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August 29 - September 4, 2012

jacksonian

VOL.

1 0 N O . 51

contents TRIP BURNS

COURTESY CHANELLE RENEE

6 Border Patrol A House committee wants to readdress what they call the state’s growing immigration problem. TRIP BURNS

Cover photograph of Hinds County Voting Booth by Trip Burns

26

THIS ISSUE:

Now, Reneé also handles casting calls for events and works with Denim Magazine as a creative director and design editor. She manages modeling networking organization, The Chanelle Reneé Project (chanellerenee. com), to help give young models a boost. “The project started out as a blog in 2010 offering advice to models trying to break into the game from different industry professionals,” Reneé says. She also runs a model management company, The Reneé Agency and, through the CRP, offers a modeling boot camp to train models. “The boot camp is a oneday, 13-hour event, filled with modeling exercises, runway and make-up tips and a photo-shoot challenge, where aspiring models have an opportunity to compete for awards and prizes,” Reneé says. “The grand prize winner gets a nonexclusive contract with the Reneé Agency and a spread in Denim Magazine.” Working and networking in California this summer, Reneé landed a role in an upcoming music video for pop artist P!nk and a gig in an Old Navy ad campaign. In Los Angeles, she has the opportunity to expand her network of professionals, including film directors, producers, actors and actresses, and musicians. But Reneé says she cannot wait to get back home and continue her work to develop young models in the Jackson area. She’s planning a fashion show event this fall. —Darnell Jackson

29 Another Saints Bowl? Bryan Flynn weighs in on the New Orleans Saints’ chances of going all the way this season. TRIP BURNS

Model Chanelle Reneé is more than just a pretty face. Reneé is also a graphic designer, creative director and design editor. In the fashion world, she is a casting director, photo editor and a fashion blogger. Most importantly, Reneé is a trainer and mentor for young, aspiring models. “I want to create real opportunities for models trying to break into the game,” she says. Reneé says she can remember doing the catwalk back when she was in kindergarten. “Or at least what I thought was the catwalk,” she says with a laugh. Without proper guidance, Reneé says she wouldn’t have made it. Early in her career, she commuted from Jackson to New Orleans four days a week for runway practice. But the hard work has paid off. Earlier this year, she worked on the Runway of Love fashion show, hosted by actress Vivica A. Fox, and the Stamp the Runway fashion show, both in Jackson. Reneé also went on to rip the runway in “The Summer Dolls of Saint Wobil” springsummer fashion show during New York Fashion Week last September. Although born in Augusta, Ga., Reneé considers herself a Jackson girl. The 26-yearold graduated from Murrah High School in 2004 and received her bachelor’s degree from Mississippi College in 2009. After her first professional photos, taken with friends when she was 19, Reneé got her big break a year later—the opportunity to work under local stylist J. Bolin and as an assistant and photo editor to photographer Will Sterling.

35 Running month Millsaps coach Andy Till is passionate about cultivating the next generation of running talent.

jacksonfreepress.com

chanelle reneé

Soul Wired Café is a gathering spot for artists, musicians, poets and all local creatives. COURTESY NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

4 ............... Editor’s Note 4 ....................... Sorensen 6 ............................... Talk 10 ..................... Business 12...................... Editorial 13 .................... Opinion 13.................... Mike Day 14 ............... Cover Story 19 ................. Diversions 20 ............................ Arts 22 ........................... Film 24 ....................... 8 Days 25 ................ JFP Events 26 ......................... Music 28 .......... Music Listings 29 ........................ Sports 30 ................... Astrology 31 .......................... Food 33 ................. Body/Soul 35 ...... Running Month 37 ..................... Hitched 39 ..... Girl About Town

A Place with Soul

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editor’snote

Ronni Mott Ronni Mott came to Jackson by way of D.C. in 1997. She’s an award-wining writer and the JFP’s managing editor, where she practices her hobbies of herding cats. She teaches yoga in her spare time. She contributed to the cover package.

Trip Burns The JFP’s staff photographer and videographer Trip Burns is a graduate of the University of Mississippi where he studied English and sociology. He took the cover photo and many photos in this issue.

Darnell Jackson Editorial intern Darnell Chris Jackson is writer, photographer, graphic designer and entrepreneur. He is a Jackson native and Jackson State graduate. He owns J.Carter Studios. He wrote the Jacksonian.

Allie Jordan Allie Jordan is a senior at Millsaps College who loves Wilco, photography and Mexico. She denies her brick-city hometown and strictly identifies herself as a Jacksonian. She wrote an arts feature.

Whitney Menogan Editorial intern Whitney Menogan is from Madison and holds bachelor’s degree in English from Tougaloo College. She hopes to be able to travel around the world one country at a time. She wrote a music feature.

ShaWanda Jacome ShaWanda Jacome is a 6th grade Jackson Public Schools teacher. She lives in Ridgeland with her husband and son, Michael and Mateo. “May the odds be ever in your favor.” She wrote a body/ soul feature.

Genevieve Legacy Genevieve Legacy is an artist and writer who relocated from New York last August. She lives in Brandon with her husband, and son and one of Mississippi’s laziest dogs, a piebald hound named Dawa. She wrote an arts feature.

August 29 - September 4, 2012

Anita Modak-Truran

4

Anita Modak-Truran is a southern convert, having moved here from Chicago more than a decade ago with her husband and son. She loves the culture, cuisine and arts in these parts. She wrote the film review.

by Donna Ladd, Editor-in-Chief

Flipping the ‘Race Card’

I

almost spewed coffee all over my screen. I had just opened a “Haley Barbour” news alert and read that our esteemed former governor had accused Democrats of playing the “race card.” “Name a campaign in the last 25 years where the Dems didn’t play the race card,” Barbour told BuzzFeed. “Surprise!” Indeed, it is not surprising to see a leader of a party that is getting more white as the years go by complain that someone who challenges racism is “playing the race card.” It’s not really any more surprising than listening to people who know little about what’s actually in Obamacare or what he really did on Medicare or welfare, but who loathe Barack Obama for reasons they can’t quite place. Or the folks who love to spew that Obama (and any fool who would support him) are socialists! Or communists! (Nope, he’s not either.) Of course, neither were most people in the 1960s who believed blacks should be able to vote or use public restrooms—but those, uh, radicals were called socialists and communists by people with similar regressive ideals for America as too many in today’s GOP. But to hear Barbour put himself out there as the arbiter of what is and is not racism, or the “race card,” would be hilarious if not so infuriating. Barbour long ago sold out his home state of Mississippi, back when he helped his mentor, the political strategist Lee Atwater, and neo-Republicans like Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan infect the nation with the “southern strategy”—the game of appealing to the worst natures of white Americans. There is no secret here—at least inside the Washington beltway or in political circles anywhere in America. It is fact, and a simple narrative: After the national Democratic Party rejected the segregationist demands of the Dixiecrats back in the 1960s, it lost the racist white vote of the south and beyond. The Republican Party, a fiscally reasonable party that was actually the party of Lincoln and Eisenhower, saw a way to then remake itself and fatten its ranks: It went after those southern whites who were, then, ticked off over forced integration. That set off a decades-long party switcheroo that seems to have come into full fruition this year. Remember: This is the same party that African Americans used to be proud members of before it turned on them in the 1960s. Now, it has become the party of corporate barons that is willing to stop at nothing to get people who won’t benefit from their policies to vote for the candidates they back—who are willing to sell Americans up a racist river. And that is the part that makes me the angriest: The elite leaders of the Republican Party and their wealthiest backers are just fine with their belief that most white people are racist. Or at least racist enough to believe outright lies about Obama (go to factcheck.org) designed to make white people think a black president is going to “redistribute” what they worked so hard for and turn it over to “his” people. (And they’re not picturing the Irish side.)

We’ve been down this road many times since the GOP embraced this disgusting strategy: the Willie Horton scare ad, the black “welfare mothers” myth, the debunked young black “super-predator” crime hysteria hawked by Bill Bennett and other GOP drug “czars.” All of these ploys came straight from the Atwater-Barbour playbook. Say something to make scared white people conjure up visions of black folks taking their stuff or hurting their women; then blame the “liberal media” if you’re called out on it—or, more recently, say that the person challenging your brilliance is “playing the race card.” Then all the whiteys will flock to the polls, vote against their best interests and help enrich the Koch Brothers even more, even as they lose their right to sue negligent doctors and corporations, watch educational opportunities shrink and go back to pre-Obama health-insurance nightmares. Skeptical? Here’s how now-deceased Lee Atwater explained the southern strategy in 1981, during the first year Ronald Reagan was president, in an interview with a Case Western Reserve University political-science professor. “You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘N*gger, n*gger, n*gger,’” Atwater explained. “By 1968, you can’t say ‘n*gger’—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now (that) you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things, and a byproduct of them is (that) blacks get hurt worse than whites.” (I added the asterisks.) This nasty stuff has infected Republican strategy now for too many years. Not every Republican agrees, of course. In fact, when Ken Mehlman was Republican National Committee chairman in 2005, he apologized

for the GOP’s use of the southern strategy to the NAACP’s annual convention. “Some Republicans gave up on winning the African American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization,” Mehlman said, as reported by USA Today. “I am here today as the Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong.” He continued: “It’s not healthy for the country for our political parties to be so racially polarized. Just as the Democrats came to this (black) community in 1964 with something real to offer, today we Republicans have something that should cause you to take another look at the party of Lincoln.” Mehlman was right, but the GOP didn’t take his advice with Mitt Romney now abandoning his more moderate roots to double down on whiteness. It is ugly with false ads about welfare flashing sympathetic white faces and even Romney himself telling birther jokes. Many misinformed people actually believe Obama is a Muslim—when he’s the only mainline Protestant at the top of either ticket. Then, if any of us dare to talk about the race-baiting, or even stand up and say “STOP treating whites like racists!,” Barbour and his buddies blame us for bringing up race when they’re the ones in the lily-white party trying to run on whiteness while they still can. It’s never been easy to call out racism. They will always call us socialist, communist, angry or worse. This is nothing new. The good news is that with younger generations of all races who are sick of racism and don’t want to just be in roomfuls of people of only one race, the southern strategy’s days are numbered. Let’s stand together and end it this year. Maybe then, the GOP can feel free to again become the Party of Lincoln.


TEN DAYS OF LIVE MUSIC

AND BLUES EVENTS "#$%&'(!)*+,*-.*#!/0

• Catfish & Cotton - Highway 61 Blues Museum, Leland, MS • ‘Da Delta Black Music & Me - Hobnob’s, Leland, MS • Live Music at Club Ebony, Indianola, MS • B.B. King Blues Club All-Stars, Memphis, TN

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• Indian Bayou Arts Festival, Indianola, MS • Highway 61 Blues Festival, Leland, MS • B.B. King Blues Club All-Stars, Memphis, TN

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• Holly Ridge Jam, Holly Ridge, MS At the resting place of blues pioneer Charley Patton.

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• Live Blues Music, Hopson Commissary, Clarksdale, MS • Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues E.E. Bass, Greenville, MS, Photographs by William Ferris

;1*<%&'(!89,7.*#!/ • Dockery Farm Tours with Bill Lester, Cleveland, MS Live music by Cadillac John and Bill Abel • LD’s Kitchen, Vicksburg, MS Live music by Central Mississippi Blues Society • Po’ Monkey’s Blues Bash, Merigold, MS Terry Harmonica Bean & his blues band • King Biscuit Blues Festival Week Special, The Wild Hog Saloon, Helena, AR, Muddy Waters & The Rolling Stones perform at Chicago’s Checkerboard Lounge 1981

=*%3*<%&'(!89,7.*#!4 • FREE Live Music “Biscuits and Jams,” King Biscuit Blues Festival Main Stage, Helena, AR • International Blues Competition Final Contest Rum Boogie Cafe, Memphis, TN • #BridgingTheBlues #BluesTweetUp, Gateway to the Blues Museum, Tunica, MS, Live music by Super Chikan & Zak Hood

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• King Biscuit Blues Festival, Helena, AR Headliner: Bobby Rush • Art Alfresco, Greenwood, MS • Po’ Monkey’s, Merigold, MS • B.B. King Blues Club All-Stars, Memphis, TN • International Blues Competition Final Contest Rum Boogie Cafe, Memphis, TN

"#$%&'(!89,7.*#!@ • King Biscuit Blues Festival, Helena, AR Headliner: Taj Mahal • B.B. King Blues Club All-Stars, Memphis, TN

)&,1#%&'(!89,7.*#!A • FREE Live Music, King Biscuit Blues Festival Bit ‘O Blues Stage, Helena, AR • King Biscuit Blues Festival, Helena, AR Headliner: Bonnie Raitt • Mississippi Blues Fest, Greenwood, MS • 2nd Street Blues Party, Clarksdale, MS • Otherfest, Hwy 1, The River Resort, Rosedale, MS • Sam Chatmon Festival, Hollandale, MS • B.B. King Blues Club All-Stars, Memphis, TN

)13%&'!89,7.*#!B • 2nd Street Blues Party, Clarksdale, MS • Cat Head Mini Blues Fest III, Clarksdale, MS • Pinetop Perkins Homecoming, Hopson Commissary Clarksdale, MS

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Plan your 2012 Blues Pilgrimage. !!!!C.#$%D$3D,>*.E1*<!!!!!!FG#$%D$3D;>*GE1*<

jacksonfreepress.com

!

5


news, culture & irreverence

Thursday, Aug. 23 The Mississippi Health Department reports 85 confirmed cases of West Nile virus this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the most since 2002. ... Lance Armstrong stops fighting accusations of doping from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, putting at risk his seven Tour de France titles. Friday, Aug. 24 Anders Behring Breivik receives a 21year prison sentence for killing 77 people in Norway on July 22, 2011. â&#x20AC;Ś A federal grand jury in San Jose, Calif., determines that Samsung violated many of Appleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s utility and design patents. Saturday, Aug. 25 The Thad Cochran Center holds a memorial service for Dr. Noel Polk, an internationally renowned William Faulkner expert, who died Tuesday. ... Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, dies at the age of 82. Sunday, Aug. 26 Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant declares a state of emergency for Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Gulf Coast ahead of Hurricane Isaacâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s landfall, predicted to hit Aug. 28. â&#x20AC;Ś At 15 years old, Lydia Ko wins the Canadian Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Open, making her the youngest person ever to win an LPGA title.

August 29 - September 4, 2012

Monday, Aug. 27 The second Mississippi solider this month, Pfc. Patricia L. Horne, dies in Afghanistan. â&#x20AC;Ś A Congressional Research Service release reports that the U.S. government sold $66.3 billion worth of arms last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the largest amount in U.S. history.

6

Tuesday, Aug. 28 President Barack Obama issues an emergency declaration for 29 Mississippi counties under Hurricane Isaacâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s threat. ... The Obama administration announces new fuel efficiency standards that require U.S. cars ito average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Get news updates at jfpdaily.com.

Ward 5 Jackson City Councilman Charles Tillman talks about whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on his mind. p9

The New Immigration Fight by R.L. Nave

M

aria Mazy, 19, could mission, the committee that be the poster child Rep. Andy Gipson, R-Braxfor either side of the ton chairs said its purpose was national discussion to help legislators determine on immigration. Mazy grew whether Mississippi should up in Clinton, graduated from introduce a new state law or Clinton High School, enrolled modify existing regulations to in Hinds County Community address what Gipson characterCollege and, in 2011, became a ized as the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s growing imnaturalized U.S. citizen. migration problem. She likes America, she said R. Pepper Crutcher, a at a hearing on immigration Jackson immigration attorney, at the Mississippi Capitol last gave a brief analysis of the U.S. week, and she likes Mississippi. Supreme Courtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s June ruling â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very friendly. You are on SB 1070, Arizonaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s contronot too grumpy,â&#x20AC;? she said, elicversial immigration law. In a iting chuckles from the room. 5-3 decision, justices ruled that As much as Mazy is a parathe federal government has the gon of the immigrant-madefinal say-so on immigration good ideal, she also represents matters and that the provision the basic paradox of states try- Maria Mazy, 19, is a naturalized US citizen who fears a state that criminalized immigrantsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; crackdown on immigration would destroy the peace and ing to police federal immigra- tranquility that she loves about America. failure to carry authorizing doction law. uments with them at all times Even though sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a citizen, was unconstitutional. she looks foreign and speaks with an ac- Mississippi officials, their best hope of passThe court held off ruling on what cent, and so do her father and brothers, all ing new restrictions on a loophole might is widely believed to be the main thrust of whom are also American citizens. come from focusing on tightening regula- of the lawâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;requiring cops to stop and â&#x20AC;&#x153;I do not want my father and brothers tions on businesses, particularly employers. detain anyone they have a â&#x20AC;&#x153;reasonable to have to show our documents every time That was the tone of the Mississippi suspicionâ&#x20AC;? is in the country without we leave the house,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What if I House Judiciary B Committee meeting on legal authorization. forget them?â&#x20AC;? immigration at the state Capitol. IMMIGRATION, see page 7 But for immigration reform-minded Promoted as a fact-finding TRIP BURNS

Wednesday, Aug. 22 With 146 stolen bases, Taylorsville-native Billy Hamilton breaks Vince Colemanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 29-year-old record for most stolen bases in a professional baseball season. ... An NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll finds that zero percent of African Americans polled support Romney for president.

