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May 2 - 8, 2012
1 0 N O . 34
6 Medicine Row Jackson is poised to develop a medical corridor rivaling anything found in bigger cities. EILZABETH WAIBEL
Cover photograph of Nick Wallace and his mom, Susie Marshall, by Virginia Schreiber
Mississippi lawmakers end the regular session with budget haggling. Does a special session loom? PAUL KOLNIK
jayce powell ter panel, ending up with a concussion (he was wearing a helmet) and face lacerations from his glasses. Now, he works to make the area more bicycle friendly. He helps organize the Ride of Silence in Mississippi, an annual event in May to remember bicyclists killed in motorist accidents. “I ride because of the health benefits, but mostly for my sanity,” he says. “Because when I’m on a bike, my mind is freed from life’s problems.” He also offers free clinics to children to teach them the proper mechanics of safely riding a bike—how to negotiate traffic, what to wear, proper hand signals—using games and fun activities to keep the kids interested. “Cycling is a family activity,” he says. Powell was born in Ferriday, La., and moved to the Jackson area with his family in 1987. He graduated from Clinton High School in 1990 and attended Hinds Community College. Before joining Indian Cycle, he worked as a sales associate for a few department stores and as a DJ for many clubs in the metro area, including The Midnight Sun, TJ’s and The Catwalk. He lives in Gluckstadt with his wife, Stephanie, and two children, Marcie, 10, and Clayton, 7. “I came from a very small town, and in Jackson, everything I could want is at my fingertips,” he says. —Richard Coupe
24 Stage Fright Nothing beats the real thing. See “Young Frankenstein” at Thalia Mara, “Colored Girls” at New Stage.
32 NYC to MS Brooklyn-based Revelations bring R&B of the past into the 21st century at Babalooza this weekend.
Jayce Powell believes in the power of the bicycle to change lives. He considers himself “a lifestyle consultant” in his job as the store manager of Indian Cycle in Ridgeland. “We are passionate about cycling,” he says. He enjoys helping athletes who are looking for a new activity gentler on the body than many other sports, the overweight person wanting to lose some weight or someone just looking to make a healthy change in their life. Always the athlete, Powell, 40, ran track and played football in high school. He began cycling after injuring his knee in a soccer game in 1992 and realizing he needed something active to do that was a little easier on his knees. Now, he bikes between 30 and 150 miles a week, races mountain bikes, and is a certified bike fitter and instructor. When he first started riding, he shunned those awkward-looking spandex cycling shorts with the cushioned seat. “It will be a cold day in hell before I wear those,” he thought to himself. Then, one day riding to work, he developed a painful saddle sore. “Now I wear them,” he says. “They work.” Powell is acutely aware of the inherent dangers of cycling alongside motorized vehicles. In 2003, while he was riding home for lunch, a car pulled out directly in front of him. He went over the handlebars and smashed head first into the car’s quar-
4 ..............Editor’s Note 4 ................... Slowpoke 6 ............................ Talk 13 ........................ Tech 14 ................... Editorial 15 ................. Opinion 16 ............ Cover Story 24 .............. Diversions 28 .................... 8 Days 29 ............. JFP Events 30 ........................ Film 32 ...................... Music 33 ...... Music Festivals 34 ....... Music Listings 36 ..................... Sports 38 ................ Astrology 39 ........... Life & Style 40 .................. Hitched 42 ......... Fly Shopping
Tom Ramsey Underground 119 chef and food writer Tom Ramsey is former investment banker, tobacco executive and lobbyist who writes poetry, runs with the bulls and has produced an album or two. He wrote the cover story on King Edward chef Nick Wallace.
Virginia Schreiber Staff photographer Virginia Schreiber is a recent graduate of Millsaps College. When she’s not working, she spends her time watching films of the Peter Pan genre. She took many of the photos in this issue.
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 and an arts story.
Jacob Rowan Jacob Rowan is a writer and artist who lived in nine different places before arriving at Jackson and attending Belhaven University. You can visit his website at: jacobrowanstudios.tumblr.com. He wrote a theater story.
Sonya Lee Sonya Lee hails from Jackson and writes poetry and fiction. She enjoys parasailing, jet skiing and taking long walks on the beach while dreaming. She wrote a theater story.
Elyane Alexander Editorial intern Elyane Alexander is a native of Madison. She is a fourth-grade teacher. Her hobbies include reading, writing and shopping. She helped factcheck and edit many stories in this issue.
Jim PathFinder Ewing Jim PathFinder Ewing is an organic farmer, author and journalist, formerly with The Clarion-Ledger. He has written five books on energy medicine and eco-spirituality. He lives in Lena with his wife, Annette, at their ShooFly Farm.
May 2 - 8, 2012
Advertising designer Andrea Thomas is a native of Ridgeland and ia recent Antonelli College graduate. She loves to sing, dance and write poetry in her free time. She designed many ads for this issue.
by Ronni Mott, Managing Editor
The Lies We Tell
ast Friday’s email brought this little gem to my inbox: Super PACs spent $23 million on deceptive or misleading advertising in GOP primary races, more than half of all advertising they purchased through April 3. Now, you might think that the SPACs aimed their big buckets of money at President Barack Obama, but no. Almost all of it was directed at fellow Republicans—Mitt Romney’s PAC lying about Rick Santorum, Santorum’s PAC misrepresenting Newt Gingrich’s record, Gingrich spinning about Romney. Politics is nothing if not a dirty, cutthroat business. I’m not sure about much—a little less, it seems, every year—but I’m fairly certain about this: Everything is connected. The little ditty about our body parts—you know: the head bone’s connected to the neck bone, etc.—illustrated to me at age 6 that connections are everywhere. Some are obvious: Don’t pay the light bill, no light. Some are a little harder to discern: Throw plastic in the trash, and somewhere a sea turtle chokes to death. Lying can have some interesting consequences, not as in: Gee, how fascinating! No, the results of lies are more like this old Confucian curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Lies, once loosed, take on a life of their own that can quickly turn, well, interesting. With an excess of information as close as the nearest Internet connection, it’s as easy to find supporting “evidence” for a lie as it is to find the truth. But for most people, factchecking the hours and column inches of political advertising they see or read in any given year isn’t feasible. It doesn’t help that most mainstream media don’t bother to fact-check politicians statements, much less tell their readers when someone flat-out lies. Most will stretch to ridiculous proportions to present a false equivalency even when there is really only one side to a story— or 18. Not even when the lies are obvious and outrageous—such as Gov. Phil Bryant’s April 25 statement that those on the left have only one purpose in life: to abort as many babies as possible, or when Florida Republican Rep. Allen West declares that “78 to 81” Democratic members of the U.S. Congress are members of the Communist Party—does the media call it. Rather, they leave it up to viewers and readers to figure it out. Unfortunately, most of the public doesn’t bother. After all, how do you know if any source is trustworthy? Maybe we’d rather hear pretty lies than unpleasant truths. Maybe. Former President Jimmy Carter did his best to be truthful about the economy back in the 1970s, and Americans quickly gave him his walking papers. Most of us will believe a lie if it supports our convictions, or if the truth means we must take responsibility for our actions and do the hard work of self-examination, even when we know better. We’ll rail against the truth if it doesn’t fit with our carefully crafted reality. Probably like you, I learned early in life that telling lies is just plain wrong. It took
Congress, however, to stop businesses from lying to consumers about their products. The raft of U.S. truth-in-advertising laws fill law libraries and, I suspect, make a damn good living for a boat-load of lawyers. No such laws exist for politicians or media. The truth can be devilishly difficult to find. Ask organizations such as the Annenberg Public Policy Center’s factcheck.org. Most of us don’t really know what happens behind the doors of power. We might get a glimpse when a sound tech doesn’t turn off a microphone quickly enough, or when a disappointed insider publishes a tell-all book. Any journalist who has attempted to get information out of a public official who doesn’t want him or her to learn the truth can tell you how hard it can be. Freedom of information laws don’t exactly make facts easy to get to. On the contrary, they often seem implicitly to protect politicians and others with power to obfuscate freely. Politics may demonstrate the most egregious example of how acceptable lying has become in America, but it’s certainly not the only one. Much of what we hear on info-tainment programs disguised as “news” has habituated us to accept lies as fact. Rush Limbaugh’s show, for example, should come with a warning label and frequent reminders: “Nothing on this program should be construed as informed opinion, much less the truth.” We don’t get those warnings, and that’s a shame. Certainly, our culture of lying has infected our children for some time. In 2002, a Rutgers Management Education Center survey of 4,500 high-school students showed that 75 percent of them had engaged in “serious” cheating. Ten years later, those kids are adults in the word force. In 2011, a Common Sense Media study showed that 35 percent of teens
use cell phones to cheat. Scratch the surface of many people who loudly declare their religiosity, and you’re likely to find they know little about their own religion, much less about the canons of other faiths they vehemently condemn. In America, atheists and agnostics have more knowledge about world religions than mainline Protestants, according to a 2010 Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life survey. White evangelicals—those mandated by their religion to bring the heathens to the light—only got a little more than half the survey’s multiple-choice questions about the Christian Bible correct, on average, which means many know far less than half the “truth” they mean to tell the world. Unlike wealth, morality—or lack of it— really does trickle down. When our leaders regularly deliver lies, half-truths, exaggerations and misrepresentations, it should surprise no one when more than half of the voting-age population just doesn’t bother to show up. Not being able to rely on the truthfulness of the information they receive, why should they? I’m not much for conspiracy theories, but maybe demoralizing their constituents into apathy is part of many politicians’ plans to retain power. And if everything is connected, where does that leave you and me? For those of us who believe the system can still work, we’re steeling ourselves for the upcoming season of national politics filled with people who knowingly obstruct the truth or just outright lie for personal or party gain. Call me an optimist, but I’m convinced we can hold politicians’ feet to the fire. It will take courage, tenacity and most of all, a belief that we deserve better than convenient spin designed only to get our votes.
