Vol. 9 | No. 39 // June 8-14, 2011
6 1 4 1 p p , y e s m a R
e u s s I d o o F er m m u - The S m Fish to Quinoa, pp 17-26 From
SIMMONS PENDLETON, P 41
CHIC AT SHOWERS SULLIVAN, P 42
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June 8-14, 2011
Jackson’s Premier Mindful Spirit Expo! Holistic and Alternative Healing Fair Come learn about : * Intuitive Services * Business and Life Coach * Crystal Healing * Sound Therapy * Empowered Childbirth Education * Organic Living * All Natural Herbal Body Products * Yoga * Essential Oils * Aura Photography * Acupuncuture and Oriental medicine and more...
Medical Intuitive and Vibrational Mediator Pattie Conklitn
Intuitive Counselor, Healer and Author Jamie Roth
$10 for weekend entry to exhibits $20 for full speaker line up $25/Both Exhibitors and Speakers (save $5) Mississippi School of Therapeutic Massage *All speakers live webcasted, you watch from 1935 Lakeland Drive home: Cost:$20 for Sat/Sun. www.intuitiveencounters.com to purchase tickets
June 8 - 14, 2011
9 N O . 39
contents ADAM LYNCH
6 Vote Smart On June 25, Jackson will host Politix in the Park, a Neshoba County-style political event. FILE PHOTO
Cover photograph by Tom Ramsey
Youth advocates sue Hinds County over Henley-Young. Supervisors say they didn’t know.
peyton johnson collins
31 Asking for It Arts organizations innovate to personalize fundraising efforts in the recession.
32 Get a Clue “Clueless” Alicia Silverstone pens “The Kind Diet.” It’s kind to your body and to the planet.
came to shop, to go to a nice restaurant or to hear a concert. Collins and Maxwell grow heirloom tomatoes and melons, greens, lettuces, beans, squashes, okra, pumpkins and many other crops as the seasons change. They sell what they grow at farmers markets such as the Mississippi Farmers Market and distribute to local restaurants such as Mimi’s Family and Friends. Having worked in production agriculture, Collins knows the sacrifices of growing vegetables on a large scale: taste and texture are secondary to easy production. She almost cried after eating her first homegrown Brandywine tomato, she says, because it was so good. When she talks about the future of the farm, Collins’ eyes light up. As she retrieves whatever Jack has picked up from the floor and is about to put into his mouth, she lists a dizzying array of vegetables she and Maxwell are growing this season: 20 varieties of tomatoes including large red, Cherokee purple and mortgage lifter (invented by a radiator repairman); watermelons, cantaloupes, moon and stars, black diamond and crimson street melons; and a historic “cutshort greasy bean” as well as rattlesnake and Louisiana purple beans. She wants to improve the soil she grows on and figure out how to irrigate uphill from a farm pond. She also worries about weeds. “If anyone has an organic solution to nutsedge,” she adds, “I’m game.” —Richard Coupe
Peyton Johnson Collins calls herself a high-heeled hippie. A wife, mother of two young children and a part-time employee at Lakeland Yard and Garden Center, Collins operates an almost 15,000-square-foot vegetable garden on a farm just north of Clinton. She works on her garden in her spare time with her friend and gardening partner Don Maxwell. “We are the labor,” she says. Wearing an orange blouse, a white taffeta skirt and, of course, high heels at our interview, the Tchula native and Pillow Academy graduate talks enthusiastically as she describes her gardening operation. Without missing a beat, she pulls her 6-year-old son Jack off the coffee-shop table and explains her quest to farm organically. “The only way not to use insecticides is to grow enough vegetables for you and the bugs,” she says. While not certifiably organic, Collins and Maxwell’s philosophy is to be sustainable, use local materials and grow for taste minimizing chemical use. After a fitful start to her higher education, Collins earned three degrees from Mississippi State University: a bachelor’s degree in history in 1992 and master’s degrees in horticulture and landscape architecture in 1995 and 2005, respectively. Her degrees come in handy for growing her own produce. She and her husband, Ben, have lived and worked in many different communities but she says Jackson is home. She explains that even when her family lived in Tchula and later Natchez, Jackson was where they
4 ............. Editor’s Note 4 ................... Slowpoke 6 ........................... Talks 12 ................... Editorial 12 ................. Kamikaze 12 ..................... Stiggers 12 ......................... Zuga 13 ................... Opinion 31 ................ Diversions 32 ....................... Books 33 ...................... 8 Days 36 ....................... Music 37 .......... Music Listings 39 .................. Astrology 41 ..................... Hitched 42 ......... FLY/Shopping
Tom Ramsey Tom Ramsey is a lobbyist, former investment banker and tobacco executive who teaches private cooking lessons, writes poetry, runs with the bulls and produced an album or two. He owns Ivy & Devine Culinary Group. He wrote and photographed the cover story.
Richard Coupe Richard Coupe, avid fan of “the beautiful game,” soccer, is a husband, brother and father of four. He is still wondering what he wants to be when he grows up. He wrote the Jacksonian.
