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May 16 - 22, 2012

May 16 - 22, 2012



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7 Deadly June Mississippi’s attorney general is seeking June execution dates for three death-row inmates.


Cover design by Alanna Leist


THIS ISSUE: Curious?

The original art from a childhood favorite for millions of kids shines at the Mississippi Museum of Art. COURTESY ORA REED.

sara del castillo work of affiliate organizations that empowers young people to fight for their rights and the Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors, or DREAM Act. Last November, she took Mississippi’s first delegation of students to United We Dream’s congress in Texas. “I’ve always felt connected to the immigrant community as daughter of an immigrant parent and grandmother,” she says. Her mother opened one of the first immigration mission centers in Forest, where Del Castillo spent a lot of time growing up. “I still remember how giving and wonderful they were (and) how much fear they lived in. Because I grew up in this environment, I recognized immigrants not just as illegal, but as human beings—not objects that can be dehumanized as they are so often in the media.” In addition to her work with United We Dream, Del Castillo canvassed for political campaigns and worked a phone bank last fall. She has also spoken about human rights at Tougaloo College and organized a Zumbathon to raise money for a social-justice organization. Over spring break, she participated in the Walk Against Fear, an immigrant-rights awareness walk. When she is not doing social-justice work, Del Castillo is busy with her sorority, Kappa Delta; her friends; and the Zumba class she teaches. She will graduate from Millsaps College in 2014. —Ingrid Cruz

29 Simply Heartfelt Mississippian Ora Reed’s music isn’t complicated. It comes straight from her heart.

42 Cool Threads With a Mississippi summer just around the corner, it’s time for a cool favorite: seersucker.

Sara Del Castillo is a bubbly 20-year-old with a passion for social justice, service, cultural awareness and immigrant-rights issues. “I really feel that if we can all get organized, this can be a safe space for immigrants in Mississippi,” she says. She hopes Mississippi will become a haven for immigrants and that education will be attainable for everyone, including undocumented immigrants. Del Castillo was born in Memphis and grew up in Jackson, but moved to Ocean Springs after Hurricane Katrina, while her mother, Sally Bevill, worked there with the United Methodist Church. Del Castillo says her mother, who has been a paralegal on Violence Against Women Act cases and is an ordained United Methodist minister, instilled in her a desire to fight for social justice. She credits her father Julio Del Castillo’s Peruvian background and family as an influence that has allowed her to connect with other cultures. Seeing the hardships people experienced after Katrina also shaped her world view. “The community after Katrina was torn,” she says. Del Castillo also says she experienced different racial dynamics on the Gulf Coast. “People would say, ‘Did you see those Mexicans in Walmart? They always stare at me.’ I remember challenging others that not all Latinos are Mexican,” she says. Now, Del Castillo works with United We Dream, a national immigrant youth-led net-


4 ..............Editor’s Note 4 ................... Slowpoke 6 ............................ Talk 10 ........................ Tech 12 ................... Editorial 13 ................. Opinion 14 ............ Cover Story 19 .............. Diversions 20 ...................... Books 22 ......................... Arts 23 ........................ Film 24 .................... 8 Days 25 ..................... Events 29 ...................... Music 32 ....... Music Listings 33 ................ Astrology 34 ..................... Sports 36 ........... Life & Style 38 ....................... Food 42 ......... Fly Shopping



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. Contact him at 601-362-6121 ext. 12. He wrote the cover story.

Alanna Leist Design intern Alanna Leist is a Vicksburg native, now living in Cleveland, Miss., where she attends Delta State University. She is active member in the DSU art department as well as Kappa Pi Honorary Art Fraternity. She illustrated the cover.

Ingrid Cruz Ingrid Cruz is an activist for immigrants’ rights and against private prisons. She was born in El Salvador, raised in California, and moved to Mississippi in 2010. She blogs at nomames.tumblr. com. She wrote the Jacksonian.

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 about events.

Brynn Rogel Brynn Rogel is a professional photographer and graphicdesign junkie with a degree in journalism. She is currently looking at real estate on various tropical islands so she can become a professional beach bum. She wrote a music feature.

Hannah Jones Hannah Jones is a junior English major at the University of Southern Mississippi where she is the managing editor of The Student Printz. She enjoys Woody Allen movies and sarcasm. Follow her on Twitter @hb_ jonez. She wrote a music feature.

Alonzo Lewis II Alonzo Lewis II is a native of Coila, Miss. He started cooking at the age of 5. He owns Coila’s Crossroads Bistro where the motto is: “Food so good that it will make your tongue slap your brains out.” He wrote a food feature.

May 16 - 22, 2012

Erica Crunkilton


Executive Assistant Erica Crunkilton was braised in the Missouri Ozarks She migrated to Mississippi to attend Ole Miss and never left. She lives in Flowood with her fiancé with their two neurotic dogs and a newly adopted kitten named Starbuck.

by Donna Ladd, Editor-in-Chief

Boys Will Be Boys


don’t manage to get out of the office often these days for lunch. But Friday I was in the mood for a Two Sisters veggie plate (probably had something to do with the staff party the night before, but I digress). We slipped in there about 2 p.m. just before closing. As Todd and I sat down at our table in the main dining room, I looked toward Diann Alford’s cash-register station and noticed U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee standing there with his wife. He was talking to Diann and glad-handing with others as they left the restaurant, and his presence was hard to miss. As we media folk are wont to do, I watched him out of the corner of my eye as I enjoyed my black-eyed peas and cabbage and even thought about snapping a picture on my iPhone, but decided against it. In that small space, it might have made a scene. When I got back to the office with my to-go banana pudding in a Styrofoam cup, I checked Tweetdeck for afternoon news and gossip. I noticed that some progressive folks I know (the same ones who fought personhood last fall and won) had urged people to go to Nunnelee’s Facebook page at 1:30 that day and tell him what they thought of his recent legislative votes (as in: not much). They’d done that recently on Gov. Phil Bryant’s page and rather hijacked it. I went to take a look. At Nunnelee’s page, I realized that he— using the word “I” and next to his picture— had hosted a Facebook chat from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. that day and, yes, a bunch of Mississippi progressives had let loose on him. But it wasn’t their comments that interested me; it was the timing. He had “hosted” a live chat during the exact time he was eating lunch and gladhanding in Two Sisters in downtown Jackson, or someone who worked for him had. I even posted (in a non-argumentative way, I promise) on his page that I had just seen him in Two Sisters (and with no obvious smartphone action), and another man he had talked to at the restaurant chimed in to say that he had seen him there and talked to him. Now, this may seem like a small thing to many of you—of course, their handlers handle their social media, too—but at what point did a congressman get so big for his britches that he could promise that “I” will answer your questions, yet be nowhere near a keyboard. Perhaps this wouldn’t have irked me in just the same way had it not been during a week of similar annoyances. About a week earlier, JFP staff photographer Virginia Schreiber had a bizarre run-in at Fenian’s with a group of Republicans, including Sen. Gray Tollison of Oxford (and now Jackson) and the chief of staff for Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, Parks McNabb. Long story short, Virginia was out at a pub with friends, and a group of Republicans (including Reeves himself) were out as well. So? She certainly wasn’t working, but when she saw a group including the state’s second-highest officer, she took out her phone and snapped photos of the group from across the room.

Suddenly, Republican staffers were at her side, demanding her phone. It was a matter of “state security,” McNabb told her, thereby insulting her intelligence, and then harangued her until she showed him the blurry photos and agreed to delete them. (Tollison himself even ordered her to sit down “in a way that doesn’t make any woman want to sit down,” as she wrote later in a narrative about that night that we’re posting online linked to this column.) Rattled, Virginia zipped her phone in her purse and when she looked for it again, it was gone. She looked all over the bar for it, getting management to help and even having it announced on the stage. She suspected that someone had taken it to look at her photos, but couldn’t prove it. After a while, one of the Republicans “found” it and returned it to her. Now, I’m not accusing them of taking it to check out her photos, but I know Virginia, and she is not one to drop her iPhone and not notice. And certainly not that night. Virginia did not call me because it was late, but I sure wish she would have. There is no politician out there who (a) has the right to harass someone taking camera photos in a bar, whether or not she was acting as a journalist (she wasn’t, but had the right to take pictures of an elected official out at a bar) and (b) has the right to talk to and upset a hard-working young woman like that, whether she was on duty or not. There is nothing funny about it and if someone ever pulls a stunt like that again with another of my staffers, I will be there in 10 minutes. Be warned. Of course, it was a week of hearing about boys pulling disturbing stunts We learned about Mitt Romney’s so-called “prank” back when he was a high-school senior. Five classmates independently recall him leading a

group to hold down a classmate (who was allegedly gay) and cut off his bleached blond hair. Romney, somehow, can’t recall that one prank among many that he was involved in, as he put it. Today, schools would treat that as a physical assault, as they should, and would call the police. Romney and his friends didn’t get in trouble, but the victim was kicked out of school for smoking a cigarette. What disturbed me the most about the news cycle around the incident wasn’t that it happened so many years ago, or even that a presidential candidate did it. It was that he didn’t bother to remember it (I really don’t believe you forget such a thing unless you’re becoming senile) and that he passed up an opportunity to use it as a leadership moment for a nation that has been riddled with bullying, anti-gay rhetoric and teen suicide (often resulting from one or both of those things). A leader would own his teen “prank,” giving us a reason to forgive him for them, not laugh as he claimed he didn’t remember. His response gave me the same creepy feeling I got when a visibly rattled Virginia told me about her night at Fenian’s: men of privilege trying to intimidate those who don’t fall in line. Perhaps worse are the folks who defend this kind of juvenile-yet-scary “boys will be boys” behavior. They say that all guys pull mean “pranks” when they’re younger, and we shouldn’t hold it against them. Boys will be boys, after all. I call B.S. on that. Men who would be leaders need to grow up at some point and take responsibility for their actions. They should not lie to constituents or demand that photographers turn over their iPhones to make sure they didn’t catch them in an embarrassing moment. That just won’t do, gentlemen.

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news, culture & irreverence

Thursday, May 10 Kidnapping suspect Adam Mayes commits suicide as law enforcement officers close in on him in Union County. The two girls he was holding are later treated for exposure and released from the hospital. ‌ Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac announces 30-year and 15-year fixed mortgage rates fell to an all-time low of 3.83 percent. Friday, May 11 Family and friends gather on John R. Lynch Street to remember Benjamin Brown, a civil-rights activist who was shot and killed May 11, 1967, by police. ‌ North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue says, “We look like Mississippi,â€? after state voters approve a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between one man and one woman, upsetting state Republicans. Saturday, May 12 The 159th commencement ceremony at Ole Miss honors 2,395 graduates; more than 2,400 students graduate from Mississippi State. ‌ The New York Rangers defeat the Washington Capitals 2-1 to advance to the Stanley Cup semifinals. Sunday, May 13 Ole Miss completes a sweep of Tennessee with a 4-2 win; Mississippi State drops its weekend series with a 2-1 loss at Florida. ‌ Police find 49 decapitated and mutilated bodies near an archway that marks the entrance to the town of San Juan, Mexico.

May 16 - 22, 2012

Monday, May 14 A man dies after being shot outside of the Charles W. Tisdale Library on Northside Drive in Jackson. ‌ The U.S. Department of the Interior gives its OK to move ahead with the Atlantic Wind Connection, a proposed offshore wind farm backed by Google.


Tuesday, May 15 Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr., FBI Special Agent Daniel McMullen and JPD honor fallen police officers with a ceremony on Pascagoula Street. ‌ The European Union says it carried out air strikes on pirates off the coast of Somalia, but reports no casualties. Get news updates at

Consultants is ready to move forward with Jackson’s redistricting. pg 8

One Lake on the Fast Track


his is good news, right?� asked Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District member Socrates Garrett at the May 14 Levee Board meeting. Garrett’s question came in response to news that the Levee Board has finally reached an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to commence a feasibility study, which includes an environmental impact assessment, for a flood-control and development plan. It’s a critical step in the ongoing Jacksonarea flood-control saga. At Monday’s Levee Board meeting, board attorney Keith Turner said corps officials in Washington, D.C., signed an agreement under Section 211 of the federal Water Resources Development Act of 1996 that lets the Levee Board do much of the legwork that the corps would otherwise do on a flood control project to speed things up. “Now that we’ve got this (memorandum of understanding) in place, they’re getting ready to run pretty rapid with this project,� said board chairman and Flowood Mayor Gary Rhoads, referring to the Pearl River Vision Foundation. The brainchild of John McGowan, PRVF is paying for an initial study of a onelake flood-control development along the Pearl River. One Lake would be a 1,500-acre, six-mile-long lake from Lakeland Drive south to the town of Richland, but the plan has been


Wednesday, May 9 A Canadian National freight train carrying coal derails near Collins; rails and one bridge are damaged, but no one is injured. ‌ The United States Postal Service announces it will keep hundreds of small post offices open that it had planned to close by reducing business hours instead.

In 1992, Minnesota became the first state in America to pass a charter-schools law. In 1999, only 340,000 students in the United States attended charter schools. By 2009, however, that number had more than tripled, to 1.4 million students, but charter schools still made up only 5 percent of all public schools.

Flowood Mayor Gary Rhoads called the next phase of the One Lake plan “monumental.�

scaled down from McGowan’s earlier vision for a Two Lakes concept that would have connected to the Ross Barnett Reservoir. Monday, the board voted to authorize Rhoads to sign the Section 211 agreement on the board’s behalf when it arrives this week. In a separate vote, board members gave lawyers the go-ahead to explore options for expanding the district and acquiring the land needed for the project. The legal options might include purchasing or acquiring land through eminent domain or negotiating agreements with landowners so Levee Board officials can access parts of the shore, Turner said after the meeting.

Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. took the news with cautious optimism, saying although it would “be wise to get as far ahead of the game as possible,� he was concerned that people might get the false impression that the Levee Board is about to start gobbling up land. In response, Rhoads said the agreement, which he called “monumental,� represents an opportunity for a public-education campaign for citizens and other stakeholders, such as state elected officials. Rhoads suggested that he and Johnson lobby the Legislature for payment in lieu of taxes on state-owned property because the Pearl River’s levees protect the fairgrounds and other state property from flooding. Private property owners along the levee pay a millage tax to the flood control district; the state pays nothing. Dave Nichols, mayor of Monticello, was a vocal critic of the original Two Lakes plan on behalf of downstream communities. He says he hasn’t developed a stance on the One Lake plan because he hasn’t seen enough information on the proposal. “Nobody looks out for Monticello,� Nichols told the Jackson Free Press. “Everything is about Jackson and the metro area.� PRVF spokesman Dallas Quinn said early analyses show no negative impacts downstream of the project. Quinn said he looks forward to meeting with Nichols and other downstream stakeholders to address their concerns. Read previous coverage at





t the Jackson Free Press, we strive to provide our readers with news you can’t get anywhere else, news that is surprising and enlightening. Some of the national news that made the most noise around the Internet this week was, however, less than shocking. In case you missed it, here are some of the stories that, for all the cacophony of argument surrounding them, were pretty much par for the course: • France’s president is a socialist. • Ron Paul isn’t going to be moving into the White House anytime soon. • Not all of his supporters know that. • Elected officials in other states (who should really know better) like to use Mississippi as a punching bag. • Somehow their jabs that the Magnolia State is racist and homophobic echo around the blogosphere a lot longer than their apologies. • Now that the Republican primaries (and their more-conservative-than-thou contests) are more-or-less done with, Democratic President Obama comes out in support of gay marriage. • Though it leads to plenty of bickering on Twitter and cable TV, his announcement has little impact on his poll numbers. • The Justice Department thinks Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona’s Maricopa County has been racially profiling Latinos. • Latinos who have left the area agree. • Louisiana legislators think the NFL was too hard on the Saints in handing out penalties for the team’s bounty program.


9:49 AM

news, culture & irreverence

Three Days in June

by R.L. Nave

ne spring afternoon in 2001, Jan Michael Brawner slipped into the home of his ex-in-laws, Jane and Carl Craft, in rural Tate County, and stole a .22caliber rifle. Later that day, during a confrontation with his former wife, Barbara, over custody of their daughter back at the Craft home, Brawner raised the gun and shot his ex in the back before also shooting Jane. He fired again, once into Jane and once into Barbara, and told Paige, his 3-year-old daughter, who witnessed the murders, to go watch television in a back bedroom. Afraid Paige would identify him for killing her mom and grandmother, he went into the bedroom and shot the girl twice, killing her. When Carl returned home from work that evening, Brawner shot and killed him as he came through the door. Brawner snatched $300 from Carl’s wallet, Jane’s wedding ring and food stamps from Barbara’s purse. Brawner told investigators that he and his new girlfriend were having money troubles, according to court documents. A jury convicted Brawner on four counts of capital murder on April 11, 2002, and a judge sentenced him to death April 12. This week, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the cases of Brawner and two other death-row inmates, prompting Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood to seek execution dates for all three men. Hood will ask for a June 14 execution date for Brawner, four days after Brawner’s 35th birthday. In addition, Hood wants June 12 and June 13 execution dates for Henry Curtis Jackson Jr., 47, of Copiah County and Gary Carl Simmons, 49, of Jackson County. Jackson’s and Simmons’ crimes are equally grisly. Jackson received the death penalty in 1991 for stabbing his two nieces and two nephews to death. Court papers indicate that Jackson killed the four children “in an attempt to steal money kept in his mother’s safe in her home.” On Nov. 1, 1990, Jackson’s mother went to church with several of her grandchildren while Jackson’s sister, Regina, babysat the younger children. Jackson parked his car two blocks away, walked to the house and cut the phone line, then knocked on the door. Inside, he picked up the phone and told Regina it was dead.


Mississippi may execute Jan Michael Brawner, Gary Carl Simmons and Henry Curtis Jackson Jr. (left to right) on successive days in June



Moments later, he grabbed Regina by the throat and demanded her paycheck and the combination to their mother’s safe. When she said she didn’t have any money and didn’t know the safe code, Jackson “pulled out knives and shoved them into her throat and waist,” court documents say. Another relative, 11-year-old Sarah, jumped on Jackson’s back. During the struggle “Jackson told them that he had to kill them.” Sarah pleaded with Jackson to take the safe and leave the house. Over the next few minutes, Jackson stabbed Regina and Sarah several more times, and stabbed and killed Regina’s 2-year-old daughter, Shunterica. That night, he also killed three other young relatives: 5-year-old Dominique, 3-year-old Antonio and 2-year-old Andrew. Sarah survived by playing dead. Regina and a 1-year-old relative, Andrea, also survived the attacks. After a manhunt, Jackson surrendered to police Nov. 5. Simmons’ conviction for capital murder, rape and kidnapping charges came on Aug. 29, 1997. Simmons participated in the murder of Jeffrey Wolfe, to whom Simmons owed a drug-related debt, and raped Wolfe’s girlfriend, Charlene Leaser. In August 1996, Wolfe and Leaser arrived at Simmons’ home from Houston. While Simmons and Leaser smoked a joint in the kitchen, Simmons’ former brother-in-law Timothy Milano shot and killed Wolfe. Simmons questioned Leaser about whether they were police or had any drugs, tied her up, and shoved her into a metal trunk. Later, after Leaser freed herself, Simmons stripped her, took her jewelry and raped her. When she heard no one answer Simmons’ ringing phone, Leaser escaped the trunk and ran to a neighbor’s house. Police got a warrant to search Simmons’ home and noticed a piece of flesh in a boat docked behind Simmons’ house, along with some buckets and a bloody bush hook and knife. “Shortly after this discovery, they began collecting body parts from the bayou, a task that took several days,” a court document said. At Simmons’ trial, his friend, Dennis Guess, testified that Simmons confessed that he had “whacked a drug dealer, … deboned him, cut him up in little pieces and put him in the bayou.” Guess convinced Simmons to turn himself in, which he did August 14.