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news, culture & irreverence
Thursday, April 26 Jackson Public Schools officials hold a four-hour hearing with the state Commission on School Accreditation to argue against withdrawing JPSâ€™ accreditation. â€Ś News Corp. Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch admits that a phone-hacking scandal at his U.K. newspapers resulted from his failure as head of the company. Friday, April 27 University of Southern Mississippi President Martha Saunders announces her resignation from the school. â€Ś The Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that the U.S. economy grew at a 2.2-percent annual rate in the first quarter of the year. Saturday, April 28 Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker delivers the commencement speech at Jackson State University. â€Ś The Mississippi Senate and House finish going through budget bills, appropriating funds for a wide variety of state services, including higher education and mental health. Sunday, April 29 The Legislature continues going through appropriations, settling on a $2.3-billion expenditure for K-12 education that fails to fully fund the MAEP formula. â€Ś Sudan declares a state of emergency to give the government more power to arrest people amid escalating tensions with newly formed South Sudan.
May 2 - 8, 2012
Monday, April 30 A mother accidentally runs over her 2-year-old daughter in the driveway of their Laurel home. â€Ś More than 100 people die and another 100 are missing when an overcrowded ferry sinks on the Brahmaputra River in Indiaâ€™s Assam state.
Tuesday, May 1 A gunman shoots two Pearl police officers who were serving a warrant at an apartment complex, killing one. The suspect is shot and killed. â€Ś Federal officials arrest five men who conspired to blow up a bride in Cleveland, Ohio. For news updates, go to jfpdaily.com.
Medical Corridor: Almost a Plan
inventory tax credit could cost state taxpayers more than Republicans project. p 10
by Jacob Fuller
he steering committee of the Jackson medical corridor, a proposed project that would stretch the length of Woodrow Wilson Avenue between Interstates 55 and 220, will soon have the first draft of the strategic plan for the project. Primus Wheeler, executive director of the Jackson Medical Mall, which is located on the corridor, and a member of the steering committee, said Andrew Jenkins and Associates is finalizing the draft, which has been under way for about a year, delivering it to the steering committee by the second week of May. The committee handles the planning of the project for the more than 40 stakeholders. It originally came together when members realized that several groups, including the Jackson Medical Mall, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Center and the municipal airport were working on separate plans for the same area of Jackson. â€œWe quickly all figured out that none of us were working as a team; we were working in silos,â€? Wheeler said. â€œSo, we thought the best thing to do was to at least put all the plans on the table and see if we could find some synergy among all the plans.â€? With more than 40 participants, each
Wednesday, April 25 Mississippi House Republicans release new legislative district maps that pit white Democrats against one another. â€Ś The U.S. Marine Corps dismisses a sergeant who criticized President Obama with an other-than-honorable discharge.
People in the United States and elsewhere around the world celebrate Mexican heritage with Cinco de Mayo on May 5. In Mexico, the holiday commemorates the Battle of Puebla in 1862, in which Mexican forces defeated the French. It is much less widely celebrated in Mexico than the Mexican Independence Day on Sept. 16.
UMMC will soon begin construction on an eight-story research center, the first piece of a multi-building research park.
with separate ideas for the project, the possibility of coming to any agreements appeared impossible. That is why stakeholders created the steering committee. Wheeler said once Andrew Jenkins and Associates submits the plan, the steering committee will call the stakeholders together again to discuss it. â€œIâ€™m sure the strategic plan will go into a whirlwind of emotions and changes at that point,â€? Wheeler said. â€œWe are hoping that we have done enough of the legwork up to this point so folks know kind
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of where we are going, so there wonâ€™t be any issues.â€? State Cuts the Cost The state House and Senate passed a bill, named the Mississippi Health Care Industry Zone Act, that will help fund the project, as well as cut the cost with sales tax exemptions of building the corridor or any similar projects. Under the bill, which the House MEDICAL, see page 7
May What? M a y has more holidays than just Motherâ€™s Day. Hereâ€™s a non-exhaustive list of some holidays you might be forgetting to celebrate. May 1 â€“ May Day May 3 â€“ World Press Freedom Day May 4 â€“ Bird Day May 5 â€“ Cinco de Mayo May 6 â€“ National Nurses Day May 8 â€“ No Socks Day May 12 â€“ International Nurses Day May 13 â€“ Frog Jumping Day May 15 â€“ Peace Officers Memorial Day May 18 â€“ International Museum Day May 28 â€“ Memorial Day May 29 â€“ Learn about Composting Day May 31 â€“ World No Tobacco Day
talk MEDICAL, from page 6
paying ad valorem taxes. The funds will be divided among the municipality, county and school district. Businesses will receive any awarded tax incentives for a period not to exceed 10 years. To qualify, eligible businesses must create a minimum of 25 full-time jobs. If they fail to do so, they can lose their tax exemptions after a period of five years. Once MDA creates a health-care zone, county boards of supervisors or municipality governments can grant tax exemptions. The bill, which received unanimous approval in both the House and Senate, will take effect July 1 if signed into law. The exemptions will be offered to qualifying businesses that finish construction before July 1, 2017. The act would make the construction of the medical corridor far more feasible and could help draw in new stakeholders to open health-care-related businesses along the corridor. “We started (the bill) off thinking (the Jackson corridor) was going to be it, but (Governor Phil Bryant) got involved and said this could be something that we can use all over the state,” Wheeler said. “There may be other medical corridors or other medical zones created right in the city of Jackson (or) in Hinds County that may even compete with us.
“We think that we have enough momentum and that we started early enough in the process that ... nobody will have a need to create something different here. Most of the main health-care entities already have businesses along the corridor.” UMMC Expands While the corridor plan includes expanding some businesses along Woodrow Wilson Avenue, such as the Jackson Medical Mall, and bringing new health-care businesses to the street, the state’s largest health-care facility, and the corridor’s prime real-estate holder, will expand inside its borders. Woodrow Wilson Avenue delineates the southern border of the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s 164-acre campus, and UMMC has begun internal expansion. Dr. David Powe, associate vice chancellor for administrative affairs and UMMC’s chief administrative officer, said there is no reason for the center to build beyond its property. “We are only at 33-percent capacity here, so we have 66 percent of growth capacity here if we use all the space,” Powe said. “Of course, we don’t want to use all the space, because we want to keep a lot of the green space.” UMMC, the state’s only medical research facility, will soon begin construction of an eight-story facility that will
be the first piece of a research park. The park will eventually extend to the former farmers market area on Woodrow Wilson Avenue, which UMMC recently began renovating. The medical center is also in the process of renovating the former Schimmel’s Restaurant building on North State Street across from the UMMC campus. Once it is ready, the children’s development center and clinic will move there from its current location in the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children. No One Pushed Out Wheeler and Powe both said that no one who owns a business or home in the location of the proposed health-care corridor will be pushed out. The purpose of the project, Powe said, is to enhance and beautify the community and to bring in more resources to encourage more people to live in the area. “The communities along this corridor are very important to the building of a medical corridor,” Powe said. “We are looking at enhancements, not moving people, not impacting them in a negative way, but to build a corridor there that is conducive for not only the medical community, but also to the four communities that are located along that drive.” Comment at www.jfp.ms.
