[To Help Fund A Rape Crisis Center] Hurry! You still have time to get your donation items featured in the Chick Ball Gift Guide on July 25! For more details, call Erica at 601-362-6121 Ext. 16 Items Needed: •Original Art •Gift Certificates • Corporate Items •Gifts (big & small) •Monetary Donations •Chick Toys & Decor Sponsorships Available:
July 18 - 24, 2012
•Imperial Highness $5,000 •Diva $2,500 •Goddess $1,000 •Queen $500 •Princess $250 •Chick $50
Saturday, July 28, 2012 Hal & Mal’s Red Room Cover $5 | 18+ 6pm - Midnight To donate or volunteer: 601-362-6121 ext 16 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information: jfpchickball.com Follow us on twitter @jfpchickball
Sponsors Include: Natalie Maynor • Kira Cummings • Nola Gibson • Dorothy Triplett • Larue Owen • Delta Sigma Theta Sorortity Inmotion Consulting & Coaching • Planned Parenthood • Davetta and Jonathan Lee • Dorsey Carson • Noel Didla Mid-South Graduate Chapter of Swing Phi Swing Social Fellowship • Yolanda Walker • Adelia Bush • Russel & Nancy Morrison
July 18 - 24, 2012
1 0 N O . 45
contents TRIP BURNS
6 Clinic Saga Continues The fight surrounding the state’s only abortion clinic turns to the admitting privileges clause. COURTESY M ISSISSIPPI MASS CHOIR
Cover photograph of Danny Glover by Trip Burns
nal to fit their tastes. Clothes Minded designs sold well at Swell-O-Phonic in Fondren, and Orey hopes to bring the $20 shirts back soon. Visit areyouclothesminded.com to see the designs. Orey’s first hometown is Chicago where his grandparents raised him through middle school. He moved to Jackson in 2001 to stay with his mother, and his favorite Jackson neighborhood is Fondren. “I enjoy the citylike vibe, art and the rich culture,” he says. In his second hometown, Orey strives to make a difference with Jackson’s youth. He sees talented young people in sports, academics, music and art, but he also knows that “the wrong crowd” can have a negative influence. He stresses that young people should never underestimate their potential or put limits on how far they can go. “Always know your worth and what you can bring to the table,” he says. “Think outside the box, be creative, be you. … I would love to see the younger generation motivated and helping each other.” At 97.7, Orey adds his positive energy to the music, news and important discussions to keep things relevant for his young audience. “Know that opportunity doesn’t always come knocking at your door, so take advantage of every situation and be sure to set standards,” he says. “Before anyone can help you, you must first help yourself.” —Whitney Menogan
36 Red (and Green) Bliss Think outside the picnic basket with recipes for summer’s quintessential produce, tomatoes. VIRGINIA SCHREIBER
Timothy Orey has wanted to entertain people since he can remember. His first taste of performing was in 2005 with the brotherhood F.I.N.E. (Focused Intelligent Negroes Excelling), started by friends who shared passions for dance, music and art. Three years later, he became a background dancer and choreographer with the Jackson-based R&B group Recognition, a gig that lasted four years. “Performing was my escape from everything else, and my chance to let go, zone out and embrace the experience,” Orey says. In summer 2009, he began interning at WRBJ 97.7, and he’s been with the station ever since. As deejay “Mr. European,” from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays, Orey plays popular R&B and hip-hop. He also deejays at local clubs, such as the Mansion, Freelon’s, the Martini Room and Slicks, and has emceed fashion shows for Jackson State University and Tougaloo College. At 97.7, Orey works to inform as well as entertain. The station’s audience consists mostly of teens and young adults, and 24-year-old Orey does his best to let them know what’s happening in their community, giving them news and event info. “Pretty much anything they want to know, myself and the 97.7 crew will have them informed,” he says. Last year, Orey and a group of friends started the apparel line Clothes Minded. The concept was simple: Design something origi-
41 Training to Go Ebony Cooper brings personalized workout and nutrition plans to her customers, cutting out the gym.
The Jackson Music Awards and Gospel Music Awards honor Mississippi musicians near and far. JIM CHUTE
4 .........Publisher’s Note 4 .................... Sorensen 6 ............................ Talk 10 .................. Business 12 ................... Editorial 13 ................. Opinion 13 ................... My Turn 14 ............ Cover Story 21 .............. Diversions 21 ...................... Music 26 ....... Music Listings 28 ........................ Film 31 .................... 8 Days 32 ............. JFP Events 34 ..................... Sports 35 ........... Life & Style 36 ....................... Food 39 ................ Astrology 39 .................... Puzzles 41 .............. Body/Soul 43 ... Girl About Town
Joe Atkins A veteran journalist who teaches reporting at the University of Mississippi, Joe Atkins is author of “Covering for the Bosses: Labor and the Southern Press.” His blog is laborsouth.blogspot.com. He wrote the cover story. Watch for his monthly JFP column as well.
Trip Burns JFP staff photographer and videographer Trip Burns is a graduate of the University of Mississippi where he studied English and sociology. He took the photos for the cover story.
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 contributed to the cover story and wrote talks.
Jane Flood Jane Flood has led a full life. She has lived in, visited and tasted cuisine the world over. She has taught Pilates to Saints, written a romance novel and fed Thai royalty. She lives in Fondren. She wrote a Food feature.
Christianna Jackson Editorial intern Christianna Jackson is a Jackson native. She loves finding new ways to utilize her English degree. She’s an active mom and a fashion blog addict. She wrote the Body/Soul feature.
Bret Kenyon Pittsburgh, Pa., native Bret Kenyon is a Belhaven College theater graduate who enjoys theater, music and writing. He has worked with Off Kilter Comedy, Hardline Monks and Fondren Theatre Workshop. He wrote a Music feature.
Liz Hayes Liz Hayes is a editorial intern from Delta State University. She is a foodie, entertainment blogger and thrifting advocate when not enjoying marathons of “NCIS.” She wrote a Music feature.
July 18 - 24, 2012
Web Producer Korey Harrion is a saxophonist who runs a small computer-repair business. He enjoys reading, writing and playing music, origami and playing video games. He loves animals, especially dogs.
by Todd Stauffer, Publisher
Biz Federation Needs Context
t seems like the releases from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (nfib.com) are coming fast and furious these days. This latest one, called “NFIB Responds to Obama’s ‘you didn’t build that’ Statement” takes a line from an Obama speech over the weekend out of context, and then infers that the president said that people who build businesses don’t deserve any credit. Of course, it misses his larger point. Here’s the actual quote: “Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” It’s not Obama’s most elegant rhetorical construct ever, but “that” doesn’t refer to the business, it refers to the American system. The NFIB’s response: “Every small business is not indebted to the government or some other benefactor. If anything, small businesses are historically an economic and job-creating powerhouse in spite of the government.” (Emphasis theirs.) Really? So, America is not, in fact, a great system for a thriving business? Infrastructure and public investment—laws, contracts, stable currency, incentives, markets—none of these things help grow businesses? I’m not saying that “government” is always the most exciting thing for small business to have to deal with. But some of us do find roads, bridges and clean running water handy in the course of our business day. And, as Obama points out in that speech, the Internet—a huge catalyst for a quarter century of business growth—was a government-funded project, and its openness came because it was a partnership between government and academia. The bigger picture problem, though, is the NFIB’s reliance on language such as “in spite of the government.” It’s particularly disconcerting coming from an organization that purposes to have small business interests at heart ... because it’s a dangerous argument for any American to make. Think about this for a second: Government is us. We the people. In fact, you wonder sometimes why conservatives seem hell-bent on beating the drum of anti-government rhetoric, which does little more than serve to further the oligarchy (government by big business interests) by making “government” seem monolithic and “other” and something we have little or no control over. We do have control over government, but managing it takes a desire to work together, not a desire to drown it in a bathtub. Charles P. Pierce, in Esquire this month, has a great piece about the “common wealth” in this nation: “(Our Constitution) is a charter that enumerates individual liberties, but it is not a license for unbridled greed or reckless political solipsism. We owe each other a debt,
and we owe each other an obligation, and because of these fundamental American imperatives, there are things that we own in common with each other, and that we are obliged to protect for our posterity. The water. The trees. The wild places in the land.” That’s what government is for; it’s not a monolithic taxing authority designed to get in the way of your pursuit of happiness. It’s a tool for managing our shared self-interest and building our common wealth. Pierce writes: “We lose sight of these truths sometimes. Acceleration is the great danger. We lost sight of these truths during the Industrial Age, when the accelerated pace of new manufacturing caught the country by surprise. It was only the long, slow rise of progressive politics that brought these basic truths back to the national mind, and we got the national parks out of it. We have lost sight of these truths again, in the Information Age, when even more accelerated technologies caught us by surprise. It is an open question still whether we will be able to recover that which we have forgotten.” It seems to me that business owners and executives in America used to understand this. I think this is why a discussion of Gov. Romney’s tax returns, Swiss bank accounts and tax havens is resonating with a lot of Americans right now. Because while some folks applaud him for gaming the system for his own benefit, others believe that for a man with so much, the idea that he’s ducking and dodging feels unseemly. And this rings especially true for a man who also has great sway in the Republican Party and the potential to lead his country. When increasing your own wealth becomes your focus, to the detriment of our common wealth, we lose something as
a country. And it’s not about handouts or redistributing income. It is about being responsive to the idea that we’re in this thing together. The country has gone through a great recession and is still mired in a world economy that’s stuck in neutral. For the last decade, we’ve tried to wage global war while cutting back on the tax revenues to pay for that war, and we have a Supreme Court that’s given its blessing to a system where global corporate “persons” can now pay near limitless amounts of money to attempt to sway our government to balance the budget exclusively on the expense side of the ledger. Just this week, Republicans blocked the Disclose Act, which would force non-profit groups to reveal donations for $10,000 or more for political purposes. Why is this not a no-brainer for both parties? The people of this country need economic growth, we need infrastructure investment, and we need to learn the hard lessons about exactly how close to bankruptcy global wars can get you. We need to invest in America and Americans. And, coming soon, we’ll need to dig out. That’ll mean raising revenues (taxes) along with lowering expenses (programs) to bring things back into balance. It doesn’t mean one or the other, it doesn’t mean my-way-or-the-highway, it doesn’t mean them-vs.-us. Or, at least, it doesn’t have to. So I call on the NFIB to be not just “probusiness” but be “pro-government,” too. After all, we’re the government—the people of the United States of America—and we’re in this thing together. Let’s make a go at improving our nation. Todd Stauffer is co-owner and publisher of the Jackson Free Press.
news, culture & irreverence
Thursday, July 12 The U.S. District Court sentences Toris Young, a former New Orleans pastor, to 10 years in federal prison for stealing nearly $1 million in disaster loan payments. .... Nawaf al-Fares, the Syrian ambassador to Iraq, defects and joins the opposition. Friday, July 13 U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III lets a Mississippi abortion law stand for now, but rules that the clinic canâ€™t face criminal or civil punishments as it tries to meet the lawâ€™s requirements. ... Federal drug agents discover a 240-yardlong tunnel underneath the U.S.-Mexico border that they suspect was used to smuggle drugs into Arizona. Saturday, July 14 The U.S. Department of Agriculture releases numbers that indicate that Mississippi has moved from ninth to seventh this year among peanut-growing states, more than tripling the number of acres planted in peanuts. ... JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon releases information that its rogue trader cost the company $6 billion, far more than first suggested. Sunday, July 15 Texas Ranger Matt Harrison pitches a complete-game, 5-hit shutout to the Seattle Mariners to tie for wins in the American League with 12.