In Pennsylvania, a state judge upheld the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s voter ID law Aug. 15. Its proponents admitted the state has not had a voter-fraud conviction in more than a decade. CBS News surveyed all 10 states with pending voter ID laws and found fewer than 70 voter-fraud convictions in the past decade among 40 million registered voters.

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THIS WEEK IN

HISTORY

AUG. 29, 2005: Hurricane Katrina makes landfall on the Mississippi Coast. AUG. 29, 1991: The Supreme Soviet, the parliament of the U.S.S.R., suspends all activities of the Communist Party. AUG. 30, 1967: Thurgood Marshall is confirmed as Supreme Court justice. AUG. 31, 1997: Diana, the Princess of Wales, is killed in an automobile accident. SEPT. 1, 1864: Atlanta falls to Union forces. SEPT. 2, 1969: First ATM opens for business.

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SEPT. 3, 1783: Treaty of Paris is signed. SEPT. 4, 1886: Geronimo surrenders. SOURCES: HISTORY.COM AND NYTIMES.COM


talk

news, culture & irreverence

IMMIGRATION, from page 6

regular, more spacious committee room is being renovated, Gipson said. Clyde Goodwin of Copiah County feared that granting illegal immigrants access to certain state benefits would result in an undesirable slippery-slope scenario.

Any policy that reduces demand will shrink the economy, no matter how well-intentioned. “If they give these people driver’s licenses, they’re going to be in the polling place voting,” he stated. That morning, Aug. 23, Gov. Phil Bryant issued an executive order reaffirming existing Mississippi laws already on the books that prohibits undocumented immigrants from receiving state benefits.

Bryant said the order intends to protect against mistakenly awarding benefits to young people who receive deferred deportation status under President Barack Obama’s recently issued executive order. “Illegal immigration has real consequences for Mississippi, as it puts additional burdens on our already stretched budget,” Bryant said in statement. Bryant’s position is a point of much disagreement in scholarly circles. In January, the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa’s Center for Business and Economic Research published a cost-benefit analysis of that state’s anti-immigration law. On Aug. 21, a federal judge struck down portions of the Alabama law, HB 87, finding the law could lead to unlawful racial profiling. Dr. Samuel Addy, who authored the study, looked at the economic effects of Alabama’s immigration and determined that because economies are demanddriven, any policy that reduces demand will shrink the economy, no matter how well-intentioned. If 80,000 undocumented immigrants left Alabama, Addy estimated a loss of 59,536 jobs for a total reduction of nearly 140,000 positions. Assuming those 80,000 people earned $25,000 per year, that’s a $7.7 billion hit to Alabama’s gross domestic product, plus another $189 million lost

in state sales- and income-taxes, and $66.5 million in city and county taxes, according to Addy’s analysis. Israel Martinez, a Jackson-area businessman and an immigrant from Mexico, suggested that a Mississippi university perform a similar independent analysis of the impacts of a state immigration law. He also invited Gipson and Rep. Becky Currie, R-Brookhaven, who sponsored last year’s failed immigration bill, to visit the homes of undocumented immigrants and listen to their personal stories. Gipson said he was open to both ideas. However, whatever the state does might be moot. Amelia McGowan, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi, said that while the U.S. Supreme Court decision validated laws such as the one Mississippi passed in 2010 requiring employers to verify workers’ immigration status, justices made it clear that states could not criminalize the act of immigrants seeking employment except in cases of fraud. That doesn’t give Mississippi much to work with in terms of new immigrationcentered laws. “It’ll be interesting to see what they come with,” McGowan said. Contact R.L. Nave at rlnave@jacksonfreepress.com. Comment at www.jfp.ms.

jacksonfreepress.com

Crutcher said the law presented states with few options to do anything about immigration, except through state business licensing. Staff Sgt. Brad Vincent, representing the Mississippi Highway Patrol, further elucidated what Gipson deemed Mississippi’s immigration problems by testifying that Mexican organized-crime organizations recruit couriers to deliver marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine across the southeast, including in Mississippi. Vincent explained that troopers are constantly on the lookout for telltale signs of foreign drug mules, which include old vehicles with new registrations that are also filled with personal belongings. But even though the highway patrol can access a federal drug enforcement database, Vincent said troopers have a hard time catching repeat offenders because undocumented immigrants often use fake IDs. “As long as the border is porous, there’s nothing we can do to keep them from coming back,” Vincent said. In the ensuing four hours of the meeting, more than 40 individual citizens, business owners, local officials, advocates and attorneys spoke for or against stricter state immigration rules in an overflowing House Ways and Means Committee room. Jud B’s

7


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developmenttalk

by Jacob D Fuller

Witch Hunt on Watkins?

A

August 29 - September 4, 2012

TRIP BURNS

local television news channel’s recent ect,” Watkins said Monday. stories about David Watkins’ legal isHe added that he left the project in the sues regarding the Metrocenter proj- more-than-capable hands of his former partect sound like a witch hunt, Retro ners in Retro Metro: Socrates Garrett, LeRoy Metro partner Socrates Garrett said. Walker and Howard Catchings. Watkins said Recent reports surfaced on WJTV about the project is within 15 percent of being coma lawsuit and a few subcontractor liens, in- plete, and he believes Retro Metro will have cluding Design Interiors, filed against Watkins and Retro Metro. Garrett said Watkins’ suits with subcontractors are a private matter, because the they don’t involve public funds. “I think (the media) are pressing real hard on Mr. Watkins. I don’t know what that’s all about,” Garrett said. “The tone of the conversation indicates that there’s a witch hunt against Mr. Watkins.” Delays in construction of the project led David Watkins said the lawsuit and liens subcontractors filed on the Metrocenter project are commonplace when developments to subcontractors filing hit a snag and projects are delayed. claims alleging they had not gotten paid for work completed. Watkins said he didn’t know the project completed in a little more than anything about the liens until a television re- a month. porter put them in his face recently during The city signed a contract with Retro an interview. Metro to develop the former Belk building It is Watkins’ understanding that the to house six city departments, including huliens, which are the responsibility of the re- man and cultural services, water and sewer, maining partners in Retro Metro, are in the and parks and recreation. Under the contract, cancellation process. Watkins left the Metro the city was supposed to pay for the equipRetro partnership about two months ago. ment and installation of new network cables Garrett told the JFP last week that the partners and a communications system in the building, were taking care of the liens. Watkins said. Watkins said his company is working to get Construction on the project hit a snag the court to dismiss one lawsuit, which he said when construction had to stop last winter is invalid. Such lawsuits and liens are common- until the city installed the necessary 19 to 20 place in development projects, especially when miles of networking cables in the ceiling, there are long delays in construction, he said. Watkins said. “When the project shuts down, subconCity Communications Director Chris tractors get nervous that they’re not going to Mims said both parties—the city and Retro get rehired,” Watkins said. “(I), along with the Metro—took mutual responsibility for the remaining Retro Metro partners, we’re analyz- misunderstanding about the communications ing these claims. We’re seeing what’s valid and wiring in February and worked out the issue. what’s not. Those claims that are valid, we’re The city and Retro Metro reworked the going to pay them.” contract to have Retro Metro install the netThe Mississippi Development Authority work cables, with the city paying $50,000 up declined to comment on whether or not delays front for the wiring and another $200,000 and resulting legal action are commonplace in plus interest over five years. large development projects. The delay meant extra costs for the deWatkins says he left the Metrocenter velopers. Interest alone on loans, Watkins said, project because he needed to focus on Farish was $40,000 per month. “This is cost on us,” Street. Renovation of the former Belk building Watkins said. “This wasn’t cost for the city. It at Metrocenter was taking up too much of his was all private money, all private money.” time and effort, he said. The city paid $50,000, less than 1 per“We ran into some problems, obviously, cent of the total project cost, toward the comat Metrocenter because of all the delays and munication wiring upgrades. because of the construction issues on the cost “That $50,000 has been totally accountto complete. It was requiring a whole lot of ed for,” Watkins said. time from me to help raise the additional Contact Jacob D. Fuller at jacob@jacksonmoney that was needed to complete the proj- freepress.com. Comment at www.jfp.ms.

8


councildish

by Jacob D. Fuller

Charles Tillman: Speak Softly I think the first two will give us an opportunity to look at the population (and)

young mothers, maybe we can slow the birth rate down someâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;as theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in programs, and professionals are talking with them about the one child or the two children they have, and how to protect themselves as young mothers moving forward with the kids they have, as far as health care, education and all of that.

Another project in your ward is Chartreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s proposed mixedincome housing development near Jackson State. There are a lot of people not happy with that proposal. What are your thoughts on it? Councilman Charles Tillman says he is not happy with the Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not happy, either, proposed mixed-income housing development in his ward. simply because Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been around west Jackson and spread the population more evenly, taking in been involved in west Jackson since Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been consideration the presence of council persons in Jackson. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been a part of all these proand their input, and being fair. posed changes, even the original Main Street development, where they got those little Calvary Baptist Church is in your medians leading up to (JSU). Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been ward. What do you think its project all kinds of studies and proposals over the to bring in a pediatric nursing years. facility will mean to Ward 5 and for We all got excited about the parkway that the city? was going to open up the area between JackItâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s definitely an economic piece in the son State and downtown Jackson, and give first place. Number two, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a great service to the university a better boost at being an urban the young mothers and the young children university (that is) open, rather than closed (to in this area. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a plus as far as health care for young people, too. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a win-win situation. Is that something that is really needed in the area? Of courseâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;most definitely. We have a lot of young mothers (and) young kids, and a lot of them need health care. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unfortunate: You have a lot of teenage mothers. They donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have any type of insurance or anything of that nature. I think the more we nurture

CITY REDESTRICTING

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the city.) To me, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not against low-income housing or low-income people, but the spirit of moving Jackson ahead and opening it up as an original plan, I think (the development) would be devastating to the future growth of downtown Jackson on this end, and the growth of Jackson State. Kids like to play. When you say low-income, it generally houses young mothers with kids. How are you going to keep (the kids) enclosed? They said they are going to fence it and all that, but you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t keep kids off of the parkway. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a public place. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to be out there with bicycles, tricycles and everything else. As soon as somebodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s car gets hit, or some kid gets hit, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a big problem. We have enough open spaces in Jackson, including west Jackson, that need development. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got all of Capitol Street over by the Boys and Girls Club down on Bon Air (Street), where theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve already started developing. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ready and available. They could even go to that site. I think (the proposal) would be just a bad move economically and especially for the future growth of Jackson State University. What would you like to see done with the area? As originally planned, to be a mixeduse to house people who work in downtown Jackson, Jackson State or whomever. Hopefully, a lot of staff at Jackson State would be a part of it, but if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s come just to low-income, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to stunt the group. You know how people feel about being around poor people. You might as well call a shot a shot. Contact Jacob D. Fuller at Jacob@jacksonfreepress.com. Read more of this interview and comment at www.jfp.ms.

jacksonfreepress.com

City redistricting is a big issue right now, with four different maps on the table (see inset, right) Which option do you support? I havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really made up my mind, but the first two catch my attention more than the last two.

Why is that?

TRIP BURNS

W

ard 5 Jackson City Councilman Charles Tillmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s soft-spoken approach doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t immediately give the impression of former middleschool principal. A public-school administrator and counselor for more than 30 years, Tillman served decade-long stints at both Rowan and Brinkley middle schools in Jackson. He spent more than his fair share of hours as a student before becoming a principal. After earning his bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree in business education from Alcorn State University in 1958, Tillman earned a masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree in guidance and counseling from the University of Southern California in 1962. After USC, he studied a semester at Atlanta University, and took post-graduate classes at the University of Notre Dame and at Jackson State University. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the reason I preach education nowâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;because I had a love and passion for education,â&#x20AC;? Tillman told the JFP at his City Council headquarters at the corner of Rose and Central streets. Tillman, a father of two, was also an active volunteer before being elected to the Council in 2005. Outside of his duties as an educator, Tillman received the Governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Distinguished Service Award for Outstanding Voluntary Community Service in 1981 and also the National Council of Negro Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Appreciation Award for Outstanding and Dedicated Service. Now the Jackson City Councilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vice president, Tillman often pushes for more tools and technology in schools and libraries to help move education forward in the city.

OPPOSING CHARTRE

9


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by Matthew Bolian

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August 29 - September 4, 2012

Bonjour!

10

First Friday of Each Month Free Spanish Class

or the sixth year in a row, Mississippi has earned the title of the most obese state in the nation, according to The Trust for Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Healthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual study. Luckily, the state has people like nationally-acclaimed chef Luis Bruno and his business partner, AimĂŠe Dickerson, who are committed to creating a healthier Mississippi. For Bruno, a Brooklyn, N.Y., native, the restaurant is the culmination of a journey that started in 2003 when, he says, his health forced him to close his first restaurant in Jackson. Weighing in at almost 400 pounds and suffering from diabetes, liver disease, sleep apnea and numbness in his foot, he received grim news from his doctors: He had five years to live if he did not change his lifestyle. Bruno rose to the challenge. Maintaining an 600-calorie-per-day diet, he lost 160 pounds in five and a half months. Almost a decade later and 200 total pounds lighter, Bruno just opened his second restaurant with the promise to make healthy food taste great. With more than 30 years in the food business, Bruno is an experienced leader in the kitchen. Starting at age 12, he helped his family open three separate restaurants. By 1996 he had completed culinary school and landed a job as executive chef at the Mississippi governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mansion for then-Gov. Kirk Fordice. After a short stint as Gov. Ronnie Musgroveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s head chef, Bruno left the comfort of the mansion and opened his first restaurant under his name, Brunoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Eclectic Cuisine, in 2001 with his former wife. Wooing another governor, Bruno joined then-Gov. Haley Barbourâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s entourage in 2004 where he stayed until 2009 when the Hilton Hotel near County Line Road hired him as its director of culinary development. In 2011, chef Bruno accepted the Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Museum of Artâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s offer to become executive chef at the Palette CafĂŠ. Finally, after three governors, four restaurants, a hotel and a museum, he decided to open Adobo. Bruno never believed he was going to open another restaurant, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I thought the first one was the last one,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But then I

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TRIP BURNS

Chef Buys Into Downtownâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Promise

Luis Brunoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Adobo could become the first certified green restaurant in Mississippi.

moved downtown and saw this spot.â&#x20AC;? Located on the ground floor of the Standard Life Building at the corner of Roach and Pearl streets, Brunoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Adobo is now part of Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s downtown renaissance. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I could have gone to Madison or Flowood, but downtown is going to blow up,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I give downtown three, four, five years, and it is going to be exploding.â&#x20AC;? Adobo is so much more than healthy food prepared by a master chef located in the middle of downtown. The restaurant is heavily involved in the green movement in Mississippi, and could soon be the first restaurant in the state with a green certification from the Green Restaurant Association. They have applied for the certification and currently meet all the necessary benchmarks, Bruno says. To earn and retain its certification, Adobo has to abide by rigorous standards: All tables, chairs and plates are made out of reusable materials; all plastics, glass, aluminum, cardboard and paper are recycled; dishes are prepared with organic and local food. And that is just a taste of all they do to go green. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Adobo is eco-friendly to its core,â&#x20AC;? said Dickerson, the restaurantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s co-owner and 22year veteran of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. Adobo is also a social enterprise. Bruno and Dickerson buy shirts from Gateway Rescue Mission for 50 cents, turn them inside out, and then print their logo on that side. Adobo will give the profits back to Gateway. Bruno

believes itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a great deal. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to wear the side that says Adobo, you flip it over and have a different shirt, so you get two shirts for one,â&#x20AC;? he said. Because they omit the processing of new shirts, each shirt saves up to 700 gallons of water. Just by buying an Adobo shirt, you can support local cuisine, protect the environment and make a difference in the community. Adobo serves affordable Latin food (from $8 to $12) with an Asian flare from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The restaurant opened its doors Aug. 20, relying on word-of-mouth and social media. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have been a little busier than expected,â&#x20AC;? Dickerson said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;but that is not a bad thing.â&#x20AC;? The partners plan to have three different â&#x20AC;&#x153;officialâ&#x20AC;? openingsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;one for friends and family, another for residents of the Kind Edward Hotel and the Standard Life building, and a third to celebrate Adoboâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s formal approval as a three-star green certified business, which they get once they accrue 175 points from the Green Restaurant Association. They already have more than 150. Currently, Adobo is not open for dinner or on weekends. However, they do intend to offer free delivery for downtown residents and an array of daily ready-to-eat meals and hors dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;oeuvres. Adobo is located at 127 Roach St. in the Standard Life Building. For additional information, call 601-944-9501, or visit the restaurantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Facebook page.


jacksonfreepress.com

11 JCV7210-16 Event Week August 27 JFPress 9.5x6.167.indd 1

8/27/12 3:10 PM


jfp op/ed

opining, grousing & pontificating

EDITORIAL

Fix What’s Broken, Mississippi

V

oter ID may be a non-issue for Mississippi in the upcoming presidential elections in November, but the fight is far from over for the Magnolia State. Depending on whether the U.S. Department of Justice clears the law, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann will either put procedures in place to ensure every eligible voter can get a card, or the law’s opponents will take the state to court fighting its implementation. Those are the likely scenarios. What is less likely to happen—and in our opinion, far more important—is that Mississippi ensures the integrity of every vote cast rather than Hosemann use his position to help his Republican Party. As Ronni Mott points out in her story on page 14, “Where Voter ID Stands in Mississippi,” Rutgers University gave an “inadequate” rating to the state’s emergency procedures at the polls and its reconciliation procedures after votes are cast. Jacksonians have a recent example of what can happen when poll workers don’t take their jobs seriously in the July 24 court-ordered runoff election between Councilwoman LaRita Cooper-Stokes and Joyce Jackson for the Ward 3 Jackson City Council seat. At one precinct, 88 votes went uncounted—because the poll manager failed to reconcile the electronic votes against the number of people who signed in to vote. Without an observant Jackson Free Press reporter who noticed that the numbers didn’t add up, those votes would have gone uncounted. It’s a small discrepancy at one precinct in an election that, on the national scale, has little consequence. But what’s true in small elections may also be true in big ones, and 88 uncounted votes in a few hundred individual polling places across the U.S. could well make the difference in who leads the country. The conservative spin on enacting voter-ID laws is that progressives and liberals aren’t interested in protecting the sanctity of the vote, and would allow voter fraud to run rampant. That’s nonsense, of course—with no evidence of a voterfraud problem that voter ID would fix, to boot. The progressive stance has always been that voting is a fundamental right (not a privilege) in a democracy. Because it is a right, voting procedures should make it as simple and easy as possible, removing barriers instead of erecting them, especially without evidence of need.. Clearly, voter ID laws erect barriers for many of our citizens to exercise their right to vote. Perhaps, if proponents of such laws could demonstrate their necessity by showing hundreds of cases of actual voter-fraud cases, we could understand the necessity. However, few such cases actually exist. The reason is simple: Fraud at the ballot box is enormously difficult to pull off, and it is a particularly inept way to throw an election. Successful voter fraud begins long before the ballot box, when politicians lie or buy off the electorate. Let’s face it: Voter IDs are a “solution” to a problem that doesn’t exist. We might get stuck with it, but Mississippi would do much better to spend its funds to correct demonstrable problems at the polls instead.