Barbara Travis Barbara Travis owns MarketLynx Consulting, focusing on small business, economic and community development projects. Her articles frequently appear in community newspapers, local and regional magazines. She wrote an arts feature.
Rose Pendleton Rose Pendleton is a bitter, yet naive girl from Delaware trying to make it in the world, who ends up falling over herself in the process. Rose loves video games, long walks on the beach and anything associated with food. She wrote Hitched.
Brianna White Editorial intern Brianna White is an avid sports fan who loves Harry Potter and Mandarin Chinese. Everyone thinks she would make a great doctor, which means she’ll become a writer. She wrote a food feature.
Callie Daniels Editorial intern Callie Daniels is a native Mississippian, although her accent sounds vaguely Lithuanian. Her crowning glory, aka her curly hair, identifies her. If you got a story, tell her. She absolutely loves them. She wrote a food feature.
Amelia Senter Editorial intern Amelia Senter attends Tulane University in New Orleans and is a Jackson native. She wrote a food feature.
June 8-14, 2011
Editorial intern Jonnett Johnson is a super cool senior at the University of Southern Mississippi, majoring in journalism with a minor in English. She hopes one day to become a real-life Carrie Bradshaw. She wrote a food feature.
by Lacey McLaughlin, News Editor
hen I was a child, I would wait with maddening anticipation for Friday night. That’s when my dad would pick me up for the night shift at Doubles Pizza, the restaurant he owned. I would dutifully put on a tiny red apron, grab a stepladder and sprinkle fresh ingredients on soft, white pizza dough. Though I never got paid (and I’m sure it raised concerned customers’ eyebrows about child labor laws), this was the best job I ever had. Watching a piece of dough roll through the oven and transform into a golden, cheesy pizza was the coolest thing I can remember seeing with my 5-year-old eyes. But what I loved most about Doubles Pizza was the impact it had on our small Florida beach town. You didn’t need to make plans with friends to go out to eat. Even though this was before cell phones, you just knew you would see everyone you cared about if you just went to Doubles. In elementary school, my class would take an annual field trip to Doubles, and we would get to make our own pizzas (I was kind of a pizza-making pro at that point but I can assure you, I was humble about my skills). One Valentine’s Day, my dad really got in the spirit and delivered heart-shaped pizzas to all our family and friends. Eventually, Dad’s entrepreneurial fever hit, and he started other ventures such as a 1950s-style diner and a steak delivery restaurant, but nothing ever topped Doubles Pizza as far as I’m concerned. Now, more than 20 years later, when I visit Dad in Destin, Fla., he takes out his old pizza screens, fresh basil, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and peppers, and recreates those memories for me. I still stand in awe as I watch him toss the dough in the air like a Frisbee and catch it with the other hand. Recently, I got my first bread machine and spent an entire Saturday night in good company learning how to make dough and transforming it into beautiful pizzas. For me, making pizza is tied to wonderful memories and tradition—a tradition I will pass on to my own family someday. Last night, I attended PM Burger—an event that will likely go down in Jackson culinary history—and memories of my dad’s old pizza store came flooding back. When I heard that Parlor Market was transforming itself into a burger joint for one night only, I felt like doing cartwheels. Most everyone (minus vegetarians) can agree: Burgers are awesome. And a Parlor Market burger? Very awesome. But as I dug into my pimento burger (a classic burger topped with spicy bacon and chipotle pimento cheese) and Irish Car Bomb Shake (Guiness ice cream, shot of Jameson, and Bailey’s whipped cream), it wasn’t so much about the food. It was about
the novelty and memories I will always associate with that night. My favorite people in Jackson came together in one place to eat, drink and celebrate Jackson’s revitalization. To be exact, more than 600 of my favorite people came downtown on a Monday night in a city that fearmongers declare is crime-ridden, to eat burgers. Even if just briefly, we were all united by two things: our love of burgers and Jackson. If you need a reason to be excited about the city, I can’t think of a better example.
It is no secret to Mississippians that something as simple as food can bring us together. While I feel a twinge of regret for not ordering the Funbarrel Fork and Knife Footlong, I will look fondly at the PM Burger menu I took home (now hanging on my office wall) and think, “Jackson, you are awesome.” Pop-up restaurants aside, I feel like I have witnessed a local-food revolution in Jackson over the past two years with the emergence of new community gardens and farmers markets. This month, the midtown community and south Jackson hosted their first-ever farmers markets. Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr.’s community garden initiative is in full swing, and young people are getting the chance to grow their own food and eat healthy.
