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AUGUST 2013

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vol. 6 no. 9 community driven news

Intersection of history and progress

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Cover Story page 10

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around town 2nd Annual Food 2 Fight Hunger Event O

n Saturday, July 27, Richmond County and The Salvation Army of the Greater Augusta Area competed against Columbia County and the Evans Lions Club in a competition to build the tallest food pyramid in the second annual Food 2 Fight Hunger event. Both teams collected canned food items at the Augusta and Evans Kroger stores and used these items to build the pyramids. The food collected in Richmond County will benefit The Salvation Army’s soup kitchen and food pantry, while the food collected in Columbia County will benefit the Columbia County Cares food pantry and New Hope/First Baptist Church Bridge Ministry. These donations come at a time of great need, as the Salvation Army’s food pantry is nearly empty. The summer months historically show a drop in donations and an increase in need; this year is no different. The two teams “split the difference” at this year’s competition, with Augusta-Richmond County winning for their height of 22 feet, and Evans Lions club winning for their weight of more than 3,800 pounds. The total food collected this year was approximately 5,995 pounds.

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$ 95 Choice of Soup • Salad • Half Sandwich

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Pruett Augusta-Richmond County fire fighters helped build the 22-ft. food pyramid at Kroger Antipasti Baked PastaPruett article and photos by Jennifer on Washington Road in Augusta for Food Entrées 2 Cheesy Bread Florentine Fight Hunger event. Chicken Parmigiana Lasagna

Open Daily for Lunch & Dinner

Artichoke Florentine Dip Bruschetta Fried Calamari Buca Trio Platter Mussels Bianca or Marinara Seafood Trio Platter Mozzarella Caprese Fried Mozzarella Stuffed Mushrooms Mini Meatballs Garlic Bread Mozzarella Garlic Bread

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Chicken Limone Chicken Saltimbocca Prosciutto Stuffed Chicken Chicken Glorioso Veal Parmigiana Veal Saltimbocca Chianti Braised Short Ribs Salmon Sorrento Eggplant Parmigiana Chicken Marsala Veal Marsala

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Chopped Antipasto Salad Apple Gorgonzola Salad Mixed Green Salad di Beppo 1893 Salad Caesar Salad Zuppa di Giorno

Baked Rigatoni Stuffed Shells Chicken Cannelloni Baked Ziti Cheese Manicotti Quattro al Forno

Side Dishes

Specialty Pasta

Penne San Remo Chicken Carbonara Spicy Chicken Rigatoni Fettuccine Supremo Penne Basilica Chicken & Sausage Ziti Penne Arrabbiata

Shrimp Florentine Shrimp Fra Diavolo Linguine Frutti di Mare Penne alla Vodka Macaroni Rosa

Traditional Pasta

Pizza

Pepperoni Margherita Veggie Supremo Italiano Pizza con Formaggio Four Cheese

Choice of Soup • Salad • Half Sandwich

Ravioli with Meat Sauce Ravioli al Pomodoro Fettuccine Alfredo Spaghetti with Meatballs Spaghetti with Meat Sauce Spaghetti Marinara

Rosemary Potatoes Italian Broccoli Romano Green Beans Sausage & Peppers Italian Sausage Side of Fettuccine Alfredo Side of Spaghetti Marinara Meatball

DESSERTS Italian Creme Cake Tiramisu Double Dark Chocolate Cake Chocolate Chip Cannoli Colassal Brownie Sundae Homemade Cheesecake Apple Crostata Celebration Cake Dolce Platter © 2013 BUCA, Inc. All Rights Reserved

3 6 food &

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to

Antipasti

Entrées

Cheesy Bread Florentine Artichoke Florentine Dip Bruschetta Fried Calamari Buca Trio Platter Mussels Bianca or Marinara Seafood Trio Platter Mozzarella Caprese Fried Mozzarella Stuffed Mushrooms Mini Meatballs Garlic Bread Mozzarella Garlic Bread

Chicken Parmigiana Chicken Limone Chicken Saltimbocca Prosciutto Stuffed Chicken Chicken Glorioso Veal Parmigiana Veal Saltimbocca Chianti Braised Short Ribs Salmon Sorrento Eggplant Parmigiana Chicken Marsala Veal Marsala

Pizza Pepperoni Margherita Veggie

Hear how School Days Supply Company, in the shopping center with the new Goodwill complex, is continuing to thrive (Cover Story); learn about a local organization that’s helping support emergency first responders (Support 1); and get Tommy Hudson’s take the “gangsta” problem in Augusta (Hudson Hears).

11 vibe

Get to know a big-name musician who’s coming to town (Q & A Laurence Juber); Plan your days and nights around the best calendar in the CSRA (Daily Planner and Nightlife); and take a sneak peek at Les Mis with Wes Hennings (Behind the Curtain).

21 vittles

Try a new recipe with blueberries (Seasonal Bites); Read an unbiased review of a local restaurant where you can double date on a budget (Feed Family of Five); and take a break from the heat with some cool, sweet summer brews (Beers Locals Like).

27 values

Get this month’s no-nonsense advice on the nutrition of school lunches (Ask Dr. Karp); learn what Steve Swanson has to say about putting others first (Faith Story); and find out the end to Fran and Jack’s young love story (Love Letters from Fran and Jack).

vergestaff

Monday-Friday Baked Pasta

3to6

Specialty Pasta Shrimp Florentine Shrimp Fra Diavolo Linguine Frutti di Mare Penne alla Vodka Macaroni Rosa

Traditional Pasta Ravioli with Meat Sauce Ravioli al Pomodoro Fettuccine Alfredo

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yeah, we made this

Open Daily for Lunch & Dinner

Penne San Remo Chicken Carbonara Spicy Chicken Rigatoni Fettuccine Supremo Penne Basilica Chicken & Sausage Ziti Penne Arrabbiata

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Verge is a publication of Buzz on Biz, LLC, whose offices are at 3740 Executive Center Drive, Suite 300, Martinez, GA 30907. Reach us at 706.589.6727 or email staff members below in regards to story ideas, events listings, advertising inquiries or letters to the editor.

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Verge is published on the 1st. Copies are available FREE of charge at locations throughout the CSRA including Publix, Kroger and Earth Fare and 140 plus other locations in the CSRA. We also direct mail copies into some CSRA neighborhoods.

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Chopped Antipasto Salad Apple Gorgonzola Salad Mixed Green Salad di Beppo 1893 Salad Caesar Salad Zuppa di Giorno

what’sinside

Lasagna Baked Rigatoni Stuffed Shells Chicken Cannelloni Baked Ziti Cheese Manicotti Quattro al Forno

Side Dishes

Rosemary Potatoes Italian Broccoli Romano Green Beans Sausage & Peppers Italian Sausage Side of Fettuccine Alfredo Side of Spaghetti Marinara Meatball

DESSERTS Italian Creme Cake Tiramisu Double Dark Chocolate Cake Chocolate Chip Cannoli Colassal Brownie Sundae Homemade Cheesecake Apple Crostata

president/publisher Neil Gordon neil.gordon@buzzon.biz executive editor/ assistant publisher Jennifer Pruett jennifer.pruett@comcast.net primary writer/ production director Christopher Selmek photography melissa@sofiacolton. com, John Robeson, and Christopher Selmek

special projects Erin Campbell graphic design e35media.com sales Kyle W. Evans: Sales (706) 288-9957 distribution Christopher Selmek Neil Gordon Kyle W. Evans Distributech U.S Postal Service

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AUGUST ISSUE / 3


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Support 1

Helping First Responders

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Crime and Punishment SPICE NOT NICE

Tek Talk

/ PG 7

You Get What You Pay For

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Steps To Solve the Gangsta Problem in Augusta See below for story by Thomas Scott Hudson

These opinions are those of THOMAS SCOTT Hudson and not necessarily those of Verge Newspaper or its staff.

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rime throughout Augusta seems to be on the rise and officials are struggling to come up with ways to stem the problem. In the recent past, we have had a couple beat within an inch of their lives at Riverwalk, a melee on Broad Street, Waffle House workers beating each down in the middle of the diner and a probation officer shot. The crime headlines that pop up daily are making some wonder if Augusta isn’t turning into a mini-Chicago. Let’s be honest. Every city has to battle crime and some have it worse than others; but rest assured, Augusta’s crime problem is tame compared to other cities. The “gangs” that exist here are boy scouts compared to what you find in Atlanta. However, there are gangs operating in Augusta and they are getting more and

more brazen. One of the very few criticisms I had against Sheriff Ron Strength (who is white) was that he waited years to acknowledge the fact that gangs were becoming a problem. Sheriff Roundtree (who is black), on the other hand, was a street cop before being elected top law enforcement officer, so he has a much better grasp on the problem than his predecessor. Some crime simply can’t be prevented. If a man and his wife get into a drunken argument and one decides to shoot the other, then it is simply going to happen and no one will be able to stop it from happening. Other crimes though, can be prevented. Law abiding people should not be terrified of going downtown to Riverwalk.

Unfortunately, our city leaders see the crime problem as a convenient way to raise taxes. If the extra revenue were to go to hiring more cops and increasing patrols, then I would be the first to endorse the tax hike. But instead, some on the Commission and the Sheriff want to place cameras downtown, which to me is pointless. Cameras only serve the function of identifying criminals after the fact, and do not serve as any kind of deterrent. Criminals are not afraid of a camera, in fact, it is just the opposite. The public only became aware of the melee on Broad Street after a video surfaced on You Tube. A quick search of that website shows other brawls that have occurred

continued on page 8

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Support 1

First responders pose with a “big check” presented to Support 1 by The Country Club Dance Hall & Saloon at a fundraising event. Photo courtesy Support 1.

Emergency First Responders Helped by Local Organization

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early one year ago, the Aiken Department of Public Safety received a call from a woman who had been shot by her husband. There was no response to a knock on the door, so the department assembled an entry team of four or five officers, and when they broke down the door the husband began firing at them. Cpl. Jennifer Bickel was on duty in the neighbor’s yard at the time, but had established close relationships with her fellow officers in the Community Services Division and experienced many of the same stressful feelings any person would have upon seeing someone shoot at her co-workers. “After the incident we went through a debriefing, and that really did help,” she said. “You sit in a group and everybody shares there part of the story, which helps to fill in the blanks so that everybody understands what really happened. It also helps to know that everybody is experiencing the same stressful feelings.” According to Staff Sgt. Chris Chavous, Aiken County Sheriff ’s Officer and founder of Support 1, a lot of time the stress reactions of first responders are perfectly normal, but they are responding to an abnormal event. While most department directors know about stress counseling available for their employees, Chavous saw the need for a local organization that could bridge the gap between different organizations and between the Georgia and South Carolina sides of the border.

6 / AUGUST ISSUE

Support 1 will provide their third class for peer counselors in September during a threeday training session that is open to firefighters, Emergency Medical Services personnel, police officers, 9-1-1 dispatch operators, spouses and significant others who want to support their local first responders.

