference on work-force development Dec. 8. The conference was the second in a series of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Keep Mississippi Movingâ&#x20AC;? speeches that Barbour is giving during his last full month as governor. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the process of improving work force development, we have begun to de-stigmatize skills training, which was long overdue,â&#x20AC;? Barbour said. He added that expecting every student to go to college sets many students up for failure. â&#x20AC;&#x153;University is not for everybody. But importantly, tens of thousands of our young people can and do and will continue to have great careers with high earnings and wonderful lives because of the skills that theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve learned in work-force training.â&#x20AC;? Barbour said the economy needs more workers with skills in industrial jobs, construction, software and similar fields than people with college degrees. He called for introducing skills training in middle schools, when some students are thinking about dropping out. Community colleges are especially important to training Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work force, Barbour said, through trade programs as well as remedial classes to help high school graduates who are not ready for college classes. But community colleges can expect state appropriations to be reduced next year, he said. Barbour suggested that community colleges consolidate some of their administrative services. He said the state should reduce or eliminate funding for athletic programs

Smokinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; the Polls

Lt. Gov. (now Gov.-elect) Phil Bryant, on the other hand, was already in a state-level position. He was practically the default successor to the popular Gov. Haley Barbour, who himself was a national Republican Party insider. The national party and the friends Bryant made through his years in Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s political scene helped him build his campaign war chest. Through Oct. 29, when candidates turned in their pre-election campaign finance reports, Bryant had spent more than $5.5 million on his campaign, while DuPree had spent less than $750,000. The two candidates also had dramatically different pools of resources at the beginning of the year. At the end of 2010, Bryant had a little more than $2 million waiting to be spent. Through October, he raised almost $4.3 million to add to that. His biggest contributor was the state branch of the Republican Governors Association, RGA Mississippi PAC, which contributed $575,000. To compare, DuPree had just under $66,000 at the beginning of the year, and he

to train for a career,â&#x20AC;? she said. Still, Hartfield said community colleges have already taken a hit from repeated cuts in state funding. Since 2000, Hartfield said state funding for community colleges has declined by 24 percent, even as enrollment has increased by 50 percent. That means tuition and student fees have to make up a larger percentage of the schoolsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; budgets. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A concern that we have is with further cuts in state funding, the community collegesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; affordable tuition will become less affordable,â&#x20AC;? she said. Community college classes are typically much less expensive than those at a universityâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;one of the reasons Barbour gave for increasing enrollment at community colleges. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our concern is if the community college access is limited by rising tuition costs, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no way that the state is going to reach its goal of a more educated work force,â&#x20AC;? Hartfield said. Some of Barbourâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s money-saving suggestions recalled his proposals in years past for colleges to consolidate some of their services, and K-12 districts to draw from their cash reserves to cover some of their costs. A 2008 examination by the state auditor found, however, that most school districts said they cannot afford to set aside revenue for a rainy-day fund. Barbour called for investment in workforce development to attract factories for companies such as Nissan and Toyota. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Workforce development and student aid is the area of education where we spend the least of our huge education budget, but it is the education sector which pays off the fastest,â&#x20AC;? he said. Currently, the budget for K-12 education is about $250 million less than state law

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requires. Although the law requires the Legislature to â&#x20AC;&#x153;adequatelyâ&#x20AC;? fund education according to a specific formula, it rarely does. Barbour also said â&#x20AC;&#x153;illegitimateâ&#x20AC;? births to teen mothers contribute to low education levels. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The vast majority of failing students are first being failed at home,â&#x20AC;? he said. The governor said churches and others in the community should get involved in reducing the dropout rate. Currently, Jackson Public Schoolsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; graduation rate is 63.6 percent. Barbour said churches should commit to educating students both inside and outside of their congregations by helping them study and encouraging them to stay in school. He also said churches should support and mentor mothers as they try to help their children succeed in school. Comment at www.jfp.ms.

by Elizabeth Waibel raised less than $1.2 million through October. He got $142,000 from the Democratic Governors Association, $42,000 of that for a polling memo. Most of what he received from his second biggest contributor came in the form of donated office space. DuPree himself was his third-largest contributor, donating more than $54,000 to his campaign.

4OPCONTRIBUTORSTOTHE"RYANT CAMPAIGNTHROUGH/CTOBER

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In the end, Bryant won the election with 61 percent of the vote; still, DuPree won 39 percent of the vote with considerably less money. Candidates must file their final campaign-finance reports Jan. 10. Those will cover contributions and expenditures from Oct. 30 through Dec. 31. Comment at www.jfp.ms.

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trashtalk

by R.L. Nave

Another Landfill? R.L. NAVE

jacksonfreepress.com

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ll day long, hulking trucks rumble along North County Line Road to dump loads of rubbish at one of the areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s two waste dumps. At the north end of the road sits Republic Services Inc.-operated Little Dixie Landfill; at the far south end is a rubbish landfill, which Madison South Rubbish Landfill Inc. owns. Between those facilities lies a 160 acre-parcel of land where Hinds County wants to block a new landfill on North County landowner Mike Bilberry wants Line Road, arguing that more trucks like this one on the deteriorating roadway would be a taxpayer hardship. to put a third landfill. To say that the proposed landfill has met with resistance would be an needed an additional facility and that the adunderstatement. ditional costs would be burdensome for Hinds â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is not the appropriate location for County taxpayers. Hinds County also raised another sanitary landfill,â&#x20AC;? said James Baker, concerns about environmental justice due to director of planning and administration the fact that eight black families live near the for Hinds County, at a recent board of super- proposed landfill. The Supreme Court upheld visors meeting. the environmental commissionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s decision. Baker and other opponents note that Jim McNaughton, a Bilberry consultant Bilberryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s landfill would become the fourth who worked for BFI (the former owners of garbage dump in Madison County. the Little Dixie landfill) for 18 years, said the The issue, which has dragged on for Bilberry family bought the land in the 1950s. more than 13 years, may soon reach a reso- Then, landfills sprang up all around them. lution. The Mississippi Department of Envi- McNaughton criticized MDEQ for makronmental Quality, which must grant a permit ing requests of Bilberry that it hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t made of before construction of new landfills can move other landfills. forward, will hold a public hearing this week. MDEQ wants the Bilberry landfill, which At a previous would be shielded by trees hearing, held in June along North County Line 4RASHINTHE53 2010 at Potterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s House Road, to have a 500-foot MILLIONWRQVRIJDUEDJHSHU\HDU Fellowship Worship setback; the neighboring POUNDSRIWUDVKSHUSHUVRQHDFKGD\ MILLIONWRQVFRPSRVWHG Center in Jackson, resiLittle Dixie landfill has MILLIONWRQVUHF\FOHG dents complained that only a 50-foot setback and MILLIONWRQVXVHGIRUHQHUJ\ a new landfill could no screen. cause health problems Although he under4RASHIN-ISSISSIPPI for neighbors. stands the emotional reMILLIONWRQVRIJDUEDJHSHU\HDU PXQLFLSDOVROLGZDVWHODQGÂżOOV Hinds County, sponse to installing a landUXEELVKGLVSRVDOIDFLOLWLHV HJWUHH which has long opfill, McNaughton called OLPEVFRQFUHWH

posed the landfill, the facilities â&#x20AC;&#x153;necessary  WRQVRIVROLGZDVWHIURPRXWRIVWDWH argues that the area infrastructureâ&#x20AC;? from which already has too many everyone benefits. places to dump trash and that more trucks As evidence he cites the amount of refuse traveling along the deteriorating roadway, that individuals generate. Each year, Ameriwhich Hinds maintains, will unfairly burden cans generate about 250 million tons of trash, the countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s taxpayers. or about 1.5 tons per person, according to the â&#x20AC;&#x153;This seems to be a Madison County is- Environmental Protection Agency. sue but is using a Hinds County road,â&#x20AC;? DisMississippi accounts for 6.5 million tons trict 4 Supervisor Phil Fisher said at last weekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s of the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s total. Republic Services reportmeeting. He added that if MDEQ grants the ed 17 more years of capacity at Little Dixie, permit and the project moves forward, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Madi- according to information from MDEQ. The son should pay for (maintenance of) the road City of Canton reported 150 years of life at the or find another route to get there.â&#x20AC;? city-owned landfill. The kerfuffle between the counties dates People who oppose the landfills often ask back to December 2003 when Madison McNaughton if something can be done with County amended its waste management plan trash besides putting it into the ground. to include a third landfill, a step the state reTo that he has a simple answer: â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you quires before building a landfill. After state en- stop putting your garage out at the curb, then vironmental regulators approved the Madison there are no more landfills.â&#x20AC;? County plan, Hinds County objected, appealAn MDEQ public hearing regarding ing MDEQâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s decision to Chancery Court and the proposed Bilberry landfill takes place on ultimately to the Mississippi Supreme Court. Thursday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. at Tougaloo Collegeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hinds County argued that MDEQ Holmes Hall. failed in its duty to determine whether the area Comment at www.jfp.ms.

11


jfp op/ed

opining, grousing & pontificating

EDITORIAL

Can We Learn from the Hotel Morass?

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s the city administration and the Jackson Development Authority scramble to close a convention-center hotel deal filled with “complexities” (as JRA member John Reeves put it), the situation should make the rest of us wonder: How can we avoid being in this place again? At the Jackson Free Press, we’ve warned for five years now about the possible pitfalls of relying on companies related to controversial Texas businessman Gene Phillips to get a convention-center hotel in place. Before the convention center was built, we even did our homework and reported on the problems with making a convention center successful—warning explicitly that we would need an expensive convention-center hotel that could really set the taxpayers back. But this isn’t we-told-you-so time. Well, not exactly. We don’t want to rub city residents’ noses (too) much in the fact that voters elected a mayor (Frank Melton) because he told all sorts of people exactly what they wanted to hear. We won’t make (too) much of the fact that many folks voted for him due to empty promises to cure crime in 90 days (actually, it went up on his watch). And we won’t harp (too) much on the fact that many business folks and developers supported a ridiculous choice for mayor because he told them they could do anything they want and that he would get out of the way for them to do business. What we will hammer home as our warnings prove true is the fact that now is the time to start making smarter decisions for the future—and based on much more than who is willing to scream the loudest about crime. We hate to tell you, but scary mailers about crime rankings usually have someone paying for them who are focused on control and profit, not how safe your neighborhood really is. Candidates who care about safety aren’t going to promise you the moon, or even scream warnings out to specific criminals (remember Melton’s inaugural?); they are going to lead efforts to bring evidence-based crime prevention to the city. That is, they are going to take a longer view than we are used to seeing. Likewise, the hotel mess tells to be more questioning about potential development. Flood control was delayed for years because supporters of a doomed project told us it was the only way and had little challenge (until the JFP came along, anyway). Likewise, we hear constantly about various large-scale developments wanting public money and bonds and guarantees, regardless of their pitfalls. We really wish someone in charge was tracking a total of what the taxpayers really have on the line if we go along with every big development idea. Smart development is good, and we support it. But the last thing we need is more mindless cheerleading of a project, or an out-of-state developer, because the PR materials look good. Jackson citizens must demand more accountability, evidence and long-range vision from city officials, JRA and private developers. We can’t afford to blindly hurl every project against the wall, shored up by public dollars, to see what sticks. We’ve done that for too long.

KEN STIGGERS

Survive, Thrive, Stay Alive

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December 14 - 20, 2011

rother Hustle: “Newt the Ging-Grinch said this about poor people and children: ‘Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works. So they literally have no habit of showing up on Monday. They have no habit of staying all day. They have no habit of “I do this and you give me cash,” unless it’s illegal.’ “Wow! Mr. Ging-Grinch must not have known folk like my granddaddy Hustle. He was a poor man from a small southern town who migrated up north to work at the steel mills in Pittsburgh, Pa. When he first arrived in the big city, granddaddy bought a bucket, soap, scrub brush, mop and rag with his last two dollars, and cleaned houses for the rich folk on the hill. Eventually, Granddaddy Hustle worked enough odd jobs and put himself through trade school to be a master plumber. “Also, my Grandmamma Hustle cleaned, cooked and babysat in a lot of affluent households. Yes, I grew up in a poor neighborhood and witnessed my grandparents showing up every Monday through Saturday all day and night working for rich folk who think like Mr. Ging-Grinch.” “With all that said, I invite all hardworking poor and middle class who want their own business in 2012 to take my Compensatory Investment Request (Begging 101) Post Christmas Holiday Entrepreneur Workshop, sponsored by the Aunt Tee Tee Hustle School of Business and Technology. Our 12 motto: Hustle to survive, thrive and stay alive.”