Several areas in Jackson are food deserts, where not everyone has access to a grocery story, much less local, fresh produce within walking distance (or even reasonable driving distance) from their home. But we are making progress, and I’m encouraged by organizations such as Mississippi Roadmap to Health Equity and The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi, organizations that are getting out into communities and fostering a grass-roots approach to healthy eating. On a trip to Lafayette, La., this spring, I stayed with a couple who vowed to only eat food grown within a 100-mile radius of their home for a year. This idea isn’t new, but the effort they had to make to find things like honey and flour was amazing. (It’s a lot like trying to locate items on the black market: You have to know a guy, who knows a guy, who knows a guy.) The couple said that what they had taken away from the experience was how well they got to know the people they bought food from. They began to learn about how to eat in season, and they shared many stories about the food they bought from local farmers. I’m contemplating doing a similar experiment in Jackson. I would really like to make it a challenge more people will consider, and maybe we can take part in it together. It is no secret to Mississippians that something as simple as food can bring us together. We love our potlucks and Sunday dinners and time spent with family and friends. I often end these editor’s notes with a call to action, and this one seems by far the easiest and most fun: Support our local food economy, our farmers and businesses, and watch our city prosper.
The official kick-off to the new growing season and a special welcome back to the Mississippi Farmers Market!
Saturday, June 11, 2011 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Featuring: • A bounty of the freshest fruits and vegetables • Works from local artisans • Fresh baked goods and specialty foods • Market-to-Menu cooking demonstration by James Roache’ of Ro’ Chez restaurant • Complementary ice cream from Blue Bell • Coffee brewing demo and complimentary sampling from Paul Bonds of BeanFruit Coffee Co. • Live entertainment from local musician Bob Gates • Kids activities • Our Potato Heads Gone “Sweet” contest…think Sweet Potato Sweeties, Spud Buds, Tater Tots, Tuber Troops, Solo Sweets
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news, culture & irreverence
Horny goat weed, a leafy plant native to Asia and the Mediterranean region, is an aphrodisiac. A Chinese goat herder discovered it when he noticed an increase in sexual activity in his flock after they ingested the weed.
Rejecting ‘Horse Race’ Politicking
by Adam Lynch
Wednesday, June 1 New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo pulls out of a federal fingerprinting program aimed at deporting undocumented immigrants after increasing criticism from state governments. … Mississippi lieutenant governor candidates Billy Hewes and Tate Reeves discuss education issues during a public forum.
JPS Superintendent Lonnie Edwards’ days could be numbered. p 10
Thursday, June 2 Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney announces his bid for the 2012 republican presidential berth. … Alabama passes House Bill 56, the nation’s harshest immigration bill to date. Friday, June 3 Dr. Jack Kevorkian dies at 83. The medical pathologist, one of the strongest advocates of assisted suicide, helped dozens of terminally ill people end their lives. … A federal grand jury indicts former Sen. John Edwards on charges that he used campaign contributions to conceal his mistress and their baby while running for vice-president in 2004. Saturday, June 4 The federal government approves more than $10.4 million in assistance for people in 29 Mississippi counties declared disaster areas because of April storms and tornadoes. Sunday, June 5 Potential presidential candidate Sarah Palin insists she made historically accurate remarks about Paul Revere’s ride after critics correct her version of events. … Gov. Haley Barbour alleges on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that President Obama has inflated gas prices during his administration so that Americans would use less of it.
June 8-14 2011
Monday, June 6 New York state Rep. Andrew Weiner tearfully admits to tweeting lewd pictures of himself to a follower. … Jackson attorneys Rob McDuff and J. Cliff Johnson argue before the Mississippi Supreme Court against the personhood initiative, which defines life as beginning at conception.
Tuesday, June 7 Gov. Haley Barbour announces that Elevance Renewable Sciences will expand a biofuels facility in the Delta to create 165 full-time jobs. Get daily news updates at jfpdaily.com.
These Jackson residents are trying to bring a Neshoba County Fair event to Jackson this month.
ackson residents are trying to bring a Neshoba County Fair-style festival to Jackson this month in hopes of circumventing piecemeal, sound-bite political coverage of upcoming races. Former NAACP Jackson President Gus McCoy and other politicos are putting together the June 25 event, Politix in the Park, at Koinonia Coffee House. Event organizers, who are inviting all candidates running in state and local offices, say the city of Jackson needs an event like this to get around what they consider to be incomplete
coverage offered though the Internet, television and newspapers. “The political climate we have right now comes from a sound-bite society,” McCoy said. “Instead of hearing political candidates in little pockets, we want to bring people out where they can actually see who’s running for office.” Participating candidates will each have a booth or table in the Koinonia parking lot, and can mingle with visitors and sell their political platform to voters. All participating candidates, however, must be ready to
expect a volley of questions from voters, reporters and local leaders regarding the lurid details of that platform. McCoy praised the public format of the famous Neshoba County Fair, but complained that no forum like that exists in the central part of the state or in Jackson. The Neshoba fair is recognized as a place for soapbox presentations to the public, but it also contains a fair amount of hand-shaking and individual meet-and-greet sessions that could make or break a candidacy. Former POLITIX, see page 7
Low Cal? Not So Much.
f you think that eating the equivalent of hay and leaves is the way to avoid calories, think again. Here’s a look at some “diet” foods you may think are low-calorie.