“It’s definitely better to have more people going through the class so that you have a lot of active, working peer support out there and my guys know who to call,” said Chavous. “Something like a child death is traumatic in any situation, but it you’re one of the people involved in the rescue situation then it becomes especially traumatic. The more peers that are out there beating the beat and fighting the fire, they’re the ones who are going to have to deal with that stress.” According to Chavous, there have been 79 line-of-duty deaths in CSRA since records have been kept, include federal officers. Surviving officers dealing with the pain of their missing comrades are often unaware of the way that stress is affecting their daily lives, because the one thing they don’t go though in their training to become officers is the monitoring of their own stress reactions. “We started getting our stuff together to form Support 1 in September of 2011, and J.D. Paugh was killed right after that in October,” said Chavous. “I filed paperwork the first week of December, and Scotty Richardson was killed right after that. January 1, 2012 was when we officially came on-line, and shortly after that Sandy Rogers was killed. We had

three incidents within three months and none of them were related at all, which proves that it happens and you can’t predict when.” “We lost two officers about a year and a half ago, and I know it was really hard on the whole department,” said Bickel. “I always saw the need to have people in our department have somebody to talk with, and when the opportunity came available I knew that I wanted to be part of the peer team of supporters.” Peer supporters going through the Support 1 program receive the exact same Critical Incident Stress Management training as the Georgia and South Carolina state patrol, which comes from the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation. There are seven total classes in the series, and so far peers have received the first two levels of training over the course of three days. Future classes will provide increasing levels of training, after which they may open the training to new participants. Training can be quite expensive, especially since nobody in the CSRA is a certified instructor. Classes cost between $2,500 and $3,000 to make sure the department doesn’t have to pay anything, and each participant pays $60 for their certification plus materials. To this end, Support 1 holds two fundraisers a year, the first being a Springtime Golf Tournament and the second is a Never Forget motorcycle ride in the fall.

“We will always do these two fundraisers, because Support 1 was actually created at a golf tournament when I met with Michael Ford, who is now our vice chair. Then the motorcycle community became the first to support us once we came on-line, so out of respect for them we will always participate in the ride. We’ve had a few other fundraisers, but that’s only when people come to us and tell us they want to help us raise money.” Chavous himself became invested in providing peer support for the entire area after being involved in a shooting and a line of duty death and realizing his own need for peer support. “I was diagnosed with PTSD after my events that happened so close together that it really put a strain on me,” he said. “It put a strain on my marriage, and I knew something wasn’t right, so I went to go find help. The South Carolina peer assistance program was wonderful and helped me understand a lot of things. After my traumatic events I went through the training to become a peer counselor, where I have traveled the state helping other officers going through the same thing.” “We’ve seen it where guys aren’t aware of the stress they’re going through, which is why we have people monitoring all the calls in the area and ready to provide support wherever they’re needed. It could be a phone call, or a one on one visit, or a stress de-briefing. The important thing is we continue to support our first responders so they can support us.” More information about Support 1 is available at www.support1.us, or via e-mail at info@support1.org. article and photo by Christopher Selmek


Neil’s Notes people and places of the csra

STORIES YOU DON’T GET ELSEWHERE

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s I sat down (on deadline) to write my column before press time, the theme really hit me. Verge is really about the “heart” of the people we cover and stories and columns you cannot see anywhere else. We have profiles of difference makers you don’t know much about -- like the group that is quietly working behind the scene to make sure local first responders are being taken care of emotionally, spiritually and financially. Christopher Selmek’s profile is on Page 6. You also get to read comments from a North Augusta stage mom who has done a wonderful job of raising her 14-yearold daughter, Skilyr Hicks. Ms. Hicks was inspired to write songs after the death of her dad, and recently millions of new fans heard her perform on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent”. Read Jennifer Pruett’s story on Page 9. Our Alison Richter goes one on one on the cover of our VIBE section with the former lead guitarist of Paul McCartney’s “Wings” band. He’ll be performing in Columbia County soon.

Our cover story connects the 1970’s (when School Days Supply Company) first opened in the Village West Shopping Center to today as Goodwill has created a unique “compound” of services for the community. We’re also introducing you to some new columnists this month – columnists with a personal attachment to me and my business. Dave and Ashley Willis are on staff at my home church, Stevens Creek. They have been great support to Melissa and I. They have a great marriage and wonderful kids and an amazing following on Facebook -- as in a HALF MILLION likes on their marriage page. Their series of articles begins with the end for some couples – divorce -- and why NOT to go through with it. Glenn Campbell grew up around the racetrack with his Daddy and it’s his true love -- along with his family, of course. His daughter Erin is our new Special Projects Coordinator and Glenn is adding to his “Victory Lane On Fox” brand by providing us with an inside look at why racing has become an equally exciting sport for men and women. You can also see Glenn’s reports Tuesday nights during the 10 p.m. news on FOX 54. We thank AB (Ashley Brown) for his great insights into the sports world in our newspaper. article by Neil Gordon

       

    

crime and punishment

These opinions are those of PJ CAMPANARO and not necessarily those of Verge Newspaper or its staff. Article reprinted from Fall 2012

Photo Courtesy: Shutterstock

THE REAL DEAL ON “SPICE” W

hen my first Spice client walked through the doors of my office I told him that I did not think he could possibly be charged with anything, much less a Felony carrying 15 years in prison. I mean, he allegedly walked into a local convenience store in Columbia County, picked the package off the shelf and purchased a substance which, according to it’s packaging, contains all natural ingredients and is legal in all 50 states. Lucky for my client I decided to do a little research

while he waited in the office and discovered that I was mistaken -- and in a pretty big way. On March 27, 2012, Governor Nathan Deal signed “Chase’s Law” into effect. Also know as O.C.G.A Section 16-13-25. My client, who allegedly just possessed a package of “spice”, could now be facing up to 15 years in prison. Reviewing the law in detail made me think on so many levels. For starters, I got a headache looking at all the chemical compounds listed. Secondly, thinking as a former prosecutor, I questioned how the State is going to prove these cases -- this is not a ban on all synthetic marijuana, as reported, but a ban on several chemical compounds and their derivatives.

As I see it the State is going to have to send all of these spice possession cases to the GBI for forensic evaluation in order to prove that they in fact are covered by the statute. I guess that is not that big a deal except for the major time and money it will take to do it. In addition, those darn chemists who make “spice” have already found a way around the law. By June, 2012 makers of “spice” had altered the base formula so that it is not covered by Georgia’s law and is perfectly legal to sell in that form. There is no doubt that “spice” is unhealthy, as it can cause seizures and even death. However, should the State be putting the young people the law was enacted to protect in prison for 15 years for possessing “spice”, or should they perhaps be focusing on the actual manufacturers and distributors of “spice”? My client didn’t hesitate to reveal where she purchased the “spice”, but nothing was done at the time. The convenience store got a grace period but the kids don’t?

PJ Campanaro has been practicing law since 1999, specializing in violent crime, DUI, custody and child support. She is a member of the Augusta Bar and former Chief Solicitor General. If you have comments or story ideas contact P.J at pjcampanarolaw@gmail.com or call 706.836.0686

AUGUST ISSUE / 7


hudson hears

These opinions are those of THOMAS Scott Hudson and not necessarily those of Verge Newspaper or its staff.

tek talk

continued from page 5 in some of the public housing units and those videos were shot by the participants! The idea that is being floated is to bring back the failed Business Improvement District but rather than fund green shirted guys on Segueways, it will go to install the cameras. Business owners can also “buy in” to the camera system and be able to view the monitor for their block. Again, this is nothing more than a feel good measure for the politicians. By putting a Band-Aid on a laceration, they can claim they at least tried something. Let me ask: if a group of people who listen primarily to Lady GaGa on the radio and own at least one Queen record, dress impeccably, correct others on their grammar, and grow hydroponic tomato gardens in their yard were known to be a group of people who shoplifted, then would every retail store owner be wary every time a gay man walked into his outlet? In reality, the people committing the crimes that impact innocent people the most listen to hard core rap, wear “hip hop” attire, speak unintelligibly and deal in marijuana. This is a fact and everyone knows it. As I state in my book, The Contract On The Government, I know from covering the crime beat here in Augusta that the vast and overwhelming majority of armed robbers, burglars and home invaders are young black men. These are the same people who embrace the “gangsta” culture and embrace the thug lifestyle. Now, does that mean all young black men are criminals? Of course not…just like not all gay men enjoy listening to Madonna and like the smell of patchouli. It is not at all racist to point out that the people who call themselves gansta are the very demographic that it the problem in our society. According to Lieutenant Calvin Chew (he is of minority descent) of the Richmond County Sheriff ’s Office, there are no hard statistics that are collected by law enforcement on the criminal demographic. However, for four years it was my job to collect that data everyday and put it out on the radio and I can tell you the prime BOLO for armed robbery and home invasion is black males of ages between 17 and 30. Those are just the facts, folks. The gangsta lifestyle glorifies violence and criminal activity and you can verify that easily by simply going to these people’s Facebook pages or looking at the videos they post on YouTube. Even in the absence of published statistics here locally, Lt. Chew agrees with my observations here calling them “truthful.” Lt. Chew should know -- he is the man in the Sheriff ’s office in charge of alerting the media on the crime that takes place daily. Sheriff Roundtree knows this to be a fact too as he has created a gang task force and that department is not looking out for roving bands of drag queens. They know the profile of the average gang member and they know it is not young adults from the suburbs, but young men who primarily grew up in the housing projects. The black ministers are not going to own up to the truth because they profit on pointing their fingers in the other direction. Rather than state the cautionary tale that if you run with gangs and break the law you may lose your life, they simply blame racism and the congregation cheers and the offering plates fill over. Black public officials, like Commissioner Bill Fennoy, was quoted in the Augusta Chronicle as suggesting the way to curb crime is to spend more tax payer money on building parks and recreation areas so that the kids have something to do when they are not busy committing crime. There are some solutions to this growing problem. Rather than put up a bunch of silly cameras, there are ways to make our local environment safer. Sheriff Roundtree’s idea of community involvement in policing is beginning to sprout some success. As I stated earlier, Roundtree was an investigator before he became Sheriff and he knows that if the police can forge a relationship with the public, then the public will help identify the hood rats. We need to elect judges that will have enough backbone to mete out harsh prison sentences to violent offenders. We, as taxpayers, also need to demand that the TV sets and basketball hoops be removed from prisons and the workout gyms in those institutions need to be converted into libraries. Prison shouldn’t be a holiday, it should be prison. Finally, a more aware public will help ease the problem. The people of Harrisburg have learned that a watchful eye and a cell phone reduce crime. However, until we as a society finally, as a unified one, acknowledges the root of the problem, then we can put up cameras all over the place, but the criminals will remain in our midst and they will continue to ply their illegal trade. If we are going to raise taxes to protect the innocent, then let’s do it, but let’s also spend the money on measures proven to work. Spend the money on putting more police on the street so that the law abiding outnumber the lawless. You can find out more about Tommy Scott Hudson’s book, The Contract On The Government, at www.thecontract.us.