CHATTER

Noise from the blogs @jacksonfreepress.com

‘The War Outside’ In his column last issue, Brad “Kamikaze” Franklin wrote about the “war outside” against the poor and called on readers to do everything in their power to help the lessfortunate. It drew several responses. “I’m a firm believer in these two things: “1. We are ALL one paycheck away from being homeless and hungry. “2. You never know whom you’ll be asking for a drink of water.” —Duan C. “Three times I have eaten food provided by the Salvation Army and the Red Cross—after the Easter Flood of ’79, Hurricane Andrew and then Katrina. I will always dump a few dollars their way.” —Rico “Now I know tons of people ... who will take advantage of situations when it presents itself and that bothers me. God love’ em—but you really want to save it for those who really do need it. “Like the year the fella was giving away turkeys on Gallatin Street one year. My wife knew damn well we didn’t need one, but just because someone was giving them away for free, she went and got one! “Now we are not rich by a long shot, however, we both work and we were both able to buy a turkey for Thanksgiving so there was no need to get one of those turkeys.” —Duan C. “Whatever anyone does, just give somewhere and to somebody. We are drowning out here (charities in general). “There is an increase in demand every year for the past three years and a decrease in the amount of

giving and the amount of state dollars that we are given. So, please give what you can give to your church, your local shelter, your local kitchen—whomever you like to give your money. “But this year and next year do not need to be the years of ‘oh, someone else will handle that.’ From all the outlooks we are given from sort of ‘inside’ the situation, it’s still looking bad.” —Lori G “I get sick of hearing about ‘charity’ during November and December. I am the first one to say, do what you can when you can. But it really trips me out that all these ‘saving grace’-minded folk come to the forefront when they want to bring attention to this organization or that one. Where are you all year long? “Poor people are not just poor during Christmas. And, all poor people are not homeless or jobless. The fact that it seems like the people who need the tax write-offs only surface when it ‘looks good’ is a simple statement to the fact that in this country there are more selfish people than self-less ones. “There are people who don’t even show up in the studies and surveys that these charities claim to be helping. They stop at the doorstep of the friend of a friend who can’t buy Christmas gifts. “Charity can’t be seasonal or else it should be called something else—gimme a minute, I’ll come up with a better name for it. “Having said all that, give what you can, just don’t wait for the holiday season to do so. That turkey will be gone in a day, then they’re hungry again.” —Queen601 Join the conversation at www.jfp.com.

Email letters to letters@jacksonfreepress.com, fax to 601-510-9019 or mail to P.O. Box 5067, Jackson, Miss., 39296. Include daytime phone number. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, as well as factchecked.


ANTHONY HALES JR.

Death of the College Dream? EDITORIAL Managing Editor Ronni Mott Assistant Editor Valerie Wells Reporters R.L. Nave, Elizabeth Waibel Events Editor Latasha Willis Editorial Assistant LaShanda Phillips Deputy Editor Briana Robinson Copy Editor Dustin Cardon Music Listings Editor Natalie Long Fashion Stylist Meredith Sullivan Writers Torsheta Bowen, Quita Bride, Marika Cackett, Scott Dennis, Bryan Flynn, Brandi Herrera, Diandra Hosey, Pamela Hosey, Robyn Jackson, Garrad Lee, Natalie Long, Larry Morrisey, Robin Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Bryant,Tom Ramsey, Julie Skipper, Ken Stiggers, Rebecca Wright Editorial Interns Tam Curley, Brittany Kilgore Photography Intern Robert Hollins Consulting Editor JoAnne Prichard Morris

ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY Art Director Kristin Brenemen Advertising Designer Andrea Thomas Production Designer Latasha Willis Graphic Designer Holly Harlan Graphic Design Intern Erica Sutton Editorial Cartoonist Mike Day Photographers Christina Cannon, Jert-rutha Crawford, Tate K. Nations, Jerrick Smith, Amile Wilson, William Patrick Butler

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or the past two months, Americans have struggled to figure out what exactly the Occupy Wall Street movement is about. Who are the protesters? What do they stand for? What is their agenda? Many have asked these questions, but no one has seemed to produce a solid answer. The protesters are clearly frustrated with the status quo in America. To borrow from a popular â&#x20AC;&#x2122;90s-era rock band, there is a rage against the machine. While the Occupy movement has named a long list of villains, one consistent target has been higher education. For most of the past century, American kids have been sold the college dream: If they obtain a college degree, they will be rewarded with a good job and a stable career. This message has been preached for good reason; statistics show that college graduates on average earn more than $1 million more than their less-educated counterparts throughout their lifetime. For a long time, the simple fact that a student had a degree demonstrated to potential employers that a person was capable of learning and therefore, qualified for employment. American magazines and television interviews are filled with rags-to-riches stories where college degrees help spring people up the socio-economic ladder. Americans for the most part bought into the college dream. Higher education has seen growth almost unparalleled by any other industry for the past four decades. U.S. Department of Education statistics show that enrollments at American degreegranting institutions have come close to tripling since 1970. As America shifted from low-skill to high-skill jobs during the latter 20th century, bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degrees went from being commodities to near necessities for participating in the American economy. After Congress removed income caps from federally backed student loans in 1978, students were basically able to attend any college they qualified for, and the college arms race began. The explosion of for-profit colleges such as the University of Phoenix and Strayer University opened college access to an entirely new population of non-traditional students and jumpstarted the online degree movement. Students can now earn two-year, four-year, and advanced degrees without ever leaving home. While a college education is still essential to thriving in most American industries, a shifting economy, growing student-loan debt, and high unemployment and underemployment among recent graduates require that we reconsider the college dream. Student-loan debt is set to hit a trillion dollars in 2011, and many Americans have no clue how they will pay off their loans. Many analysts considered student loans to be one of the most inflexible debts:

Student loans cannot be discharged during bankruptcy and hover above the heads of indebted graduates like the anvils in old Bugs Bunny cartoons. The great recession has had a catastrophic effect on recent college graduates even for those lucky enough to find jobs. Shifts in the economy have left many questioning the viability of certain degrees. A recent proposal on slate.com by Yale law professors Akhil Reed Amar and Ian Ayres suggests that law schools pay lower-performing students to quit. Despite an arguable decrease in economic value over the past decade and a half, the price of four-year degrees at most American universities has drastically increased. Driven by decreased state financial support, tuition rose again across the country at twice the rate of inflation in 2011. This continues a trend that has been in place since the early â&#x20AC;&#x2122;90s. To put it simply, we now pay a lot more for college degrees that are arguably worth a lot less than they were 20 years ago. The status quo in higher education is unsustainable. Young people are paying attention. They see their older siblings and friends graduating with outlandish studentloan debt burdens and decreased job prospects, and are asking questions. Some of those who went through the system and feel bamboozled are speaking outâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;at the occupy protests, on blogs, on social networks and on editorial pages across the country. For many, the college dream is starting to sound like a myth, and a revolution against the system is brewing. If we continue down this same path, America may end up with a higher-education version of the 2008 financial crisis. It is time for a serious look at the way we operate post-secondary institutions from both a federal and state perspective. In a world where independence is valued but resources are limited and diminishing, we need a serious focus on systematized planning and alignment. Most importantly, we must have a goal and a purpose for higher education. The president has consistently said that he wants the U.S. have the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s highest degree-attainment rate. While a noble goal, a nation that leads the world in attainment rate at the cost of student-loan debt hindering an entire generation leaves a lot to be desired. Anthony Hales Jr. is a graduate of Jackson State University and recently finished a masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree in public policy at George Mason University. He lives in Washington, D.C., and is co-founder of the Seville Skills Foundation (sevilleskillscamp.org or facebook. com/sevilleskills), a non-profit that teaches life skills to urban youth through sports. Contact him at anthony.hales.jr@gmail.com.

CORRECTION: In â&#x20AC;&#x153;Honey, I Shrunk My City!â&#x20AC;? (Vol. 10, Issue 13, Dec. 7-13) We incorrectly published the wrong end date for the exhibit. The exhibit is on display through Jan. 15. The Jackson Free Press apologizes for the error.

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13


VICTOR MCTEER

The JFP Interview

Heather McTeer, Public Servant by Robbie S. Ward

December 14 - 20,. 2011

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About a year ago, whispers in Democratic political circles suggested McTeer might run for governor or lieutenant governor. Instead, she chose to seek office representing the Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, challenging stalwart Congressman Bennie Thompson, also a Democrat. Kind of like the doctor advising her not to run a 10K race, plenty of people tried to convince McTeer not to run against Thompson, first elected to Congress in 1993. But she sees a need for new leadership representing Mississippi’s only majority African American congressional district. With her record of improving infrastructure and finances on the city level, McTeer says she wants to fill the congressional “void of leadership” of the district. She went into more detail in an interview in Greenville in early December. Why did you make the decision to go into public service? I was raised in a household of public service. My parents both came to Mississippi as part of the voters’ rights movement. My father is a civil-rights attorney, and my mother is a teacher. My brother and I both grew up in a household where service was not a byproduct of your day; it is an obligation you have as part of the community. It’s been a blessing because I’ve always maintained that connection to the community because of that service. It’s something they taught us that we owe to the community.

Name: Heather McTeer Age: 35 Education: Bachelor’s degree in sociology and a law degree from Tulane University Family: Divorced; no children. Parents, Victor and Mercidees McTeer, and brother, Marcus. Residence: Greenville Currently: Two-term mayor of Greenville, first elected in 2003. HTTP://NATIONALATLAS.GOV

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reenville Mayor Heather McTeer, 35, isn’t afraid to challenge herself. She completed the St. Jude Marathon years after doctors said she’d never be able to run due to an old injury. Her motivation has inspired others in the Delta, identified as one of the unhealthiest places in the nation, to exercise. McTeer’s parents moved to Greenville during the Civil Rights Movement. Her father, Victor McTeer, was a prominent civil-rights attorney who encouraged and mobilized African Americans to vote and take leadership positions in their community. Also an attorney, McTeer graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga., and earned a law degree from Tulane University in New Orleans. Her family’s history of service encouraged McTeer to run for office after completing law school. She says poverty and other problems in her community compelled her to want to make a difference through public service. Citizens of Greenville have rewarded McTeer with two terms in office, but she chose not to run for a third term. From 2008 to 2009, McTeer served as president of the National Conference of Black Mayors. Currently, she chairs the Environmental Protection Agency’s Local Government Advisory Committee. Among other honors, Essence Magazine named her one of the “50 Most Beautiful Women in the World” in May 2005.

MS Congressional District 2

I found myself—even through high school all the way through law school and coming out—getting involved with public service. I started out working in Girl Scouts and was a Girl Scout leader when I was in college. I always maintained that connection to service. In Georgia (during college), I worked for (state) Sen. Donzella James

and worked for the Georgia Legislature as an aide. I have clerked for Supreme Court Justices in the state of Mississippi and always found that it was important to maintain that connection to our community by doing things for it. This is the community that raised me. I feel strongly that I can help make it the best community it can be.


COURTESY HEATHER MCTEER

When have you had to channel your dad’s fearlessness? In everything that we’ve done, there’s always been that sense of being unafraid. Because it’s natural to be a little scared of what’s unknown. When I ran for mayor, there had never been an African American, there had never been a woman. The good Lord knows there had never been anybody 27 years old trying to do this. I come from a faith-based family, so we grew up standing on the scriptures that we were taught. God has not given us the spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and love and a sound mind. Fear isn’t something we focus on. We have fearlessness because we have the power to do whatever we’re called under God to do. We operate in a loving fashion. Every step I’ve taken, I always remind myself, even beyond my father, of every person who has fought and struggled for the people of this community—be they black, white, women or men—they had to exhibit a fearlessness. Who am I to be afraid? I have to do what I’m called to do and put aside the fear and encourage others to do the same. What did your dad think when you decided to run for Congress? I have a very encouraging family. But more importantly, I think my entire family understands that it’s important for us to focus on the needs of our community and the needs of this district. That’s the same thing that I had to focus on. I couldn’t ig-

nore that we continue to be 50th over and over and over again. We have remained in the same place for going on a generation now without any movement, without any plan, without any vision. I couldn’t sit back and say that was OK. I know and have seen far too many mothers and families who have continued to come into my office and simply cannot afford to continue to do what we’ve been doing. That’s where we have to have people—and I’m proud to be one of those people—who step up and say, “We’ve got to do something about it.” We can continue to talk about it, or we can do something about it. I choose to be an action-oriented person. Serving your second term as Greenville mayor, what have been some of your biggest challenges since taking office? To be in this area, you have to understand the challenges inherent to the Mississippi Delta and inherent to Greenville. When I came into office, this city was $4 million in debt. We had employees who couldn’t cash payroll checks. We had checks that actually bounced. That was the situation of the city of Greenville. My accounts-payable clerk and I did what people do around their tables each day. We looked at how much money we had in the account, and we’d take the box of bills and checks and see twice a week what went out and what got paid. We had to do

what working families and poor families all over this district do every single day. When I came into office, we had so many complaints about infrastructure. We had streets that had not been done in over a generation, in some cases more than a generation. Some were completely dilapidated. We had so many jobs that left before I got to office. There was a sense of hopelessness. But from my purview, we had such a great opportunity before us. As I prepare to leave office, I’m so proud of the fact that I leave office with the city in the black. I leave office with a chief financial officer in place. We’ve been able to overcome those challenges. We’ve gotten over a hundred streets done in the city of Greenville—neighborhood streets—and we’ve still been able to leverage funds to do arterial streets. We’ve seen businesses that have rented buildings in Greenville turn around and invest millions of dollars into buying property and building headquarters space in the city of Greenville. We’ve been able to do all of that during one of the worst economic times this country has ever seen in one of the worst economically depressed areas of this state. When we talk about the challenges, I can’t help but look back and talk about how we’ve overcome them and get even more energized about what we can do. We were able to do all of that, and it only took us eight years. Imagine what we can do for our entire district in the next eight. You preempted me a little, but as you complete your time as mayor, what accomplishments will you be most proud of? I’m leaving office with the city financially in the black. Businesses invest millions of dollars into our community. I changed how we use our gaming money. It used to go into our operational account. It used to mix with our day-to-day operations. I said, “What if the casinos decide to up and move away?” The money fluctuates. I got the council to change it so the gaming funds did not go to our operational account. Instead, it went to a separate account where we could do different things; it was set aside for money for parks, money for airports and other areas of the city. I don’t think anybody realized how important that was until this year when we saw record flood levels all across the Mississippi River that required the casinos to close. Our gaming revenue was cut off for a month. My city was able to continue. Sure, we tightened up some purse strings and belts, and we really

