February 20 - 26, 2013
JACKSONIANS Calden and Alden HOPKINS
hen Calden and Alden Hopkins talk about their lives, a picture of strong family devoted to service emerges. The twins, 41, were born and reared in Jackson in a big, sprawling family. Together, the two enlisted in the Marine Corps after graduating from Callaway High School. “We were scheduled to go to the ‘sands,’” Cal says, referring to the first Gulf War, but the conflict was over before they were deployed. Instead, they went to Okinawa, Japan. Al stuck with the military. He has attended several colleges including Jackson State University and Alcorn University, where he taught logistics through the ROTC program. Now a first lieutenant in the Army, Al also did one tour of duty in Iraq in 2010. He is enrolled in William Carey University in Hattiesburg, where he lives. Cal took a business path. He started at Krystal in high school, and after the Marines, he became a general manager. He’s worked with several fast food and retail chains, and opened a number of Just for Feet stores. Today, he’s the director of food services at Sprint Mart, managing food and coffee for 26 locations, and lives in Jackson. The twins’ purpose in life, though, comes from the values their grandmother and her eight daughters instilled in them: keeping the family together and making things right. The twins have nine children between them (they’re both divorced) and 26 cousins, most with kids
of their own. The glue is their giving spirits. “I feel blessed and fortunate that I know what God called me to do,” Cal says. “… The position that we take is to teach and help—if the person wants to receive it.” There’s no point in forcing a point of view on another, he says. Instead, meet them where they are and love them. The Hopkins family nonprofit, Family Unity Now, sprang from family visits to their great-grandmother in a nursing home, where, the two say (in unison), “We didn’t just visit her; we visited the whole place.” “The premise (of Family Unity) was anything to do with the family as regards mental, physical, financial and spiritual (health),” Cal says. “We empower the family to go back into the community to do the same thing.” Two years ago, Cal and Al took their mission to the Internet with “Good Twin Bad Twin” on Facebook (Mondays at 10 p.m.) and now, they’re on PEG TV (Thursdays at 10:30 p.m.). They take opposing viewpoints on a variety of subjects, from crime and teen pregnancy to surviving cancer and family finances. “Our mission is to get involved,” Al says, to inform and educate. The twins take on elephant-in-the-room topics, Cal adds, “so that, at the end of the day, we’re all a little bit better.” “Nothing is off the table.” Visit goodtwinbadtwintv.com for more info.
Cover photograph of Regina Quinn by Trip Burns.
10 Nothing But a Number
“It’s enough for us to be dissatisfied with the situation Jackson is going through. I’m tired of declining jobs. I’m tired of businesses leaving Jackson. I’m tired of our streets tearing up, corroding and going in the ground. “It takes a 20-year-old to realize that change, realize that hope for our tomorrow. We are the generation that needs to be ruling now. We need to be a part of our generation. We don’t need someone else’s generation to still govern when it’s our time to start leading. … For a 20-year-old like me to do something like that, it just tells you that leaders come in all shapes, sizes and ages.” —Corinthian Sanders, “Sanders: Never Too Young to Lead”
24 Pell Yeah
Starkville rapper Pell is on the rise, opening for national artists and promoting his mixtape, “Calphonics.”
34 And the Award Goes to…
Get the lowdown on this year’s Academy Awards nominees before placing bets in your office Oscars pool.
4 ............................. editor’S Note 6 ................................................ YOU 8 ............................................ Talks 12......................................BUsiness 14.................. Editorial Cartoon 15 ..................................... Opinion 17............................... Cover Story 24................................. Diversions 26 .........................................8 Days 27 .......................................... Film 27 .................................JFP Events 28 ........................ Music Listings 29 ........................................ Music 30 ...................................... sports 31 ...............................life & style 32 ...................................wellness 34 .......................................... Food 37 .............................. Astrology 38 ...............................................fly
courtesy warner bros ; darnell jackson ; trip burns
February 20 - 26, 2013 | vol. 11 no. 24
by Ronni Mott, News Editor
Don’t Look Away from Abuse
tories of Oscar Pistorius filled last week’s news cycle. A double amputee since he was an infant, Pistorius rose to international Olympic fame running on specially formulated carbon-fiber prostheses. Fans dubbed him “blade runner.” Like many readers, I read with horror about the incident that will forever overshadow his Olympic fame. Allegedly, Pistorius, 25, murdered his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, 29, by shooting her four times through a bathroom door in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine’s Day. The bullets hit her in the head three times and in the hand once. It seems she also suffered a fractured skull. While not part of the official story, yet, reports have surfaced that police found a bloody bat at the scene and bullet casings in the bedroom. It seems possible that Pistorius beat Steenkamp with the bat; he may have shot at her and missed at least once. One conclusion reporters have drawn from the evidence is that Steenkamp was trying to get away from Pistorius, and that she ran into the bathroom for protection. The most common descriptions of Steenkamp is that she was Pistorius’ “model girlfriend.” She was a classic girlnext-door beauty: waves of long blonde hair, high cheekbones, a long aquiline nose, wide-set blue eyes, a lovely smile that revealed perfect white teeth and dimples. She was also a law-school graduate. This beauty was a well-educated, intelligent young woman. It’s a sad epitaph for a too-short life. Steenkamp publicly spoke out against sexual violence. In the coming week, she was to give an inspirational talk to students in Johannesburg. Her notes include mention of a previous violent relationship.