Thomas scott hudson freelances for WGAC and is a local paralegal. Submit comments to scott@wgac.com

8 / AUGUST ISSUE

FREE E-Mail Accounts: You Get What You Pay For W

e’ve all been told there is no such thing as a free lunch; yet it’s hard to resist the siren’s call of “FREE”. That’s one of the reasons why so many people have free e-mail accounts through Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo and others. While you might not be paying out of pocket for these services, there IS a cost. Here’s the price you pay when you use a free e-mail account: 1.) An Extra Helping of Spam: And loads of it. Are these free services selling your e-mail account? Do spammers have ways of gleaning information from your e-mail account? No one seems to know for sure (or at least they’re not talking) but the bottom line is you’ll end up with a lot more ads for Viagra Russian brides than you bargained for. 2.) Your E-mails Aren’t Guaranteed Delivery: The majority of spam messages come from free e-mail accounts. Even though you aren’t sending SPAM, spam filters look at the server sending the message, and if it’s a known source for spam like free email accounts are, it may block the e-mail from going through. That means your e-mails might be getting blocked before they even reach the sender. 3.) Customer Service? Non-existent! See you DO get what you pay for! If you have a problem, you’re on your own to figure it out. 4.) Difficulty in Moving, Forwarding, or Downloading: Free e-mail services usually require that you read your e-mail through their web interface. If you want to move, forward or download your e-mail, contacts or other information, the process is cumbersome and sometimes impossible. 5.) No Archiving: E-mail archiving, or storing old e-mails in a searchable, retrievable format has become very important (even a legal requirement) in some industries like medical and financial. E-mail is considered a form of communication and if you use it to support customers, order products, or to negotiate any type of deals, you want to keep a record. So while these free services are okay for chatting casually with your friends, they are NOT recommended for business purposes or for sending anything you consider important. The only reason for keeping a free e-mail account is to provide certain web sites with an e-mail address when you don’t care about getting communications from them, or that may spam you later on. Here’s a question to ask yourself: If your e-mail account was erased tomorrow and all of the messages, contact information, and history went bye-bye, would it be a slight inconvenience or a catastrophe? If it’s the latter, then you need to bite the bullet and get a “real” e-mail account. And, while you’re at it, you should also get an account that reflects your own URL.

KEVIN WADE is the CEO and “techspert” for Intellisystems, a small business I.T department for area companies. He works with them to prevent network failure, data loss, or backup disasters and provides technology advice to keep clients and the community informed. Intellisystems is located in the Alley in Aiken, in Columbia at the Atrium on Stoneridge Drive, and in downtown Augusta. For more info, email kevinw@intellisystems.com


around town

14-year-old singer/songwriter and rising freshman at North Augusta High School, Skilyr Hicks.

Skyler Hicks - “Chin Up Everyone”

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ast month in our Vibe section we featured a young local artist with big things on the horizon. Skilyr Hicks is a small town, 14-year-old high school freshman, and just like other teenage girls, she loves sports and spending time “hanging” with her friends. Unlike most other girls her age, she has spent her summer performing as a singer/songwriter in front of American television audiences. Skilyr auditioned in March for NBC’s hit show, America’s Got Talent, in San Antonio, Texas. She performed an original song, “Brand New Day,” that she wrote after her father’s death, in front of judges Howie Mandel, Howard Stern, Heidi Klum and Melanie Brown. Her audition captured the judges’ hearts and the hearts of viewers across the country; it earned her at trip to the second round of the competition, “Vegas Week.” In Vegas she performed another original, “Second Chance”. She was eliminated from the competition after the Vegas performance, but she came back to the CSRA a star.

After the Vegas show aired, Skilyr shared this message with her Facebook friends: “Hey y’all…had to wait till after west coast to comment on results of AGT, but I want to let you know not to be sad for me. My goal was to share my music, and I got the amazing opportunity to do just that -- in a HUGE way. I couldn’t be happier. I made some incredible new friends on the set. I’m going to continue to move forward on this musical journey, and I’m really looking forward to posting upcoming shows. Your support has been amazing, and I can’t thank you enough for that. So chin up everyone…it’s only the end of the AGT road…not the end of my journey as a singer/songwriter.” Jodi Cronk, Skilyr’s mom, has been on this journey with her every step of the way. Skilyr has received messages from fans all over the world,” she said, “The gist of each message is basically the hope that they have been given through her music. God is using Skilyr and the music he gave her to

reach others. As for her experiences at AGT, those were such powerful moments -- so much more than they had time to show on a short television segment. AGT was yet another opportunity that God has brought our way... We asked him to be in charge of this musical journey, and AGT is where He wanted her.” Skilyr’s newly updated website, skilyrhicks.com, now includes a mailing list for concert updates, a message board where fans can chat and new merchandise available for sale. All hard copies of her “Brand New Day” album, purchased on her site, will come personally autographed. Her newest album, “New Heart,’” is set to be released in September. SKilyr’s music is also available on ITunes and Amazon; she’s sold more than 2,000 albums and single songs from her album just this month.

article by Jennifer Pruett

Center For Primary Care Your Prevention SPecialiStS

AUGUST ISSUE / 9


cover story

by Christopher Selmek

SCHOOL DAYS SUPPLY COMPANY SHARES GOODWILL (AND SERVICE) WITH COMMUNITY T

he expansion of the Goodwill facility on Washington Road has left some wondering whether existing businesses are still operating. “We’re still here,” said Audrey Chaplin, owner of School Days Supply Company. “We’re excited about the developments,” she added. Since the completion of five college classrooms, three culinary school kitchens and a 300-seat convention center at the Helms College campus at the junction of Washington and Fury’s Ferry Road, their culinary school and related studentinvolved dining facilities currently enroll 65-70 students with a capacity for up to 300. The current Helm’s College Campus is located at what was formerly known as Village West Shopping Center named for the property’s previous owners, the West family. While the majority of tenants had month to month leases with no permanent investment in the property, two businesses still remain along with the Goodwill educational facilities. Social is a 75-year-old Augusta institution that aims to teach young people about etiquette and dance, while School Days Supply Company keeps educators coming from across the region to meet their needs at the specialty store. “We wanted a business of our own,” said School Days owner Audrey Chaplin, who bought the business in 1995 with her husband, Bob. “We found School Days and thought it would be a fun and worthwhile business.” Chaplin says she has no intention of leaving the convenient, easily accessible location. Although not a teacher herself, she had experience with teachers after sending her four children through school and saw School Days as an established local business she could keep going while serving an important part of the community. “We’re the place with the experience,” she said. “It’s great that we have employees that have been here for many years, who know the products and can walk the customers around the store and help them find what they are looking for.” School Days School Supply Company has been located at 3141 Washington Road for 38 years this January, and offers a wide variety of supplies for students, teachers, preschools, daycares, churches, home school parents and general office supplies. With their on-line catalog, School Days is able to send teaching supplies throughout the United States, but they

10 / AUGUST ISSUE

also send their print catalog to the local school systems. “Instead of adopting a school, we adopt all the new teachers in ten counties and 14 private schools,” said Chaplin. “Supporting local educators is very important to us. Teachers spend a lot of their own money, so we try to give as much as we can back to them.” To facilitate the start of the new school year, School Days will be a part of the Georgia No Tax weekend August 9 and 10, during which there will be no sales tax on any school supply item up to $20. There will be a live radio remote during the Austin Rhodes Show from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. that Friday to interview educators getting ready for school. Columbia County teachers will have already started July 31st, with students going back to school Aug. 6. The School Days employees will be helping Richmond County teachers who start school Aug. 7 and students who start back Aug. 12. “The last week in July and the first two weeks of August are our busiest,” said Chaplin. “It’s our Christmas!” “It takes us six months to get ready for back to school and six months to recover,” she laughs. “We’ve had a lot of teachers in the store already, but we are looking forward to helping many, many more before school starts.” According to Chaplin, the reason her store attracts educators throughout the area is because it is a specialty store and much of what they offer can’t be found anywhere else nearby. This includes items such as record and plan books, bulletin board supplies, EZ graders and products for the new Common Core State Standards. While they do not carry textbooks, they do offer supplemental workbooks, CDs, DVDs and flash cards for subjects such as multiplication and reading comprehension, as well as most other school subjects. The staff at School Days also offer personal service and have the experience to help any customer find what the need. “I like to help the people,” said Louise Hicks, who has worked the register at School Days for the last 16 years. Nicole Marella, who is the general manager and has worked at School Days for 14 years says, “It doesn’t matter if they are teachers, students, daycare employees, home schoolers or Sunday school teachers. If we can’t find it the store, we can order it.”

They are constantly putting more items into their sale room, which features a wide variety of material at a discount, and they also offer a frequent shopper card. In addition, they have initiated a new trade-in program for teachers returning their used bulletin board sets, trimmers, cutouts, banners and charts, through which they can get up to 15 percent off their next purchase. Although they are now entering their busiest season of the year, School Days is happy to help non-educators looking for office products and school supplies, who don’t want to go to the Big Box stores. Over the summer, Chaplin says she also helped several overseas visitors looking for English language workbooks to take back to their country, and a newlywed missionary couple who requested gift certificates for their wedding, so they could buy school supplies to take with them out into the world. According to James Stiff, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA, the faculty of Helm’s College encourage their students to buy notebooks and pens at School Days. They also operate an English as a Second Language Course in cooperation with True North church out of the Student Center next to School Days, and help prospective students to obtain their GED’s before enrolling at Helms. “We see both Social and School Days as complimentary businesses to what we are trying to do, because like Social we are always trying to inspire our students to be their best, and we encourage our students to utilize the services of School Days,” said Stiff. “We’ve tried to figure out how to be a more supportive landlord to those companies, so we’ve put up dedicated parking signage space for them and we’ve also enrolled in a parking program to have our students and faculty park over in the old Weinberger’s space to give their customers more room to park. We’ve tried to create a much more beautiful and vibrant center for both businesses.” Helms College also hopes to open a school of health care and associated wellness clinic in 2014, which may increase the traffic seen by the plaza. They also have plans to expand into four campuses throughout the area, including one in Aiken, by 2016. Edgar’s Grill is open for lunch every day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., for dinner every day except Sunday from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., and for Sunday brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. School Days is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. To see their catalog visit their Facebook page or www. schooldayssupplycompany.com. article by Christopher Selmek photo by E35 Media


Daily Planner

What’s Happenin’ Around Town

/ PG 15

Behind the Curtain You Get What You Pay For

Movie Chick

/ PG 19

“B Movie” Make the Grade?

/ PG 19

Award-Winnning Vituoso of Guitar One on One with Laurence Juber See below for story

Photo courtesy of Paul Thompson

L

aurence Juber is perhaps best known for his years as lead guitarist for Wings (1978 – 1981), but his multi-faceted career covers much more ground than his work with Paul McCartney’s iconic band. Juber is an award-winning virtuoso of fingerstyle guitar who has released more than 20 solo albums, including his latest, Under an Indigo Sky. He has composed soundtracks, television and musical scores, and performed on hundreds of studio sessions behind a diverse range of artists. A recent two-disc set, Catch LJ Live!, captures him onstage in a package that features an audio recording and concert DVD. He also has a book in the works, planned for publication in early 2014, that details his life as a musician, his guitar work, and of course the years with Wings, featuring his photographs from that period as a centerpiece. Juber is scheduled to perform in concert at the Jabez S. Hardin Performing Arts Center in Evans on Sunday, September 15, at 7:30 p.m.