July 18 - 24, 2012
Monday, July 16 Hinds County Board of Supervisors backs out of the proposed Old Capitol Green development project. ... Stephen R. Covey, author of the â€œThe Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,â€? dies at age 79 after a bicycle accident.
Tuesday, July 17 The Hinds County Sheriffâ€™s Department arrests Alberto Moralles Alejandre, of Dallas, for possession of a reported $1 million worth of crystal methamphetamine. ... Coaches and players descend on Hoover, Ala. for the 2012 SEC Football Media Days. Daily news updates at jfpdaily.com.
Former President Ronald Reagan took a hard-line anti-labor stance during his administration in the 1980s. During the 1940s and 1950s, however, he served as president of the Screen Actors Guild, a prominent labor union, seven times.
New Abortion Law: Medically Justified? by R.L. Nave
s it medically necessary for doctors to have hospital admitting privileges? The question lies at the heart of the ongoing fight between Mississippiâ€™s last abortion clinic and state officials who created new regulations that include requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges. It could shut the facility down. Diane Derzis, who owns the Jackson Womenâ€™s Health Organization off North State Street, said only the clinicâ€™s backup doctor, who does not perform abortions, has hospital admitting privileges while the clinicâ€™s other two doctors have not been able to obtain privileges. She also said the clinic has applied to seven hospitals within a 25- to 30-mile radius from Jackson. State officials who pushed for the mandate say the law is intended to protect women who might suffer complications while having an abortion. On the other side is the Jackson Womenâ€™s Health Organization, which sued the state in federal court to block the law from going into effect. In court filings, the clinicâ€™s attorneys called the regulations â€œmedically unjustifiedâ€? and feared its doctors might be open to criminal prosecution while its paperwork for admitting privileges was processed. Then, thereâ€™s the truth. Jonathan F. Will, director of the Bioethics and Health Law Center at Mississippi College School
of Law, said hospitals grant admitting privileges as a measure of quality assurance, but that itâ€™s unnecessary for an abortion doctor to have admitting privileges to get a patient
something worse happens. My wife doesnâ€™t have to have admitting privileges for me to be able to call an ambulance and get into a hospital,â€? he said. â€œ(Emergency room) doctors have admitting privileges, and if you need to be admitted, youâ€™ll be admitted.â€? Likewise, if someone complains of stomach pains to their family doctor, who diagnoses the cramps as appendicitis, the family physician is unlikely to be the one who performs the appendectomy at the hospital. Because the U.S. Supreme Court prohibited outright abortion bans in Roe v. Wade, abortion unfriendly state legislatures have increasingly turned toward piling regulations on the clinics as a way to slow them down. Doing so is permissible, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey in 1992â€”up to the point the restrictions cause an undue burden and substantial obstacles to women who want to get abortions. Will said the Casey rulingâ€™s â€œwishywashyâ€? language provides states more wiggle room to implement laws like Mississippiâ€™s. In his ruling handed down late last week, U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Jordan allowed the state law, which Gov. Phil Bryant signed in April, to take effect
Wednesday, July 11 Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. gives his annual State of the City Address, concluding that â€œthe state of the city is good.â€? ... The president of Florida A&M University, James H. Ammons, resigns eight months after one member of the universityâ€™s marching band collapsed and died after a hazing ritual.
Joyce Jackson goes toe-totoe with LaRita Cooper-Stokes in Ward 3, round four. p8
Diane Derzis, who owns the Jackson Womenâ€™s Health Center, said its doctors have applied to seven area hospitals to meet new state requirements that could close the clinic. A federal judge ruled last week that the clinic can remain open while hospitals process the applications.
into a hospital if she needs to go. â€œLetâ€™s say thereâ€™s an emergency at my house, and I slip and fall and break my leg or
CLINIC, see page 7
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news, culture & irreverence
CLINIC, from page 6
the law eliminating abortion in the state shouldn’t matter because they did not author or vote on the controversial legislation, HB 1390. Jordan found the statements relevant “considering they came from the governor who signed the bill and the presiding officer over the Senate.” In his July 1 order, Jordan questioned the motive of the bill’s backers—pointing out that they seem more focused on eliminating access to abortion, a constitutional right, than in protecting the health of women. At the July 11 hearing, state attorneys urged Jordan to look only at the bill’s language for its intent, and not at public officials’ language about its motive. Rep. Sam Mims, R-McComb, who sponsored HB 1390, took issue with the plaintiffs’ characterization that political gamesmanship was at the heart of the antiabortion bill and noted that it passed with bipartisan support. Will, the law professor, agrees with the state that it doesn’t matter if officials said they want to end abortion in Mississippi. The only standard is whether the new law represents an “undue burden” or “substantial obstacle” to women seeking abortions. “That’s the test,” Will said. “Does (the law) do that or not?” Comment at www.jfp.ms. Email R.L. Nave at email@example.com.
‘Party of the Rich’?
by Donna Ladd R.L. NAVE / FILE PHOTO
resumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney rolled through Jackson Monday for a fundraiser at the River Hills Club. At $50,000 a couple, the event drew $1.7 million for Romney—making it the largest fundraiser in the state’s history, ABC News reported. Romney told the River Hills audience that his party is not “the party of the rich,” as opponents accuse. “And it’s an awful moniker, because that’s just not true,” ABC reported. “We’re the party of people who want to get rich. And we’re also the party of people who want to care to help people from getting poor. We want to help the poor. “We also want to make sure people don’t have to become poor,” Romney said. “And we know what it takes to keep people from becoming poor,” he added. To emphasize his point, Romney used the wait staff at River Hills as a reference point. “I know that people in this room are probably doing relatively well, relative to folks across this country,” he told the audience, as reported by Politico. com from a media pool report. “But not everyone in America is doing so well right now, it’s tough being middle class in America right now. The waiters and waitresses that come
Mitt Romney told a wealthy crowd at River Hills that the GOP is the party for people who want to get rich.
in and out of this room and offer us refreshments, they’re not having a good year. The people of the middle class of America are really struggling. And they’re struggling I think in a way because they’re surprised because when they voted for Barack Obama … he promised them that things were going to get a heck a lot of better. He promised hope and change and they’re still waiting.” Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, who attended the fundraiser, later tweeted out his support of Romney: “What a wonderful time in JXN yesterday evening with great leader & great American.” Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and U.S. Reps. Gregg Harper and Alan Nunnelee also were in the house. Romney placed third in Mississippi’s Republican Primary this year behind Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich.
while the clinic seeks admitting privileges and before he determines if the law causes irreparable harm to the clinic. “Given the highly charged political context of this case and the ambiguity still present, the Court finds that there would be a chilling effect on the Plaintiffs’ willingness to continue operating the Clinic until they obtained necessary privileges. Therefore, an irreparable injury currently exists,” Jordan’s order states. “As for the other factors for injunctive relief, the Court finds that there exists a substantial likelihood of success on the merits and that the threatened injury—the closure of the state’s only clinic creating a substantial obstacle to the right to choose—outweighs any harm that will result if the injunction is granted. This is especially true in light of the Defendants’ promises that they have no intention to pursue civil or criminal sanctions at this time.” JWO’s operators have maintained all along that the new regulations grew out of a desire of elected officials to reap political benefits from shutting down the state’s last abortion clinic. At a two-hour-long hearing last week, Jordan heard arguments from the clinic and the state. The state attorneys defending the new law said the Mississippi governor and lieutenant governor’s statements about
by Jacob Fuller
Cooper-Stokes vs. Jackson: Round 4
munity meeting July 12 that she is focusing on winning at the polls, once again. “I believe the will of the people is that we go ahead and run this race, and go ahead and get it over with,” Cooper-Stokes said. “So I’m going with the people.”
don’t know if it is workers from the other side who’s doing (the vandalism),” Jackson said. Cooper-Stokes’ “Vote Stokes” signs can be seen on telephone polls, in car windows and on boarded-up houses through-
,A2ITA #OOPER 3TOKES
Born: Toledo, Ohio Raised: Jackson Highest Education: Law Degree from Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University Profession: Attorney
Born: De Kalb, Miss. Raised: De Kalb, Miss. Highest Education: Master’s and specialist degrees in elementary education from Jackson State University Profession: Retired school teacher, parttime employee at Collins Funeral Home
July 18 - 24, 2012
First Friday of Each Month Free Spanish Class
72 hours notice to remove the signs. After that, the city may charge a candidate a $100 fine, plus an additional $5 for every sign the city has to remove. Cooper-Stokes has not received any fines for signs her workers posted in February that no one has taken down. While she awaited the result of Jackson’s suit, Cooper-Stokes took her seat on the council. Since March, she has put a resolution on every regular meeting agenda, except one, to honor a city citizen or to rename a street in someone’s honor. On the one exception, Cooper-Stokes honored The Jackson Advocate “for outstanding service and commitment to the people of the City of Jackson.” At least three of Cooper-Stokes’ honorees are pastors or church leaders. She scoffed when this reporter brought up criticism that honoring pastors was a political move to get votes from the pastors’ congregations. “That’s silly. I actually attend most of the churches that I’m honoring the pastors in. So I know them personally. It’s not a political thing,” Cooper-Stokes said. “I try to attend as many churches as I possibly can.” Jackson, a former schoolteacher and part-time employee at Collins Funeral Home on Northside Drive, has never held public office. She said if anyone wants to know about her record and background, they can contact her. “I would like for them to call me at 601-981-7089 and ask for an appointment, or just come to see me. Come to my headquarters (3732 Albermarle Road),” Jackson said. Polls in Ward 3 will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. July 24. Voters can find a list of polling locations at jfp.ms/ward3_voting. Comment at www.jfp.ms. Email Jacob Fuller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
fter a special election, a runoff election and a court hearing that invalidated the runoff election, LaRita Cooper-Stokes and Joyce Jackson will square off for their fourth bout for the Ward 3 Jackson City Council seat July 24. A jury unanimously found in favor of Jackson and set aside the runoff election, held Feb. 28, in which CooperStokes defeated Jackson by 156 votes. The city held the election after no candidates earned a majority in the Feb. 14 special election. The jury heard allegations of Cooper-Stokes’ supporters campaigning within 150 feet of polling locations, unsolicited voter coaching and assistance, and one instance of a poll manager using a racial slur to refer to Jackson, who is of mixed heritage. “I already feel like I’m victorious (given) the mere fact that I have exposed all of the fraud and discriminatory practices that were done (on) both Feb. 14 and Feb. 28,” Jackson said Tuesday. “I burned the haystack down, and I found the needles when we went to court.” The city is ask now asking Ward 3 voters to go to the polls again to select their city council representative. Jackson said federal poll workers and Hinds County Sheriff’s deputies will be at every polling precinct to make sure poll workers do not violate the law July 24. Cooper-Stokes, who took office after the original runoff election, has held the seat while awaiting the new election. Special appointed Judge Richard McKenzie, who overheard the hearing, refused Cooper-Stokes’ appeal for a new hearing earlier this month. Cooper-Stokes’ attorney, Imhotep Alkebu-lan, confirmed that he is looking into the possibility of appealing the ruling to the state Supreme Court, but Cooper-Stokes said after a com-
LaRita Cooper-Stokes and Joyce Jackson will square off July 24 for the Ward 3 City Council seat again.