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by Jacob Fuller

City Moves Forward with Redistricting Contract E\-DFRE)XOOHU



May 16 - 22, 2012





fter a polarized discussion about the city’s ward-redistricting hire, Jackson City Council Rules Committee Chairman Quentin Whitwell decided Thursday to move forward with the Council’s December decision to hire D.L. Johnson Consultants LLC. Whitwell, the Ward 1 councilman, announced the decision after it became apparent that the committee would not come to a consensus at the special meeting he called to discuss the city’s deal with the company, which state NAACP president Derrick Johnson heads. Johnson was not present at the meeting because of a prior speaking engagement at Tougaloo College. Multiple attempts by the Jackson Free Press to reach Johnson for comment for this story were unsuccessful. The Rules Committee first selected D.L. Johnson Consultants in December to do the redistricting, which every city, county and state is required to do every 10 years after the U.S. Census to adjust election districts to account for population growth and mobility. At the Thursday meeting, some members of the council, including Whitwell, Ward 6 Councilman Tony Yarber and Ward 4 Councilman Frank Bluntson, expressed concerns about the company’s inaction since the council hired it. D.L. Johnson Consultants did not get a contract finalized, signed and sent to the city attorney’s office until April 23, the same day the City Council discussed rescinding its hiring of the company at a special meeting. “We are into the fifth month, almost the middle of the fifth month,� Yarber said. “I think with the cloud that we have now over the city, I think it would be responsible for us to rescind and move to finding someone who can get this work done for us as soon as possible with the least amount of trouble possible.� Whitwell said he called the May 10 meeting because of concerns over how long it took Johnson to sign a contract with the city, as well as delays in the company’s redistricting jobs in other jurisdictions. In Hinds County, the Board of Supervisors hired Johnson and approved one of his proposed maps Feb. 28, 2011. The county then sent the map to the U.S. Department of Justice, which must approve any redistricting in Mississippi due to the state’s history of voter suppression. The department’s response to the map was a letter to the Board of Supervisors requesting a long list of data needed to approve the proposal. By the June 6, 2011, board meeting, Johnson had not yet sent all the requested data to the DOJ. Election Commissioners Connie Cochran and Lelia Rhodes told the board of supervisors that redistricting approved within 90 days of an election cannot be used for

that election, so last August the county used the districts drawn from the 2000 census for county primaries. At the May 7 Board of Supervisors meeting, Board Attorney Crystal Martin told the board that the county sent the final information requested to the DOJ on Friday, May 4, more than 14 months after the board approved the proposed redistricting. The materials and data that the DOJ

it needs for DOJ approval and will work to get a map approved in a timely manner. Yarber and Bluntson held to their positions to rescind the contract after Watkins addressed the committee. They both said Thursday they supported hiring Central Mississippi Planning and Development District, of which Whitwell, Derrick Johnson and Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. are members of the board of directors, to either work along side D.L. Johnson Consultants or to head the redistricting effort alone. Ward 2 Councilman Chokwe Lumumba said there may be a conflict of interest because Whitwell is on the CMPDD board. Whitwell said both he and Mayor Johnson serve on the board as representatives of the city, and they receive no material benefit from their service on the board. Deputy City Attorney Monica Joiner said if an elected official serves on a board of directors as a representative of the city and D.L. Johnson Consultants partner and civil-rights veteran Hollis they receive no pecuniary Watkins addresses the City Council Rules Committee at a meeting about redistricting last Thursday. benefits from the organization, there is no potential require for redistricting submissions are laid ethical violation in signing contracts with that out in Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The organization. DOJ made the most current revisions to the After a short presentation by CMPDD law April 15, 2011. Under the act, the attor- representatives Thursday, Ward 5 Councilney general has 60 days to raise any objections man Charles Tillman and Lumumba, who to a plan once the DOJ submits it. is not a member of the Rules Committee but In the case of Hinds County, the AG’s 60 was present at the meeting, supported movdays could not start until the county submit- ing forward with D.L. Johnson Consultants. ted all the needed information to the DOJ, Cooper-Stokes left the meeting before the prewho then has to review it before sending a sentation, but supported keeping the contract submission to the Attorney General. with Johnson. Yarber and Bluntson supported Whitwell said the public had concerns a contract with CMPDD. with some of Johnson’s previous work with The committee had reached a stalemate, the DOJ, but Ward 3 Councilwoman LaRita despite trying to reach a consensus, Whitwell Cooper-Stokes said that according to a Hinds said. A majority in the City Council would County supervisor she knows personally— have to approve any new plans, and it was not presumably her husband, Supervisor Kenneth clear that the council could reach a majority Stokes—there is no problem between Johnson even if the Rules Committee made a decision. and the DOJ. Trying to reach that majority could delay the “For us to sit here today with all of this process even further. hearsay about what has not been accepted by The city will keep its current agreement the United States Department of Justice, with with D.L. Johnson Consultants, Whitwell nothing in writing (and) no proof, is absurd,� said, with the stipulation that representatives of Cooper-Stokes said. the company meet with each council member “If it is true that there is a problem with individually at a time and place of the counthe Justice Department, that can surely be cil member’s choosing to assure them that the verified. Let’s verify there’s a problem.� company is on track with redistricting. Civil Rights Movement veteran Hollis “Mr. Chairman, I applaud the way Watkins represented D.L. Johnson Consul- you (headed) this meeting,� Tillman said tants at the Rules Committee meeting. He to Whitwell. “You tried. You really tried in said he would not respond to allegations good faith.� about the company’s work in other jurisdicMayor Johnson signed the contract and tions, but that they are prepared and ready to made the deal with D.L. Johnson Consultants move forward with redistricting for Jackson. official after the Thursday meeting. He also said the company knows what Comment at



by Jacob Fuller



Cooper-Stokes Walks Out


Challengers for next year’s mayoral election claimed they can do better than Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. when it comes to business practices in Jackson. He begs to differ.

“May I speak?� Cooper-Stokes asked Whitwell, who is chairman of the committee. “You are not recognized at this time,� Whitwell said. “Nothing is on the agenda today about (CMPDD). What is the relevance of it?� Cooper-Stokes said. “Well, we’re about to find out,� Whitwell said. “Someone from CMPDD ... � Whitwell trailed off as Cooper-Stokes stood up, gathered the notes from her desk and walked toward the exit. “You’re about to lose your vote, Mrs. Stokes, if you walk out,� Whitwell said. “You may regret that because it may affect the decision here today. Your ward is losing its voice; Ward 3 is losing its voice.� The walkout didn’t appear to affect the decision. After the committee failed to reach a consensus, Whitwell announced the decision to move forward with D.L. Johnson Consultants on the condition that representatives from the company meet with council members individually and assure them there will be no more delays. Bluntson said Cooper-Stokes’ walkout got to Whitwell, though. “I think fellow Council(wo)man Stokes

kind of shook you up; that’s what happened,� Bluntson said. “You tried too hard, that’s what happened.� “Well, you know, I don’t think anyone has shaken me up, except maybe Elvis Presley,� Whitwell said. A New President? Cooper-Stokes introduced an order on this week’s agenda to vote for a new council president. She was not present at the Monday work session, as usual, so whom she plans to vote for and why she wants council President Frank Bluntson removed from his position was unclear at the time this newspaper went to print. The council members present at the May 14 work session discussed with the city attorney’s office how to handle such a vote. They determined that a vote could be held at the will of the council. The next vote for council president is scheduled for July 10. Council to Vote on NAPA Deal The city council was scheduled to vote Tuesday evening, as the JFP went to press, on a deal with NAPA Auto Parts to supply the city’s vehicle repair shops with parts for city-owned

Councilwoman LaRita Cooper-Stokes walked out of a Rules Committee meeting Thursday.

automobiles. The vote was tabled for further review after a lengthy discussion May 1. Some council members expressed concern that current city employees would lose their jobs or that local vendors would lose business. Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. said no city employees would be laid off. Representatives from NAPA said they will work from a store on West Highland Drive that has been open since 1978 and can provide auto parts at prices far lower than most local vendors can buy them for, much less sell them. After much discussion, the council will likely approve the deal with NAPA. Comment at







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ouncilwoman LaRita Cooper-Stokes of Ward 3 opposed the talk about possibly rescinding D.L. Johnson Consultants’ redistricting contract with the city from the start of a Rules Committee meeting Thursday. When Whitwell called another consultant to the podium to speak, CooperStokes walked out of the meeting. The Ward 3 councilwoman stressed that the committee should discuss setting dates for public hearings and giving D.L. Johnson Consultants deadlines to complete maps. She said by talking about rescinding the contract, Whitwell was “holding redistricting in the city of Jackson hostage.� Ward 6 Councilman Tony Yarber and Ward 4 Councilman Frank Bluntson were both adamant at the meeting about wanting to rescind the contract with the consultant, headed by state NAACP president Derrick Johnson. Yarber and Bluntson wanted to award the contract to Central Mississippi Planning and Development District, the consultancy that worked with Johnson on the city’s ward redistricting after the 2000 Census and that also bid for the project last December. At Bluntson’s request, Whitwell called two representative of CMPDD to speak.



by Todd Stauffer

Ah, the Cloud


on, Not the uti P ol

to Par

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Part of th eS


ou’re probably getting good and tired with whom you share a folder also have sion) instead of forcing them to download of hearing about “the cloud”—and synchronized access. If you had a folder files into their email programs. no one could blame you. The prob- called Marketing Materials on your Google Like Google Drive, DropBox offers PC lem is, it’s not going away. While Drive, for instance, you could share that and Mac tools for creating synced “folders” most folks still do a lot of their computing folder with others in your business and you on your desktop computer, and it has the in local applications (Word, QuickBooks, would all have access to the latest versions advantage of deep integration into a numPhotoShop), there’s certainly a move toward of those files for sending out to clients. ber of other apps, most notably those on more cloud-based services like email, basic Of course, none of this is strange to smartphones, iPads and other tablets. Many software-as-a-service applications third-party apps on iOS of(like Google Docs, or fer access to your DropBox and the particular for storage, in part because cloud service we’re talking about storage to and from the this week—cloud storage. iPad or iPhone itself can be Cloud storage represents a problematic and wonky. high-value entry point to cloud An app I recently downcomputing—the point where loaded called FileBoard, for you (or your family or organizainstance, integrates Gmail tion or company) decide that it’s and DropBox accounts, so simply too convenient to be able that you can write emails to store your important files and in Gmail and attach docudocuments on the Internet somements stored in a DropBox where, where they’re securely folder—convenient for saved, backed up frequently and when I want to reply to Some cloud-storage services can place special shared folders on your accessible from multiple devices someone asking about adPC or Mac to store and collaborate all kinds of file types. whenever you happen to have an vertising by sending them a Internet connection. PDF or two of information Google upped the ante this and rates. (Try it using the month by introducing Google Drive (drive. people who’ve been using a service like built-in Mail program on an iPhone or iPad, a free service that offers 5GB DropBox ( for a while—in and you’ll see what I mean.) of free storage (you can pay for more) that fact, at the JFP, we use DropBox in exactly Also in DropBox’s favor—they have works in conjunction with the Google this way to share files such as advertising some fun. A free account starts out with 2 Docs service. Google Drive is, put simply, kits and spec sheets that need to be updat- GB of storage, but gives you 500 MB more a small slice on Google’s servers where you ed in one central place and then accessed every time you refer someone to the service; can put files. Once those files are there, you by a team of co-workers. Our advertis- up to 18 GB total. You can buy even more can share them with other people (either ers and agencies share DropBox folders to than that (50 GB for $9.99 a month; 100 for collaborating or just so that they have us with their ad elements (logos, photos, GB for $19.99 a month) and DropBox for access to the same files you do) and access documents), and we share DropBox fold- Business offers large pools of storage (in the them from any computer (or smartphone ers among staff members for off-site page terrabytes range) useful for workgroups and or tablet) where you have Internet access. proofing or for freelancers to upload their small businesses. DropBox also offers the If the files are Google Doc-compatible, you photos and documents. occasional bell or whistle, such as a Photos can even edit them online. In one real sense, cloud storage is the folder whose link can be shared with othOn your desktop computer, you can winning answer to the problem of huge and ers. When someone visits that folder in a install Google Drive for Mac or Google redundant email attachments. By sharing browser, the images can be viewed online as Drive for PC; the result is a Google Drive links to folders (or individual files) stored a slideshow. Cool for sharing baby pictures folder on your computer that syncs with on the Internet—instead of sending actual or selling a house. Google Drive in the “cloud” so that you files as email attachments—you make it Want more options? Box ( have access to those folders from multiple possible for contacts to access larger docu- offers a simple name and a pitch to busidevices and machines. Likewise, people ments on the Web (or the most recent ver- nesses that the service could replace file

May 16 - 22, 2012

ft h he tt Solution, No


Magnolia Data Solutions

servers in the office; at the personal and small business level, it’s particularly handy for collaborating on files—sharing them, tracking versions and even commenting on documents within Box. Shared folders in Box (as well as Google Drive) can have individual permissions (read-only versus read/ write) and password protection, something missing from DropBox. Box offers apps that work not just on mobile devices, but with other applications like Microsoft Office and Google Docs so that you can save documents directly to your cloud storage. SugarSync ( is all about compatibility, with mobile applications for all sorts of mobile OSes—iOS, Android, Symbian, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, even a Kindle Fire app—and offers a focus not just on storage and sharing, but syncing and backing up any folder on your PC or Mac. It offers many of the features of other services, including 5 GB of storage for free, but the focus here is syncing your files everywhere, as opposed to simply storing and accessing them online via a browser or special app. Which should you choose? DropBox is probably the most popular at the moment, although Google Drive is likely to give it a run. Box seems best designed for corporate use—its free version makes you promise you’re not using it in a commercial setting—and SugarSync is a bit more nerdfriendly, although I’d also recommend it if you don’t have an online backup solution and want one. And, of course, even these aren’t the only options—Microsoft offers SkyDrive now, which is particularly handy for people in the Hotmail ecosystem, while Apple, which recently killed its cloud-storage iDisk service, may expand its iCloud service for more general file storage; right now it’s designed for syncing documents from Apple’s own applications (Pages, Numbers) and syncing photos and music from iOS devices to PCs. The cloud is here; we might as well get to using it!


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Project-Coordinator (Short-Term) Jackson 2000, located in Jackson, Mississippi, is looking for an individual who, in the short-term, can oversee Dialogue Circles-a project of Jackson 2000. Dialogue Circles advance Jackson 2000’s mission to advance racial harmony through dialogue and understanding. You can assist us with this important work. Duties may include: • Developing systems through which member can sign up for and receive communications about Dialogue Circles. • Publicize Dialogue Circles through, among other means, presenting the program to groups and community based organizations of various sizes. • Developing materials that can be used for the implementation and marketing of the program. • Assisting with administrative tasks. Candidate will report to organization subcommittee on a regular basis through written reports and in-person supervision. Expected length of project is three months, which may be extended at end of project term. A strong applicant will be reliable, have administrative experience and basic computer skills. A strong applicant will also be personable and enjoy working in collaboration with others.

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11 JCV7210-3 Event Week May 14 JFPress 9.5x6.167.indd 1

5/7/12 11:19 AM

jfp op/ed

opining, grousing & pontificating


To Do Its Job, Council Must Show Up


ackson has a strong-mayor, weak-council structure. Some City Council members seem to want to weaken their own power even more by not attending meetings and work sessions—or leaving early when they do attend. This continuing trend is baffling. These are elected officials who earn $25,000-per-year salaries for a part-time job ––salaries that come from taxpayers in a county with a median household income of $37,358 per year. The council holds three different, regularly scheduled meetings: bi-weekly regular meetings on Tuesdays, work sessions the day before regular meetings to discuss the agenda and special meetings on Mondays not followed by regular meetings. Special meetings often consist only of the claims docket and payroll votes. Of course, not all council members miss work. Ward 1 Councilman Quentin Whitwell, Ward 4 Councilman and Council President Frank Bluntson and Ward 6 Councilman Tony Yarber have had few or no absences from regular meetings, special meetings or work sessions in recent months. Ward 5 Councilman Charles Tillman, who does not draw a salary from the council because he is a retired public-school counselor and principal, has also had a good attendance record with the exception of a couple of weeks missed due to medical issues. The attendance of the other three council members—Ward 2 Councilman Chokwe Lumumba, Ward 3 Councilwoman LaRita Cooper-Stokes and Ward 7 Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon—has been far from exemplary. Lumumba’s attendance at work sessions has been sparse, including last Monday’s session, which he left early after attending the Budget Committee meeting right before. Cooper-Stokes’ attendance at regular meetings has been spotless, but she has not attended a work session since she joined the council March 2, and her attendance at special meetings has been few and far between. Lumumba and Cooper-Stokes’ lack of attendance at work sessions has adversely affected regular meetings, as fellow council members, city administrators and legal counsel have had to rehash the previous day’s discussions for the two. Barrett-Simon’s absences are mostly from special meetings. The meetings were held at 10 a.m., but Barrett-Simon proposed an order to move the meetings to 4 p.m. due to a scheduling conflict. The council passed the change April 17. Barrett-Simon is a member of the 24-member volunteer board of directors for the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame that also meets at 10 a.m. on those days. As the employers of these elected officials, the citizens of Jackson need to demand better and hold their council members accountable. Do not allow them to continue to miss work on your taxpayer dollars.