Verge: Your contact address is direct, which is surprising. Are you self-managed? Do you also oversee your publicity? Juber: I am self-managed. I have an agent. I have a guy who handles basic press releases for me. He is the editor for the book that I’m doing. I’ve also worked over the years with an old friend who’s a media manager that I sometimes hire, but a lot of what goes on is what I put together myself, but there’s a limit as to how much time I have to do that. Verge: How do you manage the volume of interview requests? Juber: It’s not that difficult. I don’t get a massive volume. It’s manageable, and I like keeping things personal because it’s in the nature of the acoustic guitar world — things tend to function on a more grassroots level. So keeping things personal works quite well and I’ve seen it done before. My father-in-law,

continued on page 17

AUGUST ISSUE / 11


12 / AUGUST ISSUE


The Willcox

vibe

Photo courtesy Lista Studio

Travel + Leisure Magazine Top 5 I

n the latest issue of the esteemed international travel magazine, Travel + Leisure, The Willcox was named the #3 Inn and Small Lodge in the U.S. Perhaps even better, these global travel experts also tabbed The Willcox as #5 in the World for hotels of all sizes with a room rate of $250 or less per night. Accommodation rates at the 115-year-old Willcox hotel in Aiken, S.C., begin at $185. Last year Travel + Leisure, judged by most as the worldwide authority on travel destinations, rated The Willcox as No. 32 among its Top 50 Hotels in the World! The magazine’s praise for the beautiful Aiken icon this year reads: “Flanked by grand white pillars and big oak trees, The Willcox is filled with historic southern charm. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into Scarlett O’Hara’s own bedroom in each of the 22 guest quarters, thanks to four-poster beds, stitched floral pillows, and double-height paned windows framed in painted wood shutters. The main activity for Willcox guests is typically horse-related, as Aiken has served as the training ground for all things equestrian for more than 100 years. After steeplechasing or harness racing, dine on local applewood-smoked bacon and creamed corn, as well as greens grown in the chef ’s on-site garden. A food truck also delivers dishes to guests on the go, whether they’re on one of Aiken’s polo fields or golf courses, or heading out on a foxhunt. Shannon Ellis, co-owner of The Willcox, with her husband Geoff, said they are humbled and exhilarated by this recognition. “We are especially pleased to be listed as the 5th Best Hotel in the World with a Room Rate of $250 or less. I believe at $185 per night, our rooms are the least expensive of the hotels acknowledged by Travel + Leisure magazine. Most hotels that have made the Best in the World list have a room rate 10 times ours.” “The magazine’s recognition of The Willcox for its great value for our guests is especially gratifying to us,” said Geoff. “From the beginning it has been our goal to provide a luxury experience at a more affordable price.” Said Shannon, “Travel + Leisure readers are really telling us that our experience in Aiken is as worthwhile and as memorable as a stay in a great hotel in Bora Bora that might have cost them twenty five hundred dollars a night. It’s exciting and motivates us to continue to listen to our customers to provide them the best experience and truly understand what they value.” “We are thrilled for ourselves and our staff, but even more, we are thrilled that this recognition is as much about Aiken as of The Willcox. By this recognition, Travel + Leisure is saying that Aiken has established itself as an international destination,” said Geoff Ellis. “It’s about Aiken and bringing people to Aiken and how welcoming the community is to their visitors,” said Geoff. “It’s about how leading figures in sport, business and science are drawn to Aiken by the world-class level of those in their fields who live here. Whether it is polo, thoroughbred training or nuclear engineering, many of the best in the world work in Aiken, creating a gravity that draws others from around the world. Many British and French engineers stay with us, as do polo players from England and Argentina, horse trainers from Saratoga and Epson, and then just folks who want a special experience from Augusta, Georgia and across the country.” “Aiken is a sporty world with good humor and great friends. It is a tremendous community that draws people, and when they get here they love it,” says Geoff. “Aiken has always meant an easygoing elegance and that is what Travel + Leisure is telling us that we have adopted.” “We are all very proud to be a part of the history of The Willcox and we are incredibly grateful to the community that has supported us and made Aiken one of the top travel destinations in the world,” he said. Stephen Hale , Freelance Writer

AUGUST ISSUE / 13


14 / AUGUST ISSUE


daily planner The Daily Planner is our selective guide to what is going on in the city during the next two weeks. IF YOU WANT TO BE LISTED: Submit information by email (events@vergelive. com). Details of the event - date, time, venue address, telephone number and admission price - should be included. Listings included are accurate at press time, check with specific venues for further details.

August 3-19, 2013

+FRIDAY

CONCERT Hopelands Summer Concert Aiken Big Band; Bring a lawn

chair or blanket; alcohol/ wine prohibited; picnic dinners permitted; well behaved pets welcome, must be on a leash at all times; 7 p.m.; Hopelands Gardens; facebook.com/

CONCERT Ed Turner & Number 9 Get Back to the Beatles Presented

by Junior League of Augusta; Imperial Theatre; $15-$45, 7:30 p.m.; imperialtheatre.com

augustageorgia.org

+SUNDAY

8.04

CONCERT Candlelight Jazz Concert Series

Tony Williams & Blues Express; Augusta Common; $6 ages 13 and older; 8 p.m.;

8.05 hands on instruction for acrylics, oil and watercolor; walk-ins welcome; North Augusta Community Center; $27 per class; 12 p.m., repeats every Monday; taneedham@aol.com

8.17

Development Association’s 8th annual Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre; Newberry Hall; 7 p.m. dinner, 8 p.m. show; $50 for dinner and show;

8.08

downtownaiken.com

Aiken Community Playhouse Black Box Production: Here on

the Flight Path Contains adult situations, language, themes; Aiken Community Playhouse; adults $12, ages 12 and younger $6, students and ages 60 or older $10; 8 p.m.;

COMMUNITY Evans Towne Farmers Market

Local farmers; locally and sustainably grown using organic practices; veggie, fruits, meats, eggs, dairy, nuts, honey, baked items and more; Columbia County Library; free; 4:30 p.m.

downtownaiken.com

+SUNDAY

+SATURDAY

+MONDAY

+FRIDAY

8.10 8.12 8.16

and fun; painting supplies provided; step by step instruction, take home your painting at end of session; Owl Be Watching You, featured painting; online registration required; Oliviana Bar Italiano and Pizzeria; $35; ages 18 and up; 6:30 p.m.;

+SATURDAY

THEATRE A Cruise Ship Crime Aiken Downtown

+THURSDAY

wine and fun; painting supplies provided; step by step instruction, take home your painting at end of session; Van Gough’s Starry Night, featured painting; online registration required; Crums on Central; $35; ages 18 and up; 6:30 p.m.

the Flight Path Contains adult situations, language, themes; Aiken Community Playhouse; adults $12, ages 12 and younger $6, students and ages 60 or older $10; 8 p.m.

concert for the Deanna Heffner Transplant Fund; Rhythm, Blues and Jazz; Bell Auditorium; 7:30 p.m.

gardencityjazz.com

krocaugusta.org

ART Corks & Canvas at Crums on Central Paint,

Aiken Community Playhouse Black Box Production: Here on

CONCERT Will Downing with Najee A benefit

musician as she leads these fun summer jam sessions; 5:30; Kroc Center;

ART Corks & Canvas at Oliviana Bar Italiano and Pizzeria Paint, wine ARTS Monday Painters Workshop Thomas Needham, art coach;

Local farmers; locally and sustainably grown using organic practices; veggie, fruits, meats, eggs, dairy, nuts, honey, baked items and more; Columbia County Library; free; 4:30 p.m.;

CONCERT Summer Jam Sessions with Eryn Eubanks Join this local

LITERARY Medea Benjamin and Jeb Boone:

+MONDAY

Fight, It is the Grass that Suffers presented by CSRA Peace Alliance; AugustaRichmond County Library; free; 3 p.m.

COMMUNITY Evans Towne Farmers Market

Augusta Common; $6 ages 13 and older; 8 p.m.;

+TUESDAY

gardencityjazz.com

Eyewitness to Yemen’s Revolution Presented by the CSRA Peace Alliance; 4 PM; Augusta Richmond County Library

FILM THE SUFFERING GRASSES: When Elephants

CONCERT Candlelight Jazz Concert Series Preston & Weston;

ExperienceAiken

8.06 8.03

Augusta’s journey through time; 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.; every Saturday; reservations required 24 hours in advance; Historic Trolley Tour of Augusta, Augusta Museum of History;

+THURSDAY

8.09 8.11 8.15

+SATURDAY

HISTORY Historic Tolley Tour Tour the Augusta Museum and explore

+SUNDAY

CONCERT Ed Turner & Number 9 Get Back to the Beatles Presented

by Junior League of Augusta; Imperial Theatre; $15-$45, 7:30 p.m.; imperialtheatre.com

ART Corks and Canvases at Somewhere in Augusta Paint, wine and

fun; painting supplies provided; step by step instruction, take home your painting at end of session; Lighthouse by the Sea, featured painting; online registration required; $35, ages 18 and up; 12 p.m.

Storks & Corks, An Evening with an Endangered Species

Benefits Silver Bluff Audubon Center; reservations required; Silver Bluff Audubon Sanctuary; $40; 6 p.m.;

CONCERT Hopelands Summer Concert Aiken Brass; Bring a lawn chair

or blanket; alcohol/wine prohibited; picnic dinners permitted; well behaved pets welcome, must be on a leash at all times; 7 p.m.

+WEDNESDAY

8.14

ART Corks & Canvas at the Garlic Clove Paint,

wine and fun; painting supplies provided; step by step instruction, take home your painting at end of session; Sun & Moon, featured painting; online registration required; $35 ages 18 and up; 6:30 p.m.;

8.18

CONCERT Candlelight Jazz Concert Series Sounds Unlimited;

Augusta Common; $6 ages 13 and older; 8 p.m.; gardencityjazz.com

THEATRE A Cruise Ship Crime Aiken Downtown

Development Association’s 8th annual Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre; Newberry Hall; 7 p.m. dinner, 8 p.m. show; $50 for dinner and show;

COMMUNITY Blue Night 5K-Run, Walk and 1-Mile

Fun Run Benefits Aiken Department of Public Safety Police Athletic League; Citizens Park; run/walk $25 advance, $30 race day; fun run $10 advance, $15 race day; registration 5:30 p.m., Fun Run 7 p.m., 5K Run and Walk 7:30 p.m.; fire trucks (get wet), food, cold drinks, celebration after race, door prizes

+MONDAY

8.19

CONCERT Hopelands Summer Concert Fort Gordon – The Semifours

Trombone; Bring a lawn chair or blanket; alcohol/ wine prohibited; picnic dinners permitted; well behaved pets welcome, must be on a leash at all times; 7 p.m.;

AUGUST ISSUE / 15


event feature

vibe

Courtesy of Facebook: Ed Turner & Number 9 performing at the Imperial in 2011.