and Senate adopted, the Mississippi Development Authority can declare areas as “health-care zones” if they are within a five-mile radius of a county that has certificates of need of more than 375 acute-care hospital beds or a hospital with a minimum capital investment of $275 million. Inside these zones, qualified businesses, which include clinics, medical supply manufacturers and retailers and telecommunications companies among others, will be eligible for an accelerated state income-tax depreciation deduction, which will allow businesses to recover the cost of the depreciated value of property such as buildings, machinery, vehicles and other equipment, as well as intangible property such as copyrights and computer software. The accelerated rate will allow a deduction equivalent to a 10-year depreciation instead of the regular one-year rate. Companies inside the health-care zone can also apply for certain sales tax exemptions and a local ad valorem tax exemption on property, except taxes used for school district purposed and taxes on vehicles used on state highways. A qualified private company with a minimum capital investment of $100 million can qualify to pay a fee of no less than one-third of its ad valorem levy in lieu of
news, culture & irreverence
7 JCV7257 National Tourism Week Ad JFPress 9.5x6.167.indd 1
4/27/12 3:13 PM
by Jacob Fuller
Mayor Wants Closer JRA-City Ties about what developments we can potentially go forward with.â€? That means the Economic Development Department needs to be involved earlier in the process of evaluating the feasibility of funding projects, Mims said. Under section 21-33-303 of the Mississippi Code of 1972, a municipality can
â€œIf we approved the hotel project over here at the Convention Center, and it was all public debt, that would just about wipe out the cityâ€™s ability to issue bonds,â€? he said. According to state code 43-35-31, which lays out the powers of a municipalityâ€™s urban renewal agency, JRA does not have the power to approve urban-renewal plans or modifications or the power to issue general-obligation bonds. Under a related section of the Mississippi Code, 4335-11, JRA cannot exercise any of its authority until the city adopts a resolution that a slum or blighted area exists in the city and that the â€œrehabilitation, conservation, redevelopment or a combination thereofâ€? in the area is necessary â€œin the interest of public health, safety, morals John Reeves, center, told JRA board members, including or welfare of the residents.â€? Beneta Burt (left) and Jason Brookins, that he has studied Because the decision to JRAâ€™s history, and a mayor-driven authority is nothing new. issue bonds or tax incentives and the pre-approval of develonly issue bonds up to a total of 15 percent opment projects ultimately lie with the mayor of the assessed value of the taxable property and Jackson City Council, the mayor is askin the municipality, according to the last as- ing that they be more involved in the process sessment for taxation, or 10 percent of the from the start, Reeves said. assessment upon which taxes were levied in â€œWe can like â€˜project Xâ€™ all day long and the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 1984, the City Council can say, â€˜Nope, weâ€™re not gowhichever is greater. ing to do it,â€™ or (the mayor) can say no. He The city already has about $75 million can veto it,â€? he said. â€œSo in the final analysis, in outstanding issued bond debt and has you need them on board anyway.â€? about $100 million left that can be issued, JRA attorney Zach Taylor said at the JRA board member John Reeves said. April 25 JRA meeting that he doesnâ€™t be-
n todayâ€™s economy, lenders are more cautious about handing out money for development projects. So developers, like Joseph Simpson of the Iron Horse Grill redevelopment, are going to the Jackson Redevelopment Authority to find funding. The influx of proposals going before JRA has Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. re-evaluating how city-funded development projects are getting started and who is starting them. The mayor met with JRA board members April 19 and said he wants the organization to work with the cityâ€™s Economic Development Department on any plans that would require city-backed bonds or tax incentives. Traditionally, JRA uses public-private partnerships to help fund projects, but with private institutions limiting the funds they are willing to lend, more developers are approaching the JRA for city-backed funding incentives. In recent years, many developersâ€”such as David Watkins, who spearheaded the resuscitation of the King Edward Hotel and currently holds the deeds to the Farish Street redevelopmentâ€”have presented plans to JRA for approval, and then JRA presented them to the mayor and City Council for official approval. Johnson would like to see developers present plans to the Economic Development Department first, or in conjunction with their presentations to JRA. â€œWe do have a limited bonding capacity,â€? said Chris Mims, Johnsonâ€™s director of communications. â€œWe need to be smart
Council, Siemens Say Plan Will Reduce Water Costs
LaTrenda Funches protests the possibility of new water meters in Jackson outside City Hall Tuesday.
May 2 - 8, 2012
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lieve the board has done anything illegal in its previous actions, and Johnson is not claiming it has. JRA does have the ability to fund projects itself. For the first time in its history, the authority will have $500,000 per year to use from properties it owns. Up until this year, those funds were used to pay off debt the board accrued building three parking garages: one on the southwest corner of President and Capitol streets, one on the southwest corner of President and Amite streets, and the garage that faces Farish Street between Amite and Capitol streets. JRA built the garages starting in the early 1970s, and bond issues funded the projects. Now that JRA has income of $500,000 a year, it may begin to fund projects that the board favors but the city wonâ€™t approve. Since JRA has only just gained this ability, it has not yet funded any such projects. It was unclear to JRA board members and Mims from the meeting if Johnson is planning to implement a new official policy or ordinance to get the Economic Development Department more involved. JRA Chairman Ronnie C. Crudup said JRA should continue working on its long-term goals and planning until the city presents the board with a proposed policy change, because they do not know when that policy change might come. â€œThat could be next month; it could be the end of the year; it could be next year,â€? Crudup said. Comment at www.jfp.ms.
by Jacob Fuller 6LPRQVDLGÂł7KH(3$KDVFRPHGRZQRQXV MXVWDVWKH\KDYHPDQ\RWKHUFLWLHVDURXQGWKH FRXQWU\ZLWKPDQGDWHVZLWKQRIHGHUDOIXQGLQJ DQGQRKHOS)RUXVWRSDVVXSDQRSSRUWXQLW\ WRGD\WREHJLQWKLVHYDOXDWLRQDXGLWZKDWHYHU WHUP\RXSUHIHUWRXVHWKDWFRXOGSURYLGH VDYLQJVWRRXUFXVWRPHUVRXUFLWL]HQVRXUUDWH SD\HUVLVEH\RQGP\FRPSUHKHQVLRQ,IWKHUH LVDSRVVLELOLW\KHUHWKDW6LHPHQV FDQVKRZXV DZD\WKDWZHFDQORZHUWKHZDWHUUDWHVIRURXU SHRSOHDQG NHHSWKHZDWHUUDWHVIURPULVLQJ LWÂśVZURQJLIZHSDVVXSWKLVRSSRUWXQLW\Â´
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by Elizabeth Waibel
JPS Accreditation Still Uncertain cation, explained that JPS is not in compliance with federal standards for how it should treat students with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. â€œThe heart of IDEA is to ensure that all children with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education,â€? Moore said. Federal law requires school districts to provide extra help, or â€œrelated services,â€? for students with disabilities, even if they are not in special-education classes. For example, students with problems speaking should receive speech therapy, and students with emotional difficulties should receive counseling, said Ken Swindol, a consultant for MDE. Many districts do not have the staff or training to provide the services students need, however. â€œThe capacity is generally not there in the district to provide related services,â€? he said. Several witnesses said that the district has been working hard to train its staff in how to comply with IDEA regulations, but those changes have mostly happened at the top administration levels and have not made it down to the student level, yet. â€œThe district has done a lot of work to (institute) policies and procedures, and theyâ€™ve done a lot of work to add professional develop-
Under a new rezoning plan for JPS, Bailey Magnet High School will become APAC Middle School next year.
sion questioned how JPSâ€™ noncompliance could affect the state. If the district does not resolve its issues by February of next year, Moore said MDE would have to include that in a report to the U.S. Department of Education, which could impose sanctions on the state. Losing accreditation would mean, in part, that JPS students could not participate in sports, band, choir or other after-school activities. JPS did not get to JPS Board Member Otha Burton, left, and Interim Superintendent Jayne Sargent listen to a hearing about whether or not the state make its case for keepshould revoke the districtâ€™s accreditation. ing its accreditation at this meeting, but will get a chance to do so on Until JPS puts its training into practice May 21. A report from a follow-up visit by in individual schools and classrooms, she said, MDE earlier in April will also likely be availthe district will not be able to address the needs able for the commission to consider at the of all the students, and will therefore remain in May meeting. noncompliance with IDEA. Earlier coverage of this issue is linked to this Several members of the commis- story at www.jfp.ms.