KEN STIGGERS

Right on the Edge

B

August 29 - September 4, 2012

rother Sylvester: “Welcome to the final round of the Open Air Cultural Theater Open Mic Poetry Showcase for the Unemployed. Over the past three years, the poor, middle class and unemployed have struggled like the Evans family from the television show ‘Good Times.’ Therefore, I organized this monthly event to help our jobless brothers and sisters maintain their motivation, dignity and self respect through creative self expression. Also, this event is an opportunity to educate and inform the Ghetto Science Community about how some people deal with joblessness. Let’s close this showcase with a brief, untitled poem by Scooby ‘Angry Black Man’ Rastus: “One year ago, I worked. / One year ago, the bills were paid. One year ago, I was grateful and happy. / One year ago, I had it made. Well, something happened, / and I want to forget the time when I lost my job and life declined. / Now, I can’t find a job, and I’m right at the edge. / If I don’t find something soon, I’ll not only lose my car and home / but also my head, while the bill collectors call my / cheap, pre-paid cell phone and continue to harass me wherever I go. / It’s still a jungle, and now, I’ll always wonder / how to keep from going under.” Brother Sylvester: “I want to thank Big Roscoe and Little Momma Roscoe of Clubb Chicken Wing for allowing me to host the Open Mic Poetry Showcase 12 for the Unemployed during the Hot Wing Happy Hour.”

KAMIKAZE

Making Others ‘Comfortable’

O

f dreadlocks and MBAs; of fashion trends and government intervention; of earrings and the news. Don’t worry; I’m about to make my point. Here it is: America has become eerily obsessed with what people wear, how they wear their hair and the accessories that they choose to sport. Seemingly, in this day and age, regulating fashion choices has become the go-to solution when school authorities or elected officials feel they have lost control of the people they serve. Suddenly, they cling to outdated standards and overly aggressive “bans” that ultimately do nothing to solve any problems. It just shows how lazy these authority figures are—or how callously out if touch they are with the younger generation. Recently, Hinds County has been dealing with a proposed ban on saggy pants. Luckily, the ordinance was voted down at a recent Board of Supervisors’ meeting, but the hours and manpower lost on this senseless proposal can never be returned. Like many folks, I have no desire to see someone’s backside, but not only is it unconstitutional to suggest laws can regulate fashion, they’re unenforceable. Further, such laws try to do what politicians who pander to a political demographic do. They fail to put the bulk of the responsibility where it actually lies—with parents. I don’t want, or need, the government to tell my son to pull his britches up. That’s my job. Politicians, especially those bucking for re-election, are prone to peddling superficial solutions to deep-rooted problems. Saggy pants don’t make thugs any more than cornrows and dreadlocks make a young person “unhireable.” But you can’t tell that to Hampton University

officials. They want to dictate how their post-graduate students wear their hair. Because, apparently, it’s hairstyles, not grade-point averages, that make you attractive to employers. Even amidst backlash, the HBCU has maintained its ban on ’rows and ’locks, from what I’m told. Way to help foster self-esteem and independent expression within the black academic community, Hampton. It seems that black males have been reared to make themselves as non-threatening as possible. No other demographic, to my knowledge, has to do more adjusting and conforming than the black male. We’re subjected to doing things to make the dominant culture feel comfortable, because if we make them comfortable, we can be accepted. In other words: Don’t wear dreds; don’t sag; don’t get tattoos, speak this way or walk that way—talent be damned. This is always a sensitive subject for me because I’ve lived it most of my adult life. I’ve been told to “ditch the ’fro,” hide the tattoos, lose the “rap name,” get rid of the earring, etc. Why? Just so I can make others feel comfortable. Ask yourself these questions: Do you think every kid that sags his pants is a criminal? Would you refuse advice from an accountant who wore cornrows? Is a news talk-show host less credible to you if he wears an earring? If your short answers to those questions are “yes,” then dare I say the problem doesn’t necessarily lie with the black males who do those things. The problem is perhaps with you and your closed mind. And that’s the truth ... shonuff.

Email letters to letters@jacksonfreepress.com, fax to 601-510-9019 or mail to P.O. Box 5067, Jackson, MS 39296. Include daytime phone number. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. Or write a 300-600-word “Your Turn” and send it by email, fax or mail above with a daytime phone number. All submissions are subject to fact checks.


Editor-in-Chief Donna Ladd Publisher Todd Stauffer

EDITORIAL Managing Editor Ronni Mott Reporters Jacob Fuller, R.L. Nave Features Editor Kathleen Morrison Mitchell Events Editor Latasha Willis Deputy Editor Briana Robinson Copy Editor Dustin CardonMusic Listings Editor Natalie Long Fashion Stylist Meredith Sullivan Writers Torsheta Bowen, Quita Bride, Marika Cackett, Richard Coupe,Tam Curley, Scott Dennis, Jim Pathfinder Ewing, Bryan Flynn, Diandra Hosey, Pamela Hosey, Robyn Jackson, Garrad Lee, Genevieve Legacy, Amanda Michaud, Jessica Mizell, Anita Modak-Truran, Larry Morrisey, Robin O’Bryant, Eddie Outlaw, Casey Purvis, Debbie Raddin, Julie Skipper, Kelly Bryan Smith Editorial Interns Elyane Alexander, Piko Ewoodzie, Lindsay Hayes, Darnell Jackson,Whitney Menogan, Sara Sacks, Sam Suttle,Victoria Sherwood, Consulting Editor JoAnne Prichard Morris

ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY Art Director Kristin Brenemen Advertising Designer Andrea Thomas Production Designer Latasha Willis Graphic Designer Eric Bennett Staff Photographer/Videographer Trip Burns Editorial Cartoonist Mike Day Photographers William Patrick Butler, Tate K. Nations, Jerrick Smith, Amile Wilson Graphic Design Intern Ariss King

ADVERTISING SALES Sales Director Kimberly Griffin Advertising Coordinator Monique Davis Account Executive Stephanie Bowering

BUSINESS AND OPERATIONS Executive Assistant Erica Crunkilton Bookkeeper Montroe Headd Distribution Manager Matt Heindl Distribution Avery Cahee, Raymond Carmeans, Jeff Cooper, Clint Dear, Jody Windham

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CONTACT US: Letters Editorial Queries Listings Advertising Publisher News tips Fashion

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Jackson Free Press

P.O. Box 5067, Jackson, Miss., 39296 Editorial (601) 362-6121 Sales (601) 362-6121 Fax (601) 510-9019 Daily updates at jacksonfreepress.com The Jackson Free Press is the city’s award-winning, locally owned newsweekly, with 17,000 copies distributed in and around the Jackson metropolitan area every Wednesday. The Jackson Free Press is free for pick-up by readers; one copy per person, please. Firstclass subscriptions are available for $100 per year for postage and handling. The Jackson Free Press welcomes thoughtful opinions. The views expressed in this newspaper are not necessarily those of the publisher or management of Jackson Free Press Inc. © Copyright 2012 Jackson Free Press Inc. All Rights Reserved

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A Pistol, and a Plea

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here’s something I need to tell you that I’ve not had the strength to share. There’s something I’ve alluded to over the years that I’ve not had the will to move beyond. There’s a secret that I’ve guarded all these years to keep from hurting my mother. Some might say that I’m being overly dramatic in sharing my secret. Others might accuse me of being insensitive in my treatment of my mother. That’s neither here nor there. The secret has to be shared—hurt feelings and all. For all the progress I think I’ve made in my life and that we’ve made as a people, I can’t move forward until I let go of this resentment I’ve harbored against my parents. I can’t get over the resentment that they were unprepared to raise a gay son without acknowledging that they simply didn’t know how. I can’t ask my parents to forgive me for being distant without telling them why. Chick-Fil-A has drawn a lot of attention lately. But most of the news sources covering the story—conservative and liberal alike—have gotten it wrong. This is not about Mr. Cathy’s views. This is not about “gay marriage” or freedom of speech and religious liberty. This is not about a damn chicken sandwich. Mr. Cathy’s statements, however backward and dim they might be, are not what’s at issue here. The fact that we have an epidemic of suicide in the LGBTQ community should be the focus. We should all be standing in our chairs crying out that every soul—gay or straight—is valuable and important. But that doesn’t get ratings, drive ad sales or sound good in a five-second sound bite. We live in a world where kids are slipping away, into a dark lonely place, where they think it’s better to die than to fight for who and what they are. This is about those times when I held my father’s pistol to my head. Yes, there was bullying, but you already know that. Yes, there were tears, too many to count. There were hours with my parents pleading for me to explain why I was so depressed that it eventually led to a session with a Christian family therapist. The therapist asked me point blank and rather tersely, “Well, are you a queer?” My denial from that point as a nonsexual pre-teen and into my 20s tied my hands and my ability to understand who and what I was. That kid crawled deeper into the closet, and on more than one occasion, knelt on my father’s side of the bed praying for the strength to pull the trigger. The only reason I failed is because I understood that it would break my mother. I kept my head down and kept on going because I didn’t want to make my parents suffer. The resentment took root then, and I’ve unwittingly let it flourish ever since.

Looking back, I can see that my parents did what they thought was right, but I still resent the fact that they weren’t really there. I also know that it’s wrong for me to blame them because the reality is that I wasn’t really there. I never found the strength to say, “I think I’m gay.” Of course, everyone else was saying it, but I never owned that truth. Here I stand at 40, and I finally have to snatch that albatross from around my neck and let that resentment go. Oddly enough, the Chick-Fil-A debate led to that revelation. It also shined a bright light on the divide between those who understand what it is to be discriminated against and those who claim we want “special rights.” I’ve been very vocal about polls that show equality is increasingly moving into the majority, thus trumpeting an optimistic view. Real progress, though, can’t be made until you take a good look at what is at the heart of the debate. It is estimated that LGBTQ teens are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. Why? Because they’re being told—literally and figuratively—that they are unnatural abberations that are against God’s design and will never be accepted or valued by anyone. Imagine trying to have a positive view of yourself while having that hateful opinion thrown at you from everyone, including adults who should know better but don’t. It’s not enough to say “It gets better” when they can’t even see beyond the bullying that just happened a moment ago. I never imagined that my life could be as good as it is because I couldn’t see beyond the way that pistol looked in my hands or felt pressed against my temple, or the taste of the cold metal inside my mouth. I couldn’t see at all. We will never be fully equal until every teenager knows that it’s OK to be gay. That won’t happen until people like Mr. Cathy stop using their money to marginalize our fundamental rights as American citizens. You don’t get to ramble on about “special rights” with a mouthful of chicken sandwich, because we LGBTQ folks will never get to make progress while kids have a mouthful of a pistol. I’m standing right here in front of you, begging you to acknowledge me as a human. I’m begging you to look at your children and consider that they might be struggling with their sexuality. I’m begging you to stop the hateful intolerance and consider that you, whether you know it or not, are killing our youth. How can you eat that chicken sandwich with their blood on your hands? Eddie Outlaw co-owns the William Wallace salon in Fondren. He blogs at www. jfp.ms/outlaw.

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Editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s note: Propublica first published this story July 23, 2012, and has updated it with new developments.

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oter IDs laws have become a political flashpoint in whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gearing up to be another close election year. Supporters say the lawsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;which 30 states have now enacted in some formâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;are needed to combat voter fraud, while critics see them as a tactic to disenfranchise voters.

VOTER IDENTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

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Key: STRICT PHOTO

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After years of unsuccessfully trying to get the Mississippi Legislature to pass a voter ID law, last November, state conservatives put the issue of voter ID to the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s voters. In the same election where voters said â&#x20AC;&#x153;noâ&#x20AC;? to a controversial initiative to make a fetus a person, voters said â&#x20AC;&#x153;yesâ&#x20AC;? to forcing voters to present a government-issued identification card to cast a ballot. The initiative passed with 62 percent of the vote. Of course, that wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the end of the issue for Mississippi. First, the state Legislature had to pass a law, which it did. Before implementing any laws that change voting procedures, Mississippi has to get a ruling on the law from the U.S. Department of Justice. That isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a frivolous request; the state has a history of black voter suppression going back to Reconstruction

and the Jim Crow era. Essentially, because it wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t give a fair and level playing field to African Americans then, the federal government is watching us to make sure we do now. By June 20, however, the Justice Department had not received all the pertinent information it needed to make its ruling. Among the items missing were Secretary of State Delbert Hosemannâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s specific procedures to implement voter ID across the state. A related problem, but not at issue with the DOJ, is the cost of implementing the measure. The state Legislature had failed to fund the law, which the Mississippi Legislative Budget Office estimated could cost the state up to $1.5 million in lost revenue. Sen. Joey Fillingane, R-Sum-

NON-PHOTO

NO VOTER ID LAW

by Ronni Mott

WARD SCHAEFER

August 29 - September 4, 2012

Where Voter ID Stands in Mississippi

PHOTO

Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann has been adamant that every voter who needs a voter-ID card will be able to get one.

rall, the lawâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sponsor, disputed that figure,

saying it would cost about $100,000 to give everyone who needed it a free voter ID card. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Of course, that wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t happen,â&#x20AC;? Fillingane said, meaning that not everyone who needs a card will actually go to get one. Regardless of how much or how little it costs, opponents of the law doubt if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s money well-spent, or even necessary, to â&#x20AC;&#x153;fixâ&#x20AC;? a voter-fraud problem that conservatives have little evidence even exists. Our â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Catch-22â&#x20AC;&#x2122; In early July, the Jackson Free Press broke the news about Mississippiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s voter â&#x20AC;&#x153;catch 22.â&#x20AC;? Under the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new law, one of the requirements to get a free voter ID card is a birth certificate, but to receive a


As a registered voter, I thought I always had to supply some form of ID during an election. Not quite. Per federal law, first-time voters who registered by mail must present a photo ID or copy of a current bill or bank statement. Some states generally advise voters bring some form of photo ID. But prior to the 2006 election, no state ever required a voter to produce a government-issued photo ID as a condition to voting. Indiana in 2006 became the first state to enact a strict photo ID law, a law that was upheld two years later by the U.S. Supreme Court. Why are these voter ID laws so strongly opposed? Voting law opponents contend these laws disproportionately affect elderly, minority and low-income groups that tend to vote Democratic. Obtaining photo ID can be costly and burdensome, with even free state ID requiring documents like a birth certificate that can cost up to $25 in some places. According to a study from NYU’s Brennan Center, 11 percent of voting-age citizens lack necessary photo ID while many people in rural areas have trouble accessing ID offices. During closing arguments in a recent case over Texas’s voter ID law, a lawyer for the state brushed aside these obstacles as the “reality to life of choosing to

certified copy of your birth certificate in Mississippi, you must have a photo ID. Then, on July 17, the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School, a non-partisan public-policy legal institute, released a report, “The Challenge of Obtaining Voter ID,” warning that an estimated 48,329 Mississippians do not have access to a vehicle and live more than 10 miles from a state ID issuing office. In the rural areas of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia—what the Brennan Center called the “black belt” due to its many black residents—many African American voters live a “significant distance” from voter ID offices. In addition, 13 “contiguous” counties in Mississippi have driver’s license offices open only on a part-time basis, a fact the JFP has con-

Just how well-founded are fears of voter fraud? There have been only a small number of fraud cases resulting in a conviction. A New York Times analysis from 2007 identified 120 cases filed by the Justice Department over five years. These cases, many of which stemmed from mistakenly filled registration forms or misunderstanding over voter eligibility, resulted in 86 convictions. There are “very few documented cases,” said UC-Irvine professor and election law specialist Rick Hasen. “When you do see election fraud, it invariably involves election officials taking steps to change election results or it involves absentee ballots which voter ID laws can’t prevent,” he said. An analysis by News21, a national investigative reporting project, identified 10 voter impersonation cases out of 2,068 alleged election fraud cases since 2000—or one out of every 15 million prospective voters. One of the most vocal supporters of strict voter ID laws, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, told the Houston Chronicle earlier this month that his office has prosecuted about 50 cases of voter fraud in recent years. “I know for a fact that voter fraud is real, that it must be stopped, and that voter ID is one way to prevent cheating at the ballot box and ensure integrity in the electoral system,” he told the paper. Abbott’s office did not immediately respond to ProPublica’s request for comment. How many voters might be turned

firmed. The Brennan Center found that county offices in Mississippi will provide IDs to citizens; however, because the U.S. Department of Justice has not cleared the voter ID law for this state, no information on how county offices will handle ID distribution was available. At the time, Derrick Johnson, president of the Mississippi chapter of the NAACP, said the state’s voter ID law would not get approval in time for the November elections. “The secretary of state’s office is deceiving the public when they present the idea that there will be a voter ID requirement in November, when the Department of Justice has not approved it, yet,” he said. The Brennan report also identified

away or dissuaded by the laws, and could they really affect the election? It’s not clear. According to the Brennan Center, about 11 percent of U.S. citizens, or roughly 21 million citizens, don’t have government-issued photo ID. This figure doesn’t represent all voters likely to vote, just those eligible to vote. State figures also can be hard to nail down. In Pennsylvania, nearly 760,000 registered voters, or 9.2 percent of the state’s 8.2 RL NAVE

So what are these laws? They are measures intended to ensure that a registered voter is who he says he is and not an impersonator trying to cast a ballot in someone else’s name. The laws, most of which have been passed in the last several years, require that registered voters show ID before they’re allowed to vote. Exactly what they need to show varies. Some states require a government-issued photo, while in others a current utility bill or bank statement is sufficient.

live in that part of Texas.” Attorney General Eric Holder and others have compared the laws to a poll tax, in which Southern states during the Jim Crow era imposed voting fees, which discouraged the working class and poor, many of whom were minorities, from voting. Given the sometimes costly steps required to obtain needed documents today, legal scholars argue that photo ID laws create a new “financial barrier to the ballot box.”