The comparisons to Nicole Brown Simpson are inevitable. Simpson—another pretty blonde who made international news when she died—was the wife of Orenthal James “O.J.” Simpson, a former star football player. A jury acquitted O.J. Simpson in his wife’s murder and that of her friend, Ronald Goldman, after a highly publicized trial. O.J. didn’t fare as well in a civil trial, where a jury unanimously found him liable for their deaths. The thing that binds Reeva Steenkamp and Nicole Simpson goes beyond
It’s not ‘them’; it’s us. the high-profiles of the sportsmen in their lives: it is the prevalence of violence, specifically, domestic violence. During the Simpson trial, evidence surfaced of a long-standing pattern of abuse that including beatings and stalking. South African police said they had previously investigated “allegations of a domestic nature” involving Pistorius. The runner had plenty of guns, several of which he kept in his bedroom. We want to believe that violence only happens to other people. We’re shocked to learn of domestic violence among the rich and famous, as if celebrity and money should shield those fortunate few from the violence endemic in our culture. South Africa rivals America in incidents of violence, but daily, women worldwide
fear for their futures—and their lives—at the hands of misogynistic laws that leave them vulnerable to the whims of the men who would rule them. As a weapon of war, documented incidents of systemic rape, forced prostitution and sexual trafficking have occurred from Bosnia to Haiti to Uganda. In every minute in America, an average of 24 people are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Women take the brunt of that violence. One in four women and one in seven men have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner. One in four American women has been raped in her lifetime— usually the rapist is someone she knows. The presence of a gun in the household exponentially increases the chances that someone will die in a violent encounter. Think about that for a moment. Violence isn’t something that happens to other people. Every day, sexual violence happens in all neighborhoods, rich and poor. It happens to your friends, to the people you love, perhaps to you. It’s not “them”; it’s us. Violence is overwhelmingly prevalent in our popular culture—in television, movies, video games and music—but we’re surprised when people cross the line of acceptable behavior to act violently in our communities and in our homes. We tell our sons that showing emotion is a sign of weakness. We tell our daughters that they have no right to control their bodies. Some of us still believe that what goes on in someone else’s home is none of our business. It’s all OK until someone gets hurt or someone dies. Then, we look at one another in confusion, as if we haven’t participated in making violence
part of our daily lives. “He was such a nice guy,” we tell ourselves. I have a goal. I want never to write about domestic violence again. Don’t get me wrong: I am dedicated to shining a light on the problem, and I will continue to tell the stories as long as the men and women are willing to speak out. The work I’ve done on the subject has made a difference. I know that because people tell me they learn from those stories. I’ll continue to research, tell my own story of abuse, learn about the nuances and provide the statistics. But here’s the thing: I don’t want to see another person’s life turned inside out because of abuse. I don’t want to see another woman break down in tears as she tells me her story. I want domestic abuse to stop. To make that goal a reality will take more than writing about it again. It will take all of us to recognize the signs of abuse—the suspicious bruises, the withdrawal from friends and family, the downward spiral of self-esteem. It takes getting educated, speaking up and speaking out. It takes the courage not to blame the victim, but pointing our collective fingers directly at the problem—not “Why doesn’t she leave?” but “Why does he abuse?” It will take all of us to understand that if we’re not providing solutions, we are part of the violence problem. After Nicole Simpson’s murder, a friend who had witnessed O.J.’s abusive behavior said, in hindsight: “We are all guilty—all of us who knew them.” As long as we don’t stop it, the violence will continue. And we must stop it; not “them.” We can solve this problem, together. Join the 2013 JFP Chick Ball committee to help stop domestic violence and abuse. Email email@example.com.
February 20 - 26, 2013
Reporter Jacob Fuller is a former student at Ole Miss. When not reporting, he splits his time between playing music and photographing anything in sight. He covers the city for the JFP. He wrote the cover story.
Events Editor Latasha Willis is a native Jacksonian, a freelance designer and the mother of one cat. She shamelessly promotes her design skills at latasha willis.com.
Reporter R.L. Nave grew up in St. Louis, graduated from Mizzou (the University of Missouri), and lived a bunch of other places before coming to Jackson. Call him at 601-3626121 ext. 12. He wrote several news stories.
Darnell “Chris” Jackson Kathleen Mitchell
Kelly Bryan Smith
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 a music story.
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 feature.
Andrew Dunaway knew his friends and family were tired of hearing him talk constantly about food, so he took to writing about it. He does his best to keep it to a dull roar. He wrote a food piece.
Kelly Bryan Smith is a mom, writer, brain tumor survivor, and nursing student living with her son in Fondren. She enjoys cooking, swimming, reading and collecting pastel blue eggs from her backyard chickens. She wrote a family feature.
Features Editor Kathleen Mitchell can usually be found reading, perusing wine shops, dreaming up new craft ideas or walking her beast around Fondren. She wrote wellness features.