• Avocados. This source of beneficial fatty acids is still a source of fat. Average-sized avocado, plain: 276 calories. (Remember that 276 calories is almost 14 percent of a daily 2,000-calorie diet.) • Granola. It’s good for you, but don’t eat a ton in one sitting, and not the kind that is coated with sugar and such. It’s healthy. Just don’t eat too much. Typical cup of granola: 400 to 500 calories. • Salads. A spinach salad is green, fibrous and so high in iron that it tastes like you bit the hell out of your lip. It’s good on its own, but you probably bury it in dressing to kill the taste. A teaspoon of ranch dressing: 75 calories. Typical number of teaspoons on your salad: six or more (450 calories).
“I try not to assess blame.” —Gov. Haley Barbour testifying June 2 during a congressional hearing about the government’s and BP’s role in last year’s Gulf oil disaster.
• Fruit juice drinks are the devil. ‘Nuff said. Calories in 8 ounces of Welch’s Strawberry Breeze Cocktail (20 percent juice): 130 calories and 32 grams of sugar (about 8 teaspoons). Number of 8-ounce glasses you drink with a meal: two or more—usually more.
news, culture & irreverence
POLITIX, from page 6
Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan garnered a large following in 1980 when he publicly professed his support for states’ rights—a code phrase for opposing federally imposed civil-rights law. While voting should be about voter responsibility, McCoy said, the Neshoba County format gets the job done when it comes to putting a candidate to the people. “Think of how many times people go the ballot box, and they don’t know who they’re voting for. In one particular race, we’ve got two candidates with the same last name,” McCoy said. “The fact of the matter is people will be more apt to vote responsibly when they’re informed.” Marvin Williams, an instructional assistant professor of journalism at the University of Mississippi, said modern media no longer have the captured audience it did 30 years ago, when a handful of nighttime news shows shelled out a solid hour of deeply researched material. These days, he said, nobody’s home to see it, and rarely do viewers have the desire for it, instead culling what news they want from the Internet during their work-day. “We used to have three- or two-minute packages of news. Now you’re lucky if you get a minute to tell the story. If you want to see an in-depth piece you have to wait to see ‘60 Minutes’ or ‘CBS Sunday Morning’,” Williams said. “On radio, it’s even worse. You get maybe a 10-second sound bite, because you’ve got to fit it in between sponsorships and traffic news. And the audience has come to expect that. Everybody is running
little (news) crawls across the bottom of the screen on your TV in the morning.” The Internet has no shortage of information. Websites can deliver not only an audio of the president’s most recent State of the Union Address, but also opposing reactions to the speech, and an in-depth analysis and fact-check of the talking points. However, Williams said, readers tend to indulge their short attention spans by reading only the first few tidbits of information before moving on, with precious little data gathered on most topics. “We’re used to getting things so quick that you, as a reporter, now have to be able to boil down the essence of a story in five or 10 words, because nobody’s going to read more than two or three graphs at best. And then, before you know it, they’ve started clicking the mouse again and have gone through several more story links,” Williams said. Both McCoy and Williams say an uninformed voter is in the dark, ultimately, due to his or her own personal preferences, but McCoy says there’s only so much information a reporter can truly deliver on a candidate, and that nothing beats a one-on-one conversation to convey a candidate’s character and abilities. “Sometimes you just vote R or D; you vote where your interests are, and that’s fine,” McCoy said. “But people need to know who they’re voting for, and that’s what we’re trying to deliver.” Koinonia Coffee House is located at 136 S. Adams St., off the Jackson Metro Parkway, between Jackson State University and Downtown Jackson. For more information, call 601960-3008. Comment at www.jfp.ms.
fter three years in business, Wired Espresso Cafe closed its doors last weekend due to a tough economy. Owner Gary Davis says that high gas prices and the absence of foot traffic took a toll on his State Street business. The coffee shop also served as a Sunday meeting place for Crossings Church. Proceeds from the coffee and sandwiches sold helped cover rent and salaries for church employees. “We opened the shop to get involved in the community and be a part of downtown revival,” he says. “It was a great idea, and I think it was one of the better coffee shops in
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Wired Closes; Foreclosures Up
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town, but financially it’s not a good a time to run a coffee shop.” Jackson Foreclosures Increase Foreclosure rates in Jackson have increased in March compared to the same month last year, the data tracking company CoreLogic reported Monday. The rate of foreclosures among outstanding mortgage loans is 2.33 percent for March 2011, an increase of 0.44 percentage points compared to March of 2010 when the rate was 1.89 percent. Foreclosures in Jackson, however, are still lower than the national foreclosure rate, which was 3.57 percent for March 2011.