Rep. Alex Monsour, R-Vicksburg, gives Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann a pat on the back after Gov. Phil Bryant (seated) signed Mississippi’s voter-identification law.

million voter base, don’t own state-issued ID cards, according to an analysis of state records by the Philadelphia Inquirer. State officials, on the other hand, place this number at between 80,000 and 90,000. In Indiana and Georgia, states with the earliest versions of photo ID laws, about 1,300 provisional votes were discarded in the 2008 general election, later analysis has revealed. As for the potential effect on the election, one analysis by Nate Silver at the New York Times’ FiveThirtyEight blog estimates

numerous other potential barriers for potential voters. For low- and fixed-income citizens, the cost of obtaining a birth certificate, $15 in Mississippi, can be a real issue. In addition, if a person has changed her name—likely to affect married women—she will need to present proof of the name change, such as a certified copy of a marriage license. “Only 48 percent of voting-age American women who have ready access to their birth certificate have their current name on it,” the report stated, adding, “Citizens born or married in another state may incur additional charges.” Bear Atwood, legal director for the Mississippi ACLU, expressed her concerns about the laws. “The voter ID law has two effects:

they could decrease voter turnout anywhere between 0.8 and 2.4 percent. It doesn’t sound like a very wide margin, but it all depends on the electoral landscape. “We don’t know exactly how much these news laws will affect turnout or skew turnout in favor of Republicans,” said Hasen, author of the recently released “The Voting Wars: From Florida 2000 to the Next Election Meltdown” (Yale University Press, 2012, $30) “But there’s no question that in a very close election, they could be enough to make a difference in the outcome.” When did voter ID laws get passed— and which states have the strictest ones? The first such law was passed as early as 2003, but momentum has picked up in recent years. In 2011 alone, legislators in 34 states introduced bills requiring voters show photo ID—14 of those states already had existing voter ID laws but lawmakers sought to toughen statutes, mainly to require proof of photo identification. The National Conference of State Legislatures has a helpful breakdown of states’ voter ID laws and how they vary. Indiana, Georgia, Tennessee, Kansas and Pennsylvania have the toughest versions. These states won’t allow voters to cast a regular ballot without first showing valid photo ID. Other states with photo ID laws offer some more flexibility by providing voters with several alternatives. What happens if a voter can’t show valid photo ID in these states? These voters are entitled to a provisional ballot. To ensure their votes count, however, they must produce the mandatory ID within a certain time frame and affirm in person or writing they are the same individual who filled out a temporary ballot on Election Day. The time limits vary: They range anymore VOTER ID see page 17

One, it would disenfranchise certain voters in the state because there are so many people who cannot get access to photo IDs,” she said. “And two, it would make people afraid to go out and vote because they would not have the required identification to vote. It would take us back to the days of poll taxes.” The report also cited the “Mississippi Catch-22,” calling it “particularly perverse.” In response to the Brennan Center report, Mississippi Secretary of State Hosemann reacted vehemently, saying the “report”— he never failed to put the word “report” in belittling quotation marks—is “purposely inaccurate and is misleading.” In his statement, Hosemann accused more STATE ID see page 17

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We’ve taken a step back to look at the facts behind the laws and break down the issues at the heart of the debate.

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Are there any exceptions to the photo ID requirement? Yes: indigency or religious objections to being photographed. But these exceptions don’t automatically grant a voter the ability to cast a regular ballot: In Pennsylvania and Indiana, voters will be given a provisional ballot and must sign an affidavit for their exemption within the given time frame. For a more specific breakdown of all exceptions, see the Brennan Center’s state-by-state summary. Why is the Justice Department getting involved in some cases? Because of Section 5 of the Voting Rights

Act, which requires that states with a history of discrimination receive preclearance before making changes to voting laws. Texas and South Carolina passed strict photo ID laws in 2011 but were refused preclearance by the DOJ, which argued that these laws could suppress turnout among minority voters. Texas went to court recently seeking judicial preclearance from a federal district court; a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia is expected to issue a decision by the end of the summer. South Carolina heads to oral arguments in the same court in September. What about challenges to the laws? On August 15, a Pennsylvania judge shot down an attempt to attempt to block the state’s voter ID law. As we’ve reported, other

judges have also ruled in favor of other states’ voter ID laws. See the sidebar, “Pennsylvania is just the latest ruling upholding voter-ID law” for a rundown of the rulings. The DOJ is also investigating many of the states’ laws, including Pennsylvania’s photo ID law. As first reported by Talking Points Memo, the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division sent the state’s chief election official a letter July 23 requesting 16 separate items, including the state’s complete voter registration list, any documents supporting the governor’s prior assurance that “99 percent” of the state’s eligible voters already have acceptable photo ID, any papers to prove the state is prepared to provide registered voters with ID cards free of charge upon oath or affirmation, and any more VOTER ID see page 18

VOTER ID from page 16 the center of exaggerating the populations affected by distance to voter-ID-issuing sites and called its conclusions “fraudulent.” The secretary then added this regarding the “Mississippi catch-22”: “What they do not say is each Circuit Clerk will be able to access the National Association for Public Health Statistics to verify available birth certificate data across the country at no cost to the applicant by simply obtaining basic information from the applicant.” Atwood said that Hosemann’s statement was the first time she had heard of circuit clerks being able to access NAPHS birth certificate data, but maintained that this measure would not resolve all the barriers. “There may not be a birth certificate in some database somewhere. It may not exist,” she said. The birth of older rural Mississippians, Atwood maintains, may never have been officially recorded. “We don’t know how many people are not going to be able to connect the dots from their birth certificate to their current name,” she added, referring to people who need a marriage certificate or other proof of a name change in addition to a birth certificate. For its part, the Brennan Center stood by its data—compiled primarily through recent U.S. Census numbers—and its conclusions. “We sincerely hope that the state of Mississippi lives up to the Secretary’s promise that these county offices will provide free photo IDs to all citizens who need them from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., five days a week,” the center stated in a response to Hosemann’s accusations. “We are glad to hear that Mississippi appears to have found a solution to this problem,” the response continued. “Whatever one’s position on new voter ID laws, we can all agree that in states where such laws exist, every effort should be made to ensure

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that eligible voters can get such IDs.” Trouble at the Polls In August, Rutgers Law School, Common Cause and Verified Voting Foundation, issued “Counting Votes 2012: A State by State look at Voting Technology Preparedness.” That report found that Mississippi is one of many states that could disenfranchise

‘It’s Murphy’s Law— even in elections something can and will go wrong.’

voters due to faulty voting-machine contingency plans. “It’s Murphy’s Law—even in elections something can and will go wrong,” Pamela Smith, president of Verified Voting, told reporters during a conference call. The report looked at five areas: if a state requires paper ballots or paper records of every vote cast; if a state has adequate contingency plans at each polling place in the event of machine failure; if a state protected military and overseas voters and their ballots from alteration, manipulation and privacy violations; whether the state carried out postelection audits to verify electronic results; and if the state used robust ballot reconciliation and tabulation practices to ensure no ballots are lost or added. Overall, the report ranked Mississippi

“inadequate” based on its performance in each area. South Carolina, Kansas, Colorado, Louisiana and Delaware also ranked near the bottom. In Mississippi law, if a voting machine becomes “injured,” it is the poll manager’s responsibility to notify the registrar so the machine can be replaced. The authors examined two Mississippi counties, and both confirmed that they have backup machines and emergency ballots on standby. However, the plan is not foolproof: Emergency paper ballots were not located in all precincts in the two counties studied. The report’s author received a statement from the Hosemann’s office that stated, “Mississippi does not require emergency paper ballots to be kept at the polling place” but “as a practical matter … it is usual and customary for paper ballots, in as near as possible in the form of the official ballot, to be kept at the polling place so as to not encounter any delay in the voting process and resulting disenfranchisement of any registered, eligible voter.” As stated in the 2010 “Mississippi Poll Managers Guide,” the report found that voters could not use emergency ballots just because of long lines. Emergency ballots are provided in case one of the machines breaks, not for voter “convenience.” Mississippi ranked inadequate for postelection audits category because it does not have a state requirement for carrying out post-election audits. The state also ranked inadequate in its handling of overseas and military votes. Hosemann took issue with that finding as well. “Our process is very secure,” Hosemann told the Associated Press, adding that Mississippi is one of 15 states recognized for making ballots available electronically. The Rutgers report states this could pose a probmore STATE ID see page 18

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studies that inform state officials of the “demographic characteristics” of residents who lack valid voter ID. The DOJ letter states it needs these documents within 30 days to evaluate the state’s compliance with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which forbids voting practices that discriminate on the basis of race, color, or membership in a language minority group. Have any states attempted to enact strict voter ID laws but so far been unsuccessful? Yes. In Wisconsin, two judges have blocked enforcement of the state’s photo ID law. An appeal in one case won’t be heard until after the November election. Meantime, Democratic governors in Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire and North Carolina have vetoed strict photo ID bills passed by their Republican-led legislatures last year. Why has there been such a recent surge in voter ID legislation around the country? The report, “Voting Law Changes in 2012” by NYU’s Brennan Center for Justice, cites primarily big Republican gains in the 2010 midterms which turned voter ID laws into a “major legislative priority.” Aside from Rhode Island, all voter ID legislation has been introduced by Republican-majority legislatures. On Aug. 12, News21 also published the story “Flurry of Photo ID Laws Tied to Conservative Washington Group” on the close affiliation between the bills’ sponsors and the conservative nonprofit group, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Republican figures have championed

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A voting machine sits in a warehouse waiting to be used in the Nov. 6 election.

such laws. For instance, Mike Turzai, majority leader of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, recently praised the state’s legislative accomplishments at a Republican State Committee meeting last month. “Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done,” he said. A spokesman for Turzai, Steve Miskin, told ProPublica that Turzai was “mischaracterized” by the press. “For the first time in many years, you’re going to have a relatively level playing field in the presidential elections” as the result of these new laws,” Miskin said. “With all things equal, a Republican presidential nominee in Pennsylvania has a chance.” See the online version of this story for links to all of the cited stories and sources, and to download the reports mentioned. Comment at www.jfp.ms.

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STATE ID from page 17

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lem because voting ballots received by fax or email do not require a signature. Mississippi ranked “generally good” in the areas of ballot accounting and reconciliation. Most counties in the state use direct-recording electronic voting machines (DRE). At the end of the voting day, the poll-station manager must reconcile the tapes’ numbers against the public count number. The poll manager must sign off on a “ballot recap form” that lists all of the valid and invalid ballots, and all unused ballots and affidavits. This procedure allows managers to determine if they are counting all votes but does not determine an accurate count. The Rutgers report offered several improvement suggestions for Mississippi to improve its election procedures. They included upgrading ballot accounting and reconciliation practices, encouraging overseas and military voters to cast ballots by mail, ensuring comprehensive contingency plans are in place and reinforcing best practices at government elections offices.

Moot for November On Aug. 24, the NAACP’s Johnson re-affirmed his earlier statement that Mississippians need not worry about voter ID for the November election, based on the DOJ’s review of the law. Despite Secretary Hosemann’s adamant defense that Mississippi is ready to implement the new law, he has also reportedly stated that he doubts anything will be set by Election Day on Nov. 6. That does not mean that Mississippians should not remain vigilant and on top of the situation. Atwood called it was “unacceptable” to keep people from exercising their constitutional right to vote. “I would want to ask the secretary, ‘What’s the acceptable number of people to disenfranchise?’” Atwood said. “I think it’s zero.” Email Ronni Mott at ronni@jackson freepress.com. Vergie Redmond contributed to this story. Comment at www.jfp.ms. See more voter-ID coverage at jfp.ms/voterid.


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In Search of an Honest Portrayal by Allie Jordan

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he subSIPPI team leans into a computer screen, entranced by film footage of Jackson’s Urban Gardening initiative. Greg Gandy, Vincent Chaney and Lauren Cioffi plan to include the footage in their subSIPPI project, an exploratory documentary they call, “An honest portrayal of Mississippi. A search for diversity that is to be found within the state that has otherwise gone unnoticed.” Their mission is to road trip throughout Mississippi while documenting various subcultures. In turn, they’ll use what they gather to create resources that will allow Mississippians and outsiders alike to find pride in the state. In their two-part project, the subSIPPI documentary and subsippi.com, Gandy, Chaney and Cioffi plan to spotlight Mississippi’s diverse ways of life. “What we hope will transpire from that is that these people will be able to realize that we have all these different groups of people living within the borders of Mississippi expressing different things and doing different things,” Chaney says. Chaney, 21 and a senior at the University of Southern Mississippi, Gandy, a studio painter at the North Midtown Arts Center, and Cioffi, an urban gardener primarily working in west Jackson, decided to collaborate to highlight the culture and help cultivate a sense of place. They used the fundraising site Kickstarter to raise the startup capital needed to drive around the state in search of interesting voices. The team plans to interview people in every county or area about their respective expertise. “Mississippi is already uplifting itself, and it has been trying to for a long time,” Gandy says. “We’re just trying to help it go one step further. It can either happen now, or it can happen later. We would rather it happen now.” Chaney asserts that while Mississippi’s past is absolutely important, it shouldn’t necessarily dictate our state’s future. “If we can build a documentary that’s giving people the resource of our culture—a very real culture—then we can cultivate a sense of place: the Mississippi way of life in 2012,” he says. Cioffi, 25, gardens with Jacksonians from all stages of life, 6-year-olds to 75-year-olds, and she says this has helped shape the way the subSIPPI documentary will be composed. “It was really interesting to see how the kids were living in present-day Mississippi but still connected back to a sense of history and place with the older people in the same moment of time,” Cioffi says. “We’re hoping to tie that into subSIPPI as well—working from the past but also seeing how that has created this new generation and, now, how they’re taking hold of the new Mississippi.” The subSIPPI project began partly in response to national

media’s portrayal of a Mississippi opposed to progressive ideas, and ultimately a backward place. In particular, the trio says, Bill Maher produced a video that interviewed various Mississippians about politics that the subSIPPI team felt epitomized a severely limited portrayal of the state. Unlike Maher’s cherrypicked interviews that they believe fulfilled preconceived notions, Gandy, 22, says that they are willing to give a voice to anyone who wants to be involved. They want to remove themselves from the film as much as possible, to remain an “open lens.” Chaney, Cioffi and Gandy certainly agree that Mississippi’s “sense of place” has long been misunderstood: Outsiders often have a negative view of the state, and natives often do not possess pride for their own state. Though they all agree that Mississippi has room for improvement, Chaney says the state is more than just a statistic. “When you look at Mississippi from a holistic point of view, you can take pride in what you find. All too often we can find fault in the situation, but it’s a lot more worthwhile to look at progression,” he says. Indeed, Mississippi has progressed in many ways, and Chaney believes that truth is found in context. “There are just so many things going on in the state. We’re not trying to eradicate the southern way of life,”

Chaney explains. “We want to capture energy and portray what it’s like in Mississippi. I can hope that subSIPPI will capture the honest energy in Mississippi.” The subSIPPI filmmakers started the filming process Aug. 1, and they will continue throughout September and October, then edit until the end of the year. They plan to film communities across the state, including Cats Purring Dude Ranch, a musicians’ commune in Oxford; Magnolia Grove Monastery, a Buddhist monastery in Batesville; and the Mississippi School of the Arts in Brookhaven. The amount of time they will spend with each group is different, but typically, they will spend one night in each place. “These are only a handful of the great things our state has to offer,” Gandy says, “Every subculture is useful to the advancement of Mississippi.” The three plan to premiere the documentary in the early months of 2013. “It’s a focus on past, respecting what’s transpired, appreciating the present, and looking to the future,” Chaney says.

