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WHO

PAYS? MYTHS & TAXES P 14-19

REBRANDING HINDS MCLAUGHLIN, P 10

EASTER GIFTS JACOME, P 22

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April 20 - April 26, 2011


April 20 - 26, 2011

jacksonian

VOL.

9 N O . 32

contents AARON PHILLIPS

AMILE WILSON

7 Malaco Hit Malaco Records took a different kind of hit when tornados ripped through April 15. AMILE WILSON

Cover Illustration by Aleks Sennwald

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THIS ISSUE: Tax Time

Who’s paying taxes in America, and who’s not? What is it that our leaders aren’t telling us?

.............. Slowpoke ...................... Talks ................ Editorial .................. Stiggers ...................... Zuga ................ Opinion ................. Hitched ............. Diversions ................... 8 Days

...... Music Listings .................... Sports ............... Astrology ........ Body & Soul ...................... Food . Girl About Town

The Rev. Mike Campbell spends what little spare time he has catching up on movies. Campbell, 46, is senior pastor at Redeemer Church, at 640 E. Northside Drive. After spending more than a decade in Miami, the Bluefield, Va., native moved to Jackson almost seven years ago, with his wife, Keren, and their three children. “We came from a major city to work here. We want to do good for the city. This is our home, not a stepping stone for us,” he said. The good he is doing for the church and the city is building a multi-racial congregation. “A core group of members at Redeemer wanted to build this type of congregation. And after less than seven years, it is working,” he said. A successful multi-racial congregation is defined as one that contains at least 20 percent of a minority race. The makeup of Redeemer is about 68 percent white, 30 percent African American and 2 percent other ethnicities, Campbell said. Campbell, his family and the congregation have “hit the streets” in traditional and non-traditional outreach efforts in the community. They invite community members to fish fries, weekly Bible studies, fall festivals and the like, as well as their nontraditional approaches. We have a real heart to find all kinds

of ways to reach out to our neighbors,” Campbell says. “From the start, we have done a number of things including a tutoring program for JPS students from elementary age through high school, a basketball ministry on Tuesday night, even though we don’t own a gym, and our Sister Cooks program where women in our congregation mentor young girls who are dealing with becoming young ladies,” Campbell said. “The ladies in our church developed this program from the ground. It’s a discipleship to grow in faith and not just cook as the title infers,” he said of the Sister Cooks program. Campbell graduated from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Mo., in 1992, where he earned his master’s degree in ministry. He recently returned to the university to begin his doctorate work. One of the first-year components of the degree is to complete a community assessment. For the survey, Campbell obtains information from residents, and frequently goes door-to-door. “Many of the neighbors and people in the community have a positive view of the community and their neighbors,” he said. “They appreciate life in the community and what they have. It is working.” —Langston Moore

20 Their Way The Schwindickerman’s did their wedding the way they wanted it: intimate and inter-faith. JULIE SKIPPER

.................... Music

rev. mike campbell

42 Hands On Girl About Town gets a little domestic with a cooking class. It only took the promise of wine.

jacksonfreepress.com

........ Editor’s Note

ADAM HUDSON PHOTOGRAPHY

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David Cay Johnston 2001 Pulitzer Prize-winner David Cay Johnston is a columnist for tax.com and teaches at Syracuse University College of Law and Whitman School of Management. His new book, “The Fine Print,” will be out later this year. He wrote the cover story.

Langston Moore Langston Moore lives in Fondren with his bride, Lisa. He enjoys flea marketing, exploring historic downtowns and photography. He works for a statewide, non-profit agency. Follow him on twitter @lstonmo22. He wrote the Jacksonian and a music feature.

Dylan Watson Editorial intern and Lilly fellow Dylan Watson is from Indianola. He is a sophomore at Millsaps College, where he studies political science and philosophy. He wrote a Talk about the Council of Conservative Citizens.

Lacey McLaughlin News editor Lacey McLaughlin is a Florida native who enjoys riding her bike around Jackson. She is always on the hunt for news tips. Email Lacey@ jacksonfreepress.com or call 601362-6121 ext. 22. She wrote an arts feature.

Ronni Mott Ronni Mott came to Jackson by way of D.C. in 1997. She’s a writer, photographer and the JFP’s managing editor, where she practices her hobby of herding cats. She teaches yoga in her spare time. She wrote the Body & Soul feature.

ShaWanda Jacome Assistant to the editor ShaWanda Jacome is a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend and a Christ-follower. She is learning to “be still and to let God be God” (Psalm 46:10). She wrote the Hitched feature and compiled the Easter gift guide.

Meredith W. Sullivan Former New Yorker Meredith W. Sullivan is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology. She spends her days dreaming about where to travel next. She is enjoying life in Fondren with her husband and Diggy dog. She wrote the Fly Earth Day feature.

April 20 - 26, 2011

Ashley Jackson

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Account executive Ashley Jackson, a Brandon native, loves volunteering with youth, cooking, doing homework, wearing awesome shoes, and dancing like a fool while playing her extensive vinyl collection.

publisher’snote

by Todd Stauffer, Publisher

Loving America, and Americans

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he continuing national debate over taxation and federal budget policy in this country is good—as is the boldness with which both liberal and conservative elements are stating their positions. My hope is that an honest consideration of these positions will help those of us who haven’t spent the past few years buried in tax policy come to ethical and compassionate conclusions about what, exactly, we will prioritize—and how we’ll pay for it. For me, the big picture is simple: I think we’ve somehow made greed a virtue in this country in the past decades, and that attitude threatens empire and exceptionalism. We’ve been on a 30-year experiment in supply-side economics, wherein we continue to lower the marginal tax rates on the people who enjoy the greatest amount of wealth, while cutting services—including infrastructure and education, not to mention wages—to those who have access to the least amount of wealth. The result is measurable, increasing and unassailable income disparity that is affecting the quality of life in this country for the majority of its citizens. The president put it succinctly in his recent budget address: “Think about it. In the last decade, the average income of the bottom 90 percent of all working Americans actually declined. The top 1 percent saw their income rise by an average of more than a quarter of a million dollars each. And that’s who needs to pay less taxes? They want to give people like me a $200,000 tax cut that’s paid for by asking 33 seniors to each pay $6,000 more in health costs? That’s not right, and it’s not going to happen as long as I’m president.” Beyond the (literal) bankruptcy of the policy itself, however, is the “ethic” that undergirds that policy—it’s a case of putting marginal tax rates ahead of people and making that something to applaud. In February, I blogged a local tidbit on the JFP website—Northside Sun publisher Wyatt Emmerich had written a piece, “With Welfare it Makes Sense to Work Less” (north sidesun.com/printer_friendly/9915498), that included a chart purporting to show why “people don’t want to work.” Emmerich wrote: “‘How can this be?’ you may ask. You have to work to eat. Well, that’s really not true anymore. In fact, our welfare state rewards not working. You can do as well working one week a month at minimum wage as you can working a $60,000-a-year, full-time, high-stress job.” To blame, of course, is “welfare.” His chart burned up many of the rightleaning tubes on the Internets. It was talked about at Sean Hannity’s blog, on the rightwing blog Zero Hedge and at “The Corner” on the National Review’s website. The problem is that Emmerich’s numbers don’t add up. In February, The New Republic ran a story called “From Mississippi to ‘The Corner’: A Tale of Right-Wing Wrongness.” Emmerich’s

mistakes are documented in that story, and I’ve done my own version of his chart—with some additions and explanations of my own methods and assumptions—in a new blog entry that should be up by the time you see this story (http://jfp.ms/todd_chart/). Emmerich made a critical mistake in his numbers, a critical mistake in his analysis and one rather intriguing decision. (And there’s a bunch of small stuff, too.) The intriguing decision was this: For the sake of comparison, he chose a family of three—one parent, two children. It so happens that particular little low-income family will most often qualify for top benefits in our current system of safety nets, resulting in perhaps the best per-capita assistance. Why is that? Because our system happens to be designed—if imperfectly—to keep impoverished families with children from starving, dying in the elements or succumbing to preventable disease. Hence, his was a fortuitous choice when you’re selecting a case study that maximizes safety-net benefits. His mistake in numbers, however, was in not using that same family to properly calculate how well our system treats single parents with young children when they’re making decent money—his $60,000 example. That same family happens to be tailor-made for exemptions on a W-4, resulting in extraordinarily low federal and payroll tax withholding (~12%). And that’s before they contribute to their IRA or make health-care payments or take their mortgage interest deduction. And, finally, the mistake in analysis: Emmerich conflates “economic benefit” (e.g. food stamps or CHIP coverage) with “disposable income,” something he admitted to when questioned by The New Republic, but

that still doesn’t seem to have knocked him off his premise as he’s argued the case on the JFP website. The truth is, just fixing his withholding error put well over $5,000 back into that $60,000 household’s checkbook. That’s income; whether it’s a disposable is a matter of judgement. (More on the numbers on the JFP website.) Emmerich ends his column with this zinger: “I hope I have helped answer the question concerning why Mississippi doesn’t get many new industries,” he wrote. “The welfare system in communist China is far stingier. Those people have to work to eat.” Emmerich does nothing to support his thesis that it’s the shiftless and lazy who are responsible for the lack of new industry in the state. Could our safety net use tweaks? Of course. In fact, the best argument Emmerich mustered on our site is a valid concern that elements of our safety net—Medicaid and food stamps are two clear-cut examples—are cut off arbitrarily when a wage-earner reaches a certain income level. We can fix that with better sliding scales (or even single-payer health care) if we decide to do so. But in concluding his piece with what can only be described as a tacit endorsement of communist China’s treatment of its workers over our own—how else can you read that?!—I’m reminded of the line in the movie “The American President”: “How do you have patience for people who claim they love America, but clearly can’t stand Americans?” As we engage in this national debate, I encourage you to consider this: Our budget priorities and tax policies should be guided by the idea that it’s a noble goal is to increase life, liberty and a chance at happiness for the greatest number of Americans—not the fewest.


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Foreigners who win money on horse or dog races in the U.S. are exempt from paying taxes on their winnings. Americans, however, must pay a 30-percent withholding tax.

Tripp Muldrow talks about rebranding Hinds County. p 10

news, culture & irreverence

Wednesday, April 13 President Barack Obama proposes to cut $4 trillion from the national deficit with spending cuts and higher taxes, as well as ending Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy. … U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves recuses himself from hearing an NAACPfiled legislative redistricting lawsuit. Thursday, April 14 Hundreds of people gather on sections of Highway 80 in Brandon and Pearl to pay respect to Sgt. Jason Rogers, who died while protecting his U.S. military colleagues in Afghanistan from an explosion. … Walter Breuning, the world’s oldest man, passes away at age 114 in Great Falls, Mont.

Tommy Couch, co-owner of Malaco Records, surveys damage in the record company’s recording studio the day the tornado destroyed it.

When they realized they were in imminent danger, the majority of the music company’s employees ran to a large vault in an adjacent office building, which contains rare and valuable artifacts. Couch said he is amazed that no employees were injured or killed during the storm. “We had three people (that didn’t make it into the vault),” he said. “Someone started screaming for them. But they were OK. Somehow they had gone to one of the bathrooms and huddled down.”

Around 5:30 p.m. that day, men driving excavators scooped up piles of rubble from the parking lot while family members tried to salvage furniture and documents from the offices. With the security wall destroyed, Couch feared that looters would come during the night and was working quickly to move filing cabinets, albums and mementos to an alternate location. “There is a lot of history here; we are trying to save as much as we can,” Couch said, adding that it was too soon to know if any important artifacts were lost. TORNADO, see page 8

Words of the Week Jesus

“If I got a jail full of felons, then I have to make a choice about whether or not I keep this felon for aggravated assault or do I let this guy go for DUI. Will I take Jesus or Barabbas?” —Hinds County Sheriff Malcolm McMillin speaking to community members on April 15 about the choices he has to make due to overcrowding in the county jail.

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he news was full of interesting items this past week. Here are a few of them.

Friday, April 15 Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, in Gov. Haley Barbour’s absence, declares a State of Emergency for 14 Mississippi counties after tornadoes and high winds destroyed homes and businesses. … The U.S. House passes a budget plan that would cut corporate and personal income tax rates, and dramatically reduce funding for Medicaid. Saturday, April 16 Jackson gardening enthusiasts join together during “Planting Healthy Seeds and Deeds” to plant inner-city gardens. … Hundreds of volunteers help clean up storm debris from neighborhoods in Clinton and Jackson. ... Gov. Haley Barbour makes the rounds at GOP conventions in Lexington and Columbia, S.C. Sunday, April 17 Rescue workers in North Carolina search for survivors after 62 tornadoes touched down throughout the state, killing dozens. Monday, April 18 Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Lonnie Edwards continues his case for remaining in his position during a hearing on his contract with JPS. … Gov. Haley Barbour undergoes minimally invasive back surgery. Tuesday, April 19 Lockheed Martin announces a new Mission Support Center in Clinton, bringing 350 new jobs to the area. … U.S. Labor Department announces that Mississippi gained 9,200 jobs in the last year. … U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announces 35 new health clinics for the Gulf Coast in response to the Deepwater Horizon BP oil disaster of last summer. Get your daily news at jfpdaily.com.

jacksonfreepress.com

S

hards of metal, fiberglass insulation and water filled the inside of Malaco Records’ recording studio as co-owner Tommy Couch Jr. recalled the notable musicians who have made music in the now-destroyed space. Since 1967, the studio has been home to hundreds of nationally acclaimed and local blues and gospel musicians. In January 1973, Paul Simon recorded part of his “There Goes Rhymin’ Simon” album here. The same year, Dorothy Moore recorded the Grammy-nominated album “Misty Blue” in the space. On April 15, a tornado destroyed the historic landmark’s executive offices, ripped open its distribution warehouse, took the roof off the recording studio and caused the company’s cinderblock security wall to collapse. Couch, however, appeared calm as he recounted the day’s events. Around 11 a.m., Couch was organizing CDs and making plans for the day when he and seven other employees gathered around the office’s back window to see a low-hanging dark cloud descend. “We started to see the rotation, and it started picking up,” Couch said. “You know that noise you hear about? We just started feeling that pressure, and I thought this is about to be something. … I took about two steps (outside) and the wind was pushing me, just like a hand.”

by Lacey McLaughlin

AARON PHILLIPS

Malaco Picks Up the Pieces

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news, culture & irreverence

CITY BUZZ

Minority Contracts and C02 Testing

TORNADO, from page 7

“Make sure you wipe off your feet,” an employee joked as a photographer and I walked into a pitch-black hallway leading to the recording studio. We felt our way through the dark until we found the studio where sunlight pours in through a gaping hole in the roof. Couch dug through the debris so he could show us a grand piano buried underneath. A nonglowing neon sign reading “Annie Mae’s Café” hung above the rubble. The sign is from Mississippi blues musician Little Milton who recorded his music at the studio. Malaco Records started after college friends Tommy Couch Sr. and Wolf Stephenson began booking bands for fraternity parties at the University of Mississippi. In 1967, Couch and his brother in-law Mitchell Malouf combined their last names and formed Malaco Records. As Couch took the last sip out of his water bottle, he let the empty container fall on the ground. “I would normally put this in the garbage can, but I guess it doesn’t matter now,” he said. Behind a glass window that looked into the studio, Couch covered a mixing table with tarps to try and keep moisture out. He estimated more than $100,000 worth of equipment was damaged. On April 18, contractors completed de-

citytalk

molition of the part that housed Malaco’s executive offices. Employees temporarily relocated to a new office space in Fondren Plaza and hope to serve customers by the end of the week. Other businesses on Northside Drive ,including the Hamp’s Place nightclub, also suffered damage. Mississippi Emergency Management reported that in Hinds County, the tornado injured 11 people. It destroyed 34 homes and damaged another 520 homes; 122 homes had major damage. It also destroyed three businesses and damaged another 16, six of which had major damage. The local rock band Spacewolf recorded their debut album at Malaco this spring. Another local musician, Marcos Rogers and his band, Sally Jayne, recorded their debut album “Remember Me” there. Rogers, who has a five-year distribution deal through Malaco, isn’t sure where he will record now. “For me, I wouldn’t go anywhere other than Malaco,” Rogers said. “Malaco is a staple. It’s been a staple since the ’60s, and they are a historic landmark. To be able to say you were part of making history—to be around the presence, and the feeling of it all—it was great. It’s kind of like, what now? When you put together a quality CD or demo, you want to put quality people on it. Now I’m not sure where I am going to go.” Comment at www.jfp.ms.