Brown Rings Hollow


May 16 - 22, 2012

ep. Cecil Brown’s explanation as to why he opposed charter-school legislation this session (“Why Charter Schools Died,” Vol. 10, Issue 34, May 2-8, 2012) rings hollow given that he was the sole sponsor of a bill in 2010 (HB 30) that would have allowed charters to open anywhere in Mississippi, in any district, upon approval by either the state Board of Education or the local school board. In addition, Brown’s charter-school bill was similar to the bills taken up this session in that it provided for “a blanket exemption from virtually all state education laws,” excepting those regarding nondiscrimination, nonsectarian teaching, student safety and other vital matters. Likewise, HB 30 would have exempted 100 percent—not just 50 percent—of charter-school teachers from teacher certification requirements. All in all, Brown’s own bill provided for a much less rigorous process for authorizing charter schools than did the charter-school bills taken up this session. But whereas Brown’s bill died in committee, the charter-school bills debated this year were the product of much listening, deliberation, and give and take. I cannot speak for what accounts for Brown’s remarkable reversal on charters, but it has become clear that when the opponents of charter schools call for compromise and delay, what they really want is to kill charter schools altogether. Instead of more political posturing, it’s time folks got off the fence. Either charters work (and the data shows they do with proper oversight and authorization)—and we should have them everywhere—or they don’t. Let’s debate the idea on its own merits rather than killing it with faint praise and false calls for compromise. Jameson Taylor, Ph.D. Vice President for Policy 12 Mississippi Center for Public Policy, Jackson



Benefits of Inmate Labor


hen I met Haley Barbour he was running for governor for the first time in 2003. It was at the Black Hawk political rally here in Carroll County. I have to give him credit: He is good at the one-on-one politics required at settings like the one here. I believe that he is as much at ease whether at a rural political rally or a corporate boardroom. A year ago, I figured he would be making national headlines when 2012 came around. I ended up being right about the former governor making headlines, but I figured he would be running for president. I was wrong about the kind of headlines he made: They would be from the pardons he made during the last days of his governorship. I disagree totally with these pardons; in a way it is hard to understand. It sounds like something out of a John Grisham novel, and it just doesn’t match up with the man I first met at that political rally here more than eight years ago. With any decision comes consequences, and history will have to decide how this will play out for Barbour’s legacy as the state’s chief executive. However, these pardons should not affect the state’s use of inmate labor. The use of inmate labor has benefited this state and a lot of local town and county governments—if it is used right. I know this from first-hand experience. Several years ago, when I was mayor of North Carrollton, we used inmate labor from the Carroll/Montgomery Correctional Facility in Vaiden. From cutting grass to putting up Christmas decorations and picking up litter to whatever the job may be, they were able to do it. I found out there

is a lot of knowledge that these trusties have about labor in different areas. And it saves money—where else is a government going to get free labor? In today’s economy, where budgets are being cut and services are being cut, it is more important that local and state governments look at cost-saving measures. Any inmate work program has to be carried out right. We should not have any violent offenders doing trusty work. A big factor is having trained and responsible guards to oversee the inmates. Also, it is good for the prisoners to work. As much as it costs to house prisoners, a work program for them only makes sense. When Gov. Phil Bryant decided to discontinue the use of inmate labor at the governor’s mansion he had to seek $119,000 to replace the labor for 18 months. This shows that using inmate labor is the more conservative approach that is needed now more than ever as a cost savings while, at the same time, getting good work done. There is no telling how much money inmate labor has saved counties and cities across this state over the years. I supported inmate labor and dealt with it first hand years ago. The key is handling it right. Having citizens safe is the first and foremost concern. I still support inmate labor today. It would be a shame if a bunch of pardons—that shouldn’t have happened in the first place—ended the good work that has and can still be done. Ken Strachan is a former mayor of North Carrollton. He serves as the Carroll County Coroner and is a former member of the State Democratic Party Executive Committee.

Email letters to, 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.

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y the time I went to bed Tuesday, May 8, it was apparent that North Carolina was certain to pass Amendment One that would rewrite the state’s constitution to ban same sex marriages. The amendment goes beyond that by preventing other types of domestic unions from attaining legal status, which opponents warn could disrupt protection orders for unmarried couples. I thought back to a time when Mississippi did the same thing in 2004, with 86 percent voting in favor of rewriting our state’s constitution, and I was embarrassed to remember my ambivalence at the time. In those days—not unlike disenfranchised gays today—I never saw marriage equality as attainable, so why should I care? Now, burdened with the truth that North Carolina was about to repeat history, my heart hurt for the kids who would feel the sting of this blatantly bigoted action. It’s one thing to be singled out by a bully; it’s another to be told by an entire state that you’re “less than.” All adolescents struggle and search for their identities. But imagine if you can, how it must feel to be an LGBT teen, struggling through high school, searching for your identity and finding out that no matter how hard you work, you will never be fully accepted or equal in the eyes of the law. Now imagine that your state goes out of its way to amend its constitution to make sure things stay that way forever. It makes it hard—and pretty damn insulting—to be told, “Chin up, kid.” I went to work Wednesday and plowed through the morning, determined not to let it get me down. I spoke out on Facebook and Twitter; I sent out links to things I’d written in hopes of inspiring thought. But eventually, I put down my iPhone and walked away. There was a weight on me—a black cloud that threatened all manner of lightening and rain, and I just couldn’t shake it. “This,” I thought to myself, “this will never end unless someone who matters stands up for us.” Then I forced myself to ingest a lackluster sandwich with too much mayo. Eventually, out of sheer boredom or maybe just the need to pick at the scab, I pulled up Facebook on my computer and read a status update from a friend. “Thanks, President Obama. I don’t know if this will help or hurt you politically, but it rules. Amen.” My mind began to race. Could he? Did he? Why the hell would he, now of all times? Then, without much effort, I found a seemingly never-ending stream of tweets about his statement on marriage equality. Link after link led me to a myriad of articles on how Barack Obama’s “evolution” on the subject of samesex marriage had come to an end. As tears filled my eyes, I understood that his journey had dropped him squarely

on my side of the line. He explained his hesitation, his thinking that civil unions would be sufficient, and knowing that “marriage” comes with powerful traditions and beliefs for many. Ultimately he concluded, “for me personally,it is important to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” There has been ongoing discussion in my community about his views on the subject. Some think his “evolution” took too long. I, for one, understand that—similar to my coming out—his could not be forced. It had to be well timed, and it had to be without question. Now, even without using his trademark “let me be clear” intro, he threw down the gauntlet by using the word “marriage.” Not “civil union,” not “domestic partnership”—he said “gay marriage.” The president stated that he feels it’s important to “treat others the way you would want to be treated.” We need to recognize that people are going to have differing views on marriage and those views, even if we disagree strongly, should be respected,” he said. A majority of Americans (60 percent) say the president’s position on gay marriage won’t change their vote, according to a Gallup poll conducted May 10, and 54 percent consider gay and lesbian relations as “morally acceptable,” according to another, earlier poll. An increasing number of conservatives see it as a non-issue. In a May 11 memo, GOP pollster Jan van Lohuizen advised leading Republican insiders to change their rhetoric and positions on gays and lesbians or risk the danger of marginalizing the party into irrelevance—or worse. The time was right. And, without mincing words—but not in these exact words, mind you—my president stood up and said that my 10-year relationship mattered, that our hopes, desires and aspirations mattered. That, as a couple, we deserved the same rights and protections offered to heterosexual couples under the law. This, my fellow Americans, is where we are now: LGBT citizens are not yet fully equal, but we certainly no longer represent just a wedge issue. We are Americans, too, and we deserve our constitutional rights, just like everybody else. So, on behalf of my community: Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you for evolving— as long as it took—and thank you for doing it now. You may lose a few votes, but you just energized your progressive base. Can you feel that electricity in the air? Well, it’s all for you, sir. Yes. We. Can. Eddie Outlaw is co-owner of the William Wallace Salon in Fondren and spends most of his time trying not to embarrass his sweet Delta mother on

CORRECTION: In “Free State of Jones” (Vol. 10, Issue 36), we incorrectly stated the publication days of the Chronicle in Laurel. The correct days are Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. The Jackson Free Press apologizes for the error.

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Long a political lightning rod, are charter schools the key to solving the state’s education woes? IST


May 16 - 22, 2012

reading to them every night,” Powell said. Meanwhile, her eldest daughter, Sydney, had a different kind of problem. A gifted student, Sydney’s teachers relied on her to fill in as somewhat of an assistant teacher instead of challenging and pushing her ahead of her classmates. Through one of Nicholas’ tutors, she found a private school in the Memphis area that charges tuition based on the parents’ income. She started shuttling them a state away last fall. Since starting at the school, Nicholas’ grades have improved. He made honor roll for the first time in his life, and his third-grade classmates crowned him Reading King of the Class. “You never see him without a book. It’s been a 180 in less than a year,” Powell said. Powell doesn’t try to make the case that private schools are better than public schools. Instead, she argues that her experience demonstrates that each child should be in the environment where the child learns best. Now the Mississippi outreach coordinator for the Washington D.C.-based Black Alliance for Educational Options, Powell crisscrosses the state talking to parent groups and Jackson lawmakers advocating to give parents more options when the public schools—no matter how good they are—fail their child. The alliance and Powell take an all-options-on-the-table approach to education reform, meaning they push for private-school vouchers and expansion of homeschooling.

But Powell knows Mississippi isn’t quite there, yet. In the meantime, she sees charter schools as the best hope for Mississippi parents like her who feel trapped in failing traditional public schools. COURTESY CARRA POWELL




very weekday just before dawn, Carra Powell rises to dress and feed breakfast to her three children before making the 17-mile one-way trek to a private Catholic school across the state line in Tennessee. Powell and her children, ages 5 to 10, live in Horn Lake, a north Mississippi town of 26,066 just south of Memphis in DeSoto County, home to the state’s largest school districts. Despite DeSoto County’s reputation as also being one of Mississippi’s best school systems, the elementary school Powell’s children attended wasn’t cutting it, especially for her middle child and only son, Nicholas, who had struggled with reading and fitting in socially. “The schools are so big, and the schools are so overcrowded,” Powell said. About 1,500 students attended the DeSoto school for kindergartners through second graders. “That’s bigger than most high schools. He just got lost in the crowd and slipped through the cracks. That’s easy to do even for a student that isn’t having struggles.” Year after year, Nicholas’ teachers would warn Powell that her son might not pass to the next grade. “I had that conversation for three years. And you know, how heart-wrenching is that conversation when you’re doing everything? You’re hiring tutors and you’re going and talking to teachers; you’re talking to princi14 pals; you’re working with your child; you’re

by R.L. Nave

Carra Powell removed her three children from DeSoto County schools to enroll them in a private school in Tennessee.

It’s no secret that Mississippi’s schools are failing too many kids. Mississippi ranks near the bottom among all states in a number of markers including children ages 1 through 5 whose families read to them more than 3 days a week, fourth- and eighth-grade reading and math levels, on-

time high-school graduation and average composite ACT scores. Nor has the Legislature figured out that the state’s education—and by extension, economic—woes are the result of refusing to put enough money into education year after year. Among the states, Mississippi ranked 46th in per-pupil spending in the 2008-2009 school year. During that year, Mississippi spent $8,075 per student on education, $4,719 of that on teachers’ salaries and other costs related to instruction. The national average for per-pupil spending was $10,499 during the same period. Meanwhile, the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, the funding formula lawmakers are required to use to pay for education, is $250 million in the red. Exactly how much of Mississippi’s education problem results from poor funding and how much of it is the education community’s resistance to change is subject to debate. What most people agree on is the fact that the system is broken and needs fixing. Systemic Failure Rachel Canter witnessed the failure of Mississippi’s public education first hand. After finishing at the top of her high-school class in one of the state’s best public-school districts, in Starkville, she went to college at the University of Pennsylvania. When she got to Penn, she discovered that she wasn’t as ready for the rigors of the Ivy League as


stitutions that can do anything they want. Charter school teachers aren’t allowed to rap unruly children on the knuckles with measuring devices. However, a charter school may be able to dump a load of cash on Justin Beiber to teach voice classes for year or fire a teacher for no reason than it’s just not working out. In exchange for having those freedoms, charter schools must agree to do certain things or risk closure, something that’s rare for traditional schools. The relationship between the state, which oversees education, and charter schools is similar to that of a homeowner and the contractor he pays to install his bathroom tiles. A group that thinks they’re up to the task of educating children better than the competition—in this case an existing public school—approaches the state and asks for a charter. In the charter, or contract, the charter-school operator promises to deliver certain outcomes in exchange for perpupil funding from the government. If the organization said it can raise fourth-grade math scores in two years, close achievement gaps or graduate 100 percent of high schoolers, those promises go into the charter. The charter school is then contractually obligated to meet its goals or have its charter revoked and its school shuttered. Since 1992, when Minnesota became the first state to pass a charter-school law, the numbers of charter schools and the numbers of kids the schools serve have exploded, but they still make up a small fraction of overall public-school student enrollment. From 1999 to 2009, the number of students enrolled in charter schools jumped from 340,000 to 1.4 million, more than tripling in a decade. In the 10-year period, charter schools went from making up 2 percent of all public schools to 5 percent with about 4,700 schools in the 2008-2009 school year. Fifty-five percent of charter schools are located in urban areas compared to 25 percent of traditional public schools. More than half of charter schools are elementary schools with middle and high schools accounting for 27 and 19 percent of charters, respectively. Charters are also growing in popularity in poor neighborhoods. Thirty percent of charter schools are considered high-poverty compared to 19 percent of traditional schools. In New Orleans, where 2005’s Hurricane Katrina sent thousands of families out of the city, shaking the foundation of

Mississippi Next? On April 10, hundreds of people on both sides of the charterschool question gathered outside the second-floor committee room where the House Education Committee was set to vote on whether to send the Senate’s charterschool bill to the House floor for debate and, ultimately, the first vote to ever take place on charter school legislation in the chamber. When the A teacher works with a student at KIPP Delta Public Schools in Helena, Ark. door flung open at the meeting’s conclusion, the crowd already knew the public-school system, charters filled the bill’s fate from following the tweets the void. They now outnumber traditional and text messages from friends inside the schools by double. In 2009, 60 percent of cramped room: The bill failed by one vote. Crescent City students attended charters. Five Republican members of the committee, As the popularity of charter schools under pressure from the superintendents in has grown, the chorus of critics worried their districts, broke ranks. about the fallout for traditional neighborThe events that ensued perfectly caphood schools has also grown. In Mississippi, tured the tenor of Mississippi’s chartereven dyed-in-the-wool public-education school debate up to that point. Somewhere supporters won’t publicly say that they’re in the middle of the jeers from charter proagainst charter schools. Instead, resistance ponents, a woman with the Central Missisto the introduction of charters has centered sippi Tea Party allegedly shoved Rep. Reecy on the details of various legislative proposals Dickson, an African American Democrat that have come and gone over the years. from Macon who voted against the bill. Kevin Gilbert, president of the MissisAfter a tense hallway exchange, prosippi Association of Educators, said his or- charter Democratic Rep. Chuck Espy of ganization objected to both charter-school Clarksdale delivered a thunderous rebuke bills debated during the 2012 legislative ses- of his colleague’s attack and the rancor sion because the proposals would have al- that consumed lawmakers over the issue lowed half of charter-school teachers to not throughout the session. hold state certification. “I have watched this great body rise Charter operators believe staffing flex- to some of its greatest points, and I’ve seen ibility is a competitive advantage. A charter tensions flare and rise to levels I’ve never school could recruit a NASA rocket scientist seen. But when a member is touched in any to teach physics, for example, where a tra- way, it is unacceptable,” Espy said, his voice ditional public school would be limited to booming from the rostrum on the House teachers who are certified science teachers, floor moments after the vote. which are scarce. Passionate people have always disGilbert rejects that logic. “Lawyers all agreed about education, and specifically have to get licensed and certified and so do the government’s role in it. Horace Mann, doctors. And there’s not a hospital around whom history regards as the father of the here or a law firm that’s going to hire 50 per- American public education system, met cent of lawyers who don’t have their (law) resistance during the early 19th century degree,” he said. against his push for common schools open “If certification is an issue, we need to be talking about how to make certification SCHOOLS, see page 16 15 mean something.”

she thought she would be. “I was not very well prepared compared to the people I went to college with. I was not very well prepared at all—and I was the top of my class,” she said. After graduating, Canter taught seventh-grade English at a middle school in the Mississippi Delta, which she describes as “absolutely terrible.” The students who entered her classroom were three to four years behind in reading and math but were passing with As and Bs. One math teacher, she said, refused to teach on Fridays because he believed the students needed a break after four days of arithmetical inundation. “I taught these kids for 100 minutes a day for one year of their lives—and that was it. I couldn’t change the fact that their math teacher did not teach them math one day out of the week. I couldn’t change the fact that they were three and four years behind in reading, and some of them couldn’t read at all. I could only affect those hundred minutes,” Canter said. “I wanted to change that. That is not a problem with the children—that was a problem with the system.” In 2008, Canter joined Mississippi First, a nonprofit she heads as executive director, that has been leading the charge to introduce charter schools to the state (the group is also developing sex-education curricula for public schools) and to advocate for systemic public-school reform. Such a radical overhaul of public education has been a tough sell in Mississippi where a long, dark history of racial mistrust, partisan posturing and limited (and shrinking) budgetary resources have made charters a political lightening rod over the years. State lawmakers’ reticence to give charters a straight up-down vote may have a lot to do with the fact that most people don’t have the vaguest inkling what the hell a charter school is. On that point, Mississippians might find solace to know they are far from alone in their ignorance. In 2010, Education Next magazine conducted a poll in which 80 percent of respondents didn’t know whether charter schools could hold church service or charge tuition (they can’t do either). Charter schools are public schools that receive money from local, state and federal taxpayers but don’t have to play by all the same rules as traditional public schools. Charter-school students still have to take state tests, but contrary to popular belief, charter schools are not private in-

CHARTER SCHOOLS, from page 15

A teacher and students at a KIPP Delta School in Arkansas prepare for an electric car race.