Get Involved:

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Greg Gandy (pictured), Vincent Chaney and Lauren Cioffi are making a documentary about Mississippi subcultures to “show the transition from the older generation’s set of cultures to the younger generation’s.”

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DIVERSIONS|arts

and to find out what the conditions are in various countries,” Del Castillo says. But the festival is more than just an educational opportunity. LABA-Link and the festival’s sponsors invite the entire community to jump in and enjoy all the essentials of a fiesta: music, dance, art, food, family and fun. LatinFest is also a means to serve the broader community and benefit one of LABA-Link’s strategic partners, the American Red Cross. A portion of the proceeds generated at the festival will be donated to support the charitable work of the national organization that provides disaster relief, supports military families, offers training and education, collects life-saving blood donations and offers international relief services. “LABA-Link began its partnership with the Red Cross in Julio Del Castillo and the Latin American Business 2011 with the formation and Association (LABA-Link) are bringing LatinFest training of a bilingual corps of to the Jackson area Saturday, Sept. 2. volunteers,” Del Castillo says. In the event of an emergency involving Latinos living in the ulio Del Castillo, is a warm, outgo- state of Mississippi, the bilingual corps ing and energetic man who splits his stands ready to do their part in Red Cross’ time between family, work and ser- disaster aid and relief efforts. More inforvice, and is enormously proud of his mation about LABA-Link and its partLatino heritage. Though born in Peru to ners will be available at the festival. “We Peruvian and Bolivian parents, Del Cas- are trying to get people’s attention,” Del tillo, president of Jackson’s Latin Ameri- Castillo says. “We hope to encourage netcan Business Association, LABA-Link, working and information sharing.” considers Mississippi home. “I’ve lived in LatinFest features a diverse music Jackson since 1993,” Del Castillo says. and entertainment line-up that includes During his near two decades of resi- jazz singer Pam Confer, cellist Marcelo dency, he and his wife, who hails from the Vieira and Latin jazz singer Patricia CuenCzech Republic, have raised three chil- ca. There will be a dance performance dren. In addition to being the president of and dance class for participants by Salsa LABA-Link, Del Castillo is one of a few bi- Therapy Dance Academy. In between the lingual speakers employed by the state gov- performances, Latin DJs will keep the ernment. He works in the Human Services party going. Special guest speakers for the Department, Division of Child Support afternoon are Ridgeland’s mayor, Gene Enforcement, specifically with Latin and McGee, and Sandra Hodge, CEO of the Spanish-speaking populations. Mississippi American Red Cross. Del Castillo and his colleagues at The festival also promises to be a great LABA-Link are happy to continue the tradi- day for foodies and epicureans. Festivaltion of celebrating Hispanic culture by host- goers are invited to sample the many flavors ing LatinFest 2012 Saturday, Sept. 2. The of Latin American cuisine. Vendors will Mississippi Hispanic Association has hosted offer comida y refrescos (food and refresha similar festival in the past, but Jackson has ments) from 15 different countries includbeen without a Latino or Hispanic festival ing Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Chile, Arfor a couple of years, he says. gentina and Brazil. Children are welcome LatinFest, held at the Mississippi Craft to join the party to enjoy face painting, Center in Ridgeland, will bring together kid’s games and a bounce house. friends, families, businesses and the comLatinFest is Sunday, Sept. 2, from munity to share the wealth and diversity of 2-6 p.m. at the Mississippi Craft Center (950 Latin America and the Caribbean—while Rice Road, Ridgeland, 601-856-7546). Adkeeping a bit of Mississippi style. mission is $7 for adults, $3 for children aged “The festival is a good way for stu- 3-10, free for kids younger than 3. Admission dents and church missionary organiza- includes free food samples. Email labalink@ tions to learn about life in Latin America, gmail.com for more information.

J

Dine at Robert St.John’s restaurants in Jackson

August 29 - September 4, 2012

SEPTEMBER

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9–12 2012

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DIVERSIONS|film

A M A LC O T H E AT R E

Road Trippin’

South of Walmart in Madison

ALL STADIUM SEATING Listings for Fri. August 31Thurs. September 6 2012

Celeste And Jesse Forever R Brave (Non 3-D) PG Marvel’s The Avengers (Non 3-D) PG13 Lawless

R

Expendables 2 Sparkle

R

PG13

ParaNorman (non 3-D)

PG

The Odd Life Of Timothy Green PG The Campaign

R

The Bourne Legacy PG13

Oogieloves In The Big Balloon G

Hope Springs

Premium Rush PG13

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days PG

The Apparition PG13

The Dark Knight Rises PG13

2016 Obama’s America PG

Ice Age Continental Drift (non 3-D) PG

Hit And Run

R

PG13

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August 29 - September 4, 2012

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COURTESY OPEN ROAD FILMS

The Possession PG13

by Anita Modak-Truran

“Hit and Run,” featuring fast cars and cool dudes, exudes so much fun from its main characters that the audience can’t help but enjoy it.

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admit that I had a complete lack of interest in seeing “Hit and Run,” a low-budget movie written, co-directed, co-edited, co-produced and starring Dax Shepard. The trailer hypes a hip version of “Fast and Furious” on Valium, and it struck me as the same old insulting failed attempt at entertainment. But then again, none of the new offerings at the box office this weekend looked appealing: Option 1: “Hit and Run,” featuring fast cars, cool dudes and quick wit. Option 2: “Premium Rush” zeroes in on a bike messenger pedaling for his life from a bad cop. This film had less box-office appeal than the conservative-driven documentary called “2016: Obama’s America.” Option 3: “The Apparition” features a paranormal being that kills those who believe in it. With a rating of 3 out of 100 on Rotten Tomatoes, this movie looks scary bad, and bad here is not good, but horrible. Would you have picked option 1, 2 or 3? Bradley Cooper in dreadlocks swayed my final decision. I snagged a friend to join me in anticipated misery. Her comment was, “Roger Ebert gave it three and a half stars.” That makes me think that Ebert, the finest living film critic—and one that my mother and I lunched with at the Cannes Film Festival—has lost his critical edge. What was Ebert thinking? His rating appears to have more to do with sheer surprise than content. But you know, “Hit and Run” doesn’t stink. I’m not saying this is a masterpiece, but it wasn’t puke awful. In fact, it is what it is and nothing more. This film has no pretensions of being great. It was made with a cast and crew that clearly had a great time together. (Shepard and his co-star, Kristen Bell, are engaged to be married). The movie opens on Charlie Bronson (Shepard), the crook-who-has-changed-

his-ways, snuggling with his beautiful and smart girlfriend, Annie (Bell). Charlie (that’s his assumed name) is definitely out of his league with Annie. He doesn’t have a job, he has a bumbling U.S. marshal as his keeper (Tom Arnold), and he blows a lot of hot air pontificating about Annie being where she needs to be. Annie doesn’t need a doctorate in conflict resolution to understand that something’s off with Charlie, who is in the witness protection program. But she apparently loves his scraggly little beard, greasy long hair, brightly colored tattoos and self-deprecating wit. The road trip commences when Annie gets offered a job interview in Los Angeles. Charlie pulls out the hot wheels: a customized 700-horsepowered Lincoln. That’s the turning point, when the dialogue gets razor sharp. The haters—Annie’s old boyfriend Gil (Michael Rosenbaum) and Charlie’s bank robbing partner Alex (Cooper)—get on their trail, and the rubber meets the road. I know that it’s hard to imagine from the title, but the second half of the film zooms from one high-octane car chase, crash and burn to another. “Hit and Run” conveys the mood of California culture with skill and in such full belief that its overarching attitude of “chill out” is sort of appealing. A non-stop babble of psycho-analytical chatter links all of the characters, from Charlie to Annie to Arnold’s marshal to the zany criminal oddballs. The actors seem to have fun in this off-the-wall comedy, and the mood is infectious. Not every movie has to matter. Most of us, particularly with the end of summer approaching, go to the movies just to relax and refresh. This movie hits a few laughs and is like a mini-road trip to nowhere. Why not take the trip if you have nothing better to do?


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BEST BETS Aug. 29-Sept. 5, 2012 by Latasha Willis events@jacksonfreepress.com Fax: 601-510-9019 Daily updates at jfpevents.com

WEDNESDAY 8/29

BRICE MEDIA

See Martha Harrell’s paintings through Sept. 30 at Flowood Library (103 Winners Circle, Flowood). Free; call 601-919-1911. … “History Is Lunch” at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.) featuring Millsaps College Library director Tom Henderson has been postponed until Sept. 12 due to inclimate weather. … Ole Miss Spirit publisher Chuck Rounsaville speaks at the Central Mississippi Ole Miss Rebel Club Meeting at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame (1152 Lakeland Drive) at 6:30 p.m. Social at 5:30 p.m. $25; call 601-949-4621. … Pieworks, Madison has live music Wednesdays at 6 p.m. … John Mora performs at Papitos from 6-9 p.m. … Hunter Gibson is at Table 100. … Jesee “Guitar” Smith performs at Burgers & Blues. … Philip’s on the Rez has karaoke.

FRIDAY 8/31

The Storytellers Ball Juried Exhibition at the Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.) closes today. Free; call 601-960-1557. … The Jackson Bike Advocates’ monthly Community Bike Ride starts at 6 p.m. at Rainbow Whole Foods Cooperative Grocery (2807 Old Canton Road). Free; find Jackson Bike Advocates on Facebook. … The Sidewalk Soiree is at 6 p.m. at One University Place (1100 John R. Lynch St.). See Tony Davenport’s artwork at Gallery 1, and visit The Penguin restaurant and Envision Eye Care. Free; call 769-233-8180 or 601-960-9250. … The Vicksburg Love and Laughter Show with Dave Hollister, Shirley Murdock and comedian D Ellis is at 8 p.m. at Vicksburg Auditorium (901 Monroe St., Vicksburg). $25 in advance, $35 day of show; call 800-745-3000. … Bluesman Ben Payton performs at 8 p.m. at Yellow Scarf. BYOB. $20 in advance online, $25 at the door; call 347-754-0668; yellowscarf-jackson.com. … Grayson Capps performs at Martin’s. … Akami Graham is at Hal & Mal’s. … Ryan Harris and Company plays at Ole Tavern. … Eddie Cotton performs at 9 p.m. at Mediterranean Fish and Grill. … The hip-hop duo Lucky LaDon Luciano and Block C perform at 11 p.m. at Studio 12 (Highway 12, Ethel); 10 p.m. party before the show. $5, ladies free before 11 p.m.; call 662-694-1745; email ladon.luciano@gmail.com.

SATURDAY 9/1

The Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.) hosts Labor Day with the Animals from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Free with paid admission ($10, $6.75 ages 2-12, children under 2 and members free); call 601-352-2580. … See Greg Gustafson’s art exhibit through Sept. 30 at Brown’s Fine Art (630 Fondren Place). Free; call 601-982-4844. … Soul Wired Cafe hosts Reggae and Salsa Night. … Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun and JAG play at Ole Tavern. … Dr. Fameus and Drizno perform at 10 p.m. at Martin’s. … DoubleShotz is at McB’s. … Larry Brewer performs at Pelican Cove. … The weekly “Burn the Dance Floor” Latin dance party is at 9 p.m. at Salsa Mississippi (605 Duling Ave.). $10, $5 students with ID; call 601213-6355. … Nameless Open-mic is at 9 p.m. at Suite 106. $5 admission, $3 to perform. Bluesman Ben Payton performs at Yellow Scarf Aug. 31 at 8 p.m.

August 29 - September 4, 2012

The exhibit “Pieces of the Past: Mississippi’s Chief Executive” at the Old Capitol Museum (100 S. State St.) hangs through Oct. 7. Free; call 601-576-6920. … This month’s Charity Taco Night from 5-9 p.m. at Jaco’s Tacos benefits the Jackson Zoo. Food prices vary; call 601-405-0499. … Meet members of the JSU Tigers football team during the Tiger Bash at 6 p.m. at Jackson State University (1400 John R. Lynch St.) in the Lee E. Williams Athletics and Assembly Center. Free; jsums.edu. … Marvin Sapp, Ben Cone III and Worship, and others perform at the Gospel Music Extravaganza at 7 p.m. at the Jackson Convention Complex. $25, children under 6 free; call 601-355-0636 or 800-745-3000. … Hunter Gibson 24 and the Gators’ 30th anniversary party is at 7 p.m. at Olga’s.

Andy Hardwick performs during Fitzgerald’s 11 a.m. brunch. … LABA-Link hosts LatinFest from 2-6 p.m. at the Mississippi Craft Center (950 Rice Road, Ridgeland). Performers include Pam Confer, Marcelo Vieira, Patricia Cuenca and the Salsa Therapy Dance Academy. $7, $3 ages 3-10, children under 3 free; email labalink@gmail.com. … Natural U Salon’s All White Meet and Greet is from 6-9 p.m. at Wasabi Sushi and Bar (100 E. Capitol St., Suite 105). $10; call 601364-2869 or 601-473-9439. … Sugar Water Purple Sunday Open-mic is at Soul Wired Cafe.

MONDAY 9/3

The Central Mississippi Blues Society Jam is at 7 pm. at Hal & Mal’s. $5. … Soul Wired Cafe hosts Erotic Poetry Night. … Jesse Robinson performs at Underground 119. … John Mora is at Margarita’s from 6-9 p.m.

TUESDAY 9/4

Talamieka and Charles Brice’s exhibit “Combat Boots and High Heels” opens at 10 a.m. at the Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.) and hangs through Sept. 28. Free; call 601-960-1557. … At Lemuria Books (4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 202), author Padgett Powell signs and reads “You & Me” at 5 p.m. ($23.99 book), and Beth McKee performs at 6:30 p.m. ($5 suggested donation). Call 601-366-7619.

WEDNESDAY 9/5

Good Neighbor Day kicks off at 8 a.m. at Greenbrook Flowers (705 N. State St.), and includes rose bouquet giveaways and a raffle. Proceeds benefit Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children. Call 601-957-1951. … Author Seetha Srinivasan and filmmaker Kathryn Rodenmeyer speak during “History Is Lunch” at noon at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). Free; call 601-576-6998. More at jfpevents.com and jfp.ms/musicvenues.

See Charles Brice’s photographs of Afghanistan (example below) and Talamieka Brice’s artwork in the exhibit “Combat Boots and High Heels” Sept. 4-28 at the Arts Center of Mississippi. CHARLES BRICE

THURSDAY 8/30

SUNDAY 9/2


jfpevents LatinFest Sept. 2, 2-6 p.m., at Mississippi Craft Center (950 Rice Road, Ridgeland). Enjoy Latin American food, art, children’s activities, door prizes and music from Pam Confer, Marcelo Vieira, Patricia Cuenca and Latin deejays. The Salsa Therapy Dance Academy also performs. A portion of the proceeds benefits the American Red Cross. $7, $3 ages 3-10, children under 3 free; call 601-8567546; email labalink@gmail.com; labalink.com. Sidewalk Soiree Aug. 31, 6 p.m., at One University Place (1100 John R. Lynch St.). See Tony Davenport’s artwork at Gallery 1, and enjoy outdoor music, food from The Penguin and Envision Eye Care’s open house. Free; call 769-233-8180 or 601-960-9250. Events at Russell C. Davis Planetarium (201 E. Pascagoula St.). $6.50, $5.50 seniors, $4 children ages 4-12; call 601-960-1552. • “Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs.” Shows are weekdays at noon and Saturdays at 4 p.m. • “Wild Ocean.” Shows are Monday-Saturday at 2 p.m.