Get Back to the Beatles T

his year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles first album release, “Please Please Me,� and Ed Turner & Number 9 are celebrating. The band returns to the Imperial Theatre on Friday and Saturday, August 9 and 10 at 7:30pm for reserved-seating, all-ages shows. Get Back to the Beatles is being presented by the Junior League of Augusta and proceeds got to support their mission to improve the lives of women and children. Ed Turner & Number 9 have become known as on the of the best Beatles tribute bands in the country. The band holds the record for selling out the Imperial Theatre 12 times since 2007, more times than any other single or group act in its 95 year history. Expect the same for these upcoming shows. Turner and his core musicians will be joined by the Number 9 Strings and Horns under the direction of Augusta Symphony Orchestra veterans Laura Tomlin and Rob Foster. Tickets are on sale now for $45, $40, $25 and $15, and can be ordered online at imperialtheatre.com or by calling 706.722.8341. article by Jennifer Pruett

16 / AUGUST ISSUE


NIGHTLIFE

FRIDAY, AUGUST 2

Stewart and Winfield @ Surrey Tavern 10 PM Phil Vaught @ The Country Club 10 PM Dave Firmin & Whiskey Run @ Cyotes 8 PM Tom Reed and the Tandem @ M.A.D. Studios 7 PM Pretty Petty @ The Polo Tavern 9:30 PM

August 2-31 2013 Kenny George Band @ The Polo Tavern 9:30 PM

Stereotype @ Surrey Tavern 10 PM

Tyler Hammond Band @ The Country Club 10 PM

Gary Ray @ The Country Club 10 PM

The Unmentionables @ Surrey Tavern 10 PM Thomas Tillman @ The Country Club 10 PM

Weaving the Fate, Kellen Heller & F.O.C.U.S. @ Sky City 8 PM Dave Firmin & Whiskey Run @ Cyotes 8 PM

World Tavern Poker Tournament @ Somewhere in Augusta 7 PM

TUESDAY, AUGUST 13 Trivia @ Somewhere in Augusta 8 PM

WED. AUGUST 14

The Last Bison @ Sky City 9 PM

THURSDAT, AUGUST 15

FRIDAY, AUGUST 16

Muuy Bien, Cars Can Be Blue, Eureka, California, Eat Lightning @ Sky City 10 PM

Mood Swings @ The Polo Tavern 9:30 PM Mississippi Kites @ Stillwater Taproom 10 PM

Ross Copley @ The Country Club 10 PM

World Tavern Poker Tournament @ Somewhere in Augusta 7 PM

ERA 9, Right to Fall & False Flag @ Sky City 10 PM

TUESDAY, AUGUST 27

Amanda Daughtry @ The Country Club 10 PM

Charlie Worsham @ Cyotes 8 PM

Funk You @ Surrey Tavern 10 PM

MONDAY, AUGUST 19

World Tavern Poker Tournament @ Somewhere in Augusta 7 PM

Brent Cobb @ Cyotes 8PM Black Iron Gathering @ Stillwater Taproom 10 PM Young Goodman Brown & Austin Miller @ M.A.D. Studios 7 PM

SATURDAY, AUGUST 10 Steven Jackson, The Beauty Fools @ M.A.D. Studios 7 PM

Trivia @ Somewhere in Augusta 8 PM

THURSDAY, AUGUST 29 Singer/Songwriters Soap Box @ M.A.D. Studios 7 PM Ray Williams @ The Polo Tavern 9:30 PM The John King Band @ The Country Club 10 PM

FRIDAY, AUGUST 30 McKenzies Mill @ The Country Club 10 PM

Brent Lundy @ The Stables Restaurant at Rose Hill Estate 7 PM VaudeVillans @ Bean Baskette 8 PM

Josh Hilley Band @ The Polo Tavern 9:30 PM Tony Williams and the Blues Express @ Surrey Tavern 10 PM

MONDAY, AUGUST 26

Funk You @ Surrey Tavern 10 PM

Electric VooDoo @ The Polo Tavern 9:30 PM

FRIDAY, AUGUST 9

Reverse Effect @ The Polo Club 9:30 PM

Nick Strums @ The Country Club 10 PM

TUESDAY, AUGUST 6

John Kolbeck @ The Polo Tavern 9:30

SATURDAY, AUGUST 24

Stereotype @ Surrey Tavern 10 PM

SATURDAY, AUGUST 17

THURSDAY, AUGUST 8

Chris Morgan @ The Stables Restaurant at Rose Hill Estate 7 PM

Jacob Morris and The Moths @ Surrey Tavern 10 PM

World Tavern Poker Tournament @ Somewhere in Augusta 7 PM

Trivia @ Somewhere in Augusta 8 PM

Southern Meltdown @ The Polo Tavern 9:30 PM

Dank Sinatra @ Sky City 10 PM

Outshyne @ The Country Club 10 PM

MONDAY, AUGUST 5

vibe

MONDAY, AUGUST 12

Keith Gregory @ The Polo Tavern 9:30 PM

SATURDAY, AUGUST 3

Laurence Juber

Pretty Petty @ The Polo Tavern 9:30 PM

TUESDAY, AUGUST 20 Trivia @ Somewhere in Augusta 8 PM

THURSDAY, AUGUST 22 Keith Gregory @ The Polo Tavern 9:30 PM

FRIDAY, AUGUST 23

SATURDAY, AUGUST 31 Will McCrainie, Bain Mattox @ Sky City 10 PM

Monkeygrass @ Stillwater Taproom 10 PM

Jim Fisher Band @ The Polo Tavern 9:30 PM

Mother’s Finest, Greg Hester @ Sky City 9 PM

Funk You Acoustic @ Surrey Tavern 10 PM

Photo from Laurence’s Web Site

continued from page 11

who was a television producer, would routinely handle all of his own fan mail. It’s doable. I do my own Facebook page and Twitter. I like to be on top of the metrics of this stuff because it’s so easy to be seduced by the technology without necessarily recognizing the effectiveness. I’ve always been pretty hands-on with what I do. For a long time I was my own agent, too, but that got unmanageable. Verge: When it’s one man, one guitar and a theater, can you count on consistency of sound, unlike a full band, multiple instruments and an arena? Juber: I can count on a consistency of sound now because I always loved the self-sufficiency of the folk guitar player. I always loved going to see somebody in a folk club and it was just them and a guitar and it was complete. It didn’t need the full band to make it happen. That really worked well with my sensibility in terms of being able to deconstruct music and recreate it on the guitar with this kind of technique that is somewhat based on a classical approach, but with a rock and roll and folk and jazz sensibility infused into it. I don’t have to do lengthy soundchecks because there’s no band, and you’re not dealing with drums and all the stuff that tends to make life a lot more complicated. My soundcheck is very quick, and at this point, because of the gear I use, it’s pretty much plug and play and I know what to expect. If there are issues sonically that come up in soundcheck, it’s usually because the house has been EQ’d to accommodate a different kind of instrumentation. I usually say, “Flatten everything out and we’ll be fine,” and we are. Sound is not something I’m worried about when I’m going from gig to gig. Verge: By the same token, it’s you and only you. The buck stops and starts there, and it’s on you to entertain and engage the audience. Pressure on? Pressure off? Juber: It’s pressure, but it’s pleasant pressure because I’m doing what I love to do. I wouldn’t be up there if I didn’t feel I was adequately prepared to entertain and to keep it going. There’s a certain amount of wear and tear that happens to a person from traveling, so I try to make sure before I get onstage that I’m suitably warmed up. Back in the 1970s I learned transcendental meditation, which is a great technique for getting caught up on lost sleep, so if I’m flying to Japan and have to do a concert the next day, I can get myself into a performance zone fairly quickly. But it’s par for the course when you put yourself out there as a solo performer. I’m not singing, so I don’t have to think about my voice. That’s one of the reasons I went with purely instrumental music -- because I felt that I would rather put all of my energy into being the best guitarist I could be, rather than compromising that and also developing vocal skills. That doesn’t mean that once in a while I won’t throw in an encore where I will sing, but it’s for the fun of it rather than for the career path of it. It’s a big responsibility to be the only person onstage, but what’s really interesting for me, because I was a very shy, self-conscious teenager, is that over the years, becoming a performer was almost self-administered therapy for that. It forced me to get out there and be able to present myself in front of an audience. One of the things that I found helpful, coming from a non-musical point of view, was watching comedians onstage and seeing how they dealt with an audience, worked out their material and added information, and were able to command an audience’s attention. Part of that, I think, has informed the way that I’ve composed pieces that are intended for live performance and choices of repertoire that have some resonance with the audience. The fact that so many people are familiar with Beatles songs and the Great American Songbook, those choices are not only favorite songs of mine but favorite songs of the audience, so that resonance happens. It’s not just me onstage; it becomes a synergy between the audience and me. There’s a feedback that happens, and I’m not just standing there feeling terribly selfconscious. I’m actually part of a dialogue with the audience. To purchase tickets for Juber’s September 15 show at the Jabez S. Harin Performing Arts Center ($20 and $25) visit augustaamusements.com 706.726.0366. by Alison Richter

AUGUST ISSUE / 17


Stay at home alternatives from the professionals at Right at Home “Right at Home� owners Celeste Hoffman and Kathy Crist introduce therapy dog Snickers to Mrs. Margaret Lista. Photo by Todd Lista.

For more information and a free in-home assessment, call

803-278-0250 or visit www.rightathome.net/csra.

18 / AUGUST ISSUE


The Movie Chick

vibe

now playing on the big screen

Oz, The Great and Powerful

behind the curtain

Stereotypes, Clichés, and Bad Messages, Oh My! I vibe

Same Name, Different Shows

have a fondness for terrible movies -- cult classics with bad acting, terrible cinematography and thoughtless plotlines are right up my alley. I enjoy these films because they make me laugh, but also because I know about low budget filmmaking. If producers don’t have resources, then movies have flaws. But if you really want to make a movie, you accept these flaws and film on. You have a greater vision.

D

o you hear the people sing? Don’t worry, you’re about to have plenty of opportunity. These words, along with the rest of the iconic lyrics from Les Miserables, will soon ring out from not one, but two, local theater companies.

I was excited about seeing Oz, The Great and Powerful. Oz was directed by Sam Raimi. Who is Sam Raimi? Only the man behind the Evil Dead trilogy! (If you like horror films and don’t know anything about the original Evil Dead starring Bruce Campbell, I suggest you pinch yourself in the leg.) Sam Raimi is known for getting cinematographic results by any means necessary, with or without funding. He is creative, and in his early years, could be considered a little unstable. His directorial style, joined with the talent of James Franco, Mila Kunis, and several other noteworthy actors, led me to believe I was about to watch one of the best worst movies in the world. (Yes, you read that right. Best worst.) And then, I saw the movie.

The Augusta Players will present the musical at the Imperial Theater in September, and just two blocks down the road, Le Chat Noir will present the same show. Some of the thinkers among you are saying, “Whoa! Those venues are completely different. How are they both going to pull that off?” I would say, very differently.

Maybe I will love Oz upon a second or third viewing. As for now, I find it to be one of the most ridiculous movies I have ever seen. The film begins in dreary, dusty, poverty-stricken Kansas where James Franco’s character, Oscar Diggs (Oz), is a small-time con man. He is part of a traveling circus of sorts and makes his living claiming to perform miracles, lying to obtain the hard-earned money of local residents in the process. During one of his performances, a wheelchair-bound young girl begs him to make her walk. He knows this is impossible, but the girl truly believes in his ability to heal. She desperately wants to walk and soon the townsfolk join in with the request. The crowd is on the verge of rioting, but Oz is crafty escapes unscathed.