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he city should study how well city contracts include minority-owned businesses, Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. told the City Council Monday. He proposed a May 1 contract with Atlanta public-policy consultants Griffin and Strong. Johnson made the city’s role as a successful equal business-opportunity employer one of his campaign platforms, and has worked to include minority-owned businesses in city work, either as prime contractors or as subcontrac- Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. asked tors. Jackson’s Equal Business Opportunity Certification the Jackson City Council to Program expired in 1999, but Johnson said the city keeps consider a disparity study on minority-business inclusion in the program running through executive order until it gets a city contracts this week. new disparity study. The city recorded a minority-participation rate of 36 percent on city contracts, but Johnson said he would like the number to be higher. “That’s our performance in 2009, which exceeded our goal considerably. But the disparity study’s purpose is to establish new goals based on more recent information,” Johnson said. “I don’t know what we can achieve. The study really sets the floor, not the ceiling, and the 36 percent was the ceiling.” Johnson also told the council this week that Texas-based Denbury Resources Inc. will conduct tests for carbon dioxide beneath the city within the next few weeks. Jackson may be sitting upon a large underground reserve of the gas, which the Environmental Protection Agency considers a pollutant due to its climate-changing abilities. The heavy gas is useful as a propellant for depleted oil wells because it can supplant the remaining oil in mature wells and push it within reach of oil recovery pumps. Johnson said the company will be in and around Jackson conducting vibration tests, which residents might hear. The city does not supply permits for seismic testing, but remains cautious about Denbury’s work on city property. “Like any other property owner, we’ll negotiate a cost for them to enter,” Johnson said. If the company locates a sizable amount of C02, Johnson said the company will need up to five acres for a well. Denbury Resources representative Gary Stewart told the Hinds County Board of Supervisors last month that the tests would take about 30 days to complete. Johnson said he did not expect the seismic taps to be invasive. “No booms or anything like that,” Johnson said. “And if there are, I’m sure we’ll hear from people.”

news, culture & irreverence

The Cheering Section

April 20 - 26, 2011

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have acknowledged his visibility as the public face of the district. George Schimmel, one of the three board members to vote against extending Edwards’ contract, emphasized in his March 18 testimony that his opposition to renewing the contract was not based on Edwards’ public-relations work. “No one is arguing that Dr. Edwards is not a likable individual,” Schimmel said. “As I’ve mentioned before, he has done a wonderful job in the community, healing wounds.” The Council of the Great City Schools report also asserted that JPS’ academic achievement has improved, based on rankings by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Council on Accreditation and School Improvement. SACS designated JPS as a “Quality System,” the report noted. That designation is the basic mark of accreditation by SACS, however, and does not denote any more specific level of success. The report blamed a “fractured school board and testy superintendent-school board interactions played out in public” for overshadowing the districts’ successes with a negative public image. Only one member of the current JPS board, Ivory Phillips, was also on the board when the CGCS released the report in 2009. When Danks mentioned the CGCS

by Ward Schaefer BRYANT HAWKINS

A

s Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Lonnie Edwards makes the case for keeping his job, he has relied on the support of a variety of visible community members. Monday was the second day of a public hearing on Edwards’ contract. Edwards has requested the hearing to appeal the JPS board’s decision not to renew his three-year contract, which ends this summer. Edwards’ supporters in attendance Monday included political figures such as Hinds County Tax Collector Eddie Fair, as well as politically active community members like perennial candidate Dorothy “Dot” Benford, and restaurant owner Clarence Bolls. Indeed, Edwards’ popularity among many Jacksonians has been a key point argued by his attorney, former Mayor Dale Danks, at the hearing. Both on Monday and on the hearing’s first day, March 25, Danks cited a laudatory evaluation of Edwards’ communication abilities conducted by the Council of the Great City Schools, a coalition of the nation’s urban school systems. Among its conclusions was the finding that “one the district’s biggest assets is its passionate, articulate and highly accessible superintendent,” Danks said. Even the superintendent’s detractors

by Adam Lynch

JPS Superintendent Lonnie Edwards’ network of supporters has showed up in force at hearings on his contract, which expires this year.

report Monday to Monica Gilmore-Love, another board member who voted against renewal, she pointed out that Edwards also serves as a board member of the Council of the Great City Schools. Danks offered further evidence of Edwards’ community support in the form of a Feb. 11, 2011, letter in support of Edwards sent by 100 Concerned Clergy for a

Better Jackson. Signed by Bishop Ronnie Crudup and The Rev. Hosea Hines, the letter expressed the group’s “disappointment and dismay” at the board’s vote, Danks said. “Since Dr. Edwards became superintendent of the system in 2008, he articulated a vision for the education of our children that went far beyond what we expect in a superintendent,” Danks read from the letter. “Over the past two years, Dr. Edwards has started implementing that vision. And we have noticed marked improvement in the manner in which our children are educated. Changing leadership of a school system at this time is both too premature and not worthy of someone of Dr. Edwards’ accomplishments.” Gilmore-Love told Danks that while she remained open to reconsidering her Dec. 7 vote against renewing Edwards’ contract. “I don’t believe that we have a comprehensive approach, a strategic approach, to improving our students’ performance,” Gilmore-Love said. Gilmore-Love was one of three members to vote against renewing Edwards’ contract at the Dec. 7 meeting. The other two members, Schimmel and Board President Kisiah Nolan, gave similar testimony March 25, the first day of Edwards’ hearing. Comment at www.jfp.ms.

KENYA HUDSON

talk


racetalk

by Dylan Watson

The One-Drop Rule

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he Citizens’ Council was founded two Senate. Lord said he called Phil Bryant’s office you see interracial couples in TV programs, blocks from my doorstep in Indianola again shortly before the night’s meeting and he said, “it’s supposed to be accepted like an in 1954. The fact that such an influen- was relieved to find it had died in the Senate. everyday thing.” When he was growing up, if tial anti-integration organization began Lord told the audience to stay vigilante, say- you saw an interracial couple walking around, its work in my small town in the Delta really ing, “It’s just like diarrhea, it’s going to come you thought, “What the hell?” Hill still has caught my attention in 2008. The fact that I at- back on you again if you don’t keep at with the this reaction, he said. tended a school that Council members helped Pepto-Bismol.” Hill complained about the liberal media, start to bring my interest up to the which he said is slanted against level of full-blown fascination. capitalism and conservatism. He Fortunately, the Citizens’ told the group to talk to their Council is no longer in operation. children and grandchildren and The organization’s support waned tell them “exactly what’s going in the ’70s, and it eventually closed on,” because they’re not going up shop. But several successor orto hear it anywhere else. He told ganizations sprang up in its place, This bumper sticker is available for purchase through the Council of them to explain to their posterone even using mailing lists from Conservative Citizens’ website. ity “the difference between right the original Citizens’ Council: the and wrong, black and white.” Wrapping up his talk, Lord said that Bar- He then mentioned that his father told him Council of Conservative Citizens. Hearing that the Council of Conserva- bour had “gone crazy,” judging from his recent jokingly when he was younger, “If you ever tive Citizens was holding a meeting April 11 support for a state Civil Rights Museum. bring one of ‘them’ home, I’ll kill you.” right here in Jackson, a friend and I decided to After Lord, Bill Hinson (head of Pearl’s After some discussion about state and poke our heads in and take a look. Sons of Confederate Veterans chapter) said he local politics, Hill instructed the crowd About two dozen people attended the personally talked to the lieutenant governor to keep things calm and factual, and to state meeting, held at the Regency Hotel off about the Memorial Day measure, and urged not go out into the political arena with High Street. It started off with political pos- Bryant to put it in the “right” committee. He their emotions. turing from Bill Lord, the CofCC senior field then voiced his concern that the Council is in Hill cited recent statistics that show that coordinator (who infamously appeared with peril due to the lack of interest from young 48 percent of Mississippi Republicans surHaley Barbour in a 2003 photo on the CofCC adults. He went on to say that he saw a couple veyed are against inter-racial marriage. After website). Lord complained about the liberal of young people in the crowd, but that was it. some back and forth with the crowd, he said, nature of the Southern Poverty Law Center, At this point, my friend and I exchanged an “They can pack it out at JSU; why can’t we which has deemed the Council of Conserva- awkward glance. With the exception of one pack it out here?” tive Citizens a hate group. or two other young men, we were the only This question elicited what was probably Lord warned that the SPLC will not wel- people there under age 50. the most frightening comment of the meetcome any organization unless it “welcome(s) Hinson then tried to sell the crowd on ing: “When a white woman has a black baby, the gays and the queers.” membership in the organization, which is only baby’s still black. Don’t forget that,” an elderly He then talked about one of the Coun- $25 annually. He pointed out the fact that you gentleman in the front declared. cil’s victories: saving the Mississippi state flag a could find most of the people in the room at Hill then paused for a moment, before decade ago. One of the Council’s primary mo- your average baseball or football game, cheer- looking at the man with a serious face. “We tives is to preserve “southern heritage.” ing for “big, strong, muscular, black athletes,” got the one-drop rule in Mississippi,” he said. In February 2011, the Mississippi House but you can’t get them in the organization for “The what?” the old man asked. passed a measure making the last Monday in a measly $25 a year,. “The one-drop rule,” Hill repeated. “If April Civil Rights Memorial Day. ConfederThe final speaker was David Hill, a na- you got one drop, then you’re black.” ate Memorial Day is observed on that day, and tional CofCC director and the event’s planner. The atmosphere in the room seemed to this was Lord’s next point of discussion. Hill lamented that today’s children are forced change. Hill’s quip was met with an eerie siAfter reading about the House’s measure to learn from watered-down textbooks that lence instead of laughter. in the “Clarion Liar,” as Lord called it, he tele- de-emphasize Civil War history and that claim Hill said that he had been rambling too phoned the lieutenant governor’s office and slavery was the war’s only cause. long. He urged the crowd to eat what was left urged him to put the measure in the “right” He told us that Hollywood is “indoctri- from the dinner earlier, and he officially ended committee when it was transmitted to the nating our children like never before.” When the meeting.

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COURTEESY TRIPP MULDROW

TODAY

ripp Muldrow is a busy man. In who is in Hinds County and has been here We are working on a very small budthe past year, he has spent 150 days all their lives—how do you do that objec- get. The way we like to think about it is traveling throughout the country, tively? And this is just me being blunt: We the way we do branding. It’s like when you listening to residents and compress- have done it in 200 places. That’s what we throw a party. If you are putting investing often-complicated stories into brands do. Our specialty is community branding. ment in and you’re trying to do economic that instill community pride. ‌ We have done branding all over Mis- development, create industry and retain The Hinds County Economic De- sissippi—Pascagoula, Clinton, Hancock people to stay in a place, and you’re invelopment Authority recently signed a County, Cleveland. We know Mississippi, vesting in quality social series, education $10,000 contract with Muldrow’s urban- and that puts it in perspective, too. and making your place look good. Those planning firm, are very important expenditures. But if Arnett Muldrow you’re not telling people, it’s like having a & Associates, to party and not sending out an invite. A lot develop a brand of investments are taking place (in Hinds for Hinds County. County), and we need to make sure the Muldrow says the invitation is reading right. goal of branding Hinds County is How do you encourage collaborto unite the county, ation and make attract industry and sure it is part of new residents. the process— As part of the Hinds County rebranding The Green- effort, Arnett Muldrow & Associates will instead of comville, S.C., firm will provide a logo and signage design. Pictured petition? host a three-day above is the logo for client Arkansas Delta. A short winbranding session dow makes it easJuly 11 through 14, ier. Often times, It seems like with meetings open to the public. The when you draw there are some process involves a series of meeting with the process out, competing community leaders and the public to you create more rebranding form logos, taglines, marketing plans, friction. It’s more efforts taking web pages and signage that will represent time to study it to place in Jackson. Hinds County. death. In a short How do you time frame, we almake sure they Which of your firm’s branding low people to give don’t overlap? campaigns is most similar to a lot of input, and Hinds County? If there are althen they get to That’s tough because everything is so ready other things Tripp Muldrow, partner in the urbanalmost instantaplanning firm Arnett Muldrow & Associates, different—as far as it being county wide. going on, we want will lead Hinds County through a branding neously see the reWe haven’t done as many counties as we to be very respectful process this summer. sult of that input. have cities because counties don’t often ask of those. ‌ Often It’s one of the rare for this kind of thing to be done. We have times, every brand slots within another experiences that a citizen can say somedone work in Hancock County, Miss. ‌ brand. The easiest way to explain that is thing on a Wednesday and see results on Another county we have done is Dorches- to think about General Motors. General a Friday. ‌ If you want an example, we ter County in South Carolina, but it’s Motors is a car company. General Mo- were in Starkville last week, and the tagoutside Charleston, and it doesn’t have a tors also owns Buick. Buick also has a car line we came up with is “Mississippi’s Colcapital city as its centerpiece. But it does called the LaCrosse. Each one of those is lege Town.â€? have a fairly large city with a population a brand identity. GM has a brand idenof 50,000. tity that makes it different from Ford or Won’t Oxford be mad at you? Mercedes. Buick has a brand identity that We looked at Oxford and what OxWhat about demographics? makes it different from Chevrolet or Ca- ford was saying about itself. In none of its The demographics differ so widely. dillac, but both of those are GM cars. ‌ publications was it claiming it to be a colWe have done branding for San Pedro, There are communities within Hinds lege town. It was almost like you should Calf., a neighborhood of Los Angeles. ‌ County that have their own identity. In know that already. If Oxford isn’t going to We just did Starkville last week as a char- that case, we want to think of this brand claim it, then Starkville ought to dog-gone rette. Everything is so different; it’s hard as a platter that is serving up these com- well claim it. Then we went a step further, to do comparables. I will say that this is a munities. We want that platter to be as and suggested that on football weekends little unique because it is a county that is good as looking as we can create it. ‌ in the fall, Starkville work with the unihome to a capital city, and I can say with The communities get to look good on versity on what we are calling “New South all candor that we have never done a coun- the backdrop of something that also looks Weekend.â€? That was gutsy because we ty that is home to a capital city. good. Sometimes people look at it as an knew New South was a juxtaposition to umbrella, and that’s where the threat Ole Miss. We were nervous because we How are you able to brand the comes in. We are not creating an umbrella didn’t know if the community was that county if you aren’t from here? to shield the communities within, or force ready, but they loved it, and the next thing It’s the same reason why we wouldn’t them to come under something else. we know, they are buying the rights to be comfortable branding our hometown Mississippicollegetown.com. of Greenville: We know it too well. We This is a tight budget year, and a are too vested in it. The outside perspec- lot of public services are under the Comment at www.jfp.ms. For more intive allows us to look at Hinds County in knife. It this is best use of taxpayer’s formation on Arnett Muldrow & Associates, relation to other places, whereas someone money? visit arnettmuldrow.com.


lawtalk

by Adam Lynch

tal-illness expenditures to community-based services.” The institution-heavy system forces hundreds of children to “cycle through hospitals, emergency rooms, acute care facilities and residential treatment centers without obtaining any long-term relief,” complainants say. The state does not include intensive home- and community-based services in its Medicaid plan and does not make such services available on a consistent, statewide basis to children, Troupe says, even though the state commits to offering this when it accepts federal Medicaid money. The Mississippi Youth Programs Around the Clock is a home and community-based Medicaid waiver program that provides intensive case management and respite services for people under age 21 who are eligible for psychiatric residential facility treatment. The SPLC says only 180 children were enrolled in the program at the time of the March 2010 suit, however, compared to nearly 2,000 children receiving institutionalized care. The state filed a motion to dismiss the case last May, arguing that plaintiffs named in the case have not suffered sufficient injury. Plaintiffs have not alleged that they applied for or were refused payment for services, the motion states. In response, the Department

of Justice filed a brief this month urging the court, under U.S. District Court Judge Henry Wingate, to deny the state’s request. “Defendants’ interpretation of what is required of states under the (federal) provisions is not only inconsistent with the provisions’ plain language, but it also flies in the face of the legislative history of those provisions,” DOJ attorney Anne Raish wrote. “Prompting the enactment of and amendments to these provisions was Congress’ concern that Medicaid-eligible children were not actually receiving the screening, diagnosis and treatment services to which they were entitled, despite the availability of funding.” Mississippi Department of Mental Health spokeswoman Wendy Bailey said the institutional care that the department provides is never unnecessary. “For a population of 2.9 million people in Mississippi, the Department of Mental Health operates only 100 acute psychiatric beds and 48 psychiatric residential treatments beds for children and adolescents,” Bailey said in a statement. “The children who come to the (Mississippi) Department of Mental Health for services are court committed to receive inpatient care. While in our care, many receive job training, college prep classes and opportunities to pursue their GED and all DMH

facilities operate an accredited school. Troupe said the state had no real argument regarding a general lack of resources. “This is a matter of what should come first: the chicken or the egg. We’re not going to have community service when these longterm institutional facilities are eating up all the money,” Troupe said. “Some of the kids there might need long-term care, but they need more than facility service. They need help coping in the community after they get out, because the day they turn 18 they open the door and turn them out.” Troupe said community-based treatment for the mentally ill has been proven in other states to be as effective and less expensive than institutional health care. Comment at www.jfp.ms.

jacksonfreepress.com

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ississippi could lose a lawsuit over its mental-health system now that the U.S. Department of Justice supports the suit. “This adds a lot of credibility to a lawsuit when the Department of Justice recognizes that the state of Mississippi is in violation of a federal law regarding its health-care system,” said the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Mississippi Initiatives Director Jody Owens. Last year, the SPLC filed suit in U.S. District Court in Jackson, arguing that children with behavioral or emotional disorders “face a rigid, facility-based mental-health system that both ignores and exacerbates their needs.” The suit argues that the state offers too few alternatives to institutionalized mentalhealth treatment, and that ill children must “either deteriorate to the point of crisis required for involuntary hospitalization or submit to unnecessary institutionalization.” Plaintiffs, who include Mississippi Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities Executive Director Mary Troupe, say the state is aware of the problem. The suit references a 2008 Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review report warning that as of 2005, “Mississippi still ha[s] yet to follow the national trend set (more than) 15 years ago of devoting the majority of its men-

FILE ART

DOJ Scrutinizing State Mental Health

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jfp op/ed

opining, grousing & pontificating

EDITORIAL

Lawmakers: Stop the Foolishness

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he political dramas that are playing out in Washington, D.C., these days are so far removed from reality back here in Mississippi that it’s shameful. In particular, the Tea Party’s ability to get the Republican Party to (at least pretend to) swing even farther to the right has raised the level of gamesmanship to what is perhaps an all-time high. The really tragic part is how many jobs, and perhaps lives, would be lost back here in Mississippi should the strategy to shrink government at any cost whatsoever play out. We actually don’t think many Republicans actually want government shrunk to the point that it can be flushed down the toilet—as neocon Grover Norquist famously said—but we are dismayed to see them going along with supposed attempts to do just that, to be able to later run “against” the president and Democrats in Congress with some juicy rhetoric. This kind of trickery, of course, is not limited to the GOP, but much more is at stake than it usually is when Democrats try similar kinds of chicanery (such as saying they support clearly unconstitutional Internet censorship, knowing full well that the courts would overturn it; looking at y’all, Clinton administration). These days, the stakes are extremely high for Mississippians. So many of the programs on the line would leave the state decimated financially should they be cut—from job loss alone. Our state happens to be the one most reliant on the federal government for mere survival (the reason our supposedly fiscally conservative U.S. senators are both earmark kings in Washington). Last week, though, Democrats called House conservatives’ bluff, deciding to vote “present” on a radical-right budget proposal by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, that would bring $9.5 trillion in cuts over the next decade (as opposed to Paul Ryan budget that would cut $6.2 trillion; see page 15 for the lies rolled up into that one). Because Democrats voted “present” instead of “no,” Republicans were left scrambling to change their votes so that the clearly political budget proposal would not pass—and hurt their chance for re-election. Of course, that kind of political trickery isn’t the only kind infecting the halls of Congress. The Tea Party influence is causing outright untruths and scare tactics about the budget, such as the kind we have long seen radical-right extremists use here in the state of Mississippi. Not the least of those is the plain truth about taxes and how they work in the United States; see our cover story by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston this issue to learn the truth about many of those myths. Meantime, every citizen should tell our lawmakers to stop lying to us in the name of politics. If some of them get their way, purposefully or not, Mississippi will pay a severe price.