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Your family, particularly your father, has a long history of political activism. How has your family influenced your politics? When I was 10 years old, my dad represented Robert Merritt, who was trying to become the first superintendent (of education) in Indianola. He took my brother and me to Indianola. We knew the Merritt family and their children. I will never forget. We were going over for a march to support him. I didn’t understand until much later in my life what it meant for us to be there. My dad explained it to me as “we are working with the community. It’s important for us to be here; we are supporting the opportunity for the first black man in Indianola to become the first superintendent because he qualified to do so.” He said it was important for us to be there. My brother and I were children. It was a learning process. This is the type of environment I grew up in, understanding we have a duty to stand up for the rights of people, even in the midst of adversity. My dad later told me, “Heather, it was one thing for you to see me there, being there and standing up and being a part of this march, but you’ll never know how afraid I was to have my children standing there, not knowing what would break out, if any violence would occur.” I also understand the importance of standing there and saying we’re going to put our own selves at risk. It’s in that spirit and that environment that my family has an impact and influence on me.

A young Heather McTeer (center) and her brother, Marcus, hang out in her dad Victor McTeer’s office.

McTEER, see page 16

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16

Molecules

December 14 - 20,. 2011

COURTESY HEATHER MCTEER

McTEER, from page 15

watched because we knew casino revenue was going to be short for a month. But it didn’t pay police and firemen. It wasn’t money that was relied on to keep the lights on. We were able to operate in a fashion that provided services because of our sound financial planning and outlook. When I leave office, that’s the kind of foundation that I’ve left. We’ve gotten over a hundred streets done in neighborhood communities and downtown, including Washington Avenue, which was a huge accomplishment. That set in stone a foundation for a solid downtown. If you look at Greenville’s downtown, it had declined for the last 20 years. When I took office, I worked with people from the Main Street Association. I got the council to agree to make it a two-way straight street like it was a long time ago. And then I secured money to redo the street in two phases. Phase one is already done with solid water and sewer infrastructure in place. We just awarded the bid for phase two. Even after I leave office, the foundation is there to build our downtown. That’s important to really see how we have really laid out a good foundation to build business, community and civic development. It sets the stage for Greenville to flourish well into the future.

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When did you decide to run for Congress? I think it was a rolling process. Ultimately, I looked at our entire district and looked at the desperation I see in the faces of people I know and have met all along this journey, all throughout this Second Congressional District. So often, I’ve been posed with the question: “Heather, how are you able to do this in Greenville? Is it possible to do it in my community?” I have something called “open office” as mayor. Regardless of what was happening on my schedule, on Wednesdays, I would set a time for anybody to come in without an appointment; my office was always open to them. You could come and talk about whatever you wanted to talk about. I started getting people who would come to me

Heather McTeer at age 10 joined her father, Victor, at a march to demand the first black school superientendent for Indianola.

from Rolling Fork and from Sharkey and Issaquena County, and people who traveled from Jackson and Tunica were coming to talk to me during open office. They wanted to talk to me about things they saw going on in Greenville. They said, “You’re doing streets in Greenville, and we want to know how we can do it in our communities.” It made me realize we have a void in this district that is desperately needing to be filled, and people are hungry to know there is hope. I couldn’t sit idly by and ignore that. I couldn’t sit back and say, this is all right. People who are suffering from health ailments—we have the highest rates of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart diseases, childhood obesity—we’re talking about people dying every single day. People can’t afford to do that. I couldn’t sit back when I know we can develop a plan, develop a vision to begin to turn this around. I know you’ve run a marathon and two half-marathons. Health issues have historically plagued the Delta. As a marathon runner, why did you choose to make running a part of your life? I chose it for a few reasons. One, I was told I couldn’t do it. We had an excellent YMCA director here named Phillip Doiron. He said everybody could be a run-

ner. He helped put on the first 10K in the city of Greenville. At the time, Ross Reily, the editor of the Delta Democrat Times, hadn’t run one in some time and was looking for something to get the city behind to talk about health and wellness. So he said to me: “Let’s do it together. So many times the city and the newspaper are at odds. Let’s do this together.” I said OK. I used to run track in high school and hadn’t done it in a while, but I like being outside, so I agreed to do it. After doing the first half-mile of practice, I was tired and my knee started to swell up from an injury. I went to a doctor, who said I would never run. He said I’d never be able to even walk at a fast pace. Something about that made me say I was going to do it. Something about being told “there’s no way you’ll be able to do this” just really reenergized me to say “I can, and I’m going to.” From there, I was told if I could do a 10K, then I could do a half-marathon. Over the next two years, Phillip was so encouraging and developed energy in the group. I said, “I really like this, the peacefulness of being outdoors.” I also realized that me doing this helped the community to see that you don’t have to be some little skinny individual that’s running a seven-minute mile to do this. We used the Galloway method of walking and running. I found there were so many people out there when I was out exercising who said they saw me running, and that they thought they may be able to run, too. I said, “Yes! We can all run together. We can run and we can walk.” I’m not the Sports Illustrated modeltype of person out there running in perfect form. I sweat. I tie my hair back, but I tie my hear back, and I’m out there running.

A word cloud of this interview.

McTEER, see page 19


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Mayor McTeer (left) at the Mississippi Fire Academy.

It’s about accomplishing a goal and getting people out there to be health minded. That’s the goal. We’ve got to be healthminded. I’m looking forward to running the Blues Half-marathon in Jackson. I hear it’s much tougher because they have hills, and us Delta folks are used to flat land. When I ran the St. Jude Marathon, at mile 18, I saw a lady who stopped. I told her, “We can do it. Let’s keep going.” We ran together and crossed the finish line together. Running creates an environment of motivation, an environment of you-can-do and will-do spirit. That same spirit is what we have to bring to this district with respect to health. We have to be motivated and encouraged to know we can do it, and that it’s a necessary requirement to our necessary existence. When you think about businesses that want to relocate to our community, they look at costs. And health is a major part of it. If their labor force is going to be sick, if they are going to pay more for sick days and people being out, if they have to pay more in health insurance costs in this district than if they went to the first or the fourth district, that tells us there are some things we need to address because of impacts to job creation for us. We have to have that conversation to set realistic goals and vision for what we do to change that. That’s what I’m excited about it. I want to run and swim and bike. I’ve done three triathlons. I want to bring that attitude of health, wellness and spirit to our entire area. Why do you want to run for the U.S. Congress? There’s a need and a void that we must fill. We absolutely must. And I believe that I am not only capable but experienced in practically setting our goals and our visions for our district. As a congressperson, not only do I have the ability to do that, but I also have the ability to be a very strong advocate—a strong advocate for the needs of people from our district. If we can understand how to solve the problems of our district, we can understand how to solve the problems of America. We are at a place now where I couldn’t sit by and say it’s OK for us to keep doing what we’ve been doing and expect things to change. That’s the definition of insanity. I made the decision that I’m going to run for Congress and going to be a part of a positive direction of our district.

I’ve always heard people say running against Bennie Thompson in the Second Congressional District is something like trying to run through a brick wall. What makes you believe you can win? Even brick walls can fall. It’s simply about the issues in this district. It’s about the fact that we’re still 50th and have been for 20 years over and over again. It’s about having failing infrastructure that we have to have a plan for. It’s about us having health disparities that we have to have a plan for. We have an education problem in this district that hasn’t been addressed, and I’m the best person for the job because I have not only practically worked in these areas, but I have consistently set goals and met them. I have set visions and outlines so we have a workable plan. I’ve been working on the ground with people for years, and we’ve been successful at it. We can do it in Greenville, and we can do it all across this district. I have a proven record, and it only took me eight years, not 20. That’s why I’m the best person for the job. How do we address education in the district on the federal level? First, we have to recognize this district is different from others. Our district has the highest rates of dropouts. We have the lowest graduation rates. We must do something different. From the federal perspective, we have an opportunity to look at the resources available, but also work with our superintendents, our social and civic groups, parents, teachers and students and create what’s best for our area. That’s what I mean about planning and having the vision to come up with an outline. We’re going to work with local, state and federal leaders to make sure we have a turnaround. We have a great opportunity to do some new things that have been proposed. Maybe we need to look at educational programs that have not yet been seen in the state of Mississippi. There are other parts of the country that are similar to Mississippi that have been successful. I’ve seen an all-boys high school in Chicago that’s in a low-income area. Most of their students are under the poverty level, yet they have a 100percent college placement rate—not graduation rate, but college placement rate. You can’t convince me if you can do it in a place that has the same dynamics, the same socioeconomic status, the same problems that we have here, you can’t tell me that it’s not McTEER, see page 20

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COURTESY HEATHER MCTEER

McTEER, from page 16

19


McTEER, from page 19 U.S. CONGRESS / PUBLIC DOMAIN

Rep. Bennie Thompson has served the majorityblack Second District since 1994. McTeer says, though: “Even brick walls can fall.”

duplicable. Research shows now that onein-three school children in our district are in poverty. We have a chance to lead the charge at the federal level and to create opportunities that are unique for our children. What issues do you see as most important to the Second District? I think the most important thing is job creation. But in order to have job creation, three other parts are critical—education, health and wellness, and infrastructure. They’re the base to job creation. That’s ultimately what we have to do in the district. We have to get people to work. To do that, our communities must have solid base infrastructure to support not just existing businesses but also small businesses and industries that are good to come into our district. Industries today aren’t looking at our juniors and seniors in high school; they’re looking at our second graders. They tell industry what the labor force will be in the next 10 to 15 years. We’ve got to have infrastructure, education, and health and wellness. If you have those three things together, you have a wonderful base for job creation. That’s what this area has to have.

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20 Stewpot Community Services, Inc. 1100 W Capitol St., Jackson, MS 39203 • 601-353-2759

What is your relationship with President Obama and how it would help you in Congress? I learned early that working with the president’s administration is just that—it’s about work. My experience working with the Obama administration is they are concerned about working with people. I was fortunate enough to work with them very early in the campaign. He spent the night in Greenville and spoke at Buck’s Restaurant. I rode over there with him from his hotel to Buck’s. He asked what are things needed in Greenville. I said: “We’ve got to focus on infrastructure and job creation. That’s what people need.” After the president was elected, before his inauguration, I learned about Greenville being at risk of losing its airline. I was fortunate to call the administration and within a day, they had someone from the FAA and other relevant areas to meet with me and have a conversation about keeping this from happening. Now when I call, I know somebody will pick up. What role do you believe the federal government should play to help encourage economic development in the area? It’s about creating the atmosphere that’s ready and right for the business environment. We can do that by setting the

outline, vision and the goals to do it. That’s the void that hasn’t been filled. If you look at the other parts of Mississippi, they are a part of creating that environment that is ready and ripe for whatever jobs and industry they’re able to attract. You have to work hand-in-hand with our local and state government to be able to do that. Before we get to that, we’ve got to correct some of the problems in our district right now. From a federal level, I fully intend to help set the direction for our district. We will have an operating plan to turn all that is possible here into a reality. Do you believe this district gets the attention it deserves? No, this district should be the priority of the United States—period. Our state is 50th in the country, and within the state, we’re at the bottom of that. As the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats. Let’s start at the bottom and lift and create. We have to focus on this district. In my mind there is no other district that needs more attention than the Second Congressional District. I don’t care where you are. This district should be priority, and under my administration, it will be. What are some of the strengths of the district? We have the best natural resources ever. We have the best people—period. You’ll not find a kinder, more loving and loyal people than you’ll find in this district. Throughout the Delta, we’re touted nationally for our southern hospitality. That translates into a business loyalty. You’ll find a sense of loyalty and camaraderie make for an excellent work environment. Folks have worked for companies here for years. People who have created small businesses that are unique to this area just need a little urging and nudging to help them see that their market can be global. We’ve seen that happen in some places. Our best strengths McTEER, see page 22


21

jacksonfreepress.com


VIRGIL W. SELF

McTEER, from page 20

Heather McTeer served two terms as mayor of Greenville.

of our needs with infrastructure. We’ve got some amazing resources. We’ve got rail that we need to focus on. We’ve got a river, which is very unique, since a lot of places don’t have that. We’ve got air. I think being a part of the transportation committee helps rail, roads, river and air.

are us. We have the river, we have the most fertile land, and we have an opportunity with rail. We have some of the most wonderful natural resources in this area. We are the richest part of the state with the poorest people. That shouldn’t be so.