Vote Tuesday February 26, 2013
Marshand Crisler Will Help:
“Committed To Serve”
• Provide more resources towards public education • Promote community and economic development in Jackson • Promote legislation for safer neighborhood in the city • Promote better health care services for all citizens
• Currently 2nd yr. PhD. Student in Urban & Regional Planning at Jackson State University • Master Degree in Public Politic & Administration at Jackson State University • Bachelor in Criminal Justice at Jackson State University • Executive Leadership Course at Harvard University
• Director of Adult Education at Hinds Community College • Adjunct Professor at JSU & Belhaven University • Hinds County Deputy Sheriff • Jackson City Council President • Retired Major of the United States Air Force Paid For By Friends To Elect Marshand Crisler
T h e C i ty ’ s B u s i n e s s a n d Lifestyle Magazine... now 6 times a year! March 2013 Editorial: - Coolest Offices - Spring Office Fashion - Parades! - Spring Menu Guide
May 2013 Editorial: - Best of Jackson 2013: Food, Nightlife, People, Community - Meeting Planner - DineJackson listings
July 2013 Editorial: - Business of Healthcare - Young Influentials - Jackson’s Best Doctors - Road Trips - Summer Menu Guide
Join Us For The 54th Annual Mississippi
Gem, Mineral, Fossil & Jewelry Show State Fairgrounds • Jackson, MS • Trade Mart Building Saturday February 23, 9 am – 6 pm • Sunday February 24, 10 am – 5 pm Adults $5.00 • Students $3.00
September 2013 Editorial: - Fall Food and Fashion - Arts & Events: The Season - The Business of Football - Fall Menu Guide - Beauty/Spa/Salon Guide
November 2013 Editorial: - Holiday Entertaining - Party Fashion - Local Gift Guide - Winter Menu Guide
24 Dealers of Gems, Minerals, Fossils, Jewelry, Beads, Lapidary Tools and More. MGMS Demonstrations of all Lapidary Art including Cabochon Cutting, Faceting, Flint Knapping, Wire Wrapping, and much more.
Bring A Friend And Spend The dAy!
Junior Demonstration Table • Exhibits • Touch and See with Braille Labels Colleges and Groups • http://missgems.org
BOOM Jackson, The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine, is distributed in more than 200 locations in the Jackson metro. Call 601-362-6121 x11 for more information on advertising in BOOM Jackson or to have BOOM Jackson delivered to your business or home.
January 2014 Editorial: - Hitched Weddings - Wedding Announcements - Power Couples - Romantic Fashion - New Year Resolutions
[YOU & JFP]
Name: Daniel Esguilin Age: 37 Location: New Baptist construction site Lived in Jackson: 2 months Originally from: Tampa, Fla. Occupation: Concrete contractor Reading: The Bible Favorite quote: “Don’t do anything bad. Make your life better.”
Write us: firstname.lastname@example.org Tweet us: @JxnFreePress Facebook: Jackson Free Press
WHAT SHOULD BE THE TOP CAMPAIGN ISSUE IN JACKSON CITY ELECTIONS? R Demond Watts Crime/murder rate.
Deanna Graves Bring jobs and urban renewal to the Jackson area.
Rosa Guerreiro Kratochvil Roads.
Lindsey George Crime.
Savanah Perry Crime! So people can live in the city. Public school improvement.
Percy King Jobs!
Janice Kilby Jobs and urban renewal would happen if safety and beautification of the city came first. I’m not a Jacksonian, but completion of the Farish Street Project along with the safety issues of visitors and the infrastructure to get there. Jackson needs that to happen for the economy. I think if the homeless problems in the Pascagoula/Gallatin Street areas were addressed that would take care of some of the safety issues. Glenda Barner The economy of our city; supporting businesses we have and bringing more. Hilda Abbott Crime and lack of jail space. Jamie Grissom Streets and crime or crime and streets.
February 20 - 26, 2013
Gary Matthews Lack of transparency and the good ole boys’ voting block.
Send us a photo of you and your JFP somewhere interesting. You get a $20 gift certificate if we print it.
Hunter McGee The infrastructure, lack of cabs … and a continuing prohibition that isn’t doing anyone any favors. ... Why are we not addressing the one way streets and, sigh, Capitol Street, downtown? Also, the atrocious parking choices, lack of sidewalks, and paucity mass transit? ... Crime is a nonissue, and deflects from affirming action. Raise the minimum wage, yes, make the area tasty to artists (ahem, yeah, THAT), get more bars and clubs, and a taxi force to support the new clientele. For Pete’s sake, New Orleans does this everyday. We could rip a lot of old stuff off the ground and start over smarter. Brian Hall My issue is creativity. Why do some parts of downtown look good and some parts look like crap? Especially Mill and Capitol streets. Eliza Garcia Stop allowing outside influences to take our businesses!!! Kevin Slark Infrastructure!
CJ Rhodes An aggressively visionary plan that will transform Jackson into a leading Southern city within 20 years. Jackson will be among Charlotte, Dallas, Nashville, etc. when people locally and nationally talk about great cities of the New South. Della R Posey Top campaign issues would include a discussion on urban renewal and urban flight. It’s discouraging to residents and/or potential businesses to see so many vacant businesses in varying stages of deterioration. The perception is that the city cannot keep its citizenry or business community. While this perception may lead to urban flight, the campaign should address what it is doing to keep citizens and businesses as well as (attract them). Judykay Jefferson Accountability and transparency! Michelle Woods Roads, crime, infrastructure. Vincent Wright Infrastructure improvements & Business development. Jill Butler Infrastructure improvements! Add yours at jfp.ms/JXNissues.
FEEDBACK Mississippi United Against Charter Schools
Feb. 1 JFP has done a great job of covering this “education reform” push this and in past Legislative Sessions. Please continue to do so and please consider a piece on the posted Washington Post article exposing the corporate connections to all this “education reform” across the country. Much of the debate can be understood and answered according to the descriptions and revelations in that article. There are not many more important issues than our children’s future and thus the future of our state and society at large. Thank you.