KEN STIGGERS

The Mean Machine

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April 20 - 26, 2011

oneQweesha Jones: “As president of HairDid University, I’m sick and tired of the programmed news of honey-coated lies from the mean machine. I’m talking about these ambitious politicians, greedy corporate CEOs, Donald Trump, the Gang of Six, etc., running the same game with another name. They benefit by stealing your time and hard-earned money, using the latest tricks to get rich quick from nonsense at your mind’s expense. By the way, I just channeled lyrics from the ‘Last Poets,’ a group of poets and musicians from the American Civil Rights Movement. “It’s time for the people to escape the slave plantation of this capitalistic nation and become self-sufficient. It’s time to use our talents, skills and abilities to help ourselves. Hair-Did University is here to create and develop an independent Ghetto Science community. “I’ve recruited Grandma and Grandpa Pookie to teach continuing-education classes in gardening and agriculture. Students will learn how to grow food, maintain livestock and conduct agri-business. This will end the Ghetto Science Community’s dependence on genetically modified foods and other products. I’ve also appointed Brother Hustle to start the Compensatory Investment Request Technical Institute. Brother Hustle will train students to acquire funding (using Compensatory Investment Request techniques and methods, aka begging) for our new Ghetto-Caid Health-Care Program and other independent projects. “Since the government and wealthy 1 percent won’t help us, we must open the doors and help ourselves. The Ghetto Science Community can es12 cape the foolishness of the mean machine.”

LETTERS ‘Lest Ye Be Judged’ I can identify with Donna Ladd’s column, “Lest Ye Be Judged,” (Vol. 9, No. 23). There are so many women like your mother just walking around you. Yes, they are poor, but by choice. I raised six girls (I never had any biological children so you can see that they were stepchildren to me). When they were young, my girls made me so many promises about what they were going to be when they reached their late teens. Had they kept their promises, I would have a lawyer, a teacher, a nurse, a social worker, etc. But they did not keep their promises, Ms. Ladd. What I got in return was six unwed mothers (who) I call “Welfare Queens.” I am not judging them, but I am ashamed of what they turned out to be. Right at their senior year in high school, they got funny ideas about having children early. I do not understand where these ideas came from. It seems to me that it was easier to be an ordinary person to them than to achieve a dream of what they could have been. When the oldest girl got pregnant, the other girls got jealous and got pregnant, too. Only one finished college, and when she graduated, she turned out to be worse than the others. She started chasing married men, birthing two children. Now she’s at home with me and (without a) job. I took blame on myself for a long time. Then they told me: “It wasn’t you. You raised us right. We just did what we wanted to do even though it was the wrong thing to do.” When they were young girls, they were so respectful and well behaved. I never would have dreamt that the girls would turn out this way. Now, some are rebounding, but the girls still have terrible taste in the men they choose. Most of the men they choose I would not invite over to have dinner with the rats in the woods. They love men who, along with a little help from them, put

them through hell. They seem to love it. I would tell all parents (that) as children get to be young adults, please do not blame yourself for the problems the children create for themselves. They constantly make wrong choices. —James Coleman Jackson

Study Office-Space Needs Dear Editor: As one of the senators representing Jackson and Hinds County in the Mississippi Legislature, I read with interest your editorial on the proposal to build a new State Tax Commission building near the intersection of Ridgewood Road and Lakeland Drive (“Let the Private Sector Work” Vol. 9, Issue 31). I, along with many other Hinds County legislators, opposed building a new $50 million state office building at Lakeland and Ridgewood. This plan was removed from the bill that was passed. I believe state taxpayers would be best served by a low-cost, longterm lease at one of many already existing locations in Hinds County. Time and time again, the state spends too much money constructing new buildings across the metro area when there are privately owned buildings that are well maintained, convenient to the citizens of the state and offer a better deal for taxpayers. These properties would also stay on the tax rolls, supporting local governments (that provide essential services to employees) and schools. The big picture is this: The state needs a comprehensive study on how best to meet its office-space needs. This study ought to lay out a plan to preserve residential neighborhoods, foster economic revitalization, and effectively manage state spending on buildings and facilities. —Sen. David Blount State Senate - District 29 (Hinds Co.)

Email letters to letters@jacksonfreepress.com, fax to 601-510-9019 or mail to P.O. Box 5067, Jackson, Miss., 39296. Include daytime phone number. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.


All Too Human Longing Editor in Chief Donna Ladd Publisher Todd Stauffer

EDITORIAL Managing Editor Ronni Mott News Editor Lacey McLaughlin Assistant Editor Valerie Wells Senior Reporter Adam Lynch Reporter Ward Schaefer Events Editor Latasha Willis Music Listings Editor Natalie Long Assistant to the Editor ShaWanda Jacome Style Editor Natalie Collier Stylist Meredith Sullivan Writers Quita Bride, Lisa Fontaine Bynum, David Dennis Jr., Scott Dennis, Bryan Flynn, Carl Gibson, Brandi Herrera, Garrad Lee, Lance Lomax, Anita Modak-Truran, Larry Morrisey, Chris Nolen, Robin O’Bryant, Casey Purvis,Tom Ramsey, Doctor S, Ken Stiggers, Jackie Warren Tatum, Byron Wilkes Editorial Interns Laney Lenox, Dylan Watson Consulting Editor JoAnne Prichard Morris

ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY Art Director Kristin Brenemen Advertising Designer Andrea Thomas Graphic Designer Holly Harlan Production Designer Latasha Willis Editorial Cartoonist Chris Zuga Photographers Christina Cannon, Jert-rutha Crawford,Tate K. Nations Charles A. Smith, Jerrick Smith, Amile Wilson, William Patrick Butler

SALES AND OPERATIONS Sales Director Kimberly Griffin Account Executive Randi Ashley Jackson Account Executive and Distribution Manager Adam Perry Events and Marketing Coordinator Shannon Barbour Accounting Montroe Headd Distribution Lynny Bradshaw, Cade Crook, Clint Dear, Linda Hamilton, Matt Heindl, Aimee Lovell, Steve Pate, Jim Poff, Jennifer Smith

ONLINE Web Producer Korey Harrion Web Intern Megan Stewart

CONTACT US: Letters letters@jacksonfreepress.com Editorial editor@jacksonfreepress.com Releases releases@jacksonfreepress.com Queries editor@jacksonfreepress.com Listings events@jacksonfreepress.com Advertising ads@jacksonfreepress.com Publisher todd@jacksonfreepress.com News tips news@jacksonfreepress.com Internships interns@jacksonfreepress.com

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. First-class 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. Š Copyright 2011 Jackson Free Press Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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ou know the story: Well-off white folks are fleeing Jackson en masse to escape the encroaching “black plague.� Bougie blacks are following their white counterparts by first moving into whiter areas of the city and later to the vanilla suburbs. The white and black middle classes are abandoning the poor and desperate black masses—who, by the way, are chronically stuck in a chocolate city where mediocrity, crime and cultural pathologies flourish. The remedy to Jackson’s plight, as the story goes, is getting those whites and blacks (whites, most importantly) with money back into the city to prevent impending urban demise. This is the basic plot of the narrative preoccupying the public discourse about economic and community development in Jackson. Recent 2010 U.S. Census data revealing Jackson’s decadelong population reduction has escalated media debate about the persistent power of race and class. Journalists are editorializing what they believe is wrong with us, namely: not enough (white) folks with money to help Jackson get back on track. Others say that white racism and intra-racial black classism are the obvious reasons why folks are rushing to the suburbs. To be sure, much of the debate is right to highlight the omnipresent realities of racism and classism that help determine some people’s choices to leave Jackson (or to not move here if relocating). Racial, economic and cultural bigotries cannot be ignored. They are real and sinister. But this is not the whole story. This popular narrative, though accurate in some ways, fails to express the nuance that is evident to me. There are other variables at play, and ignoring them may cause us to miss a greater lesson. In addition to racism and classism, I offer what philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche quipped: “We are human, all too human.� At a deeper, more immaterial level, humans make myriad decisions that may be conditioned by race and class, but nonetheless emerge from a more complex dimension of human longing. This human longing can be called several things—the immigrant impulse, survival of the fittest, hedonism or what have you. At a basic level, humans are motivated by any number of wants and needs. Humanist psychologist Abraham Maslow called this our hierarchy of needs. For many folks, the need for personal and financial security, and the predictability of successful outcomes for self and family, all go into why people choose to live and shop and

play where they do. We must include this Darwinian drive toward self-preservation and passing on the gene pool, not just race or class, in our diagnoses of Jackson’s urban problem. To reduce everyone’s decision to move to a racial or class impetus prevents us from looking at just how basically human some of those decisions are. Reducing all this just to race and class avoids a deeper look at how all of us, from lesser to greater degrees, are shaped by our contemporary capitalisticconsumerist culture, a culture that has granted us expediency and choices ad infinitum. Ours is a pro-choice culture populated by buffets, malls and rapidly changing personal technologies. We treat each other and make decisions about where we live much like we do our experiences in the larger consumer world in which we live and move and have our being. Larger forces condition our basic psycho-spiritual needs, influencing everything from the smart phone you own to the persons you have sex with to the churches you choose from week-to-week. Looking at motivations psychologically doesn’t necessarily provide a normative argument. I seek to simply describe another perspective that should be taken seriously as we analyze the census data and progress toward solving Jackson’s population concerns. My hope is that seeing this debate from a different perspective may help us get at some of the deeper, more nuanced reasons why whites and blacks are migrating away from Jackson. In addition to speaking with the pundits, developers and activists about the future of Jackson, we must include voices of those who will address our concerns at a level deeper than skin pigmentation and class. We need psychologists, theologians, philosophers, spiritual guides and ethicists at the table helping us envision with greater clarity the complicated and nuanced dimensions of human motivation and interaction. If we don’t, we’ll be telling the same old flat story 10 years from now. The Rev. CJ Rhodes, a Hazelhurst native, attended Ole Miss and Duke Divinity School in North Carolina, where he earned his master’s of divinity. He then worked as an administrative assistant to Dolphus Weary at Mission Mississippi, a Christian organization that works to bring people together. Installed in July 2010, Rhodes is the pastor at Mount Helm Baptist Church, the youngest in the church’s history.

Humans make myriad decisions that may be conditioned by race and class, but nonetheless emerge from a more complex dimension of human longing.

CORRECTION: In Vol. 9, Issue 31, we failed to identify Jerrick Smith as the photographer of Jacksonian Darrell “Doc� Cousins. The Jackson Free Press apologizes for the error.

All are invited to join us in worship. GALLOWAY UMC 305 North Congress Street Jackson, MS www.gallowayumc.org

Easter Sunday, April 24 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Easter Worship Service Rev. Drs. Connie and Joey Shelton

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jacksonfreepress.com

REV. CJ RHODES

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Tax Facts Hardly Anyone Knows by David Cay Johnston

April 20 - 26, 2011

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or three decades America has conducted a massive economic experiment, testing a theory known as supply-side economics. The theory goes like this: Lower tax rates will encourage more investment, which in turn will mean more jobs and greater prosperity—so much so that tax revenues will go up, despite lower rates. The late Milton Friedman, the libertarian economist who wanted to shut down public parks because he considered them socialism, promoted this strategy. Ronald Reagan embraced Friedman’s ideas and made them into policy when he was elected president in 1980. For the past decade, we have doubled down on this theory of supply-side economics with the tax cuts President George W. Bush sponsored in 2001 and 2003, which President Obama has agreed to continue for two years. You would think that whether this grand experiment worked would be settled after three decades. You would think the practitioners of the dismal science of economics would look at their demand curves and the data on incomes and taxes and pronounce a verdict, the way Galileo and

Copernicus did when they showed that geocentrism was a fantasy because Earth revolves around the sun (known as heliocentrism). But economics is not like that. It is not like physics with its laws and arithmetic with its absolute values. Tax policy is something the Framers left to politics. And in politics, the facts often matter less than who has the biggest bullhorn. The Mad Men who once ran ad campaigns featuring doctors extolling the health benefits of smoking are now busy marketing the dogma that tax cuts mean broad prosperity, no matter what the facts show. As millions of Americans filed their annual taxes, they did so in an environment of media-perpetuated tax myths. Here are a few points about taxes and the economy that you may not know. (All figures are inflation adjusted.) 1. Poor Americans do pay taxes. Gretchen Carlson, the Fox News host, said last year that “47 percent of Americans don’t pay any taxes.” John McCain and Sarah Palin both said similar things during the 2008 campaign about the bot-

tom half of the American population. Ari Fleischer, the former Bush White House spokesman, once said “50 percent of the country gets benefits without paying for them.” Actually, they pay lots of taxes—just not lots of federal income taxes. Data from the Tax Foundation show that in 2008, the average income for the bottom half of taxpayers was $15,300. This year the first $9,350 of income is exempt from taxes for singles and $18,700 for married couples, just slightly more than in 2008. That means millions of the poor do not make enough to owe income taxes. But they still pay plenty of other taxes, including federal payroll taxes. Between gas taxes, sales taxes, utility taxes and other taxes, no one lives tax free in America. When it comes to state and local taxes, the poor bear a heavier burden than the rich in every state except Vermont, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy calculated from official data. In Alabama, for example, the burden on the poor is more than twice that of the top 1 percent. The one-fifth of Alabama families making less than $13,000 pay al-

most 11 percent of their income in state and local taxes, compared with less than 4 percent for those who make $229,000 or more. 2. The wealthiest Americans don’t carry the burden. This is one of those oft-used canards. Sen. Rand Paul, the Tea Party favorite from Kentucky, told David Letterman recently that “the wealthy do pay most of the taxes in this country.” The Internet is awash with statements that the top 1 percent pays, depending on the year, either 38 percent or more than 40 percent of taxes. It’s true that the top 1 percent of wage earners paid 38 percent of the federal income taxes in 2008 (the most recent year for which data is available). But people forget that the income tax is less than half of federal taxes and only one-fifth of taxes at all levels of government. Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance taxes (known as payroll taxes) are paid mostly by the bottom 90 percent of wage earners. That’s because once you reach $106,800 of income, you pay no more for Social Security, though the


4. Many of the very richest pay no current income taxes at all. John Paulson, the most successful hedge-fund manager of all, bet against the mortgage market one year and then bet with Glenn Beck in the gold market the next. Paulson made $9 billion in fees in just two years. His current tax bill on that $9 billion? Zero. Congress lets hedge-fund managers earn all they can now and pay their taxes years from now. In 2007, Congress debated whether hedge-fund managers should pay the top tax rate that applies to wages, bonuses and other compensation for their labors, which is 35 percent. That tax rate starts at about $300,000 of taxable income; not even pocket change to Paulson, but almost 12 years of gross pay to the median-wage worker. The Republicans and a key Democrat, Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, fought to keep the tax rate on hedge fund managers at 15 percent, arguing that the profits from hedge-funds should be considered capital gains, not ordinary income, which got a lot of attention in the news. What the news media missed is that hedge-fund managers don’t even pay 15 percent. At least, not currently. So long as they leave their money, known as “carried interest,” in the hedge fund, their taxes are deferred. They only pay taxes when they cash out, which could be decades from now for younger managers. How do these hedge-fund managers get money in the meantime? By borrowing against the carried interest, often at absurdly low rates— about 2 percent. Lots of other people live tax-free, too. I have Donald Trump’s tax records for four years early in his career. He paid no taxes for two of those years. Big real-estate investors enjoy tax-free living under a 1993 law

5. And (surprise!) since Reagan, only the wealthy have gained significant income. The Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute and similar conservative marketing organizations tell us relentlessly that lower tax rates will make us all better off. “When tax rates are reduced, the economy’s growth rate improves and living standards increase,” according to Daniel J. Mitchell, an economist at Heritage until he joined Cato. He says that supply-side economics is “the simple notion that lower tax rates will boost work, saving, investment and entrepreneurship.” When Reagan was elected president, the marginal tax rate for income was 70 percent. He cut it to 50 percent and then 28 percent starting in 1987. It was raised by George H.W. Bush and Clinton and then cut by George W. Bush. The top rate is now 35 percent. Since 1980, when President Reagan won election promising prosperity through tax cuts, the average income of the vast majority—the bottom 90 percent of Americans—has increased a meager $303, or 1 percent. Put another way, for each dollar people in the vast majority made in 1980, in 2008 their income was up to $1.01. Those at the top did better. The top 1 percent’s average income more than doubled to $1.1 million, according to an analysis of tax data by economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez. The really rich, the top 10th of 1 percent, each enjoyed almost $4 in 2008 for each dollar in 1980. The top 300,000 Americans now enjoy almost as much income as the bottom 150 million, the data show. 6. When it comes to corporations, the story is much the same—less taxes. Corporate profits in 2008, the latest year for which data is available, were $1,830 billion, up almost 12 percent from $1,638.7 in 2000. Yet, even though corporate tax rates have not been cut, corporate income-tax revenues fell to $230 billion from $249 billion—an 8 percent decline, thanks to a number of loopholes. The ofTAX MYTHS, see page 16

How Would the GOP Budget Affect Those in Poverty? By the Center for American Progress

H

ouse Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., released his budget proposal to fund the government for fiscal year 2012 on April 5. If enacted, how would these cuts impact low-income families? What would the GOP’s new budget mean for our safety net? And how many people are hungry in Congressman Ryan’s district? Take the quiz below and find out. (Answers on page 19.) 1. The wealthiest 1 percent of Americans take in ___ of America’s income and ___ of America’s wealth. A. 10 percent, 20 percent B. 20 percent, 15 percent C. 25 percent, 40 percent D. 30 percent, 25 percent 2. The GOP budget for fiscal year 2012 proposed cutting the deficit by $4.3 trillion over the next 10 years. What percentage of that $4.3 trillion would come from ensuring the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share in taxes? A. 67 percent B. 34 percent C. 15 percent D. 0 percent 3. What percentage of that $4.3 trillion would come from budget cuts affecting low- and moderate-income Americans? A. 67 percent B. 34 percent C. 13 percent D. 0 percent

7. The GOP plan to fund the remainder of fiscal year 2011 (through September) proposed $61.5 billion in cuts, including deep cuts to programs that help people get ahead such as Head Start, Pell Grants and job training. How much were the tax cuts for the wealthy in last year’s tax deal? A. $32.3 billion B. $45 billion C. $69.5 billion D. $82 billion

GAGE SKIDMORE

3. In fact, the wealthy are paying less taxes. The Internal Revenue Service issues an annual report on the 400 highest income-tax payers. In 1961, there were 398 taxpayers who made $1 million or more, so I compared their income tax burdens from that year to 2007. Despite skyrocketing incomes, the federal tax burden on the richest 400 has been slashed, thanks to a variety of loopholes, allowable deductions and other tools. The actual share of their income paid in taxes, according to the IRS, is 16.6 percent. Adding payroll taxes barely nudges that number. Compare that to the vast majority of Americans, whose share of their income going to federal taxes increased from 13.1 percent in 1961 to 22.5 percent in 2007. (By the way, during seven of the eight Bush years, the IRS report on the top 400 taxpayers was labeled a state secret, a policy that the Obama overturned almost instantly after his inauguration.)