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JPS to Reorganize Schools
ment,â€? Moore said. â€œThe issue is implementing those at every school level.â€? ELIZABETH WAIBEL
ackson Public Schools will have to wait a bit longer to find out whether it will lose or retain its accreditation status. After listening to several hours of testimony at an April 26 hearing, the state Commission on School Accreditation decided to call it a day. The commission and legal teams for the Mississippi Department of Education and JPS agreed to adjourn the hearing until May 21. The commission is considering whether JPS should lose its accreditation due to how it has disciplined and served students with disabilities. In September 2010, a complaint by the Mississippi Youth Justice Project, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, alleged that JPS had repeatedly suspended students with behavioral problems or sent them to the Capital City Alternative School rather than getting them help to overcome their problems. MDE investigated and, in November of that year, found that JPS was not in compliance with 10 regulations regarding students with disabilities. Since the district did not resolve its areas of noncompliance, it might lose its accreditation. At the hearing, Ann Moore, associate state superintendent for the Office of Special Edu-
Legislature: Week 18
by R.L. Nave
Few Fireworks Over Budget
Weekend Warriors Seersucker-clad legislators were on full display this past weekend as lawmakers completed most of the heavy lifting on a $5.6-billion state budget for the fiscal year starting in July. For the most part, legislators remained cool as they approved funding for state agencies most people have never heard of through more than 100 appropriation bills that comprise the spending plan for
the 2013 fiscal year. develop rules to keep companies from doHighlights of the Senate’s Saturday ing so. Smith responded that the tax bill did session included appropriation bills to in- not prevent businesses from being “rascals” crease student financial aid by 10 percent and circumventing the law. over 2012 and to set the Department of As expected, House members also Corrections budget at $311.7 million, which is level with the current budget year. Also, Senators voted to create more jobs in the state’s Department of Revenue, which would receive a $2.5 million increase to hire more auditors, accountants and customer service-agents to step up tax-collection efforts. The Mississippi Department of Mental Health will receive $25 million less than in 2012. This includes $20 million for community mental-health facilities transferred to the Medicaid budget. Rep. Herb Frierson, R-Poplarville, said last week that the state Rep. Bobby Moak, D-Bogue Chitto, said an inventory tax wanted to take money from credit, which is uncapped, could cost state taxpayers more special funds such as mental than the $30 million per year that Republicans project. health and the University of Mississippi Medical Center and put it directly into the Medicaid bud- passed a K-12 education budget that alloget. cated $19 million for the Public Employee Meanwhile, the House went another Retirement System, but still fell $250 milfew rounds over a proposal to increase tax lion short of the Mississippi Adequate Educredits for businesses that pay inventory tax. cation Program funding formula. The credit would allow businesses that pay an inventory tax to local governments to re- Employers’ Compensation coup that money from the state through tax Lawmakers came back Monday morncredits. Rep. Jeff Smith said the tax break ing to take up the controversial workwould cost the state up to $30 million a ers’ compensation bill. Supporters said year once fully implemented. changes were needed to restore parity to a Rep. Bobby Moak, D-Bogue Chitto, system tipped in workers’ favor. The measaid the tax could actually cost a lot more sure makes changes to the state’s system of because the bill doesn’t put a limit on the paying people who are injured at work by tax credit. Rep. Cecil Brown, D-Jackson, requiring employees to prove they weren’t said the bill lets large retailers like Walmart working drunk or high on drugs. move inventory to warehouses near their Rep. Bryant Clark, D-Pickens, said the stores to claim a bigger tax credit, and he bill “places burdens on our workers that no asked if the Department of Revenue should other states have.” Some changes were to
ackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. spent Monday, April 30, lobbying lawmakers to pass a bill to let the city to levy a small sales tax increase for infrastructure improvements. At first, the mayor’s charm seemed to work on lawmakers. In less than 24 hours, everything had changed. Tuesday morning, the bill died on a procedural move. Last year, the Legislature agreed to let Jackson collect a 1-cent sales tax for infrastructure and public-safety improvements if 60 percent of voters approved it and if the city set up a commission to oversee how the money was spent. The city objected to the makeup of the proposed commission, and no vote ever took place. A heated exchange preceded the vote, however, when Rep. Kelvin Buck, D-Holly Springs, pressed House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jeff Smith, R-Columbus, on changes in the bill. The original legislation only applied to the city of Jackson, but lawmakers amended it to include Pearl, Brandon, Flowood and Holly Springs. Late Sunday, negotiators stripped Holly Springs from the bill. Buck held Smith’s mustache to the fire, demanding to know why lawmakers targeted the 8,000-person town. Smith took the blame: “It was better to have something than let the whole bill die.” He said no one had the guts to tell Buck to his face that his hometown would be stripped from the final version of the bill. “You are not being treated fairly,” Smith told Buck.
allay concerns of workers’ rights advocates. A previous version of the bill removed the longstanding “found dead presumption” in the state’s workers’ comp law that holds that workers found dead on the job are presumed to have died in the course of doing their jobs. The final version of the bill restored the found dead presumption and requires claimants to simply submit medical records. The bill required workers to provide proof of a direct causal relationship between their work and injury. Redistricting Pits Dem vs. Dem The wait is over, kids. Mississippi House members finally have a new legislative district map to vote on. The map, which adds two districts in rapidly growing DeSoto County, was unveiled at the Capitol last week. Under the plan, several white Democrats could lose their seats either by having to square off with fellow Democrats or by having to compete in mostly GOP districts. One Jackson Democrat who could be in trouble is Rep. Cecil Brown, whose district was moved into the territory now served by Rep. Bill Denny, R-Jackson. Denny also, coincidentally, was in charge of drawing the up the maps for the House. In addition, Robert Huddleston, D-Sumner, would have to square off against Tommy Taylor, R-Boyle; Kevin Horan, D-Grenada, would face Linda Whittington, D-Schlater; Democrats Bennett Malone of Carthage and Jason White of West would go toe-totoe as would Blaine Eaton, D-Taylorsville, and Johnny Stringer, D-Montrose. The plan also increases the number of majority-black districts by one. The Senate released its map Tuesday afternoon as the Jackson Free Press went to print. After the new maps win legislative approval, they could meet challenges in the courts or from the U.S. Department of Justice. Comment at www.jfp.ms.
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by Elizabeth Waibel
Women ‘Unite’ for Rights
Tfbo!Kpiotpo! boe! Xjme!Mpuvt!Cboe Nbz!5ui!}!8;41!qn Bewbodf!ujdlfut!%26!}!%31!bu!uif!epps Former Greenville Mayor Heather McTeer, right, talks with Lori Garrott during a Unite Women rally at the Capitol last weekend. Both women believe there’s a war on women underway.
“In Mississippi, lawmakers took a cue from Virginia and are now pushing the same type of regressive, restrictive legislation,” the release said, likely referring to an anti-abortion “fetal heartbeat bill” that some said could require transvaginal ultrasounds or outlaw most surgical abortions altogether. The bill, introduced by Rep. Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, went through several slightly different incarnations, all of which eventually died. Gov. Bryant signed another anti-abortion bill, designed to close the state’s only abortion clinic, into law last month. At the rally in Jackson, women carried ELIZABETH WAIBEL
Public schools do more than educate children. They measure a city’s pride. They reflect community. They predict the social and economic well-being of a city’s future. For 20 years, Parents for Public Schools of Jackson has worked to keep our public schools strong, to empower parents as leaders for positive change, and to engage community support of our public schools.
Join us. For our city. For our children. For our future. Some people used last weekend’s rally as an opportunity to relax in the shade.
signs with slogans such as, “It’s 2012, not 1912,” and men’s signs said, “My rights are her rights.” McTeer encouraged the women at the march to run for elected office, saying there are too few women at the table when politicians discuss reproductive issues. “There’s more than just politics at stake here. This is life and death. This is an economic issue,” McTeer said. “Last time I checked, there weren’t going to be any jobs created because someone was in my vagina.” Comment at www.jfp.ms.
Founding Chapter, Parents for Public Schools, 1989 200 N. Congress, Suite 500, Jackson, MS 39201
ississippi’s Unite Women march last Saturday felt more like a community picnic than a politically charged demonstration, as participants spread blankets under shade trees in front of the state Capitol’s south steps and interspersed motivational speeches with musical interludes. No matter how much fun they must have had coming up with the slogans on their signs, however, the protesters were serious about their message. People around the nation are watching Mississippi to see how its politicians and voting public treat reproductive issues, they said. “We here in Mississippi don’t realize sometimes the role that we play,” former Greenville Mayor Heather McTeer said. “... The war on women is real, and it’s real for us here more than anywhere else.” About 60 people gathered for Saturday’s protest, which was part of a nationwide effort organized by a group called Unite Women, with events in almost every state. In Jackson, people came from as far away as the Gulf Coast to participate. Saturday’s march raised many of the same issues as a protest last month. Protesters opposed state legislators’ attempts to pass anti-abortion bills and other legislation that would limit reproductive rights. Unite Women’s website says while its primary issue is reproductive rights, the group also opposes violence against women and children, and voter registration laws that they say suppress voter turnout among poor women, seniors and minorities. They also support workplace equality, education and equal pay. In a February press release announcing Unite Women’s formation, the group cited attempts to pass personhood legislation in several states and efforts by Virginia legislators to require intrusive transvaginal ultrasounds before abortions as evidence that a “war on women” exists.