December 14 - 20,. 2011

Bennie Thompson gave up his seat on the Agriculture Committee to chair the Homeland Security Committee. Have you considered what committees you’d pursue? Certainly, agriculture and transportation would be two of my top choices. They

22

fit directly in line with what I think are the strengths of this area. With agriculture, it’s pretty obvious that it has been our lifeblood in this part of the state. But it’s also emerging and changing. We have opportunities to lead policy in that area. When you look at agricultural technology—the opportunities for really expanding an area that can benefit not only our area but internationally—there are things we can do. I think I can bring things to the (agriculture) committee that would really benefit our congressional district. The same thing with transportation; it’s something vital to our district. It’s one

Have you spoken with Bennie Thompson since you decided to run? What’s your relationship with him like? We’ve been in the same areas. I expect to run a campaign that we intend to win. We’re going to do this. We know we have to connect with voters. You’ve been spotted in Jackson with people associated with the Mississippi Republican Party. Have they tried to woo you, or have you sought GOP support? I am a Democrat. Let’s be clear about that. I’m a Democrat through and through.

Will you seek Republican support in the primary? I think they want my support. They understand the need. Our campaign is a campaign based on truth. People have reached out to me. I’m running in the Democratic primary. It’s been my experience here in Greenville. As for your campaign, what will be key to you winning the primary? Reaching out, going out and touching folks, asking them for their support. At this stage in the race, what are your priorities? Fundraising and that same old-fashioned getting out there and getting to know people. It doesn’t cost a dime to go out and meet the people of this district. I will not be outworked. I have the energy and passion to get out here and make it happen. Read and comment on this and other candidate interviews at www.jfp.ms/politics.


www.thepizzashackjackson.com

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FOOD WRITER

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Listening For

Christmas Series November 27 - December 25 Worship Services 8:30am & 11:00am December 18 Chancel Choir Listening for Christmas: A Service of Lessons & Carols December 25 Rev. Drs. Connie & Joey Shelton

Looking for lovers of all things food and drink to take up pen and fork to write original food features. Can you describe a meal without using the word â&#x20AC;&#x153;deliciousâ&#x20AC;?? Do you have an adventurous palate? Then you might be up for the task! The right person should be able to to come up with creative pitches, original recipes and photographs to complement your copy. Interested? Send cover letter and writing samples to

Listening for Christmas: The Word Made Flesh 305 North Congress Street Jackson, MS 601-353-9691 English 601-362-3464 Spanish www.gallowayumc.org

assistant@jacksonfreepress.com.

ST0LACE

7INGSIN*ACKSON





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Voted 1st Place: Best Seafood 2011 Best of Jackson

$2 Margaritas ALL DAY, EVERY DAY

Monday Crown & Down Mixed Drinks $4 Tuesday 1/2 Priced Bottles of Wine $5 Seafood Egg Rolls Wednesday 1/2 Priced Martinis Thursday Ladies Night with Live Music Saturday $1 Domestic Draft during football season all day

 -" ]  Ă&#x160;/Ă&#x160;  +1 /

THURSDAY 12/15

Legacy

(Traditional Irish) FRIDAY 12/16

(Bluegrass/Folk)

SATURDAY 12/17

Juvenators

Happy Hour

(Blues)

EVERYDAY

361 Township Ave. Ridgeland, MS 601-856-2844 www.ajsgrille.com

5 A.M.

(Rhythm & Blues)

Jacktown Ramblers

Sunday 1 Free Bloody Mary or Mimosa with entree purchase

3:30pm-6:30pm & 9pm to 12midnight

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MONDAY 12/19

Karaoke w/ Matt TUESDAY 12/20

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Includes Drink & Choices of Fresh Vegetables

ON SUNDAYS includes chicken strips & hamburgers excludes shrimp

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Monday: Hamburger Steak Tuesday: Grilled Tilapia or Fried Chicken Wednesday: Roast Beef Thursday : Chicken Diane or Grilled Pork Chop Friday : Meatloaf or Chicken & Dumplings

jacksonfreepress.com

Kids Eat Free!

All for only

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BOOKS p 28|8 DAYS p 29 | MUSIC p 31 | SPORTS p 34

MAHT BARRETT

Stand Up

Big

by Andrew Ousley

Larry Jackson started his own promotion company and hosts a weekly comedy act.

December 14 - 20, 2011

W

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hen I shook his hand, I knew instantly that Larry Jackson wasn’t a full-time comedian. His enormous paw, covered with callouses and cuts, swallowed my hand. In fact, he’s only a comedian on the side. He maintains bridges and drains for the city of Jackson at his day job. We were a funny looking twosome, walking into Ole Tavern on George Street for an interview. Larry is a colossal individual: 6-foot-plus, 300-pounds-plus. Me, I’m scraping 5-foot-10 at about one-third his weight. We found a mutual respect, though, as two people pursuing their respective moonlight-crafts that have proved to be less-thanlucrative. Comedy is what Jackson, 37, earnestly calls his labor of love: comedy. Born and raised in the capital city, Jackson has been doing stand-up comedy around the south for more than three years. He says he gets material, like most comedians, from things he sees around him every day. We chuckle when he says this, acknowledging that Jackson provides a lot of material.

“My family owns a laundromat,” Jackson says. The laundromat is his third job, usually on the weekends only. “I see mommas backhanding their kids, old men trying to mack on young girls. You never know what you’ll see.” Jackson has a sense of true dedication when he talks about comedy. He performs weekly, usually at the West Lounge on Capitol Street, but his role has changed to more of a host than a headliner. He likes to incubate new talent, he says, saving only a few minutes for his own bits. “When I first started doing comedy in Jackson, it was a grind,” he says. Every week was another amateur night, but the club usually put him on around 1 a.m., right between a folk band and a death-metal band. So he went independent in 2010, starting a promotion company, Fat Boy Entertainment. Now his crew of about 10 comedians has gained a little momentum. They’ve performed on the Gulf Coast, Shreveport, La., and even at the famous Comedy Store in Los Angeles. He speaks in a casually philosophic

way about his comedy, about how laughing holds a special power over people and how the stage is akin to an artist’s canvas. Comedy is an art form unlike most, though. The response is instant: either your jokes kill or you bomb. It’s a challenge Jackson gladly accepts. “If I get a heckler saying, ‘Get off the stage, Fat Boy,’ I just make it make it a personal challenge to make that person laugh,” Jackson says. Jackson’s sets can be racy and profane, something probably attributed to his comedic influences: Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, George Carlin and Rob Klein. Also, he no longer invites his girlfriend to the show. “I made a joke about my girl’s dad. Man, I didn’t get none for like two weeks,” he said. “She can’t come anymore.” He isn’t satisfied with the modest success he’s achieved. “You gotta stay hungry,” he says. Jackson prepares for gigs in his living room, alone with a microphone, practicing everything from his delivery to his hand motions and even his wardrobe. “I tried to wear

a preppy three-piece suit, but I ended up looking like a fat dude going to church,” he says. “I just rock jeans and a T-shirt now.” Asked if he was nervous the first time he ever performed stand-up on stage, Jackson thinks for a moment. “To be honest, I was plastered,” he says. “I was comfortable once I had a few drinks in me.” Our conversation devolves, or maybe evolves, from talking about comedy, to just talking. Jackson shows me some videos on his phone of him and his friends playing drinking games. He illustrates how to make a bottled-beer freeze instantly just by tapping the bottle on the table, something I’d only seen on YouTube. I’m impressed. Like any good promoter, Jackson hypes his gigs, reminding me about his performances at West Lounge as I get ready to leave. He’s in this game for laughs, not money, so I think I might just go. Larry Jackson and his Fat Boy Entertainment crew perform Wednesday nights from 9 p.m. to midnight at the West Lounge (3430 W. Capitol St., 601- 948-7680). Admission is free, but buy a $2 beer while you are there.


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jacksonfreepress.com


A M A LC O T H E AT R E

South of Walmart in Madison

ALL STADIUM SEATING Listings for Fri., Dec. 16- Thurs. Dec. 22 2011 Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows PG13

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt.1 PG13

Alvin And The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

Happy Feet Two (non 3-D) PG

G

New Years Eve PG13 The Sitter

R

The Descendants R Arthur Christmas (non 3-D) PG The Muppets

PG

3-D Hugo

PG

Immortals (non 3-D) Jack and Jill

R PG

Tower Heist PG13

Opens Tuesday Night 12/20 Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol PG13 Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

R

GIFT CARDS AVAILABLE DAILY BARGAINS UNTIL 6PM Online Tickets, Birthday Parties, Group & Corporate Events @ www.malco.com

Movieline: 355-9311

DIVERSIONS|books

by Casey Purvis

Making a Place

A

uthor Lalita Tademy describes Mississippian Lynne Bryantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s debut novel â&#x20AC;&#x153;Catfish Alleyâ&#x20AC;? (New American Library, 2011, $14) as being â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the tradition of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Help,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? by Kathryn Stockett. True, both Mississippi authors have white women as central characters and black women struggling against racial hatred. Both novels have multiple perspectives. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s where they diverge. I much prefer Bryantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s novel. Her plot is more complex and robust, and her characters more fully developed. Bryant sucks readers into the vortex of 1930s Mississippi with the proficiency of a time machine. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Catfish Alleyâ&#x20AC;? is brave and visceral, exploring ground â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Helpâ&#x20AC;? fears to tread. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Helpâ&#x20AC;? develops the vapors when broaching the subject of racially motivated violence, sugarcoating the harsh realities and fleeing the scene to deal with hair issues. Bryantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Catfish Alleyâ&#x20AC;? fearlessly captures love, lies, violence, betrayal and lives interrupted. This is not a feel-good novel for white people. It is an honest look at subtle forms of southern racism and an accurate glimpse into its uglier, more blatant origins. Bryantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s characters manage to make lives in a place that does not want them. Set in fictitious Clarksville, Miss., a haven of registry-listed antebellum plantations, Roxanne Reeves restores historic homes and directs the townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pilgrimage tour. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an image-obsessed social climber with a secrets: She comes from a poor family, and she and her COURTESY NEW AMERICAN LIBRARY

6A0=3E84F

pedigreed husband are separating. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Was I so attracted to him because he never challenged me or my story? He was willing to swallow completely that I was an orphan adopted by the Stanleys, the wealthy couple Mama cooked for. And I was willing to play the role of the perfect faculty wifeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the right social circle, the right clothes, the right clubs,â&#x20AC;? Reeves says, grappling with her life. The owner of a home Reeves is panting to restore tasks her with developing a black history tour and Reeves enlists Grace Clark, a retired black schoolteacher, to help. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I need Grace to be a consultant for this tour, but I just cannot bear her droning on and on about slavery and civil rights and all of that,â&#x20AC;? Reeves narrates. Clark is equally reticent. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sets my teeth on edge a little bit thinking of the show they put on every year. â&#x20AC;Ś Now this all-white committee has decided there should be a tour about the black folks.â&#x20AC;? As the women soldier on, Reeves finds a vibrant community she never realized existed. She meets Graceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s friends, and their stories weave together into a tapestry of collective life experience. At the center is violence act that tears lovers apart and alters lives. Bryant paints a well-researched picture of life in the 1930s South and deals honestly and sensitively with racial bias. At its root, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Catfish Alleyâ&#x20AC;? teaches that forgiveness restores and love eclipses hate. It is an absorbing read, worthy of adapting to the big screen.

7ITH&RIENDS,IKE4HIS by James L. Dickerson

W

December 14 - 20, 2011

COURTESY UNIVERSITY PRESS OF MISSISSIPPI

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BEST BETS

December 14-21, 2011 by Latasha Willis events@jacksonfreepress.com Fax: 601-510-9019 Daily updates at jfpevents.com

COURTESY DOROTHY MOORE

“An A Cappella Christmas” featuring Street Corner Symphony and The Collective is at 7 p.m. at Jackson Academy Performing Arts Center (4908 Ridgewood Road). $24.50, $14.50 children 15 and under; call 800-745-3000. … New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.) presents “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” at 7:30 p.m. in the Hewes Room; runs through Dec. 17. $15, $12 seniors and students; call 601-948-3533, ext. 222. … Virgil Brawley and Steve Chester perform at Underground 119. … The open jam with Will and Linda is at Pelican Cove. … The Wild and Out Wednesday Comedy Show is at West Restaurant and Lounge. $2. … The Sofa Kings play at Kathryn’s. … Fitzgerald’s has music by Jazz Beautiful with Pam Confer.