At this point, most critics would tell you which one is going to be better. I would never do that. I want you to put a little extra money into your entertainment budget for September and see both productions. I also can’t tell you which is better as I’m biased -- biased toward the Players because for years I have performed with that insanely talented group of people. However, I’m also biased toward Le Chat because this show will is my first chance to act with these equally insane and equally talented local thespians. Les Mis is a huge show; so I think most people think of it on a huge stage, like the Imperial or even the Fox in Atlanta. When I heard that this little black box theater “Off Broad Street” was going to do my favorite show, I was more than skeptical. But like they always do, Le Chat surprised me. I went into the auditions and was blown away. First, more people auditioned to be part of it than will actually fit in the seats in the theater. And then, I experienced the some of the best music from the modern Broadway canon in the most intimate way I ever have. To see the emotion of this story so up close and personal moved me in a completely new way. And so now, we rehearse. I can tell you, the cast still feels the emotion of the musical’s powerful libretto even in the 167th time singing it. It’s a thrill for local actors getting a first pass at a musical that has, up until now, only been performed by the professionals. And it’s a thrill you will feel on opening night. And that’s why you can get tickets to the exact same show, and have two very different nights at the theater. So don’t even start to ask which production will be better, and simply get ready to see Augusta’s best, times two.

wes hennings has been in the performing arts since he could walk, and since moving to Augusta has been in dozens of productions with companies such as The Augusta Players, Fort Gordon Dinner Theater, Enopion Theater Company and the Augusta Opera, both on stage and behind the scenes. By day, Wes is a technical director and media producer. Questions? Story Ideas? wes.verge@gmail.com

Oz is a womanizer, a trait that causes him trouble throughout the film. As luck would have it, just as an angry husband attempts to confront Oz in his trailer about an inappropriate relationship with the man’s wife, a storm brews up and whisks Oz away to a magical land. At this point in the film, I was still buying it. The characters were overacted and the cinematography was reminiscent of all my favorite old school B-movies. But as the high-dollar special effects came into play, my feelings about the film changed. The storm and the Land of Oz are breathtaking and clearly done with the use of computer generated images. Some of the characters were created using a mix of CGI, green screens and blue motion-capture suits. It is a visual masterpiece…one that cost a great deal to create. Guess what? That’s cheating. B-movies are done on little-to-no-budget. When filmmakers know they don’t have the resources they need, but want to make the movie so badly they are willing to make a lesser version of the movie than what they see in their heads, that is when a film is created out of true passion. But Oz isn’t like this at all. They had plenty of money; they just made a terrible movie. I’m getting to the point…filmmaking is a rough hobby. Equipment, sets and actors are expensive, and it’s hard to do your best work when you don’t have all these things. But before any of these things, you must have a story. It can be simple, but there has to be cohesion -- some sense of purpose. This is what Oz is lacking. Purpose. Leaving the theatre, I discussed with my friend, Melissa, our notes on the film. We both agree on one thing…Oz is not a movie for little girls. All of the female characters were, on some level, fearful, naïve or co-dependent. Maybe if I were Sam the “Movie Dude” I wouldn’t have a problem with this, but I’m the “Movie Chick”. These are the bad messages the title makes reference to. If this were a true B-movie it might be exempt from the moral obligations I speak of. Unfortunately, I left the theatre thinking less of every person associated with making the film. Like no one involved in its making even cared if it made sense…or if it was funny…or if it had a point. Maybe I missed the point. Maybe I’ll watch it again and love it. As for now, I’m going to crack open a cold one and watch the original Evil Dead. That’ll make me feel better.

Samantha Taylor “Sam the Movie Chick,” is on a mission to report the ins and outs of local movie theaters and help readers choose which flicks are worth seeing. She loves good flicks, good food and good friends. Her eclectic style is sure to keep readers coming back for more.

AUGUST ISSUE / 19


Make Time for Travel

vibe

10 Reasons NOT to use a Travel Agent 1

. You relish pressing one for English and still getting someone working from Bombay. 2. You’ll rob yourself the experience of flying from Augusta to Hawaii with stops in Atlanta, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Las Vegas and Los Angeles just to save $49 on a round trip fare. 3. It’s tons more fun to go searching for lodging, ground transportation, activities, tours and dining from multiple sources than one call to your agent. 4. You love the time consuming detailed work of planning a complex itinerary; transfers, contact persons, emergency numbers -- don’t forget time zone changes and local holidays. 5. Documents? All you need is a birth certificate right? Or maybe a passport or Visa -- nope not the charge card a real Visa. 6. You are okay with the fact you have zero clout with travel professionals that can exercise their clout with hotels, resorts, cruise ships to provide such amenities as early check-in, late checkout, room upgrades and other special amenities. 7. You actually enjoy the challenge of arriving at 2 a.m. in a foreign city only to realize you probably should have booked a transfer from the airport to your hotel since you have, just this second, found out the cabs don’t operate from 1:30 – 4 a.m. 8. When a problem does occur prior to, during or after your trip you prefer to being directly confrontational with the source since your command of (pick one) Spanish, French, Flemish is spot on. 9. You have the time and patience to hold for long periods of time and then explaining your travel request to the 4th person that still doesn’t seem to know what you want – then being placed on hold to await yet the 5th person who won’t have a clue. 10. You see no value in using an agent’s expertise and ‘been there done that’ experience over using a website or travel wholesaler for their ‘one size fits all’ itinerary. MARGARET CENTERS is the owner of Margaret’s Travel, www. margaretstravel.com - Margaret Centers worked for Morris Travel for nearly 20 years and just formed her own agency in late 2010. Questions or Bookings for Margaret? Call 706.396.3769

20 / AUGUST ISSUE


Seasonal Bites

Blueberries A ’Plenty

/ PG 20

Beers Locals Like Grab a Brew

/ PG 22

Far East Meets Southwest See below for story

Baha Fish Takos at Takosushi, Surrey Center Augusta.

T

his month’s “Feed Family” was a little different. Since part of the family (the kid part) was in Charlotte with the grandparents, we decided that a date night was in order. We called some friends with whom we don’t get to hang out much, and we met at a great little spot in Surrey Center -- a great little spot I have heard a lot about -- Takosushi. Believe it or not, neither my husband nor I have ever eaten at Takosushi. There has been a “buzz” about this place since it opened in 2005, and we’ve often talked about giving it a try, but it just hasn’t happened until now. The menu at Takosushi is fabulous. Just as the name suggests, it offers sushi and other Asian-inspired entrées as well as entrées and appetizers with a southwestern flair. We decided to sample a little bit of a lot of things, so everyone at the table

ordered something different -- a bit of eastern and a bit of southwestern. From the sushi menu we ordered the Crazy Susan Roll and the Alaskan Roll. The Crazy Susan is shrimp tempura, fresh shrimp, crab, cucumber and avocado in a soy wrap, flash-fried and topped with teriyaki glaze and takosushi sauce; the Alaskan is snow crab meat, avocado and masago. I have not typically been a big fan of sushi, but this was delicious. We also had the veggie eggrolls, which were fresh and cooked perfectly. From the southwestern selections we chose Baha Fish Takos and Chicken Lettuce wraps. I’m not sure how one chef, Kevin Goldsmith, can do so many types of cuisine so well, but he’s got it figured out. According to Takosushi’s website, ... continued on page 22

AUGUST ISSUE / 21


seasonal bites

feeding the family

... continued from page 21

Filet Mignon with blueberry reduction and bleu cheese crumbles.

Blueberries in Abundance I

t’s blueberry harvesting time again for our family. My in-laws have several blueberry bushes in their backyard, and we are constantly looking for delicious new ways to use them. We’ve mastered the sweet stuff -- muffins, pancakes, jam and pound cakes -- but we’ve recently been introduced to interesting new way to use them in a main course. On a “date night” with my spouse recently, we both ordered Black and Blue Filets, assuming that the “blue” referred only to the yummy cheese crumbles. We were wrong! When the waitress placed the steaks on the table, they were drizzled with a blueberry reduction sauce. They were topped with bleu cheese crumbles, as we expected, but the sauce was a surprise. It was a pleasant surprise, I must say. The sauce was delicious, yet simple; it paired perfectly with the beef and bleu cheese, adding just a hint of sweetness. I left this restaurant, as I often do, on a mission to figure out this recipe and duplicated it at home. With so many blueberries on hand, I was thrilled to have something new to try. After a couple of attempts, here’s what I came up with…

article by Jennifer Pruett

Black and Blue Filet Mignon

INGREDIENTS

6-8 ounce beef filet mignon Salt and pepper to taste 1 cup fresh blueberries 3/4 cup dry-medium bodied red wine (Melot, Pinot Noir) 1 ½ Teaspoon white sugar 1 Teaspoon lemon zest 1 Teaspoon cornstarch 1 Teaspoon cold water

Directions

Pour the blueberries, wine, sugar and lemon zest in a medium-sized saucepan on medium-high heat, and simmer until all the blueberries pop. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and cold water. Stir into sauce and simmer until clear and thick (about 1 min). Grill the steaks to desired doneness (my personal preference is mediumrare). If you have time to prepare and cook on a charcoal grill, do so, instead of using a gas grill. The briquettes give the filet a much better flavor. Spoon the blueberry reduction over filet mignon, and top with bleu cheese crumbles. The subtle tang of the bleu cheese and the slight sweetness of the blueberry sauce is a perfect combination. I am very grateful that my in-laws are willing to share their bumper blueberry crop with us. It’s fun for us to come up with new ways to enjoy them. If you like the sound of this reduction sauce but you are not a fan of beef, it can also be used atop grilled pork tenderloin, fish or chicken. Give it a try. Send any feedback or questions to Jennifer.pruett@comcast.net. Remember, happiness is homemade! Never underestimate the influence of the little things. Bon appetite!

22 / AUGUST ISSUE

Tako Sushi restaurant, Surrey Center Augusta Ga.

“Years of living, eating and cooking in the Southwest, has resulted in a menu that is truly authentic. Then there’s his love for all things Asian. Go figure.” The atmosphere is casual and relaxed, and the décor is sleek and eclectic. Indoor and outdoor seating is available at for both lunch and dinner. At lunchtime there are only a few tables outside, but during the dinner hours, more tables are added to the sidewalk in fronts of the stores, as they are not open for business in the evenings. Inside, there are tables as well as a full-service sushi bar. Since our friends arrived before we did (I am late for everything), they got to choose where we sat -- and they chose to sit outside. As I’ve have mentioned in past columns, I love outside dining. And Takosushi did not disappoint. It was quieter than it would have been if we’d sat inside, so we were able to chat and enjoy each other’s company, and the warm night air was enjoyable. The only drawback…the flies trying to share my dinner (I’m no entomologist, but it seems that someone somewhere would come up with a way to keep them at bay -- the citronella candles just didn’t do the job). Anyway, it was a nice night out, and I was happy with our decision to take advantage of being outdoors. The service at Takosushi was great. We were seated quickly, and our server was attentive, friendly and very helpful with the menu. He answered all of our questions and saw to it that we had everything we needed throughout the course of the meal. Our food came to us quickly, but we never felt rushed. We even stuck around after dinner to have a cocktail and just enjoyed fresh air and good company. Our meal cost was $53, which I consider a great “double-date night” ticket. The portions were just right, and we all left perfectly satisfied. I would definitely recommend a night out a Takosushi . Grab a couple of friends and head out for a relaxed night. You are guaranteed to have great food in an inviting environment. Enjoy!