President Clinton signed. It lets “professional” real-estate investors use paper losses like depreciation on their buildings against any cash income, even if they end up with negative incomes like Trump. Frank and Jamie McCourt, who own the Los Angeles Dodgers, have not paid any income taxes since at least 2004, their divorce case revealed. Yet they spent $45 million one year alone. How? They just borrowed against Dodger ticket revenue and other assets. To the IRS, they look like paupers. In Wisconsin, Terrence Wall, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2010, paid no income taxes on as much as $14 million of recent income, his disclosure forms showed. Asked about his living tax-free while working people pay taxes, he had a simple response: Everyone should pay less.

8. How many students would lose some or all of their Pell Grant under the GOP plan to fund the remainder of this year? A. 7.4 million B. 8.4 million C. 9.4 million D. 10.4 million

9. How many workers would lose access to job training if the GOP budget for this year were signed into law? A. 2 million B. 4 million C. 8 million D. 12 million

Sen. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

4. True or False: It is cheaper to insure people through private insurance coverage than with Medicaid. A. True B. False 5. Medicaid pays for what percentage of long-term and nursing home care for the elderly in the United States? A. 10 percent B. 22 percent C. 36 percent D. 43 percent 6. The budget proposed by Ryan calls for a restructuring of the SNAP/food stamps program that would cut off millions of families struggling against hunger from the nutritional supports they need. It would also prevent SNAP from responding during recessions when unemployment spikes. How many Americans are experiencing “food hardship” (inability to afford enough food for your family) in Congressman Ryan’s district today? A. 1 in 10 B. 1 in 9 C. 1 in 8 D. 1 in 7

10. Nationally, child poverty went up by 1.7 percentage points in 2009. By how much did child poverty rise in House Speaker John Boehner’s (ROhio) district last year? A. 1 percentage point B. 1.7 percentage points C. 3 percentage points D. 6 percentage points 11. The GOP fiscal year 2012 budget proposal includes recommendations to “strengthen the social safety net.” Which of their proposals below are included in this section? A. Investing in job creation to move low-income parents from welfare to work B. Cutting Medicaid, food stamps and housing assistance C. Investing in early childhood education to provide greater equality of opportunity D. A and C Answers, see page 19.

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much smaller Medicare tax applies to all wages. Bilionaire Warren Buffett pays the exact same amount of Social Security taxes as someone who earns $106,800.

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presents an exhibit of student work

AMILE WILSON

TAX MYTHS. from page 15

Our Community – A Sense of Place Art residencies with artists & students

Jackson Public Schools

April 17 – 30, 2011 Mississippi Arts Center 201 E. Pascagoula

Monday – Saturday 10 am – 5 pm Sunday 12 pm – 5 pm

April 20 - 26, 2011

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Pitiya Selvanayagan, left, and Carrie Wong protested in Jackson against Wisconsin Republicans’ move to bust labor unions in March.

ficial 2010 profit numbers are not added up and released by the government, but the amount paid in corporate taxes is: In 2010 they fell further, to $191 billion—a decline of more than 23 percent compared with 2000. 7. Some corporate tax breaks destroy jobs. Despite all the noise that America has the world’s second highest corporate tax rate, the actual taxes paid by corporations are falling because of the growing number of loopholes and companies shifting profits to tax havens like the Cayman Islands. And right now, America’s corporations are sitting on close to $2 trillion in cash that is not being used to build factories, create jobs or anything else, but acts as an insurance policy for managers unwilling to take the risk of actually building the businesses they are paid so well to run. That cash hoard, by the way, works out to nearly $13,000 per taxpaying American household. A corporate tax rate that is too low actually destroys jobs. That’s because a higher tax rate encourages businesses (who don’t want to pay taxes) to keep the profits in the business and reinvest, rather than pull them out as profits and have to pay high taxes. The 2004 American Jobs Creation Act, which passed with bipartisan support, allowed more than 800 companies to bring profits that were untaxed but overseas back to the United States. Instead of paying the usual 35 percent tax, the companies paid just 5.25 percent. The companies said bringing the money home—“repatriating” it, they called it—would mean lots of jobs. Sen. John Ensign, the Nevada Republican, put the figure at 660,000 new jobs. The drug company Pfizer was the biggest beneficiary. It brought home $37 billion, saving $11 billion in taxes. Almost immediately it started firing people. Since the law took effect, it has let 40,000 workers go. In all, it appears that at least 100,000 jobs were destroyed. Now congressional Republicans and

some Democrats are gearing up again to pass another tax holiday, promoting a new Jobs Creation Act. It would affect 10 times as much money as the 2004 law. 8. Republicans like taxes, too. President Reagan signed into law 11 tax increases, targeted at people down the income ladder. His administration and the Washington press corps called the increases “revenue enhancers.” Among other things, Reagan hiked Social Security taxes so high that the government collected more than $2 trillion in surplus tax since 2008. George W. Bush signed a tax increase, too, in 2006, despite his written ironclad pledge to never raise taxes on anyone. It raised taxes on teenagers by requiring kids up to age 17 who earned money to pay taxes at their parents’ tax rate, which would almost always be higher than the rate they would otherwise pay. It was a story that ran buried inside The New York Times one Sunday, but nowhere else. In fact, thanks to Republicans, one in three Americans will pay higher taxes this year than they did last year. First, some history. In 2009, President Obama pushed his own tax cut—for the working class. He persuaded Congress to enact the Making Work Pay Tax Credit. Over the two years 2009 and 2010, it saved single workers up to $800 and married heterosexual couples up to $1,600, even if only one spouse worked. The top 5 percent or so of taxpayers were denied this tax break. The Obama administration called it “the biggest middle-class tax cut” ever. Yet last December, the Republicans, poised to regain control of the House of Representatives, killed Obama’s Making Work Pay Credit while extending the Bush tax cuts for two more years—a policy Obama agreed to. By doing so, Congressional Republican leaders increased taxes on a third of Americans, virtually all of them the working poor, this year. As a result, of the 155 million households in the tax system, 51 million will pay an average of $129 more this year. That


KENYA HUDSON

9. Other countries do it better. We measure our economic progress, and our elected leaders debate tax policy, in terms of a crude measure known as gross domestic product. The way the official statistics are put together, each dollar spent buying solar energy equipment counts the same as each dollar spent investigating murders. We do not give any measure of value to time spent rearing children or growing our own vegetables, or to time off for leisure and community service. And we do not measure the economic damage done by shocks, such as losing a job, which means not only loss of income and depletion of savings, but loss of health insurance, which a Harvard Medical School study found results in 45,000 unnecessary deaths each year. Compare this to Germany, one of many countries with a smarter tax system and smarter spending policies. Germans work less, make more per hour and get much better parental leave than Americans, many of whom get no fringe benefits such as health care, pensions or even a retirement savings plan. By many measures, the vast majority of Germans live better than Americans. To achieve this, German workers on average pay 52 percent of their income in taxes. Americans average 30 percent, according to the Organizations for Economic Cooperation and Development. At first blush the German tax burden seems horrendous. But in Germany (as well as Britain, France, Scandinavia, Canada, Australia and Japan), tax-supported institutions provide many of the things Americans pay for with after-tax dollars. Buying wholesale rather than retail saves money. A proper comparison would take the 30 percent average tax on American workers and add their out-of-pocket spending on health care, college tuition and fees for services, and compare that with taxes that the average German pays. Add it all up and the combination of tax and personal spending is roughly equal in both countries, but with a large risk of catastrophic loss in America and a tiny risk in Germany. Americans take on $85 billion of debt each year for higher education, while college is financed by taxes in Germany, and tuition is cheap to free in other modern countries. While soaring medical costs are a key reason that bankruptcy in America has increased 15 times faster than population growth since 1980, no one in Germany or the rest of the

modern world goes broke because of accident or illness. And child poverty in America is the highest among modern countries—almost twice the rate in Germany, which is close to the average of modern countries. On the corporate tax side, Germany encourages reinvestment at home and outsourcing low-value work, like auto assembly, and German rules tightly control accounting so that profits earned at home cannot be made to appear as profits earned in tax havens. Adopting the German system is not the answer for America. But crafting a tax system that benefits the vast majority, reduces risks, provides universal health care and focuses on diplomacy rather than militarism abroad (and at home) would be a lot smarter than what we have now. Here is a question to ask yourself: We started down this road with Reagan’s election in 1980 and upped the ante in this century

President Barack Obama agreed to continue for two more years the tax cuts sponsored by President George W. Bush in 2001 and 2003.

with George W. Bush. How long does it take to conclude that a policy has failed to fulfill its promises? As you think of your answer, keep in mind how George Washington died. When he fell ill, his doctors followed the common wisdom of the era. They cut him and bled him to remove bad blood. As Washington’s condition grew worse, they bled him more. Like the mantra of tax cuts for the rich, they kept applying the same treatment until they killed him. Luckily, we don’t bleed the sick anymore, but we are bleeding our government to death. David Cay Johnston is a columnist for tax. com and teaches the tax, property and regulatory law of the ancient world at Syracuse University College of Law and Whitman School of Management. His reporting in The New York Times shut down many tax dodges and schemes, just two of them valued by Congress at $260 billion. Johnston received a 2001 Pulitzer Prize for exposing tax loopholes and inequities. He wrote two best sellers on taxes, “Perfectly Legal” and “Free Lunch.” Later this year Johnston will be out with a new book, “The Fine Print,” revealing how big business, with help from politicians, abuse plain English to rob you blind.

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is $6.6 billion in higher taxes for the working poor, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimates. In addition, the Republicans changed the rate of workers’ FICA contributions, which finances half of Social Security. The result: If you are single and make less than $20,000, or married and less than $40,000, you lose under this plan. But the top 5 percent, people who make more than $106,800, will save $2,136 ($4,272 for two-career couples).

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Budget Quiz Answers: from page 15

2. The answer is D. The GOP budget did not seek to reduce the deficit by reforming or eliminating special-interest subsidies. Instead, the Republican budget proposes draconian cuts in a part of the budget containing key investments in job training, Head Start, and nutrition assistance for pregnant women, infants and children. This at a time when companies such as General Electric can use these subsidies to have an effective tax rate of zero while bringing in $14.2 billion in profits last year. PETER SOUZA

President Barack Obama shakes hands with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, right, at the State of the Union address in January.

3. The answer is A. The GOP budget would get more than two-thirds of its savings over the next 10 years from programs affecting low- and moderateincome Americans. It would get about $1.4 trillion (32.5 percent) from cuts to the Medicaid system, fundamentally altering the structure of the program so it can no longer respond to recessions, health epidemics, demographic changes or medical advances. This would prevent millions of elderly, disabled and low-income Americans from accessing health-care coverage and shift enormous cost burdens to states. The rest comes from cuts to other health programs, mandatory programs such as SNAP/food stamps, and cuts to domestic programs such as Pell Grants and affordable housing. 4. False. The GOP budget claims its proposal will rein in “out-of-control costs.� But the average cost per Medicaid beneficiary is significantly lower than the average cost under private insurance. Medicaid costs 27 percent less for children than private insurance, and 20 percent less for adults than private insurance despite more comprehensive benefits and significantly

lower cost-sharing charges. In fact, over the past decade Medicaid has controlled health-care costs more effectively than private coverage. Trying to curb healthcare costs by cutting Medicaid alone will simply shift higher costs to states, providers and beneficiaries, or result in a massive increase in the ranks of the uninsured. 5. The answer is D. If you have an elderly or disabled relative who requires long-term care to live independently, or nursing-home care, there’s a good chance that Medicaid is helping cover those costs. Medicaid is the primary payer for this range of services, accounting for about 43 percent of all spending in this area. Without Medicaid, many middle-class families could quickly go bankrupt trying to afford care. 6. The answer is D. New analysis from the Food Research and Action Center reveals 15.8 percent of people in Congressman Paul Ryan’s district (more than 1 in 7) indicated they could not afford the food their family needed in the past 12 months. 7. The answer is C. The tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans would have more than paid for all the cuts in domestic programs in this year’s GOP budget. The GOP plan chooses to cut housing assistance for veterans, food baskets for the elderly and work-force development programs, while keeping in place tax cuts that last year averaged about $125,000 for millionaires.

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8. The answer is C. The Republican plan to fund the remainder of fiscal year 2011 would reduce the maximum Pell Grant by 17.4 percent. This would result in 9.4 million low-income college students losing all or some of their financial aid to attend college. 9. The answer is C. The GOP plan would prevent 8 million workers from accessing job training and placement services. It would also eliminate effective education and skills-training programs for lowincome youth such as YouthBuild. 10. The answer is D. Child poverty went up by more than 6 percentage points in House Speaker Boehnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s district (Ohio-8) last year. It was among the 25 worst increases in child poverty of all 435 congressional districts. 11. The answer is B. Unfortunately (and ironically), the GOP proposal to â&#x20AC;&#x153;strengthen the safety netâ&#x20AC;? proposes significant cuts to health care, housing and nutritional supports for low-income families that would push millions more families into poverty, and make it more difficult for them to climb out. This quiz was created by the Center for American Progress (www.americanprogress.org).

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1. The answer is C. The top 1 percent of Americans receive 25 percent of all of Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s income and own 40 percent of all of Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wealth. Over the past several years, income inequality has widened, with the wealthiest capturing nearly all of the gains from economic growth. But median income fell and poverty rose for the first time on record. Yet the GOP budget proposed more tax breaks for the richest 2 percent of Americans.

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by ShaWanda Jacome

ADAM HUDSON PHOTOGRAPHY

The Schwindickermans Darren and Melia kept their budget modest, but splurged on three things: food, the honeymoon and photography.

F

April 20 - 26, 2011

irst there were Bennifer and Tomkat, and then came Brangelina. And now Jackson has the Schwindickermans, also known as Darren Schwindaman, 27, and Melia Dicker, 30. The playfulness of combining their last names is indicative of the type of couple they are. “It’s funny to call ourselves the Schwindickermans. Even our grandparents will address things to the Schwindickermans now,” Melia says. The couple met through Melia’s sister, Gillian Burgess, in 2005 at Darren and Gillian’s graduation from Loyola University in New Orleans. “I thought Darren was really cute,” Melia says. “We sort of hit off a little bit, but we didn’t stay in touch afterward.” Three years later in 2008, on a trip to Mardi Gras with friends, their spark rekindled. “I thought she was like smokin’ hot and way out of my league,” says Darren, who had moved back to Jackson after Hurricane Katrina. “I didn’t know really that the attraction was mutual at that time. But I was just kind of throwing it all to the wind.” Melia says, “We had a lot in common. We had the entrepreneurial spirit and sort of artistic interests.” What would seem an unlikely pair—a Mississippi boy and California girl—soon blossomed into friendship and then romance. They spent the next year cultivating their relationship from a distance, including an epic four-day tour of San Francisco, where Melia was living at the time. “We did a taco crawl … like a pub crawl. We went to 10 taquerias,” Melia says. All her efforts of planning the weekend, didn’t go unnoticed by Darren. “I was swept off my feet at that point,” Darren says. Melia took a huge step in 2009 and moved to Jackson. The transition wasn’t completely without its challenges, but Melia soon found her stride with Darren’s support. Marrying Melia is something Darren had in the back of his mind for a while. “By the end of 2008, I was confident that I wanted to get married,” he says. Darren proposed to Melia on Feb. 3, 2010, at Amerigo Italian restaurant in Ridgeland. It was a movie-worthy moment: The waiter presented the ring with Melia’s dessert. Darren got down on one knee with the entire crowd watching, and people clapped when she said yes. Their wedding theme revolved around their love of travel. Darren designed all the materials, including invitations and website with this in mind. “We chose this kind of interna20 tional envelope feel for everything. It’s elegant, but still kind of

funky. I just thought it struck the right tone,” Darren says. In March 2010, Darren and Melia started their own media business, Creative Distillery, with Melia’s sister, Gillian. Darren works as the graphic and web designer, and Melia handles communications, branding and operations. Darren also created the invitations for another JFP Hitched couple, Brad and Funmi Franklin. The couple exchanged vows Feb. 26, in the Union Station foyer off Mill Street, with a reception following in the Union Station ballroom. “We wanted to do the ceremony from beginning to end our way. … We kind of came up with our own road map of what we liked,” Darren says. “We let our creativity shine through and our personality and let that be front and center the whole time.” The couple opted for an interfaith ceremony that borrowed from many traditions, including the lighting of a unity candle from the Christian tradition. “We’re definitely not anti-tradition or anti-religion,” Melia says. “It’s just that we picked and (chose) what was meaningful to us.” They also added their personal touches, including a family blessing and the reading of the poems “To Love is Not to Possess” by James Kavanaugh and “Love Sonnet XVII” by Pablo Neruda. The bridal party, which included Melia’s sister as matron of honor and Darren’s brothers as best men, donned black dresses

• During the ceremony, friends and Jacksonians Jamie Weems and Johnny Bertram performed specially requested songs, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Sea of Love.” • As a wedding gift, artist Stephanie Dwyer (601-955-0457, www.missmetaldesign.com) created a bottle tree arbor for the ceremony. • Darren and Melia chose married couple and ordained ministers David and Debo Dykes of the D. L. Dykes, Jr. Foundation and Faith and Reason (200 S. Lamar St., Suite 130S, 601-354-0767, www.faithandreason.org) to officiate the ceremony. “Their relationship is so what we want to be,” Melia says, to which Darren adds: “They’re super vibrant, really funny, travel a lot.”

with an optional red sash accent, and dark gray or black suits for the guys with red satin ties. They kept it simple, with many of the bridal party wearing something they already owned. The bride wore a satin strapless floor-length Jessica McClintock gown with a delicate shimmery lace overlay. Brenda Dampeer of Nana’s Alterations in Jackson added the sash. “Wearing a red sash and shoes was my way of recognizing my Chinese heritage. Traditionally, Chinese brides wear red or pink, which represents happiness,” Melia says. Darren wore a custom-fitted charcoal-gray suit from Great Scott. For the reception, the couple offered guests food stations with regional and international cuisines: the Louisiana bayou, Mexican fajitas, an Italian pasta bar, American dips and appetizers, and a French pastry station with crepes and crème brûlée. “Cakes are beautiful, but neither one of us loves to eat cake. We prefer pastries, and it goes more with our theme. We didn’t want to do anything just to do it,” Melia says. Instead of a bouquet toss, Darren and Melia honored the couple in the room that had been married the longest. Because they had a smaller, more intimate wedding of primarily family, after the ceremony and reception, Darren and Melia hung out at the King Edward Hotel Bar with friends who weren’t able to be at the ceremony. For their honeymoon in April, the couple will travel to Italy, Spain and France. It will be their first time in Europe together as a couple.