Charles Walter Jett
Feb. 13 Excellent article by Kathleen Mitchell in the Jackson Free Press this week about the Mississippi Pulp Con on page 26. Every aspect was touched upon that makes the event so diverse in scope, yet threaded together culturally. A lot of names got left out that I wish could have appeared, but it is a newspaper article, not a pulp novel; some condensing had to be utilized. I did attempt to stress that the event would not be possible without the assistance of many wonderful friends, but there was not enough space on the page. It is a concise, yet enticing article that does indeed explain the nature and purpose of this Mississippi “home-grown” event. Thank you Kathleen and the JFP for keeping your eyes and ears open to the “pop,” “pulp,” “underground,” “low-brow” & “kounter-kulture” events that help deﬁne our culture and times.
Most Viral Stories at jfp.ms:
1. “Farish on Thin Ice, Fondren Getting Pub,” Jacob Fuller 2. “Home Brewing Comes to a Head,” R.L Nave 3. “Person of the Day: Roy Coleman,” Jerome Gentry 4. “A Political Family: Melvin Priester Jr.,” Jacob Fuller 5. “Best of Jackson 2012: Food & Drink” Join the conversation at jfp.ms/comments.
Most Viral Events at jfpevents.com:
1. Cirque de la Symphonie, Feb. 16 2. State Institutions of Higher Learning Board Search Committee Meeting, Feb. 13 3. Mississippi Pulp Con, Feb. 16 4. Alabama Shakes, March 16 5. Love for Jackson: An Intimate Night of Music and Spoken Word, Feb. 14 Email events to events@ jacksonfreepress.com or post your own at jfpevents.com.
The Hal & Mal’s Herald JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI, FEBRUARY, 20, 2013
Alabama Shakes To Headline Street Dance
Get tickets at Ticket Master (or at the gate day of if they are still available) and fans 18+ are encouraged to make their purchase soon! Visit www.malsstpaddysdparade.com on the Web or search “Mal’s St. Paddy’s Parade” on Facebook for more info!
[Jackson, Miss.] New this year, Hal and Mal’s will feature the Grammynominated Alabama Shakes at the Street Dance after the Mal’s St. Paddy’s Parade. Also on the bill are Michael Kiwanuka, Riley Downing, Sam Doores and Houndmouth.
7 JCV7210-38 Event Week February 18 JFPress 9.25x5.875.indd 1
2/18/13 11:13 AM
Thursday, Feb. 14 The state Senate amends SB 2141, which would have made school board members elected officials, to create a commission to study the issue. … The House Rules Committee blocks a Medicaid bill that the Senate had already passed. Friday, Feb. 15 A 10-ton meteor explodes over Rus-
sia, injuring nearly 1,000 people. … Olympic star Oscar Pistorius is charged with murder for the slaying of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp. Saturday, Feb. 16 Mississippi musicians hold a concert in Hattiesburg to raise disaster-relief funds for victims of recent tornados. … The Vatican raises the possibility that the conclave to elect the next pope might start sooner than March 15, the earliest date possible under current rules. Sunday, Feb. 17 An engine-room fire on Carnival Cruise boat Triumph paralyzes the ship, leaving it adrift in the Gulf of Mexico for five days. … White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough says the president is downplaying his immigration proposal as a backup plan if lawmakers don’t come up with an overhaul.
February 20 - 26, 2013
Monday, Feb. 18 The Mississippi House gives final approval to SB 2806, which provides sales-tax rebates to the developer of an $80 million outlet mall scheduled to open in November in Pearl. … Whole Foods Market South’s regional buyers visit the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum to meet local farmers and producers.
Tuesday, Feb. 19 Former Gov. William Winter is honored for his public service on his 90th birthday at the old Capitol Museum. … State Sen. Kenneth Wayne Jones, DCanton, reveals Jackson State University’s plans for a 50,000-seat stadium. Get news updates at jfpdaily.com.
“Why would I only talk about Trayvon (Martin) when there are young people who are getting murdered in my home state and my home city? I wanted people to honor and look into who these people were.”
—Alabama Republican Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin on an antiabortion bill in that state.
—Jackson native and writer Kiese Laymon on his acclaimed essay about guns.
Age is no barrier for Corinthian Sanders’ run. p 10
The Nuclear Option by R.L. Nave
ississippi wants to bring Iran to its knees. On Feb. 6, the Mississippi House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed HB 563, which would direct the Public Employee Retirement System to identify investments the system has with oil- and mineral-extraction companies that operate in Iran and provide for divestment of those investments under certain conditions. Another bill, which died in a House committee, would have prohibited Mississippi state agencies from contracting with companies that have “Iranian connections.” Mississippi’s Iran divestment proposals follow similar actions in other states designed to pressure Iran to halt their pursuit of nuclear weapons, which westerners view as a threat to the U.S. and America’s allies. Pat Robertson, PERS’ executive director, said the retirement system has not calculated how much PERS would have to pay in transaction costs to buy and sell the identified stocks and bonds. Similar measures have been unpopular in certain quarters. As well intentioned as the proposals may be, the business community has bristled at other states’ divestment measures, which trade groups such as the Washington, D.C.-based National Foreign Trade Council believe intrude on the federal government’s supremacy over matters of foreign policy. In 2000, the NFTC, whose membership is comprised of many of the world’s largest multinational corporations, took the state of Massachusetts to the U.S. Supreme Court for prohibiting state agencies from buying goods from companies operating in Burma,
Wednesday, Feb. 13 The Mississippi House passes HB 958, which would let school boards authorize employees to carry concealed weapons on campus. … The U.S. Senate holds the year’s first hearing on immigration policy.