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Supes Unaware of Allegations? FILE PHOTO
the lawsuit states. Mississippi Youth Justice Project staff attorney Corrie Cockrell said her organization filed the lawsuit after attempts to work with the county on reforming the detention center’s conditions failed. In 2009, the Hinds County Board of Supervisors approved a memorandum of understanding with the Juvenile-justice advocates claim they alerted Hinds County MYJP, which called supervisors of abuse allegations prior to filing a lawsuit June 1. for a series of detention-center reforms. uvenile-justice advocates filed a lawsuit The memorandum resulted in officers dislast week that raises questions about continuing the use of a restraining chair. But how much the Hinds County Board other requests, such as limiting the amount of Supervisors knew about alleged of time detainees are confined to their cells abuses at the county’s Henley-Young De- and ensuring that detainees receive educatention Center. tional and medical services, have not been The Mississippi Youth Justice Project, a resolved, Cockrell said. project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, “We were regularly meeting until a year filed a lawsuit last week claiming that youth ago to bring this to their attention, and progdetained in the detention center suffer vari- ress was going well,” Cockrell said. “... Then ous abuses and live in unsanitary and unsafe things became a standstill, and there was no conditions. The advocacy organization says movement in the right direction. From that detention-center officials regularly isolate point forward, we have been reaching out to children in cells for 20 to 23 hours a day, the county, but felt like we had to bring the deny them educational and counseling ser- lawsuit forward because we have not been vices, and verbally abuse the detainees. able to make any progress for a year now. “ The lawsuit states that Henley-Young Some supervisors and County Adminstaff routinely curse at detainees and issue istrator Carmen Davis claim that they were threats of physical violence. Officers have unaware of the specific allegations named in even threatened to kill detainees, the law- the lawsuit. suit claims. Hinds County Supervisor Peggy CalOne specific incident in the suit de- houn, who raised questions about the facilscribes what happened when a 17-year-old, ity’s staff and transparency in 2009, said she referred to as D.I., began cutting himself had not been notified of the allegations of with a razor. abuse since the board passed the memoran“Instead of providing D.I. with the re- dum in 2009. She said that the weekly required care, Henley-Young staff taunted the ports the MYJP provided to county officials youth and commented that if he succeeded contained mostly positive information about in killing himself, there would be one less the detention center. person officers would have to worry about,” “I don’t think the lawsuit is necessary to
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June 8-14, 2011
change any alleged conditions of prolonged isolation, verbal abuse and threats of physical harm, because if these matters come before board we will address the situation,” Calhoun told the Jackson Free Press. “... I certainly would not tolerate or allow any of the young people to be subjected to adverse conditions. “Regrettably, the Southern Poverty Law Center has not communicated to me any of their concerns, nor has staff communicated to me any concerns. When I heard about the lawsuit, I was appalled by all the allegations.” Davis, who is conducting an informal investigation into the allegations, said she receives reports from the MYJP each week and reviews and distributes them to supervisors. She said that the extent of allegations mentioned in the lawsuit did not appear in the reports she has received. “The weekly reports were reviewed by myself and (Dale Knight), the director of Henley Young,” Davis said. “We reviewed the issues that they raised in the weekly reports as best as we could because they were brought to us in a general manner.” Knight, who has served in his position since August 2010, denied the accusations. “I am confident that we have done all that we can for our detainees,” he said. Cockrell, however, claims that the reports addressed the lawsuit’s allegations, and her organization made several attempts to bring the allegations to officials’ attention. In addition to ensuring that youth are treated properly, she said, MYJP wants the county to consider other juvenile reform programs. “There are several alternatives to detention centers,” she said. “Community-based programs could be for children who pose little threat to society, and children who do not require secured detention. These are programs that are proven to reduce juvenilecrime rates.” The Jackson Free Press has submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to Hinds County for MYJP’s weekly reports. Comment at www.jfp.ms.
by Adam Lynch
Food Truck Vote Pending
Jackson City Council may address a new ordinance in the next few weeks making possible a mobile food truck similar to this one on city streets.