Christmas” at 7 p.m. at Covenant Presbyterian Church (4000 Ridgewood Road). $10 in advance, $12 at the door; call 601-454-5573. … Jodi Models presents the “Fabulosity” Winter Fashion Extravaganza at 7:30 p.m. at Fondren Hall (Northwood Shopping Center, 4436 N. State St.). $15 in advance, $20 at the door; call 601-941-3925.

FRIDAY 12/16

“The Greatest Gift” Benefit Concert is at 7 p.m., at Belhaven University Center for the Arts. Performers include Dorothy Moore, the Williams Brothers and the Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet. Proceeds benefit The Christmas Village. $20 balcony seats, $25 orchestra seats; visit thechristmasvillage.org/tickets. … Fiesta Latina is at 7 p.m. at Lingofest Language Center (7048 Old Canton Road, Ridgeland). Free; call 601-500-7700. … Ballet Magnificat! Presents “Snow Queen” at 7 p.m. at Thalia Mara Hall; runs through Dec. 18. $10-$30; call 601-977-1001.

SATURDAY 12/17

The DScott4RealMusic Production Band Ensemble performs at the Holiday Toy Drive at 11 a.m. at circa. Urban Artisan Living (2771 Old Canton Road). Call 601-919-7111. … The Be Bold Beer Run kicks off at 4 p.m. in downtown Jackson starting at Hal & Mal’s. Free, drink prices vary; call 262-391-9265. … The NuRenaissance Art Showing and Gala for Myron McGowan is at 7 p.m. at North Midtown Arts Center. Free; call 601-372-8088. ... VIP Grand Events’ Snow Ball is at 7 p.m., at Plantation Commons (105 Plantation Cove, Madison). $58 (deposit required); call 601-713-4040. … The “Handel’s ‘Messiah’” concert is at 7:30 p.m. at Wesley Chapel (787 E. Northside Drive). Music by the Mississippi Chorus, Phyllis Lewis-Hale and more. $20, $18 seniors, $5 students with ID; call 601-278-3351. … Bring food, toy and coat donations to the Gift for Others Birthday Party at 9 p.m. at Salsa Mississippi Studio and Club (605 Duling Ave.). $10, $5 college students with ID; call 601213-6355. … The Blue Bengal Athletic Association Christmas Party is at 9 p.m. at E & E House of Jazz and Blues (1028 Pecan Park Circle). $10; call 769-243-3996. … Vagabond Swing is at Ole Tavern at 9 p.m. … The Juvenators play at Fenian’s. Blues legend Dorothy Moore is among several artists performing at “The Greatest Gift” Concert Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. at Belhaven Center for the Arts.

Fondren’s Four Fabulous Thursdays continues with Fondren businesses staying open until 7:30 p.m. Call 601981-9606. … Rock It Out is at 5 p.m., at Swell-O-Phonic (Fondren Corner, 2906 N. State St.). Includes food from Parlor Market and commemorative T-shirts for sale. Proceeds benefit Craig Noone’s Miracle League of Jackson. Afterward, the JFP hosts Southern Fried Karaoke at 9:15 p.m. at Hal & Mal’s. Free. Call 601-421-1458. … The Best Artisan Gift Gathering is at 5 p.m. at circa. Urban Artisan Living (2771 Old Canton Road). Free; call 601-362-8484. … The Jackson 2000 Holiday Social is at 5:30 p.m. at the Municipal Art Gallery (839 N. State St.). Free; email bevelyn_branch@att. net. … Máirtín de Cógáin and Legacy perform at “An Irish

John Mora performs from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Sombra Mexican Kitchen (1037 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland). … The play “Annie” ends its run at New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.) with a 2 p.m. show. Bring donations for Stewpot and Toys for Tots. $25, $22 seniors and students, $18 children 12 and under; call 601-948-3533. … See the film “Margin Call” at 5 p.m. at Russell C. Davis Planetarium (201 E. Pascagoula St.). $7; visit msfilm.org. … Mississippi Murder Mystery presents “Dirty Santa” at 6 p.m. at Olga’s. $45; call 601-366-1366 to RSVP. … The Generation NXT Concert Series is at 6 p.m. at Dreamz JXN. Bring non-perishable food items for charity.

MONDAY 12/19

The Winter Holidays Exhibit at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.) shows through Dec. 29, excluding Dec. 23-26. Free; call 601-576-6800. … Pub Quiz at Ole Tavern.

TUESDAY 12/20

The Playful Patchwork Traveling Exhibit at the Mississippi Children’s Museum (2145 Highland Drive) hangs through Dec. 31. $8, children under 12 months and members free; call 601-981-5469 or 877-793-5437. … Photographer William Ferris speaks at Unburied Treasures at 5:30 p.m. at the Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.) in Trustmark Grand Hall. Free admission; call 601-960-1515.

WEDNESDAY 12/21

The “FROGS! Beyond Green” exhibit at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (2148 Riverside Drive) shows through Jan. 9. $6, $5 seniors, $4 children ages 3-18, members and babies free; call 601-354-7303. … See the opera film “The Magic Flute” at 6:30 p.m. at Tinseltown (411 Riverwind Drive, Pearl). $11.50, $10.50 seniors and students, $9.50 children; call 601-936-5856. More events and details at jfpevents.com.

Street Corner Symphony (pictured) and The Collective perform Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. at Jackson Academy Performing Arts Center. ALLEN CLARK

THURSDAY 12/15

SUNDAY 12/18

jacksonfreepress.com

WEDNESDAY 12/14

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jfpevents JFP-SPONSORED EVENTS Radio JFP on WLEZ, at WLEZ 100.1 FM and wlezfm.com. Join Donna Ladd and Todd Stauffer every Thursday from noon-1 p.m., where they discuss vital issues and play local music. This week’s guest is Michaek Hrivnak, who will discuss the “Handel’s ‘Messiah’” concert Dec. 17 at Wesley Chapel. JFP sports writer Bryan Flynn gives commentary at 12:45 p.m. Listen to podcasts at jfpradio.com. Free; call 601-362-6121, ext. 17. Rock It Out Dec. 15, 5 p.m., at Swell-O-Phonic (Fondren Corner, 2906 N. State St.). Sample food from Parlor Market, and purchase “Rock It Out” T-shirts with proceeds benefiting Craig Noone’s Miracle League of Jackson, which helps build baseball fields for disabled children. 15 percent of in-store sales also benefit the Miracle League. After-party at 9:15 p.m. at Hal & Mal’s (200 S. Commerce St.) where the JFP hosts Southern Fried Karaoke. Call 601-421-1458.

Handel’s “Messiah” Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m., at Wesley Chapel (787 E. Northside Drive). Performers include the Mississippi Chorus, organist Paul Lee, Phyllis Lewis-Hale, Lester Senter, John White and James Martin. $20, $18 seniors, $5 students with ID; call 601-278-3351. Cade Chapel Christmas Cantata Dec. 18, 3 p.m., at Jackson State University, Rose E. McCoy Auditorium (1400 John R. Lynch St.). Enjoy music, dance and theater. Free tickets; call 601-366-5463.

Jackson 2000 Holiday Social Dec. 15, 5:30 p.m., at Municipal Art Gallery (839 N. State St.). Jackson 2000 promotes racial understanding. Free; email bevelyn_branch@att.net.

HOLIDAY

COMMUNITY

Christmas Community Dinner and Toy Giveaway Dec. 14, 6:30 p.m., at New Vineyard Church (3784 Terry Road). The event includes a Christmas program, dinner and a free toy for each child in attendance. Free; call 601-502-1744.

Mississippi State Kennel Club Magnolia Christmas Classic Dec. 15-18, at Mississippi Trade Mart (1200 Mississippi St.). The Brandon Kennel Club of Mississippi and the Mississippi State Kennel Club host all-breed conformation shows, obedience trials and rally trials. Proceeds benefit local animal shelters. $2 donation, children 12 and under free; call 601-573-8133.

Holiday Open House Dec. 15, 6 p.m., at Pearl Public Library (2416 Old Brandon Road, Pearl). Enjoy refreshments, crafts for the kids and pictures with Santa. The Pearl Upper Elementary Choir performs. Free; call 601-932-2562. An Irish Christmas: Songs and Music from West Cork Dec. 15, 7 p.m., at Covenant Presbyterian Church (4000 Ridgewood Road). Máirtín de Cógáin and Legacy perform Irish holiday songs. Discounts for members of Covenant Presbyterian Church, Jackson Irish Dancers and Celtic Heritage Society. $10 in advance, $12 at the door; call 601-454-5573. Senior Christmas Gala Dec. 16, 10 a.m., at Metrocenter Mall (3645 Highway 80 W.). The Department of Human and Cultural Services welcomes all seniors. Enjoy food, dancing and door prizes. The Dowell Taylor Quartet performs. Free; call 601-960-0335. Christmas Gala Dec. 17, 7 p.m., at Holiday Inn, Trustmark Park (110 Bass Pro Drive, Pearl). New Vineyard Church hosts an evening of food and Christmas music. Wear semi-formal or formal attire. $15, $30 couples; call 601-502-1744. Find Fonzy the Reindeer, in Fondren. Look for Fonzy, a life-sized reindeer statue, at local businesses to become eligible to win a $500 gift certificate. Enter daily at fondren.org. The winner is announced Dec. 24. Free; call 601-981-9606.

December 14 - 20, 2011

Snow Ball Dec. 17, 7 p.m., at Plantation Commons (105 Plantation Cove, Madison). VIP Grand Events hosts the holiday gala that includes gourmet food and live music. Reserved tables available; 50 percent deposit required. $58; call 601-713-4040.

“The Greatest Gift” Christmas Camp Dec. 19-23, at A Focused Brain (6715 Old Canton Road, Suite 5, Ridgeland). Children ages 7-12 participate in Christmas activities that help improve their concentration and motor skills. Hours are 8:30-noon daily. Seating is limited; registration required. $100; call 601-665-4254.

An A Cappella Christmas Dec. 14, 7 p.m., at Jackson Academy Performing Arts Center (4908 Ridgewood Road). Performers include Street Corner Symphony, 2010 winners of “The Sing Off,” and The Collective, a group of independent singersongwriters from Nashville. $24.50, $14.50 children 15 and under; call 800-745-3000.

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choir performances in the rotunda. Free; call 601-576-6920.

Fondren’s Four Fabulous Thursdays through Dec. 22. Fondren businesses extend their hours until 7:30 p.m. for holiday shoppers. Call 601-981-9606. Christmas at the Governor’s Mansion through Dec. 20, at Governor’s Mansion (300 E. Capitol St.). Guided tours from 9:30-11 a.m. TuesdayFriday on the half-hour. Reservations required for groups of 10 or more. Free; call 601-359-6421. Sounds of the Season Dec. 16-17, noon, at Old Capitol Museum (100 S. State St.). Enjoy local

LABA-Link Small Business Resource Conference Dec. 15, 5 p.m., at Jackson-Evers International Airport (100 International Drive), in the Community Room. Learn about procurement opportunities with the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority and the City of Jackson. Free; email labalink@gmail.com or infolabams@gmail.com. Precinct 3 COPS Meeting Dec. 15, 6 p.m., at Jackson Police Department, Precinct 3 (3925 W. Northside Drive). These monthly forums are designed to help resolve community issues. Call 601-960-0003. Fiesta Latina Dec. 16, 7 p.m., at Lingofest Language Center (7048 Old Canton Road, Ridgeland). Enjoy refreshments and dancing, and a chance to practice a language you are learning. Bring food and drinks to share. Free; call 601-500-7700. Be Bold Beer Run Dec. 17, 4 p.m., in downtown Jackson. Lucky Town Brewing Company and the Home Brewers Association of Middle Mississippi are the sponsors. Registration is at 4 p.m., and the run/walk is at 4:30 p.m. The race begins and ends at Hal & Mal’s (200 S. Commerce St.). and includes stops at designated restaurants for drinks. Free, drink prices vary; call 262-391-9265.

STAGE AND SCREEN Art House Cinema Downtown Dec. 18, 5 p.m., at Russell C. Davis Planetarium (201 E. Pascagoula St.). This week’s film is “Margin Call.” Popcorn and beverages sold. $7; visit msfilm.org. Events at New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.). Call 601-948-3533. • “It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 15-16 at 9:30 p.m. and Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. in the Hewes Room. $15, $12 seniors and students; call ext. 222. • “Annie” Dec. 15-17 at 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 1718 at 2 p.m. Bring canned goods for Stewpot and new, unwrapped toys forToys for Tots. $25, $22 seniors and students, $18 children 12 and under. Opera Films at Tinseltown (411 Riverwind Drive, Pearl). $11.50, $10.50 seniors and students, $9.50 children; call 601-936-5856.