COMMUNITY Tiger Bash Aug. 30, 6 p.m., at Jackson State University (1400 John R. Lynch St.), at the Lee E. Williams Athletics and Assembly Center. Meet members of the JSU Tigers football team. Free; call 601-979-2121; jsums.edu. Events at Millsaps College (1701 N. State St.). • Backyard Brawl XIII Aug. 30, 7 p.m. Mississippi College and Millsaps College compete in the annual football game. $10 in advance, $15 day of game; call 601-925-3341. • “Stories and Songs from Cork with Love” Sept. 4, 7 p.m., at Ford Academic Complex. In conjunction with CelticFest, the Máirtín de Cógaín Project presents Irish storytelling, dancing and music. The program is part of the Millsaps Arts and Lecture Series; season tickets available. $10, $5 students; call 601-974-1130. Events at Wasabi Sushi and Bar (100 E. Capitol St., Suite 105). • Wasabi Grand Opening Aug. 30, 5 p.m. The celebration includes a cocktail party at 7 p.m. Free; call 601-948-8808. • Natural U Salon’s All White Meet and Greet Sept. 2, 6-9 p.m. The event promotes natural hair among African-Americans, and includes a live band and cash bar. Tickets sold at Natural U Salon (5440 Executive Place, Suite B2). $10; call 601-364-2869 or 601-473-9439. E-Verify Webinar Aug. 27 and Aug. 29, 1:30 p.m. Learn more about the service that lets employers verify the employment eligibility of new employees. Free; dhs.gov/e-verify. Back to School Night for Educators Aug. 30, 3-7 p.m. The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, the Mississippi Children’s Museum, the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame give educators free admission and stay open late to provide resources. Free; call 601-576-6000, 601981-5469, 601-982-8264 or 601-432-4500. Rock 93.9 Official Ribbon Cutting Aug. 30, 4:30 p.m., at Fondren Corner (2906 N. State St.). The opening celebration includes refreshments. Free; rock939.com. Community Bike Ride Aug. 31, 6 p.m., at Rainbow Whole Foods Co-operative Grocery (2807 Old Canton Road). Bikers ride to a different destination on the last Friday of each month. Jackson Bike Advocates is the sponsor. Free; find Jackson Bike Advocates on Facebook. Rankin County Democrats Monthly Breakfast Sept. 1, 8:30 a.m., at Corner Bakery (108 Market St., Flowood). On first Saturdays at 8:30am, Jack-

son-area Democrats meet for breakfast and discuss current political activities. Open to the public. Free with food for sale; call 601-919-9797; rankindemocrats.net. All 4 Children Consignment Sale Sept. 5, 5:308 p.m., Sept. 6-7, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Sept. 8, 8 a.m.noon, at Mississippi Trade Mart (1200 Mississippi St.). Purchase clothing, furniture and more at the seasonal sale. Pay a $10 donation for access to the Sept. 5 preview sale; proceeds benefit local church missions. Many items will be 50 percent off on Sept. 8. Free admission; call 601-566-7046. “History Is Lunch” Sept. 5, noon, at William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). Author Seetha Srinivasan and filmmaker Kathryn Rodenmeyer talk about the history of nursing in Mississippi. Bring lunch; coffee and water provided. Free; call 601-576-6998.

Kids Face Painting every Saturday from 6pm - 8:30pm 1149 Old Fannin Road • Brandon, MS 39047 • 601-992-6686 5647 Highway 80 East • Pearl, MS 39208 • 601-932-8728 Open 7 Days A Week

WELLNESS Zumba Fitness Classes, at Dance Unlimited Studio, Byram (6787 S. Siwell Road, Suite A, Byram). The Latin-inspired aerobics classes are held weekly. Visit peurefun.com for class schedule information and directions. $5; call 601-209-7566. Fitness Center, at Jackson Roadmap to Health Equity Project’s Farmers Market (2548 Livingston Road). Options include aerobics and Zumba classes, equipment for resistance training and toning, and a children’s gym. Hours are 8 a.m.-7 p.m. weekdays through Nov. 30. Free; call 601-9876783.

STAGE AND SCREEN Crossroads Film Festival Call for Film Submissions. Filmmakers may submit through Nov. 30 for the annual festival, which takes place April 1214, 2013. Mississippi filmmakers can submit for free through Aug. 31. Discounts apply for entries submitted by Nov. 15. Special pricing for students and youth. $25-40 through Sept. 30, $30-$45 through Oct. 31, $35-50 through Nov. 15, $45$65 through Nov. 30; withoutabox.com. Nameless Open-mic Sept. 1, 9 p.m., at Suite 106 (106 Wilmington St.). On first and third Saturdays at 9 p.m. Poets, singers, actors and comedians are welcome. $5 admission, $3 to perform; call 601720-4640. Fondren Theatre Workshop Playwright Nights Sept. 4, 6 p.m., at Brent’s Diner and Soda Fountain (655 Duling Ave.). Actors read scripts from local playwrights on first Tuesdays. Dinner is at 6 p.m. (order by 6:30 p.m.), and the reading is at 7 p.m. Food prices vary; call 601-301-2281; fondrentheatreworkshop.com. Mississippi State Fair Talent Competition Call for Contestants. Actor’s Playhouse is the sponsor. Participants ages 3-99 are welcome, and categories include vocals, dance and variety. Medals and cash awards given. Ages 3-14 must register by Sept. 14, and ages 15 and up must register by Sept. 21. $50 per act; call 601-201-6620; email statefairtalentcompetition@gmail.com.

MUSIC Gospel Music Extravaganza Aug. 30, 7 p.m., at Jackson Convention Complex (105 E. Pascagoula St.). Farish Street Baptist Church is the host. Performers include Marvin Sapp, Vergia Dishmon, and Ben Cone III and Worship. $25; children under 6 free; call 601-355-0636 or 800-745-3000. Mississippi Boychoir Auditions through Sept. 11. Boys in grades 1-12 may audition. Previous vocal training not required. Free; call 601-665-7374.

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DIVERSIONS|music

Wired and Soulful by Whitney Menogan and Briana Robinson TRIP BURNS

“I don’t think I’m like anybody (in Jackson),” Winters says about herself and Soul Wired Café. “… I’m not in the business to be competitive.” Instead, she just wants to have the best possible soulful environment. Winters feels honored to have artists display their work at her establishment, so she does it for free. If any of it sells, the money goes straight to the artist. Anyone can contribute to the graffiti walls. Winters will gladly give you a permanent marker with which to make your mark. “It is a Bohemian-style venue, and everything here is recycled and was found throughout the Soul Wired Café hosts events nearly every night, appealing to everyone from karaoke singers to erotic poets to reggae, neo-soul and salsa fans. city of Jackson,” Winters says. The majority of the items that fill this eccentric establishwo intricate Mike Schofner murals of Jackson and ment are handmade, and she shops at N.U.T.S. (Neat Used Midtown adorn the outside of Soul Wired Café. Things for Sale)—the most comfortable couch in the room Inside are more Schofner paintings for sale. The art cost only $15. Winters built the stage, which is in the corner hanging in the front room along with the graffiti cov- of the room, and the crate-like benches. “In order to save ering the inside walls immediately indicate that Soul Wired money, you have to do it yourself,” she says. Café is a place for the artistic crowd. Stacey “Soul” Winters Winters also has an organic garden out front where opened the café in April, and business is doing well. With she grows oregano, cabbage and banana peppers, and she the help and support of fellow Jacksonians, she expects to do doesn’t mind sharing. “People drop by and grab something even better in the near future. when they need something to cook with,” she says.

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At Soul Wired Café, Winters hosts daily events. Monday MayHAM has a $3 cover and caters to the alternative crowd with DJ Nicole. Erotic Poetry Night is each Tuesday for $3. For now, the café is closed on Wednesday. Soul Lesson Thursday is $5 and features Nickel G and DJ Sketch playing neo-soul and house music. The Smooth Funk Band hosts free, live karaoke on Friday. For $6, patrons can attend reggae and salsa night with DJ C-Lecta on Saturday. Sunday is Sugar Water Purple Open-Mic Night for $3. Winters was born in a small town right outside of Kosciusko and moved to Kansas when she was 19 years old. It wasn’t until 1998 that she moved to Jackson and began focusing more on the arts. Since then, she has held private spokenword events and an after-school program where she tutored kids, helping with their homework, and introduced them to different forms of art. Soul Wired Café is Winters’ dream. She used money that she saved while working at Comcast to start the business. “I stepped out on faith,” she says. She wanted a place for people to be able to mingle without the hard concert vibe. On Aug. 18, she held a benefit called “Build Soul’s Kitchen” during which five bands performed, including Smooth Funk Band and Press Play, and poets performed spoken word. All proceeds went toward stocking Soul Wired Café’s kitchen. She raised $371. “Build Soul’s Kitchen” was just the first of a three-part series of grassroots-based fundraisers. The next Build Soul’s Kitchen Music Festival is Sept. 15. Visit Facebook or Twitter for more details. Soul Wired Café (111 Millsaps Ave., 601-863-6378) has a full bar with bar food for sale. It is available to be rented out for different events such as parties, photo shoots and cultural events.

The Key of G The Process: New Directions with 5th by Garrad Lee

August 29 - September 4, 2012

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ing on Geraldo Rivera’s ridiculous assertion that young people of color are in some way to blame since they know what cops think of their hoodies but still insist on wearing them. “Closure,” a song about running into COURTESY 5TH CHILD/BRICE MEDIA

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n Sept. 25, Jackson rapper, producer and audio engineer 5th Child (aka Stephen Brown) will release his newest album, “Love Letters and Suicide Notes.” 5th is always ambitious with his projects, and this time he is stepping it up again, not only in the production of the album, but also in the promoting. He quit his job as a physical education teacher in February to focus on music full time, specifically to handle this new record. “It’s my livelihood now,” he says. Handling all aspects of his album releases is nothing new for 5th Child. He typically makes the majority of his beats, he records and engineers everything in his home studio, and he puts up the money to press CDs. He definitely has the “creative control” that major-label artists salivate over. Because of his efforts, 5th Child has made a name for himself as one of Jackson’s best hip-hop artists, loved for his passion, creativity and energy. But, as with any driven artist, he is always looking for more. Many know 5th Child as a rapper and producer, but this time around, he is trying to step beyond those titles. “I don’t want people to see me

as just a rapper or beat maker,” he says. “I want people to know me as an arranger and producer.” 5th has taken extra time with this new record to do just that. Being the avid beat maker that he is, 5th always has a stable of beats and song ideas lying around waiting to be put to good use. For “Love Letters and Suicide Notes,” though, he created beats specifically for the project at hand, so it would have a cohesive sound with unified themes. This led him into new places in search of samples and ideas and reinvigorated his love of digging through stacks of vinyl for things he had never heard before. After creating the basic beats out of samples, he went back and added extra touches like live instruments and backing vocals. The result is an album that is “way more calculated with more care taken,” he says. “It is more musical, and there is more artistry than anything I have ever done.” Each song has intentions behind it and a set of “desired reactions to different emotions.” For instance, “Black Hoodie” takes a look at the response from the media to the Trayvon Martin shooting, specifically focus-

5th Child stretched his creative limits with his album, “Love Letters and Suicide Notes.”

an old flame who has let them herself go, has been conjuring up some good laughs. And “Out of Town Girls,” which features Cody and Caitlin Cox of Liver Mousse on guitar

and back-up vocals, respectively, gives me goose bumps every time I hear it. I have been lobbying for this collaboration for a year, and I am thrilled that it is going to see the light of day. So what brought about this kind of artistic renaissance for 5th? It was a visit to an old friend—sort of. His brother gave him a copy of “Beats, Rhymes, and Life,” the documentary film on A Tribe Called Quest, for Christmas last year. “I had not revisited Tribe’s music, which I grew up listening to, in many years—especially since I had really started growing as an artist,” he says. The “warmth and grittiness” of the classic ATCQ songs really hit a nerve with 5th. He knew then that he had his inspiration and, as such, the new album has a distinctly ’90s feel that in no way seems forced, but sounds every bit of what it is: a tight project that would feel just as at home in 1995 as it does in 2012. “Love Letters and Suicide Notes” drops on Sept. 25 on iTunes, Amazon.com and at Morningbell Records (622 Duling Ave., 769233-7468). Go to 5thchildmusic.bandcamp. com to download the first single, “Circles.”


jfpevents from page 25 BE THE CHANGE Charity Taco Night Aug. 30, 5-9 p.m., at Jaco’s Tacos (318 S. State St.). The monthly fundraiser features signature food and beverages, a guest speaker and other activities. Enjoy a vegetarian Savanna Taco and Zebra Martini. 50 percent of proceeds benefit the Jackson Zoo. Free; call 601-405-0499. Strides Against Breast Cancer Fashion Show Extravaganza and Silent Auction Aug. 30, 6-8 p.m., at Riverwalk Casino and Hotel (1046 Warrenton Road, Vicksburg). Believers of Faith hosts the event to raise funds for the American Cancer’s Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. Doors open at 5:15 p.m. $10 in advance, $15 day of event; call 601-415-2743. Good Neighbor Day Sept. 5, 8 a.m., at Greenbrook Flowers (705 N. State St.). Pick up a free dozen of roses, keep one and give the rest away. Also participate in the raffle, and proceeds from ticket sales benefit Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital. Free; call 601-957-1951.

Ben Payton Aug. 31, 8 p.m., at Yellow Scarf (741 Harris St., Suite E). Payton is an acoustic blues artist with Delta roots. Doors open at 7 p.m. BYOB. $20 in advance, $25 at the door; call 347-754-0668; yellowscarf-jackson.com.

LITERARY AND SIGNINGS Events at Lemuria Books (4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 202). Call 601-366-7619. • “Palace of Stone” Aug. 29, 4 p.m., Shannon Hale signs books. $16.99 book; call 601-3667619; email info@lemuriabooks.com; lemuriabooks.com. • “Bonefire of the Vanities” Aug. 31, 5 p.m., Carolyn Haines signs books. Reading at 5:30 p.m. $24.99 book. $24.99 book; call 601-366-7619; email info@lemuriabooks.com; lemuriabooks. comindex.php?show=events. • “You & Me” Sept. 4, 5 p.m., Padgett Powell signs books. Reading at 5:30 p.m. Americana singersongwriter Beth McKee performs at 6:30 p.m. $23.99 book, $5 suggested donation for show; call 601-366-7619; email info@lemuriabooks. com; lemuriabooks.com. Story Time Tuesday Sept. 4, 10 a.m., at Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.). A zookeeper reads an animal story, and the kids make a craft project or have an animal encounter. Free with paid admission; call 601-352-2580.

CREATIVE CLASSES Bachata Class Sept. 3-24, at Salsa Mississippi Studio and Club (605 Duling Ave.). The four-week dance class is held Mondays at 7:30 p.m. $10 per class; call 601-213-6355; salsams.com. River Kids Thursdays, 4-5:15 p.m. through Nov. 15, at Southern Cultural Heritage Center (1302 Adams

St., Vicksburg), in the Academy Building. The 13week after-school arts program allows children in grades 1-6 to explore the Mississippi River through the arts. Free; call 601-631-2997.

EXHIBITS AND OPENINGS Events at Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.). Free; call 601-960-1557. • “Combat Boots and High Heels” Art Exhibit through Sept. 28. See Talamieka and Charles Brice’s art and photography in the main galleries. • Ralph Windham Art Exhibit through Sept. 30. See Windham’s pencil drawings in the lower atrium. “Mirrors of Clay: Reflections of Ancient Andean Life in Ceramics from the Sam Olden Collection” through Nov. 15, at Jackson State University (1400 John R. Lynch St.), in the Dollye M.E. Robinson Liberal Arts Gallery. See 60 ceramic vessels from ancient Andean American cultures, including the Nazca, Moche and Tiwanaku. The opening reception is Aug. 30 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Free; call 601-979-2191. Labor Day with the Animals Sept. 1, 9 a.m.1 p.m., at Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.). Watch how the keepers keep the animals cool and entertained with frozen treats and more. Free with paid admission ($10, $6.75 ages 2-12, children under 2 and members free); call 601-352-2580. Members Appreciation Month, at Mississippi Children’s Museum (2145 Highland Drive). Annual museum members receive special gifts, activities and surprises throughout the month of September. Activities include a free Zumba class Sept. 12, an art project Sept. 18 and discounts at the Louis LeFleur Trading Post. Free for members; call 601-981-5469. Check jfpevents.com for updates and more listings. To add an event, email all details (phone number, start and end date, time, street address, cost, URL, etc.) to events@jacksonfreepress.com or fax to 601510-9019. The deadline is noon the Thursday prior to the week of publication. Or add the event online yourself; check out jfpevents.com for instructions.

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Vicksburg Love and Laughter Show Aug. 31, 8 p.m., at Vicksburg Auditorium (901 Monroe St., Vicksburg). Performers include Dave Hollister, Shirley Murdock and comedian D Ellis. Doors open at 7 p.m. $25 in advance, $35 day of show; call 800-745-3000.

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DIVERSIONS|jfp sports The youth movement is in full effect in the NFL. With Russell Wilson starting for the Seattle Seahawks, 10 of 32 teams are starting a rookie or second-year quarterback. THURSDAY, AUG 30 College football (6-9 p.m. ESPN): South Carolina opens its season on the road against a tough Vanderbilt team to kick off the 2012 college football season. FRIDAY, AUG 31 College football (7-10 p.m. ESPN): Small school powerhouse Boise State, in rebuilding mode, faces a Big-10 contender in Michigan State. â&#x20AC;Ś High School Football (7-9:30 p.m. CSS): Hoover (Ala.) faces one of the best football programs in Mississippi, South Panola. SATURDAY, SEPT 1 College football (2:30-6 p.m. ABC or ESPN2): Southern Mississippi kicks of its season with a tough test on the road against Nebraska. â&#x20AC;Ś College football (6-9 p.m. FSN): Mississippi State begins 2012 play hosting Jackson State. SUNDAY, SEPT 2 College football (2:30-6 p.m. ESPN): Kentucky represents the SEC against Big East team Louisville for Kentucky bragging rights. MONDAY, SEPT 3 College football (7-10 p.m. ESPN): A big ACC matchup sees Georgia Tech head to Blacksburg to face Virginia Tech. TUESDAY, SEPT 4 MLB (6-9 p.m. ESPN): Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a big AL East game as Tampa Bay Rays, four games away from first place, hosts the division-leading New York Yankees. WEDNESDAY, SEPT 5 NFL (7:30-11 p.m.): The 2012 NFL season starts with a bang as the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants face their hated rival the Dallas Cowboys. All the starters are sitting for week four of the NFL preseason, but if you want to watch the New Orleans Saints, check out their game against the Tennessee Titans (Aug. 30, 6-9 p.m.) on WUFX. Follow Bryan Flynn at jfpsports.com, @jfpsports and at facebook.com/jfpsports.