he Jackson City Council may address a new ordinance making possible food vending vehicles in downtown Jackson this month. Last month, the council rules committee passed an ordinance allowing vendors to buy an annual $500 license from the city to sell food from a truck, so long as each permit only applies to one selling location, trucks are fully insured, and the distribution and preparation center meets strict guidelines on cleanliness. The council must approve the ordinance at an upcoming council meeting now that the ordinance survived a committee vote. Ward 1 Councilman Quentin Whitwell altered the language of an earlier version of the ordinance so it now restricts vendors to pre-designated areas in the city, at least 150 feet away from any restaurant entrance. Competing restaurants can waive that requirement and allow a mobile vendor within that space if they so choose. Some downtown restaurant owners are still leery of the new business the ordinance could herald, despite the changes. “I’m still on the fence about it, but nervous,” said business owner Steve Long, owner and manager of Steve’s Downtown
Deli and Bakery on South Congress Street, a business that caters largely to the downtown lunch crowd. “I don’t like to say too much about the future, because you never know how it’ll turn out, but it seems that it would mean more competition in a customer base that really isn’t growing.” Jackson entrepreneur Sid Scott, who wants to open a food truck selling tacos and tortas in the downtown area, said the new ordinance makes possible a mobile vending area around downtown Jackson’s Smith Park on Amite Street. “We would love to refurbish Smith Park and turn it into something that people look forward to visiting,” Scott said. “I think a food truck or two or three would do a lot to increase visitation. The ordinance allows for trucks to park on the road alongside the park.” Jackson resident Alake Chui said she feared the food trucks could represent a sanitation concern at a May 5 public hearing on the ordinance. “My concern is that these people should be held accountable for cleaning up the environment. People might throw trash around, and then, when they leave, our
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communities are left worse off than before they came,” Chui said. Scott said it wouldn’t take much work for vendors to keep their areas clean by providing convenient trash cans or recycle bins nearby and in the park. “I can’t speak for other truck owners, but I am a neat freak, and I won’t let trash accumulate around our vehicle,” he said. “I’m very OCD when it comes to neatness. I pick up after myself.” Whitwell said last month that he hoped the new ordinance would help cut down illegal food vending in the city. “We have illegal catering going on and a number of people without permits who are selling food out of trailers and trucks,” Whitwell said. “All of those people will now come under this ordinance and have to comply with these laws as well.” Food buyers can currently fill many of their produce needs at numerous street corners around the city. Growers from outside the city sometimes park pick-up trucks filled with vegetables, both raw and cooked, at street corners such as Ellis Avenue and Capitol Street. Other vendors set up barbecue pits at corners and sell various grilled meat and vegetable items. Scott’s partner and Jackson Free Press freelance writer Tom Ramsey said the city’s current mobile-food permit is too temporary to base a business on: “Your license is only good for one day. You have to apply for your license every day.” One vendor selling watermelons in west Jackson said he had no knowledge of the city’s current permit requirements, and expressed surprise that one was actually on the books. As in other cities with a similar ordinance, food may not be prepared on the vehicles distributing it. Ramsey said he and his partner will work with a pre-existing restaurant, which will serve as a food storage and preparation center, before loading it on the truck. The partnering restaurant, of course, must meet state health requirements. Comment at www.jfp.ms.
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by Lacey McLaughlin
Edwards’ Days Numbered?
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!CONCERT DATE CHANGE!
June 8-14, 2011
The Willie Nelson Concert Will be June 8 instead of June 7
Summer Fashion Tips for Men:Part 2
Wednesday June 8 at 7:30 Jackson Convention Complex Services Desk at Northpark Mall Charge-By-Phone at 800-745-3000 Online at Ticketmaster.com
Attorney Dale Danks, left, represents Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Lonnie Edwards, whose contract is set to expire June 30.
ith less than 30 days left before Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Lonnie Edwards’ contract expires, school board members must decide this month who will serve as the district’s superintendent as of July 1. Edwards gave his final testimony during the last day of his appeal hearing May 26. He requested the appeal when the board announced in January that it would not renew his contract for the next school year. The hearing, which started in March, has included testimony from schoolboard members and district employees about Edwards’ job performance since he started his position in 2009. Testimony has included a mixed bag of praise and criticism, with several school-district employees vouching for him. JPS attorney Dorian Turner said she expects the hearing’s court reporter to turn in completed transcripts by June 13. Hearing officer Nathaniel Armistead will then have 30 days to review the transcripts and put together a summary for schoolboard members. After Armistead presents his summary to the board, they will have another 30 days to vote on renewing Edwards’ contract. Because it is unlikely that the school board will vote before June 30, Turner said the board will likely select an interim superintendent July 1. The board has the option of naming Edwards as interim superintendent or selecting a new superintendent altogether. “It could be an employee within the district, or it could be someone completely outside the district,” Turner said. “… I can’t tell you when they are going to do it.
But they are aware that they need a new superintendent by July 1.” School-board members did not give any indication on what their next course of action would be. “I wouldn’t want to second-guess the board,” JPS Board President Kisiah Nolan said. “That’s nothing we have been in discussions about at this point. We are just following the process.” School-board members Ivory Phillips and Tim Collins also said that they have not been in any discussions about the board’s next course of action. Ann Jones, former JPS board president who finished her second term on the board in 2009 and did not vote on Edwards’ tenure, said the hearing has taken away time and resources that the district could have spent improving test scores and student achievement. “In my opinion, it’s not good for the district,” she said. “It’s not good for the children or employees of the district. It’s quite a distraction. … Teachers will continue to teach as they normally do, but in terms of setting goals for next year or looking at scores and setting aside resources and strategies to go forth, I don’t know if any of that is happening.” The board’s original vote on Edwards’ contract was 3-1, with Nolan and members Monica Gilmore-Love and George Schimmel voting not to renew. Otha Burton cast the lone vote to renew Edwards’ contract, and Ivory Phillips was absent. With the addition of two new members since the January vote, Collins and Linda Rush, the outcome of a second vote on Edwards’ contract is uncertain. Comment at www.jfp.ms.