“When a physician removes a child from a woman, that is the largest organ in a body, That’s a big surgery. You don’t have any other organs in your body that are bigger than that.”
An international trade group doesn’t believe Mississippi should pass a law that would require the Public Employee Retirement System to pull certain investments that have ties with Iran.
or Myanmar. The court found in Crosby v. National Foreign Trade Council that Massachusetts’ law undermined existing sanctions that the federal government imposed against Burma for human-rights violations. The NFTC sued again in 2006 when Illinois passed a law requiring the state treasurer to sell off investments in firms doing business in Sudan, where a genocide took place. Bill Reinsch, president of the NFTC, sent a letter to Republican leaders urging them to drop one of the divestment proposals. “There are obvious and valid reasons for concern about Iran’s nuclear program and human-rights record. State and local foreign-policy sanctions clearly undermine the ability of the United States to conduct a unified and effective policy to address these serious situations,” Reinsch wrote.
The laws are also bad for business. Dan O’Flaherty, NFTC’s vice president, said the organization has no plans to sue even if Mississippi passes a divestment law; however, from a business perspective, allowing each state to come up with its own foreign policy would be “a formula for commercial chaos.” The would be ineffective because it would only affect a handful of foreign corporations such as Siemens AG, a German technology company and French petroleum giant Total, O’Flaherty said. “I can’t imagine the Ayatollah is saying, ‘Holy sh*t! Mississippi is going to sell its shares in Total, so we’d better stop building a nuclear weapon,’” O’Flaherty said. Comment at www.jfp.ms. Email R.L. Nave at email@example.com.
Live from Johannesburg, Land Mass
he Weather Channel goofed again about the, um, Land Mass State (the one between New Orleans and Mobile, Ala., as reported during its coverage of Hurricane Isaac) in its coverage of the Hattiesburg tornado Feb. 11, showing a screen graphic that read “LIVE: Johannesburg, MS.” What can we do to give the Weather Channel a geography lesson? Trip Burns: Maps. Scott Roussell: Force the á la carte programming on the cable providers by switching to an Internet-based news and entertainment mode, then refuse to subscribe to TWC until they get their heads unstuck from their keisters and rethink their stance
on sensationalist, weather-esque reality television and go back to being serious about information instead of drama. R.L. Nave: Remind the network that Johannesburg is located in South Africa, which officially ended a system of racial inequality known as
apartheid in 1989, and Mississippi officially ended a system of racial inequality known as slavery in 2013. Mark Michalovic: That’s funny, because I was in Johannesburg a while back, and I kept thinking that the middle-class neighborhoods of the city felt a lot like Jackson, not Hattiesburg. Latasha Willis: A mandatory field trip to all 82 Mississippi counties, a final exam and singing a spirited rendition of the “Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter” rhyme.
“The school board is too insulated from the people. ... Right now, there’s really no reason for them to (listen to the people), because the people don’t move them. They can’t put them in there; they can’t remove them from there.” —Ward 2 Councilman and Jackson mayoral candidate Chokwe Lumumba on whether school board members should be elected.
Blessings for All Unions by Ronni Mott
courtesy Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi
WEEKLY EVENT CALENDAR WEDNESDAYS
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10pm - Until
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SHRIMP BOIL • 5 - 10 PM • MATT’S LATE NITE KARAOKE
$1 PBR & HIGHLIFE • $2 MARGARITAS • 10 - 12pm Live Music from 6- 10 by
Howlin’ At The Moon with Hunter Gibson
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ore than three years after the “From the Old Testament and throughEpiscopal Church provided out the New Testament, the only sexual relafor gay union blessings, Mis- tionships that are affirmed in scripture are sissippi’s Bishop Duncan Gray those in the context of marriage between III announced Feb. 1 that he would allow one man and one woman,” Carmen Fowler congregations to bless same-sex unions in LaBerge, a former Presbyterian minister, told the Magnolia State under strict guidelines, National Public Radio soon after the presidespite his misgivings. dent’s statement hit the airwaves. “My deepest grief is that this issue has But the Bible—particularly the Old Tesso dominated our common life and has so tament—is also filled with polygamous marbecome the litmus test of church groups and riages, concubines and arcane rules that degroupings that we have found so little energy fine women as valued property instead of life for anything else,” Gray said in an address to partners to their husbands. And a search of the the Diocesan Council. New Testament for Jesus’ words regarding who Gray gave his churches and ministers op- should (or shouldn’t) marry whom is unlikely tions: Congregations can choose not to take to offer the seeker any definitive answers. any action; pastors can choose not to perform “Jesus never said a single word about the blessings; or congreanything even remotely gations can petition the connected to homobishop to allow them to sexuality,” the Rev. Subless the unions. san Russell, an Episco The bishop strongpal priest at All Saints ly stated that such blessChurch in Pasadena, ings are not marriages, Calif., told NPR. and that no one would “When you read be forced into blessing the Bible, you can find LGBT unions. justification for almost “The State of Misanything,” Russell