FOOD QUALITY Atmosphere OVERALL

By Sally Panini


AUGUST ISSUE / 23


24 / AUGUST ISSUE


beers locals like

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale

Chocolate and Bourbon S

o, I had a chance to pop in to Boar’s Head not too long ago for a pint with some buddies, and as I was walking in the door I stopped, looked up at the sky, and saw this big bright thing I just knew I had seen before. It was too bright to stare at, made my face feel warm and seemed to be lighting up all of downtown. I thought, “Should I get down on my knees and worship this enormous aberration with its strange and haunting glow?” Then I remembered: it’s the sun!!! It had rained for such a biblically long period of time that I had actually forgotten what our closest celestial exothermic body looked like. I quickly rushed into Boar’s Head and grabbed the nearest pint I could find in celebration. Then I decided to grab another. Having a few minutes left to putter around downtown, I wrote down how they looked and tasted. Then I decided to write an article about it in Verge. Indeed, a very, very good day.

to sell

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout – Yup, you guessed it. I threw a double chocolate stout into the August edition of Beers Locals Like. I know, I know…However, if I can’t have a dark beer in the summertime, then I’m gonna say you can’t have Coke in the summertime. Made ya think, didn’t it? Well, in addition to being coffee dark, Young’s Chocolate has an unassuming aroma of cocoa and milk chocolate. A sip doesn’t send you into Willy Wanka’s laboratory, but it gives you enough chocolaty tone to know what you’re drinking. The sweet after-taste is subtle, but there, and doesn’t linger too long (ABV is 5.2%). Overall, Young’s Double Chocolate Stout is another great addition to the downtown scene from Britain that is significant in taste, smell and appearance but doesn’t overcook it. I’d recommend it in a mug. Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale -- Now this one will give you something to think about. At 8.19% ABV, this English Strong Ale from Lexington, Kentucky is sweet, bourbonesque and not too smoky. It pours a tad lighter than you’d think, and the nose hints at oak, bourbon, vanilla and just a tinge of bitters. Taking the first sip, there’s an unexpected punch, but it almost immediately decays into a sweet and oaky flavor with notes of cherries and a tad of butterscotch. The taste doesn’t overwhelm, making this ale pretty user-friendly. It would go well with fish and chips, pork or anything with mashed potatoes -- trust me on that one. Of course, it goes just fine by itself, as well.

BEN CASELLA doesn’t really have a taste for chocolate. He doesn’t really drink bourbon either. However, for some reason he enjoys them both in the form of beer. What can he say? Sometimes things just work out for him…

AUGUST ISSUE / 25


Open s 24 Hour

4361 Washington Road Evans, GA 706-364-2095 26 / AUGUST ISSUE

3125 Peach Orchard Road Augusta, GA 706-364-6147


Ask Dr. Karp

The Skinny on School Lunches

Around Town Man’s Best Friend

Kroc Augusta It’s Never Too Late

/ PG 29

/ PG 31

/ PG 33

I Am Second See below for story by Steve SWANSON

I

have a friend that describes the attitude of Americans this way: “Me first, myself second, and if there’s anything else left I’ll take it”. While we tend to chuckle at a statement like this, the fact is, that we are by nature, selfish and self-centered people.

Yes, the monsters of greed and selfishness are rampant in our land, but to me there are also signs of hope -- indicators that not everyone is choosing the normal path of selfish living.

Growing up around church folks I’ve often heard the acronym “JOY”- Standing for Jesus first. Others second. Yourself last. Although this sounds simplistic, I certainly do believe choosing to elevate others before yourself brings your life a much greater degree of happiness and fulfillment.

I recently read an article about Albert Pujols, the first baseman of the Los Angeles Angels. Even to the casual sports fan, Albert is an internationally known sports superstar. In his 12 years as a major league ball player he’s never hit less than 30 home runs in a season. He helped the St. Louis Cardinals win the World Series in 2006 and continued on page 30

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AUGUST ISSUE / 27


marriage

values

The Truth about Divorce R

ecently, I sat down with a friend in his early 30’s to have a burrito on his lunch break at Moe’s in the Augusta Mall. On this day, we weren’t just meeting to eat some chips and salsa and talk about sports; this conversation had a much more serious tone. My friend’s wife has requested a divorce, and he wanted to talk to me about the best way to share the news with their young children. As we talked through the different scenarios and the reality of what was happening began to sink in, he broke down crying in the middle of the crowded restaurant. He wasn’t crying because of the financial devastation that was about to hit him as their income was shredded by divorce attorneys; and he wasn’t crying about damaged pride as friends and family members learned of the failed marriage. He was crying because he realized that his family was forcefully being ripped apart and pain was going to be deep and potentially lifelong.

He was picturing holidays that he would spend without his kids and family memories that would never be made. He was grieving the loss of stability and protection his children would now lose with a Mommy and a Daddy in two separate homes, and he was also grieving the loss of his wife. The woman he had pledged to love “til death do us part” would no longer be by his side and the dream of their life together had become another casualty of this divorce. We’ve seen far too many friends walk through similar circumstances, and here are a few things we’ve learned: 1. The #1 Cause of Divorce is…Selfishness. We are definitely not trying to condemn or judge people who leave a marriage because of dangerous or adulterous situations, but in our “No Fault Divorce” era, there are so many couples who call it quits out of pure selfishness. In these cases, one of the spouses starts fantasizing about how much better life would be if the other spouse was out of the picture and they start getting bad advice from single and divorced friends who help reinforce this mindset until they willingly throw away their marriage and family and trade it in for a fantasy that doesn’t exist.

       



2. Nobody wins. The spouse who leaves usually plans an exit strategy where they’ll come out with everything they want, but it never happens that way. The only people who “win” in divorce are the attorneys! Your children will lose in ways bigger than you can imagine, and both spouses will pay a heavy price financially and emotionally. Everyone involved will be hurt. 3. It can be prevented. Be willing to do the things necessary to build a divorce-proof marriage. We are convinced that any couple can make it if they’re willing to commit to God and to each other. Remember that a “perfect marriage” is simply two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other! For more resources and encouragement about strengthening your marriage and preventing divorce, please visit our sites www.DaveWillis.org and www.StrongerMarriages.org

Dave and Ashley Willis are the founders of “The facebook Marriage Page” (www.StrongerMarriages. org) which currently has more than 500,000 subscribers from around the world. They are College Sweethearts and have been married for twelve years. They have three young sons and their live in Evans, GA and serve in ministry at Stevens Creek Church in Augusta.

28 / AUGUST ISSUE

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right at home

values

Solutions for Improper Nutrition with Aging Adults

F

or the elderly, staying hydrated and getting the proper nutrition is crucial. Thirty one percent of the elderly are chronically dehydrated. One in four older adults suffer from improper nutrition. As we age there can be a disassociation between how hydrated our bodies are and how we feel. Families who are uncertain of how to deal with this issue often turn to Right at Home for help. We tell them sudden weight loss can be a red flag. A physician should be consulted to rule out things such as a bacterial infection in the stomach. Having a loss of appetite as we age is a common occurrence. The aging process brings many changes in our bodies. Changes in the sense of smell, taste and even hearing can affect the enjoyment of food. Dental problems, depression and medication side effects also play a big part of appetite loss. Right at Home understands that adult caregiving roles for an aging parent can be a real challenge, especially while juggling other responsibilities. Right at Home helps solve problems like the lack of nutrition for many of our clients. We take care of the grocery shopping and prepare healthy meals following any specific diet ordered by their doctor. Our caregivers encourage fluids when needed, document what is consumed, chart input and output, record vital signs and can record weight daily. Here are some practical things you can do if you are concerned about a loved one with a suppressed appetite inadequate nutrition: Create recipes that are delicious and are loaded with special ingredients to add extra nutrients, fiber and protein to the diet. Set a regular eating schedule; our bodies thrive on regularity. Overcome dry mouth from medications by using an oral rinse before meals that can improve taste sensation. Eating alone can reduce appetite. Schedule meal “dates” with family, friends or caregivers. Our goal at Right at Home is to improve the quality of life for our clients. We are very happy to be able to do so and to make a difference in their lives every day. Kathy Crist Right at Home continually strives to improve the quality of life for our clients. Our caregivers engage our client in activities including going for walks, working a puzzle, playing cards, listening to music, going out to lunch or simply letting the client reminisce about their life.

       

    

ask Dr. Karp

values

Cynthia in Augusta asks…

Are school lunches healthy?

S

chool’s beginning soon and questions about school lunches (and breakfasts and snacks) are popping up in parents’ minds. “Are school lunches healthy?” Well, the answer is “yes,” they are healthy…and about to get healthIER because of the provisions of the “Health, Hunger-Fee Kids Act,” a Federal act passed in 2010 and starting to be implemented this year. Although it is true that parents and kids complain about school lunches all the time, when you look carefully to see what is being attempting by school nutrition personnel, it is quite remarkable. Childhood obesity is a big issue in the country; Georgia has the second highest kids’ obesity rate. This federal act is a step in the right direction to lower childhood obesity rates. Now, if only kiddies can receive the same, consistent nutrition messages at home, in their churches, temples, mosques and in their communities, this would have quite an impact. How are things about to change? The new regulations will have a 3 year phase-in period; during the upcoming school year, emphasis will be placed on making school lunches healthier. Next year, the emphasis will be on healthier school breakfasts. The changes will align the school nutrition guidelines with the findings and recommendations of the USDA Dietary Guidelines. So, for example, the quality of grains served in school lunches will be increased so that they are at least 50% whole grain. The fruit and vegetable servings will be increased, and the total calories allowed in each meal will be decreased. In addition, the only milks that will be available will be low fat or fat free milks. The new school nutrition standards also aim to reduce saturated fat, trans fat and salt (sodium) in the meals. You will start seeing healthier versions of chips (baked and reduced-fat), and even the pizza will have whole-grain crusts and low fat cheeses. School nutrition programs are finally permitted to purchase fresh foods grown on local farms, another very positive aspect of the new school nutrition guidelines. School vending machine offerings must be changed under this bill. The new law set standards which limit the salt, calories and fat contents of items in vending machines such as snacks, chips, cheese puffs and flavored popcorns. In addition, the USDA is banning the vending machine sale of high sugar items such as cereal bars, cookies, and cakes. Regular colas, fruit-flavored candies and chocolate bars will be replaced with healthier snacks such as light popcorn and no-calorie flavored water. All offerings in elementary and middle school cafeterias will have to be caffeine-free; the amount of caffeine allowed in high school cafeterias and vending machines is being evaluated. Bagged lunches that children bring from home will be exempt from these rules. However, let me add a word of caution. When you examine the nutritional quality of foods brought from home compared to the school cafeteria foods, the school foods win, NO CONTEST. That is not to say that it is impossible to prepare some very healthy bagged lunches and send them in with your kid. However, this is the exception, rather than the rule. Hey, moms and dads, a juice box or can of cola, a Twinkie (yes, they are back), chips and a peanut-butter-and-jelly-sandwich just don’t cut it, even though your kids may like it. It is simply not healthy and will not grow healthy kids. There is no doubt that the best nutritional choice for kids is to eat the school lunches (and this is the easiest for parents, too). It always amazes me that we do not give more respect and “thanks” to the school nutrition personnel in our community. I interact with them frequently and they are a very committed group of men and women whose only goal is improving the health and nutrition of our children. The school nutrition programs are also headed by registered dietitians who are extremely knowledgeable and, unlike the vendors, school nutrition staff does not have a profit motive; they are our best advocates for healthy food for our kids. The next time you meet someone from the school nutrition program in your community, give them some “kudos.” Better yet, volunteer to be on your school’s or county’s wellness committee and be a very vocal and persistent advocate for healthy foods and daily physical activity for children during the school day. What’s the “no nonsense nutrition advice” for today? Simply this; support your school nutrition program and take the nutritious and easy path to insure healthy lunches for your kids. Enroll them in the school lunch program. Then, at home, reinforce what they are learning. YOU need to eat the same high-quality foods, too.