Revealing Heaven On Earth 8:30 a.m. A Service of Word and Table
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9:30 a.m. Sunday School for all ages
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PA I D A DV E RT I S E M E N T
hat do homemade sweet potato pancakes, challah French toast, spicy turkey burgers, and homemade Alfredo sauce have in common? These delights, among others, can be found daily at Jackson’s newest restaurant: Peach Street Café. For owner and operator Lillian Lee, cooking is about sharing the foods she loves and doing it the healthy way. “As someone who is highly allergic to food additives and MSG, I wanted to create a place where everything Peach Street Café is all natural with the same ingredients that I feed to my own child.” First things first: breakfast at Peach Street. The smell of the sweet potato pancakes with real maple syrup float through the air. It’s the perfect blend of sweet and hearty goodness to start your day. Or, go for the sweet bread challah French toast dipped in a cinnamon, vanilla, and egg custard. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? Lunch comes in many different forms at Peach Street. With 100% Angus beef patties, made fresh daily, and an array of freshly made salads and soups, no appetite is too big or small for this place. For an extra kick try the spicy turkey burger with green chilies added to the patty to help make the rest of the workday fly by on a full stomach. Peach Street holds prime real estate off County Line Road, so when traffic has got you bogged down, stop in for a quick pick-me up like the homemade bread pudding, a sure way to beat the rush hour blues. Don’t forget the kids when you visit Peach Street Café. All of Lee’s recipes are kidapproved; her own lovely daughter is food tester number one. “I want to offer food that kids love but that is organic and good for them as well as tasty,” Lee says. From the kids’ burger to a perfect grilled cheese on multigrain, kids’ menu options are served with a choice of organic carrot sticks or organic apple slices, a meal both parents and kids will love. Owner Lee strives to use local and organic ingredients whenever possible and, most importantly, to keep a preservative free kitchen. Everything is made-to-order and is preservative-free. Lee, who is concerned about not only her health but those of her customers, treats them as family, ensuring every meal that comes out of her kitchen is fresh, wholesome, and most importantly, mighty tasty. So, be it a pancake sandwich for breakfast, a grilled brie and celery salad perfect for a hot summer day lunch, or Asian black bean noodle pasta for dinner, make your way to the Peach Street Café for a great, fresh meal that’s good for you, too.
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opining, grousing & pontificating
Be a Smarter Voter: Demand Answers
n 2011, you can expect information about local or state elections to be piecemeal at best, or focused on the trivial at worst. Sadly, voters have few directions to turn for decent coverage of a candidate’s real stand about any one issue—or a way to figure out how a candidate thinks and reasons. Campaigns tend to do everything they can to discourage real open-ended debates, and most media outlets engage in poll-based “horse-race” coverage rather than indepth, contextual coverage of issues. You can’t expect to get much platform information and in-depth coverage from the local television and radio stations, except in the case of a mediocre news event, such as a candidate being accused of vandalizing another candidate’s yard signs. For this reason, be thankful for community leaders who host meet-andgreet events with local and statewide candidates. Former NAACP Jackson President Gus McCoy and other politicos are putting together Politix in the Park at Koinonia Coffee House June 25 to try to fill this substantive void. The organizers are inviting everyone from Democratic Hinds County District 1 constable candidate Primus Wheeler to GOP gubernatorial candidate Phil Bryant in hopes that voters will draw their own conclusions before heading to the ballot box. Personal interest is vital to fully understanding who and what you’re voting for. Candidates tend to address issues in generalities that mean little. “Let’s lower taxes and increase business,” they might say. Good idea. Now how will you address the resulting statewide revenue shortfalls and budget insolvency after decreasing revenue for the third year in a row? Answers to specific questions are necessary before you can take a candidate seriously. Look behind the general feel-good language and demand specifics; otherwise, you’ll never know if your guy is capable of complicated analysis and problem solving. Educate yourself on the issues and how they apply to you. If you have a kid in public school, for example, check in with Nancy Loome and The Parents’ Campaign to see how your local legislator voted regarding public-school funding, or email Loome some questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Nervous about public safety? Dig up your local sheriff’s contact number from his campaign headquarters, and ask him what he’s doing about it. Then pester his opponent to detail how he could do it better. You’ll know after a few questions which one of these people are serious about public safety—they’ll be the one talking specifics—and who just wants to win an election. Before you head to the ballot box this year, educate yourself on the candidates and what they stand for. And in Jackson, plan to attend Politix in the Park. Come ready with your open-ended questions. And don’t leave until you get answers.
Shakin’ with Purpose
June 8-14, 2011
ista Old School the Griot Lady: “Welcome to Clubb Chicken Wing’s first annual Pre-Juneteenth Celebration and Disco. As your DJ for this affair, my goal is to entertain and educate the masses through old-school dance music. I’d like to call it ‘Booty Poppin’ and Knowledge Droppin’, or ‘Shake What Your Ancestors Gave You.’ “Before we shake our booties with a purpose, I want to share with you a quick story about a violent race riot that happened in Tulsa, Okla., around May 31, 1921, in a prosperous black community called ‘Black Wall Street.’ “The race riot started after a black male accidentally fell onto a white female elevator operator, who screamed for help. As you might guess, the black male was accused of assaulting the white female. The Tulsa Tribune paper got the news, distorted the event and called for a lynching of the black male. “Blacks armed themselves and joined forces to protect the accused black male. Subsequently, whites armed themselves and confronted the blacks. An argument occurred, a gun went off, and a race riot was on like a pot of neck bones in a crock pot. Eventually, a mob of white people burned down and destroyed the prosperous black community of Greenwood, aka ‘Black Wall Street.’ “This tragic event inspired members of the legendary GAP Band (also from Tulsa, Okla.) to write and perform the R&B classic ‘You Dropped a Bomb on Me.’ 12 “Now that you got the knowledge, shake what your ancestors gave you.”