consissippi will not authotinued, “including slavery, rize such a marriage rite, the subjection of women and my own conscience and an argument that would not accept it,” the sun actually revolves he wrote. “No priest, around the earth.” no vestry, no congrega- Bishop Duncan Gray III of Mississippi’s The Episcopal Episcopal Church will allow churches tion will be asked to do to bless same-sex unions. Church chose a proanything that violates gressive pathway to their conscience.” recognize committed “… I am well aware of the extraordi- relationships among its LGBT parishioners nary diversity of emotion that this decision in 2009, joining other liberal-minded sects. will evoke. This announcement will delight At that time, church bishops adopted a ceresome of you. For others this will be experi- mony that—while stopping short of being a enced as horror and betrayal.” liturgical “marriage”—allows pastors to bless When it comes to mainline Christian gay unions. denominations, the Episcopal Church has In his Feb. 1 address, Gray called for the proved to be left of center on many issues. election of a bishop coadjutor to gradually Unlike Catholics, for example, women have take over his duties so that he can retire. served as Episcopalian clergy for decades, and “Sisters and brothers, after considerable pastors can marry and raise families. The prayer, conversation and discernment, I have church has long stood against the death pen- become increasingly aware that I have done alty and in favor of equal rights. It even allows about as much as I can do for this church as openly homosexual people to serve as clergy. your bishop,” he wrote. “The challenges of Since President Barack Obama came the next decade or so will require more enout in favor of gay marriage in early May of ergy, more creativity and more passion than last year, Episcopalians—like many church- is left in my tank.” es—are dipping their toes into the theo- Gray declined to comment for this logical controversy over homosexuality. Like story. many complex social issues for the faithful, Comment at www.jfp.ms. Email Ronni this is an ocean fraught with biblical reefs. Mott at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DISH | Candidate
Sanders: Never Too Young to Lead by Jacob D. Fuller
February 13 - 19, 2013
t didn’t take long for Corinthian Sand- be ruling now. We need to be a part of our and (asking) what do they want from me. ers, 20, to face adversity in his bid for generation. We don’t need someone else’s What do they want from the city itself? Jackson’s Ward 5 City Council seat. generation to still govern when it’s our time What do they want me to do? What is most The Jackson State University student to start leading. important? What can we all agree on? What was a few minutes into his ofdo you expect from me for ficial candidacy announcement four years in this first term. in front of Ayer Hall on the JSU That’s basically what campus, when three JSU police I’m going to do is listen, a officers stopped him. The offitour of listening. cers, including Patrolman Troy What does the city need Nix, held up Sanders’ speech to do to get people in the for several minutes, while Sandabandoned houses or ers got a school administrator to do something with the come out and tell the police that abandoned lots? he had permission to make the We have a lot of senior announcement. citizens, people on retirement Sanders remained calm, pensions (and) things like though, and said the officers that. A lot of retired people were just doing their job. are coming back to the city. The city’s youngest regThey are living in a home. istered candidate says he a deThey have money to invest voutly religious young man in (and) don’t know where and a “big family person.” He to put it. A lot of people are calls himself a “Chrislam”: He skeptical about putting it in believes Christ provides salvaWall Street investment comtion, and he also believes in the panies and things like that. teachings and rituals of Islam. You have a lot of veterans. He told the Jackson Free Press They get pensions as well. that he speaks English, SpanThey want to spend their ish, Samaritan Hebrew and Jackson State student Corinthian Sanders, 20, hopes voters in money on something they Ward 5 will look past his age when they elect their city council a dialect of Arabic spoken in can invest in, where they can representative in May. Baghdad, Iraq. have something for tomor His religion isn’t the only row or the future for their mixture that might confuse children(and)grandchildren. For a 20-year-old like me to do somesome. Sanders, a Democrat, said he voted for I think of all of the dilapidated homes, thing like that, it just tells you that leaders President Barack Obama and for Republican come in all shapes, sizes and ages. I try to especially in Ward 5—I have six pages of Gov. Phil Bryant. Both men were the best stay away from biblical things, because a lot foreclosures and abandoned lots that range candidates for their respective jobs, he said. of people call it controversial when you do it from very low prices to reasonable prices. Sanders is not new to leadership roles. He with politics. But what do you think about The city can make an initiative where resihelps lead prayer groups and outreach minJoseph? Joseph was a young boy when he dents, senior citizens, veterans and others istries for Universal Life Church, and assists became a leader. King David—what do you alike who have the money to invest—we the Williams Care Outreach Mission with think about those people? Those people were need to create some incentive to give them a community associations to address the growway of getting those properties. We need to great leaders. ing problem of dilapidated houses in the city. It doesn’t matter what age, if they have create some kind of housing policy for those The JFP sat down