A resurgence of Jackson’s “Jackson 4 Jackson” campaign signs have sprung up in yards and on street corners around the ward in recent weeks. Jackson said that she has found many of her signs, especially those along Northside Drive, vandalized in the past week. “There’s only two of us running, so I
Want to learn a new language for business or pleasure? We have you covered. • Spanish Beginner Classes Start August 13
out the ward. Many of them have been there since the February elections, but this reporter spotted a Stokes campaign worker posting fresh signs on poles July 13. Under city ordinance, all political signs are to be removed within 15 days of an election. If no one removes the signs, the city will give a candidate an additional
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by Jacob Fuller
Chartre, JSU Planning Development
JSU Vice President of Institutional Advancement David Hoard spoke to citizens at Koinonia Coffee House about the JSU Development Foundation’s proposed deal with Chartre Consulting LTD.
up to 120 percent. The maximum income for a family of five at the 80-percent level would be $50,880, or $76,320 at 120 percent. Market-rate townhouses would not get tax financing to assist buyers. Acceptance would depend only on buyer’s credit and ability to afford the townhouse at the market rate. David Kelly, director of planning, design and entitlement for Chartre, said Chartre will attempt to sell the market-rate townhouses as soon as they are ready. They will, however, lease the townhouses until they find buyers, if needed. Chartre will lease the townhouses, which they will build in complexes of two to four units, to tenants and manage the property for the first 15 years after completion. At the end of the 15 years, the townhouses will be available to purchase. Tenants will be able to buy the townhouses at reduced rates, which will depend on the financial bracket renters leased the house in and how long they leased it. A low-income family who leases a town-
house for 15 years will get guaranteed approval on a loan from Chartre to purchase their townhouse for about $50,000, with no down payment required. The purchase price is determined based on length of the tenant’s lease, in three-year increments. So a tenant who leased the house for 12 years would have to pay more than one who leased it for the entire 15 years. Chartre will make the townhouses not purchased by tenants available to the public to purchase at market rate at the end of the 15 years. They will continue to lease the houses until they sell them. Kelly said the company has been building developments on the 15-year lease-toown format for almost 15 years. He said the average yearly tenant-turnover rate is about 5 percent, meaning that after 15 years, about 25 percent of the original tenants remain. The development near JSU would be Chartre’s first mixed-income development, though the company is no stranger to TIFfunded housing developments. Chartre has built low-income housing projects across the South, including the Timber Falls development in south Jackson. Timber Falls includes the Forest Hill Place and Cedar Grove subdivisions. Combined, the subdivisions have 325 single-family homes, all of which are low-income financed housing. Tenants at Timber Falls are on a similar 15-year plan as the one proposed for the west Jackson development. Celeste Womack, property manager at Cedar Grove, said there is a waiting list for every home in the subdivision. One of the biggest reasons for turnover in the development is eviction. Womack said she has to take submit paperwork to the Hinds County Justice Court when tenants are past due on rent, which is a common occurrence. In an average month, she said, she has to turn in about 42 tenants for not paying. Most pay up once they learn Womack has filed court papers; the others head to court. When the JFP interviewed her July 13, Womack said she or her assistant were in court over unpaid rent four days that week.
Kelly said the west Jackson townhouses will likely be valued close to $150,000 in today’s market. Some citizens voiced concerns at a public meeting at Koinonia Coffee House July 10 that Chartre will cut corners on construction to make a better profit, ultimately leaving the community with low-quality housing. Former Ward 5 Councilwoman Bettye Dagner Cook said at the meeting that she is against the proposal. “It is mind-boggling that we’ve got people sitting in this room that don’t live in our area that are stakeholders,” Cook said. “It’s so ironic that they can claim for my neighborhood— because I grew up in this neighborhood and was born in this neighborhood—that you can tell me that this is going to stabilize my neighborhood. I think it’s unfair.” Since Chartre will manage the property for 15 years, Kelly said, they have no desire to build townhouses that will not last. He said Chartre builds the townhouses to have a 75year life cycle. “We’re going to make money,” Kelly said. “We’re developers. If we’re not making money, we’re not going to be here tomorrow to make sure that thing is going to last.” Kelly said Chartre will use money to reinvest in the community helping build community centers and recreational areas. Chartre will continue to rent out the unsold townhouses after the 15-year point and attempt to sell them all at market rate. At the Koinonia meeting, Kelly said that there will be no difference in the low-income, work-force or market-rate townhouses. Chartre will build all townhouses the same, but they will use tax increment financing to help make some of them affordable for different income brackets. Chartre plans to make 60 to 80 units available in the low-income bracket, about 55 available in work force, and 45 to 55 at market rate. Comment at www.jfp.ms. Email Jacob Fuller at Jacob@jacksonfreepress.com.
Department of Housing. The maximum for a family of five is $38,160. Half the workforce income townhouses will be available to households with up to 80 percent of median-area income, and the other half will be available for households that make JACOB FULLER
n area of green grass and trees off Dr. Robert Smith Parkway, near Jackson State University, may soon become a mixed-income housing development. Chartre Consulting, LTD, of Oxford is working on plans and negotiations with the JSU Development Foundation, which owns the land, to purchase the land and build more than 150 attached townhouses there. JSU Development Foundation is a non-profit organization, separate from the university. JSU Vice President of Institutional Advancement David Hoard said he and JSU President Carolyn Meyers are on the board ex officio, or by virtue of their university office. He said the development has been in the JSU Development Foundation plans for a while, part of Phase 2 of One University Place, a mixed-used development of houses, apartments and retail stores that opened in April 2011. “I see (the development) as a great opportunity for staff housing (and) faculty housing,” Hoard said in a phone interview July 16. “It provides more people in the neighborhood, (who will) take advantage of more of the retail aspects of One University (Place), stabilization of the community, and even housing for graduate students and others who may be interested.” Under the plans, Tax Increment Financing, a TIF, will fund a large portion of the housing development. TIFs allow developers to use future increases in property-tax revenue due to increased property value to repay debts accrued in their building projects. Through the tax financing, Chartre will make the townhouses available in to low-income families. If Chartre is able to get the TIF, they will also look into other funding streams to make more townhouses available in workforce and marketrate financial brackets. Low-income townhouses will be available to families that make no more than 60 percent of the median area income. For a family of three in Jackson, the 60-percent household income cutoff is $31,800, according to the U.S.
by R.L. Nave
Miss. Power’s Stubborn Addiction
here’s something strange about the steadfast in its commitment to burn coal at bined-cycle plant. In a rare unanimous vote dent that no matter which way the court rules sounds in Barbara Correro’s backyard the Kemper County plant. That stubbornness against Mississippi Power, the two Republicans in the dispute, the losing party is likely to aplately. Correro, who and one Democrat on the com- peal that ruling as well to the state Supreme spends her days gardenmission said “No” to the utility’s Court, which might not hear the case until ing organically on 28 wooded request that would have averaged the fall of 2013. acres in De Kalb, noticed birdout to about $20 extra per month The Sierra Club filed a lawsuit in songs have reached a crescendo for every MPC customer. Harrison County Chancery Court objectin the past several months. “I am still in support of ing to the PSC’s issuing permits to Missis“It’s like I’m living in an the Kemper County Plant,” said sippi Power to keep building the facility. aviary,” Correro said. She susCentral District Commissioner The case stems from a 2011 action when the pects that the boisterous birds Lynn Posey at the time of the PSC raised the spending cap on the plant to are the result of the flutter of commission’s June order. “… $2.88 billion from $2.4 billion with no pubactivity taking place 2.5 miles However, I do not believe it is in lic discussion. The Sierra Club appealed to away at the site of Mississippi the best interest of the ratepayer to the state’s highest court, arguing that comPower Co.’s multi-billion-dollar increase rates while there is legis- missioners should have discussed upping the power plant. Since construclation pending before the Missis- limit in a public meeting. The court ruled in tion commenced in 2010, Corsippi Supreme Court.” the Sierra Club’s favor, remanded the matter rero and other residents say the On July 9, MPC appealed back to the commission. utility company has engaged in the commission’s ruling to the After a brief meeting in April, the PSC clear-cutting the 2,968 acres it state Supreme Court arguing the voted again to raise the limit on Mississippi purchased for its 582-megawatt PSC’s “arbitrary denial” of a rate Power’s credit card. The Sierra Club sued integrated coal gasification comincrease violates previous agree- again, this time in Harrison County Chancery bined station. ments to let the utility recover Court claiming that the PSC failed to thorCorrero is saddened by financing costs. On July 3, Fitch oughly vet MPC’s proposal before bumping the fact that animals are losRatings downgraded Mississippi them up to $2.88 billion. ing their habitat—she’s also Power’s credit rating to “A-” from Fitch also cited the plant’s riskiness in seen more deer closer to houses “A,” and changed the company’s its assessment: “Kemper IGCC is a relatively than before the work at the rating outlook from stable to neg- large and complex project for a utility of Misplant began—and said that the ative. Fitch, one of the three largest sissippi Power’s size, and the delay in recovery company is burning the trees corporate-credit rating agencies, of financing costs has already caused signifiinstead of shredding them and along with Moody’s and Standard cant stress” on the company’s credit metrics. making the mulch available for Residents who live near the site of the Kemper County power plant & Poor’s, said the Public Service Wiygul asserts that Kemper has been say the work crews burning of trees is destroying animal habitats. local gardeners. Commission’s refusal to let MPC a bad deal for Mississippi because it broke But while wildlife activimpose rate hikes to recoup con- ground when natural-gas prices were trendity is picking up, Correro and her neighbors seems to be coming at the peril of its ratepayers struction-related interest drove the decision to ing downward. He notes that other utility’s say activity at the plant appears to be slowing. and shareholders. downgrade utility’s credit rating. are switching to cleaner, cheaper and equally She no longer hears the hours-long rumble On July 9, Moody’s Investors Service Mississippi Power braced for the move. abundant natural gas and away from coal. of heavy trucks coming and going to the site. placed Mississippi Power Company’s ratings “While a cost impact to customers of toIn 2008, natural gas traded at just under On July 10, Correro drove by the site at 10 on review for downgrade, reflecting recent day’s downgrade is expected, the extent of $8 per 1,000 cubic feet. Today, it’s closer to $2. a.m. and noticed fewer dirt movers and cars Kemper County developments. Moody’s the impact is unknown at this time,” MPC Gas’ price plunge prompted Omaha, Neb.in the parking lot than usual. She went back states the review reflects, in part, the Mis- spokesman Jeff Shepard said in an emailed based Tenaska Inc., to jettison plans for the at 8 p.m., when the second shift starts and saw sissippi Public Service Commission’s recent statement.“Timely only other commertwo dozen cars parked out front compared to order denying the company recovery of recovery of financcial-scale IGCC develhundreds she witnessed previously. construction-related debt expenses from its ing costs is critical opment in Taylorville, “Usually the whole place is lit up” at ratepayers until the courts settle the ongo- to our ability to Ill. In May, the companight, she said. She also noticed that workers ing Sierra Club dispute. The agency’s review reduce the overall ny announced it would quit at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday July 3 and didn’t also points to $366 million in cost overruns cost of the project pursue a plan to allow return the following Monday. Correro doubts at the plant now under construction, which to our custom“Illinois to take adMississippi Power, whose parent company is Moody’s said “have put the cost of the plant ers, to complete vantage of today’s low headquartered in Atlanta, was altruistically of- very close to its $2.88 billion MPSC ap- the project and natural-gas prices to fering its hardworking labor force an extended proved cost-recovery cap.” to maintain the build a necessary new Independence Day holiday. This past ChristLouie Miller, executive director of the financial health of source of electric power mas, which fell on a Saturday, the crew only Sierra Club of Mississippi, believes Missis- the company.” resulting in lower overgot Saturday and Sunday off, she said. sippi Power is close to busting the $2.874 cost Weeks before Opponents of Mississippi Power’s 582all rates,” the Illinois megawatt generating station in Kemper Correro keeps close tabs on what’s go- cap. (Under the agreement with the PSC, the the Moody’s alert, County question if the company’s financial Times reported. ing on at the plant because she is an avowed company could only charge ratepayers up to Fitch also lowered setbacks have resulted in a work slowdown Michael Correro, opponent of the plant and the accompany- the cap; anything over, the company has to ab- MPC’s credit out- at the plant, under construction since 2010. Barbara’s son, lives a ing lignite that will fuel it. One explanation sorb.) Because the report was filed at the end look, stating that mile away in the same for the slowdown is the torrential downpours of May, Miller believes MPC could be well the PSC’s order to deny the rate increase “in- neighborhood and said he’s also observed Mississippi received recently that would have over its limit now. troduces significant uncertainty” on whether work at the site slowing down. Correro, a formade construction work a messy impossibility. “They’re on a collision course in a num- MPC can recover construction-related over- mer librarian, is also against the plant and acAnother: MPC is running out of money. ber of ways. They need to pull the plug on this runs. Plus, this round of lawsuits could take companying mine. Facing a protracted legal fight with the project,” Miller said. months to resolve, Fitch said. “If they want to convert it to a natural gas Sierra Club—which rarely loses a fight against In June, MPC asked state regulators Robert Wiygul, the attorney represent- plant, I don’t really want that in my backyard,” a coal plant—and with political and economic for permission to charge customers $58.6 ing the Sierra Club, said it might be October he said. “But I could live with that.” tides turning from coal generation toward million in construction-related debt on its or November 2012 before a judge holds a Comment at www.jfp.ms. Email R.L. 10 cleaner fuels, Mississippi Power is remaining $2.76 billion integrated-gasification-com- hearing on the case. He added that he’s confi- Nave at firstname.lastname@example.org. July 18 - 24, 2012