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by Todd Stauffer
Your Springtime Backup Assessment FILE PHOTO
than a few days old when we hit a snag— and that was on a press day when I was out of town.) If you have no solution at the moment, then you’ll have to spend at least a little bit of money, although the cost can be minimal if you’re mostly worried about your personal machine. Before buying software, though, it’s smart to take an inventory. The fundamental questions you’re asking are (a) how much “near-line” (easily accessible) backup storage do you need and (b) is it time to move some or all of what you’re doing to “the cloud”? Here are some specific things to think about when considering backup options:
eP robl em
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With this assessment in place, you can get a better sense of your backup needs, particularly the amount of storage you need. If you’re looking at a lot of gigabytes of data that you need quick access to, then a large external hard disk—one or two terabytes are inexpensive these days—might be the right solution. That same hard disk might be handy if you’re looking to “clone” your current drive so you have the ability to fully restore in the future. W h a t s o f t w a re should you use? If you’re running Windows 7, you’ve got Backup and Restore built right in; Macs have Time Machine. Both can be used Arq for Mac offers great pricing and high volume. with external hard drives to create both “system restores” and incremental backups. For Macs, I also like Carbon if you have a good backup solution in place, a Copy Cloner (bombich.com) which is free little “fault tolerance” goes a long way. That’s software for file-by-file cloning of existing right; two backups, at least on really critical folder or drives without requiring a Time stuff. Sign up for a Google Drive, DropBox Machine setup. or similar online storage drive and drop the If you have fewer mission-critical files files on there that you would need in case to back up—and you’ve got the DVDs on of a 100-year flood or alien invasion—parhand to re-install applications or your OS— ticularly stuff you’re working on right now. then an online solution might be an alter- That way, you can access your critical stuff native. Carbonite (carbonite.com), Mozy from a friend’s computer or public terminal (mozy.com) and iBackup (ibackup.com) of- of some kind if the worst sort of computing fer Windows and Mac support for backing catastrophe strikes. up files online. You can generally set the softJFP and BOOM Jackson Publisher Todd ware and forget it; the software works in the Stauffer has authored or co-authored more than background (in some cases, only kicking in 40 books on technology and computing.
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id you know that every hard disk made has a specification called “mean time between failures” or MTBF? (“Mean,” if you remember back to grade school, is the same as “average.”) In other words, all hard drives fail eventually; it’s just a matter of time. Backup, therefore, is fundamental to maintaining peace of mind when it comes to computing. If you know your documents (and email and photos and other important items) are safely and securely backed up, then any problem with your computer is considerably less stressful. It’s when you have to wonder, “have I lost that file forever?!” that you completely lose your Zen and go screaming to the nearest electronics store to learn of your fate. With today’s cheap external hard drives and “cloud” solutions for backup, there really isn’t an excuse to avoid backup. (Not that we all need excuses; the JFP has been going through server glitches in the past week, and we got caught with a backup that was more
when you’re idle on your computer) to complete the initial backup of your critical files. Later, scheduled backups are “incremental,” meaning they’re adding just the files that have been added or changed. Those set-and-forget services can get expensive for massive storage. In those cases, Arq for Mac (haystacksoftware.com) can back up directly to Amazon’s S3 service, which offers great pricing and high volume levels (hundreds of gigabytes.) JungleDisk (jungledisk.com) offers Windows or Linux backup to Amazon S3 and similar services for larger installations. Finally, it’s worth considering that even COURTESY HAYSTACK SOFTWARE
All hard drives fail eventually; it’s just a matter of time. So be prepared.
1. What are your email backup needs? If you’ve already got your email in the cloud (with iCloud, Gmail, Yahoo!, or similar programs) then you may get away with backing up less than some other folks need to. If you’re like me and you’ve got 50GB of email stored in Apple Mail from the past 15 years, you might need a more robust hard disk or online solution. 2. What are your document backup needs? Again, if you’re in the cloud mostly with Google Docs, Office 365 or something similar, you may not have all that many documents on your computer’s internal storage that you need to back up. Or you may have old files that need to be archived somewhere as you plow forward into this brave new day of cloud computing with your new docs online. 3. What are your multimedia backup needs? Photos, audio files and video files take up a ton of room. The more you work in those mediums, the more backup storage space you’re going to need. People who use a computer for multimedia will likely need a more sophisticated solution than those who use their computer just for email and spreadsheets. 4. What “special stuff”—games, smartphone sync software, passwords, financial software—do you have that needs to be backed up?
5. Do you have the original disks for applications and operating systems, or would you need to reinstall those from a backup? 6. Do you often create multiple revisions of files that you would like access to, so that you could “restore changes” from an older document, image or similar file?
opining, grousing & pontificating
Voter Shenanigans Could be Costly
curious exchange took place between Rep. John Hines, D-Greenville, and Republican Speaker Philip Gunn of Clinton over the weekend, as the Legislature hammered a budget for state agencies. Hines, whoâ€™d forgotten to vote an earlier bill, asked if he could record a vote after the body had moved on. Gunn asked Hines teasingly if he had his voter ID, to which Hines retorted something to the effect of â€œI got my voter ID and my poll tax,â€? which brought chuckles from the chamber. Itâ€™s all fun and games until someone subjects your grandma to a literacy test on Election Day. On Tuesday, the Mississippi Senate unveiled its plan to add three majorityblack districts, but pit two white Democrats against each other. In the Houseâ€™s plan, released last week, the number of majority-black districts increased by one, to 42, but might also eliminate as many as five white Democrats. On its face, thereâ€™s nothing nefarious about the plan. Lawmakers have to redraw the lines once a decade and, after all, elections have consequences. Adding a black district also gives redistricting architects cover to claim that no voter dilution â€œfunny businessâ€? is going on. But that logic defies reality: Black folks in Mississippi donâ€™t just vote for black legislators, but they overwhelmingly vote Democratic, black and white. So even by possibly adding to the number of African American representatives, the maps that will diminish the voices of black voters in Mississippi. Or at least thatâ€™s how a court is likely to see it. Federal courts in recent years have shown little patience for anything with the faintest whiff of voter suppression. President Barack Obamaâ€™s Justice Department blocked Arizonaâ€™s and Alabamaâ€™s ill-conceived anti-Mexican laws as well as voter ID in South Carolina. Meanwhile, a federal court rejected a Texas redistricting map that it said diluted African American and Latino voting strength. If theyâ€™ve done anything this year, our state lawmakers have been hell bent on rolling back every constitutionally protected right they happen to disagree with. And for what? Republicans may hold electoral majorities for years to come without voter ID, scaring off immigrants or gerrymandering districts. It seems to us that lawyers are going to have a field day with the Magnolia State in the next year or so, all at the expense of the nationâ€™s poorest taxpayers. Even at the end of this state legislative session, make your voice heard on the issues that matter to you.
May 2 - 8, 2012
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REP. CECIL BROWN
Why Charter Schools Died
t appears that all of the charter-school proposals are dead for this legislative session. These bills were defeated by a coalition of Democrats and Republicans in the House with the support of hundreds of school-board members, administrators, teachers, parents and civic leaders across the state. The public is entitled to know why the legislation failed. There were numerous objections to the proposals. Here are a few: â€˘ The legislation set up a new board to run the charter program. The board would hire an executive director to run day-to-day operations. The bill did not specify qualification requirements for the director in the legislation, and unlike every other state agency director in Mississippi, the new director would not be subject to Senate confirmation. The new board would clearly be duplicative and costly. We already have a state Board of Education. We also have a state superintendent of education with statutorily required qualifications who has to be confirmed by the Senate. â€˘ No matter who administers the program, charter schools will cost additional money. The legislation would require the new board to carry out a number of administrative duties, which would require additional staff and funding. The same would be true if the current board of education runs the program. However, because the state Department of Education has experienced staff and systems in place, any charter program can be monitored most efficiently by that agency. â€˘ Under the proposed law, the new board could give charter schools a blanket exemption from virtually all state education laws. Among those are the laws against bullying, prohibitions against nepotism, rules regarding suspension and expulsion of students, the requirement that principals be bonded, the provisions for dual high school and college enrollment, and compulsory school attendance laws to name a few. Lobbyists who do not want charter schools to comply with any state laws are pushing these exemptions.