May 16 - 22, 2012

Left Behind mandate. The political rhetoric around charter schools developed in curious fashion. City Academy High School in St. Paul, Minn., became the nation’s first charter school to open in September 1992. In 1994, Dave Levin and Mike Feinberg, both teachers in the Teach for America program, established the Knowledge is Power Program in Houston. Doris and Donald Fisher, who co-founded Gap Inc. in 1969 San Francisco, then used their fortune to help replicate the KIPP model in cities across the nation. In today’s charter movement, you’ll find strains of a 1960s ethos that emphasizes creativity and freedom from societal constraints, old-fashioned erudition and, most notably in Mississippi, competition and breaking up government’s monopoly on public education. The conservative Mississippi Center for Public Policy, which advocates for free markets, limited government and “strong traditional families,” was among the earliest charter backers in the state. “Competition improves every industry service sector,” said the organization’s executive director, Forest Thigpen. “Schools are no different.” To improve its chances of getting a successful charter-school bill, Thigpen’s group produced a short documentary in 2008. “A Stone’s Throw” opens with a close-up of a silhouetted cotton boll, and then widening to an entire cotton field in full bloom. A gospel-and-blues-hued musical score provides the soundtrack for a slow-moving montage of dusty Delta sunsets, rusty river barges, ramshackle storefronts and rickety woodframe houses lining crumbling streets. Designed for distribution at black 16 churches around the state, “A Stone’s

a quarter through the film. Cleveland, Miss., native Sanford Johnson appeared in the film and acknowledges that blacks are understandably skeptical of charter schools, especially those who remember attempts to avoid school desegregation by setting up all-white “seg” academies following the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education. Sanford, who is Canter’s deputy director at Mississippi First (the two also attended the same high school in Starkville), said charter advocates have at times been dismissive of that history of mistrust to the movement’s peril. “We had to be able to confront that (history). We had to be able to say that is something that has happened in the past, but we also have to let people know that this is not about reconstituting private academies,” Johnson said. “This is about parents having an alternative, especially parents who have nowhere else to go.” While Mississippi’s charter proponents were preaching a version of the school choice gospel, national teachers’ unions and other professional organizations that often align with Democrats were uncomfortable with charter schools’ freewheeling approach to hiring and firing educators. Nor were liberals enthralled with the desire to foist the principles of free-market capitalism and cutthroat competition to the education of little boys and girls. Where Mississippi Democrats have carried the mantel against charter schools, nationally some Democrats, including President Barack Obama have expressed support. In March, Obama pledged $54.8 million in charter-school grants to Minnesota, New Jersey and Massachusetts and $255 million for charters in his 2013 fiscal

year budget. So politically charged was the charter issue in Mississippi that Republican Gov. Phil Bryant threatened to call a costly special session to force-feed charter schools down lawmakers’ throat at taxpayers’ expense. However, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, also a staunch charter-school proponent, balked at the idea of a special session, resolving to take the issue up again next January.

areas that the U.S. Department of Education considered high-poverty. The DOE’s definition of high poverty is where at least 75 percent of kids are eligible for free or reduced lunches. Ten years later, 30 percent of charter schools were in high-poverty areas, according to the DOE. Charter-school opponents charge that taking money away from local schools and giving it to charters would be the death knell for already struggling public schools. A Solid Foundation Almost as perplexing as understanding Even though charter-school legisla- the definition of a charter school is undertion is probably dead this year (Bryant has standing how charter schools get money. the power to call a special session anytime), It works like this: For every student sitting most people believe that Republicans will in a Jackson Public Schools classroom, the eventually get their wish and pass a bill. school receives federal, state and local funds With that in mind, even groups that have for the students’ education. If a child leaves been cold to charter schools have resigned JPS to enroll in a charter school, the state themselves to the fact that if you can’t beat and federal money follows her, but the local ’em, at least have some say on what charter money disappears. schools should be like in Mississippi. Fewer children could mean lower exNancy Loome, executive director of penses—fewer crayons, jump ropes, comthe Jackson-based Parents’ Campaign, said puters and copies of “To Kill a Mockingshe “would like to see a good charter bill for bird.” It could also mean at some point, the students who are trapped.” vanishing cash begins to eat into a school’s The Parents’ Campaign supports al- fixed costs such as utility bills and teacher lowing charters near chronically low-per- salaries that have to be paid no matter how forming schools, requiring operators to many students attend to the school. have a successful track record, prohibiting Canter recognizes that the presence of for-profit companies from running charter charter schools might eventually affect the schools, and ensuring the Mississippi State school’s fixed costs; families fleeing JPS for Board of Education is the only agency that Madison County schools have the same efcan authorize charter schools. fect. If those families returned to Jackson Pam Shaw, an educational consultant to send their kids to charter schools, their with the Center for Education Innovation, property taxes would simultaneously boost believes that strong oversight from an inde- the local public-school system, she added. pendent, nonpartisan Canter disgovernment authorizagrees with Loome’s ing board is essential. group on the issue of “The nature of meldprohibiting so-called ing politics and edumom-and-pop, or cation is a recipe for homegrown charter failure,” Shaw said. schools, and allowing Authorizing only charter manageboards for charter ment organizations schools vary from state (CMOs) with proven to state. In Arizona, track records to operColorado, the District ate charter schools. of Columbia, GeorKIPP is the gia, Idaho, Hawaii, mostly widely cited South Carolina and example of a successUtah, charter boards ful CMO and the that are autonomous benefits it can offer from the state’s board ailing schools. With of education approve Rachel Canter got fired up about its national foundaeducation reform after teaching in a charter schools. In one Delta school that she said was failing tion headquarters in rare case, Indianapolis its students. San Francisco, KIPP gives its mayor sole schools are scattered power to authorize throughout the councharter schools in that city’s schools. Mis- try in “under-resourced” areas of large citsissippi would likely have an authorizing ies, including Los Angeles and Chicago, and committee compromised of mostly appoin- small towns such as Helena, Ark. tees from the governor, lieutenant governor, KIPP’s 109 schools in 20 states receive speaker of the House and state board of millions of dollars from the government and education. private donors for its cookie-cutter charterTo date, charter supporters have strat- school culture. “There’s a certain way we egized that the best way to get any kind want our kids to walk. There’s a certain way of charter schools is to first put them in we want our kids to talk. There’s a certain high-poverty and under-resourced areas. In way we want our kids to sit. There’s a certain 1999, 13 percent of charter schools were in way they should do their homework. So, we LACEY MCLAUGHLIN

Throw” relies exclusively on testimony of African American parents, students, educators and education-reform advocates, each with praise to sing about the wonders of charters schools or a lament about the lack of charters in Mississippi—even though the phrase “charter school” doesn’t appear until


to all children regardless of class or religious sect. Even graduates of the worst public schools know about the landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases Plessey vs. Ferguson and Brown vs. The Board of Education. It wasn’t too long ago that the nation debated President George W. Bush’s unfunded No Child

Teacher certification arises as another common sticking point in any discussion about charters, which generally get more leeway to hire more uncertified and nonunion teachers, which they say lets them recruit people who don’t come from the usual teacher-education tracks. Under rules for traditional public schools, it would be difficult for a businessman like Jackson native Jim Barksdale, a former executive at FedEx and Netscape, to teach a business or computer science course at a local high school because he lacks state certification. “Highly qualified” teachers, according to the federal No Child Left Behind law, must hold a major or minor college degree in the field they teach, demonstrate competence on either the Praxis I or Praxis II exams, and have state certification, meaning they completed a college program in education. NCLB exempted charter schools from the certification requirement. Increasingly, questions about established measurements of teacher quality have come into focus. The Future of Children, a collaboration of the Brookings Institution and Princeton University, found inconclusive evidence that state certification, holding a masters degree or being on the job for a long time translated into better outcomes for students. Said Canter: “We’re obviously not looking at the right things when we certify teachers. There’s a range of performance

charter schools represent. “If parents are happy with where their children are, they are not going to moving them. If parents are unhappy with where their children are, they will move them,” she said. Whatever happens with charter legislation, Canter of Mississippi First believes some good came out of this year’s chaos. “The amount of attention and conversation and passion and focus that people have put on education in the last three months because of charter schools has been phenomenal,” she said. “Not a day goes by where you don’t see some story in the news media about charter schools, (or) when some legislator is not having to discuss to how they feel about the state of public education in the state of Mississippi. “I hope at the end of this session that the interest in public education that charter schools have generated doesn’t go away. Charter schools are not even the tip of the iceberg,” Canter said. Sanford Johnson echoes his colleague Canter on charter schools being a relative small piece of a broader discussion that should take place on education. “If you’re saying that this is going to be something that’s good for education but you don’t talk about anything else that’s related to education, of course there’s going to be some skepticism there,” Johnson said. “There are charter advocates who have


Field trips such as this canoe ride at Arkansas Outdoor Center are a regular part of the learning experience at KIPP Delta Schools.

among certified teachers and a range of performance in noncertified teachers.” Waiting for Charters There is no way to know what kind of charter-schools bill Mississippi will get, whether on the off chance Bryant still tries to convene a special session this year or whether lawmakers start over from scratch in 2013. Powell, the single mother in Horn Lake, believes that parents and lawmakers should get past the fear of the unknown that

not been strong public-schools advocates. You have legislators and other folks that don’t talk about any other education-policy issue. They don’t talk in favor of pre-kindergarten. “They don’t talk in favor of teacher pay. They don’t talk in favor of greater funding for MAEP, yet, when they talk about education, it’s usually about charters. But you’ve got to be able to talk about more than that.” Comment at


just have high expectations for our kids no schools get better. That is not happening matter what they’re doing,” said Marcus here, but that should be done,” Fisher said. Nelson, a teacher at the KIPP Delta School “They’re not doing anything differently. If in Helena and in the MPPC’s “Stone’s you keep doing things that are a failure, how Throw” film. are you expecting difBut KIPP is like ferent results?” the Whole Foods of The question charter schools— of results is perhaps somewhat of a status the biggest unknown symbol that everyone suspended over the seems to want one charter-school subin their town. But ject. In 2009, Stanford the organization is University researchers picky about where it examined charterchooses to hang out school performance in its shingle. Because 16 states. The widely KIPP can’t be everycited CREDO study where, Canter be(Center for Research lieves that locking out on Education Outhomegrown charter comes) has become schools is unnecessarsomewhat of an inkForest Thigpen’s Mississippi Center for ily restrictive. blot test in the char“There are sev- Public Policy led the early charge to ter-school fight. bring charter schools to the state. eral wonderful charter “The study schools that are creatreveals that a decent ed organically by homegrown local people, fraction of charter schools, 17 percent, who are excellent educators, who wanted provide superior education opportunities to come together to start a charter school for their students. Nearly half the charter in one specific neighborhood in one city in schools nationwide have results that are no America,” she said. different from the local public-school options and (more than) a third, 37 percent, People and Results deliver learning results that are significantly Bishop Ronnie Crudup, pastor of the worse than their student would have realNew Horizon Church in Jackson, adheres ized had they remained in traditional public to the belief that competition from charter schools,” the report’s executive summary schools would make traditional schools step states. up their education game. Charter-school foes recite the 17 per“We struggle with public education in cent statistic like scripture. However, the Jackson. It seems logical that we would give study concludes that “elementary and midparents more choice,” said Crudup, whose dle-school charter students exhibited higher church ran a private Christian academy. learning gains than equivalent students in Should Mississippi ever enact a charter- the traditional public school system” and school bill, Crudup wants to start a charter “students in poverty and English-language middle or high school with early input from learners experience larger learning gains in prospective student’s parents. charter schools.” “I think what would be exciting about One way to ensure charter schools are this is to get with a group of parents to successful would be to develop and legislate build a school—to get their input to build a an “accountability framework” for charter school,” Crudup said. schools and hold them to it. Canter said Andrea Fisher, a parent of former that’s exactly what Mississippi tried to do Greenville public-school students, said with recent, unsuccessful charter bills. when she moved to the Delta from LomUnlike other states, the accountability poc, Calif., a decade ago the schools weren’t framework in Mississippi’s proposed law that good. Today, she said, lack of parental spelled out requirements. More importantinvolvement has made them worse. ly, proponents said, it detailed the charter “It’s so many factors. One of the things renewal and revocation process. is parents don’t care. Parents are not commitOther state’s charter laws leave it up to ted to good quality education. So you bring the school districts to come up with their a kid to the high school. That kid doesn’t own policies. Charters would be responsible have backpack, doesn’t have a notebook. for achievement and growth as well as for What (will the child) be doing? He will not benchmarks that traditional schools don’t allow the teacher to teach. It’s simple like have to meet, such as closing achievement that,” said Fisher, whose high-school age gaps and graduating students who are ready sons received scholarships to attend a pri- for college without needing remediation. vate boarding school affiliated with Baylor If a charter school doesn’t do everything University in Chattanooga, Tenn. it promises to do, the authorizing board Fisher is surprised her community isn’t “shall” revoke the charter, according to the outraged at the diminishing quality of the wording of various Mississippi proposals. local schools. “I can not imagine this area “If a charter only does as well as the was the (place) for civil rights in the ’60s, school down the street, they shouldn’t be in … hundreds of parents demanding that the business,” said New Horizon’s Crudup.


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Curious About George


tify the concept of what a book really is. There are a few hands-on areas, such as a gorgeous aquarium nook with a soft carpet and cushions to sink into, along with a big stack of Curious George books. However, as I chased my almost-3-year-old, do-it-himself guy around the exhibit, I saw his frustration at needing to be picked up to enjoy much of the exhibit. Although there was plenty of its physical accessibility for taller people, I felt like my son and the other littles in the gallery would have benefitted from some reproductions of the art located lower on the walls to run up to and interact with on their own terms, or perhaps some platforms or step stools to equalize the height differences amongst potential museum guests. And although there was more for little people to touch than at most art museums, I found myself wishing for a little moreâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;perhaps â&#x20AC;&#x153;George climbed up until he was in the sunshine again, high above the rain cloud,â&#x20AC;? an a puppet theater for kids original illustration by H.A. Rey for Raff and the 9 Monkeys (1939). to create their own stories, or a bookmaking station to put words and pictures together, further illuminating for children what it is to make a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Curious George Saves the Day: The Art of Margret and H.A. book. Reyâ&#x20AC;? is on display at the Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. If you have kids in tow, you may wish to bring towels Lamar St., 601-960-1515) through July 22. Museum hours and a change of clothes so that they can monkey around in are: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; noon to 5 the spring sunshine in the museum fountains after enjoy- p.m. Sunday. Closed Monday. Admission $12 for adults, $10 ing Curious George. for seniors, $6 for students. Visit H.A. REY

rt lovers of all ages, if you find yourself with an hour or so to spare, meander down to the Mississippi Museum of Art for the exhibit â&#x20AC;&#x153;Curious George Saves the Day: The Art of Margret and H. A. Reyâ&#x20AC;? that opened March 3. If you can wrench yourself away from the lovely spring weather out in the museum gardens, you can enjoy stepping into the pages of a childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s literature classic. As an adult, I felt childlike walking past a giant map and through a decorative Parisian arch into Georgeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s world. The exhibit begins with photos and documents tracing the chronological history of Margret and H.A. Reyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s extended honeymoon in Paris, where they began their life together as husband, wife and curious little monkey. The exhibit includes recently discovered vintage photographs of the author-illustrator team, as well as a wide array of sketches, paintings, and manuscript pages from the extensive collection of Curious George materials. It also features other important artwork from childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s literature and documents at the de Grummond Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Literature Collection at the University of Southern Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s McCain Library. Helpful text labels describe each illustration in detail, putting it in context within its source book as well as within the chronology of Georgeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life. For adults and older children, the story of Margret and H.A. Reyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s honeymoon in Paris-turned-escape from German occupied France is captivating and well-told. The chronological exhibit has occasional colorful murals in the style of the Reys and includes an innovative, hands-on computerized timeline of their lives. The exhibit tells the thrilling story of this couple packing their manuscripts and making their own bicycles out of used spare parts in order to ride 75 miles to flee the city just hours before the arrival of the Nazis. From an adult perspective, I would have liked a little more information to help put Curious George into context. I felt curious about the evolution of the literature and art of Margret and H.A. Rey, and although this was possible to gather with some back-and-forth between the rooms in the gallery, I would have liked a more explicit look into how their work changed over time and place. I also wondered about the role of Curious George within the childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s literature of their time more broadly. Through a younger childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eyes, the illustrations themselves are engaging, and mock-up pages effectively demys-

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ouise Borden was looking through a copy of Publisherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Weekly in 1995 when she learned a curious fact. A short article mentioned that childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s authors H.A. Rey and Margret Rey had escaped the Nazi occupation of France on bicycle carrying the first manuscripts of what would be â&#x20AC;&#x153;Curious George.â&#x20AC;? When police stopped them on their journey and found illustrations for the book, they decided the Jewish couple was harmless. The Reys made it out of Europe alive and moved to the United States. The image of escaping Paris on bicycle stuck in Bordenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s head. She was also a childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s author of a dozen books who admired the Reys. (She now has published 26 books with several more in various stages.) Something deeper connected to her to the Reysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; escape story. Borden, who graduated from Denison University in 1971, majored in history with a focus on World War II resistance movements in Europe. As a college student in Ohio, she read and wrote about everyday people who experienced similar brushes with Nazi forces. She knew this story about the Reys was a book she had to write. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I started a folder,â&#x20AC;? Borden said. In it, she put the article and some notes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was a seed of an idea.â&#x20AC;? Borden wrote Houghton Mifflin, the publisher of the Reysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x153;Curious Georgeâ&#x20AC;? books. But her mother got cancer that year, and her family had other challenges to tackle. When she was ready to devote time to the research in 1996, it was too late to talk to Margaret Rey who died that year. The publishing company put Borden in touch with the executor of the Reysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; estate. Borden learned that the executor had faithfully carried out Margret Reyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s express desire that all the manuscripts, notes and papers that belonged to her and to H.A. Rey go to the most esteemed archive of childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s literature in the nation: the de Grummond Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Literature Collection at the University of Southern Mississippi. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one of the most important collections in the country,â&#x20AC;?Borden said. Borden would visit Hattiesburg three times to view the archival collection at Southern Miss. The first visit was in 1999, and Borden met Dee Jones, curator of the de Grummond Collection then. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They had just received the archival pieces,â&#x20AC;? Borden said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dee Jones helped me become an amateur detective.â&#x20AC;? The library staff hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t yet unpacked the boxes of calendars, maps, notes, drawings and letters belonging to the Reys. Borden was able to look through the raw data before many others. She wrote down the return addresses and made photocopies of documents to take back to Ohio. When her husband went on a business trip to France, she tagged along in search of the hotel in Paris where the Reys lived. Slowly, over several years, she pieced together the story of the bicycle escape. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I had a large tracking calendar for every day,â&#x20AC;? Borden said. She plotted the events and places culled from letters and H.A.


Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s book author Louise Bordenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s research into the couple behind Curious George took her from Paris to Hattiesburg.

Reyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s meticulous calendar. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I wanted to draw a line on a map and show children this amazing adventure.â&#x20AC;? When the Nazis came into Paris, the Reys were some of the last people in their building. H.A. Rey went to a bike shop and found the only bike left was built for two. He bought the tandem bike and he and Margaret tried it out, but they soon realized it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t working. H.A. went back to the bike shop and bought enough spare parts to build two bicycles. And he did it in about two hours. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am not sure I would trust a bicycle my husband built during wartime,â&#x20AC;? Borden said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;H.A. was very intellectual. He was mechanical. He studied science and engineering. He wanted to go to medical school, but he had no money. He built a big globe he constructed for his studies of the stars.â&#x20AC;? The two bicycles held up for the ride out of Paris and 75 miles more to Orleans. Borden retraced the route, but not on bicycle. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I drove out of Paris, which is scary enough,â&#x20AC;? she said. In Orleans, she got on a train at the same stop the Reys got on with their bikes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Back then, bicycles were a big form of transportation,â&#x20AC;? Borden said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bicycles were very important and valuable. It seems kind of primitive to us now.â&#x20AC;? Bordenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s book came out in 2005. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Journey that Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Reyâ&#x20AC;? (HMH Books, 2005, $17) is geared to third to sixth grade students. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a heavy subject that Borden treats in a straightforward manner. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People ask me why I write books for children,â&#x20AC;? Borden, 62, said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I take a complicated subject and make it accessible.â&#x20AC;? Before becoming a published author, Borden spent almost 20 years as a teacherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s assistant and read â&#x20AC;&#x153;Curious Georgeâ&#x20AC;? to her classes. Now, she still reads them to her three grandchildren. You can purchase Bordonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s book in the gift shop at the Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St., 601-960-1515) during the exhibit â&#x20AC;&#x153;Curious George Saves the Day: The Art of Margret and H.A. Rey,â&#x20AC;? through July 22.

Now Available Skinnygirl Wine Collection YOUNG PROFESSIONAL, HINDS STUDENT.

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Hinds Community College offers equal education and employment opportunities and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability or veteran status in its programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Dr. George Barnes, Vice President for Administrative and Student Services, 34175 Hwy. 18, Utica, MS 39175, 601.885.7001.

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Theater IV actors tour the country as Piglet, Pooh, Eeyore, Kanga and Tigger.