BE THE CHANGE Networking Social Dec. 15, 7 p.m., at Locker Room Lounge (205 W. Capitol St.). The purpose of this event is to bring together professionals and entrepreneurs from different fields to exchange leads, build rapport and make meaningful connections. Proceeds benefit the second annual Pretty Christmas Toy Drive. $10; call 601-345-0407. “The Greatest Gift” Benefit Concert Dec. 16, 7 p.m., at Belhaven University Center for the Arts (835 Riverside Drive). Performers include Mary Haskell, Dorothy Moore, Guy Hovis, the Williams Brothers and the Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet. Proceeds benefit The Christmas Village, a residential ministry for pregnant women. $20 balcony seats, $25 orchestra seats; visit thechristmasvillage.org/tickets. Holiday Toy Drive Dec. 17, 11 a.m., at circa. Urban Artisan Living (2771 Old Canton Road). Bring new, unwrapped toys to donate to needy children, and enjoy live music from local performers including the DScott4RealMusic Production Band Ensemble. Call 601-919-7111. Gift for Others Birthday Party Dec. 17, 9 p.m., at Salsa Mississippi Studio and Club (605 Duling Ave.). The birthday party for dance students Jessica Gordon and Alka Ahuja includes a free salsa class at 9 p.m. and a Latin dance party at 10 p.m. Bring non-perishable food items for Stewpot, gently-used coats for WLBT’s Christmas Coat Drive and gently-used toys for Toys for Tots. $10, $5 college students with ID; call 601-213-6355. Christmas Wish List Drive through Dec. 23, at Jackson Street Gallery (500 Highway 51, Suite E, Ridgeland). The gallery is collecting specific items for The Home Place, a senior citizens home in Madison. Donate Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Contact the office for a list at 601-853-1880. • Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” Dec. 21, 6:30 p.m. • Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel” Dec. 22, 6:30 p.m. “Fabulosity” Winter Fashion Extravaganza Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m., at Fondren Hall (Northwood Shopping Center, 4436 N. State St.). Jodi Models presents the fashion show. $15 in advance, $20 at the door; call 601-941-3925. “Snow Queen” Dec. 16 at 7 p.m., Dec. 17 at 3 p.m. and Dec. 18 at 2 p.m., at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.). Ballet Magnificat! performs. $10-$30; call 601-977-1001. Nameless Open-mic Dec. 17, 9 p.m., at Suite 106 (106 Wilmington St.). Poets, singers, actors and comedians are welcome. $5 admission, $3 to perform; call 601-720-4640. “Dirty Santa” Dinner Theatre Dec. 18, 6 p.m., at Olga’s (4670 Interstate 55 N.). Mississippi Murder Mystery presents Becky Martin’s play. Seating is at 5:30 p.m. RSVP with a credit card. Cancellations must be made before Dec. 16 to avoid a charge. $45; call 601-366-1366.

MUSIC Shane and Shane Dec. 16, 7 p.m., at Pinelake Church (6071 Highway 25, Brandon). The contemporary Christian duo performs. Phil Wickham also performs. Tickets available at itickets.com. $15; call 601-829-4500 or 800-965-9324.

LITERARY AND SIGNINGS Events at Lemuria Books (202 Banner Hall, 4465 Interstate 55 N.). Call 601-366-7619. • Dec. 15, 6 p.m., members of the Frascogna family sign “Jucos: The Toughest League in America.” $24.95 book. • Dec. 17, 11 a.m. Susan Haltam and Jane Roy Brown sign “One Writer’s Garden: Eudora Welty’s Home Place.” $35 book. • Lemuria Story Time Dec. 17, 11 a.m. This week’s story is Lauren Thompson’s “The Christmas Magic.” Attendees make reindeer food. Free. • Dec. 17, 1 p.m., editor Neil White signs “Mississippi’s 100 Greatest Football Players of All Time.” $45 book. • Dec. 17, 1 p.m., photographer Ken Murphy signs copies “Mississippi: State of Blues” ($50 book), “Mississippians” ($49 book) and “Mississippi” ($75 book). • Dec. 17, 3 p.m., Jesmyn Ward signs “Salvage the Bones.” $24 book. • Dec. 19, 5 p.m., Gerard Helferich signs “Stone of Kings: In Search of the Lost Jade of the Maya”; reading at 5:30 p.m. $24.95 book. • Dec. 20, 5 p.m., Culpepper Webb signs “Lifted

from the Waters.” $16.95 book. • Dec. 21, 11 a.m., Melody Golding signs “Panther Tract: Wild Boar Hunting in the Mississippi Delta.” $40 book.

CREATIVE CLASSES Polymer Clay Class Dec. 17, 10:30 a.m., at Pearl Public Library (2416 Old Brandon Road, Pearl). Visit cmspcg.com for a supply list. Free first meeting, $5 future meetings, $20 annual membership; email cmspcg@gmail.com. Beginning Bellydance Combinations Dec. 17, 1 p.m., at Joyflow Yoga (Trace Harbour Village, 7048 Old Canton Road). Wear fitted, stretchable clothing and a scarf tied around the hips. $35; call 601-613-4317. Gingerbread House Workshop for Families Dec. 18, 1 p.m., at Viking Cooking School (Township at Colony Park, 1107 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland). For ages 7 and up. Adults must accompany children. $59; call 601-898-8345.

EXHIBITS AND OPENINGS Snow Science Day Dec. 16, 10 a.m., at Mississippi Children’s Museum (2145 Highland Drive). Visitors learn about snow through experiments and activities. $8, children under 12 months and members free; call 601-981-5469 or 877-793-5437. Best Artisan Gift Gathering Dec. 15, 5 p.m., at circa. Urban Artisan Living (2771 Old Canton Road). Meet some of the artisans whose work is for sale at circa. Free, items for sale; call 601-362-8484. Annual NuRenaissance Art Showing and Gala Dec. 17, 7 p.m., at North Midtown Arts Center (121 Millsaps Ave.). See Myron McGowan’s oil paintings. Free; call 601-372-8088. Unburied Treasures Dec. 20, 5:30 p.m., at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.), in Trustmark Grand Hall. Hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar at 5:30 p.m.; photographer William Ferris discusses his portrait of and interview with Mary Gordon published in “Give My Poor Heart Ease” at 6 p.m. Blues music follows. Free; call 601-960-1515. The Art of M.L. Harrell through Feb. 28, at Cups on County Line (1070 E. County Line Road). See Harrell’s still lifes, landscapes and portraits. Free, artwork for sale; call 601-956-4711. Check jfpevents.com for updates and more listings. To add an event, email all details (phone number, start and end date, and time, street address, cost, URL, etc.) to events@jacksonfreepress.com or fax to 601510-9019. The deadline is noon the Thursday prior to the week of publication. Or add the event online yourself; check out jfpevents.com for instructions.


Esperanza Extravaganza

I may be a picky music lover, but I have a playlist to fit any situation or mood. Sometimes the music has to resonate with the time of day and my surroundings. During the three-hour drive from Jackson to my hometown of Holly Springs, I enjoy instrumentals or the usual neo soul—depending on the weather. If you listened to my last playlist, you probably noticed that I enjoy instrumentals and the blending of techno, rap and neo soul. Driving home for Christmas, this is what I will be listening to. (Caution: Stay alert!)

by Greg Pigott is one of the only events still held in the Fondren landmark. The concert has a holiday theme, but many of the musicians will feature material from their latest releases, such as T.B. Ledford’s album “Butcher Bird,” Wooden Finger’s “Take and See and Do What You Want,” and El Obo’s debut album “Oxford Basement Collection.” El Obo is a side project for Colour Revolt lead singer Jesse Coppenbarger. Also, expect to hear songs from upcoming releases from artists Johnny Bertram and the Golden Bicycles, and Bear Colony. The festival is an all-ages event. The Pix Capri Theater (3023 N. State St.) opens its doors at 6:30 p.m., and the music starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15. For information on the event and the artists, visit Esperanza Plantation on Facebook or esperanzaplantation.com.

WILLIAM PATRICK BUTLER

WHAT’S ON MY PLAYLIST

1. Tall Black Guy, “Dance Forever” 2. Coultrain, “Green” 3. Tall Black Guy, “Golden Sun”

5. Coolroy Charlie, “How We Roll”

7. Coolroy Charlie, “Dope as Love” 8. Ali Shaheed Muhammad, “Family” 9. Full Crate, “Make Me Laugh” 10. Versis, “All In” 11. Amel Larrieux, “Morning”

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The Key of G by Garrad Lee

I

t’s Christmas shopping season, so I have compiled my own music gift wish list. These are all things that I want (hint, hint), but you should be able to find something here for all the music lovers on your shopping list. • Phish, “Hampton/Winston-Salem ’97.” ($36) This box set features newly re-mastered stereo mix soundboard recordings of Phish’s first two-night run at the legendary Hampton Coliseum Nov. 21 and 22, 1997, and the next night’s show in Winston-Salem. By 1997, Phish had settled into their newfound spike in popularity and the funk jams that the era was known for are well represented in this eight-hour, 45-song, seven-CD set. • Miles Davis, “The Bootleg Series, Volume 1: Live In Europe 1967.” ($36) This three-CD, oneDVD set features recordings of five concerts in Europe from October and November of 1967. During this time,

O

n Dec. 17, Jacksonians home for the holidays will have a chance to hear what they have been missing on the Jackson music scene, and newcomers can get a taste of Mississippi sounds. The 9th Annual Esperanza Plantation Holiday Showcase includes a diverse lineup of artists from the label and will also feature many bands with ties to Mississippi and the Jackson area. “It’s an exciting opportunity to experience a wide array of Mississippi music from talented artists,” Chaney Nichols

says. Nichols owns the Esperanza Plantation music label. “It is not something you get every weekend in Jackson.” The annual holiday concert for the Jackson-based record label features T.B. Ledford, Wooden Finger, El Obo, Bear Colony, and Johnny Bertram and the Golden Bicycles. The night’s lineup includes genres ranging from acoustic, folk, bluegrass and rock. The Pix Capri Theater venue is also really important to Nichols. The seldomused theater is home to the event for the seventh straight year, and the showcase

WILLIAM PATRICK BUTLER

6. Suzi Analogue, “Ex Machina”

T.B. Ledford performs again at this year’s Esperanza Plantation Holiday Showcase.

Johnny Bertram and the Golden Bicycles take the stage Dec. 17 at the Pix Capri Theatre.

Garrad’s Holiday Music Shopping Guide Davis was playing with, in my opinion, his best lineup ever: Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams. The era documented here would prove to be a transitional era for Davis from his cool, smooth jazz of the 1950s to the weirder psychedelic, then funky explorations of the 1970s and beyond. • Marvin Gaye, “What’s Going On? Super Deluxe Edition.” ($40) Originally released in 1971, “What’s Going On” still stands as one of the great R&B politically themed concept albums. The reissue, on one CD and two LPs, contains a re-mastered version of the album plus 16 unreleased tracks and a stripped down “quality control test mix” of the record without added strings, horns and backing vocals. The collection is rounded out with a booklet of rare photos, lyrics and new essays about the album. • Ol’ Dirty Bastard, “Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version Deluxe Wallet Box.” ($28) One of the best solo

Wu-Tang albums gets the reissue treatment with a re-mastered version of the record; a second disc of remixes, rarities, instrumentals and a cappellas; plus an Ol’ Dirty Bastard food-stamp card. It’s all packaged in a billfold wallet with a poster and a sticker. Shimmy Shimmy Ya. • Nirvana, “Nevermind Super Deluxe Box Set.” ($199.95) The highlight of this four CD, one DVD set from these 1990s game changers is the version of “Nevermind” that the legendary Butch Vig produced and mastered. It stands in contrast to the commercially released version that the label brought in Andy Wallace—possibly even more legendary than Vig—to master. Also included are discs of b-sides, rehearsal recordings, and a CD and DVD of a 1991 concert from the Paramount Theatre in Seattle. • The Beach Boys, “The Smile Sessions Box Set.” ($130) “Smile” was supposed to

be Brian Wilson’s post“Pet Sounds” magnum opus, but he essentially drove himself crazy trying to complete it, and the record never made it to release. This massive box sets comes loaded with five CDs, two LPs, and two 7-inch singles that chronicle the band’s studio sessions for “Smile” and give the listener an inside view of the recording process for what Rolling Stone magazine recently called “the most famous unfinished album in rock ‘n’ roll history.” • “Talking Heads Reunion Tour.” (Priceless) Considering members of the band have shot down several reunion proposals over the years, this is a long shot unless you happen to have an illegitimate child with David Byrne that you are willing to use for blackmail purposes. Let me know. I can be great in that capacity, especially if it means getting to hear the whole band play “(Nothing But) Flowers.”