â€˘ There would be no limit on the number of charters granted. By 2015 they could be located in almost any district in the state, including those labeled â€œsuccessfulâ€? by the state Board of Education. â€˘ Charter schools would have the option to buy or lease surplus public school properties at below fair market value. These charter schools would be nongovernmental, private entities. There should be some limits on how much public property they could take at favorable prices. â€˘ The proposals require no public notice of a charter application, nor would there be an opportunity for public input. Those who live in districts to be affected by charter schools should have an opportunity to comment on charter applications. â€˘ Charter-school board members would be virtually immune from civil lawsuits. Existing school boards do not have such immunity, and there is no good reason to grant it to these new boards. â€˘ All administrators would be exempt from professional certification requirements. Surely someone who is running the school should have some background in school administration. â€˘ Half of the teachers in a charter school would be exempt from teacher-certification requirements. This provision is potentially a violation of No Child Left Behind and could jeopardize federal funds. The bottom line is that the bills before the House were ill conceived and poorly drafted. In my opinion, Mississippi will eventually have charter schools in a few districts, and they can be helpful in achieving our goal of providing quality educational opportunities for all children. But to pass legislation, those who are pushing it will have to listen to those Democrats, Republicans and members of the public who have concerns and learn to compromise. Rep. Cecil Brown D-Jackson
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ver since Rick Santorum fired the first shot in the â€œwar on womenâ€? in a campaign speech labeling birth control as â€œdangerous,â€? the â€œwomenâ€™s issuesâ€? media narrative of the 2012 presidential campaign season has revolved around the candidatesâ€™ attempts to attract (and alternately repel) women voters. An April 17 poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press bears this out, with women breaking for President Obama over Mitt Romney by about 13 points. The â€œgender gapâ€? has led to the kind of flip-chart, number-crunching analysis usually not seen until the battleground states come into play. The presidential campaigns have taken notice. In appearances over the last few weeks, Mitt Romney has begun referring questions about womenâ€™s issues to his wife, Ann, who says that women care more about the economy than â€œwomenâ€™s issuesâ€? like birth control and abortion. The dichotomy such a statement createsâ€”that economic issues and womenâ€™s issues are separate, distinct issues, and that one is independent of the otherâ€”ignores the 50 years of womenâ€™s economic, political and academic progress made possible by contraception and, in particular, contraception that women control. The birth-control pill became legal in the United States in 1960, revolutionizing contraception. Not only was it a reliable, consistent method of controlling reproduction, but the Pill also put that method in womenâ€™s hands. While condoms and other â€œnaturalâ€? techniques of birth control were already in widespread use, those methods rely on the male participation to be effective. According to the National Fertility Study of 1970, the use of the birth-control pill exploded over that decade, particularly within the generation born in the late 1930s and early 1940sâ€”the generation of women who were still young enough to pursue careers and higher education, but old enough that, just a decade earlier, they would already have been conscripted to husbands, children and work within the home. Without such predetermined destinies, these women took to the work force, leveraging their education and experiences for something beyond entertaining their husbandsâ€™ business partners. It may seem obvious that the widespread use and acceptance of the birth-control pill led to the emergence of more women in the workplace. After all, control of reproduction allowed women not just to delay children, but also to pursue education and even delay marriage. What is less obvious is the correlation
between an increase in womenâ€™s wages and the Pill. In a 2010 study, University of Michigan economist Martha Bailey tracked the increase in womenâ€™s wages over time and found something revealing. Prior to the 1960s, womenâ€™s wages increased insignificantly over their working lifetimes, if at all. After the introduction of the Pill, however, womenâ€™s wages began to increase, often substantially. Unencumbered access to education and the opportunity to work full time in young adulthood allowed women to pursue careers instead of jobs. According to Bailey, â€œAs the Pill provided younger women the expectation of greater control over childbearing, women invested more in their human capital and careers.â€? It comes down to this: Womenâ€™s personal economies have always been tied to their ability to control their reproduction. Thatâ€™s true for women who choose to work within the home as well. Contraception allows women to decide the number of children thatâ€™s right for themâ€”and, significantlyâ€”the number of children that they and their partners can afford. Acknowledging the role that birth control has played in womenâ€™s movement into the workplace doesnâ€™t mean ignoring its implications for women who choose to work at home. Of course, the word that colors every debate about women and work, or women and the Pill, or women and abortion, is choice. Even Ann Romney, who two decades after a $150 donation to Planned Parenthood describes herself as anti-abortion, uses the word â€œchoiceâ€? when talking about how women decide to raise their families. After a media firestorm arose around her statements regarding her hard work as a stay-at-home mother, Romney said we need to â€œrespect the choices that women makeâ€? in an April 12 interview with Fox News. Thatâ€™s true. But without access to affordable birth control, competent and compassionate family planning services, and yes, even abortion, women will no longer be able make the kind of choices that have improved their education, their wages and their lives. If women care about the economyâ€”and we doâ€”then we must care about reproductive freedom as well. Whitney Barkley is a local consumer-protection attorney, teacher and professional hell-raiser. She lives in Belhaven with her boyfriend, an organizer with the ACLU. Their children will probably grow up to be right-wingers.
Womenâ€™s personal economies have always been tied to their ability to control their reproduction.
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Apron Strings to Executive Chef by Tom Ramsey
photos by Virginia Schreiber
ick Wallace told me stories as we drove to Edwards in April. There were gardens to see and people to meet, and all of them had a history. Our first stop was at his uncle’s place where tomatoes, peas, green onions, red potatoes and plenty of other produce were getting a good start. We walked the rows and picked the tops from scallions and marveled at the height of the garlic scapes at the tops of the plants. We could have lingered, but more people were waiting on us. We rolled along winding little roads where the early spring foliage seemed to reach to the very edges of the road, as if to try and reclaim the patch of asphalt as the green path it used to be. His grandmother’s house was on one of these little roads. In the front of the house was three-quarter-acre field gone wild with dewberry vines, awaiting the spring plow. Behind the house was a chicken coop with Rhode Island Reds, Domenics and Java White hens, and a dog run with both hunters and mutts. A shed sat off to the side of the house with the implements of gardening in various states of readiness and repair. Nick pointed to a tiller undergoing an overhaul and said: “We don’t take anything to the shop. Everything gets fixed right here.” I didn’t know then how universally that statement could be applied to pretty much everything on this place, from food to farm to family.
May 2 - 8, 2012
Witnessing History When her grandson introduced me to her, Lenell Donald was sitting in her recliner with a large walking stick propped at her side, watching a TV courtroom drama. She greeted me with a big smile and apologized for not getting up, but I could tell that she didn’t want to miss a moment of her show just to give me a tour of her garden. I suspected that her frailty was deceiving and that, at a moment’s notice, the 16 unassuming walking stick could be wielded swiftly and deftly
if I were to get out of line. I didn’t dare. The man in her living room was “well-behaved Tom,” not the “smart-aleck Susie Marshall (above), King Edward Executive Chef Nick Wallace’s mom, instilled a love of Tom” that you, the reader, food and cooking into her son. Nick and his mom are in the bottom photo. have become accustomed to. I was there to pay homage to a great mother, grandmother, gardener, cook and mentor. I was honored to Starting Early meet her. Nick is one of the best chefs we have in Jackson. Our For years I had heard stories about her from my friend, mutual friend, Parlor Market chef Jesse Houston, calls him her grandson and King Edward chef Nick Wallace. (He con- “the master of braising,” mainly because of a pig-cheek dish firmed my suspicions about her stick once we stepped outside that displays more riches than Scrooge McDuck doing the and left the outer range of its possible trajectory). backstroke in a pool of gold doubloons. This type of cookI was there to learn about the bonds of grandmother, ing takes more than knowledge; it takes love and patience. mother, grandson and son, forged in the garden rows and But after meeting his family, it’s not a surprise that he turned the kitchen stove. I was there to see how a love of food and out this way; the surprise would be if he hadn’t. He’s been a love of family transitioned into a chef’s passion and skill. around food all his life. Nick learned his trade long before I was there to witness history and record how tradition be- entering culinary school, at the apron strings of his grandcame legacy. mother and mother who shouldered the responsibility of Nick, his father, Jessie Donald, and I walked feeding a virtual army of hungry men three meals a the field. They pointed out to me where evday, seven days a week. erything would go. Nick’s grandfather was in the pulpTomatoes here on the edges, wood business. For those of you who butterbeans and field peas there, haven’t spent much time outside the peppers and peanuts in the center, city limits, that means bone-crushing squash on the far side where it labor performed by big men with would have plenty of room to big appetites. Mrs. Donald learned run. They invited me to come that if the entire crew was well fed, back in a few weeks and put my they could work the long hours it old back to work. I was promtook to cut, load, haul and unload ised some “picking rights” in 20 trucks a day. As Nick put it, return for my labor, and that’s a “Twenty trucks per day meant that deal I’m not going to miss. all the bills were paid, all the kids were fed and clothed, and she could buy a A bell-pepper seedling grows in the dress on Saturday.” Donald family garden. She knew that if a hauler missed break-
MEATLOAF WITH TOMATO RELISH
Coat a skillet with a twocount of oil and place over medi-
um heat. Sauté the onion, garlic and bay leaves for a few minutes to create a base flavor. Throw in the red peppers and cook them for a couple of minutes to soften. Now add the tomatoes. Adding them at this point lets them hold their shape and prevents them from disintegrating. Stir in the parsley, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce; season with salt and pepper. Simmer the relish for 5 minutes to pull all the flavors together. Remove it from the heat You should have about 4 cups of relish.