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May 16 - 22, 2012

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he upcoming performance of “The House at Pooh Corner” is much more than an amateur theatrical production. If you want your kids to experience high-quality national theater performances in a historic, family-friendly venue, consider making the trip to Meridian’s Mississippi State University Riley Center, a state-of-the-art facility in a beautiful restored theater that dates back to 1889. Several times per year, the Riley Center offers theater productions designed for students or the whole family in addition to their other programs. One such upcoming performance is “The House at Pooh Corner,” based on the Winnie-the-Pooh stories by A.A. Milne, coming to Meridian on Thursday, May 17, at 7:30 p.m. This particular show is most suited for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. Milne wrote the now-classic stories in the early 1920s for his son, Christopher Robin, who appears as a character—along with his entourage of stuffed animals—in his father’s poems and children’s stories. Winnie-thePooh is Christopher Robin’s favorite bear. “The Riley Center contracts with nationally recognized theater groups to bring the true, live theater experience to Mississippi’s children,” Riley Center education director Charlotte Tabereaux says. The upcoming performance of “The House at Pooh Corner,” for example, will be performed by Richmond, Virginia-based Theater IV. Other recent Riley Center performances for young audiences have included such shows as an adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” for middle school and high-school students, although most Riley Center children’s performances do target the K–5 age bracket. It isn’t a surprise that students, teachers

by Kelly Bryan Smith

and families travel to Meridian from places like Jackson, Ocean Springs, Tupelo and Natchez. In fact, Tabereaux is thrilled that more than 15,000 Mississippi children per year experience the Riley Center’s excellent arts performances. In addition to bringing top theater groups to the state, Tabereaux and her colleagues prepare free lesson plans and other educational enrichment materials for teachers to use in their classrooms in the weeks leading up to and following each theatrical performance for young audiences at the Riley Center. The center is a partner with the arts-integration program at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. called Partners in Education. “Children learn more quickly when you use the arts to teach any subject, and research also shows that they retain the information longer,” Tabereaux says about the basic premise of the program. The Riley Center offers free teacher training through numerous workshops throughout the school year designed to help teachers learn how to integrate the arts into the classroom to teach any subject matter. Continuing education credit for teacher licensure is also available for these workshops with a small fee to Mississippi State University. Teachers who are interested in participating should contact Charlotte Tabereaux at 601-696-2204. Supplemental educational resources for “The House at Pooh Corner” include a wide range of materials, such as coloring pages, geography lessons, recipes, math activities and vocabulary lessons. Tickets for the stage adaptation of A.A. Milne’s “The House at Pooh Corner” are $10 to $18 and are available through the box office at 601-696-2200. Be sure to arrive early, because Tigger, Pooh and Eeyore will be on the scene at 6:30 p.m. for photos and autographs. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. The MSU Riley Center is located at 2200 5th St., Meridian. Visit msuriley for more information.

by Anita Modak-Truran

  "    !!

Burtonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bag of Schtick COURTESY DAN CURTIS PRODUCTIONS


Dead Irish Blues (Contemporary Irish) FRIDAY 05/18

Lynn Drury (Blues/Rock)


lood is thicker than water,â&#x20AC;? says Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp), the eloquent lord of an idyllic New England fishing port. Barnabasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; voice lingers through gorgeous, haunting images created by director Tim Burton of a gothic past where entrepreneurial seamen make riches beyond expectations and a blonde beauty adorned in baby-blue satin sinks to the bottom of the ocean floor. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dark Shadows,â&#x20AC;? based on the television soap opera of the 1960s, mixes beauty, surrealism and gore. It starts off as a smoldering bodice ripper complete with a dark, handsome vampire (a necessary component in any postâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x153;Twilightâ&#x20AC;? flick). But when the fog begins to settle into postmodern, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nothing for you to sink your teeth into. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen these tricks of Burtonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s deft directing hand before, and the brilliant opening quickly wears down into a cruel parody of banality. The story starts with a woman scorned. Not an ordinary mortal woman, but a witch named Angelique (Eva Green). When Barnabas scorns Angeliqueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s love for the virginal Josette (Bella Heathcote), Angelique curses the entire Collins family. A seahorse sculpture crushes Barnabasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; parents. Josette throws herself over a cliff and into a rocky sea. An angry mob, whipped into frenzy by Angelique, chains and buries Barnabas, who spends the next 196 years in a coffin. The next we see of Barnabas, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very pale and thirsty. You simply cannot imagine how thirsty! Barnabas rewards his liberators with death. Satiated from his rampage, Barnabas trots home along the beaten path that turns into a road. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s never seen a road, a car or a gas station before. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 1972, and the world has changed. But Barnabas is still the same. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Blood binds us and curses us,â&#x20AC;? he says. Barnabas connects with the family,

learns the new ways and eventually beats to the new rhythms of the day. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Such a feelings coming over me. There is wonder in most everything I see. Not a cloud in the sky, got the sun in my eyes, and I wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be surprised if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a dream,â&#x20AC;? Karen Carpenter sings in the background, the theme of Barnabasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; new life. He renovates the family home, restarts the fish cannery and makes war on Angelique who has taken over the town. He also makes love to her, and that scene is one of the funniest in the entire movie. Burton pulls out all the shtick. Weird effects, comic constructs, busy pacing, secret passageways, sculptures that come alive, beautiful Michelle Pfeiffer (who has perhaps never looked more radiant than on top of a piano), a teenage girl with a razor sharp adolescent edge, a little boy who sees his dead mamaâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;but none of it firmly hooked me in. The strongest current I felt was from the 1972 bits of nostalgia, with tiny songstress Carpenter blasting us into a culture of lava lamps and free love. Unlike Burtonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s other films (â&#x20AC;&#x153;Beetle Juice,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Edward Scissorhands,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Alice in Wonderlandâ&#x20AC;?), the ingenuity level gets snuffed out early, somewhere in the transition from old-world charm to newworld funk. The film is a nutty, incongruous, monster mash. Burton tries anything and everything for effect, and only occasionally manages something marginally funny, like Barnabas screaming at the tiny songstress on the television. Elaborate as the gags are conceived, there really isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t much plot, only a parade of arbitrary visual tricks to hold the film together. Johnny Depp makes a good impression as Barnabas. The other actors perform well, but they are limited by the stupidity of the material. By the final scene, where everything catches fire and comes crumbling down, you will be thinking, if not screaming: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Burn baby, burn!â&#x20AC;?


Live Music

MONDAY 05/21

Karaoke w/ Matt TUESDAY 05/22

Open Mic with A Guy Named George

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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

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Johnny Depp, as vampire Barnabas Collins, doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hold the same allure in â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dark Shadowsâ&#x20AC;? as in past collaborations with director Tim Burton.



BEST BETS May 16 - 23, 2012 by Latasha Willis Fax: 601-510-9019 Daily updates at



Sara Beth Tanner performs during Live at Lunch at 11:30 a.m. at the Mississippi Museum of Art’s Art Garden (380 S. Lamar St.). Bring or buy lunch; call 601-960-1515. … Restoration architect Robert P. Adams and 40 & 8 Society representative Johnny Bracy speak during History Is Lunch at noon at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). Bring lunch; call 601-576-6998. … Author Christopher Tilghman signs “The Right-Hand Shore” at 5 p.m. at Lemuria Books (Banner Hall, 4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 202); reading at 5:30 p.m. $27 book; call 601-366-7619. … The opera film “Siegfried” shows at 6:30 p.m. at Tinseltown (411 Riverwind Drive, Pearl). $17, $16 seniors and students, $15 children; call 601-936-5856. … Crooked Creek plays at Underground 119.


See Kennith Humphrey’s artwork at Brown’s Fine Art (630 Fondren Place) through May 31. Call 601-982-4844. … Greek Fest 2012 kicks off with a drive-thru lunch from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at Holy Trinity St. John the Theologian Greek Orthodox Church (5725 Pear Orchard Road). More activities including music, art and dance. May 19 from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and May 20 from noon-6 p.m. Free admission, $10 lunch; call 601-355-6325. … Guitarist Pierre Bensusan performs at 8 p.m. at Duling Hall; cocktails at 6 p.m. $18; call 601-292-7121 or 800-745-3000. … The TNA Impact Wrestling World Tour is at 7:30 p.m. at the Jackson Convention Complex. $20-$50; call 800-745-3000. … Corey Smith and Tyler Reeve perform at 9 p.m. at Hal & Mal’s. Cocktails at 7:30 p.m. $15 in advance, $20 at the door; call 601-292-7121 or 800-745-3000. … Furrows performs at Old Tavern.


The Madison County Chamber of Commerce’s Dragon Boat Regatta is at 9 a.m. at Ross Barnett Reservoir (100 Reservoir Park Road, Brandon). Free for spectators; call 601-6052554. … The opening celebration for the exhibit “Storyland: A Trip Through Childhood Favorites” kicks off at 9 a.m. at Mississippi Children’s Museum (2145 Highland Drive); hangs through Aug. 26. $8, children under 12 and members free; call 601-981-5469 or 877-793-5437. … The Community Foundation of Greater Jackson Fundraiser is 3 p.m. at Hal & Mal’s Red Room. Proceeds benefit the Ace McNeely Music Fund. $15; call 601-497-1754. … Symphony on the Square is at 6 p.m. at Canton Historic Square on the courthouse lawn. Free; call 800-844-3369. … The roller derby bout between the Magnolia Roller Vixens and the Crescent Wenches is at 7 p.m. at the Jackson Convention Complex. $12 in advance, $15 at the door, $5 children; email … The Mississippi Community Symphonic Band and the Mississippi Swing perform at 7 p.m. at Belhaven University Center for the Arts. Free; call 601-605-2786. … The Nameless Open-mic is at 9 p.m. at Suite 106. $5 admission, $3 to perform; call 601-720-4640. … Flowtribe plays at Martin’s. The Magnolia Roller Vixens roller derby team (members Mareeta Allen, foreground, and Dana Hensley, background) takes on the Crescent Wenches May 19 at 7 p.m. at the Jackson Convention Complex.

May 16 - 22, 2012

The Livingston Farmers Market (129 Mannsdale Road, Madison) reopens today at 4 p.m. Open from 4-8 p.m. Thursdays through Oct. 11. Call 601-898-0212. … High Note Jam Concert Series May 17, 5:30 p.m., at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). Enjoy music and refreshments in the Art Garden. Free, food for sale; call 601-960-1515. … Elizabeth Cook and Tim Carroll perform at 7:30 p.m. at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.) Cocktails at 6:30 p.m. $10 in advance, $12 at the door; call 601-292-7121 or 800-745-3000. … The art reception for Lyle Peterzell and Kris Byrd is from 5-7 p.m. at the Mississippi Library Commission (3881 Eastwood Drive); exhibit hangs through June 29. Free; call 601-4324056. … Forrest and Wynters perform at Parker House. … 24 Big Earl from Pearl plays at Martins from 6:30-9 p.m.

Cajun Fest kicks off 3 p.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church (4000 W. Tidewater Lane, Madison). Free admission; call 601-919-3656. … The “Wined and Blind” Wine Tasting is at 4 p.m. at BRAVO! (4500 Interstate 55 N.). $40; call 601-982-8111 to RSVP. … Classical singer Tiffany Williams performs at 6 p.m. at New Zion M.B. Church (233 Cottonwood Drive). Donations welcome; call 601-906-0823. … The Blind Boys of Alabama perform at 8 p.m. at Duling Hall. Cocktails at 6:30 p.m. $44.50 in advance, $50 at door; call 601-292-7121 or 800-745-3000.


The Walter O. Evans Collection of African American Art hangs through June 24 at the Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). Free; call 601-960-1515. … Joey Culver is at Pelican Cove. … Amos Brewer plays at The Penguin.


The Mississippi Chorus presents “Beethoven: Before and After” at 7:30 p.m. at Wesley Biblical Seminary (787 E. Northside Drive). Pianist Xixi Zhou performs. $20, $18 seniors, $5 students with ID; call 601-278-3351. … The Lumineers play at Hal & Mal’s Red Room.


Charlie Townsend performs during Live at Lunch at 11:30 a.m. at the Mississippi Museum of Art’s Art Garden (380 S. Lamar St.). Bring or buy lunch; call 601-960-1515. … The Conference USA Baseball Tournament is at 11 a.m. at Trustmark Park (1 Braves Way, Pearl); runs through May 27. $8-$14 per game, passes sold; call 800-745-3000. More at and Furrows performs at Ole Tavern May 18. WILLIAM PATRICK BUTLER




Magnolia Roller Vixens Roller Derby May 19, 7 p.m., at Jackson Convention Complex (105 E. Pascagoula St.). The team takes on the Crescent Wenches. Doors open at 6 p.m. $70 season passes available. $12 in advance, $15 at the door, $5 children; email Unbroken Chain Benefit Concert May 31, 7:30 p.m., at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). Otis Lotus and M.O.S.S. perform. Cocktails at 6 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Mississippi Animal Rescue League. $10 in advance, $12 at the door; call 601292-7121 or 800-745-3000. Eighth Annual JFP Chick Ball July 28, 6 p.m., at Hal & Malâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (200 S. Commerce St.). The fundraising event benefits the Center for Violence Prevention, and this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s goal is to start a rape crisis center. For ages 18 and up. Seeking sponsors, auction donations and volunteers now. Get involved, volunteer, and donate art, money and gifts at More details at Follow on Twitter @jfpchickball. $5 cover; call 601-362-6121, ext. 16.

COMMUNITY Events at Jackson Convention Complex (105 E. Pascagoula St.). â&#x20AC;˘ TNA Impact Wrestling World Tour May 18, 7:30 p.m. Competitors include Jeff Hardy, Bobby Roode and James Storm. $50 ticket holders enjoy a wrestler meet-and-greet at 5:30 p.m. $20-$50; call 800-745-3000. â&#x20AC;˘ Statewide Nonprofit Management Conference May 23-24. The theme is â&#x20AC;&#x153;Positioned for Progress.â&#x20AC;? $199, $149 members; call 601-968-0061. Events at Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.). â&#x20AC;˘ Summer Reading Kick-off May 19, noon, in the Cancer Center Corridor. Operation Shoestring and United Way host the event to advise parents on promoting summer reading for their children and discuss the Jackson Public Schoolsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; summer reading program. Free; call 601-353-6336. â&#x20AC;˘ Summer Enhancement Program Registration. Youth ages 6-16 listen to guest speakers, make arts and crafts, watch movies and more during the summer. Register at the Department of Parks and Recreation from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays through May 23. Shot record or birth certificate required. Lunch and snack included; transportation not included. $70; call 601-960-0471. â&#x20AC;&#x153;History Is Lunchâ&#x20AC;? May 16, noon, at Old Capitol Museum (100 S. State St.). Restoration architect Robert P. Adams, 40 & 8 Society representative Johnny Bracy, and museum staff discuss the Merci Train Car renovation. Bring lunch; coffee and water provided. Free; call 601-576-6998. Mississippi Fallen Law Enforcement Officerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Candlelight Vigil May 17, 6:30 p.m., at the Statewide Fallen Officers Memorial between the Sillers and Gartin Justice buildings off High Street. The Mississippi Chiefs of Police Association honors officers killed in the line of duty. Call 601-359-2002. Precinct 3 COPS Meeting May 17, 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. Mississippi Bar Intellectual Property Section Seminar May 18, 9 a.m., at Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum (1152 Lakeland Drive). The topic is â&#x20AC;&#x153;From Music, Film and Television Arts to Sports: Hot Issues and Disputes in Entertainment.â&#x20AC;? Fee for attorneys includes six CLE credits and one ethics hour. $125 attorneys, $75 general, free for full-time judges; call 601-355-9226.

Drum Beat Boating



Greek Fest 2012 May 18-20, at Holy Trinity St. John the Theologian Greek Orthodox Church (5725 Pear Orchard Road). Enjoy Greek food, music and crafts. Free admission, $10 drive-thru lunch May 18; call 601-355-6325. Aldersgate Health Fair May 19, 10 a.m., at Aldersgate United Methodist Church (655 Beasley Road). The fair includes health screenings, seminars and aerobics. Free; call 601-366-8071. Happy Couponers Club May 19, 1 p.m., at Flowood Library (103 Winners Circle, Flowood). Get tips on using coupons and organizing grocery stockpiles. Bring expired coupons to donate to military families. Free; call 601-919-1911. Be Bold Beer Run May 19, 4 p.m., in downtown Jackson. The race includes stops at designated restaurants for drinks. Free, drink prices vary; call 262-391-9265. more EVENTS, page 26

High Note Jam Concert Series May 17, 5:30 p.m., at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). Enjoy music and refreshments in the Art Garden. Free, food for sale; call 601-960-1515.




jfpevents from page 25 Cajun Fest May 20, 3 p.m., at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church (4000 W. Tidewater Lane, Madison). Enjoy Cajun cuisine, games, vendors and music from David Steele and Gena Rowlands, and the Sofa Kings. Free admission; call 601-919-3656. Mostly Monthly Ceili May 20, 2 p.m., at Fenianâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pub (901 E. Fortification St.). Enjoy a familyfriendly gathering of folks interested in Irish music and dance. Jackson Irish Dancers is the sponsor. Free; call 601-592-9914. Museum to Market Trail Clean-up Day May 20, 2 p.m., in Belhaven. Jackson Bike Advocates, Bike Walk Mississippi and other organizations clean up the proposed Museum to Market Multi-use Trail. Bring work gloves and meet at the corner of Whitworth and Moody streets (Belhaven Heights). Email â&#x20AC;&#x153;Wined and Blindâ&#x20AC;? Wine Tasting May 20, 4 p.m., at BRAVO! (4500 Interstate 55 North). Sample and try to identify six wine varieties. Norm Rush and Val Spellman of Beaumad and Associates are the guest speakers. RSVP. $40; call 601-982-8111. Anime and Manga Night May 21, 6 p.m., at Pearl Public Library (2416 Old Brandon Road, Pearl). Share your love of the Japanese art forms with other teens. Refreshments served. Prizes given for the best drawing and the best Cosplay costume. Free; call 601-932-2562. AARP Community Conversation May 22, 10 a.m., at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). The topic is the future of Medicare and Social Security. RSVP. Free; call 877-926-8300. Know Your Rights: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Expungements 101â&#x20AC;? May 22, 4 p.m., at Hinds Community College, Jackson Campus (3925 Sunset Drive). The Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project (MVLP) hosts. Attorneys discuss and answer questions concerning Mississippi expungement laws. Refreshments served. Free; call 601-960-9577. Jackson Audubon Society Annual Meeting and Potluck Supper May 22, 6:30 p.m., at Eudora Welty Library (300 N. State St.). The meeting includes elections and presentations. Bring a dish to share. Visitors welcome. Free; call 601-956-7444.

Conference USA Baseball Tournament, at Trustmark Park (1 Braves Way, Pearl). College teams compete May 23-26 at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. The championship game is May 27 at 1 p.m. Day passes and all-tournament passes available. $8-$14 per game; call 800-745-3000. Stop the Violence Essay Contest. Students in the Jackson Public Schools system are welcome to write on the topic â&#x20AC;&#x153;How is the violence in the city of Jackson affecting your future?â&#x20AC;? Submit essays by July 7. Three winners receive $100 and a trophy, and read their essays at the annual Stop the Violence Rally July 21. Email

WELLNESS Look Good â&#x20AC;Ś Feel Better May 21, 2 p.m., at Baptist Medical Center (1225 N. State St.), at Hederman Cancer Center in the Activity Room. The program helps women undergoing cancer treatments to address appearance-related side effects. Registration required. Free; call 800-227-2345. Art in Mind Art Program May 23, 10 a.m., at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). The Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Association of Mississippi offers the monthly program is for people with early-stage dementia and their caregivers. Register by May 21; space limited. Registration forms available at Free; call 601-987-0020.