Wedding and Reception Venue: Union Station (300 W. Capitol St. at Mill Street). Booking through the Jackson Redevelopment Authority, 601-960-1815. After-Reception Drinks: King Edward Hotel Bar (Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Jackson, 235 W. Captiol St., 601-353-5464) Rehearsal Dinner: Pan Asia (720 Lake Harbour Drive, Ridgeland, 601-956-2958) Reception DJ: Scott Steele (305 Towne Center Place, Suite B, Ridgeland, 601-540-6467, www. scottsteelemusic.com) Photography: Adam Hudson Photography (601317-0595, www.adamhudsonphotography.com) Catering, Floral,Table Settings: Wendy Putt, Fresh Cut Catering & Floral (108 Cypress Cove, Flowood, 601-939-4518) Lighting Design: Davaine Lighting (601-906-9051, www.davainelighting.com)

• The couple registered at HoneyFund.com. “It’s not just like, ‘give us money.’ It’s like ‘here’s a piece of the experience,’” Darren says. People could contribute small amounts to events like the couple’s first dinner in Barcelona or a bottle of wine for each night of their cruise. • With their commitment to “shopping local,” Darren and Melia purchased their wedding rings from Carter Jewelers using vouchers they purchased from JFP-sponsored Half Off Depot. In a turn of events, Melia’s ring got stuck on her finger. You can read the entire story on their blog, www.eatdrinkandbemarried.com. Windex was involved. Suggest a Hitched couple at hitched@jacksonfreepress.com.


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Easter Shopping Guide 1

2 3

1 Handmade mosaic cross, $14, Deep South Arts 2 Easter doggy treats, $1.99, Diva Dog 3 Church hats, $39.99-$69.99, Dress Code 4 Metallic pink pumps, $39.99, Dress Code 5 “Sun on the Earth” turquoise and abalone necklace, $225, Gabrielle’s Little Secrets 6 Bird’s nest with eggs, $4.50 each, Mostly Martha’s Florist 7 Topiary, $44.50, Mostly Martha’s Florist 8 Fabric carrot, $12.95, Mostly Martha’s Florist 9 Green sequin-embellished top, $38.95; White linen pants, $48.95; Alex & Ani bangles, starting at $21.95, and Silver wedges, $38.95; Material Girls 10 Multi-color maxi dress, $42.95; Silver hobo clutch, $86.95; Lauren G Adams bangles, starting at $36.95; Sadie earrings, $34.95, and Silver wedges, $38.95; Material Girls 11 Turquoise bunny by Wolfe Studio, $48, 12 “Twelve” watch by Streamline (in assorted spring colors), $22 each, the Museum Store at the Mississippi Museum of Art 13 Japanese paper fan, $3, the Museum Store at the Mississippi Museum of Art 14 Japanese bunnies, $12 (small) or $24 (large), the Museum Store at the Mississippi Museum of Art 15 Kimmidoll Collection, $9.50 (small) or $16.50 (large) each, the Museum Store at the Mississippi Museum of Art 16 Vintage/retro Nipon Boutique floral cotton voile day dress, $46, Shesabettie 17 Girl’s hair bows, $6 each, Nate-Peyt’s 18 Easter wreath, $149.95, The Pine Cone 19 Easter travel tissues, $.50, The Pine Cone 20 Betsey Johnson lime green wedge, $185, The Shoe Bar at Pieces 21 Irregular Choice red “winged” pump, $135, The Shoe Bar at Pieces

5 6 4 7 COURTESY: MATERIALS GIRLS

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April 20 - 26, 2011

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COURTESY: MATERIALS GIRLS

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by ShaWanda Jacome

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Where2Shop:

Deep South Arts (www.etsy.com/shop/deepsoutharts); Gabrielle’s Little Secrets (www.etsy.com/shop/LittleSecrets); Material Girls (182 Promenade Blvd., Flowood, 601-992-4533; 1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 7005, Ridgeland, 601-605-1605); Mostly Martha’s Florist (353 Highway 51, Ridgeland, 601-956-1474); The Museum Store at the Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St., 601-965-9939); Nate-Peyt’s (www.etsy.com/shop/NatePeyt); Shesabettie (www.etsy.com/shop/shesabettie); The Shoe Bar at Pieces (425 Mitchell Ave., 601-939-5203)


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jacksonfreepress.com


NATURAL GROCERY

Spring Into Good Health.

G

An Earth Day Toast

by Meredith W. Sullivan

one are the days when eco-friendly meant hemp necklaces, rope sandals and patchouli oil. These days, an eco-chick is sexy and cool, flirty and fun all while being conscientious of the environment. From cosmetics to clothing, handbags to housewares, more and more of today’s fashions go beyond fads and acknowledge labor practices and carbon footprints. A lot of designers are even being creative with recycling materials and repurposing goods already in existence. On April 22, dress yourself up, and let’s all make a toast to Mama Earth. She deserves it. (She does have her own day after all.) Tom’s classic shoes are made with organic cotton and contain no animal byproducts, $54; Buffalo Peak Outfitters

Eat your bunny food. Lemlem gauze poncho, handmade from natural cotton by men and women in Ethiopia, $154; Blithe and Vine

Multi-colored bracelets made from recycled telephone and electrical wires, $1.50 each; The Museum Store at the Mississippi Museum of Art

Ecojot sketchpads are made from 100 percent post-consumer waste, $12.50; The Museum Store at the Mississippi Museum of Art

Earrings made by the Fulani people of Mali are made from recycled metal from car radiators, $44; The Museum Store at the Mississippi Museum of Art

April 20 - 26, 2011

Amy Head’s lipsticks are paraffin free and available in various great shades, $20; Amy Head Cosmetics

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Where2Shop:

Amy Head Cosmetics, 120 West Jackson St., Ridgeland, 601-853-3098; Blithe and Vine, Fondren Corner Building, 2906 N. State St., 601-427-3322; Buffalo Peak Outfitters, 115 Highland Village, 601-366-2557; The Museum Store at the Mississippi Museum of Art, 380 South Lamar St., 601-960-1515


HAPPY HOUR M-F 4p-7p

$1 off domestic bottles, well drinks and house wines

All for only

$7.98

WEDNESDAY 4/20

No Thank You, Love (Acoustic Aleternative) THURSDAY 4/21

Richard Murtagh (Irish Folk)

FRIDAY 4/22

Doug Frank

(Rythym & Blues) SATURDAY 4/23

Shaun Patterson (Blues)

SUNDAY 4/24

Open

MONDAY 4/25

Karaoke w/ Matt TUESDAY 4/26

jacksonfreepress.com

Open Mic with Jason Bailey

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8 DAYS p 29| MUSIC p 31| SPORTS p 34

Capturing Imaginations

by Lacey McLaughlin

AARON PHILLIPS

April 20 - 26, 2011 Making spin art was one of Jackson’s favorite

26 activities at the Children’s Museum.

AARON PHILLIPS

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f you are ever going to rent a kid, 4-yearold Jackson Andrews is the best deal you could possibly get. He is at the just the right height that I can reach down and run my fingers through his dark brown bowl-cut, and his puckered lips form an “o” as if he is always on the verge of asking a serious question. Jackson is a pint-sized human sponge who is always up for an adventure. I had heard rave reviews of the Mississippi Children’s Museum since it opened in December. It appeared that having a kid was an unspoken excuse for adults to go. I don’t have children of my own, so I asked my friend Stacy Andrews if I could rent his youngest son for the day. Jackson had never been to the Children’s Museum, and Stacy told him it was kind of like going to the art museum, except you get to touch things. When I picked Jackson up from his Fondren home April 2, he presented me with a letter he wrote with a blue marker. This was the special code we needed to get into the museum, he told me. He had no idea what awaited him. “That looks like a place where they built something fun,” Jackson said about the checked green-and-blue building with an entrance that looks like it’s made of giant pipe cleaners. Jackson then ran, jumped and skipped on the splash pad outside the museum. As I waited to buy tickets, the changing blue, green and red lights on the museum’s floor mesmerized Jackson, and he promptly called them “lifesavers.” Just about every inch of the museum has something to capture a child’s imagination. It’s

Four-year-old Jackson Andrews took his first trip to the Mississippi Children’s Museum April 2.

as if the architects designed the place more for parents to keep short-attention-span children occupied while they stand in line. The museum was hosting a puppet show that morning, but Jackson had no interest in watching it. His big, blue eyes surveyed the museum’s 20,000 square feet of exhibits from the third-floor balcony, and we got a head start over the 300 parents and kids who were watching the show in the exhibition hall. “Could this all really be for me to explore?” he appeared to be thinking. Jackson had entered an entire world made for kids only. He was the boss and could do anything. We started at the museum’s “World at Work” section where Jackson operated a crane and moved logs in the forestry exhibit. I’m not sure if wearing a miniature hard hat and vest is a requirement to operate the crane, but it sure looked cute on him. While Jackson likes construction, he’s more of a liberalarts kind of guy and requested we make our way to the hands-on music and arts “Express Yourself” section. Parents should plan on many detours on the way to their intended destination—especially when kids see the long-winding water table in the center of the ground floor with various its levers and squirt guns. The water table is also where a good kid can turn bad. Luckily, Jackson wasn’t interested in seeing how much water he could remove from the water table, but lots of others kids were. Jackson was too

busy designing his own sailboat and learning about water currents. By noon, a sea of children filled the interior of the museum, which has had about 60,000 visitors since it opened last December. The noise level increased with excited shrieks and tantrums. To beat the crowds, museum marketing director Elaina Jackson suggests visiting Wednesday afternoons. Sunday afternoons are also slower. Tuesdays and Thursdays, the museum blocks off an entire section for toddlers to play during “ABC Come Play with Me,” at 10 a.m. The museum’s “Outside the Lines” exhibit is a dream come true for tactile learners. In seconds, Jackson was wearing a red smock and eagerly grabbing fistfuls of washable tempera paint as he finger-painted a poster-sized mural. When he was done with his masterpiece, a museum staffer handed Jackson four marble-like “bullets” to shoot a paintball gun into an encased canvas. “Is it scary?” Jackson asked while he adjusted his oversized goggles. After the first shot, Jackson was a determined marksman who aimed for his target with confidence. Afterward, we waited about five minutes in line to make spin art. Jackson carefully squeezed bright green, orange and black paint bottles onto a rotating card and was in awe of his splattered creation. In the “Healthy Fun” section, kids can climb through tunnels and discover a larger-

than-life gastro chamber. A trip through the chamber includes life-like digestive noises (which makes children giggle and yell “ew!”), a stomach theater, and a walk through a small and large intestine. For Jackson, the life-size stomach was bit too realistic, and he promptly asked to leave once we got inside. Moms and dads can kick off their shoes also, climb through the tunnels and play. The “Exploring Mississippi” section has historical markers parents can read to their child about the state Capitol, civil-rights heroes, and even catfish, shrimp and cotton. After two and a half hours of exploring, we had only gotten about halfway through the exhibits. As hunger and tiredness set in, it was easier than I expected to coax Jackson away. On the way home, Jackson tightly grasped his finger-painted mural and spin art as he struggled to keep his eyelids open. After a nap, Jackson talked about the museum nonstop for the next two days, his father said. Jackson’s wonder made me think of a Eudora Welty quote on the museum’s wall: “Children, like animals, use all their senses to discover the world. Then artists come along and discover it the same way all over again.” Mississippi Children’s Museum is at 2145 Highland Drive. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8; free for members and kids under 12 months. Call 601-981-5469, or visit www.mississippichildrensmuseum.com.


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ART CONTEST

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Happy Easter From McDade’s Markets • • • • • •

Flowers and Balloons Special Gifts Gourmet Items Specialty Foods Cakes and Pies Lots of goodies to fill your baskets

April 20 - 26, 2011

Call ahead to special-order party trays

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Maywood Mart 1220 E. Northside Dr. 601-366-8486 Woodland Hills Shopping Center Fondren 601-366-5273 English Village 904 E. Fortification St. 601-355-9668 Westland Plaza 2526 Robinson Rd. 601-353-0089


BEST BETS April 20 - 27, 2011 by Latasha Willis events@jacksonfreepress.com Fax: 601-510-9019 Daily updates at jfpevents.com

COURTESY YOLANDA SINGLETON/FAMILY AFFAIR ENTERTAINMENT

Retired history professor David Crosby speaks during History Is Lunch at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.) at noon. Bring a lunch; call 601-576-6998. … Electro-jazz cellist Dana Leong performs at Jackson State University (1400 John R. Lynch St.) in the Student Center at noon. Free; call 601-979-6940. … The musical “A Chorus Line” at Thalia Mara Hall is tonight and tomorrow, with shows at 7:30 p.m. $27.35 and up; call 800745-3000. … See “The Grateful Dead Movie” at Cinemark Tinseltown USA (411 Riverwind Drive, Pearl) at 7:30 p.m. $12.50; visit fathomevents.com. … Underground 119 has music by Sol Driven Train. … Larry Brewer performs at the Yacht Club (700 Yacht Club Drive, Ridgeland).

FRIDAY 4/22

Earth Day: Party for the Planet at the Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.) is at 10 a.m. $8, $5 children 2-12, $7.20 seniors, members and babies free; call 601-352-2580. … KidFest! at Freedom Ridge Park (235 W. School St., Ridgeland) is today at noon and tomorrow at 9 a.m. $8 in advance, $10 at the gate, children under 2 free; call 800-4686078. … Farish Flourish at Farish Street Park is at 5 p.m. and includes poetry, music and healthy food in honor of Earth Day. Free admission; call 601-291-7381. … See the films “Another Harvest Moon” and “Peep World” at Russell C. Davis Planetarium (201 E. Pascagoula St.) tonight and tomorrow at 7 p.m. $7 per film; visit msfilm.org. … Martini Room hosts Martini Friday at 9 p.m. Free. … Hal & Mal’s has music by Akami Graham in the Red Room and Lisa Palmer in the restaurant. … Kenny Hollywood performs at Queen of Hearts. … Faze 4 is at Reed Pierce’s.

SATURDAY 4/23

The JumpstART exhibit at the Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.) shows through May 1. Free; call 601-960-1557. … Breakfast with the Easter Bunny and Animals at the Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.) is at 7 a.m. $9, $7 children 2-12, $8.20 seniors, members and babies free; call 601-352-2580 to RSVP. … The Easter egg hunt at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum (1150 Lakeland Drive) is at 9 a.m. $6, $4 ages 3-18; call 601-432-4500. … The Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance’s birthday dinner for founder Bill Chandler at El Torero Mexican Restaurant & Grill (Parkway Place Shopping Center, 4337 Lakeland Drive, Flowood) is at 6 p.m. $40, $70 couple, $20 students/children; call 601-968-5182 by April 21 to RSVP. … Fantasia, Urban Mystic and Fortune perform at Thalia Mara Hall at 8 p.m. $37.50 and up, $32.50 limited advance tickets; call 800-745-3000. … Natalie Long and Clinton Kirby are at Cherokee Inn at 9 p.m. $5. … Snazz performs at Shucker’s. … Danger Room plays at Regency Hotel. … Karaoke at Brady’s. Fantasia performs at 8 p.m. April 23 at Thalia Mara Hall.

The Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi’s Ultimate Fashion Show and Champagne Luncheon at the Country Club of Jackson (345 Saint Andrews Drive) is at 11 a.m. $50; call 601-957-7878. … The Tracy Sugarman exhibit at Powell Museum (129 E. Ash St.) hangs through May 14. Donations welcome; call 601-209-4736 for an appointment. … Enjoy crawfish and music by Papa Grows Funk during Downtown at Dusk at Underground 119 at 5 p.m. Free admission, $5 food (per pound), $2 beer, $1 water and soda; call 601-974-6044, ext. 221. … Sherman Green and Karen Brown perform during Centric Thursday at Dreamz JXN. … The Rock-paper-scissors Ultimate Challenge at The Bulldog (6111 Ridgewood Road) is at 5 p.m. $15 entry fee, $5 admission; visit young leadersinphilanthropy.com. … Stevie Cain is at Brady’s.

Nicole and Richard Stowe’s art exhibit at Light and Glass Studio (523 Commerce St.) hangs through May 31. Free; call 601-942-7285 or 601-942-7362 before stopping by. … The ballet film “Giselle” at Russell C. Davis Planetarium (201 E. Pascagoula St.) shows at 2 p.m. $16; visit msfilm.org. … The Generation NXT Concert Series with Coke Bumaye, Cauzindrama and more is at Dreamz JXN.

MONDAY 4/25

The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Celebrity Golf Tournament at Reunion Golf and Country Club (880 Mannsdale Road, Madison) is at 12:30 p.m. $1,600 team of five plus celebrity; call 601-982-8264. … The Central Mississippi Blues Society Jam at Hal & Mal’s is at 7 p.m. $5. … Morrison Brothers Music hosts College Band/Garage Band Night at Burgers and Blues at 7 p.m. Free; 601-668-9968.

TUESDAY 4/26

Chef and cookbook author Martha Foose gives a presentation at Millsaps College, Ford Academic Complex (1701 N. State St.) at 7 p.m. $10, $5 students, free with Millsaps ID; call 601-974-1130. … Mississippi Murder Mystery presents “Convicted of Love” at Rossini Cucina Italiana (207 W. Jackson St., Suite A, Ridgeland) at 7 p.m. $38.50; call 601-8569696 to RSVP. … Netherfriends performs at Ole Tavern.