with Sanders and experience (or) have leadership skills. Mo- particular people. his campaign manager, and great aunt, Earses (had) no experience (and) no leadership nestine Moore on campus at JSU Feb. 13 to skills. Do they have the will to do something Why? find out just what leads a college student to We know that this can be influential as different for their people? That’s what creates run for city office. potential revenue for the city. If the city can a leader. That’s what a 20-year-old like me is do- give the lots and abandoned homes to people Why is someone your age running for ing: going to school and trying to improve who can’t afford them, like senior citizens city council? and veterans, those (people) can go spend this community, this city. My age, it really doesn’t matter. Opentheir money and flip the homes. minded people don’t look at age. Age is just a We can (reduce) those (home) values. If you are elected, what is your number number to me. one priority on day one? We can talk to the banks that own those It took 20 years for me to decide it’s Day one, I’m going to start on official homes here. We can talk to them about cretime. It’s enough for us to be dissatisfied with business, as in going around my ward doing ating a low interest rate, or get (people) on a the situation Jackson is going through. I’m a tour, which I’m doing now. It’s not going program where they can buy so much proptired of declining jobs. I’m tired of businesses to be any different from the campaign. (I’ll erty, and the bank will give them a leeway on leaving Jackson. I am tired of our streets tearbe) going door to door, neighborhood to more resources to improve their property. ing up, corroding and going in the ground. neighborhood, projects to projects to speak Or (we can) create a business program, It takes a 20-year-old to realize that with the citizens, business owners— black, where we help the senior citizens with a change, realize that hope for our tomorwhite, Asian, whatever—(and) churches, business plan. If they have a business plan row. We are the generation that needs to
themselves, we have to improve that.... This whole area around (JSU) is empty, almost. The school is looking for more area. It’s hard for them to get it, because the city is making it hard for them to get those (pieces of property). A lot of these lots are owned by the city. We can work more with people who have resources and let them get these lots, instead of (owners) being greedy. We want to collect taxes, and we want to do this, and we want to do that. It’s not working because these lots are overgrown. We have broken windows. We need to pass a policy for broken windows like Madison has.* We need to have some kind of initiative in place where we can beautify not just Ward 5, but the whole city, because all of it, every ward, looks the same if you ask me, as far as the appearance and housing. A lot of it is dilapidated. As you know, a lot of housing is collapsing because a lot of people can’t afford to improve their homes. The city has resources. They really do. They have resources to give some of these people grants, not just loans. Let’s stop talking about loans and higher taxes. Let’s talk about grants, initiatives and community service. Comment at www.jfp.ms. Email Jacob D. Fuller at email@example.com. *Both Jackson and Madison operate under the 2006 International Property Maintenance Code, which requires home owners to repair broken windows in order to receive rental licenses. ** A 2011 study performed by the Department of Economics at Tulane University in New Orleans showed that Mardi Gras a total direct and indirect economic impact of $300,656,546 on New Orleans. The City of New Orleans accrued a net fiscal benefit of $13.1 million from Mardi Gras. *** The Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau estimated the 2010 St. Paddy’s Parade generated about $6.5 million in economic impact for the capital city. The state Department of Agriculture and Commerce estimates the Dixie National Rodeo’s economic impact to be more than $20 million.
Corinthian Sanders Age: 20 Born: Jackson Running for: Ward 5 City Council Occupation: Student at Jackson State University Education: Callaway High School 2011 Political experience: six-time class or student-body president
Legislature: Week 6
No Money, No Luck by R.L. Nave
“It’s clear that there is no need for this,” Scott said. Mississippi briefly flirted with privatization of child support during the mid-1990s, but a 1996 Joint Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review report that found state workers collected more than the private firm the state hired to do the work. As many as 800 DHS employees
With veterans returning from wars overseas, Mississippi could be the first state to launch a program designed to assist returning veterans in rural communities. In this photo, Emma Sharee Calica greets her father, Austen Calica, in Washington state.
hot-button issue more recently when the House debated HB 1009, which would privatize the state’s $200 million per year child-support collection system, which the Mississippi Department of Human Services now oversees. Brenda Scott, president of the Mississippi Alliance of State Employees/ Communications Workers of America, mobilized state employees for DHS to clog the Capitol switchboard last week by calling lawmakers to express their opposition to the bill.
in the child support-collections division could be affected if HB 1009 becomes law, Scott said. Democratic lawmakers seemed skeptical that the bill was designed to alleviate the workload of overburdened DHS workers and help families receive child-support payments faster. “It’s a greased pig already. Somebody up on high already knows who’s going to get this contract,” said Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, during debate on the House floor.