LITERARY AND SIGNINGS Events at Lemuria Books (202 Banner Hall, 4465 Interstate 55 N.). Call 601-366-7619. â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Right-Hand Shoreâ&#x20AC;? May 16, 5 p.m. Christopher Tilghman signs books; reading at 5:30 p.m. $27 book. â&#x20AC;˘ Lemuria Story Time May 19, 11 a.m. Enjoy a reading of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Revenge of the Dinotruxâ&#x20AC;? and make Dinotrux toys. Free. â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;&#x153;Calebâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Crossingâ&#x20AC;? May 22, 5 p.m. Geraldine Brooks signs books; reading at 5:30 p.m. $16 book. â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;&#x153;Billy Lynnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Long Halftime Walkâ&#x20AC;? May 23, 5 p.m. Ben Fountain signs books; reading at 5:30 p.m. $25.99 book.


Story Time on the Side Porch May 23-June 27, at Eudora Welty House (1119 Pinehurst Place). Children in kindergarten through third grade listen to a classic story and make a related craft Wednesdays from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Free; call 601-353-7762.


Dog Day Afternoons

May 16-22, 2012




Metropolitan Opera Events at Tinseltown (411 Riverwind Drive, Pearl). $17, $16 seniors and students, $15 children; call 601-936-5856. â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;&#x153;Siegfriedâ&#x20AC;? May 16, 6:30 p.m. Wagnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s opera is about a man who confronts a dragon and a mortal enemy to awaken his true love. â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;&#x153;GĂśtterdämmerungâ&#x20AC;? May 19, noon. Wagnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s opera is about a couple whose love is torn apart by a ringâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s curse. Teen Movie Saturday May 19, 1 p.m., at Pearl Public Library (2416 Old Brandon Road, Pearl). Enjoy a movie and snacks. Call the library for the movie title. Free; call 601-932-2562. Nameless Open-mic May 19, 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.

MUSIC Ardenland Concert Series, at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.) unless stated otherwise. Call 601292-7121 or 800-745-3000. more EVENTS, page 28

TAK E A D VA N T A G E O F O UR P A T I O D U R I N G . . .

J ACKS ON, M S 3 9216


6 22 D U L I N G AV ENUE


JFP Now! Joe Atkins We welcome former ClarionLedger columnist Joe Atkins to the JFP. Watch for Joeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s political column monthly starting May 23.

jfpevents from page 26 â&#x20AC;˘ Elizabeth Cook and Tim Carroll May 17, 7:30 p.m. Cocktails at 6:30 p.m. $10 advance, $12 at door. â&#x20AC;˘ An Evening with Pierre Bensusan May 18, 8 p.m. Cocktails at 6 p.m. $18. â&#x20AC;˘ Corey Smith and Tyler Reeve May 18, 9 p.m., at Hal & Malâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (200 S. Commerce St.). Cocktails at 7:30 p.m. $15 advance, $20 at door. â&#x20AC;˘ Blind Boys of Alabama May 20, 8 p.m. Cocktails at 6:30 p.m. $44.50 advance, $50 at door. Live at Lunch May 16, 11:30 a.m., at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). Sara Beth Tanner performs in the Art Garden. Bring or buy lunch. Free; call 601-960-1515. Symphony on the Square May 19, 6 p.m., at Canton Historic Square, on the courthouse lawn. Local talent and the Mississippi Symphony orchestra perform. The event also features the Thacker Mountain Radio Show. Free; call 800-844-3369. Mississippi Community Symphonic Band May 19, 7 p.m., at Belhaven University Center for the Arts (835 Riverside Drive). The Mississippi Swing also performs. Free; call 601-605-2786. Tiffany Williams in Concert May 20, 6 p.m., at New Zion Missionary Baptist Church (233 Cottonwood Drive). The classical singer performs to raise funds for a trip to the Classical Singers Magazine Competition in Chicago. Donations welcome; call 601-981-6027 or 601-906-0823. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Beethoven: Before and Afterâ&#x20AC;? May 22, 7:30 p.m., at Wesley Biblical Seminary (787 E. Northside Drive). The Mississippi Chorus and pianist Xixi Zhou perform. $20, $18 seniors, $5 students with ID; call 601-278-3351.


6A0=3E84F A M A LC O T H E AT R E

South of Walmart in Madison

ALL STADIUM SEATING Listings for Fri. May 18 - Thurs. May 24 2012 Battleship


What To Expect When Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re Expecting PG13 The Dictator


Dark Shadows PG13 3-D Marvelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s The Avengers PG13 Marvelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s The Avengers (non 3-D) PG13

May 16 - 22, 2012

Pirates: Band Of Misfits (non 3-D) PG The Raven




The Five Year Engagement


The Lucky One PG13 Think Like A Man PG13 The Hunger Games PG13 Journey 2 (non 3-D)


Midnight Thursday 5/24 3-D Men In Black 3 PG13 Men In Black 3 (non 3-D) PG13

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

28 Movieline: 355-9311

Shut Up and Write! Classes at JFP Classroom (2727 Old Canton Road, Suite 224). Sign up for one of JFP Editor-in-Chief Donna Laddâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s popular nonfiction and creative writing classes. Every other Saturday, Shut Up and Write! 101 is June 2-Aug. 18 excluding July 28 ($150, $75 deposit required) and Shut Up and Write! 202 for previous 101 students is Sept. 8-Oct. 20 ($125, $62.50 deposit required). Call 601-362-6121, ext. 16; get on mailing list at

EXHIBITS AND OPENINGS Look and Learn with Hoot May 18, 10 a.m., at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). The program is for children ages 4-5. Please dress for mess. Free; call 601-960-1515. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Storyland: A Trip Through Childhood Favoritesâ&#x20AC;? May 19-Aug. 26, at Mississippi Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Museum (2145 Highland Drive). The interactive exhibit for ages 8 and younger is derived from seven childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s picture books. The members-only preview party is May 18 at 6 p.m., and the opening celebration is May 19 at 9 a.m. $8, children under 12 and members free; call 601-981-5469 or 877-793-5437. Storytellers Ball Juried Exhibition Call for Art through June 14, at Greater Jackson Arts Council


Look Whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in the

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Day Offâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in the Art Garden



(255 E. Pascagoula St.). This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s theme is â&#x20AC;&#x153;Blame It On the Blues.â&#x20AC;? The deadline for entry forms and digital images is June 14. The exhibition is July 17Aug. 31. $25 entry fee; call 601-960-1557. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our Beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast â&#x20AC;Ś A Way of Lifeâ&#x20AC;? Art Exhibit, at Mississippi Library Commission (3881 Eastwood Drive). See Lyle Peterzellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s photographs and Kris Byrdâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ceramic pieces through June 29. Open weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The art reception is May 17 from 5-7 p.m. Free; call 601-432-4056. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Migration of the Negro, 1940-1941â&#x20AC;? through June 4, at Jackson State University (1400 John R. Lynch St.), in Johnson Hall Gallery. See 60 reproductions of Jacob Lawrenceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s paintings. Free; call 601-979-2040. Check for updates and more listings. To add an event, email all details (phone number, start and end date, time, street address, cost, URL, etc.) to 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 for instructions.

BE THE CHANGE Bike Walk Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Wear Yellow Day May 16. Wear yellow in support of watching out for pedestrians, runner and cyclists while driving, and avoiding distracted or drunk driving. Visit Community Foundation of Greater Jackson Fundraiser May 19, 3 p.m., at Hal & Malâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (200 S. Commerce St.), in the Red Room. Enjoy food, a silent auction, a raffle and music from PFC, Buie, Hamman and Porter, the Extremez, the Sofa Kings, Barry Leach and Emma Wynters. Proceeds benefit the Ace McNeely Music Fund to provide music lessons and instruments to disadvantaged children. $15; call 601-497-1754. Harvey Milk Day Rally May 22, 2 p.m., at Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum (1150 Lakeland Drive). The demonstration and petition signing is in support of allowing LGBT weddings on state-funded properties. Find â&#x20AC;&#x153;Peaceful Rally and Delivery of Petition (Harvey Milk Day)â&#x20AC;? on Facebook.


Ora Reed’s Simple Melodies by Hannah Jones

for singing. “I didn’t sing until my first job at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas,” Reed, now 63, said. Since her debut in Sin City, Reed has traveled all over the country and world. “I have never been very far away from that next reservation,” she wrote in an email. Today, Reed lives in various countries for months at a time working as a resort entertainer, most often in Japan. She currently performs at the Grand Prince Hotel New Takawana. “I check into a hotel, and I’m there for three months,” Reed said. “I have such a wonderful support system. What I really enjoy about Japan is that they enjoy the best of everything. I love that.” Growing up, Reed never planned on staying in Mississippi. But surprisingly, the farther away Reed traveled, the greater her connection to her home state grew. “My love for Mississippi is stronger than I could have ever imagined,” she told the JFP in a followup email from Tokyo. “As cultural ambassador, when I travel, I have an obligation to showcase the outstanding virtues of our state,” she wrote. “My worldwide family of friends was never more evident than when celebrating my 60th birthday, a call went out to ‘Meet Me In Missis-

Natalie’s Notes

Ora Reed is a 2012 Mississippi Trailblazer due to her role as a cultural ambassador.

sippi’! The response: friends representing four continents. They enjoyed my Mississippi.” While performing in Japan, Reed released two studio albums, neither of which have been released in the United States. However, Reed’s first album released abroad, “This One’s For You,” is currently in the works to be released here. Reed’s newest album is a handpicked collection of gospel hymns. “It’s hymns that are family favorites, and I have one original tune called ‘Moment to

Moment.’ You always talk about living one day at a time, but so many things can change in the twinkle of an eye,” she said. “I’m not a contemporary person. I love old jazz standards, and I love old hymns,” Reed said. “That’s who I am. I love a good, simple melody. You take a song, and you make it yours, Music should be simple, but from the heart. For information about the Mississippi Trailblazers Awards and Gala May 19, email or call 662-213-3027.

Rockin’ Babies

by Natalie Long

and it’s pretty cool to hear “Smells Like Teen Spirit” as a slowed-down children’s song. Visit the website to listen to love babies. I love the big ones, teeny ones, sweet ones your favorite bands performing rockin’ lullabies. and—best of all—the sleeping ones who belong to When jam-band guitarist Jerry Garcia of The Grateful someone else. When I was growing up, my mama, Dead and jazz/bluegrass great David Grisman became friends grandmother, and best baby sitter ever, Mrs. Dillon, performing music in the ’60s, I bet they never thought they would sing me lullabies or church hymns to get me to sleep would end up creating a children’s album. “Not For Kids (and sometimes Daddy would strap me in his Ford truck and Only” (AcousticDisc, 1993, $13) is a perfect blend of tralet the sounds of the Bogue Chitto back roads or some clas- ditional folk songs performed with traditional instruments sic country music lull me to slumber.) (mandolin, guitar, violin) as well as inBecause just about all of my friends fusing other instruments (Jew’s Harp, have offspring of their own, I’ve tried violoncello, mandocello.) to incorporate my love of music into a When I discovered this album cool baby gift, besides the standard dibaby sitting my baby cousin Emma, aper bag or lame box of baby wipes. I had to get a copy. I’ve now gone When my close friends have through two copies of this CD, and children, I absolutely love to give my favorite song on it is “Jenny Jenthe “Rockabye Baby!” (CMH kins.” Other favorites you might Label Group, $16.98) albums know and remember as a kid grow( as a gift. ing up are “There Ain’t No Bugs The Rockabye Baby! albums take on Me,” “Hot Corn, Cold Corn” your favorite hits and turn them into and “Freight Train.” To take a listen soothing lullabies for your future rock The “Rockabye Baby!” albums turn to these tunes or order a copy, visit stars. The series has lullaby renditions favorite hits into lullabies. of music from The Smiths, Nirvana, Although this children’s album hit The Beatles, AC/DC, U2, Bon Jovi, Bob Marley, Metallica, stores in 1975, its 2006 reissue through Legacy Records got Depeche Mode, The Pixies, The Flaming Lips and my favor- a resurgence from his influx of fans in the new millennium. ite, The Rolling Stones. “The Johnny Cash Children’s Album” (Columbia/Legacy, I always get mad props for giving such a rad baby gift, 1975, $16.95) has America’s favorite singing, songwriting,



gospel outlaw singing songs for the kiddos. This album features a version of Elvis Presley’s “Ol’ Shep,” a song he and wife, June Carter Cash, wrote called “Dinosaur Song,” and one he wrote for his only son titled “I Got a Boy (And His Name is John).” This is another children’s album I love to play in my classroom to my babies. To purchase this for your little outlaw in training, find it on the Man in Black’s website: When I discovered this children’s album a few years ago, I immediately purchased it, ran to the car and popped it into the CD player. I also immediately fell in love with it. “Mary Had a Little Amp: Music’s Biggest StarsChildhood’s Greatest Songs” (Sony, 2004, around $25) did a great job pairing up children’s songs to the artists performing them. The Dixie Chicks’ version of “The Rainbow Connection” is probably the best I’ve heard, and Bonnie Raitt with Was (Not Was) performing a bluesy rendition of “Baby Mine” from the Disney classic “Dumbo” will have you relaxed in no time. I also love R.E.M’s “We Walk,” Maroon 5’s “Pure Imagination” (from the movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”) and Graham Nash’s updated version of “Teach Your Children.” Roseanne Cash, Madonna, and Ann and Nancy Wilson from Heart also give their voices to this album. Feel free to check this album out either online or at local retail music stores. I know I’m leaving some great children’s albums out, so please suggest any and all to me that your child enjoys hearing. Have a great week, keep the listings coming in and if you see me out and about, please say hello!


ra Reed never thought she’d land in Asia when she struck out from Mississippi as a young adult, but she now calls both Jackson and Japan home. Born and raised in the Delta, jazz singer and musician Reed travels the world, spreading her Mississippi love across the globe. For her work as a “cultural ambassador,” Reed will receive an honor at the Mississippi Trailblazers Awards and Black Tie Gala, May 19 at the BancorpSouth Conference Center, as she is inducted into the Trailblazers class of 2012. Reed was born in Greenville and was raised in Lexington, Miss., which was once home to other musicians such as B.B. King, Lonnie Pitchford and Malachi Favors. Music has remained a constant in Reed’s life. At age 3, Reed began taking piano lessons and by the time she turned 5, her musical repertoire included violin and clarinet. After graduating from Jackson State University, she moved to Baltimore, Md., to become a junior high-school music teacher. After that she embarked on several other career paths, from entertainment reporter to concert-promotion manager––always with music on the periphery. However, it wasn’t until the 1970s that she discovered her love



Blind Faith Weekly Lunch Specials ALL SHOWS 10PM UNLESS NOTED





9.99 B

Open for dinner Sat. 4-10pm Thursday

May 17


w/ DJ Stache


with DJ Jugala SATURDAY

The Iron Feathers


Flowtribe with Furrows Saturday May 19

Southern Komfort Brass Band Don’t Forget To Stop By Our

MID DAY CAFE Serving Lunch 11-2! Coming Soon


with Space Capone • Sat. June 23

May 16 - 22, 2012




Tickets available at Ticketmaster Sat. July 7 214 S. STATE ST. • 601.354.9712




May 21

PUB QUIZ 2-for-1 Drafts Tuesday

sponsored by

May 22

2-for-1 Beer Specials Highlife, Highlife Lite, PBR, Schlitz, Fatty Natty


May 23


Open Mon-Sat, Restaurant open Mon-Fri 11 am-10 pm & Sat 4-10 pm

601-960-2700 Tavern

eing in the presence of a living legend is a significant experience. Sitting back discussing broth-soaked black-eyed peas and the miracle of diabetic-friendly sweet-potato pudding––that’s just downright captivating. Jimmy Carter, leader and co-founder of the world-renowned gospel group the Blind

I had been able to see, I wouldn’t be doing this. This is my calling, and this is what he wanted me to do.” The Blind Boys of Alabama have stayed firmly rooted to the traditional gospel sound, attesting their authenticity as one of the many reasons for their longevity in the industry. Dedicated to their tradition, yet itching to dip their toes in the often-dismissed waters of country music, the Blind Boys expertly executed a harmonious balance in their latest album, “Take the High Road,” produced by Jamey. Johnson. Hank Williams Jr., Willie Nelson, The Oak Bridge Boys and Vince Gill are just a few well-respected musicians appearing on the album. Jimmy Carter and the Blind Boys of Alabama have When asked what he been making music together for more than 70 years. planned to play for the Jackson crowd, Carter said, “We’ll play a few Boys of Alabama, consumes your attention from the new album, and we’ll play a few when he speaks. Carter’s voice is a product from the past.” of unmatched experience, wrapped in joy“We won five Grammys, so we’re goous simplicity and delivered with whirring ing to sing some from that,” Carter said. wisdom––even when those words are relat“I always say, when I go on stage, I say ing the underrated importance of broth and to my audience, ‘ladies and gentlemen, I the miracle of Splenda. hope we can say something to lift you up,’” The Blind Boys have performed for he said. three presidents, including President Barack When the Blind Boys take the stage, Obama. They joined the Civil Rights Move- they bring a sense of unity that intensifies ment and performed at several rallies led by with each step as they walk in crocodile forDr. Martin Luther King. They have received mation, one hand on the shoulder of the five Grammy Awards for their recordings, as man in front. well as a Grammy for lifetime achievement. Carter, with his soothing old-southern In 2007 they were inducted into the Gospel tone, proudly announces the presence of the Music Hall of Fame. Blind Boys of Alabama. The stirring sound Carter is beyond legendary, yet he is in- of their dusty voices come together flows disputably approachable. He wears his jour- flawlessly through the air and injects a feelneys in the form of an urbane air cultivated ing of joy directly into your bloodstream. through experience. Carter will only take The music stretches across sub-genres claim to the age of “over 50,” but his memory, and cynicism to coalesce a group of people along with his voice, has held steadfast against fastened together with a love for music and the tide of old age. zest for life. “The Happyland Jubilee Singers was our “We know we have touched peoples’ original name,” Carter recalled in a phone lives, and that makes us happy,” Carter said. interview. “There was a well-known group “We like getting the message across. of blind boys from Mississippi that started God is working through us, and we’re going around the same time we did. They called to let him go until he said, ‘You can come on themselves the Jackson Harmoneers. So a in now, good job’.” promoter in New Jersey said, ‘We’re going Even though the unsighted eyes behind to have a battle of music between the Blind the sunglasses have changed over the past 70 Boys of Alabama and the Blind Boys of Mis- years, the Blind Boys of Alabama have yet to sissippi.’ That was his gimmick. Both groups neglect their purpose not only as musicians, stuck with the names after that. So that’s how but also as God’s children. They shake the lawe became the Blind Boys of Alabama.” tent soul awake and inspire the uninspired. As for who won the battle? The Blind Boys of Alabama will raise the “The Blind Boys of Mississippi,” Carter roof of Duling Hall Sunday, May 20, at 8 p.m. said, laughing. Doors open at 6:30. Tickets for the 18+ show Blind since birth, Carter has never let are available for $44.50 at Babalu Tacos and the deprivation of sight deter him. Tapas, the Coliseum box office or online. An “My parents had six boys,” he said. “All additional fee may apply if purchased online. could see except me, the youngest of the six. For more information, call Arden Barnett at I used to question God. I know why now. If 601-292-7121.



by Brynn Rogel



by Jacob Fuller

THIS WEEK WEDNESDAY 5/16 Baby Jan & All That Jazz (Restaurant)

THURSDAY 5/17 Vagabond Swing (RR) BAT (DR) *He will play whatever you want!*

FRIDAY 5/18 Luckenbach (DR)

Now offering a full dinner menu. Now accepting reservations.