WEDNESDAY 4/27

Former Mississippi secretary of state Dick Molpus speaks during History Is Lunch at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.) at noon. Bring a lunch; call 601-576-6998. … Bill and Temperance perform at Underground 119. … Jason Turner is at Char. More events and details at jfpevents.com. Sol Driven Train performs at Underground 119 April 20. COURTESY BLUE MOUNTAIN ARTISTS

THURSDAY 4/21

SUNDAY 4/24

jacksonfreepress.com

WEDNESDAY 4/20

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jfpevents JFP-SPONSORED EVENTS Radio JFP on WLEZ ongoing, at WLEZ 100.1 FM and wlezfm.com. Join Donna Ladd and Todd Stauffer every Thursday from noon-1 p.m., where they discuss vital issues and play local music. This week’s guest is Randy Knight, president of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation. JFP sports writer Bryan Flynn also gives commentary at 12:45 p.m. Listen to podcasts of all shows at jfpradio.com. Free; call 601-362-6121, ext. 17. Crawfish Boil May 1, 2 p.m., at Cherokee Inn (1410 Old Square Road). George McConnell & the Nonchalants and the Delta Mountain Boys perform at the event. $10; call 601-362-6388. Seventh Annual JFP Chick Ball July 9, 6 p.m., at Hal & Mal’s (200 Commerce St.). The fundraiser benefits the Center for Violence Prevention. Seeking sponsors, auction donations and volunteers now. More details: jfpchickball.com and follow on Twitter @jfpchickball. Get involved, volunteer, donate art, money or gifts at chickball@jacksonfreepress .com. Be a sponsor for as low as $50. Call 601-3626121, ext. 16.

HOLIDAY Easter Portraits April 21, 9 a.m., at Jackson Medical Mall (350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave.). Tyler’s Gift Shop and More in association with Simple Photography takes pictures at Center Stage. $10 per pose; call 601-405-7812 to schedule an appointment. Fondren Good Friday Service April 22, noon, at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.), in front of Duling School. The service is open to the public. Call 601982-3232. Breakfast with the Easter Bunny and Animals April 23, 7 a.m., at Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.). Enjoy a buffet of breakfast food and a personal tour of the zoo with animal care staff. Space is limited; reservations required. $9, $7 children 2-12, $8.20 seniors, members and babies free; call 601352-2580. Easter Egg Hunt April 23, 9 a.m., at Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum (1150 Lakeland Drive). The event takes place on the museum grounds. $6, $4 ages 3-18; call 601-432-4500.

COMMUNITY “History Is Lunch” April 20, noon, at William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). Retired history professor David Crosby presents “Mixed Messages: Rabbit Foot Minstrels’ Long History and Ambiguous Legacy.” Bring lunch; coffee and water provided. Free; call 601-576-6998. Mississippi Economic Council Annual Meeting April 21, 8:30 a.m., at Jackson Convention Complex (105 E. Pascagoula St.). The event includes networking, a lecture by Bob Santelli, executive director of The Grammy Museum, and music by the Williams Brothers and Homemade Jamz. $75, $65 members; call 601-969-0022 or 800748-7626.

April 20 - 26, 2011

Adult Computer Class April 21, 9 a.m., at G. Chastaine Flynt Memorial Library (103 Winners Circle, Flowood). Learn to send and receive email. Free; call 601-919-1911.

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Global Debate April 21, 9 a.m., at Madison Central High School (1417 Highland Colony Parkway, Madison). The Madison Central High School Global Debate Team will discuss the topic of states ratifying the UN Convention on the rights of migrant workers and their families. Open to the public. Free; call 601-856-7121, ext. 5157. Downtown at Dusk April 21, 5 p.m., at Underground 119 (119 South President Street). The Community Foundation of Greater Jackson is the host. The event includes crawfish with corn and potatoes for sale, and music by Papa Grows Funk.

Free admission, $5 food (per pound), $2 beer, $1 water and soda; call 601-974-6044, ext. 221. “Birds in Southeastern Indian Art and Lore” April 21, 7 p.m., at Clinton Community Nature Center (617 Dunton Road, Clinton), in Price Hall. Samuel O. Brookes, an archaeologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, shows artifacts with bird motifs and discusses how birds are tied to Indian culture. Free, donations welcome; call 601-926-1104. KidFest! April 22-23, at Freedom Ridge Park (235 W. School St., Ridgeland). The family event includes big-top acts, an activity tent, music, food, animated characters and rides. Hours are noon6:30 p.m. April 22 and 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. April 23. $8 in advance, $10 at the gate, children under 2 free; call 800-468-6078. “General Manager of the Universe” Workshop April 23, 10 a.m., at Mississippi School for Therapeutic Massage (1935A Lakeland Drive). The six-hour interactive class taught by Jamie Roth explores taking responsibility for one’s own life, understanding intuition and releasing victim mentality. $65 in advance, $75 day of class; visit intuitiveencounters.com. First Commercial Bank/Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Celebrity Golf Tournament April 25, 12:30 p.m., at Reunion Golf and Country Club (880 Mannsdale Road, Madison). The tournament includes a tee gift, lunch, dinner, proximity and hole contests, on-course refreshments and door prizes. $1,600 team of five plus celebrity; call 601-982-8264. Raindrop Forum April 26, 11:45 a.m., at Raindrop Turkish House (900 E. County Line Road, Suite 4907, Ridgeland). The topic is “Major Challenges Facing Higher Education.” Dr. Lee G. Royce, president of Mississippi College, is the speaker. Traditional Turkish food served. RSVP required. $15; call 769-251-0074. Winter-Reed Award Dinner April 26, 7 p.m., at Jackson Convention Complex (105 E. Pascagoula St.). The Mississippi Association of Partners in Education honors Andy Mullins, Dick Molpus, David Crews, John Henegan and Robert Clark. $60, $750 table of eight; call 601-605-0577. Martha Foose April 26, 7 p.m., at Millsaps College, Ford Academic Complex (1701 N. State St.). The chef and author of “A Southerly Course: Traveling Foodways Close to Home” will prepare a dish on stage and share the recipe with the audience as part of the Millsaps Arts and Lecture Series. $10, $5 students, free with Millsaps ID; call 601-974-1130.

STAGE AND SCREEN “Love, Sex and the IRS” Auditions April 20, 7:30 p.m., at Black Rose Community Theatre (103 Black St., Brandon). Roles are available for adult males and females of varying ages. Production dates are June 2-5. Call 601-209-9085 or 601-497-7485. “A Chorus Line” April 20-21, at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.). Winner of nine Tony Awards, including “Best Musical,” and the Pulitzer Prize for drama, the performance is the longest-running American Broadway musical. Shows are at 7:30 nightly. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster. $27.35-$70.95; call 601-981-1847. “The Grateful Dead Movie” April 20, 7:30 p.m., at Tinseltown (411 Riverwind Drive, Pearl). The 1977 documentary contains footage from The Grateful Dead’s 1974 concert in San Francisco. In addition, watch exclusive interviews with Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir. $12.50; visit fathomevents.com. Events at Russell C. Davis Planetarium (201 E. Pascagoula St.). Visit msfilm.org. • Art House Cinema Downtown April 22-23. Films include “Another Harvest Moon” at 7 p.m.

and “Peep World” at 8:45 p.m. Popcorn and beverages served. $7 per film. • “Giselle” April 24, 2 p.m., at Russell C. Davis Planetarium (201 E. Pascagoula St.). The Mississippi Film Institute presents the ballet film. $16. “Convicted of Love” Dinner Theater April 26, 7 p.m., at Rossini Cucina Italiana (207 W. Jackson St., Suite A, Ridgeland). Mississippi Murder Mystery presents the comedy about an ex-convict who meets his pen pal. Seating is limited; please RSVP. $38.50; call 601-856-9696.

MUSIC Fantasia April 23, 8 p.m., at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.). The American Idol winner performs her latest hits such as “I’m Doin’ Me.” Special guests Urban Mystic and Fortune also perform. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets available through Ticketmaster. $37.50 and up, $32.50 limited advance tickets; call 800-745-3000. Jonathan Levin Concert and Workshop April 25, 4 p.m., at Southern Cultural Heritage Center (1302 Adams St., Vicksburg). The pianist has performed professionally with orchestras since the age of 15. A piano master class follows the performance. Free, donations welcome; call 601-631-2997. College Band and Garage Band Night April 25, 7 p.m., at Burgers and Blues (1060 E. County Line Road). College or garage bands are welcome to sign up in advance and perform; covers and original songs welcome. Morrison Brothers Music is the sponsor, and the event is part of their Monday Musical Madness series. Free; call 601-668-9968.

LITERARY AND SIGNINGS Events at Lemuria Books (202 Banner Hall, 4465 Interstate 55 N.). Call 601-366-7619. • “Beneath Forbidden Ground” April 20, 5 p.m., at Doug McCall signs copies of his book. $16.95 book. • “The Emerald Atlas” April 21, 4:30 p.m. John Stephens signs copies of his book; reading at 5 p.m. $17.99 book. “Scarlette’s Letters” Book Release Party and Reading April 22, 8 p.m., at Cultural Expressions (147 Millsaps Ave.). Slam poet Scarlette celebrates the release of her poetry compilation with a reading and an open-mic session. Refreshments included. BYOB. Free, $10 book; call 601-316-9071. Meet the Author: Patricia Terrell April 26, 7 p.m., at G. Chastaine Flynt Memorial Library (103 Winners Circle, Flowood). Terrell signs copies of her latest novel, “The Banker’s Greed.” $15 book; call 601-919-1911.

CREATIVE CLASSES Events at Viking Cooking School (Township at Colony Park, 1107 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland). Call 601-898-8345. • Elegant Spring Dinner Party Class April 20, 6 p.m. Learn cooking techniques for throwing a dinner party such as preparing lobster, cooking beef tenderloin and making Italian ice. $99. • Cookies for Canines April 21, 6 p.m. Learn how to use fresh, human-grade ingredients to prepare dog biscuits, brownies and muffins. $59. Shut Up and Write! May 7-July 16, at JFP Classroom (2727 Old Canton Road, Suite 224). Sign up for the workshop series of JFP Editor-in-Chief Donna Ladd’s popular non-fiction and creative writing classes. Classes are every other Saturday from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Gift certificates are available. $150 (including materials), $75 non-refundable deposit required; call 601-362-6121, ext. 16. Salsa Mississippi Dance Classes ongoing, at Salsa Mississippi Studio and Club (605 Duling Ave.). Options include salsa, zumba, bachata, Bollywood

aerobics, flamenco, cha cha and more. Instructors also teach a beginner’s salsa class at the Chapatoula Building (115 Cynthia St., Clinton) Mondays from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Visit salsams.com for a schedule. $10 per class; call 601-213-6355.

EXHIBITS AND OPENINGS “Awakenings” Artist Reception April 21, 5 p.m., at Jackson Street Gallery (500 Highway 51, Suite E, Ridgeland). See works by Andrew Cary Young, Donna Davis, Stephanie Dwyer and Sarah McTaggart. Free; call 601-853-1880. Pieces of the Past: Spoils of War April 26July 10, at Old Capitol Museum (100 S. State St.). The rotating Civil War artifact exhibit features a 19th-century garnet necklace taken from a Jackson resident during the Union occupation of the city. Free; call 601-576-6920. Check jfpevents.com for updates and more listings. To add an event, e-mail all details (phone number, start/end date and 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.

BE THE CHANGE Horses for Handicapped through April 21, at Mississippi State Fairgrounds (1207 Mississippi St.). People with disabilities enjoy horseback riding and other activities from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. daily. Free; visit horses forhandicappedms.com. Ultimate Fashion Show and Champagne Luncheon April 21, 11 a.m., at Country Club of Jackson (345 Saint Andrews Drive). The show features models wearing spring fashions. Proceeds benefit the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi. $50; call 601-957-7878. Rock-paper-scissors Ultimate Challenge April 21, 5 p.m., at The Bulldog (6111 Ridgewood Road). Contestants compete for a chance to go to the national championship in Canada. Proceeds benefit Young Leaders in Philanthropy. $15 entry fee, $5 admission; visit youngleadersinphilanthropy.com. Earth Day: Party for the Planet April 22, 10 a.m., at Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.). Learn about the earth and what you can do to protect it through educational games and activities. $8, $5 children 2-12, $7.20 seniors, members and babies free; call 601-352-2580. Farish Flourish April 22, 5 p.m., at Farish Street Park (Farish St.). The Farish Main Street Project hosts the event in celebration of Earth Day. Come for poetry, acoustic music, an art competition, information on becoming earth-friendly, healthy foods and more. Free admission; call 601-291-7381. Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance Fundraiser Dinner April 23, 6 p.m., at El Torero Mexican Restaurant and Grill (Parkway Place Shopping Center, 4337 Lakeland Drive, Flowood). MIRA honors the 70th birthday of founder and executive director Bill Chandler. RSVP by April 21. $40, $70 couple, $20 students/children; call 601968-5182. Pages of Promise Book Drive through April 29, at United Way (843 N. President St.). Donate books for the Jackson Public Schools summer reading program. Drop-off locations include United Way, Eudora Welty Library (300 N. State St.) and State Farm Insurance offices in the metro area. Call 601-948-4725; visit myunitedway.com for a book list.


DIVERSIONS|music

by Langston Moore

COURTESY MICAH SMITH

Music that Matters

Micah Smith is Sun Ballet.

M

icah Smith is doing something many want to do. He has shut up, and he has written. He is following his dream. This self-taught guitaristsinger-songwriter is becoming what many adults dream about—a star. He moves people—not in the sense

The Key of G

of furniture— but in the realm of telling stories that matter through his writing and music. Smith learned guitar on an acoustic bass, just because. He learned on the acoustic guitar because it would give him more opportunity to write. “There are just not enough chances to write as a bassist,” he says. “I just want to tell stories with my writing in music that I feel is not offered out there right now.” Majoring in English with an emphasis in writing at Mississippi College, Smith is tailoring himself to become a poet with music as a backdrop. To date, he has written 47 songs. Smith, 20, is a writer who puts his words to music to inspire people, something he learned from Billy Joel, Elton John and others who write from their souls. “My music is hard to describe. It’s mellow pop and not loud. People usually say the louder the better, but I don’t want my message to be clouded by the noise,” Smith says. Instead, it’s named Sun Ballet. He got the idea watching the sun set over the ocean. The play of light on water mesmerized him. “I named my music Sun Ballet because I usually have others performing with me at the same venue. I don’t want it to be about Micah Smith,” he says. “A title for the type of music allows it to be more than about just Micah Smith.” Smith is learning to read music with the anticipa-

tion of using a full orchestra behind his guitar and voice at some point. Although he may choose to perform with others on the same night, he is a soloist at heart and usually doesn’t play with anyone else on the ticket. Smith has been in bands of all types from the typical pop cover band to a heavy metal band where he played bass. “Bands can be messy. I am not a person who wants to rely on others more than I have to rely on myself,” he says. “I have had good experiences in bands, but I like playing my own music that means something to me.” Smith has not released an album, yet, and admits that the only recordings he has compiled is the “stuff that friends have done.” However, listeners gave him a nice reception while playing “every Cups coffee shop in the state of Mississippi and twice at Sneaky Beans.” And bigger things are in store for Smith and a career in music. “If I could just release one album I would be happy. It is a similar goal to what all musicians have,” Smith says. “I want my music to be heard and enjoyed. And just to know that someone else out there likes it would satisfy me.” Smith cannot see a future in any career without music. “I am a writer, but I cannot see myself writing the news all day long. There has to be music in my life.” Listen to Sun Ballet at www.myspace.com/sunballet. Contact Micah Smith at sunballet1@yahoo.com.

Learning to Be 5th Child

by Garrad Lee

Stephen Brown is Jackson rapper 5th Child.

“5th Child” drops this spring. Visit 5thchildmusic.band camp.com for free downloads of “Behind the Music,” “Pianos in the Dark” and previews of a few tracks on the new album.

jacksonfreepress.com

he says. “I finally learned how to be 5th Child.” This is evident when listening to the record, as 5th sounds more confident and more grown up than in any of his previous work. In short, he sounds happier, and his swagger is back. As he was coming out of his “Pianos in the Dark” funk, 5th decided to focus on music exclusively. “I quit going out and just worked on music all day every day,” he says. He had a bunch of beats lying around and thought about doing a mix-tape, but quickly realized that it was time to make a new full-length album. “Songs just started coming out like this,” he says, snapping his fingers. Brown produced many of the songs in a matter of a several hours each, but nothing on the album sounds rushed or forced. “I wanted it to sound big and epic,” he says. The vast, yet ethereal horns of the opening track, “Introducing,” set a cinematic tone for the rest of the album. He delves into first-person storytelling territory with “Bedtime Story” and even dies at the end, “just like in the movies.” With “Breaking Point” and “Free,” Brown steps out of his comfort zone to experiment with new drum patterns and novel ways of using his voice as an instrument. One “ridiculously hood “song, “Stand For,” allows Brown to lampoon the funnier side of some radiofriendly hip-hop. The sum total of “5th Child” is an album that sounds complete and represents for Brown, “a moment of acceptance where I’m not afraid to be that guy. I am ready to accept that role.” He laughs. “It’s my Simba moment.”