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Be Transparent, Mitt (and Haley)
mid all the clamor recently over Gov. Mitt Romney’s financials—shell companies in Bermuda, Swiss bank accounts, apparent control of Bain Capital well after he says he left the company—one critic’s voice rang a little hollow. In an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN, lobbyistturned-governor-turned-lobbyist Haley Barbour, formerly of the great state of Mississippi, had this to say about Romney releasing his tax returns: “I would.” Apparently, Mr. Barbour doesn’t anticipate getting the VP nod from Mr. Romney, or you’d think he’d be nicer to the candidate. And given his own shady dealings on personal financials when he was running for election and re-election as governor here, you think Barbour would be a bit more coy. In 2007, the JFP wrote about Haley’s feet-dragging on releasing information about his blind trust, and what, exactly, his ties were to his old firm, Barbour Griffin and Rogers (BGR), a high-powered GOP lobbying firm with Washington, D.C., offices. The true nature of his connection to the firm was answered in part soon after Barbour left office—he returned to BGR within hours of leaving the governor’s mansion, according to a press release the firm issued. (Perhaps his governorship might fairly be characterized as a “paid sabbatical” from BGR?) Barbour never made it terribly clear why he continued to get paid by BGR while he was in office. He called it, at times, “retirement” although BGR had no compatible retirement program anyone was aware of, and it was otherwise referred to as “profit sharing.” It was especially worrisome because BGR was lobbying in the state after Katrina and representing casino interests. Our story, “Haley’s Shadow Money,” during his re-election campaign in 2002 reported that Barbour’s attorney, Ed Brunini, insisted that Barbour had done nothing illegal under state law. But Mississippi ethics law is very weak. Bloomberg wrote that if Barbour has nothing to hide, he should honor the spirit of public accountability and offer full disclosure. But Barbour resisted even making his tax returns public even as governor—which ran counter to the actions of former governors. (Sound familiar?) The Mississippi Ethics Commission said it couldn’t tell if the governor had any conflict of interest with his position as governor because they didn’t have enough information to make an evaluation. “We’re not making up that answer,” Ethics Commission Director Tom Hood told the Jackson Free Press then. Now, we’re in a similar boat with Romney refusing to release tax returns that, presumably, show stuff that could sink his aspirations or, at least, make him seem disingenuous. We can hope that voters bring more pressure on Romney to be transparent than Mississippians did on Barbour. It is unacceptable that a man running for president responds the way Barbour did as governor: “I won’t.”
‘The Livin’ Ain’t Easy
July 18 - 24, 2012
iss Doodle Mae: “At Jojo’s Discount Dollar Store, we have done our best to stay cool, calm and collected in the heat of this summer. Brother Hustle (part-time sales associate and Juicy Juice on Ice vendor) came through in the clutch by providing complimentary ice-cold, lemon-lime flavored drinks for our thirsty customers. The ‘What to the Slave of the Minimum Wage is the 4th of July Sale’ was a hit, thanks to our dedicated staff and loyal customers. Congratulation goes to Chief Crazy Brotha for producing the re-enactment of Frederick Douglass’ 1852 4th of July Speech. Also, Scooby ‘Angry Black Man’ Rastus captivated our customers with a convincing portrayal of Frederick Douglass. “Now, it’s time to get ready for ‘Back to School’ and ‘Labor Day.’ Jojo commissioned Chief Crazy Brotha and the Ghetto Science Team Repertory Theatre to perform scenes from the George Gershwin musical ‘Porgy and Bess’ in aisle 7 and 1/2. Nevertheless, the artistically clever Chief Crazy Brother moved one step ahead of Jojo. He had already written a satirical, modern-day version of Gershwin’s musical titled ‘Summertime and the Livin’ Ain’t Easy.’ Jojo immediately approved the concept and the catchy title. “So, it looks like Jojo’s Discount Dollar Store will introduce more art, culture, entertainment, critical thinking and savings to the Ghetto Science Community with the ‘Summertime and the Livin’ Ain’t Easy Back to School and Labor Day Sale.’ “Please come and enjoy the rest of your summer at Jojo’s Discount Dollar 12 Store where everything is still a dollar.”
New Generation Jim Crow
hat’s Going On” is a meaningful song by the great Marvin Gaye, as is “Ball of Confusion” with another message from the Temptations. I doubt Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann or state Sen. Joey Fillingane can relate to any of this music or its messages, but let me move on. My biggest question concerning the need to add another burden to the voting process is: Why now? Maybe the process began in anticipation of the 2012 governor’s race. Voter ID legislation was not initially passed by state legislators. Why did Delbert and Joey feel the need to go house-to-house in order to make this happen? Several other states are pushing for voter identification. Is there some kind of collaboration or collusion between the states in question? Maybe a conspiracy? Is there a fear of losing some level of political control? And what is this insatiable need to control without any regard for who you hurt? In the 1940s and ’50s, people of color represented more than 45 percent of the population of Mississippi but only 1.1 percent of this group voted. When questioned about this situation, the state’s (white) leaders replied that blacks did not want to vote. Of course, these were the same black folks that mostly earned their living to feed their families and keep a roof over their heads by working for whites. As a young woman, my mother-in-law watched as a car sped up the road towards the highway with its tires shot out. She spoke often of her memory of sparks flying in the air from the car’s metal rims.
This was the KKK fleeing from the home of Vernon Dahmer, a well know civil-rights activist, after they fire-bombed his house with his family inside. Mr. Dahmer fought them off to allow his family to escape the flames. He died the next day of smoke inhalation. It was 1966. He was a courageous man who helped people of color register to vote and pay their Jim Crow poll taxes. For this, he was killed! Many of the people in his generation are dying out, and the memory of the blood that was shed to force a people to do the right thing is fading. Now comes another attempt to restrict votes, what I would refer to as a new-generation Jim Crow law pushed by selfish and insensitive state leaders. Our governor is wasting our tax dollars by forcing a fight for voter ID; he signed this process into law knowing the U.S. Justice Department will most likely shoot it down. Legislators are prepared to spend much-needed tax dollars to take this issue to the federal courts. It’s the same with health-care reform: We live in a state that has more than a half-million people uninsured, with no health care. Our governor wants to fight to repeal the health-care law and keep it from the people in our state who need it most. Folks, this ain’t 1860 or even 1960. Times are changing. America is truly a melting pot of various cultures and races, and so is our state. All the people need to be treated with fairness in accordance with the Constitution and its amendments. Let’s end all the tricks! If we could bring ourselves to do this, we would truly, one day, become a great state. —J. Ted Williams Hattiesburg
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Tupelo’s ‘Dirty Little Secret’
ince my “coming out” 20 years ago, my understanding of who and what I am has evolved—not unlike our president. I wrestled mightily with what I was taught as a youngster in my small Baptist church in the Mississippi Delta. I readily admit it’s a source of aggravation for me. Like being born an American, most of us are born into a particular religious denomination. We are conditioned to accept without question the tenets of that faith, and precious few dig any deeper. My struggle with faith is mired in the fact that I’m gay and the Bible says that’s wrong. Oddly enough, my evolution started in the required Old Testament class my freshman year at Mississippi College. That first day, I was certain I was in for endless hours of minutiae on the ancient text. Imagine my surprise when the professor said, “We have no idea how much of the Bible is actually the ‘word of God’ or what man would have us believe.” And just like that, I began to question. Twenty years later, I’ve concluded it is important for me to affirm that I am a Christian. You may wonder how a gay man with a potty-mouth and an affinity for vodka can justify that declaration. I’ve boiled it all down to this: God made me; God loves me; and Jesus never said anything about gays. I threw everything else out the window, and have been a much gay-er person since. As the marriage-equality debate stays in the forefront of the media and both sides attempt to sway public opinion, the inflammatory rhetoric from the far right continues to ramp up. While Americans are ever more accepting of gay rights, these snake-handlers continue to whip up their base with lies and fear-mongering. One such “handler” resides in Mississippi and gets national recognition for his openly hateful views on the so-called “homosexual-rights movement.” The website for the sleepy town of Tupelo touts it as Elvis’ birthplace and throws in a little history about DeSoto County and the Chickasaw Indians. What isn’t proudly displayed is Tupelo’s “dirty little secret”: the American Family Association. The AFA put down roots in this northeast Mississippi town, and it’s not budging. For those of you unfamiliar with it, AFA is a non-profit organization that promotes conservative, fundamentalist Christian values—especially in public policy. The Southern Poverty Law Center listed AFA as a hate group in November 2010 for the “propagation of known falsehoods” about homosexuality. It also employs a man many consider a headstrong bully, Bryan Fischer. The New Yorker magazine recently ran a profile of Fischer, director of issues analysis for American Family Radio. Fischer complained
that the story, “Bully Pulpit,” was unfair and slanted. He holds an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a graduate degree in theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, apparently making him an expert on all subjects: women’s vaginas, American politics, foreign relations and The Queers. Here are a few of his most insidious quotes about homosexuals: “Homosexuality gave us Adolf Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and 6 million dead Jews.” “Homosexuals are rarely monogamous and have as many as 300 to 1,000 sexual partners over the course of a lifetime. … [T]he risk of sexual abuse in a homosexual household is much greater than in a heterosexual household.” “To adopt kids into a same-sex environment is a form of child abuse.” This guy sounds like he ripped a few pages out of Rush Limbaugh’s playbook instead of modeling his platform after The Sermon on the Mount. (Can I get an Amen?) He spouts debunked theories regarding homosexuality and child rearing. Daily, he spews unfounded suppositions while passing judgment on others based on a handful of scriptures from the Old Testament—and maybe a little horse-hockey from a Google search—pieced together with duct tape and spit. If evangelical Christianity is based on spreading the gospel and winning souls for Christ, it’s overwhelmingly clear that Fischer misses the mark. I believe, as do a great number of Christians, that our goal should be as Jesus instructed: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” I’m confident this business of bearing false witness against homosexuals is not what Christ wants his church to do with an annual budget of $14 million. I imagine, with that amount of money, you could do as Christ instructed in Matthew 4:19: “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Instead, Fischer seems hell-bent on creating a fissure in the figurative heart of the most fundamental belief in the Declaration of Independence: that all men are created equal. Gays are a creative, loving, dynamic and necessary part of this “grand experiment” we call the United States of America. If we hold fast to the original idea, we’ll see that no one is persecuted for the fundamental right to the pursuit of happiness. Happiness meaning gay—as in extremely queer—in this case. So please, Bryan, have a mimosa and some quiche and settle down. Eddie Outlaw is co-owner of the William Wallace Salon in Fondren. Read his new Outlaw blog at jfp.ms/outlaw.