COURTESY TALKING HEADS

4. Full Crate, “Innersoul”

jacksonfreepress.com

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livemusic

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NOW OPEN ON TUESDAYS Wednesday, December 14th

VIRGIL BRAWLEY & STEVE CHESTER

(Acoustic Blues) 8-12, No Cover

WEDNESDAY 12/14 Open As Usual

THURSDAY 12/15

Thursday, December 15th

JFP Southern Fried Karaoke Hoilday Edition (restaurant)

(Gypsy Jazz) 8-12, No Cover

FRIDAY 12/16

Friday, December 16th

North Mississippi AllStars with The Weeks

(Americana) 9-1, $10 Cover

SATURDAY 12/17

SWING DE PARIS

THE SCAVENGERS

Saturday, December 17th

Tacky Christmas Party

MONDAY 12/19

VASTI JACKSON (Blues) 9-1, $10 Cover

Blues Monday with Central MS Blues Society (restaurant)

Tuesday, December 20th

TUESDAY 12/20

JESSE ROBINSONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S MUSICIANâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S ANNUAL CHRISTMAS BALL

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THIS WEEK

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Wednesday,December 21st

VIRGIL BRAWLEY & STEVE CHESTER

(Acoustic Blues) 8-12, No Cover

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PUB QUIZ w/ Laura (restaurant)

Coming Soon FRI12.23: Closing at 4:00pm FRI12.24-26: CLOSED WED12.28: Natalie Long & Clinton Kirby THU12.29: Jimbo Mathus & The Tri State Coalition

HOWARD JONES

SAT12.31: The Krystal Ball (for more info call Hal & Malâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s)

Friday, December 23rd

Monday-Thursday

(Jazz) 8-12, No Cover

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As well as the usual favorites! Seafood Gumbo, Reb Beans and Rice, Burgers, Fried Pickles, Onion Rings and Homemade Soups made daily.

33


by Bryan Flynn

by Bryan Flynn

THURSDAY, DEC. 15 NFL (7:30-11 p.m. NFL Network): The Jacksonville Jaguars get a chance to derail the Atlanta Falconsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; playoff hopes in the Georgia Dome. FRIDAY, DEC. 16 College football (6-9 p.m. ESPN 2): Mount Union takes on WisconsinWhitewater for the Division III championship game: the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl in Salem, Va. SATURDAY, DEC. 17 NFL (7:30-11 p.m. NFL Network): The Dallas Cowboys travel to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This game has the Cowboysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; playoff hopes hanging in the balance. SUNDAY, DEC. 18 NFL (noon-3 p.m. FOX): New Orleans travels to Minnesota to take on the Vikings. The Saints have a lot on the line in this late-season game. (See Bryanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rant, below.) MONDAY, DEC. 19 NFL (7:30-11 p.m. ESPN): Pittsburgh is banged up and traveling to San Francisco. The Steelers and 49ers both need a win here for playoff positioning. TUESDAY, DEC. 20 College Basketball (8-10 p.m. ESPN 2): Two of college basketballâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best midmajor bulldogs collide as Butler plays at Gonzaga. WEDNESDAY, DEC. 21 College Basketball (8-10 p.m. ESPN 2): Fifteenth-ranked Alabama hosts Oklahoma State. Is SEC basketball finally back as a threat on a national scale? I had a strange thought this week. SEC fans like to make fun of C-USA, but both coaches in that conference title game were headhunted for bigger (or at least higherpaying) jobs. Maybe C-USA is not as bad as SEC fans like to think. They will find out as Kevin Sumlin takes over Texas A&M. Follow Bryan Flynn at jfpsports.com, @jfpsports and at facebook.com/jfpsports.

Gifts for Your Sports Fanatic

A

few years ago, my wife, Lacey, gave me one of my favorite books. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Sports Bookâ&#x20AC;? (DK Publishing, 2007, $19.95) has an Astroturf cover and contains information about multiple sports. Not only has the book been great to read, but it has been a resource and help for articles I have written. It was one of the best gifts Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ever received. Lacey loves to give me sports gifts. One Christmas, she gave me a Florida Gators Tim Tebow National Championship jersey. My love for Tebow has put the jersey at the top of my all-time-favorite gifts list. I have been lucky having Lacey in my life for numerous reasons, not just because she is great at giving me gifts. She knows me so well that it makes it easy for her to know what I want. It is not easy for everyone to find the right gift for their sports fans. So, here are a few ideas to get you headed in the right direction. One of the best gifts out this year could be a documentary series done by ESPN. The phrase, â&#x20AC;&#x153;What if I told you?â&#x20AC;? will forever define the series in my mind. â&#x20AC;&#x153;ESPN 30 for 30â&#x20AC;? features the biggest sports stories in the last 30 years. Volume 1, released a year ago, marked the 30th anniversary of the network. Volume 2, released last spring, includes a Mississippi connection. The documentary â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Best That Never Wasâ&#x20AC;? features Marcus Dupree of Philadephia, Miss. It is a great series and any sports fan will love to watch these documentaries. Both six-disc DVD sets retail for $49.95. In November, ESPN released another set of sports documentaries. â&#x20AC;&#x153;ESPN Films Collection Volume 1â&#x20AC;? (five-disc set, $49.95) promises more to come from the network. If your sports fan likes to read, Lemuria Books (202 Banner Hall, 4465 Interstate 55 N. 601-366-7619) has several options. Football fans will love â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

COURTESY NFLSHOP.COM

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Tis the season to be jolly, but football is nearing the end. Bah! Humbug!

100 Greatest Football Players of All Timeâ&#x20AC;? edited by Neal White (Nautilus Publishing Co., 2011, $45). The book is a 160-page coffee table account of the best football players from the Magnolia State. Marcus Dupree will be at Lemuria Saturday, Dec. 17, for a signing of this book. Dupree reportedly ranks No. 68 on the list of 100 players. Mississippi State fans will enjoy â&#x20AC;&#x153;Jack Cristil: The Voice of the MSU Bulldogsâ&#x20AC;? by Sid Salter (Pediment Publishing, 2011, $39.95). The book tells the story of Cristilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life and features a CD of some of his greatest calls. Lemuria has signed copies, perfect for giving. And donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget junior colleges. Lemuria will host the Frascogna clan, authors of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Jucos: The Toughest League in Americaâ&#x20AC;? (Mississippi Sports Council, 2011, $24.95) for a signing on Dec. 15. As an added local bonus, local cartoonist Marshall Ramsey illustrated the book. On the movie front, you can probably find one about nearly any sport. Wikipedia has a great list of sports movies from 1920s silent films forward (en.wikipedia. org/wiki/List_of_sports_films) with links in most cases for more information. Once you have a list narrowed down, check local and Internet movie stores for your selections. Prices will vary. Feeling a little generous? Your favorite sports fan might enjoy a jersey from his or her favorite player. Local stores might have the jersey you are looking for but going to the official team website is a great way to guarantee you get your product by Christmas. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve looked over this list and you still have no clue, here are a couple more options:

JFP Bowl Schedule: Week 1

1

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Call your sports fanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s favorite teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ticket office and buy tickets for a gift. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll find a ton of ticket options for most sports, and you should be able to find the best fit for your fan and your budget. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re feeling really generous, give a cable-TV sports package for your sports fan. Nearly every sport has a package on cable or satellite systems. For example, the NFL has Red Zone and Sunday Direct Ticket. You can find college packages and pro packages as well. If all else fails, promise your fanatic the best Super Bowl party ever. Go all out for your sports fan on the biggest sports day of the year. Food, drinks, friends and a big screen TV could be the best gift of all this year.

December 14 - 20, 2011

Bryanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rant â&#x20AC;˘ Dome Sweet Dome

34

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December 16

Acoustic Crossroads 9:00pm | $5.00 Cover

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THURS. DEC 15 NFL FOOTBALL

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Trey Hawkins Saturday - December 17

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OPEN EVERYDAY 4 PM - UNTIL

35


Read more Body&Soul stories and the blog at jacksonfreepress.com

by Tony Parkinson

MWAO

Eat Your Medicine! CHICKEN VEGETABLE SOUP One 4-6 pound free-range chicken 2 gallons purified water 6 large Yukon Gold potatoes (cut each potato into 8-12 pieces) 4 medium-to-large carrots, shredded 1 medium head of cabbage, shredded 3 stems of celery, chopped 2 large onions, one whole and one chopped 3 bay leaves 1/2 cup roasted buckwheat 1/2 cup small pearl barley 2 tablespoons sea salt, to taste 4 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or 2 cans (14.5 oz. each) stewed tomatoes 10 peppercorns

Chicken vegetable soup is a comfort food with healing properties.

N

December 14 - 20, 2011

othing warms a sickly body wracked with a cold or the flu like homemade soup. After putting up a small fight, we’ll agree that soup sounds good at a time when nothing else seems to taste right. Soup nourishes our body’s natural disposition to heal itself, and may actually help our ailing bodies create an environment that aids in the process. But you don’t need to be sick to enjoy soup. Include organic vegetables and whole grains to make soup a healthy meal year round, and especially when it’s cold outside, soup can be a comfort-food staple. Evidence shows that chicken soup—one of the classic favorites—might have an anti-inflammatory affect, according to the Nebraska Medical Center, by inhibiting neutrophil migration. Neutrophils are white blood cells found in abundance in our bodies when we are sick, especially when we have a bacterial infection. These cells travel to the infection site and attack the offending organisms to neutralize them. The study shows that chicken soup excites these white blood cells and makes them more aggressive. Although it is still unclear what ingredients in chicken soup are responsible for the action, researchers concluded it may contain a number of substances with beneficial medicinal activity. Its mild anti-inflammatory effect could be one mechanism to mitigate upper respiratory tract infections. People eat soup for breakfast, lunch and dinner in some countries like China and Thailand. It is a filling, inexpensive comfort food that exists in all cultures. Soups can be complex to prepare because each of the steps have to be done in a certain order with the correct ingredients. But some basic concepts for soup preparation ensure your creations will always come out right. 36 Begin with the stock, the most important part. By boil-

ing fish, beef, chicken or any other animal flesh, we extract the components contained in it. For that reason, Asian and European cooks use parts that contain various components, including bones, skin and cartilage, in addition to meat. I take great care with the meat products I use in soups, buying only organic or wild meat and fish, and I find out how the animals were raised, fed and slaughtered. Kosher butchering assures that no blemishes are present in your stock and that the most humane methods of butchering were used. When a chicken is boiled whole rather than just using breast meat (in Europe and Asia, they include the feet, neck and gizzards in their stock), you will have a greater amount of collagen in your soup and, generally speaking, the soup will have a stronger aroma and flavor. For best results, the meat is boiled twice. The first water boils the imperfections and processing fluids out of the meat or fish. The meat is boiled until done. Then place the meat or fish into enough water to cover the meat, add spices (sea salt, onion, bay leaf, peppercorns, etc.) to flavor the broth, and simmer for 1 to 2 hours. After simmering, strain the meat from your broth. You can use the meat or fish in other recipes or in your soup. Add vegetables in order by firmness to the hot stock. Add the firmest first—potatoes, carrots, celery and other roots. Add cabbage and other leafy vegetables toward the end. Although there is no evidence that the vegetables contribute to the beneficial effects of chicken soup, the vegetables give the soup substance and flavor. Many vegetables also have vitamins and minerals that can aid in the healing process. Put in grains at the same time you add leafy vegetables. It takes about 20 minutes for both to be cooked. Grains give your soup specific flavor and thickness, and can add nutritional and healing properties. Millet, for example, is rich in vitamins, iron, mag-

Boil the chicken in a small amount of water for 10 minutes, and then discard the water. Wash the bird, and place it in a large stockpot with the purified water, one whole large peeled onion, 10 peppercorns and sea salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for at least 5 hours. Strain the stock and reserve the meat to work with later. Return the stock to the pot, and add the potatoes and celery. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Add the shredded cabbage, carrots, chopped onions, tomatoes, buckwheat and barley. Add the bay leaves and taste to see if you need to add salt. Bring to a second boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Check to see if your grains and the cabbage are done. If done, remove the pot from heat and let the soup rest for at least one hour to see how the flavors combined. Add the chicken strained out earlier back to the soup or use it in other recipes.

nesium, phosphorus and potassium. It has a good amino acid profile, including the essential amino acids lysine and methionine. Lysine allows the body to heal and helps the immune response by creating antibodies. Buckwheat is high in rutin, which has antioxidant qualities, and has been linked to helping patients fight cancer and inflammation. It also aids in cardiovascular health by building stronger capillaries, lowering blood pressure, reducing swelling in the legs due to venous insufficiency and lowering LDL cholesterol, thus aiding in heart health. Barley is another incredible grain that may lower sugars in diabetic patients. Leave spices for last, and do not over boil. When you add spices, you add flavor and antioxidant healing properties, but overheating them can destroy the elements that make spices healthy. For several decades, scientists have been astonished by a low occurrence of cancer in the Thai population. Tom yum, a soup staple in the Thai diet, has spices that may have cancer-fighting effects. Science has proven that hot soup, a complex meal, is beneficial to our health. Soups are easy to digest, get better with time, and in many cultures are an irreplaceable staple of daily life. During the cold and flu season, stay well and, please, have a bowl of soup.


dining

by LaShanda Phillips and Tam Curley

Cookin’ Up Christmas

Hickory Pit (1491 Canton Mart,

Broad Street Baking Company & Café (Banner Hall, 4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 101, 601-362-2900, broadstbakery.com) Orders must be in by Tuesday, Dec. 20 at 8 p.m. Holiday hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; closed Christmas Day. The menu includes grilled filet, prime ribs, honey-baked ham, cracked pie, iced Hanukkah cookies, Christmas king cake and chocolate cherry bread. Campbell’s Bakery (3013 N. State St., 601-362-4628) Taking orders until full. Open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. All sweets including cakes, pies, brownies, blondies and the festively decorated teacakes can be ordered. CHAR Restaurant (Highland Village, 4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 142, 601956-9562, charrestaurant.com) Place your orders by Dec. 21 and pick them up by Dec. 24 at 3 p.m. Char will only serve sides such as garlic mash potatoes, squash casserole and pecan pie. Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Char will close Christmas Eve at 3 p.m. and Christmas Day.