COURTESY 5TH CHILD

J

ackson rapper Stephen Brown, aka 5th Child, spends the majority of his time in his bedroom studio making music. When he has a show to rock, you can count on him being there and killing it. The rest of the time, you can count on the 24-year-old staying in Friday nights to dig for samples, make beats and write lyrics. It was only fitting, then, that to talk about his new self-titled album due out later this spring, we met in his bedroom, “the corner studio” as he likes to call it. Everything he needs is within arm’s reach: a MacBook Pro, a turntable, keyboards and a microphone. Those are the tools of the trade for Jackson’s double-threat rapper and producer. “5th Child” is Brown’s fifth album and the third in a trilogy including “Behind the Music” and “Pianos in the Dark,” his previous two efforts. “Each of them is concept driven and reflective of where I was as a person when I made them,” he says. “Behind the Music” was a complex examination and critique of the music industry, and found Brown in a “celebratory” mood, with college graduation looming. “Pianos in the Dark,” with its gloomier soundscapes and darker subject matter, represented Brown’s “transition into adulthood, where you learn that most things you were taught about the future were not true,” he says. Brown began to question his role in the hip-hop game, wondering what it all meant and where he even fit in anymore. “5th Child,” the album, provides answers to the existential questions Brown faced. “The new album is about self-actualization and not trying to find explanations for everything anymore. It is about realizing and accepting who I am wholeheartedly,”

31


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Saturday, April 23

2 DeeJays 1 inside and 1 on the patio

Happy hour Mon - Sat | 2pm - 7pm 2 for 1 All Mixed Drinks, $1 Off Draft & Wine and 50¢ Boneless Wings

Wednesday, April 20th

SOL DRIVEN TRAIN

(Blues) 8-11, No Cover Thursday, April 21st

BILL PERRY TRIO

(Jazz) 8-11, No Cover

DOWNTOWN AT DUSK 5:00pm -8:00pm

Friday, April 22nd

LOS PAPIS

(Latin Jazz) 9-1, $10 Cover

Saturday, April 23rd 1428 Old Square Road in Jackson 601.713.2700 lastcallsportsgrill.com

JESSE ROBINSON

(Blues) 9-1, $10 Cover Wednesday, April 27th

THURSDAY - April 21 LADIES NIGHT DRINK FREE 9-11PM FRIDAY - APRIL 22 & SATURDAY - April 23

The Colonels SUNDAY - APRIL 24 OPEN MIC JAM 7-11 MONDAY - APRIL 25

BAR OPEN

TUESDAY - APRIL 26

POOL LEAGUE NIGHT WEDNESDAY - APRIL 27 MIKE MOTT KARAOKE 2636 S. Gallatin Jackson, MS 39204

601-961-4747

www.myspace.com/popsaroundthecorner

BILL & TEMPERANCE

(Bluegrass) 8-11, No Cover Thursday, April 28th

BARRY LEACH

(Jazz) 8-11, No Cover Friday, April 29th

THE JUVENATORS (Blues) 9-1, $10 Cover

Saturday, April 30th

THE FEARLESS FOUR (Funk) 9-1, $10 Cover

119 S. President Street 601.352.2322 www.Underground119.com

jacksonfreepress.com

venuelist

33


DIVERSIONS|sports

by Bryan Flynn

PULL FOR RONALD MCDONALD DailyHOUSE LunchCHARITIES Specials - $9 The McDonald house is a temporary “home away from home” for families with seriously ill children being treated at nearby hospitals.

Order a canned beverage. Give the tab to your server. Help a child in need. BUDLITE, MILLERLITE, BUDWEISER, COORSLITE

Daily Lunch Specials $9

Happy Hour Everyday 4pm-7pm

LATE NIGHT HAPPY HOUR Sunday - Thursday 10pm - 12am

2-FOR-1, YOU CALL IT!

601.978.1839

6270 Old Canton Rd. Jackson, MS 39211

LUNCH SPECIALS EVERY DAY starting at $7.95

VOTED BEST SPORTS BAR AND BEST JUKEBOX! - BEST OF JACKSON 2011 -

WED. APRIL 20 LADIES NIGHT & KARAOKE

THUR. APRIL 21 MEET THE

PATRIOTS LIVE MUSIC

FRI. APRIL 22

THUR. APRIL 21 5PM-7PM

SAT. APRIL 23

MEET THE

BLACK WOLF BEER BUCKET SPECIAL

PATRIOTS

SUN. APRIL 24 JACKSON'S SEMI-PRO FOOTBALL TEAM NBA BASKETBALL

BEER BUCKET SPECIAL + 1/2 OFF BLOODY MARYS

MON. APRIL 25 IN-DA-BIZ NITE 2-FOR-1 SPECIAL TUES. APRIL 26

April 20 - 26, 2011

JACKPOT TRIVIA

34

GIVEAWAYS -AUTOGRAPHED FOOTBALL-SEASON TICKETS-HOME OPENER TICKETS-JERSEY-

TUMI 1983

On the Water

D

avid Moore is a hard guy to miss. Driving up in his red SUV, the two kayaks on top draw your eyes automatically. Even more striking is Moore himself, who, at 48, is built like a 20-year-old. Moore is a New Jersey transplant who is discovering Mississippi’s kayaking and canoeing world. He stands out even more on the water being one of the few black competitors in a nearly allwhite sport. His love affair with the water began at an early age. His mother introduced him to canoeing when he was growing up in New Brunswick, N.J., on the Delaware River. Moore bought his first canoe in 1979 with $500 worth of quarters and still has it today. But even though Moore got his first taste of canoeing early, it took some time before he jumped to the sport full force. Moore spent 28 years in the Navy and is still on active status. He waited until 1998 to buy his first kayak. He met kayakers who introduced him to the sport in his travels around the country while in the Navy and then in civilian life. Today, he works as a supply chain manager for Siemens Energy. His first race was in Houston, Texas, in 1996. Moore has raced competitively all over the country including in Georgia, Louisiana and Connecticut. One of his favorite races that he competes in nearly every year is the Blackburn Challenge in Gloucester, Mass. The race is named for Howard Blackburn, who lost several fingers and toes due to frostbite when he became separated from a fishing schooner during in a winter storm in 1883. Today, the 20-plus-mile race commemorates Blackburn’s incredible will to live over a five-day period. Moore points out this race “separates the men from the boys” racing against the “big ocean waves.” Anthropologists believe the Inuit people in arctic regions were first to use kayaks, built with wooden frames and covered sealskins. Today you can buy all types of kayaks made from plastic, fiberglass or Kevlar, to name a few of the materials used. As you can imagine, the prices of these kayaks range from as little as $300 to as much as $4,000 each. In Moore’s opinion, the best boat out there is the Surfski. One of Moore’s favorite boats (he has nine) is named Pudding. He built it from a kit with modifications. Pudding got her name from Moore’s wife Jennifer Brown, who thought the paint he was using looked like pudding. Moore’s daughter, Amira, uses Pudding when they are on the water together. Moore has a few tips for those looking to buy a kayak on a budget. First, go to an outfitter to find out what type of kayak is best for you. Next, search the classifieds and Craigslist for a used kayak or canoe. Finding the right boat is important. Moore says that longer boats are faster, and the width of the boat determines both speed and stability. The narrower the boat, the faster it is, but it loses stability. This is the same for the bottom of the boat: Boats with rounder bot-

First used by the Inuit people in the Arctic, modern kayaks come in all shapes and sizes.

toms are faster, but also unstable. Moore also stresses the importance of wearing a personal flotation device while out on the water, and it’s important, he says, for newbies to the sport to understand water conditions. Using the Mississippi River as an example, he explained that the river is deceptively fast with numerous eddies and currents. Before going out on any river, Moore says, it is best to know the sections you’ll paddle in, your skill level and the river conditions. Moore is a strong competitor on the water, placing first in his class at the recent Battle on the Bayou March 12, which consisted of roughly 9.5 miles over black-water bayou through estuarine marsh and maritime forest. While canoeing and kayaking are physically demanding in race settings, Moore also enjoys the opportunities to see wildlife and nature he might miss in a motorized boat. Since coming to Mississippi, Moore has founded an informal canoeing and kayaking club of three men and three women, but hopes to see the sport grow. Moore can be found practicing his craft on the reservoir with fellow club members. For information on the yet-to-be-named club, contact Moore at paddlebiker@comcast.net or Kelly McGinnis at kmcginnis6@msn.com, or phone 601-238-4655.

Paddling Races Check out these nearby events: • 30th Annual Outdoors Canoe and Kayak Race May 7 in Memphis, Tenn., on the Mississippi River. Visit tinyurl. com/3vt2sba. • Phatwater Challenge 42.5-mile event Oct. 8 in Natchez on the Mississippi River. Visit www.kayakmississippi.com.

Local Resources • Buffalo Peak Outfitters (Highland Village, 1300 E. Northside Drive, 601366-2557, www.buffalopeak.net). • RideSouth (105 Avalon Court, Brandon, 601-992-2490, www.ridesouth.com). • Visit www.visitmississippi.org for information on outdoor adventures.

Doctor S sez: Is it time to start paying attention to the NBA playoffs, yet? No. What about the NHL playoffs? Hell, no. THURSDAY, APRIL 21 College baseball, Ole Miss at Auburn (6 p.m., Auburn, Ala., ESPNU, 97.3 FM): The Rebels and Tigers get an early start on their Easter weekend series. … Southern at Jackson State (6 p.m., Jackson): The Tigers need to make up ground in the SWAC East. FRIDAY, APRIL 22 College baseball, South Carolina at Mississippi State (7 p.m., Starkville, ESPNU, 105.9 FM): Things don’t get easier for the Bulldogs with one of the nation’s top teams coming to town. SATURDAY, APRIL 23 College baseball, Ole Miss at Auburn (6 p.m., Auburn, Ala., CSS, 97.3 FM): The Rebels have an excellent chance of sweeping their second straight SEC series. As an added bonus, they should get back home before the Easter Bunny arrives … South Carolina at Mississippi State (6 p.m., Starkville, Fox Sports South): Did I mention that the Bulldogs are 2-7 against SEC East teams going into this weekend? SUNDAY, APRIL 24 NBA basketball, Eastern playoffs, Boston at New York (2:30 p.m., Ch. 16): By all rights, the Celtics should knock the Knicks out of playoffs today, but the Association brass wants NYC to keep watching the NBA. ... MLB baseball, Cincinnati at St. Louis (7 p.m., ESPN): No matter what the NL Central says now, these two are the only teams with a chance to win it. MONDAY, APRIL 25 Southern League baseball, Montgomery at Mississippi (7 p.m., Pearl, 103.9 FM): The M-Braves and Montgomery are fighting their way out of the SL South standings. TUESDAY, APRIL 26 College baseball, Tougaloo at Mississippi College (6 p.m., Clinton): The Bulldogs and Choctaws meet in MC’s regular-season finale. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27 Southern League baseball, Montgomery at Mississippi (7 p.m., Pearl, 103.9 FM): The Biscuits and M-Braves wrap up their series at the TeePee. The Slate is compiled by Doctor S when he ain’t tending the still. Everybody but revenooers should check out JFP Sports at www.jacksonfreepress.com.


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read more Body&Soul stories and the blog at jacksonfreepress.com

by Ronni Mott

Begin Today

T

If we do not change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed.” —Chinese Proverb

he first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, came in reaction to an oil spill. Today, bigger, more damaging man-made disasters have eclipsed the January 1969 blowout five miles from the beaches of Santa Clara, Calif. At the time, though, the debacle demanded America’s attention. More than 3 million gallons of crude oil pumped into the Pacific under Unocal’s drilling platform Alpha, washing waves of crude onto pristine beaches and killing untold numbers of seabirds, seals, dolphins and other marine life. Founded by former Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson, a Democrat, Earth Day became a rallying point for environmentalists of all stripes: Seemingly disparate groups fighting air and water pollution, toxic dumps, loss of habitat, species extinction and other damage to the environment found common ground and strength in numbers. An estimated 20 million Americans took part in that first Earth Day, marching, rallying and speaking out to protect the planet. It was the beginning of the modern environmental movement. “Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare po-

I

litical alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders,” the Earth Day Network website states. “The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.” Like so many authentic grassroots movements, the idea began with one person who was simply fed up with an untenable situation. Fortunately, as a U.S. senator, Nelson had a platform where he could reach millions. But it doesn’t take millions of people to make a difference. This 41st annual Earth Day gives us an opportunity to re-evaluate our commitment to a clean, healthy environment for our own benefit and that of future generations. One perfect place to begin is by understanding how our home and work environments and the products we use affect our health and the health of our planet. Each of us, in small and large ways, can make lasting contributions in the all-important effort to create and maintain a sustainable environment.

Greening Yourself

t’s easier than you think to go green. First, think local. Check out Rainbow Green Services inside the Fair Trade Handicrafts store at 2807 Old Canton Road for green products, books and all kinds of other resources. Rainbow Whole Foods, in addition to providing Jackson with healthy, organic foods for decades, has sections devoted to green, natural household products and another to cosmetics.

The Internet has tons of information readily available to help you make yourself and your home healthy and environmentally safe. Here are a few favorites: • Sustainable Baby Steps (www. sustainablebabysteps.com) • Big Green Purse (www.biggreenpurse. com) • Green Living (www.greenlivingonline. com)

Write stories that matter for the publications readers love to read.

April 20 - 26, 2011

The Jackson Free Press and BOOM Jackson are seeking hard-working freelance writers who strive for excellence in every piece. Work with editors who will inspire and teach you to tell sparkling stories. Enjoy workshops and freelancer events.

36

Impress
us.
Email
and
convince
us
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have
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and
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to:


valerie@jacksonfreepress.com

I

It’s In Your House

ndoor pollution can trigger allergic reactions such as sneezing, eye and skin irritation to causing asthma and other chronic problems even in otherwise healthy people. Here are some of the more common pollutants that you may find in your house and a few tips to deal with them. Molds just love a damp, warm environment to grow in, making Mississippi the ideal place for them to grow. The Centers for Disease Control recommend the following ways to prevent mold: • Keep humidity levels between 40 and 60 percent. • Use an air conditioner or a dehumidifier during humid months. • Be sure to provide adequate ventilation, including exhaust fans. • Add mold inhibitors to paint before application. • Clean bathrooms with mold-killing products. • Do not carpet bathrooms and basements. • Remove or replace previously soaked carpets and upholstery. If you already have a mold problem, fix any leaks first, then clean hard surfaces with soap and water, or a solution of one cup of bleach to a gallon of water. Find more information at www. cdc.gov/mold/. Lead paint is not a problem in homes built after 1978 (the U.S. banned the use of lead in paint that year), but most houses built before then probably still have some lead-based paint somewhere. Most at risk for lead poisoning are children aged 6 and younger. Once ingested, “lead can interfere with the production of blood cells and the absorption of calcium that bones need to grow healthy and strong,” according to the Nemours Foundation, a non-profit group dedicated to children’s health. If you have reason to suspect your home contains lead-based paint, have your children tested for lead exposure. Then, contact the Mississippi Department of Health at 601-576-7690 to find out how to have your home tested, too.

Here are a few other tips from Nemours’ Kids Health website (kidshealth.org): • Be wary of old plumbing. Homes built before 1970 may have copper pipes and lead solder. Only use cold water from your faucets for drinking and cooking, and let cold water run for 30 seconds before drinking it. • Keep your home and family clean. Wash your kids’ hands and toys frequently, and wipe any dust from surfaces with a wet cloth. • Provide sufficient iron and calcium and regular meals. For children exposed to lead, good nutrition can reduce the amount their bodies absorb. • Know where your kids play. Keep them away from busy roads and the underside of bridges. Chemicals found in many common household products can irritate and damage skin, eyes and lungs, and some can even be deadly. To rid your home of toxins, take on an Earth Day chemical purge, making sure to dispose of the products safely. Then, turn to natural products and solutions as you need them. If you must use hazardous chemical products, the CDC recommends the following safety tips (more at www.cdc.gov/ HomeandRecreationalSafety/Poisoning/ preventiontips): • Read the label before using a product that may be poisonous. • Keep chemical products in their original bottles or containers. Do not use food containers such as cups, bottles or jars to store chemical products. • Never mix household products together. For example, mixing bleach and ammonia can result in toxic gases. • Wear protective clothing (gloves, long sleeves, long pants, socks, shoes) if you spray pesticides or other chemicals. • Turn on a fan and open windows when using chemical products.




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37


GEOFF PETERS

dining

5A44 FX5X

by Robin O’Bryant

Carboholics Anonymous

I 4654 McWillie Dr., Jackson|Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 10AM-9PM Friday & Saturday 10AM-12AM, Sunday 11AM-5PM

t’s hard to admit, but it’s true. I love carbs, and I am nearly powerless against them. I need a support group. Carbs are my kryptonite. In a move that has shocked every member of my family, I made a resolution this year to eat healthier and to start exercising again, and I’ve actually done it. I started by cutting out all sweets, alcohol and bad, or simple, carbs. I said no to white potatoes and yes to sweet potatoes. I resisted white breads and embraced their ugly step-cousins—whole-wheat breads. It was difficult but not as hard as completely giving up carbs would have been. I’ve tried going cold turkey on carbs before, and I become consumed with thoughts of doughnuts, rice, potatoes and pasta. I spent my nights dreaming of brownies and cakes. For me to say I’m going to quit completely is to turn all of my thoughts to the one thing I am not supposed to think about. When I am dieting—and, oh, how I hate that word, even thinking the word “diet” makes me want to scarf down

my kid’s stale Halloween candy that has been stashed in a cabinet for six months—I want a pasta dish smothered in a warm creamy sauce, grilled chicken and maybe a little bacon mixed in. Who am I kidding? When I’m dieting, I dream about bacon. Bacon and chocolate. And sometimes, bacon with chocolate. I’ve got recipes that satisfy both cravings perfectly. The first recipe is the closest I’ve been able to come to my favorite dish at my preferred Italian restaurant. The second recipe is the most perfect chocolate pie I’ve ever tasted. My great-grandmother used to make it for my mother and my grandmother made it for me. Not only is it the perfect combination of smooth, creamy and chocolatey, it is also simple to prepare. Chances are good that you can make it out of ingredients already tucked in your pantry. Just because I can’t eat carbs right now, doesn’t mean you have to be deprived as well.

MAW’S CHOCOLATE PIE

1 cup whole milk 1 cup sugar 2 tablespoons rounded cocoa 2 rounded tablespoons flour 1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon vanilla 3 egg yolks One baked pie shell Whipped cream to top

Mix ingredients together, and cook in a double boiler until it thickens, whisking constantly. It will take around 10 to 15 minutes for custard to thicken. Let the custard cool, then pour into pie shell. Refrigerate until chilled. Top with whipped cream before serving.

CARB LOVERS PENNE HEAVEN

April 20 - 26, 2011

2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 1/2 tablespoons butter 1 cup half-and-half 1 cup of milk 1/4 cup white wine 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt 1 teaspoon dried dill 1 teaspoon dried rosemary 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/2 teaspoon paprika Black pepper to taste 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated 1/3 cup cheddar, grated 1 bag of pre-cleaned baby spinach (optional, but a great way to sneak in some veggies— you really can’t taste it) 4 slices of bacon, cooked until crisp then chopped (use a large pan because you will use the same pan to make the sauce) 3 cloves of minced garlic 1 14.5-ounce box of penne pasta (I use wholewheat pasta so I don’t feel as guilty)

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2 grilled chicken breasts, chopped (If you don’t have leftover grilled chicken, marinate a couple of breasts in Italian dressing straight out of the bottle for an hour, then cook chicken on the stovetop until it is no longer pink and the juices run clear.)