CORRECTION: In “Medicaid: A Job Creator?” (Vol. 10, Issue 44), Ronni Mott miscalculated Mississippi’s estimated cost of Medicaid expansion from 2014 to 2019 under the Affordable Care Act. The actual estimate is about $342 million over six years, or $57 million a year, instead of $34.2 million over five years, or $6.84 million a year. The Jackson Free Press apologizes for the error.
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305 North Congress Street Jackson, MS 601-353-9691 English 601-362-3464 Spanish www.gallowayumc.org
July 18 - 24, 2012
Operation Dixie: 14
The Battle to Unionize Nissan by Joe Atkins / photos by Trip Burns
Michael Carter is one of the workers at the Nissan plant in Canton who is wondering if there should be a union presence at the plant.
Ledger columnist Tom Ethridge blasted in 1964 as â€œtop labor-fuehrer.â€? Carter has never been a member of a union, never thought heâ€™d ever want or need to join one, but he also never forgot what a union card meant to his father. â€œI learned more about it when my dad got injured on the job,â€? he says. â€œHe worked with the railroad. When he hurt his back, they tried to say he was drinking, and he wasnâ€™t. The union fought for him, and he got his full benefits and retirement. â€œI kind of began to understand at that point.â€? Nine years ago, when Carter landed a much-sought-after job with the $1.4 billion Nissan plant in Canton, joining a union was the farthest thing from his mind. â€œYou had good benefits, good pay, â€Ś an illusion of community,â€? he says. Today, the Tupelo native earns $23 an hour as a production technician at Nissan. Itâ€™s a good wage in a state with the lowest per cap-
Danny Glover Stands with Workers
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ita income in the nation, some $15,000 more a year than the average Mississippian. However, Carter is not only thinking and talking union these days, heâ€™s one of a growing number at the 3,300-worker plant whoâ€™ve taken a lead in calling for an election to determine whether he and his colleagues should join the United Auto Workers. â€˜Go Somewhere Elseâ€™ Carter tries to piece together for me the path that led him to want to be a union man, just like his dad. Maybe it started with the companyâ€™s changes in his health-care benefits. â€œThey said too many people were going to the emergency room,â€? he says. He soon found his premiums going up and his deductible jump from zero to $2,500. â€œI had a spot on my leg, and the doctor wanted surgery in case it was cancer,â€? Carter says. â€œI filed for insurance, and they didnâ€™t pay any of the bill. They said, `You havenâ€™t made your
deductible.â€™ It was $800. I thought theyâ€™d pay some of it.â€? As for Carterâ€™s wages, theyâ€™re good, but he hasnâ€™t had a raise in yearsâ€”he feels heâ€™s â€œtopped outâ€? at $23 an hourâ€”and thereâ€™s little or no chance for promotion. Meanwhile, the line speed has increased on the shop floor, with production requirements going up even at times when the work week is cut back. â€œWe asked, why did it go up if we cut back to four days? They didnâ€™t really give us an answer,â€? he says. And thatâ€™s at the heart of the problem. â€œYou donâ€™t have a conversation. No feedback. No answer. When they told us about the new (health) plan, the deductible, they couldnâ€™t explain it. Thereâ€™s no relationship.â€? What he and other workers do get from management, he says, is a lot of talk about how horrible unions are. Whether itâ€™s focus more NISSAN, page 16
by Joe Atkins
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Actor Danny Glover supports Nissan workersâ€™ efforts for a union election.
ANTON â€“ Michael Carter hardly evokes the Hollywood image of a podium-pounding, fire-breathing labor agitator. With his dark blue â€œNew Yorkâ€? cap, light blue knit shirt, slender build and soft-spoken voice, he looks like what he is: a 38-year-old working man, husband and father of two. Heâ€™s sitting in the United Auto Workersâ€™ newly opened office just off Nissan Parkway and within view of the 3.5 million square-foot Nissan plant. On the wall behind him is a framed, blackand-white photograph of Martin Luther King Jr. Prominent among the crowd of men close to King is Walter Reuther, the legendary labor leader who helped found the modern-day UAW, a man Barry Goldwater once denounced as a â€œdangerous menaceâ€? and arch-conservative Clarion-
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NISSAN, from page 14 meetings or one-on-one sessions, the message open door, but you may not get an answer to is always the same: “Ain’t nothing good about your question,” he says. a union.” Carter has a hard time digesting that ‘A Silent Storm Brewing’ message. “I say that can’t be true. There’s good These testimonies from the two sides in anything.” of the union question at the Nissan plant in Fellow technician Jeffrey Moore, 34, a Canton are early volleys in what promises to 10-year veteran who earns the same hourly be a landmark battle, a high-stakes squaring wage as Carter, says his interest in the UAW off that could become global in scope. “is not about money, it’s all just about being For the UAW, Canton is key to a $60 fair,” even though he wonders why he hasn’t million plan to establish its footprint in the had a pay raise since 2006 and why workers at South and beyond. At the center of the union’s Nissan’s Smyrna, Tenn., plant typically make strategy is to have Nissan agree to a set of “Fair $2 or more an hour than Canton workers. “I Election Principles” that allow both sides equal have a daughter and a wife. That’s another rea- time in presenting their case to workers. Union son I want a union. I want to retire at Nissan leaders stress they respect Nissan and want the and make sure they’re OK,” Moore says. company to be financially successful. Lee Ruffin, 45, a nine-year veteran However, if Nissan refuses to engage in technician, is another Nissan employee talk- a “fair election”—and CEO Carlos Ghosn’s ing union. “Everything was fine, everything long record of intense antagonism to U.S. good, until 2005 and 2006 things started unions indicates it most certainly will—the going downhill. Losing benefits, insurance, UAW will take its case to a world stage. UAW increasing line speed, which is a safety haz- officials have talked of a consumer boycott on ard, people getting hurt on the job, lots of a scale not seen since the grape boycott that strains and sprains. established Cesar Chavez’s United Farmer “Governor Bryant needs to come Workers in the late 1960s. Expect workers down and work and see for himself.” and community activists carrying banners and Of course, Carter, Moore and Ruf- passing out leaflets at Nissan dealerships across fin aren’t holding their breath for that to the land. The Canton story will even be heard happen. Bryant didn’t respond to several at global auto shows. requests for interviews for this story, but Just this week, a Nissan-Canton worker in a recent speech in Oxford, he warned accompanied UAW President Bob King to that unions would have a negative effect on the auto industry in the South and said he would encourage groups to actively oppose unionization. The governor is part of a powerful phalanx of business, political and media leaders that stands in total opposition to any hint of a union in Mississippi’s automobile industry. “We don’t believe a union is needed up there,” says Jay Moon, president and Michael Carter had not considered being a CEO of the Mississippi Manuunion man until Nissan’s change in healthfacturers Association. “We don’t care benefits. believe the union would provide any benefits that the workers don’t have already.” Brazil to speak to Brazilian trade unionists Many Mississippians agree. “I just there. UAW representatives meet regularly have a problem with unions in general,” with trade unionists in Brazil, Japan, Germasays Nelwyn Madison, 66, of Madison, a ny, France and other countries. former part owner of a software business The UAW Global Organizing Institute is in the Jackson area. She admits her direct already drawing interns from around the nacontacts with unions have been limited: tion and world to Canton to help coordinate a “I just absolutely do not think employ- social media networking and organizing effort. ees have a right to tell employers how to “There is a silent storm brewing in people, and run a company. If you don’t like where the rain is going to start coming down,” says you are working, then you need to go Tyson Jackson, 31, one of those interns, a Tousomewhere else.” galoo College student from Champaign, Ill. Nissan officials certainly agree. “We feel “Here I can feel the fear of the workers,” the best way to interact with employees is says Luara Scalasarra, another intern and a lathrough direct, two-way communication as bor law student from the Estate University of opposed to involving a third party,” Nissan Londrina in Brazil. “In Brazil, they don’t even spokesman Travis Parman says. “This ap- need to vote. They can just form a union. But proach to employee relations has been very it is really good this campaign here. I really besuccessful, resulting in a healthy and positive lieve in this campaign.” work environment, and encourages the free The UAW is preparing the same kind of exchange of ideas.” “corporate campaign” that recently forced the Carter begs to differ. “They says there’s an Reynolds American tobacco giant finally to
UAW Fight for Survival UAW officials insist they’re here because Nissan workers want them here, that this is a worker-and-community-fueled effort. Certainly workers have reached out. What can’t be denied, however, is that the UAW is in a fight
Lee Ruffin believes that Gov. Phil Bryant should see the working conditions of the Nissan plant.