Wednesday, May 16th


(Bluegrass) 8-11, No Cover

Thursday, May 17th

ANDY HARWICK TRIO (Jazz) 8-11, No Cover

Friday, May 18th

Corey Smith with Tyler Reeve (RR)

SATURDAY 5/19 French-Algerian guitarist and composer Pierre Bensusan plays Duling Hall in Fondren May 18.

MONDAY 5/21 classical. I am not going to play Spanish. I am not going to play Jango (Rheinhart). I’m not going to play jazz. I’m going to play that stuff, and I’m going to find room for me where I can find my own identity and my own little niche.’” Other instruments join from time to time on the album, but Bensusan’s voice is usually the only accompaniment the dense, multilayered guitar playing needs or gets. Most of the lyrics are in French, although Bensusan shows a strong understanding of the English language on one song, “The In-Between.” In concert, Bensusan, who lives in Château-Thierry, France, plays guitar and sings unaccompanied on stage. His live performances are not about one man performing alone while others sit around, though. “We should not be passive,” Bensusan said. “We should also be participating (in) this. We should feel that we are contributing to this art (taking) place, just because of the very basic reason that we listen to it. The fact of listening to it already is a participation, almost in the way that a composer is going to write his stuff … because someone is going to listen. So the composer is also going to play with the people’s ability to listen. He is going to challenge them and is going to sort of enter a two-way conversation with them.” Bensusan kicks off a 31-show tour of the United States and Canada May 16 in Nashville. The third stop on the tour is Jackson’s Duling Hall in Fondren on May 18. Despite the mostly-French lyrics, Mississippians should not worry about a language barrier keeping them from connecting to the music. “I feel that this is totally linking and bridging with all different cultures,” Bensusan said. “It’s like an amazing language, fantastic language. It makes the world like being one. It’s beautiful.” Bensusan plays Duling Hall May 18. The show starts at 8 p.m. with cocktails at 6:30. Tickets are $18 and are available at the Coliseum box office or

Central MS Blues Society presents: Blues Monday (Restaurant)

TUESDAY 5/22 PUB QUIZ w/ Erin & friends (restaurant)

Coming Soon TUES 5:22: Lumineers (Rest) WED 5.23: New Bourbon St. Jazz Band (Rest) THU 5.24: Little G. Weevil (Rest) FRI 5.25: Fingers Taylor & Mark Whittington (Rest) WED 5.30: Barry Leach (Rest) THU 5.31: Thomas Jackson (Rest)


(Blues) 9-1, $5 Cover before 8:30 $10 Cover after 8:30

Saturday, May 19th


(Blues) 9-1, $5 Cover before 8:30 $10 Cover after 8:30

Tuesday,May 22nd


(Blues) 7:30-11, $5 Cover

Wednesday, May 23rd

BILL AND TEMPERANCE (Bluegrass) 8-11, No Cover

Monday - Friday

Thursday, May 24th

Blue Plate Lunch

(Jazz) 8-11, No Cover

with corn bread and tea or coffee




Friday, May 25th

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

Fridays: Catfish Plates are $9.75

$4.00 Happy Hour Well Drinks! visit for a full menu and concert schedule


200 S. Commerce St. Downtown Jackson, Mississippi


(Blues) 9-1, $5 Cover before 8:30 $10 Cover after 8:30

Saturday, May 26th


(Blues) 9-1, $5 Cover before 8:30 $10 Cover after 8:30

119 S. President Street 601.352.2322


ierre Bensusan is not a guitar player. He is a composer who uses the guitar as his creative instrument, and he does it with complexity, precision and passion matched by few. Born in Oran, French-Algeria in 1957, Bensusan tunes his guitar exclusively using the DADGAD method, rather than the standard EADGBE. DADGAD is an alternate type of tuning with roots in Celtic music. (You can hear it in Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir.”) He never plays using a pick: All 10 fingers are active as Bensusan performs his compositions. Every note has a thought and feeling riding its sound waves. Nothing is accidental, and no music is excluded from his repertory out of laziness or lack of ability. Most guitar players bring their limitations to the instrument, whether they’ve never played or played for more than 40 years. In Bensusan’s hands, an acoustic guitar seems to have found its perfect match, one who can speak through its six strings without limitation to anyone who hears, the way Bach could on a piano. The title of his latest album, “Vividly” (Favored Nations, 2010, $12.50), describes how Bensusan plays the guitar and sings, and how he wants listeners to take it in. Some refer to it as “world music,” because it cannot be wrapped up in traditional genre labels. With influences from early American rock ‘n’ roll, blues and jazz to traditional Irish and french music, Bensusan blends them all into a style all his own. Bensusan first began to teach himself guitar at age 11, but it wasn’t until he heard Planxty, an Irish folk band, at a music festival in Brittany that Bensusan found his sound in traditional musical styles played in DADGAD tuning. “I took my guitar (and) started to play, in open tuning, Irish music on the guitar,” Bensusan said. “I felt like: ‘I am now playing instrumental music on the guitar. I am not going to take lessons. I am not going to play

Lucky Hand Blues Band (Restaurant)


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DIVERSIONS|jfp sports

by Bryan Flynn

by Bryan Flynn

THURSDAY, MAY 17 NBA Playoffs (6-8:30 p.m. ESPN): More pressure on LeBron James without Chris Bosh as the Miami Heat face the Indiana Pacers in game three of their bestof-seven series. FRIDAY, MAY 18 NBA Playoffs (8:30-11 p.m. ESPN): The Los Angeles Lakers face Oklahoma City in game three as the aging Lakers look to hold off the youthful Thunder. SATURDAY, MAY 19 NHL Playoffs (noon-3 p.m. NBC): In game three, the New York Rangers aim to be a step closer to their first Stanley Cup Final since the 1993-94 season when they face off against the New Jersey Devils. SUNDAY, MAY 20 NHL Playoffs (2-5 p.m. NBC): The Phoenix Coyotes face the Los Angeles Kings in what could be a series-deciding game four. MONDAY, MAY 21 NHL Playoffs (7-10 p.m. NBCSN): Either the New Jersey Devils or the New York Rangers could be looking at the end of their season after game four. TUESDAY, MAY 22 College Baseball (4:30-7:30 p.m. CSS): Game three of the SEC Baseball Tournament from Hoover, Ala., followed by game four. Catch games one and two on Sportsouth starting at 9:30 a.m. WEDNESDAY, MAY 23 College baseball (4:30-7:30 p.m. CSS): Game seven of the SEC Baseball Tournament and is followed by game eight. Game five of the tournament starts at 9:30 a.m. with game six following. Speaking of great performances, check out Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers. The guy has battled his demons and is having a historic start to this season. Follow Bryan Flynn at, @jfpsports and at

Let It Fly


n a humid spring day, my wife, Lac- right into the bullâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s-eye. I always believe that and true skill begins to matter more. ey, and I walked into a metal build- she can do anything, but I was still amazed Starting an archery program in a school ing at LeFleurâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bluff State Park, that with her second-ever shot with a bow, requires an archery kit. One kit costs $2,800 just off Lakeland Drive. A casually she put it right in the bullâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s-eye. and includes a dozen bows, 69 arrows, tardressed, middle-aged man greeted us. From the original 10 schools, AIMS gets and a backdrop that protects people and The room we walked into was filled has branched out to 288 schools in the objects behind the shooting area. with familiar bullâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s-eye targets on all the walls state with more than 1,000 students parâ&#x20AC;&#x153;Right now, money is tight for everyand the floor. Propped up on one of them ticipating. Every public school with grades one, including schools, but there are sevwas a life-size photo of a deer mounted on from fourth through 12th grade is eligible eral grants for P.E. programs to help offset foam. A fake turkey stood next to the deer. for the program. the cost,â&#x20AC;? Cleland said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Any school can conWaldo Cleland, the man we tact our program, and we will help were there to meet, is with Misthem in any way possible to get a sissippi Department of Wildlife, program started.â&#x20AC;? Fisheries and Parks. Cleland overCleland said he is particularly sees the departmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Archery in excited about two statistics associMississippi Schools Program, or ated with the AIMS program: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We AIMS, which started in 2006 with have seen attendance up on days a pilot program in 10 schools. the program has been held, and we Cleland said archery is a sport have never had an accident since the where more than 80 percent of new program started.â&#x20AC;? students can be successful right The Mississippi Department away. We only sat down for about a of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks minute before he got up to turn on holds free classes throughout the the air conditioning to knock some year to certify teachers. Each particof the heat out of the room. He ipating school is required to certify ambled into a back room for a motwo teachers as level-one archery Jackson area students compete during the state AIMS ment and came back with a bow. instructors through an intensive tournament (March 28 to April 4) at LeFleurâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bluff State Park. As he gestured for Lacey to eight-hour course. come to him, he told us he was goCleland mentioned several ing to teach her how to shoot an schools in the metro area with arrow. I was sitting at the table taking notes, In 2009, the Mississippi High School highly competitive programs, including Floand I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hear what exactly Cleland was Activities Association sanctioned archery as wood Elementary, Chastain Middle School saying to Lacey, but I then I saw her place a competitive high-school sport. Not all 288 and University Christian School. the arrow on the bow and draw it back. schools compete in events, but all include arIn archery, girls and boys compete toTen meters away was a target with chery in their physical-educational programs. gether, though prizes are usually awarded bullâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s-eye. Its yellow center was surrounded The National Archery in Schools Pro- separately. Cleland was quick to point out by concentric circles of red, blue and black gram began in Kentucky in 2002. It spawned that Kristen Sword from North Ponotoc on a field of white. Lacey let the arrow fly. the AIMS program, just as it has spread ar- High School and Callie Humphrey from The first arrow she ever shot planted in the chery to 46 of the United States, Australia Amory High School held the Mississippi red, just barely missing the yellow bullâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s-eye. and Canada. One of the ideas behind the record for points with 288. (Austin Merritt In a stand on the floor were more arrows, program was to get kids outside and show holds the male record with 294 points.) and Lacey reached for a second one. Cleland them different sports and activities. By giving â&#x20AC;&#x153;Archery is a lifelong sport,â&#x20AC;? Cleland laughed. He said that is exactly what happens kids options for becoming active, the pro- said, adding that AIMSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; national rankings with kids in school; theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re as successful in the gram could help combat childhood obesity. have significantly improved. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is exciting sport as quickly as Lacey was. To keep the playing field level, every that the state was ranked 25th in archery â&#x20AC;&#x153;It builds confidence in kids who might school is required to use the same bows and two years ago and 11th last year.â&#x20AC;? not have the skills to be good in sports like arrows: Mathews Genesis bows with no Cleland is pleased to see the program football or basketball,â&#x20AC;? Cleland said. sights and official Genesis arrows. grow. He believes the talent in Mississippi has â&#x20AC;&#x153;I see the same thing in schools that The rule extends to local, state, re- just barely been scratched. Perhaps more imstart this program: (Students) hit the target, gional and national events, ensuring that portantly, archery can be the beginning to a and they want to shoot again.â&#x20AC;? no school or individual can spend his or healthy lifestyle for many Mississippi children. Now feeling pretty good, Lacey shot her way to the top of the sport. With evFor more information about AIMS, visit the second arrow, and this time, it zipped eryone using the same equipment, practice LACEY LOFTIN

Did you wake up early Sunday and watch the English Premier Leagueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s final day? If not, you missed Manchester City win by scoring two goals in stoppage time against the Queens Park Rangers.

Bryanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rant â&#x20AC;˘ Crown a True Champ

May 16 - 22, 2012

I 34









FRI. MAY 18 & SAT. MAY 19


May 18 | 9:00pm

NEW KARAOKE SHOW 9:00pm - 2:00 am


Thursday - May 17 Open Mic w/ Eric Robinson 7-11 Ladies Night & Free Crawfish


Friday - May 18


Fade 2 Blue


Wednesday - May 16

Rowdy South

May 19 | 9:00pm


• Live Music Every Friday & Saturday Night Scan this code or text EATWITHUS to 601-707-9733 for the deal of the week

NO COVER CHARGE! • $3 Bloody Mary’s & Mimosas Every Saturday & Sunday until 6pm 6791 Siwell Rd. Byram, MS • 601.376.0777

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Saturday - May 19


Sunday - May 20 9 Ball Tournament 7pm


It’s Never Too Late To Start

Splendid Chaos Friday, May 18th

New Blue Plate Special


1 Meat, 3 Veggies, Bread and Drink

live music may 16 - 22 wed | may 16 Jessie “Guitar“ Smith 5:30-9:30p

Long Reef

Saturday, May 19th - Wednesday - Open Mic Night - Thursday Night: Ladies Night with DJ Reign -Karaoke in The Jazz Bar (Thu - Sat) - Happy Hour in The Jazz Bar Tuesday - Friday 4-7pm 2 -4 -1 Wells, Calls, & Domestics, PLUS $5 appetizers To book a private party please call

601-487-8710 824 S. State St. Jackson, MS

thu | may 17 Brian Jones 5:30-9:30p fri | may 18 South of 20 6:30-10:30p sat | may 19 Triple Threat 6:30-10:30p sun | may 20 Dane Edwards 3:00 - 7:00p mon | may 21 Karaoke

Arts • Humanities Social Sciences Classes begin May 29th

tue | may 22 Jesse “Guitar” Smith 5:30-9:30p

1060 E County Line Rd. in Ridgeland Open Sun-Thurs 11am-10pm Fri-Sat 11am-Midnight | 601-899-0038 AA/EOE/ADAI








Edible Flowers for Small Spaces by Jim PathFinder Ewing FILE PHOTO


Hibiscus (top) and bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s buttons are two edible flower varieties you can grow in Mississippi.

re you limited to an apartment windowsill or small balcony but still want to grow organic food to liven up your diet? Try edible flowers. Usually only seen in high-end gourmet restaurants to garnish salads or brighten a plate, edible flowers are easy to grow, bloom all summer long and come in a variety of colors, shapes and flavors. Here are a few listed in the Johnnyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Selected Seeds catalog ( and widely available elsewhere: â&#x20AC;˘ Nasturtiums (Nasturtium officinale) are probably the best-known edible flowersâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;you can eat the flowers when they are fully open and eat the leaves, too. They come in yellows, oranges and reds. â&#x20AC;˘ Calendulas (Calendula offinalis) are edible when the flowers are fully open. They come in various shades of yellow, some with darker tinges on the edges. â&#x20AC;˘ Bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s buttons (Centaurea cyanus) or classic cornflowers come in a variety of colors that produce abundantly. They can make successive sowings to bloom all summer. â&#x20AC;˘ Hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos) has a nice nutty flavor. Hummingbirds love them, too. â&#x20AC;˘ Hollyhocks (Alcea ficifolia) are large 3-inch to 4-inch flowers on long stems that range in color from cream white to yellow to pink and deep maroon.

Jim PathFinder Ewing has a book with Findhorn Press on organic food, farming and spirit that will be published in the fall titled â&#x20AC;&#x153;Conscious Food: Sustainable Growing, Spiritual Eating.â&#x20AC;? Find Jim on Facebook, follow him @edibleprayers or visit


Fertilizing in planet-friendly ways

â&#x20AC;˘ Hyacinth Bean (Dolichos lablab) also make nice cut flowers and come in shades of purple. â&#x20AC;˘ Ornamental, cutflower kales (Brassica oleracea) are cool-weather plants that you can plant in the fall and grow into the cold weather. These are colorful, leaf-type cabbages that are edible. Of course, if your roses have not been treated with chemicals, they are edible, too. My beautiful wife, Annette, puts rose petals in the teas she makes. You can boil them in water and add lemon juice and sugar or honey for a standalone tea, put them in an omelet, or use them as a garnish (they are really pretty in yogurt!). Clip this article out and take it to your local garden supply store. Buy organic or heirloom seed varieties to ensure they arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t genetically modified â&#x20AC;&#x153;frankenseeds.â&#x20AC;? Remember: You want to grow organically, so donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t use chemical pesticides, etc. Pollinators like butterflies and honeybees like edible flowers as well, so letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s help keep them healthy, too!

by Jim PathFinder Ewing


ow that you presumably have your organic garden planted, whether in pots on an apartment balcony or a larger space, you will want to nurture it with fertilizers. Contrary to what those promoting chemical farming may say, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a big difference between synthetic and natural fertilizers. Ammonia-based synthetic fertil3O4RUE



May 16 - 22, 2012





izers kill microorganisms in the soil, kill earthworms that keep it aerated and fertilized, burn plant roots, and destroy humus. They can also poison drinking water, kill lakes and are even largely responsible for the giant dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico where there is no oxygen. In short, chemical fertilizers â&#x20AC;&#x153;killâ&#x20AC;? the soil and do damage to the planet, too. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no wonder that synthetic fertilizers are prohibited from certified organic farming. Synthetic fertilizers have three main nutrients: nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K). When you look on the side of the package, it will say something like 13-13-13, which is the NPK content. This formula will cause your plants to look really great, initially, but after a few years, your soil will be hardpan and, essentially, dead. Beyond NPK, there are 17 essential nutrients that plants need for healthy growth. Natural fertilizers provide these trace elements. How can you tell if one is missing? Here is sample of deficiencies: â&#x20AC;˘ Magnesium, discoloration of leaves; â&#x20AC;˘ Calcium, plant growth stops, blossom end rot; â&#x20AC;˘ Sulfur, light greenish or yellowish;

â&#x20AC;˘ Zinc, thin, yellow leaves; â&#x20AC;˘ Copper, wilting. So, how do you fertilize your garden organically? Easy. For the long term, you can start by composting. Save anything but meat from your table, such as eggshells, vegetable scraps, fruit peels, coffee grounds and tea leaves. You can compost these items in a pile outdoors, keeping it turned occasionally, or in a â&#x20AC;&#x153;spinâ&#x20AC;? composter. After 60 to 90 days, it will be dark and crumbly and ready to add to the garden. Your garden is a growing medium and you want to treat it as a living being, nurturing it along. Increase and replace its fertility gradually, as it loses fertility by providing you with food.


5009 Old Canton Road • Jackson | 1067 Highland Colony • Ridgeland

601.956.5017 | 601.707.9440


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Public schools do more than educate children. They measure a city’s pride. They reflect community. They predict the social and economic well-being of a city’s future. For 20 years, Parents for Public Schools of Jackson has worked to keep our public schools strong, to empower parents as leaders for positive change, and to engage community support of our public schools.

Join us. For our city. For our children. For our future.