While the bill does not specify which company or companies would run the program, Sen. Nancy Collins, R-Tupelo, told The Associated Press that the information she used to defend the bill came from Arnie Hederman and Austin Barbour, a pair of lobbyists with deep ties to the Republican Party. Barbour is the nephew of former Gov. Haley Barbour and a former adviser to Republican presidential nominee Gov. Mitt Romney; Hederman chaired the Mississippi Republican Party until Jan. 2012. Barbour and Hederman, partners in a Jackson-based lobbying firm, represent YoungWilliams PC, which paid the lobbyists $90,000 in 2012, Secretary of State records show. YoungWilliams PC is an affiliate of YoungWilliams Child Support Services, does business in 11 states and employs 950 people. In addition to the lobbying efforts, Robert L. Wells, YoungWilliams Child Support Services’ chief executive officer, also has also donated to the election campaigns of several elected officials. Campaign disclosure data reveal that, including joint donations made with wife, Wells gave $38,500 to Mississippi lawmakers in 2011, including donations totaling $17,500 to Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves’ campaign fund. State Auditor Stacey Pickering and Rep. Percy Watson also received $3,000 and $1,000 from Wells, respectively. Military Families About 2,000 members of the Mississippi Army National Guard and the Mississippi Air National Guard are currently deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation New Dawn in Iraq. When combat operations will officially end in Afghanistan, in 2014, these troops will return home to our cities and towns. Ravaged by war, many of them will need help readjusting to civilian, but many, par-
ticularly those in rural communities, may not receive it. The Northtown Family Readiness Program, whose funding is under consideration by the Legislature, wants to change that. An appropriations bill now under consideration by lawmakers, would fund 20 military veterans as AmeriCorps members to act as outreach workers in Mississippi’s rural communities, connecting returning soldiers with services and educating them about their veteran’s benefits. Petra Kay, whose husband served in the National Guard for three decades and served as family readiness coordinator for his unit, said often veterans do not know what services they’re eligible or where to go for help. Adjusting to life off base, away from where services are available, is difficult for returning soldiers, Kay said. “You’re really disconnected from the military,” she said. Mississippi soldiers are especially disconnected. Only 15 Family Readiness Centers exist to serve the 209,408 veterans in the entire state of Mississippi compared to 35 such centers in Alabama and 109 in Virginia, Kay said. That despite the fact that 11.1 percent of Mississippians are veterans compared to 14.2 percent of Virginia’s population. Kay said Mississippi’s AmeriCorps program, which would involve volunteers going out into neighborhoods and knocking on veterans’ doors to educate them about their rights and benefits under the Montgomery G.I. Bill and the Veterans Administration would be the first of its kind in the nation. House Military Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. David Myers, D-McComb, helped secure the funding to pay AmeriCorps members a living allowance of $12,100 per year for three years. Comment at www.jfp.ms. Contact R.L. Nave at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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common refrain throughout Mississippi’s legislative session so far has involved, for better or worse, the outsourcing of certain government functions to private entities. Both chambers have passed charterschool bills that would let private organizations run public schools on the state’s behalf. Privatization again emerged as a
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From Stadiums to Small Biz by R.L. Nave and Dustin Cardon
ackson State University will soon officially unveil plans for a new stadium. The university recently made a presentation to policy-makers about a new multi-purpose athletic facility. State Sen. Kenneth Wayne Jones, DCanton, attended the meeting and told the Jackson Free Press that preliminary plans include a 50,000-seat state-of-the-art domed stadium that can accommodate sporting events as well as serve as a concert venue. Jones said that he would work to secure JSU’s request for $75 million from the state to help pay for the $200 million stadium, which would sit on one of four sites JSU is considering. “I think the presentation was excellent. I commend them on their forward thinking,” Jones said. Eric Stringfellow, JSU’s communications director, declined to comment about the stadium proposal when contacted Tuesday morning, but said the university plans to hold a news conference Feb. 27 to make a major announcement. In 2011, the Legislature transferred control of 60,000-seat Veterans Memorial Stadium to Jackson State on the condition that ownership would transfer the land to University of Mississippi Medical Center when JSU builds a new stadium. JSU’s isn’t the capital city’s only stadium idea in the works, however. In late January, the city of Jackson released the results of a $109,000 feasibility study for a new downtown arena. The proposed arena could hold between 9,000 and 12,000 people, depending on the event, with the possibility of future expansion for up to 15,000. The arena could also serve as a venue for multiple entertainment events, including sporting events, concerts, ice shows and others. The big question mark is whether Jackson needs, or can support, two brand new sports arenas.
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Jackson City Council President and Ward 6 Councilman Tony Yarber saw JSU’s presentation and said the city is ready to help the university however it can. Yarber was dubious whether Jackson needs dual arenas, and said the findings of the city-commissioned study could help justify the need—and economic benefits—of a
employ 49.5 percent of the private-sector labor force. Nationwide, 27.8 million small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all employers and employ 49.1 percent of the private-sector labor force.
Cafe Open Downtown Cafe opened for business Monday, Feb. 18, on the site of the former Miller’s Grill at 224 E. Capitol St. In addition to po-boys, daily plate-lunch specials and the restaurant’s signature chicken and waffles, owner and head chef Aubrey Norman Jr. has a vision for the new location that includes seafood and a unique take on the fine dining experience. 2013 marks Downtown Cafe’s Jackson State University will soon officially unveil plans for a second year in business. new stadium to replace the one on University of Mississippi Chef Norman reproperty.The university recently made a presentation to cently received the Jackpolicy-makers about a new multi-purpose athletic facility. son Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Hometown Jackson State arena. He said a new stadium Hero Award for his work promoting tourwould enhance JSU’s west Jackson campus ism and inspiring entrepreneurship. He beand add jobs to the area. gan his culinary career working in hotels and was the general manager at the Steam Room Small Business Analysis Grille for four years until it closed in 2010. A new state-by-state report released today by the U.S. Small Business Administra- Whole Foods Visit tion (SBA) Office of Advocacy shows that Whole Foods Market South’s regional Mississippi employed 436,996 workers in buyers visited the Mississippi Agriculture & 2010 with most of the employment coming Forestry Museum (1150 Lakeland Drive) from firms with 20 to 499 employees. in Jackson Monday, Feb. 18, to meet local The Small Business Profile for the farmers and producers. More than 90 proStates and Territories found that overall self- ducers attended the event, in which Whole employment in Mississippi declined over the Foods Market provided details on how to last decade, while minority self-employment become a vendor for the market. saw growth. Whole Foods Market opens this fall at Mississippi’s 240,378 small businesses Highland Village shopping center, 4500 Inrepresent 96.5 percent of all employers and terstate 55 N., in Jackson.
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