for its survival. It must not only staunch the bleeding that has reduced its membership by 75 percent in the last 30 years—from 1.5 million in 1979 to less than 400,000 today—but once again thrive and grow in a new economy that is making the South what Detroit once was in the automobile industry. Speculation about where the UAW would focus its do-or-die campaign has been heated in the labor and automobile press since January 2011, when UAW President King revealed the union was coming to Dixie come hell or high water. Early reports pointed to the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., the Hyundai plant in Alabama, or the Toyota plant in Kentucky as Ground Zero. “If we lose, we’ll die quicker. If we win, we rebuild the UAW,” King told Labor Notes. King said something prescient even earlier in his October 2010 statement to mark the One Nation March in Washington, D.C.: “We cannot sit back and wait for change to happen. We are the ones who must make change on behalf of all people. Every great achievement for social justice has been the result of the mobilization of people to achieve a just purpose.” With such oratory, King, who took over the UAW presidency in June 2010, evokes the memory of another eloquent speaker, Walter Reuther, who braved brutal attacks by antiunion goons at his home and in the famous 1937 “Battle of the Overpass” at the Ford Company’s River Rouge plant in Michigan which put the UAW at the forefront of the nation’s labor movement. In contrast to many other labor leaders, Reuther later embraced the Civil Rights Movement and stood with Martin Luther King Jr. on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington in 1963. In many ways, today’s South is a far cry from the South Walter Reuther knew. It emerged from its bloody and futile resistance more NISSAN, page 18
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agree to meet with the Farm Labor Organizing Committee in North Carolina. A similar campaign by workers at the Smithfield porkprocessing plant in Tar Heel, N.C., in 2009 led to their victory in joining the United Food and Commercial Workers. On the other side, however, is a potential formidable foe: the world’s fourth-largest automaker, whose CEO and president once warned Nissan workers in Smyrna in a required meeting on the day before a union election that “bringing a union into Smyrna could result in making Smyrna not competitive, which is not in your best interest or Nissan’s.” Workers voted down the union. Carlos Ghosn, a Brazilian of Lebanese descent who also is a French citizen and British knight, enjoys comic-book hero status in Japan for his role as the “turnaround” artist who saved once-struggling Nissan. To many in France, he’s the villainous “cost killer” who shut down plants and slashed jobs on his rise to the top. More recently, he oversaw the implementation of harsh workplace demands at Nissan’s French partner Renault that are believed to have contributed to several suicides and suicide attempts between 2005 and 2008 Condé Nast Portfolio magazine reported in September 2008. Onto this battlefield have marched Mississippi workers like Carter, Moore and Ruffin, proclaiming they’re never going to be heard unless they speak as one voice. In the heart of the conservative, “right-to-work” South—a term labor activists ridicule as really meaning “right to work for less”—they want to do what the Wagner Act of 1935 gave them full and protected legal rights to do: join a union. They aren’t the first Nissan workers to talk this way. Back in 2007, James Fisher, Yvette Taylor and Stanley Martin challenged the Camelot image of one of Mississippi’s premier manufacturers at meetings in Canton and Jackson. They told of terminations for job-related injuries, intimidation and anti-union propaganda. Workers at Nissan’s Smyrna plant also came to testify to humiliations and a caustic disregard for work-related injuries and illnesses. “Nissan’s got this big halo, this rainbow over them,” Fisher said at the time. “It’s all on the outside. We have to fight tooth and nail on the inside. They can do what they want to on the inside. It’s always somebody trying to cut somebody’s throat.” On hand was a wide range of religious and former civil-rights leaders, and community and political activists who became the seed of a grassroots movement that has now ripened to the point that the UAW can say, “Now is the time.” Canton, Miss., is the place where it will stake its future, and perhaps even the future of the nation’s labor movement.
NISSAN, from page 17
July 18 - 24, 2012
Jeffrey Moore, a production technician at the Canton Nissan plant, wonders why he has not had a pay raise since 2006.
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to civil rights in the 1960s to become the heart of the “Sunbelt,” encouraging industry and investment, and eventually “Detroit South,” which, along with the Midwest, is home to more than a dozen foreign-owned automobile assembly plants plus many other parts factories. What hasn’t changed in the South, however, is the hostility of its political and business leaders to unions. Despite union contracts in plants at their home countries, none of the German and Asian-owned plants in the region is unionized. That’s a glaring reality to a UAW that has had to make concession after concession to the Big Three in this struggling economy and has witnessed the subsequent downward pull on worker wages and benefits everywhere. The UAW is no stranger to the South. In fact, a November 1936 sit-down strike at General Motors’ Lakewood plant in Atlanta became the first shot fired in the historic allout “Battle of the Running Bulls” that would take place in Flint, Mich., in early 1937, an event that rivals the “Battle of the Overpass” in importance in UAW history. More recently, in 2003 and 2004, the union won major organizing campaigns with Freightliner workers in North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia. In fact, the UAW scored victories at smaller companies in Alabama and Kentucky within the past month. The UAW actually has been in Canton since 2005. In March of that year, then-UAW President Ron Gettelfinger and then-Vice President and National Organizing Director Bob King came to Mississippi to meet with workers and community leaders. It wasn’t until recently, however, that the union firmly decided that Canton would be “the perfect place” to take its stand, as UAW Region 8 Director Gary Casteel, an Alabama native whose region includes the South, describes it. Casteel lobbied hard to make Canton the UAW’s choice even though he knew “there’s no guarantee to win.” He and others emphasize that race isn’t a central issue, but the fact that an estimated 80 percent of the workforce at the Canton plant is black was a factor. Studies show blacks are comparatively more open to joining unions.
Mississippi’s rich civil-rights history was another factor. Organized labor as a whole needs to recapture its identity as a social movement, something it had in the 1930s but had lost by the 1950s, they say. “I had to advocate hard for this,” Casteel said in a recent telephone interview. “We have tremendous worker support there. Nissan hired a heavily African American workforce. I think that is a plus because of the history and the battles fought in Mississippi against all odds. Being from Alabama, knowing how this works in the South, it is just one of those things—the heritage of Mississippi. They have had to fight for the things they have achieved.” Operation Dixie A fight is what it will take in the South, a region where coal miners and textile workers in the 1920s and 1930s saw their efforts to join unions brutally suppressed. In 1946, when Congress of Industrial Organizations president Philip Murray launched “Operation Dixie” to organize southern workers, he spoke of a “civil-rights crusade” that would be “the most important drive of its kind ever undertaken by any labor organization in the history of the country.” Labor organizers fanned across the South, targeting textile, oil, lumber and other industries. Even in 1946 they knew the South was key to labor’s future. Operation Dixie ended largely in failure, though, as the region’s power elite locked arms and exploited the racial divide and post-World War II fear of communism to keep workers from joining unions. Today the South remains the nation’s least unionized—and least paid—region, a uniformly “right to work” land where organizing is doubly difficult because workers can enjoy the hard-earned gains in wages and benefits of a unionized workplace without having to join the union. Still, the South’s anti-union reputation never had a thing to do with the workers themselves, says Bruce Raynor, perhaps the most successful labor organizer in southern history. The hostility to unions comes primarily from the South’s political, business and media establishment, he said in a recent telephone interview. “I have always found southern workers very receptive. It takes persistence. They are up
against the powers that be. Southern workers Workers also fear their jobs may be elimi- the passage of the North American Free Trade has distanced himself from many of the old donâ€™t like being pushed around, being taken nated or re-classified. The company depends Agreement in 1994. Theyâ€™ve seen it happen work rules and other factors that manageadvantage of,â€? Raynor said. heavily on so-called â€œtemps,â€? workers hired on again and again. The textile and apparel indus- ment scorned as impediments to productivA native New Yorker and president emer- a less-than-full-time basis with limited pay and tries alone suffered the erosion of more than ity and profitability. itus of Workers United, Raynor worked with benefits. UAW officials say the 1,000 new jobs 700,000 jobs between 1994 and 2003. â€œThe whole environment has changed the Textile Workers Union of America in the Nissan recently announced it was adding to Sujit CanagaRetna, senior fiscal analyst in terms of union versus nonunion envi1970s in the history-making struggle ronment,â€? CanagaRetna says. â€œIt with the powerful anti-union textile has become much more of a collabfirm J.P. Stevens. That struggle, vividly orative process.â€? depicted in the film â€œNorma Rae,â€? led Mark Klinedinst, professor to victory after a corporate campaign emeritus of economics at the UniverLJKWWRZRUNODZVSURKLELWFORVHGXQLRQVKRSVZKLFKDUHSODFHVZKHUHRQHPXVWEHDPHPEHURIDXQLRQ that included a national boycott, court sity of Southern Mississippi, believes LQRUGHUWRZRUN$ULJKWWRZRUNODZVHFXUHVWKHULJKWRIHPSOR\HHVWRGHFLGHIRUWKHPVHOYHVZKHWKHUWR MRLQRUÂżQDQFLDOO\VXSSRUWDXQLRQ5HJDUGOHVVRIWKHLUGHFLVLRQZRUNHUVFDQÂśWEHGHQLHGZRUNHUEHQHÂżWV challenges and a high-level public relaunions actually benefit a company as SURGXFHGDVDUHVXOWRIDFROOHFWLYHEDUJDLQLQJSURFHVVDOWKRXJKQRQXQLRQZRUNHUVPD\EHH[FOXGHGIURP tions effort to embarrass the company well as workers. UHFHLYLQJVRPHXQLRQEHQHÂżWV into recognizing workersâ€™ rights. â€œTypically, unions have been in $ULJKWWRZRUNODZPD\QRWSURWHFWHPSOR\HHVZKRZRUNLQUDLOZD\RUDLUOLQHLQGXVWULHVDQGPD\QRW â€œWithJ.P.Stevens,peoplethought the forefront in getting better wages, DSSO\WRHPSOR\HHVZKRZRUNRQDIHGHUDOHQFODYH it was hopeless,â€? Raynor recalled. â€œThey benefits, working conditions,â€? he says. 0LVVLVVLSSLLVRQHRIVWDWHVFRQVLGHUHGDULJKWWRZRUNVWDWH ran the state, the local community.â€? â€œThat is a very honorable tradition. It However, the secret to victory is helps make for a stronger middle class. community, he said: â€œAs long as the I think it is important as corporations union lets it be driven by the community, the Canton plant will all be â€œtemps.â€? with the southern office of the Council of get larger, that employees have a chance to and also involving the religious community. â€œThereâ€™s a fear theyâ€™ll make our jobs State Governments in Atlanta and an expert in have a voice as well. Modern management Southerners tend to be religious people. It was temps,â€? Jeffrey Moore says. the southern auto industry, believes the UAW says that in all parts of an institution, importhe same way in the civil-rights movement.â€? Nissan spokesman Travis Parman dis- will have an uphill fight to convince southern tant stakeholders should have a voice. Unions Recognition of that need motivated the counts such fears. â€œOur communications workers a union will better their lot. could offer that channel.â€? June 3 press conference in Canton where U.S. meetings with employees are not new. We However, he says, auto workers should The prosperity the nation enjoyed from Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., Mississippi continuously and routinely meet with our not fear the kind of shutdowns that devastated the 1940s through the 1960s came at a time NAACP President Derrick Johnson, General employees to openly discuss matters pertinent the southern textile industry. â€œThat is always when union representation was at its highest, Missionary Baptist State Convention Presi- to our business.â€? the boogeyman, but it is not that easy,â€? Cana- Klinedinst says. â€œWeâ€™d be helped by having a dent Isiac Johnson and others stood alongside As for the â€œtempsâ€? issue, Parman says: gaRetna says. â€œThat is an unlikely scenario. I stronger middle class,â€? he says. a group of Nissan workers to pledge their sup- â€œOur direct and contract positions are long- think there would be negotiated settlements. Certainly the folks at the UAW would port for a fair election at the plant. Thompson term jobs that offer competitive pay and I donâ€™t think we run the risk of Nissan closing agree, and so would workers like Mimade it clear that he will monitor Nissanâ€™s be- benefits. â€Ś Nissan has never laid off a single shop and leaving.â€? chael Carter, Jeffrey Moore and Lee Rufhavior closely in the months ahead. employee in the nearly 30 years itâ€™s had manuThe foreign transplantsâ€™ advantages in the fin. Nissan officials believe their workers As in the past, the biggest obstacle orga- facturing operations in the U.S.â€? South are too numerous, he says. Their prox- already have the tools to make a strong nizers face is fear. imity to major markets, ports and other trans- middle class. â€œThey have these anti-union meetingsâ€” Changed Unions? portation, and an established network of supOne of the most famous labor ballads of they call them focus meetings,â€? Michael CartLike all Americans, southerners have pliers would override concerns about a union. the 1930s asked the age-old question: â€œWhich er says. â€œThey say, `Weâ€™re going to give you the had a realistic fear of plant shutdowns and Furthermore, he says, unions have Side Are You On?â€? Itâ€™s a question waiting for facts. If you have a union, weâ€™ll close the plant.â€™â€? relocations to Mexico and China ever since changed. For example, UAW leader King an answer in Canton, Miss.
What is â€˜Right to Workâ€™?