Prepare pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside. Cook bacon for several minutes on mediumhigh heat in a large pan. Just before it becomes crisp, add the minced garlic. Cook until bacon is crisp and garlic is golden but not overly brown. Burned garlic is extremely bitter. Drain excess grease off bacon, remove from pan, chop and set it aside. In the same pan you used to cook the bacon, add butter until melted, then add flour to form a roux. Whisk

the flour into the butter while cooking on medium heat. Do not allow the butter to brown. As the butter and flour thicken, add the milk, half-and-half and wine slowly, continuing to whisk. Add in herbs and spices, then add the cheeses slowly, stirring constantly as they melt. Slowly add the baby spinach, stirring as it wilts into the sauce. In a large bowl, toss cooked pasta, chopped chicken, bacon and sauce, stirring to coat. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and pour pasta mixture into the dish. Sprinkle with a little Parmesan, cheddar and paprika. Bake at 400 degrees until bubbly and the cheese on top of the dish melts, approximately 15-20 minutes. Serves six to eight.

FROM OUR ROASTERY, TO YOUR CUP. voted best coffeeshop in jackson 2003-2010


%*/&+BDLTPO Paid listyour yourrestaurant.r restaurant.r Paid advertising advertising section. section. Call Call 601-362-6121 601-362-6121 x11 x1 totolist

STEAK, SEAFOOD & FINE DINING

Crabâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (6954 Old Canton Rd., Ridgeland, 601-956-5040) Crabâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Seafood Shack offers a wide variety of southern favorites such as fried catfish and boiled shrimp. Full bar complete with multiple televisions for all of your favorite sporting events. Eslavaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Grille (2481 Lakeland Drive, 601-932-4070) Danny Eslavaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s namesake feature Latin-influenced dishes like ceviche in addition to pastas, steaks, salads and other signature seafood dishes. Rockyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (1046 Warrington Road, Vicksburg 601-634-0100) Enjoy choice steaks, fresh seafood, great salads, hearty sandwiches and much more in the â&#x20AC;&#x153;polished casualâ&#x20AC;? dining room. Open 24/7 in the Riverwalk Casino. Parker House (104 South East Madison Drive, Ridgeland 601-856-0043) European and Creole take on traditional Southern ingredients. Crawfish, oysters, crab and steaks dominate, with creative option like Crab Mac â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;n Cheese, Oysters Rockefeller and Duck Jezebel.

BARBEQUE

Hickory Pit Barbeque (1491 Canton Mart Rd. 601-956-7079) The â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best Butts in Townâ&#x20AC;? features BBQ chicken, beef and pork sandwiches along with burgers and poâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;boys. Haute Pig (1856 Main Street, 601-853-8538) A â&#x20AC;&#x153;very high class pig stand,â&#x20AC;? Haute Pig offers Madison diners BBQ plates, sandwiches, po-boys, salads, and their famous Hershey bar pie. Lumpkins BBQ (182 Raymond Rd. Jackson 866-906-0942) Specializing in smoked barbeque, Lumpkinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s offers all your favorites for on-site family dining or for catered events, including reunions, office events, annivesaries, weddings and more.

COFFEE HOUSES

Cups Espresso CafĂŠ (Multiple Locations, www.cupsespressocafe.com) Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s local group of coffeehouses offer high-end Arabica beans, a wide variety of espresso drinks. Wi-fi. Wired Espresso CafĂŠ (115 N State St 601-500-7800) This downtown coffeehouse is a true gathering place, featuring great coffee and a selection of breakfast, lunch and pastry items. Wi-fi.

PIZZA

The Pizza Shack (1220 N State St. 601-352-2001) 2009 and 2010 and 2011â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s winner of Best Pizza offers the perfect pizza-and-a-beer joint. Creative pizza options abound along with sandwiches, wings, salads and even BBQ. Sal & Mookieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (565 Taylor St. 601-368-1919) Pizzas of all kinds plus pasta, eggplant parmesan and the local favorite: fried ravioli. Best Kidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Menu & Best Ice Cream in the 2011 Best of Jackson. Plus, Pi(e) Lounge in front offers great drinks... and a grown-up vibe.

MEDITERRANEAN/GREEK/INDIAN

Petra CafĂŠ (2741 Old Canton Road, 601-925-0016) Mediterranean and Lebanese Cuisine. Everything from Stuffed Grape Leaves, to Spinach Pie, Shrimp Kabobs, Greek Salads, Hummus and more. Now Open in Fondren! Aladdin Mediterranean Grill (730 Lakeland Drive 601-366-6033) Delicious authentic dishes including lamb dishes, hummus, falafel, kababs, shwarma and much more. Consistent award winner, great for takeout or for long evenings with friends. Bombay Bistro (3716 I-55 N - 601-487-8370) Bombay Bistro is Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s newest source for authentic, tasty Indian food. Their lunch buffet runs everyday and features an assortment of Kebobs, Kurries, and Naan for only $7.99. Dinner options abound, with fresh ingredients, authentic spices and big-city flair. Kristos (971 Madison Ave @ Hwy 51, Madison, 601-605-2266) Home of the famous Greek meatball! Hummus, falafel, dolmas, pita sandwiches, salads, plus seasoned curly fries (or sweet potato fries) and amazing desserts. Mezza (1896 Main St., Suite A, Madison 601-853-0876) Mediterranean cuisine and wood fired brick oven pizzas. Come experience the beautiful patio, Hookahs, and delicious food. Beer is offered and you are welcome to bring your own wine. Vasilios (828 Hwy 51 in Madison 601-853-0028) Authentic Greek dining featuring fresh seafood daily along with gyros, greek salads, appetizers and signature Mediterranean desserts. Their redfish is a standout, earning rave reviews.

www.thepizzashackjackson.com

<2:=1/B7=< =>3<7<5A==< Colonial Mart Shopping Center Off Old Canton Rd Behind Great Harvest Bread Co. 5046 Parkway Drive

!! WINNER !! BEST PIZZA IN JACKSON 2009 - 2011

Dine-In / Carry-Out

Mon - Thur: 11am-10pm Fri - Sat: 11am-11pm Sun: 11am - 9pm

601-352-2001 1220 N. State St.

(across from Baptist Medical Center)

CATERING AVAILABLE

jacksonfreepress.com

ITALIAN

BRAVO! (4500 Interstate 55 N., Jackson, 601-982-8111) Wood-fired pizzas, vegetarian fare, plus creative pastas, beef, and seafood specials. Award-winning wine list, Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s see-and-be-seen casual/upscale dining. Ceramiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (5417 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, 601-919-28298) Southern-style Italian cuisine features their signature Shrimp Cerami (white wine sauce, capers artichokes) along with veal, tilapia, crawfish, chicken and pasta dishes. Now with liquor license! Fratesiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (910 Lake Harbour, Ridgeland, 601-956-2929) â&#x20AC;&#x153;Authentic, homey, unpretentiousâ&#x20AC;? thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s how the regulars describe Fratesiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, a staple in Jackson for years, offering great Italian favorites with loving care. The tiramisu is a must-have!

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Paid advertising section.

%*/&+BDLTPO

BARS, PUBS & BURGERS Brady’s Bar and Grill (6720 Old Canton Rd., Ridgeland, 601-812-6862) Everything you’d expect from a bar and grill, from classic pub fare to their Krispy Sweet Pepper Chicken. Burgers, seafood baskets, salads, steaks and lunch specials. And, ladies get one free Apple Martini or Cosmo during Brady’s Thursday Ladies Night! 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. Plate lunches, cheesy fries and tons more, including a full bar and friendly favorites. Cool Al’s (4654 McWillie, 601-713-3020) A Best of Jackson fixture, Cool Al’s signature stacked, messy, decadent, creative burgers defy adjectives. And don’t forget the fries! Fenian’s Pub (901 E. Fortification St. 601-948-0055) Classic Irish pub featuring a menu of traditional food, pub sandwiches and beers such as Guinness and Harp on tap. Stamps Superburgers (1801 Dalton Street 601-352-4555) Huge burgers will keep you full until the next day! The homestyle fries are always fresh. 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 of Jackson winner for Live Music Venue for multiple years running. Last Call (3716 I-55 N. Frontage Road 601-713-2700) Burgers, sandwiches and poboys, plus sports-bar appetizers and specialities. Pay-per-view sporting events, live bands. Martin’s Restaurant and Lounge (214 South State Street 601-354-9712) Lunch specials, pub appetizers (jalapeno poppers, cheezsticks, fried pickles) or order from the full menu of po-boys and entrees. Full bar, massive beer selection and live music most nights. Time Out Sports Café (6720 Old Canton Road 601-978-1839) 14 TVs, 1 projector and two big-screens. Daily $9 lunch specials, pub-style appetizers, burgers, seafood and catfish po-boys, salads, and hot entrees including fish, steak and pasta. Ole Tavern on George Street (416 George St. 601-960-2700) Pub food with a southern flair: beer-battered onion rings, chicken & sausage gumbo, salads, sandwiches and weekly lunch specials. Plus, happy hour 4-7pm Monday through Friday. Poets Two (1855 Lakeland Drive, Suite H-10, 601-364-9411) Pub fare at its finest. Crabcake minis, fried dills, wings, poppers, ultimate fries, sandwiches, po-boys, pasta entrees and steak. The signature burgers come in bison, kobe, beef or turkey! Sportsman’s Lodge (1120 E Northside Dr. in Maywood Mart 601-366-5441) Voted Best Sports Bar in 2010, Sportman’s doesn’t disappoint with plenty of gut-pleasing sandwiches, fried seafood baskets, sandwiches and specialty appetizers. Underground 119 (119 South President St. 601-352-2322) Jumbo lump crabcakes, crab quesadillas, beef tenderloin parfaits, orange-garlic shrimp, even “lollipop” lamb chops. Add a full bar and mix in great music. Opens 4 p.m.-until, Wed-Sat. Wing Stop (952 North State Street, 601-969-6400) Saucing and tossing wings in a choice of nine flavors, Wingstop wings are made with care and served up piping hot. Every order is made fresh to order; check out the fresh cut seasoned fries!

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 stirfrys using fresh ingredients and great sauces.

SOUTHERN CUISINE

Two Sisters Kitchen (707 N. Congress St. 601-353-1180) 2010 Best of Jackson winner for fried chicken offers a sumptious buffet of your choice of veggies, a salad bar, iced tea & one of three homemade desserts. Lunch only. Mon-Friday, Sun.

BAKERY

April 20 - 26, 2011

Broad Street Bakery (4465 Interstate 55 N. 601-362-2900) Hot breakfast,coffee espresso drinks, fresh breads and pastries, gourmet deli sandwiches, quiches, soups, pizzas and dessert. Primos Cafe (2323 Lakeland 601-936-3398/ 515 Lake Harbour 601-898-3400) A Jackson institution featuring a full breakfast, blue-plate specials, catfish, burgers, prime rib, oysters, po-boys and wraps. Save room for something from their famous bakery! For Heaven’s Cakes (4950 Old Canton Road 601-991-2253) Cakes and cupcakes for all occasions including weddings, parties, catered events. Beagle Bagel (4500 I-55 North, Suite 145, Highland Village 769-251-1892) Mmmm... Bagels. Fresh bagels in tons of different styles with a variety of toppings including cream cheese, lox, eggs, cheese, meats and or as full sandwiches for lunch. Paninis, wraps and much more!

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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 strict vegetarian (and very-vegan-friendly) restaurant.


Eslava’s Grille Seafood, Steaks and Pasta

Thanks For Voting Us BEST FRENCH FRIES IN JACKSON!

Jackson

1801 Dalton Street (601) 352-4555

By popular demand, we have added Shrimp Scampi to our menu!

Byram

5752 Terry Road (601) 376-0081

Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Danilo Eslava Caceres, Executive Chef/GM 2481 Lakeland Drive Flowood, MS 39232

VASILIOS

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

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BRUNCH

11 a.m. - 2 p.m. 707 N Congress St., Jackson | 601-353-1180 Open 11am-2pm, Sunday thru Friday

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.. |  H M

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A Metro-Area Tradition Since 1977

Lunch: Fri. & Sun. | 11am-2pm Dinner: Tues. -Sat. | 5pm-9pm

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

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PA I D A DV E RT I S E M E N T

et the sushi wars begin! One bite of one of the many Grand Champion Sumo rolls at Fatsumo Sushi, the newest restaurant in Fondren, will tell you this isn’t your average sushi experience. From the “Mile High Roll” featuring fresh tuna, mango, jalapeno, cucumber, and crab, to the “Spicy Peppertail Roll” brimming with squid and seaweed salad and finished with yellow tail and spicy ponzu, there is no limit to the creativity and culinary mastery that goes into every roll. Fatsumo Sushi Fatsumo Sushi is the dream come true for owner and executive chef Scott Menika. Born in Seoul, South Korea and entered into the United States through the Holt International Foundation for Children in 1973, Menika was adopted by loving parents and raised in Michigan. A lifelong lover of food and cooking, Menika entered the prestigious Culinary Institute of America at the age of 19. His love for food and his passion for quality drives Menika to constantly improve himself. “I am only as good as the last meal that comes out of the kitchen,” is the slogan he lives by. Don’t be turned off by Fatsumo if you aren’t a sushi person; there is definitely something for everyone. From the surf and turf, served with bacon-wrapped shrimp, to pan fried yaki noodles, you will leave full; just make sure you leave room for dessert. To call the featured dessert, Fatsumo puffs, a Japanese beignet on flavor-injected steroids is an understatement. The puffs are nothing short of fantastic. One order is simply not enough. For those tried-and-true sushi buffs who have craved exotic, taste-tantalizing rolls found only in the great sushi bars of larger cities, just you wait. “The Black Book” rolls will soon be unveiled. But the current menu will leave both the sushi samurai and the novice satisfied and craving more. The “Lightweight Sumos” offer rolls any palate would enjoy, such as the classic California roll and the spicy tuna roll. “Middleweight Sumos” pack a bit more punch, offering salmon, tuna, spider, and rainbow rolls, just to name a few. From there, go big time with one of 11 “Grand Champion Rolls,” sure to be a body slam for any sushi lover. Of course the knock-out Nigiri and Sashimi menu will pin one to the matt. From raw options like salmon, yellowtail, escolar, squid, and the whitefish of the day, to cooked, roe, and combo options, even the most seasoned sushi warrior will find a sure victory in Fatsumo. For the Samurai-in-training, Fatsumo offers Fatsumo puppies (mini corn dogs with French fries) and Fatsumo nuggets (chicken nuggets with ranch dressing). Add to all this great service, outdoor seating, and a winning sake and full bar, Fatsumo is the new go-to spot in Fondren. So, for the skinny on American sushi make your way to Fatsumo Sushi located at 3100 N. State Street.

jacksonfreepress.com

2003-2011, Best of Jackson

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SUNDAY

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• Fresh Seafood Daily

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AUTHENTIC GREEK DINING

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by Julie Skipper

Hands-On Action

JULIE SKIPPER

Intern at the JFP

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

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• Internet • Graphic Design • Communications: Marketing/Events/PR

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

April 20 - 26, 2011

Lydia West looks lady like and chic in layered pearls and fun flutter sleeves at One Blu Wall Gallery during Arts, Eats & Beats in Fondren.

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for once, to do the cooking myself. Since my friend Elizabeth Fowler often shares her homemade meals with me, I invited her to join me for the Superfoods Wine Dinner. The facility is great, and our instructor provided lots of helpful tips as we teamed up to complete our recipes. We all felt more confident in the kitchen by the end, even if we were in a hurry to finish. If you take a class, be warned: They don’t give you the wine until you’re finished cooking. (I suppose it has to do with the knives and open-flame thing.) Because the classes are interactive, and you all eat together at the end, it’s a chance to meet some new, interesting people. For instance, in our class, we met Jim and Vickie, a couple who had to hurry home to tend to their rescued cockatoos that were sitting on eggs. Knife skills and an unintentional lesson in aviaries—quite an evening! As if that weren’t enough, I added a little music by heading to Underground 119 (I do their social media) to hear George Porter and got a bonus: Fingers Taylor sat in. Musicians often unexpectedly join their friends who are playing there, which is always a fun surprise— it’s like a two-for-one. What’s better? After a night of working for my dinner at the cooking school, I was ready to let the food and drink be prepared for me. Luckily, one of my favorite events, Sante South, was on the agenda. This annual fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association brought more than 30 vintners from around the world, along with some awesome restaurants, to The South Warehouse. I was happy to run into Tasho Katsaboulis of Kats Wine and Spirits and Robert Arender (aka the Drink Whisperer) from Parlor Market, who pointed me in the direction of some must-try bottles. I also saw some interesting fashion in the crowd— lots of spring dresses and color. One of my favorites was John Madden sporting Nantucket Reds pants—because spring is a great time to go preppy.

JULIE SKIPPER

I

t’s a rather poorly kept secret that one reason I’m out and about so much is that I don’t cook and, well, a girl’s gotta eat. While I am an avid fan of culinary arts, the extent of my fandom is appreciation. As a practitioner, I fail miserably. Case in point: I met a neighbor who needed to borrow some flour with a perplexed look and this response: “Why on earth would I have flour?” Luckily, this week was all about food and drink—and I even decided to try a little hands-on action. The Viking Cooking School in Ridgeland provided a perfect opportunity,

Tammy Paige welcomes spring by enjoying outdoor seating at Parlor Market while sporting cool neutrals.

Keeping with what seemed to be a trend of trying new things—cooking, new wines—I was excited to grab my friends the Karaoke Kids and the TV Reporter and head over to Fondren to check out Fatsumo Sushi and Martini, the new restaurant in Fondren Place. A good crowd of locals was dining in—I spotted a lawyer friend, another downtowner, and hip hairstylist Suzanne Moak—and the restaurant has a cool atmosphere (my crew particularly enjoyed the blue light fixtures). Although the drink menu isn’t yet complete, bartender Stephanie Clark took great care of us (one of my companions particularly enjoyed the unique twist of cucumber juice in her cosmo), and Chef Scott was completely gracious. And in exciting news for fans of patios and sunshine, Fatsumo has plans to add outdoor seating in short order. Which brings me back to where I started—enjoying good company and a good atmosphere. I’ll just file those recipes away under “good information to have,” but keep going out to eat.


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