The Saints: A Preview

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his promises to be an interesting season The next four-game stretch features a Raiders on the road, a playoff rematch at for the New Orleans Saints. Even if the home game against the San Diego Chargers, home against the San Francisco 49ers and AtNFL or the federal courts decide to cut a bye week before traveling to the Tampa Bay lanta on the road. player suspensions due to bounty gate, Buccaneers, staying on the road against the The NFC South will be a two-horse the Saints will still have to play without Sean Denver Broncos and finally ending at home race with New Orleans and Atlanta battling Payton for the season and interim coach Joe against the Philadelphia Eagles. things out for the division title (Carolina and Vitt for six games. The Chargers, in my mind, should be Tampa Bay are a year or two away from chalNew Orleans will try to make lenging them). The Saints will clip history this season by striving to bethe Falcons at home to reach 8-1 in a come the first team to play in a Sutight game. per Bowl in their home stadium. No New Orleans at this point will team has accomplished the feat, but reach nine wins after heading west normally teams arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t very good the to beat the Raiders. Oakland is not year they host the big game. ready for primetime, so the Saints The Saints have a good chance should win with ease. to make a run at history after finally If New Orleans loses to Oaklocking up quarterback Drew Brees land on the road it is because they to a long-term deal. Even with Payare looking ahead to their next game ton gone for 2012, New Orleans has against San Francisco. The 49ers will a fighting chance as long as Brees is be in the mix in the NFC West, but taking the snaps. I believe the Saints win this game A Super Bowl trip at home at home. might ride on how well the Saints The Saints will have 10 wins at defense picks up new defensive co- Running back Pierre Thomas, along with the rest of the this point heading to face their main ordinator Steve Spagnuoloâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s defense. Saints, hopes to take the Saints to a history-making Super rival, Atlanta on the road. I having a The season ended in the playoffs last Bowl in the Superdome this season. feeling the Falcons will nip the Saints year for New Orleans when the deon their home turf to drop New Orfense couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hold a lead late against leans to 10-2. the San Francisco 49ers. the class of the AFC West in a bounce-back Now the season moves to the final fourEvery NFL team breaks the season down year for San Diego, but New Orleans is almost game push. Teams on the playoff fence must into four separate stretches of four games each. unbeatable at home. Saints squeak out a tough make a move and teams well in the playoff Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll do the same thing to do to break down win to move to 4-1. hunt are fighting for home field advantage. the 2012 season for the New Orleans Saints: Tampa Bay might improve after spendNew Orleans stays on the road against The first four games are at home against ing like mad in the offseason, but the Saints the New York Giants, comes home to face the Washington Redskins, at the Carolina have two weeks to prepare for this game. Last Tampa Bay, before hitting the road again to Panthers, home against the Kansas City Chiefs season the Buccaneers beat New Orleans at play the Dallas Cowboys and finishing the and at the Green Bay Packers. This is not a ter- home and saw Payton break his leg on the season at home against Carolina. rible starting four games for the Saints. sideline. Saints winâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;since they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to The defending champions will get the Starting the season against rookie Wash- protect Paytonâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and go on to 5-1. Saints late in the season at home. The loss will ington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin I am not sold that Peyton Manning will drop New Orleans to 10-3, but still keep them III is great for New Orleans. They will try to make the Broncos a Super Bowl contender, in the race for home field. Tampa Bay falls to confuse and frustrate the second overall pick but the Saints go from below sea level to a New Orleans for the second time this season. and should win. New Orleans gets division Rocky Mountain-high for this game. New This year, Buccaneer fans will find out if Josh rival Carolina on the road next. Cam New- Orleans wins since there is no Tebow Time in Freeman is for real during a game against the ton in year two could face a sophomore slump Denver this season. Saints move to 6-1. Saints. At 11-3 New Orleans will face the Dalagainst a new Saints defense. Michael Vick better be healthy or New las Cowboys, who will need a win to make the I have New Orleans at 2-0. Though the Orleans spanks the Eagles at home. Saints still playoffs at this point. Dallas gets the win as Chiefs pop up as this seasonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sleeper team, I pick up another win even if Vick plays, but the Saints fall to 11-4, possibly lose home field am not buying it. The Saints will be 3-0 after the score might be a tad closer. Saints will be as well. New Orleans will take care of Cam rolling Kansas City in week three. in great shape to make the playoffs at 7-1. Newton and the Panthers once again. I have New Orleans receiving their first At this point, the season is half over and Saints finish the season at 12-4 and safely loss in week four against Green Bay, but the teams start to battle for playoff position. New trot into the playoffs. Depending on what the Packers win this game only because they are in Orleans, primed to make the playoff push, rest of the NFC does, the Saints could earn a home territory. Saints fall to 3-1. faces the Atlanta Falcons at home, Oakland black and gold Super Bowl in the Big Easy. COURTESY NEW ORLEANS_SAINTS

by Bryan Flynn

by Bryan Flynn

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LIFE&STYLE

DOMESTICITY, CREATIVITY, & DIY

BODY & SOUL p 33 | RUNNING MONTH p 35 | HITCHED p 37 |GIRL ABOUT TOWN p 39

Farm Fresh

WINNING DISH

by Kathleen M. Mitchell

by Kathleen M. Mitchell

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TRIP BURNS

ast Thursday, four chefs gathered to pit their culinary skills against one another in the annual fundraiser Clash in the Kitchen, benefitting the Mississippi Burn Foundation. The competitors were Tom Ramsey of Underground 119, Nick Wallace of The King Edward Hotel, Jesse Houston of Parlor Market and a surprise guest, Chef David Crews from the Delta. Each chef had 45 minutes to create three dishes using the surprise ingredient: muscadines. While Wallace won the people’s choice award (see his dish at jfp.ms/food), Jesse Houston was the overall winner of the night. He shared his plan of attack for the challenge. “My approach to the secret ingredient was to use the muscadine in as many ways as possible, so that you got an overwhelming sense of muscadine, but in a completely new way. I also played with the grape theme by using grape tomatoes, freeze-dried grapes Chef Jesse Houston and grape seed oil and saba (syrup from grapes). The muscadine products I sourced locally and from the South were:

COURTESY PARLOR MARKET

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Jesse Houston bested three other chefs at Clash in the Kitchen with a muscadine ravioli.

Jesse’s dish: Muscadine skin pasta ravioli with muscadine ricotta filling, grape tomato and seedless muscadine “puttanesca,” and flowering herbs. He also made a salad of freeze-dried grapes, heirloom grape tomatoes, frozen muscadines, yogurt, saba and basil.

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which is great. The farmers support us; they help us, and we help them.” The restaurant maintains a close relationship with the farmers it works with, even participating in the planning process for future harvests. “If there’s a product that we want to have in our kitchen, then we talk to (the farmers) and they plan it,” Bennett says. “They are planning seasons right now, so they’ll know what we want for the fall. They talk about what worked, what didn’t … and what else we might want next year.” The farms and vendors featured are Mississippi Bees, Reyer Farms, Delta Grind, Old Fannin Road Farmers Market, Bobkat Farms, Cooper Farms and Vineyard, and Two Run Farm. A portion of the proceeds from the event goes to Farm Families of MissisA chef at Table 100 unpacks fresh corn, purchased at a local farmers market. sippi. Greg Gibson, director of public relations for the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation—which spearheads Farm he piece of furniture that restau- meet-and-greet among the guests, Table Families—describes the organization as rant Table 100 is named after is 100 staff, local farmers and members of “a coalition of about 140 to 150 busitopped with three long planks of the Farm Families of Mississippi. Cindy nesses, agricultural organizations and glossy bodock wood, a light ches- Hyde-Smith, the Mississippi Depart- individuals who have banded together to nut brown compared to the deep coffee ment of Agriculture and Commerce tell agriculture stories.” tones of the other tables around it. The commissioner, will also be in attendance. Gibson stresses the need for people, wood came from a woodpile in Madison Patrons will then sit down for a three- especially youth, to regain a connection after Hurricane Katrina blasted through course meal, consisting of salad, entrée to the farm that has been lost in increasMississippi and the Gulf Coast in 2005. and dessert. Musicians will be on hand to ing industrialization. “The thing about The table’s legs are also salvaged from provide entertainment, and each course agriculture is most people are two or the storm; walnut wood from Eden. will be paired with wine and cocktails three, maybe even four, generations away Each of the six chairs at the table are selected by Paul Ruiter, from the farm now,” hickory, with arms and legs that retain the restaurant’s resident Gibson says. “They don’t the gnarls and grooves of branches. “wine guy.” understand what farmers Master craftsman Greg Harkins of When it came to do for them on a day-toFlora made the table and chairs by hand, choosing the menu, Execday basis. There are kids and the chefs at Table 100 strive to ensure utive Chef Mike Römhild who think chocolate milk the food they serves on it is equally hand- says it’s not terribly differcomes from brown cows. made and homegrown. ent from the regular Table It’s amazing. They just Table 100 prides itself on serving 100 offerings, just a bit don’t have a connection fresh, farm-grown produce, meat and more special. “We looked to agriculture and just ingredients each day, but it is taking the at our farmers, what we how important it is to idea to the extreme with Farm to Table are getting from them, support your local farmer, 100, an upscale dinner event featuring what they can provide, because he’s the one who the goods of seven farmers and distribu- so obviously it’s kind of puts food in your mouth. tors throughout Mississippi. driven by the products the Buy local!” “We wanted to celebrate our local farmers have. (We want Farm to Table 100 is farmers, and that we get fresh, local pro- to) incorporate everyone Sept. 5 at 6 p.m. at Table duce and put it on people’s plates every in some way, at some stage 100 (100 Ridge Way, day,” Mary Allen Bennett, the restaurant’s of the menu,” Römhild Reyer Farms, one of the Flowood, 601-420-4202). marketing and sales manager, says. says. “For the menu I groups participating Each all-inclusive ticket is “We wanted to celebrate their grow- think it’s a teamwork, it’s in Farm to Table 100, $95 and can be purchased ing season, the bounty.” the whole culinary team provides canned fresh at shop.eathere.com or at heirloom tomatoes. The evening will begin with a and the farmers together, the restaurant.

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707 N Congress St., Jackson | 601-353-1180 Mon thru Fri: 11am-2pm • Sun: 11am - 3pm

Where Raul Knows Everyone’s Name Raul Sierra Manager Since 1996

-Best Barbecue in Jackson- 2003 • 2006 • 2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011 • 2012 1491 Canton Mart Rd. • Jackson • 601.956.7079

AMERICAN/SOUTHERN CUISINE Another Broken Egg (1000 Highland Colony #1009 in Renaissance, 601.790.9170) Open Daily 7am-2pm for breakfast, brunch and lunch Two Sisters Kitchen (707 N. Congress St. 601-353-1180) Best of Jackson winner for fried chicken offers a buffet. Lunch only. Mon-Fri, Sun. Koinonia (136 Adams St. 601-960-3008) You won’t want to mix the large yellow house just off Metro Parkway. Parker House (104 S. East Madison Dr. Ridgeland 601-856-0043) Savory haven with a menu of aged steaks and simple Southern comfort food. BAKERY Broad Street Bakery (4465 Interstate 55 N. 601-362-2900) Hot breakfast,coffee espresso drinks, fresh breads and pastries, lunch, dinner. For Heaven’s Cakes (4950 Old Canton Road 601-991-2253) Cakes and cupcakes for all occasions including weddings, parties, catered events. BARBEQUE Hickory Pit Barbeque (1491 Canton Mart Rd. 601-956-7079) The “Best Butts in Town” features BBQ chicken, beef and pork and more. Haute Pig (1856 Main Street, 601-853-8538) A “very high class pig stand,” Haute Pig offers Madison diners BBQ plates. PIZZA The Pizza Shack (925 E. Fortification 601-352-2001) The 2009-2012 winner of Best Pizza offers the perfect pizza-and-a-beer joint. Sal & Mookie’s (565 Taylor St. 601-368-1919) P izzas of all kinds plus pasta, eggplant parmesan and the fried ravioli. ITALIAN BRAVO! (4500 Interstate 55 N., Jackson, 601-982-8111) Wood-fired pizzas, creative pastas, beef, and seafood specials. Cerami’s (5417 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, 601-919-28298) Southern-style Italian cuisine features their signature Shrimp Cerami. STEAK, SEAFOOD & FINE DINING Eslava’s Grille (2481 Lakeland Drive, 601-932-4070) Danny Eslava’s namesake feature Latin-influenced dishes like ceviche. Rocky’s (1046 Warrington Road, Vicksburg 601-634-0100) Enjoy choice steaks, fresh seafood, great salads, hearty sandwiches. MEDITERRANEAN/GREEK/INDIAN Aladdin Mediterranean Grill (730 Lakeland Drive 601-366-6033) Delicious authentic dishes including lamb dishes, hummus, falafel, kababs. SOUTH OF THE BORDER Babalu (622 Duling Ave., 601-366-5757) Jackson’s “Best Mexican” specialties mix & “Best of Jackson 2012” magaritas. Jaco’s Tacos (318 South State Street) Tacos, burritos and quesadillas. Tex-Mex at its finest and freshest. COFFEE HOUSES Cups Espresso Café (Multiple Locations, www.cupsespressocafe.com) Jackson’s local group of coffeehouses offer a wide variety of espresso drinks. Wi-fi. BARS, PUBS & BURGERS Burgers and Blues (1060 E. County Line Road, Ridgeland 601-899-0038) Best Burger of 2012! Plus live music and entertainment. Hal and Mal’s (200 S. Commerce St. 601-948-0888) Pub favorites meet Gulf Coast and Cajun specialties like red beans and rice, the Oyster Platter or each day’s blackboard special. Best Live Music Venue 2012. Cherokee Inn (960 Briarfield Rd. 601-362-6388) Jackson’s “Best Hole in the Wall,” has a great jukebox, great bar and a great burger. Cool Al’s (4654 McWillie, 601-713-3020) Decadent, creative burgers defy adjectives. Fenian’s Pub (901 E. Fortification St. 601-948-0055) Classic Irish pup. Multiple Best of Jackson awards. Martin’s Restaurant and Lounge (214 South State Street 601-354-9712) Lunch specials, pub appetizers, full bar, beer selection and live music most nights. Ole Tavern on George Street (416 George St. 601-960-2700) Pub food with a southern flair. Plus, happy hour 4-7pm Monday through Friday. Underground 119 (119 South President St. 601-352-2322) Pan-seared crabcakes, shrimp and grits, chili-rubbed filet mignon, vegetarian sliders. Add a full bar and mix in great music. Opens 4 p.m.-until, Wed-Sat. Wing Stop (952 North State Street, 601-969-6400) Saucing and tossing in a choice of nine flavors, Wing Stop wings are made with care. ASIAN Pan Asia (720 Harbor Pines Dr, Ridgeland 601-956-2958) Beautiful ambiance in this popular Ridgeland eatery accompanies signature asian fusion dishes and build-your-own stir-frys using fresh ingredients and great sauces. Fusion Japanese and Thai Cuisine (1002 Treetop Blvd, Flowood 601-664-7588) Specializing in fresh Japanese and Thai cuisine, Fusion has an extensive menu featuring everything from curries to fresh sushi. VEGETARIAN High Noon Café (2807 Old Canton Road in Rainbow Plaza 601-366-1513) Fresh, gourmet, tasty and healthy defines the lunch options at Jackson’s own vegan diner.