601-956-7079) and Haute Pig (1856 Main St., Madison, 601-853-8538, hautepig.com) Order must be made two days in advance and picked up by 3 p.m. Dec. 24. Pies and pulled pork are the specialties. Open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Christmas Eve and closed Christmas day. High Noon Cafe (2807 Old Canton Road, 601-366-1513, rainbowcoop.org/ cafe.htm) Place your orders two days in advance. Hours of operations are 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Chimneyville Smokehouse (970 High St., 601-34-4665, chimneyville.com) Place orders by Dec. 22 and pick them up on Dec. 23. The menu includes fried and smoked turkey and ham, pork butts and pork ribs.

Julep Restaurant and Bar (Highland Village, 4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 105, 601-362-1411, juleprestaurant.com) Place orders by Dec. 22, and pick them up Dec. 23 or 24 before 2:30 p.m. at Julep only. The menu includes turkey, dressing, shrimp toast, salads, yeast rolls, quiche and breakfast rolls.

Crazy Cat Bakers (Highland Village, 4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 173, 601362-7448, crazycatbakers.com) Pick up orders by Dec. 24 from 8 a.m. to noon. Crazy Cat will close at 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The menu includes assorted cakes, Milky Way pound cake and bread pudding.

Lumpkin’s BBQ (182 Raymond Road, 601-373-7707) Place orders by Dec. 21 and pick up by Dec. 23 by 3 p.m. Lumpkin’s hours are 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Closed Saturday and Monday. On Sunday, they open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lumpkin’s menu includes turkey, pork roast and brisket. For the

holidays, they will be closed Dec. 24 through Dec. 27. Marriott Jackson (200 E. Amite St., 601-969-5100) Open Christmas Eve from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. with an a la carte menu and no reservations needed. Mimi’s Family and Friends (3139 N. State St., 601366-6111, mimisfamilyand friends.com) Place your orders by Wednesday, Dec. 21, and pick them up by noon on Christmas Eve. Mimi’s offers a $150 Christmas package that includes a smoked or baked 12-to-14-pound turkey, two pints of giblet gravy, 1/2 gallon of green beans, 1/2 gallon of sweet potatoes, 16 assorted rolls or corn bread, and your choice of two pies. It serves 10. Olivia’s Food Emporium (820 Highway 51, Madison, 601-898-8333, oliviasfoodem porium.com) Order by Dec. 19 and pick up by noon on Christmas Eve. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday. Their menu includes fried turkey, green bean and squash casserole, pork tenderloin and prime ribs. Parlor Market (115 W. Capitol St.,601360-0090, parlormarket.com) Credit card number required to hold your order. Alan Benton’s Holiday Ham orders must be in by Dec. 12. Christmas goose orders must be in by Dec. 17. Orders for the dessert, housemade pantone and eggnog bread pudding, and sides such as Sneaky Beans sweet potato, oyster and corn bread dressing and Lindsey’s pineapple and cheddar bake must be in by Dec. 21. Paul Anthony’s Butcher Market (Highland Village, 4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 100, 601-981-7559, paulanthonysmarket.com) Place orders until Dec. 17. The market closes at noon on Christmas Eve. Regular hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Harbour Drive, Ridgeland, 601-8983600, primoscafe.com) Place orders a day in advance and pick up food orders from Dec. 22 to Dec. 24. The menu includes a variety of sides, corn bread dressing, cakes and pies. They offer a dinner package of turkey or ham, dressing and gravy, large vegetable, cranberry sauce, 12 dinner rolls and a pie of choice for $145. They will be open Christmas Eve from 6:30 to 11 a.m. for breakfast only and closed Christmas Day. Ro’Chez (204 W. Jackson St., 601-5038244, rochezdining.com) Order by Dec. 22, including the Creole Christmas that includes three to four meal courses. Must pick the orders up by 4 p.m. on Dec. 24. The holiday hours are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Strawberry Café (107 Depot Drive, Madison, 601-856-3822, strawberry cafemadison.com) Place your orders by Thursday, Dec. 22 and pick up your meals on Christmas Eve morning beginning at 9 a.m. Strawberry Café’s menu includes apple and Vidalia onion soup, green-bean casserole, smothered chicken, pork shanks, caramel pie and other varieties of desserts. Open to serve through lunch on Christmas Eve; closed Christmas day. Sugar’s Place Downtown (168 W. Griffith St., 601-352-2364, sugarsdowntown. com) Food orders must be placed by Dec. 21 and picked up Dec. 22 and 23. Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Taste of the Island Caribbean Takeout (436 E. Capitol St., 601-360-5900, tasteoftheisland.net) Orders must be placed two days in advance and picked up on Dec. 23. The restaurant will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. T’Beaux’s (369 W. Northside Drive, 601-364-5000) T’beaux’s will closed Christmas Eve at 8 p.m. and will be closed Christmas Day. The menu includes boiled shrimp, crawfish, seafood gumbo, and red beans and rice. Two Sisters’ Kitchen (707 N. Congress St., 601-353-1180) Place orders at least two days in advance and pick them up by 2 p.m. Dec. 23. The menu includes corn bread dressing, rolls, chicken, sweet potatoes and varieties of desserts. Two Sister’s Kitchen will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Petra Café (2741 Old Canton Rd., 601366-0161, petracafe.net) Petra will be open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, offering home-cooked Mediterranean and Lebanese cuisine and barbecue. Hours are 11 a.m. to midnight.

Wellington’s at the Hilton (1001 E. County Line Road, 601-957-2800) Order at least 24 hours in advance. Open for business 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Primos Café (2323 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, 601-936-3398, or 515 Lake

Is your restaurant missing? Add information 37 online at www.jfp.ms.

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Bon Ami (Maywood Mart, 1220 E. Northside Drive, Suite 230, 601-982-0405, bonamijackson.com) Orders must be placed by Dec. 16 at noon and picked up by Saturday, Dec. 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The holiday hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and they open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. No dinner will be served on Sunday. The menu includes a tomato basil, garlic herb beef tenderloin.

Fairview Inn and Sofia’s Restaurant (734 Fairview St., 601-948-3429) Offering a Christmas Eve dinner with the regular menu and a pre-fixed menu. Open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Reservations recommended.

FILE PHOTO

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he holidays don’t necessarily mean you’re relegated to spending long hours in the kitchen. Instead, take the time to relax with your family and friends and let a local restaurant do all or some of the cooking—from a cozy get together to Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. Many local restaurants offer delicious and festive menus and catering services.


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Shop with us and discover what over 5000 members already know. Best Selection of Organic and Natural Foods, Low Prices, Great Customer Service. Over 200 member staple items and 100 monthly specials in

December 14 - 20, 2011

our Grocery Department-every day!

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Rainbow Natural Grocery 2807 Old Canton Road 601-366-1602 at Lakeland & Old Canton www.rainbowcoop.org


by Julie Skipper

Crafts and Cupcakes a good craft project, and as a friend pointed out, hooking a rug while watching bad TV is a more productive activity with which to occupy one’s hands than shoving Doritos in one’s mouth. Plus, the number of jokes that come with going to hang out with “hookers” is well worth the price of admission. If you’re interested in learning more, check out P is for Primitive on the Square in Canton (141 W. Peace Street, Canton, 601-859-4252, pisforprimitive.com). If you missed Chimneyville, you can still find a wide variety of guild members’ goods at the Mississippi Crafts Center (950 Rice Road, Ridgeland, 601-856-7546) or its satellite shop in Fondren Corner (2906 N. State St.). Not far from Canton, in Gluckstadt, you’ll find another locally produced product. Austin Evans and Richard Patrick are the brains behind Cathead Vodka, Mississippi’s first legally distilled spirit. To celebrate the holidays, they hosted an open house on a recent Sunday evening. Enjoying the sounds of the Delta Mountain Boys while sipping a ciderbased Cathead punch and noshing on barbe-

JULIE SKIPPER

L

ately it seems that the movement to “support local” is stronger than ever. From shops and restaurants, to local musicians and artists, to local farmers, the mantra is increasingly a part of our community’s ethos. Along with this comes an elevation and celebration of craft and originality. We want things that have a story, whether it’s a drink, a meal or a piece of art. One of my favorite opportunities to support local comes each year by way of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi (mscrafts. org). Its annual Chimneyville Crafts Festival at the Mississippi Trade Mart (held the last weekend in November) is a talent showcase for craftsmen and women from Mississippi and the region who are guild members. I always find unique gifts at the fair, but more than that, I enjoy hearing the stories from these artisans about the process of their craft. Many of them use old techniques, and to see them being fostered and preserved is special. After talking with a woman demonstrating rug hooking, my mom and I decided to sign up for her next introductory class. I love

Karen Hearn’s culinary craft: cupcakes

cue in the distillery with a group of friends and supporters was a great way to welcome the season. Knowing that these two guys produce something that brings new meaning to the phrase “drink local” made it even more special.

Having enjoyed and appreciated the craft of others, I decided it was time to make something myself. My friend Karen Hearn constantly impresses me by tweeting about fancy cupcakes or a brioche that she’s baking, so I decided to ask that she take me under her tutelage. This somehow morphed into the idea of a night of boozy baking (note that this is potentially hazardous due to heat and flame; undertake it at your own risk). Over Prosecco (and then some Temperanillo), I followed along, lending a hand and taking notes as Karen led me through making peppermint bark and her special recipe for eggnog cupcakes. We enjoyed bubbly, a good soundtrack, baking and a mini dance party while the goods were in the oven. All in all, it was a stellar evening, with the bonus that I got to share homemade goodies with friends and coworkers the next day. I feel it’s the first of many such nights to come. Whether you support the craft of others or embark on some of your own, it’s all about keeping it local.

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Sugar and Spice by Meredith W. Sullivan

N

eed a few gifts for the gals on your list? Maybe you’re in search of something special for your leading lady. Our local shops have so many great gift items right now that you almost can’t go wrong. But regardless, we’ve got you covered.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

My Agenda 2012 Day Calendar, Gingersnaps, $36 Clarisonic Mia 2, Drench Day Spa and Lash Lounge, $149 Le Creuset Stockpot, Ace Hardware, $42.99 Miguel Ases Beaded Earrings, Coattails, $322 Red Winter Leggings, Sonya Bee’s Boutique, $45 Blue Mirrored Starburst, From Our House to Yours, $35 Jonathan Adler Muse Noir Candle, The Museum Store at The Mississippi Museum of Art, $68

8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Gold Pendant Necklace, Nancy Price Interior Design, $360 Yarn Fingerless Cobalt Gloves Tessacotton, $27.50

December 14 - 20, 2011

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Animal print watch, Lipstick Lounge, $25 Marc by Marc Jacobs Wedge Boots, Coattails, $320 American Truffles, Nandy’s Candy, $10.95 Vintage Purse, Orange Peel, $18 Philosophy Candy Cane Shampoo, Shower Gel and Bubble Bath, AQUA The Day Spa, $16 Bare Minerals Flirty and Fabulous Eye Collection, AQUA The Day Spa, $35 Gold and Turquoise cuff, Nancy Price Interior Design, $350

Where2Shop:

Ace Hardware, 1220 E. Northside Drive, Suite 350, 601-366-9456; AQUA the Day Spa, 4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 102, 601-362-9550; Coattails, 111 W. Jackson St., Ridgeland, 601-853-1313; Drench Day Spa and Lash Lounge, 118 W. Jackson St., Suite 2B, Ridgeland, 601707-5656; From Our House to Yours, 830 Wilson Drive, Suite E, Ridgeland, 601-956-1818; Gingersnaps, 4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 120, 601-981-4311; Lipstick Lounge, 304 Mitchell Ave ., 601-366-4000; Museum Store at The Mississippi Museum of Art, 380 S. Lamar St., 601-965-9939; Nancy Price Interior Design, 3110 Old Canton Road, 601-982-4181; Nandy’s Candy, 1220 E. Northside Drive, Suite 380, 601362-9553; Orange Peel, 422 Mitchell Ave., 601-364-9977; Tessacotton, etsy.com/shop/tessacotton, tessa.eltzroth@gmail.com; Sonya Bee’s Boutique, 2633 S. Liberty St., Canton, 601-826-7221

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A Touch of Mississippi

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