MEATLOAF 3 slices white bread, torn into chunks by hands 1/4 cup whole milk 1-1/2 pounds ground beef, 80/20 blend 1 pound ground pork loin 2 eggs Leaves from 2 fresh thyme sprigs Salt Freshly ground black pepper 3 to 4 bacon slices
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the torn white bread in a bowl and add the milk to just barely cover, swish the bread around in the milk, and let it sit while you get the rest of the ingredients for the meat loaf together.
This is where you get your hands dirty! In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef and pork with 1-and-1/2 cups of the tomato relish, eggs and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Squeeze the excess milk from the bread and add the soaked bread to the meat mixture. To test, fry a small “hamburger” patty of the meatloaf until cooked; the patty should hold together but still have a soft consistency. Taste the patty for seasoning. Lightly oil a cookie sheet. Transfer the meat mixture to the center of the cookie sheet and form into a log about 9-inches long and
fast, he would tire quickly, or that if a cutter missed lunch, of giving up secrets, like cute pet names he had as a chubbyhe would ease off in the afternoon. The best way she could cheeked boy and the fact that he is fiercely ticklish. ensure productivity was to assume the responsibility of feed“I knew he would be a cook, but I didn’t know he would ing everyone, every meal, every day. This meant breakfast at grow up to be a COOK-cook. But I should have known,” she 5 a.m., lunch at 11 a.m. and supper at 4:30 p.m. for 12 “full- said. “I didn’t realize it, but from the time he could walk and grown” men, Monday through Saturday. talk, he was following me around the kitchen watching evFrom age 6, Nick was at her side, helping her at the erything he could see and asking me about what he couldn’t. helm of her home kitchen and also in her garden. Growing It was like getting to watch me when I was a child. There he produce and raising livestock is far was, standing in a chair, right next more economical than schlepping to me, cooking.” to Kroger three times a week. Nick If Nick hadn’t stopped her, learned efficiency and frugality. He his mother would have divulged learned the cycle of seasons and much more than he wanted me to what that meant in the kitchen. He hear, so he insisted we get a plate learned that you couldn’t get greedy before anything got cold. with fruits in the summer and eat Collard greens, sweet potathem all up. You had to set enough toes, potato salad with boiled eggs, aside for jams and preserves if you mac ‘n’ cheese, fried pork chops, wanted to enjoy that flavor all year. fried chicken, smoked neck bones, plaque was Nick’s Mother’s Day gift to his Nick learned that a messy This smothered chicken and peppers, mom when he was 9 years old. He made it. kitchen was a slow kitchen and that creamed corn, cornbread, yeast in lean times, with ingenuity and rolls, rutabagas and banana pudflavor, you could feed plenty of people with a little meat, a ding all stared up at me, mocking me, daring me to sample bunch of gravy, and plenty of rice or potatoes. He also learned them all. I did. Every morsel was a treat. You could taste the a painful lesson about being in a hurry. care and joy and love in every bite. His earliest memory in the kitchen was when he was I doubt I’ll ever forget this meal. Here I was on an ordibarely tall enough to reach the stove. He got sloppy heating up molasses for pancakes and splashed some of the hot treacle Susie Marshall’s lunch feast onto his arm. It stuck. It burned, but he couldn’t stop. He had was a smorgasbord to work through the pain and play catch-up to help get the 5 of southern a.m. pancakes on the plate. As he put it, “It was my first time favorites. getting in the weeds.” The Epic Lunch Nick’s mother, Susie Marshall, also started cooking early. “I can remember being 8 years old, standing in a chair, frying pork chops,” she said. She obviously practiced this enough to get really good at it. After we visited his grandmother’s garden, we came back to Jackson for lunch with his mother. When we walked in the front door, the aromas hit me like a sock of batteries. My mind raced to sort them out: frying chicken, smoked pork, sweet corn, peppers, onions, browned flour in the gravy. My eyes confirmed the smells, and all I could think about was how difficult my afternoon would be, fighting the urge to nap after what I was about to do to this feast. Susie invited me in to the kitchen where we waxed about the virtues of vintage cast iron and the pleasures of watching people eat and smile with their eyes (because their mouths are too full). She beamed with pride about her son to the point
about 4-inches wide. Coat the top of the meatloaf with another half cup of the tomato relish. Lay the bacon across the top lengthwise. Bake the meatloaf for one to one-and-a-half hours until the bacon is crisp and the meatloaf is firm. Rotate the meat loaf while it’s baking every now and then to insure that the bacon browns evenly. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it cool a bit before slicing. Serve with the remaining tomato relish on the side. Unbelievably moist! Serves four. Recipe courtesy of the Wallace and Donald Family
nary spring day, eating some of the best home-cooked food I’ve ever had with a fellow chef and his mother. I wasn’t a food writer, I was a guest, and I just wanted to stay and get a second helping and nap on the sofa. When the conversation turned to Mother’s Day, Susie brought out a little wooden sign that read “Happy Mother’s Day” with the initials “NW” at the bottom. Nick made it for her in a woodworking class when he was 9. “That was sweet, but now that he’s grown, it’s not Mother’s Day until I get a gift-wrapped present with a card,” she said. A Studied Calm This quick trip explained a lot. I’d always noticed a calmness to Nick that seemed too old for 32, and now I could see its origin. Nick has a sense of place and purpose and history that manifests in the ability to show his talents without showing off. His cooking speaks for itself, and what it says is this: “I know where I came from, and I can see where I’m going.” Nick’s grandmother and his mother gave him a gift that few ever receive. They instilled in him every important element of food. I’ve repeated it so many times that people are tired of hearing it from me, but the act of feeding someone CHEF, see page 18
TOMATO RELISH Extra-virgin olive oil 1 onion, finely diced 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 bay leaves 2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and finely diced 2 tomatoes, halved, seeded and finely diced 1/4 cup chopped, fresh flat-leaf parsley 1 (12-ounce) bottle ketchup 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce Sea salt Freshly ground black pepper
Chef, from page 17
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them, he learned that it doesnâ€™t take wealth to show richness. He learned value, economy, generosity and preservation. Instead of taking these lessons and compartmentalizing them as history, Nick took them to heart and expanded on them. When he took his first job in the kitchen at 17, he was years ahead of his Uncle Tommy Donald holds hand-picked fresh blackberries. more senior employees. When he picked up a knife on the first day of is the second most intimate thing two people culinary school, he had two generations of can do. One person makes something with knowledge that no book could ever teach. love. The second puts that thing inside their It is for these reasons that he is where he is body, and it nourishes them both. now. He received unimaginable gifts from his Few people truly get this. Nick is one mother and his grandmother and thatâ€™s why of them. He learned it from two of the most Motherâ€™s Day is so important to him. important people in his life, his mother and As executive chef at the King Edward, grandmother. They showed him the dizzy- Nick assured me that his Motherâ€™s Day lunch ing levels of complexity that make up feeding would be a madhouse. But he also knows someone. From his grandmother, he learned that when the last pan is put down, his day is that it is both an act of service and self-service. just starting. From his mother, he learned that food can As he put it, â€œItâ€™s going to take a lot of bring people together, not only at the dinner Motherâ€™s Days to give back even a little of table, but also in the kitchen. From both of what they gave me.â€?