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Is Nissan Worth It for Taxpayers? by R.L. Nave
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July 18 - 24, 2012
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MUSIC p 24 | ARTS p 27 | FILM p 28 | 8 DAYS p 31 | SPORTS p 34
COURTESY M ISSISSIPPI MASS CHOIR
Music Lasts Forever by Liz Hayes
John A.Wicks Jr. received Pastor of the Year, one of the night’s biggest honors, at last year’s awards.
The Mississippi Mass Choir will perform at this year’s 34th annual Gospel Music Awards on July 29.
will give out numerous awards in more than 20 categories, including a special honor for pastor of the year. The next night, the Jackson Music Awards, hosted by local radio and television personalities Rob J and Alice Marie, will present awards in more than 30 categories, including several specifically for locals, such as entertainer of the year, blues artist of the year, male and female vocalists of the year and R&B group of the year. Sponsored by the City of Jackson, Marriott Hotel, Mercedes-Benz of Jackson, the American Blues Network and the Greater Jackson Arts Council, JMA uses these two award programs to recognize, promote, encourage and showcase the talent of Mississippi entertainers. In addition, every year JMA donates to its adopted charity, the Special Olympics. Thompson’s advice to aspiring artists is to “identify what you want to do in the business. Find your niche!” But he also offers concrete advice from his own years in the business. “Always remember to dot your I’s and cross your T’s,” Thompson says. “There are many ways to break out into the business today. With media outlets like YouTube and television shows broadcasting all the talented people out there, new artists have to be prepared to bring something new to the table,” he says. Thompson says it’s vital to have a plan. “You have to know what it is you can do to make money,” he says. “You do not have to be a singer; you can write and produce. You can earn a living as an arranger, an engineer, a producer … there are so many things you can do. If you want to be in the music business, get somewhere where people can see you.” The music awards are a good example of bringing together artists with and allowing them to network. Thompson has more than four decades worth of knowledge working with and in the music industry. He formed his own group in 1970 out of McComb called Unique, a five-man vocal doo-wop group. While attend-
ing Jackson State University, the group changed their name to The Composers but kept the same vocal style. One of the members of the group was Willie Norwood, father of celebrity singers Ray J and Brandy. After college, Thompson managed and produced a group called Freedom and with them, produced four albums including billboard topping songs like “Dance Sing Along” and “Get up and Dance,” which has been covered by a number of artists and used on sound tracks for movies. Thompson also promoted concerts for artists such as Luther Vandross, Prince, and Earth, Wind and Fire throughout his career. Many of the skills Thompson learned over the years he now lends to the Jackson awards shows, bringing together a diverse group of artists. “I’m looking forward to special guests like the Mississippi Mass Choir, Genita Pugh, Noo Noo and Lil Walker Boyz,” Thompson says. “We’re featuring music that has been around in both genres for years. … On Monday night our legendary R&B award will go to Lenny Williams. He was the lead singer of the group back in the ’70s called the Tower of Power and went on a solo career, and he will be our special guest,” he says. Although the awards are not just for locals, Thompson says one of the missions of the association is to highlight music in Mississippi and especially the capital city, as well as bring music lovers together. “Music is one thing we all have in common that keeps us together,” Thompson says. “I enjoy live music, producing music and being around musicians.” The Jackson Music Awards Association presents “Music Lasts Forever,” the 34th annual Mississippi Gospel Awards July 29 at 5 p.m. and the 38th annual Jackson Music Awards July 30 at 6 p.m. at the Marriott Hotel (200 E. Amite St.). Tickets for both events are available at the Mississippi Coliseum Box Office for $20 general admission and $30 reserved seating and also online at jmaainc.com.
COURTESY JESSE THOMPSON
t all started with a blues band, an 11-year-old and a drum set. McComb native Jesse Thompson began playing drums in a blues band before he was even a teenager. Music stuck with him and, despite attending Jackson State University as an environmental science major, Thompson went on to found the Jackson Music Awards 38 years ago. “In 1974, a handful of musicians and radio stations had an event on Monday nights called Jamboree, and we got together at club Checkmate and we decided to take one of those nights and have an award night,” Thompson says. That casual night grew over the decades to become a widely-attended award ceremony for the whole community. The Jackson Music Awards Association will present “Music Lasts Forever,” the 34th annual Mississippi Gospel Awards on July 29 and the 38th annual Jackson Music Awards the following evening. Harvey Watkins and Stan Jones, local gospel artists, will host the Mississippi Gospel Awards, where presenters
French Cuisine At Its Best
nne Amelot-Holmes, a native of France, didn’t set out to open Jackson’s only French restaurant, Anjou. “We were offered this space, and David Conn, the owner or Char, Amerigo and Sombra, asked my opinion on a new concept. I told him that I thought we should open a French restaurant,” Amelot-Holmes said. “He said the only way he’d do it is if I partnered with him and my dad, who’s a classically trained French chef, created our menu.” And, thus, Conn added to his stable of local favorite concept restaurants. Christian Amelot, a graduate of Savoie Léman culinary school, began work on the menu, and Amelot-Holmes started assembling
her staff. She is no stranger to the restaurant business; it’s what she’s done her entire life. Even as a child, she helped out at her father’s restaurants. “They were often mom-andpops, and I’d seat people and help out when I was eight or nine,” Amelot-Holmes said. Amelot-Holmes said she’s excited about sharing authentic French bistro cuisine with the metro, and she hopes to dispel some myths. “People are surprised at how healthy French food is. They expect a lot of of heavy sauces. Our menu has lots of fish and fresh vegetables.” Overall, she’s just thrilled to share her native cuisine with her adopted city. “I know that once we get them in the door they’ll love our food and service,” she said.
361 Township Avenue Ridgeland, MS 39157 601.701.0587 www.anjourestaurant.net
Head to Toe Beauty
July 18 - 24, 2012
onnie Brown and her late husband André Brown dreamed of opening one of Jackson’s premier salons and boutiques. “The Hair Boutique is a culmination of our dream,” she said. Connie had the vision and the business plan covered. She needed someone with an interiordesign background to implement that vision. That’s where salon coordinator and interior designer Rosalyn Harris came in. “I’d seen Rosalyn’s work a few years ago. I told myself that I’d hire her once I opened my salon and boutique.
Eyewear with Flair
rish Hammons has been working in the optical industry for more than 36 years—since she was 16 years old. She had thought about owning her own shop for years, but the pieces of the puzzle did not fit until 2006, when she jumped at the chance to purchase her current location in Fondren. As one of the few Certified Independent Opticians in the Jackson area, Hammons fills prescriptions, but does not perform the exam or write the prescription. This offers her a unique opportunity to gently guide her customers through the process, choosing the right frames for each individual
person’s face and lifestyle. Hammons prides herself on Custom Optical’s goal to carry frames that you would not find in big-box stores. “Why would you want to buy your diapers and glasses from the same place?” is a phrase she uses to emphasize the importance of a good fit and accurate lenses when it comes to your eyesight. Currently the team at Custom Optical is gearing up for back-toschool season, which Hammons feels is particularly important—she wants the parents and the public to be aware of the eye-care needs of children. Promotions and discounts are being rolled out throughout the summer for both kids and adults. Check their website for details!
661 Duling Avenue Jackson, MS 601.362.6675 www.customoptical.net
That’s what I did,” Brown said, smiling at the memory. The relationship worked out better than they planned. “We just work really well together,” Harris said. “We are both perfectionists.” The team is rounded out by stylist Tierra Robinson and salon manager Dana Hatcher. The Hair Boutique is a multi-ethnic salon and barbershop that features a stylish interior, modern equipment and cutting-edge products. The boutique, a nod to Brown’s innate fashion sense, has stylish affordable clothing for all sizes. As for Brown, she’s thrilled that her dream has finally come true. “I’m glad I have a place to take care of clients the way they deserve,” she said.
310 Mitchell Ave Jackson, MS 39216 601.362.9090
artifacts. “Our 1924 house got me interested in old wood and architectural items,” said Kopernak. “One day I said to Ann, “I’m going to do that [as a business]...and I did.” They officially opened their doors the day after Thanksgiving in 2006. Since then, a lot of Jackson homes and businesses are now now adorned with vintage items from Old House.The place is friendly and most every one finds something to smile and reminisce about. “It connects people to their past and to each other.”
ld House Depot is a place where things that might have been cast away find new life. There are two sprawling warehouses full of everything from old doors, windows and iron work to stained-glass windows and antique lumber. After Jim Kopernak and his wife, Ann Hendrick, moved into their historic Belhaven Heights home 10 years ago, they began seeking out old materials and
639 Monroe Street Jackson, MS 39202 601.592.6200 www.oldhousedepot.com
Changing Children’s Lives
ill’s Way is a behavioral health clinic dedicated to providing comprehensive services to children, adolescents, and young adults. The name was inspired by the team’s young friend, Will. When he was 18 months old, Will had only 5 words in his vocabulary. At the age of 3, Will was diagnosed with autism. Through intervention techniques, such as those used by the Will’s Way treatment team, Will has learned self-calming techniques to manage his frustrations, and he’s learned to communicate and interact with adults and peers appropriately.
The Will’s Way mission is to help all children unlock their unique gifts and reach their full potential. Will’s Way was developed by behavioral specialists who have worked at top research facilities in the areas of Pediatrics and Behavioral Psychology. Their mission is to provide comprehensive Behavioral Solutions for at-risk children and their families throughout the southeastern area of the United States. In addition to their original clinic located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Will’s Way is excited to announce our satellite location recently opened in the Jackson metro area. The Will’s Way team is comprised of three board certified therapists: Dannell Roberts, Ph.D., Kimberly Bellipanni, Ph.D, and Neelima Duncan, M.A., BCBA.
232 Market Street Flowood, MS 39232 601.255.5264 www.willswaybehavioral.com
Real Estate Agent & Teacher
mia Edwards has been in the real estate business for over 5 years. She is a Mississippi native and a licensed broker. Amia started her professional career as a news producer for WLBT at the tender age of 17. After several years in the industry here and in Birmingham, she decided to return to Mississippi. Amia chose the beautiful Alta Woods neighborhood in South Jackson as home. She is very involved in the neighborhood association, and actively promotes Jackson. She was drawn to real estate after encountering challenges when trying to purchase her own home
when she was 21. She realized that there was a need in the marketplace to educate young professionals regarding the mechanics of the home-buying process. They often make uninformed choices that negatively impact their ability to purchase a home. Amia is passionate about encouraging home-ownership and showing people that it is an achievable goal. Amia is a certified budget/ credit counselor through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. She obtains a sense of satisfaction from educating her clients and providing them with tools to improve their credit rating and realizing the dream of home ownership.
P.O. Box 685 Jackson, MS 39201 601.941.8039 firstname.lastname@example.org
A Tradition of Excellence
reen Oak Nursery and Florist is a family affair. Husband and wife Maur McKie and Karen Martinson McKie took ownership in 1998 from Karen’s parents. Karen is a trained horticulturist who manages the service offerings. Maur, who has a finance and business background, manages day-to-day operations. In addition to nursery and floral services, they also offer landscaping, interiorscaping (inside greenery and floral upkeep for interior floral design), event and holiday decoration. When asked what sets them apart, Maur says: “Our clients really trust us. They can
1067 Highland Colony Parkway Suite E Ridgeland, MS 39157 601.707.9440 5009 Old Canton Road Jackson, MS 39211 601.956.5017
count on us. They know what they are going to get.” Maur says they’ve been able to thrive in the challenging economy due to innovation. As a locally owned business, they can respond to trends quickly. One of those trends is organic horticulture “Organic gardening and horticulture is growing not just with individual gardeners but also with municipalities,” Maur says. “As consumers become more educated, it’s really exciting to see. We are dedicating more of our shelf space to organic products. We have something for all your horticultural needs,” Maur adds.