Founding Chapter, Parents for Public Schools, 1989 200 N. Congress, Suite 500, Jackson, MS 39201




Winning the Burger Challenge by Andrew Dunaway



onstructing the perfect burger is a fine art. frozen. They’re fresh every day, and they’re handOne must begin with the finest ingredients: formed. It’s just the process that we send each of patties hand-formed out of fresh, never-frozen our burgers through; I don’t think other restaubeef, delectable seasonings, a light and fluffy rants take the time we take. bun and a host of world-class toppings. Ingredients in hand, the cooking and building process can beWho came up with the Whammy gin. Although anyone can make a burger, it takes a Challenge? well-trained eye to create a good one. Fortunately, I did. I knew I wanted a challenge burger. I can Steve Sahler, a Madison native and owner of Burgeat and I knew I wanted something I couldn’t eat. ers & Blues (1060 E. County Line Road, Suite 22, Ridgeland, 601-899-0038), is bringing the metro his Have you ever finished it? vision of the best burger in town. (JFP Best of Jackson No, absolutely not. voters agreed in the 2011 and 2012 contests.) When Burgers & Blues opened in April 2010, Have you gotten close? Sahler originally partnered with Al Stamps of Cool No, a 1-pound hamburger about does me in. Al’s; however, Stamps and Sahler parted ways in 2011. Sahler now operates Burgers & Blues with his wife, Jen, Steven Sahler serves the best burger in town, according to JFP readers. Did you base this challenge on another one and has since put his mark on what he believes to be you’ve seen or tried somewhere? Jackson’s best burger and blues venue, home to the best No, I’ve never done an eating challenge. I just patio in town. Recently, the Travel Channel show “Man vs. I wanted to be family friendly because I think a lot of folks knew there were not any popular eating challenges in this town. Food” featured the Burgers & Blues “Whammy Challenge,” miss the opportunity if they call themselves a bar or just a If someone came to Jackson and they were looking for an eatwhich involves eating a three 1-pound burgers, a pound of fries restaurant—then you’re limiting your clientele, and that’s ing challenge, I wanted them to come to Burgers & Blues. and a root beer float in under 30 minutes. The episode aired something I didn’t want to do. I wanted to be able to offer everybody something. After How did “Man vs. Food” get involved? April 11, the day before the restaurant’s two-year anniversary. I worked at Buffalo Wild Wings, I knew I wanted that sports They (contacted us). Now, I don’t know how many theme. When the burger thing came in, it just hit me like a folks reached out to them first, because what I understand, What was the first recipe you developed? I helped developed the whole menu, but because I’m rock—a burger joint with a sports bar theme and live music. the more emails they get, the more likely they are to come, a spicy food eater, my favorite item would be the Sonic That’s what I wanted. I found this place and saw this area to but they called me one day and told me they were comBoom Burger with fried jalapenos and pepper jack cheese. put this deck. It came together at the right time. ing down to Jackson, wanted to do a story on us and they asked if that was OK. I said, “absolutely.” What about dishes other than burgers? What do you think sets you apart? There are just so many. For example, when we came Nobody does what we do. … For one, I don’t know any Since this is Burgers & Blues, who is your favorite up with the idea for the ranch dip fries, I told my mother- restaurant that can compete with our patio, even though some blues artist? in-law what we were looking for, and she came up with the JFP (Best of Jackson) voters don’t agree with me. I don’t think I’ve got several, but I’ve got to say my favorite is recipe, and it’s very popular. Although I can’t take full credit anybody can, as far as burger restaurants, compete with the vol- Jessie Smith. He’s our house band. He plays every Tuesday and for it, I had a vision of what I wanted, and it was created ume we do or with our burger, hands down. Wednesday. ... He’s very talented on the guitar, so he’s defifrom my vision. nitely my favorite. Is there something special in the meat you use? Besides Jessie Smith, B.B. King has to be up there someWhat was your vision for this restaurant? Yes, it’s the mixture of the meat we use and the season- where. There are so many famous blues artists but when someI knew that I wanted to entertain folks from two to 92. ing we use; that’s what sets us apart. Our patties are not body thinks blues, I just think B.B. King always pops up.


Cake fit for a King

May 16 - 22, 2012

M 38

y mother was one of the best cooks in the world. On any given day, she could make a meal fit for a king. Mother had her own natural rhythm—her own unique swag, if you will. She would sing the hymns and praise God while simultaneously cooking for 15 people, myself included. I loved my mother’s cooking so much that I would hang on her apron strings and watch her every move. She was truly an art-


ist. I would pat my foot to my own rhythm under the table as I ate her cooking. I always wanted to show my appreciation and affection for her hard work and dedication to the art of making us happy. I remember one Sunday night I came home late and saw a four-layer chocolate cake sitting on the kitchen table. Mother was up, as usual. (She would not sleep until the last of her children were safe at home.) I asked her if this cake was for a special occasion and she said no. She was always reading my mind, so she told me that I could have a piece but to save some for the other children. Well, because I was the oldest in the house at that time, I felt special. And because I felt special, I decided to treat myself to a special portion of that good-looking chocolate cake. I ate half of the cake. Do I need to tell you the rest of the story?

4 9-inch cake pans cooking spray 4 cups sugar 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1-1/2 cup cocoa powder, 3 teaspoons baking powder 3 teaspoons baking soda 2 teaspoons salt 4 eggs 2 cups milk (evaporated mixed with half water) 1 cup vegetable oil 4 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 cups boiling water


2 sticks butter completely melted 1 cup cocoa powder 6 cups powdered sugar 2/3 cup milk 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Grease and flour the cake pans or spray them with cooking spray. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Then add eggs, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for four minutes, and then stir in boiling water to make a thin batter. Pour into pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until cake springs back upon touching it in the middle. You can insert a toothpick in the center to test for doneness. Let cool for about 10 minutes and turn out onto waxed paper. Let cool completely. To make the frosting, stir in cocoa with melted butter. Add in powdered sugar and milk, beating on medium speed to spreading consistency. Add more milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla.

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Cups Espresso CafĂŠ (Multiple Locations, Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s local group of coffeehouses offer high-end Arabica beans, a wide variety of espresso drinks. Wi-fi.


Voted Best Veggie Burger -Best of Jackson 2010-2012-

4654 McWillie Dr., Jackson|Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 10AM-9PM Friday & Saturday 10AM-10PM, Sunday CLOSED


Bourbon Street in the Quarter (1855 Lakeland Drive, 601-987-0808) Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hot new spot for great New Orleans cuisine, live entertainment and libations from the bar featuring daily lunch specials and happy hour in the landmark Poetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s location. Reed Pierceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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. 9-Ball lounge features tourney tables, full bar, live entertainment. Hal and Malâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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&#x20AC;&#x2122;s blackboard special. Best of Jackson winner for Live Music Venue for multiple years running. Burgers and Blues (1060 E. County Line Road, Ridgeland 601-899-0038) Best Burger of 2012! Check out their signature approach to burgers, chicken, wraps, seasoned fries and so much more. Plus live music and entertainment! Cherokee Inn (960 Briarfield Rd. 601-362-6388) Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best Hole in the Wall,â&#x20AC;? has a great jukebox, great bar and a great burger. Plate lunches, cheesy fries and tons more, including a full bar and friendly favorites. Cool Alâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (4654 McWillie, 601-713-3020) A Best of Jackson fixture, Cool Alâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s signature stacked, messy, decadent, creative burgers defy adjectives. And donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget the fries! Fenianâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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. Multiple Best of Jackson awards. 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&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Restaurant and Lounge (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. Full bar, massive beer selection and live music most nights. Time Out Sports CafĂŠ (6720 Old Canton Road 601-978-1839) 14 TVs, 1 projector and two big-screens. Daily $9 lunch specials, pub-style appetizers, burgers, seafood and catfish po-boys, salads, and hot entrees including fish, steak and pasta. Ole Tavern on George Street (416 George St. 601-960-2700) Pub food with a southern flair: beer-battered onion rings, chicken & sausage gumbo, salads, sandwiches and weekly lunch specials. Plus, happy hour 4-7pm Monday through Friday. Sportsmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lodge (1120 E Northside Dr. in Maywood Mart 601-366-5441) Voted Best Sports Bar in 2010, Sportmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t disappoint with plenty of gut-pleasing sandwiches, fried seafood baskets, sandwiches and specialty appetizers. Underground 119 (119 South President St. 601-352-2322) Jumbo lump crabcakes, crab quesadillas, beef tenderloin parfaits, orange-garlic shrimp, even â&#x20AC;&#x153;lollipopâ&#x20AC;? lamb chops. Add a full bar and mix in great 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, Wing Stop wings are made with care and served up piping hot. Every order is made fresh to order; check out the fresh cut seasoned fries!



Pan Asia (720 Harbor Pines Dr, Ridgeland 601-956-2958) Beautiful ambiance in this popular Ridgeland eatery accompanies signature asian fusion dishes and build-your-own stir-frys using fresh ingredients and great sauces. Fusion Japanese and Thai Cuisine (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.

Best of Jackson 2008 - 2011 Dinner: Tues. -Sat. | 5pm-9pm

601-919-2829 5417 Lakeland Drive ~ Flowood, MS 39232


editerranean 'JTI(SJMM


Now accepting the JSU Supercard.



In Town & in the USA -Best of Jackson 2003-2011-

-Food & Wine Magazine-

707 N Congress St., Jackson | 601-353-1180 Mon thru Fri: 11am-2pm â&#x20AC;˘ Sun: 11am - 3pm



Fresh Tex Mex

Full Bar Now Available! Happy Hour â&#x20AC;˘ M-F â&#x20AC;˘ 4-6pm

318 South State Street | Jackson, MS

Try The

Drop In For Our

Early Bird Special M-Th from 5-7

2481 Lakeland Dr Flowood, MS 39232

601-932-4070 tel 601-933-1077 fax

(a very high-class pig stand)

Come Try the Best Bar-B-Que In Madison 856 Main Street â&#x20AC;˘ Madison, MS â&#x20AC;˘ 601.853.8538

Babalu (622 Duling Ave., 601-366-5757) Fresh guacamole at the table, fish tacos, empanada, smoked pork sholders, Mexican street cornâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best Mexicanâ&#x20AC;? specialties mix extremely well with their â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best of Jackson 2012â&#x20AC;? magaritas. Jacoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tacos (318 South State Street) Tacos, burritos and quesadillas. Tex-Mex at its finest and freshest. Tacos come with a side of butter-based mantequilla sauce for dipping. Enjoy the the patio and full bar service.










Daily Special $10 Entree, Fried Rice Vegetable & Iced Tea

sushi, steak, martini and more! 601.948.8808

100 E. Capital St. Suite 105 â&#x20AC;˘ Jackson MS â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘


H7M:7: @=6


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May 16 - 22, 2012



Paid advertising section.



$10 Daily Lunch Specials

Another Broken Egg (1000 Highland Colony #1009 in Renaissance, 601.790.9170) Open Daily 7am-2pm for breakfast, brunch and lunch. Egg, benedict and omelet dishes, pancakes, waffles, specialties, burgers, salads and sandwiches. 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, a salad bar, iced tea & one of four homemade desserts. Lunch only. Mon-Friday, Sun. Koinonia (136 Adams St. 601-960-3008) You wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to mix the large yellow house just off Metro Parkway. Koinoniaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expanded lunch menu includes pizza, sandwiches and soups. They also a serve a full breakfast menu and you can still get their famous coffee all night long.

Good Paper

Includes: Dessert, Iced Tea, & tax. Take Out Orders are welcomed.

9:00pm | $5.00 Cover

Wed | Roasted Pork Loin or Country Fried Steak

May 26 #2 with Me and Hugh

Thu | Chicken & Bowtie Pasta or Sausage Poboy


Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Lo Trio

Every Thursday â&#x20AC;˘ 6:30 pm

Fri | Fried Catfish or Smoked Beef Brisket

Broad Street Bakery (4465 Interstate 55 N. 601-362-2900) Hot breakfast,coffee espresso drinks, fresh breads and pastries, gourmet deli sandwiches, quiches, soups, pizzas and dessert. For Heavenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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 including cream cheese, lox, eggs, cheese, meats and or as full sandwiches for lunch. Paninis, wraps and much more!


High Noon CafĂŠ (2807 Old Canton Road in Rainbow Plaza 601-366-1513) Fresh, gourmet, tasty and healthy defines the lunch options at Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own strict vegetarian (and very-vegan-friendly) restaurant adjacent to Rainbow Whole Foods.


Hickory Pit Barbeque (1491 Canton Mart Rd. 601-956-7079) The â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best Butts in Townâ&#x20AC;? features BBQ chicken, beef and pork sandwiches along with burgers and poâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;boys. Haute Pig (1856 Main Street, 601-853-8538) A â&#x20AC;&#x153;very high class pig stand,â&#x20AC;? Haute Pig offers Madison diners BBQ plates, sandwiches, poboys, salads, and their famous Hershey bar pie.


Happy Hour Everyday 4p-7p

Late Night Happy Hour Sun - Thur, 10p - 12a

May 19

Daily Lunch Specials â&#x20AC;˘May 16 -18

9:00pm | $5.00 Cover



1410 Old Square Road â&#x20AC;˘ Jackson

6270 Old Canton Rd. Jackson, MS 39211





The Pizza Shack (925 E. Fortification 601-352-2001) The 2009-2012 winner of Best Pizza offers the perfect pizza-and-a-beer joint. Creative pizza options abound along with sandwiches, wings, salads and even BBQ. All new location in Belhaven and a second spot in Colonial Mart mall. Sal & Mookieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (565 Taylor St. 601-368-1919) Pizzas of all kinds plus pasta, eggplant parmesan and the fried ravioli. Best Kidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Menu & Best Ice Cream in the 2011 Best of Jackson. Plus, Pi(e) Lounge in front offers great drinks and a fun atmosphere for catching up with friends.


BRAVO! (4500 Interstate 55 N., Jackson, 601-982-8111) Wood-fired pizzas, vegetarian fare, plus creative pastas, beef, and seafood specials. Awardwinning wine list, Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s see-and-be-seen casual/upscale dining. Frequent Best of Jackson finalist. Ceramiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (5417 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, 601-919-28298) Southern-style Italian cuisine features their signature Shrimp Cerami (white wine sauce, capers artichokes) along with veal, tilapia, crawfish, chicken and pasta dishes. Now with liquor license!



Mediterranean Fish & Grill (The Med- 6550 Old Canton Rd./601-956-0082) Serving a fabulous selection of fish, gyros, and heart-healthy vegetarian food for over 10 years. Now serving fried catfish & bone-in pan trout. Aladdin Mediterranean Grill (730 Lakeland Drive 601-366-6033) Delicious authentic dishes including lamb dishes, hummus, falafel, kababs, shwarma and much more. Consistent award winner, great for takeout or for long evenings with friends.

Crawdad Hole (1150 Lakeland Drive., 601-982-9299) Serving up fresh seasonal crawfish, shrimp and crab legs the Crawdad is Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s crawfish destination. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll also want to try their delicious gumbo while enjoying Friday night karaoke! Eslavaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Grille (2481 Lakeland Drive, 601-932-4070) Danny Eslavaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s namesake feature Latin-influenced dishes like ceviche in addition to pastas, steaks, salads and other signature seafood dishes. Rockyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (1046 Warrington Road, Vicksburg 601-634-0100) Enjoy choice steaks, fresh seafood, great salads, hearty sandwiches and much more in the â&#x20AC;&#x153;polished casualâ&#x20AC;? dining room. Open 24/7 in the Riverwalk Casino.


Seersucker Friday by Meredith W. Sullivan

Men’s Orange Seersucker and Plaid Reversible Shorts, Red Square Clothing Co., $198


hen @FlyJFP Twitter followers make a request, I try my best to deliver. I hear that there are people around town who adhere to the rules of Seesucker Fridays from Easter to the end of the summer. So when they asked for a spread, I was out the next day scouring the city for all the seersucker I could find. Isaac Mizrahi Tan Seersucker Blazer, Orange Peel, $15

Men’s Seersucker Shirt, Orange Peel, $9 Seersucker Pants, Orange Peel, $9

Seersucker Dress, Orange Peel, $8.50

Green Seersucker Bermuda Shorts, Private Collection Consignment, $19

SHOPPING SPECIALS Babalu Tacos & Tapas (622

Treehouse Boutique (3008 N.

State St., 601-982-3433) Stop by and grab one of the new colorful clutches by Claire Vivier. They are a perfect addition to any look for the summer.

Orange Peel, 422 Mitchell Ave., 601-364-9977; Private Collection Consignment, 101B Village Blvd., Madison, 601-607-6004; Red Square Clothing Co., 1000 Highland

Colony Parkway, Suite 4004, Ridgeland, 601-853-8960

Send sale info to The Green Room (3026 N. State

St., 601-981-9320) Fully stocked with a wide selection of vintage chairs, The Green Room invites you to take a seat - and then take one home.

Sportique (677 S. Pear Orchard

Road, Ridgeland, 601-956-2863) Try on any L*Space swimsuit between May 17 and May 19 to be entered to win your favorite L*Space swimsuit for free.

Glo Design Studio (2951 Old

Canton Road, 601-368-9755) If you thought the store was beautiful before, you should swing by and see the new showroom. It’s amazing!

May 16 - 22, 2012

Duling Ave., 601-366-5757) Be one of the first 500 to click on the deal on Babalu’s Facebook page to get a Pepe O’Malley for $5 (normally $8).



Check out for information about other sales around the city, trends and various things fly people should know.


601-853-3299 • 398 Hwy 51 • Ridgeland

8th Annual

A fundraiser for The Good Samaritan Center


To Help Fund A Rape Crisis Center Items Needed: Original Art, Gift Certificates, Corporate Items Gifts (big & small), Monetary Donations, Chick Toys & Decor Sponsorships Available: Imperial Highness $5,000, Diva $2,500, Goddess $1,000, Queen $500, Princess $250, Chick $50

If we receive your donation by July 11, it will be featured in our big Chick Ball Gift Guide on July 25.

Saturday, July 28, 2012 Hal & Mal’s Red Room Cover $5 | 18+ To donate or volunteer: 601-362-6121 ext 16

For more information: • follow us on twitter @jfpchickball




DUI? Minimize Your Damage. Know Your Rights.

Drew Hassin Attorney At Law

601-260-0153 Background information available upon request.


inv Get olv ed!

Security Cameras • Attendant On Duty Drop Off Service • Free Wi-Fi

Ambiance Nail Gallery

We are located within Spelbound The Day Spa in The Quarter on Lakeland Drive. Come experience Ambiance … a way of Escape to an extraordinary experience in nail care.

1046 Greymont Ave. (behind La Cazuela) M-F 8am-9pm • Sat & Sun 7am-7pm CALL US AT 601-397-6223!

New Savings for Auto Customers

Call and schedule an appointment. Find Us On Facebook

1855 Lakeland Drive Suite B11, Jackson


Alfa™ believes good customers should be rewarded. That’s why our new automobile policy recognizes loyalty and good driving habits and rewards you with lower rates. For a free quote, call or stop by today. We’re right there with you with service you expect and savings you deserve.

Kodi D Hobbs 1425 Lakeland Dr. Suite 110F Jackson, MS 39216 Bus: (601) 321-9364 AUTO • HOME • LIFE

Intern at the JFP Come Try Our New Menu 136 South Adams Stree | Jackson | 601.960.3008 | Mon-Fri | 8:00 am - 6:00 pm Sat | 8:00am - 2:00pm Sun | CLOSED

It’s ALWAYS FRESH in the 6030 I-55 North- EXIT 102B (601) 977-9040

Hone your skills, gain valuable experience and college credit* by interning with the Jackson Free Press. You set your hours, and attend free training workshops. We currently have openings in the following areas: • Editorial/News • Photography • Cultural/Music Writing • Fashion/Style

• Arts Writing/Editing • Internet • Graphic Design • Communications: Marketing/Events/PR

Interested? Send an e-mail to, telling us why you want to intern with us and what makes you the ideal candidate. *College credit available to currently enrolled college students in select disciplines.

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