WITH CILANTRO PESTO AND TOMATO JAM SAGE MEATLOAF
May 2 - 8, 2012
1 tablespoon butter 1 teaspoon olive oil 1/2 red onion, diced 3 cloves garlic, minced 2 eggs 1/3 cup whipping cream 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1-1/2 pounds ground pork 1-1/2 pounds ground beef 3 ounces fresh sage, chiffonade, only leaves 3 cups water Kosher salt to taste Coarse black pepper to taste Cilantro pesto (recipe below) Tomato jam (recipe below)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat the butter and oil in a sautĂŠ pan. Sweat the onions and garlic over medium heat, approximately 5 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cream and Dijon mustard. Add ground beef and pork to the bowl, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add onion mixture, chiffonade sage, paprika and cilantro stems to the bowl. Fold the ingredients together; do not over mix. Place the meatloaf mixture in a 9-inch by 5-inch pan, tap down the pan to remove any air pockets. Place the meatloaf pan into a larger baking dish; pour the water inside the baking dish surrounding the meatloaf pan. Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees. Remove from oven and let the meatloaf rest for 10 minutes. Slice into 6-ounce portions. Spoon 2 ounces of cilantro pesto
over the meatloaf, and then add 2 ounces of tomato jam. Enjoy. Serves four.
1 bunch green onions, coarsely chopped 1 bunch fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons apple-cider vinegar 1/2 cup olive oil Kosher salt to taste
In a blender place the green onions, cilantro, vinegar and olive oil. Season the mixture with salt and puree. Transfer to a bowl.
1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 red onion, diced 1 clove garlic, minced 1 poblano pepper, split in half 6 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped Kosher salt to taste 2 tablespoons brown sugar 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped cilantro
In a sautĂŠ pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and pepper, and sautĂŠ until lightly caramelized. Add the chopped tomatoes, and season with salt. Turn the heat to medium high. Add the brown sugar and vinegar. Cook the mixture for 5-10 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated and tomatoes have cooked down. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Recipes courtesy of Nick Wallace.
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Saturday May 5
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Crossin’ Dixon’s Final Throwdown Crawfish, Ribs, and a Space Jump for the kids Outdoor event for all ages featuring Social Suicide, Aaron Coker and a Few Dead Roses, The Dylan Moss Project, and Yankee Station Crossin’ Dixon’s last show ever! 2pm until | $20 Call 601-987-0808 for advance tickets Wednesday - May 2 Miss 103 | Texaco Country Showdown Thursday - May 3 Mike from Mike and Marty | The Craziest Show in Town at Happy Hour 4 - 7pm | Free Admission | Ladies Night with Snazz 8pm until | $5 for guys
Friday May 4
Tuesday - May 8 Doug Frank’s Invitational Jam Night Featuring the Sofa Kings, Steve Chester, and many more $5 cover | 1st drink free | 8pm - until
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(Next door to McDades Market Extra) Mon. - Sat., 10 am - 9 pm • Maywood Mart Shopping Center 1220 E. Northside Dr. • 601-366-5676 • www.mcdadeswineandspirits.com
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COFFEE HOUSES Cups Espresso CafĂŠ (Multiple Locations, www.cupsespressocafe.com) Jacksonâ€™s local group of coffeehouses offer high-end Arabica beans, a wide variety of espresso drinks. Wi-fi. SOUTH OF THE BORDER Babalu (622 Duling Ave., 601-366-5757) Jacksonâ€™s â€œBest Mexican Foodâ€? 2012. Jacoâ€™s Tacos (318 South State Street) Tex-Mex at its finest and freshest.
BARS, PUBS & BURGERS Bourbon Street in the Quarter (1855 Lakeland Drive, 601-987-0808) Jacksonâ€™s hot new spot for great New Orleans cuisine, live entertainment and libations. Reed Pierceâ€™s (6791 Siwell Rd., Byram, 601-376-0777) Eat, Drink, Play! Burgers, Po-Boys, pub fare and dinner specialties including ribeye, filet, fried shrimp and more. Hal and Malâ€™s (200 S. Commerce St. 601-948-0888) Pub favorites meet Gulf Coast and Cajun specialties like red beans and rice, the Oyster Platter or each dayâ€™s blackboard special. Burgers and Blues (1060 E. County Line Road, Ridgeland 601-899-0038) Fantastic burgers, chicken, wraps, seasoned fries and so much more. Live music and entertainment! Cherokee Inn (960 Briarfield Rd. 601-362-6388) Jacksonâ€™s â€œBest Hole in the Wall,â€? has a great jukebox, great bar and a great burger. Plate lunches, cheesy fries and tons more. Cool Alâ€™s (4654 McWillie, 601-713-3020) A Best of Jackson fixture, Cool Alâ€™s signature stacked, messy, decadent, creative burgers defy adjectives. And donâ€™t forget the fries! Fenianâ€™s Pub (901 E. Fortification St. 601-948-0055) Classic Irish pub featuring a menu of traditional food, pub sandwiches and beers such as Guinness and Harp on tap. Last Call (3716 I-55 N. Frontage Road 601-713-2700) Burgers, sandwiches and po-boys, plus sports-bar appetizers and specialities. Pay-per-view sporting events, live bands. Martinâ€™s (214 South State Street 601-354-9712) Lunch specials, pub appetizers (jalapeno poppers, cheezsticks, fried pickles) or order from the full menu of po-boys and entrees. Ole Tavern on George Street (416 George St. 601-960-2700) Pub food with a southern flair, plus weekly lunch specials. Happy hour 4-7pm Monday through Friday. Live music. Sportsmanâ€™s Lodge (1120 E Northside Dr. in Maywood Mart 601-366-5441) Best Sports Bar in 2012 with plenty of sandwiches, seafood baskets, sandwiches and appetizers. Underground 119 (119 South President St. 601-352-2322) Gourmet â€œpubâ€? cuisine with a full bar and mix of great live music. Opens 4 p.m.-until, Wed-Sat. Wing Stop (952 North State Street, 601-969-6400) Saucing and tossing in a choice of nine flavors. ASIAN Pan Asia (720 Harbor Pines Dr, Ridgeland 601-956-2958) Beautiful ambiance, signature asian fusion dishes and build-your-own stir-frys using fresh ingredients and great sauces. Fusion (1002 Treetop Blvd, Flowood 601-664-7588) Specializing in fresh Japanese and Thai cuisine, Fusion has an extensive menu featuring everything from curries to fresh sushi. AMERICAN/SOUTHERN CUISINE Another Broken Egg (1000 Highland Colony #1009 in Renaissance, 601.790.9170) Open Daily 7am2pm for breakfast, brunch and lunch. Mimosas, coffees and more! Two Sisters Kitchen (707 N. Congress St. 601-353-1180) Frequent Best of Jackson winner for fried chicken offers a buffet of your choice of veggies, Lunch only. Mon-Friday, Sun.
7INGS IN *ACKSON
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BAKERY Broad Street Bakery (4465 Interstate 55 N. 601-362-2900) Hot breakfast,coffee espresso drinks, breads and pastries, deli sandwiches, quiches, soups, pizzas and dessert. For Heavenâ€™s Cakes (4950 Old Canton Road 601-991-2253) Cakes and cupcakes for all occasions including weddings, parties, catered events. Beagle Bagel (4500 I-55 North, Suite 145, Highland Village 769-251-1892) Fresh bagels in tons of different styles with a variety of toppings. Paninis, wraps and much more! VEGETARIAN High Noon CafĂŠ (2807 Old Canton Road in Rainbow Plaza 601-366-1513) Fresh, gourmet, tasty and healthy defines the lunch options at Jacksonâ€™s strict vegetarian spot. BARBEQUE Hickory Pit Barbeque (1491 Canton Mart Rd. 601-956-7079) The â€œBest Butts in Townâ€? features BBQ chicken, beef and pork sandwiches along with burgers and poâ€™boys. Haute Pig (1856 Main Street, 601-853-8538) A â€œvery high class pig stand;â€?try their Hershey bar pie. PIZZA The Pizza Shack (925 E. Fortification 601-352-2001) 2009-2012â€™s Best Pizza. Sal & Mookieâ€™s (565 Taylor St. 601-368-1919) Pizza, pasta, ice cream and more in Fondren.
ITALIAN BRAVO! (4500 Interstate 55 N., Jackson, 601-982-8111) Wood-fired pizzas, vegetarian fare, plus creative pastas, beef, and seafood specials. Award-winning wine list, Jacksonâ€™s see-and-be-seen casual/upscale dining. Ceramiâ€™s (5417 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, 601-919-28298) Southern-style Italian cuisine.
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