LIFE&STYLE|body/soul

Food Deserts: Oases of Pollution? by Jim PathFinder Ewing

food is healthy, nutritious food? Laden with salt, fats and sugar, That’s the real killer in food deserts—attacking not only it’s the antithesis of quality food. Does the abundance of cheap, the body but mind and spirit, as well. It sends the message unhealthy food negate the reality of food that one’s economic standing is the deserts? Hardly. only measure of worth that counts— Moreover, the studies did not dethat lower-income people are worthfine the quality or the price of produce less, or less deserving of quality food offerings at the convenience stores they and quality life. It’s a message that claim dispute the food-desert theory. gnaws at one’s integrity and self-esWhen the convenience store’s jacked-up teem as achingly at hunger itself. price of an apple costs an hour’s labor in It’s compounded by the fact that minimum wage take-home pay, does many of those who live in poor neighthat mean that there’s plenty of fresh borhoods are minorities bombarded fruit and vegetables? Or are the available with pop culture idealizing the thin, offerings old, wilted and rancid, as is ofwhite and rich. What’s a person of color ten the case? living amid bad food in poor circumA more realistic, firsthand view stances to think? That it’s unattainable, of food available in inner cities would and I am worthless? note the widespread availability of Providing substandard food for rancid food, outdated products (inpoor people is both a way of life—and cluding cereals infested with weevils), death—in America. Maybe America dented cans, “seconds,” even opened needs a “Black Like Me” for food to products cast off from food chains, wake up the status quo. We are enending up on the dusty shelves of dis- For a realistic view of food choices for gendering spiritual hunger in a genthe nation’s poor, read “The American count food stores. Perhaps food des- Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, eration. As Nobel Laureate and Hoert isn’t such an apt term as polluted Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the locaust survivor Elie Wiesel observed, oasis. Sure, there’s plenty of “food” Dinner Table” (Scribner, 2012, $25) by it’s not hate, but indifference that is Tracie McMillan. there, but it’s poisonous. the epitome of evil. Foods that cause diabetes, obesity, For people to mock the poor— and cardiovascular and other diseases are abundant in impover- and the sincere efforts to recognize their legitimate need and ished areas. Just as troubling is the absence of healthy, nutritious, provide good, fair, healthy food in impoverished areas—feeds affordable fruits and vegetables that separates people from life. that evil. COURTESY SCRIBNER

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ews reports of late have attempted to debunk the existence of “food deserts”—areas of the country where there is no easy availability of fresh fruits and vegetables. Within a couple of miles of almost any urban neighborhood, “you can get basically any type of food,” said Roland Sturm of the RAND Corp., lead author of one of two studies that appear to contradict the food-desert theory, The New York Times reports. The studies seem to fuel conservative sentiments, as the Times puts it, challenging “an article of faith among some policy makers and advocates,” including first lady Michelle Obama, who has led the charge for fresh fruits and vegetables for children in schools. The misplaced conviction that perhaps there aren’t any food deserts, after all, seems a bit off-putting. As in: Does this mean that inner cities are actually teeming with fresh fruits and vegetables? That poor people who struggle with obesity are actually, in fact, responsible for their plight? That the Obama White House is nothing but a fraud when it comes to concern for the poor and healthy choices? You get the drift. But there are studies, and there are studies. The method used to come up with this anti-food desert theory isn’t an actual polling or investigation of food outlets. Instead, it uses U.S. Census information to determine the number of fast-food restaurants and convenience stores in lowincome neighborhoods. Guess what? Poor neighborhoods had nearly twice as many of these establishments as wealthier ones, thus, supposedly, disproving the “food desert” theory. But what about the food quality? Can anyone with a straight face claim that fast

Water: Refreshingly Healthy

A

The institute recommends 91 ounces of fluid (11 cups a day) for women and 125 ounces (15 cups a day) for men. These amounts include fluid from all food and beverages. On average, food provides about 20 percent of total fluid intake. Many fruits ROGER MCLASSUS

gua. Wasser. Eau. Voda. Maji. Regardless of what you call it, water serves the same function. Water is a necessary element; regardless of race, gender or age, we all need it. The Mayo Clinic reports that 60 percent of our body weight is made up of water. Our bodies would not function properly without water: It flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues. For years, we’ve heard that we should drink eight, 8-ounce glasses of water a day; however, some experts disagree with that advice. One of those is researcher Heinz Valtin. He concluded in a 2002 study, published in the American Journal of Physiology, that inadequate evidence exists that healthy adults need large amounts of water. His study focused on people living in temperate climates (basically anywhere except the tropics and the poles) and not engaged in rigorous activities. For normal, healthy adults, Valtin recommended simply drinking when thirsty. A recommendation issued in February 2004 by the Washington, D.C.-based Institute of Medicine reiterates Valtin’s findings, although the IOM focus was more on a person’s total fluid intake, rather than water alone.

and vegetables, such as watermelon and tomatoes, are 90 percent or more water by weight. Lettuce, watermelon, broccoli, grapefruit, milk, orange juice, carrots and yogurt are all between 85 percent and 95 percent water. You may need to modify your total fluid intake, up or down, depending on activity

level, climate, heat exposure, health status, and whether you’re pregnant or breast-feeding. Speak with your doctor if you need help determining the best amount of water for you. Message in a Bottle The U.S. Food and Drug Administration tests and regulates bottled water using many of the same parameters as the Environmental Protection Agency and municipalities use to test tap water. Some standards are stricter for tap water, others for bottled water. The FDA is responsible for inspecting and certifying the sources of natural water, which means it has analyzed samples and found them to be safe and sanitary. Here are some basic differences in the types of bottled water. Spring water comes from a natural underground source and must be collected at the spring through boreholes tapping that source. Mineral water also comes from natural, underground sources, but it contains some salt or sulfur compounds. Bottlers cannot add minerals; they must be part of the water. Well water comes directly from a hole in the ground that taps the water source. Artesian well water is water confined under pressure between layers of relatively impermeable, underground rock, called a confined aquifer. Artesian water rises to the top of the

aquifer and sometimes above ground when a well taps the aquifer. Purified water can come from any source, including ordinary municipal tap water. Bottlers use one of several methods—distillation, deionization or reverse osmosis—to kill bacteria and remove dissolved solids. Sparkling water can also come from any source, but the FDA classifies it as a soft drink, not water. Examples include club soda, seltzer or tonic water. It contains carbon dioxide that gives it an effervescent quality and may also have added flavors. The bottled-water industry isn’t going away, but the resulting mountains of discarded plastic bottles are an environmental problem. Many municipalities have banned sales of bottled water and, in February, the National Park Service banned sales at the Grand Canyon. To reduce your carbon footprint and save some moolah, purchase reusable water bottles with built-in filters, fill them and refrigerate. You can also invest in filtering pitchers or permanent under-sink or faucet-mounted filters to improve the water in your home. Some experts warn against re-using single-use plastic bottles due to chemical leaching and bacterial hazards from improper cleaning. It may also be worth it to purchase a reusable water bottle to tote your filtered water.

jacksonfreepress.com

by ShaWanda Jacome

33


Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi, A Mutual Insurance Company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ÂŽ Registered Marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an Association of Independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.

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Welcome Casey Duncan

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LIFE&STYLE|body/soul

‘If You Give Your Best, You Win’ by Sam Suttle

W

TRIP BURNS

hen he was 9 years old, Andy Till ran a mile in six minutes and ten seconds. His physicaleducation teacher called his mom and said, “You know; there’s something he’s pretty good at.” Till, now 42 and head track and field coach at Millsaps College, is something of an expert at finding and cultivating the same talent that his coach first observed in him. After 17 years of coaching schools exclusively in or near his hometown of Jackson, Till has made his mark in the area’s running community. He officially began his coaching career at East Rankin Academy, moved on to St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, where he coached for 12 years, and is now starting his fourth year of coaching at Millsaps College. Till says he began toying with the Millsaps College running coach Andy Till says winning comes about when you idea of becoming a running coach at age pursue excellence instead of just going for the win. 14, but he was sidelined with an injury while on the cross-country team at the University of Mississippi in 1988. He spent several years as a park ranger in the Grand Tetons, While working as a ranger, Till finished college with a and that led him to “where it all began” he says. “Life’s all degree from the School of Forestry and Resource Conservaabout balance … breaking away and becoming my own tion at The University of Montana. man with my own thoughts.” “During the summer of ’94, I was climbing a mountain

called The Nez Perce. Clouds rolled in, and lightning was popping all around us, and Jeff (a fellow ranger) and I looked at each other like, ‘Well, there’s really no place to go,’” he says. So they tied themselves in and waited the night out. Till says that he realized during that dangerous night in the Tetons that it was finally time for him to pursue what he knew he was meant to do. He relates the experience to his journey as a runner. “Pain equals growth, but you can’t live there,” he says. “If you’re living in the pain, you can’t contribute.” So Till packed his bags and headed east to give back to the community he grew up in. For Till, each school and each athlete have taught him something new and introduced new challenges to his journey. “Sometimes I’m glad I didn’t know how hard (Millsaps) would be when I started,” he says. “I realized I was coaching scholars who have to run for an ideal.” In a speech given by Millsaps College President Dr. Robert Pearigen, Till first heard about the Greek virtue, areté. “It’s the pursuit of excellence,” he says, and it is a pursuit that Till prioritizes above winning. “In our society, people get lost on what winning and losing means,” he says. “If you give your best, you win.” Till is looking forward to the coming season, but that doesn’t mean he is not building for the future. He says it is a huge relief to have some upperclassmen in the program this year, to help him carry the job of being a coach, mentor and captain. “It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it,” he says. “We are in the process of building something great.”

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WELCOME to Jackson

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You dream it. We’ll make it. 4950 Old Canton Road Jackson, MS 39211 | Phone: 601-991-2253


The Pinterest Problem KATHLEEN M. MITCHELL

ELIZABETH RAY PHOTOGRAPHY/COURTESY KATHLEEN M. MITCHELL

by Kathleen M. Mitchell

Because I wanted to let my bridesmaids choose their own dresses, Pinterest was a great way to share options and get feedback from my friends.

This is probably the most helpful thing you can do when using Pinterest to plan a wedding. It’s fine to pin “aspirational” images, but if you are pinning the same pair of $3,000 Christian Louboutin stilettos over and over, you may need a reality check. Rather than pin your ultimate ifmoney-wasn’t-an-option dream wedding, mix it up. Pin the Louboutins once, then look for more affordable options that give you the same feeling. The search function is fabulous for letting you see 700 pairs of gold glitter heels at once.

• BE SELECTIVE.

Instead of following every Facebook friend you have, look for people whose style really works with yours. When you find images you like, see who pinned them and what else they might have on their boards.

PEOPLE. Create a board of bridesmaid dress options to get feedback from your favorite ladies (trust me, getting a dress they will actually wear again is as big a deal as all the romantic comedies make it out to be). Or you could share a board with your photographer to show him or her other wedding photos you would like to emulate. One great thing about Pinterest is the option to collaborate with others on a board, so that more than one person can pin to the same collection—share a board or two with your mom, maid of honor, photographer or wedding planner.

• BE OPEN

TO NEW IDEAS. Every once in a while, look through everything you pinned. It might be that you always planned on simple black bridesmaids dresses, but everything you are pinning is suddenly hot pink and saturated orange—if you find yourself drawn to certain colors or images, even if its not what you expected to like, pursue it! You might end up loving it more.

gowns they have pinned, to feeling like you need those imported European peonies you have photos of (even after you always planned on sourcing local flowers), immediate emotion can take over the planning process if you let it. Take a step back from your Pinterest boards and get some real-world inspiration—or consult your poor groom, who tends to get left out of the wedding planning process to an absurd degree whether Pinterest is involved or not. And most of all, have fun. Wedding planning is always more stressful than it should be, but if you can remember that at the end of the day, it’s all about starting a marriage and making a commitment to the one you love, you’ll glow on your wedding day (even without that miracle cream you pinned three months ago).

WHAT IS PINTEREST? SOMEECARDS.COM

• BE REALISTIC.

• INVOLVE OTHER

• MAKE IT WORK

FOR YOU. Even if everyone you know is obsessing over giant diamond rings and mermaid-skirt dresses, if you want to pin plaid suits and neon green heels, do it! Create boards and pin the things that truly speak to you, even if it goes against what is popular across the site.

• DON’T TAKE ON

EVERYTHING. Pinterest is a veritable DIY goldmine, but understand your limits and only take on what you can reasonably create without going crazy. Trust me, you don't want to get down to the wire and be left needing to design, print and assemble 200 wedding programs in two days. It just won't happen (once again, from someone who has been there).

• LET IT GO.

It’s easy to get sucked in to some over-the-top emotions when wedding planning. From worrying that your dress will seem insignificant to your friends after seeing the 45 couture wedding

P

interest is a social-media website focused on image collecting and sharing that launched in 2010. Users set up “boards” on topics like home improvement, recipes or wedding planning. They then “pin” images to those boards from various sites around the web, and each image links back to the original website it came from. It’s also possible to “repin” images from within the site. The site grew rapidly, setting a new social-media record of 10 million users in less than two years. The overwhelming majority of Pinterest users are female.

jacksonfreepress.com

A

hh, Pinterest. It seems tailor-made for wedding planning. It couldn’t be easier to curate nuptial images and ideas, either by searching within the site or pinning from an outside websites. It’s so easy, in fact, it has become a running joke that every female between the ages of 12 and 42 has a wedding board—even if she doesn’t have a boyfriend. The idea has spawned a slew of self-deprecating “some ecards” memes featuring single women who have their Pinterest wedding planned to every last detail (except, of course, the groom). The website truly is a useful tool, much cleaner and simpler than printing everything off to put in a binder or book of inspirational ideas. But, much like spending too much time reading wedding blogs, it can become difficult to keep things in perspective after a while. The sheer amount of ideas—and the sheer price tag it would take to pull them off—is enough to make your head spin. And it’s so hard not to compare your own ideas, plans and, most of all, budget to the gorgeous, softly lit photos of elaborate and expensive weddings online. Here’s some advice from someone who survived the Pinterest problem and lived through her wedding to pin another day.

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Q,.(M*IIJE %$&'()*++,-./-(0/*1(2(3456789+:#(;<(=>%?$( %@?''@'%"@>%A"(2(+4B,+C*D6B456789+:E5/F G<98H,5.(./(F4-4F9F(ID*J(+,K94+,F,-.7E(LM,7,(-,C(+,C*+17(*+,(7/(I/C,+N9D#(J/9ODD(N,,D(D46,(*(-,C(I,+7/-E( P/.(.M*.(.M,+,O7(*-J.M4-:(C+/-:(C4.M(.M,(C*J(J/9(*+,(-/CE(;97.(8,(A%(/+(/D1,+(./(,-.,+(5*74-/E( ;*-*:,F,-.(+,7,+B,7(*DD(+4:M.7(./(*D.,+(/+(5*-5,D(I+/F/.4/-(*.(*-J(.4F,(C4.M/9.(-/.45,E(( Q*F8D4-:(I+/8D,FR(S*DD(%@???@TTT@>'>'E(UA$%A(04B,+C*D6(S*74-/(2(V/.,DE(WDD(+4:M.7(+,7,+B,1E

(in the former FabraCare Building, between Kat’s & Fenian’s) Mon - Thur: 11am-10pm | Fri - Sat: 11am-11pm | Sun: 11am - 9pm 601-352-2001 | thepizzashackjackson.com 2nd Location Now Open Mon - Thur: 11am-9pm |Fri - Sat:11am-10pm | Sun:11am - 7pm 5046 Parkway Drive Colonial Mart Jackson, MS 39211 Off of Old Canton Road | 601-957-1975


by Julie Skipper

JULIE SKIPPER

tumblers with patterns and monograms in school colors, but if you like something more disposable, they also have foam cups and paper napkins that you can print with fun sayings, cheers, or school names. I’m a big fan of party cups, and these fun options mean I won’t even have to break out the paint pens to make my own! What’s better? They even have paper straws in school colors for a fun vintage vibe, Thomas Dean Collegiate Collection shirts and a sweater plus plenty of containers to will keep you stylish while showing your spirit. cart your food and supplies. Lastly, it wouldn’t be lthough the temperature outside still tailgating (or, let’s face it, feels like summer, this southern girl’s my column) without mentioning bevermind is on two things: breaking out ages. Visiting with Scott Jackson at Colony my fall wardrobe items and football Wine Market (121 Colony Crossing Way, season. The former Girl Scout in me always Madison, 601-898-1075, colonywinemarlikes to be prepared for all situations, so I ket.com), I came away with a couple of decided to seek some counsel on how to best stellar suggestions to keep tailgaters happy ready one’s self to be a good football fan. and hydrated. Bearing in mind that hot First up: showing your team spirit. Fel- weather and cold weather tailgating call for las, this time, I put your needs ahead of my different drinking philosophies, we stuck to own and headed to The Rogue and Good the warm-weather variety for now. For tailCompany (4450 Interstate 55 N., 601- gating, it is important to consider that the 362-6383, therogue.com). Whether you cocktails should contain simple ingredients want to keep it casual or dress things up a and be easy to make in big batches so you little, the store offers plenty of options for don’t have to lug an entire liquor cabinet or you to show your colors. You can pair but- spend all your pre-game time with a cocktail ton-down shirts from the Thomas Dean shaker in your hand. Collegiate Collection (I’m partial to the The first cocktail Jackson suggested is gingham) with either pants or shorts. Roll inspired by a drink he used to make back up the sleeves for a casual look while it’s still in his collegiate days, but he updated it by hot outside. These patterned shirts in school adding Mississippi’s own CatHead Vodka colors with small, embroidered logos let you (catheadvodka.com) to the mix. Called the show your pride without being so over-the- Ginger Cat, it contains Cathead Honeytop as to paint your chest. suckle Vodka, fresh lemonade, natural cane Another option for subtle spirit: knit sugar and ginger root. You can make the shirts with contrast fabric paneling on the mix in a gallon tea pitcher with a lid and button placket. As the weather cools off, or then just set it on a table, making it easy for for night games, a lightweight quarter-zip tailgaters to keep themselves refreshed. pullover in soft cotton with school logos Next, for those who subscribe (as provides something to keep off the chill Jackson does) to the mantra, “Football and without resorting to a sweatshirt or fleece. whiskey go hand in hand,” he suggests a Having taken care of showing your brown liquor cocktail with a twist. The Lospirit on your person, you’ll next need to comotive is a mixture of Scotch, lemon juice equip your tailgating tent to be equally fes- and triple sec. Jackson likes this cocktail for tive. I headed over to Fresh Ink in Highland warm-weather games because the Scotch is a Village (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 136, more delicate version of whiskey than bour601-982-0235, fresh-ink.com) and found bon and the lemon adds freshness. so many fun things that I wanted to throw Now, I’m even more ready for that a party right then and there. The store of- first Saturday in September. And thanks to fers a large selection of disposable and reus- these (and other) local merchants, you, too, able goods and decorations, all of which you can be sure that whether your team wins or can personalize. loses, you always triumph at tailgating. After At the top of my list: an acrylic tray all, isn’t that just as important as the game? perfect for serving drinks and a personalFor the drink recipes mentioned in this ized flask. You can also customize insulated column, visit jfp.ms/tailgatecocktails.

A

WEDNESDAY 8/29 Restaurant Open As Usual

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Wednesday, August 29th

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Seafood Gumbo, Red Beans and Rice, Burgers, Fried Pickles, Onion Rings and Homemade Soups made daily.

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

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THIS WEEK

39


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