Rising Star Sarah Jarosz by Adria Walker
COURTESY SARAH JAROSZ
f she could have a super power, Sarah Jarosz would choose ter she graduated from Wimberley High School. Afterward, teleportation because, as a musician, it would make travel she moved to Boston to attend the New England Consereasier. Jarosz knows all too well about how hard traveling vatory of Music where she studies contemporary improvisacan be. After her sophomore tion on the NEC Presidential album “Follow Me Down” Merit scholarship. dropped in May 2011, neither Jarosz’s unique contempoJarosz nor her two musicians, rary bluegrass sound has earned Nathaniel Smith and Alex her national attention. She was Hargreaves, were old enough nominated for a Best Country to rent a car. While touring a Instrumental Grammy in 2009 large part of the United States, and for Song of the Year for and taking trips to Canada her first original song, “Come and Europe, they enlisted variAround” at the Americana ous people to get them from Music Association Awards. She place to place via trains, planes also performed on “Austin City and automobiles. Limits” and “A Prairie Home Despite her age, Sarah Jarosz is a force to be Jarosz grew up with music. reckoned with in contemporary bluegrass. Companion,” and at music “I can’t remember a time when festivals like Bonnaroo Music I wasn’t singing,” she says. Festival, South by Southwest, Born in Wimberley, Texas, 21-year-old Jarosz began Telluride Bluegrass Festival and Newport Music Festival. playing mandolin at about age 10. She started performing Following the release of her sophomore album, which in local venues around Austin, Texas, and her hometown. coincidentally came out at the end of her sophomore year Some of Jarosz’s early admirers were acoustic musicians of college, the New York Times called Jarosz “one of acousTim O’Brien, Chris Thile and Terry Lickona from Austin tic music’s most promising young talents,” and MSN MuCity Limits. sic named her “One of the fastest-rising stars in the roots By age 14, Jarosz began performing nationally, and her music scene.” career really began to take off. She released her debut album Jarosz finds inspiration in interesting places. “In the last “Song Up in Her Head” on Sugar Hill Records the year af- year, I’ve been getting more into poetry, especially contempo-
rary American poetry,” Jarosz says. “I find that poetry helps inspire me as a song writer.” She is a fan of Edgar Allan Poe, evident in her song, “Annabelle Lee.” She takes a slightly different view on Annabelle’s suitors than Poe, however. Instead of the “high born kinsmen” taking Annabelle Lee away from the narrator in Poe’s 1849 poem, Jarosz sings of “wicked brothers” stealing Annabelle Lee. Jarosz plays mandolin, octave mandolin, clawhammer banjo and guitar. She listens to all music: Her tastes run the gambit from The Decemberists and Wilco to Miles Davis. Her least favorite genres of music are pop country and hard metal, but she tries to be open-minded to anything and everything. Jarosz has opened for Vince Gill, Richard Thompson and Pachanga, just to name a few, but has yet to play with her favorite artist. “I would love to open for one of my heroes, Paul Simon. Opening for him would be amazing, but just meeting him would be a dream come true,” she says. Sarah Jarosz will open for Kevin Costner in a sold-out show at Duling Hall on Wednesday, July 18.
3ARAH´S MOST PLAYED RECORDS “Traveler” by Tim O’Brien “Blood on the Tracks” by Bob Dylan “Graceland” by Paul Simon
The Key of G Scoundrel’s Strong Debut by Garrad Lee
July 18 - 24, 2012
relegated to riffs. “So” and “Yetisburg” both contain some steady lead work, and the instrumental “Northcrest Drive” features acoustic guitar. Adam lets loose the bass effects from time to time adding extra character to the songs. My favorite example of musicianship COURTESY THAT SCOUNDREL
while back, I made reference to an “up and coming” Jackson band called That Scoundrel. Even though the band has only been together since November of last year, it built a quick buzz and signed on with Cody Cox’s Jackson label Elegant Trainwreck by April this year. That is light speed in band years. That Scoundrel plays a brand of riffheavy hard rock that centers on catchy, distorted guitar riffs and melodic singing that reminds me of Helmet, the seminal ’90s hard rockers popular among skaters and polo-shirt fans. While guitar riffs don’t normally get me going, when I found myself humming guitar lines while riding home after the first time I heard them play, I knew something was going on with this band. On July 14, That Scoundrel released its debut album, “Everyone Has Their Something, but Some People’s Somethings Are Weirder Than Others.” You got all that? I’ll refer to it as “Everyone” from here on out. “Everyone” is a great introduction to what the band is doing at this moment
in time, but more importantly, it sets the stage for That Scoundrel to develop into something greater. Even back when I first heard them, I was thinking about “potential.” The main reason “Everyone” leaves so much room for growth is because it is so straightforward, which is both a strength and a weakness. The album can get a little repetitive at times, simply because most of the songs are similarly structured. But that is also a positive, in that I hear so many albums that are so schizophrenic that the listener loses his or her base level. Not so here. For me, the quintessential song on the record is “Draw The Line.” It starts out with a lone distortion-heavy riff from guitarist John Schenk that is soon joined by a snare roll from drummer Jen Chesler (gotta love a female drummer). Those base notes build to a crescendo (think “Siamese Dream” from Smashing Pumpkins) to kick the song off proper, prominently featuring bassist and lead singer Adam Barkley’s vocals in several points. While the basic structure of the songs revolves around the riffs and Jen and Adam’s rhythms, John’s playing is not strictly
That Scoundrel lays a solid foundation for growth with its debut release.
on “Everyone” occurs about half through “Nosedive,” when the song slows down and centers for a few measures on a liquidy bass line, a simple backbeat and some al-
most noodly lead guitar work that ends, in the opinion of this jazz fan, too quickly after a few measures. It is at this point most especially that I wonder about the potential of the band to really branch out as the members become more and more comfortable with each other and start stretching some of the more interesting ideas into new directions and songs. Since That Scoundrel burst onto the scene this year, the band has played at several big Jackson events and has been exposed to a variety of music fans. I have had a multitude of people, young and old, black and white, whatever, ask me about them—and that makes sense. Its style is not too heavy to be off putting, not too poppy to sound forced, and rough enough around the edges to be real. It sounds like music you would hear on the radio and maybe (gasp!) like. I think that is a distinct possibility if this band continues on this path. “Everyone Has Their Something, but Some People’s Somethings Are Weirder Than Others” is available at Morningbell Records in Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave., Suite 212, 769-233-7468), on iTunes or online at amazon.com
Power of the Draw by Bret Kenyon
COURTESY TODD THOMPSON
4HE 3OUNDS OF 3UMMER
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strong southern charm to the music, making it more of a happening than a concert. The band is here to be listened to, not watched—and trust me, that works to everyone’s advantage. Todd Thompson may not look like Fats Domino, but your ears may tell you a different story. Their favorite venue is “wherever people appreciate good music; wherever people love the blues,” Thompson says. He and the rest of the band joined forces about two years ago, although Thompson and Jones have been playing music together for nearly five. For Thompson, the reason for playing is that the music compels him. He’s here because he enjoys the music, because it’s his part in “keeping the blues alive.” The Lucky Hand Blues Band will play anywhere blues lovers unite, whether it’s indoors, outdoors, on stage or on patios. When it comes down to it, once those chords start flying and the harmonica starts wailing, they could care less where they are. They’re playing their music, and that’s all that matters. The Lucky Hand Blues Band performs at Hal & Mal’s (200 S. Commerce St., 601-9480888) July 27 at 8 p.m. To get in touch with the Lucky Hand Blues Band, call Todd Thompson at 601-502-4801.
JA ESY DEF COURT
n Mississippi, we have no shortage of on guitar, Arthur Jones on blues harmonica, blues music, but finding good blues mu- Stephen Wells on bass and Jim Hathcock on sic isn’t always simple. The test of a good drums. The band members take turns with the blues band versus an average blues band vocals, but it was their instrumental numbers is the “power of that really grabbed the draw.” If you my attention, esare walking down pecially when the Bourbon Street blues harmonica in New Orleans jams start flowing. or Beale Street in The band lists Memphis (and B.B. King, Muddy maybe Farish Street Waters and Albert by 2013?) and hear King among its something so cominfluences, and in pelling that you the songs I had just have to wander an opportunity to into that bar to get hear, I picked up a a better earful, then Stevie Ray Vaughn you’re dealing with For stop-you-in-your-tracks blues music, turn vibe as well. But good blues music. to the Lucky Hand Blues Band. good blues muIf the music just sic isn’t played becomes part of for listeners to sit the ambience, then you’re dealing with dollar- and analyze. If you’re concentrating on who store-CD blues music. they sound like, well, you’re doing it wrong. Fortunately, Jackson’s Lucky Hand Blues Like all good blues bands, the Lucky Band is an example of a band with a good Hand Blues Band is best enjoyed on the dance draw. Featuring a standard four-piece en- floor or laughing with friends over a few beers semble, the band consists of Todd Thompson and a table of crawfish. There’s an energy and a
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THE ANNIE LAURIE SWAIM HEARIN MEMORIAL EXHIBITION SERIES
Featuring nearly eighty original drawings of the world’s most delightful monkey and other characters, this exhibition tells the dramatic story of their creators’ escape and survival.
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MISSISSIPPI MUSEUM of ART
See Curious George before the exhibition ends!
Local presentation of this exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation. Additional support is provided by Trustmark Bank, Blue Cross& Blue Shield of Mississippi, The Clarion-Ledger Media Group, and the Jackson Convention & Visitors Bureau. Support is also provided in part by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
PPP75Q5RQSR589T7U9('''MJB'QURT6'V8589'''W8!XQUY+'5ZQQZQQZ??Z'''[BC\I[B\C]C] H. A. & Margret Rey Papers, de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection, McCain Library and Archives, The University of Southern Mississippi. Curious George Saves the Day: The Art of Margret and H. A. Rey is organized by The Jewish Museum, New York, and is supported through a bequest from the Estate of Lore Ross. !"#$%"&'()%#*)+',-.'#)/,0).'12,#,10)#&+'1#),0).'34'5,#*#)0',-.'67'87'9)4+',#)'1%:4#$*20).',-.'0#,.);,#<).'34'6%"*20%-'5$=>$-'6,#1%"#0'?"3/$&2$-*'!%;:,-47'@'ABCA'34'6567'''''
livemusic JULY 18 - WEDNESDAY
Weekly Lunch Specials
LIVE MUSIC CALENDAR ALL SHOWS 10PM UNLESS NOTED
GUYS PAY $5, LADIES ENTER & DRINK FREE CATHEAD VODKA 9-10PM FRIDAY
with DJ Jugala SATURDAY
Donâ€™t Forget To Stop By Our
MID DAY CAFE Serving Lunch 11-2!
Open for dinner Sat. 4-10pm Thursday
LADIES NIGHT w/ DJ Stache LADIES DRINK FREE Friday
Stereo Reform with Rooster Blues
2-for-1 Drafts Tuesday
2-for-1 Beer Specials Highlife, Highlife Lite, PBR, Schlitz, Fatty Natty
July 18 - 24, 2012
September 22, 2012 214 S. STATE ST. â€¢ 601.354.9712
Open Mic w/ Jason Turner
KARAOKE w/ DJ STACHE
FREE WiFi Open Mon-Sat, Restaurant open Mon-Fri 11 am-10 pm & Sat 4-10 pm
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