Yet Another Distraction
o, another politician has gotten caught with his finger on the “send” button, or in this case, the “tweet” button. We all know how this movie plays out. Politician has vice; politician gets caught; politician denies impropriety; politician denies again; politician is presented with irrefutable evidence; politician comes clean and apologizes. Repeat. You’d think after so many scandals on Capitol Hill, public officials would take greater care with their personal business, especially if it’s the kind of personal business that detractors could frown on. It would seem that our public servants fancy themselves as invincible. But perhaps that’s because voters make it seem that way. We volunteer for their campaigns, shower them with donations and praise, applaud them at speaking engagements and then send them off to work miracles on our behalf. We liken them to supermen or saviors. They are chauffeured and catered to, and the press follow them around. They get invitations to the swankiest parties and eat at the most elegant restaurants. But, alas, they are regular people—human beings with human failings. They have human urgings and make human mistakes. Yet, somehow we are surprised, angered and disappointed when these mortals make mortal mistakes, even when these miscues do nothing to diminish their job effectiveness. Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., made a mistake. Then he lied about that mistake numerous times. He finally came clean. His string of lewd photos to other women is an issue that he should take up with his wife, however, and not with us. That doesn’t mean I agree with or condone his behavior. He was out of line for using government-issued equipment to have those salacious exchanges, but after being punished
for that, he should be allowed to go back to the business of serving his constituency. Weiner has been dubbed a rising star in the U.S. House of Representatives, and though extramarital follies don’t make him the most popular guy, it in no way has bearing on the job his voters sent him to do. It’s also sad how both Democrats and Republicans use these instances to play partisan politics. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, called for the resignations of Republicans Mark Foley and Chris Lee, but she only wants Weiner investigated. Republicans want Weiner to resign his seat, but uncomfortably tried to ignore the actions of former Sen. Larry Craig, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, all from their party. In my opinion, outside of drug abuse or domestic violence, a politician’s personal screw-ups, sexual or otherwise, are his or her business. These are men and women with prestige, prominence and power. And as long as the world is here, there will be persons who are attracted to that prestige and power. And some lawmaker will again fall victim to temptation. Should this end Weiner’s career? Perhaps. Will it affect his vote on the budget? I doubt it. Should he have taken responsibility for the photo when he was first asked? Absolutely! Just like the media-generated phenomena of Sarah Palin and Donald Trump, “Weiner-gate” is yet another distraction from the issues that are facing the rest of us. I wonder if the media would be as interested if lawmakers began tweeting photos of healthcare solutions. And that’s the truth ... sho-nuff.
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The Rainbow Almost Died
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to get to the end. I wanted to hear what he was trying to say. It turned out that the store was losing money, and the board members were thinking about shutting the place down. I was stunned. Here I was at my first, and maybe last, board meeting. All of us loved the place, though, and we began a discussion about what could be done. As the meeting wore on, I could see that my fellow board members didnâ€™t realize that the store wasnâ€™t mainstream enough for, say, my mother to shop there. At the time, the store was decorated with eastern religion kinds of stuff, including posters promoting meditation meetings depicting Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who developed the transcendental meditation technique. You could also find what can only be described as left-wing political posters. Also, the staff looked like they had come straight from a punk rock concert in south London, replete with face piercings, tattoos and orange spike haircuts. No one wore a nametag. My mother would definitely not feel comfortable at Rainbow circa 1984. At last someone asked me what I thought. I suggested that we had to make the place look and feel as much like a regular grocery store as possible. No religious or political statements on the walls, and the staff had to tone it down and wear nametags. Plus, I thought we should start a newsletter and send it out monthly to co-op members. I also suggested a monthly potluck dinner to promote and teach healthier diets and lifestyles to prospective members. The rest is Jackson history. Everyone pitched in, made the changes we agreed on, and month-by-month, sales picked up and then took off. We were definitely on to something. The next time you go into Rainbow Natural Grocery Cooperative or High Noon CafĂŠ, be grateful, because they almost disappeared. It was a close call. Remember the foundersâ€”Blue King, Janie and Neil Strickland, Bill Rusk, Fletcher Cox, Larry Jackson and othersâ€”for their dream and total commitment to a vision of a healthier food source for all of us. Roger Parkes was raised in Jackson and graduated from St. Joseph High School. He has been a periodontist in Jackson since 1983. He has special interests in nutrition and lifestyle choices and lives in Fondren where he is active in making his community a better place to live.
It turned out that the store was losing money, and board members were thinking about shutting the place down.
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