“Ask Dr. Karp” focuses on food, diet and nutrition. Dr. Warren Karp is a Professor Emeritus at Georgia Regents University. If you have a question you would like answered in this column, post it on his Facebook page, facebook.com/Askdrkarp.

AUGUST ISSUE / 29


victory lane

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your faith

values

continued from page 27

2011. He’s won the National League’s player of the year award three times. He has also been voted the most feared hitter in baseball by 30 National League managers.

Augusta International Raceway was a regular stop on the NASCAR schedule in the 1960s.

Augusta and Nascar I

t’s not often that Augusta, Georgia and NASCAR are mentioned in the same sentence. After all, Augusta is known for a little golf tournament called the Masters that’s held every spring. However, for a brief time between 1960 and 1970, Augusta was a regular stop on the NASCAR schedule. The Augusta International Raceway was built on twelve hundred plus acres of land on the south side of the city. It had accommodations for many forms of racing and in its time was the largest racing complex in the world. The facility has mostly been destroyed now making way for new housing and recreational complexes, but a small group of local racing enthusiasts have made it their mission to preserve its history. “What we are looking to do is preserve the history of racing in Augusta,” said Augusta International Raceway Preservation Society (AIRPS) president Curtis Glass. The facility was a unique complex in its time with many different types of racing planned throughout the year. “There was a drag strip, a half mile oval track, midget racing track and a three-mile road course,” continued Glass. “There even were plans on the books for a water drag boat course on the property’s two lakes.” The oval track was by far the most successful part of the facility and the Augusta 501 was a regular stop on the NASCAR Grand National schedule, now known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. “If you were to have attended one of the races in the 1960’s you would have seen some of NASCAR’s legends battle it out,” added Jack Watson, AIRPS Vice President. “Drivers like Tiny Lund, Richard Petty, David Pearson and Cotton Owens all raced on our track.” The facility now is part of the Diamond Lakes Recreational Complex, but portions of the old racing surface are still present if you know where to look. “The three mile road course and the old pit road are still pretty much intact,” explained Glass. “Our hope is to preserve the few remaining sections.” AIRPS has erected a monument on the property just outside the old pit road to commemorate the racing events held during the facility’s prime years; however, they need our help. “We need some help from the surrounding communities,” explained Glass. “We need members, copies of old pictures from the site and support to keep our efforts moving forward.” The group holds its annual Hall of Fame banquet and car show in the middle of September with tickets always available to the public. If you would like to help preserve this era of racing in Augusta, you can reach out to AIRPS at augustainternationalraceway.org or by clicking on their site link at victorylaneonfox.com. NASCAR’s roots are fading away each year, but my hope is to preserve some of that history so future generations can see from where the sport came. This group of race fans is doing its part in the Augusta, Georgia area, and I’m sure they would appreciate your help. So roll up your sleeves and jump in! If you want to hear more about the history of NASCAR or follow the Sprint Cup Series each week, be sure to follow “The Lugnut Cowboy”, Glenn Campbell, at victorylaneonfox. com, or catch him during the sportscast on WFXG TV Fox54 every Tuesday night during the News at 10 p.m.

Glenn Campbell, Syndicated NASCAR Reporter Born the son of a successful local short track race car driver, Glenn spent most of his childhood traveling between race tracks across the Midwest. Glenn’s love of racing ultimately led him to a career in NASCAR reporting. Glenn has hosted NASCAR radio talk shows on ESPN Radio, Fox Sports Radio, and television talk shows on local ABC and Fox affiliate stations. His following has now led him to sharing his knowledge and unique perspective of NASCAR in multiple markets across Georgia.

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While growing up in poverty in the Dominican Republic Albert’s dream was to play baseball like his dad. It would seem by now that he has accomplished his baseball goals and that his legacy with the game is secure. However, in the midst of the spotlight and recognition, Albert has made his personal goals clear. “I don’t want people to remember me as just a baseball player,” Pujols says “To me, off the field is more important that what I do on the field. Yeah, I want to be a great baseball player, but I also want to be a godly daddy and husband, setting an example for my kids. If you would ask me this 20 years ago, I would have told you that I thought it was about me.” So what changed? In 1996, Albert met his future bride Deidre. Her faith and love made a deep impression on the direction of his life, and the couple’s daughter Isabella, (who has Down’s syndrome) has dramatically shifted Albert’s life perspective and priorities as well. Through his faith journey, Pujols has become a stronger man with deepening convictions about the visible platform he has. In 2005, Albert started the Pujols family foundation. It’s a non-profit that focuses on helping families with Down’s syndrome children. “A friend of mine challenged me about four years ago to ask every guy who gets to first base what the most important thing in their life is. The response I get is why am I asking such a question? I tell them because there is more to this life than just this game.” I encourage you to have watch Albert’s story at www.iamsecond.com. The web site also shares the stories of many other recognizable people -- many would call them celebrities -each sharing how they came to the realization that selfish living is an empty pursuit. Closer to home, we have spent time encouraging our 88.3 WAFJ listeners to enjoy their summer activities but also to be intentional about not focusing all of the energy and activity on themselves. We’ve challenged listeners to SERVE OTHERS through the months of June and July. More than 120 WAFJ listeners have answered the call and are personally combatting selfishness by serving others as “Summer Servants”. Each has decided to identify needs in their neighborhoods and community, and to give at least ten hours of their time to reach out in practical ways to volunteer and meet needs. It’s EASY to be selfish and pour time and energy in to the things we want when we want them. It’s also EASY to spend what we make on ourselves. It’s perfectly natural to put our wants and desires above everyone and everything else. But.... How about a few questions for little self-analysis? WHO occupies the top priority in your life? WHO or WHAT are you living for? There can only be one place in your life for your highest priority. WHO occupies that place today? In your life, is it all about you? Jesus said it this way, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35 NIV). From the news headlines and my personal observation, it’s clear most people default to making themselves “No. 1”. However, there is a choice; it’s a choice Albert Pujols has made. It’s a decision many in the 88.3 WAFJ listening family have made. It’s a choice I have made as well. When God is first and I am second, daily life has a positive and lasting impact on others and brings personal fulfillment. I’d like to thank those who have taken the time to encourage me to write these articles. I appreciate you reading them and would love to know how they’ve impacted you. The easiest way to reach me is through e-mail at steve@wafj.com

STEVE swanson serves as the Station Manager of Family Friendly 88.3 WAFJ. He’s invested 30+ Years in the world of radio and was named the Christian Music Broadcasters Program Director of the year 2009 and 2011. He and his wife Susie make their home in North Augusta.


team skinnykiss

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Kathy Walker, Krystal Oestreich, Julie Spires, Teresa Cox, Angie Benfield, Nancy Wallace, Cheryl Landers and Babette Dodson – all part of Team Stinkykiss.

Making a Difference for “Man’s Best Friend” T

eam Stinkykiss Shelter Rescue Project has only been in action for six months, yet already they have had over thirty dogs come through their foster care program and into loving forever-homes, saving them from near certain death inside one of the areas kill shelters. According to organizer Angie Benfield, the euthanasia rate for stray dogs taken into shelters in the CSRA is between 75 and 95 percent. Richmond, Columbia and Aiken counties all are forced to kill many of the dogs they take in because they are obligated to never turn away a rescue. “They only have so much space, and basically it becomes a sanitation issue,” she said. “People need to spay and neuter their pets. I had one lady message me who wanted to breed their dog, but for every litter that is brought into the world, twice that many dogs are being killed. You’re much better off finding a dog from a shelter, and if someone wants a specific breed or type of dog then they can contact us and we will scour the shelters looking for a dog that will suit your needs.” Pit Bulls are the most common type of dog in shelters, both because of the stigma attached to them and because of overbreeding. Most are between one and three years old, but Stinkykiss has adopted dogs as old as eight years and as young as three months. Many have been abused, and their foster parents spend as much time as possible conditioning the dogs to trust humans again. “Some dogs need more work than others,” said Benfield. “They’re not Christmas presents, so if you adopt a dog you need to be prepared to make them a part of your family. Dogs are aware of everything you do, so if you hurt them one time they will remember it forever.” “All it takes is a little patience and a little love,” said Babette Dodson, one of fourteen ladies currently on the team. “The last one I had, a little black poodle, was hit in the face, and I just held him a lot and showed her I wasn’t going to hurt her, and she got used to me within a few weeks.” They never agree to on-the-spot adoptions, but consider their regular station at Augusta’s Saturday Market to be a meet-and-greet location, to be followed by an application review and a home visit to make sure the dog is a match for the potential owner’s lifestyle. “We all worked for other rescues and we all saw things they didn’t do, like home visits and follow ups visits,” said Benfield. “We all saw a need that wasn’t being met and we decided to get together and save as many as we could, but we knew from the beginning we wanted to be foster based because it helps us find out how the dog is going to behave.” Team Stinkykiss is also getting ready to expand to cats as soon as they assemble a team willing to foster cats. Most adoptions come off the team’s Facebook page, which currently has 900 likes, and they recently coordinated with petfinder.com to post photos of their animals, giving them another avenue for adoptions. “We’ve made an impact in 35 lives so far,” said Benfield, “but we have millions more to go.” Anyone interested in adopting a dog or becoming a part of the fostering team may contact TeamSKRescue@gmail.com for more information. By Christopher Selmek

AUGUST ISSUE / 31


here’s to your health

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Here’s To Your Health Is Presented By International Uniforms. Take Advantage Of Their Offer Below!

Photo courtesy of Fox News First FDA-Approved Brain Wave Test for ADHD Developed in Augusta

First FDA-Approved Brain Wave Test for ADHD Developed in Augusta

On July 15 the FDA approved the first brain wave test for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), saying it may improve the accuracy of diagnoses by medical experts. The new test is known as the Neuropsychiatric EEG-Based Assessment Aid (NEBA) System. The testing device is made by NEBA Health in Augusta, Georgia, measures electrical impulses given off by neurons in the brain. A 15- to 20-minute test calculates the ratio of certain brain wave frequencies known as theta and beta waves in children age 6 to 17. “The theta/beta ratio has been shown to be higher in children and adolescents with ADHD than in children without it,” the US Food and Drug Administration said. “Diagnosing ADHD is a multistep process based on a complete medical and psychiatric exam,” cautioned Christy Foreman, director of the Office of Device Evaluation at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. Darren Scheyer, with PIA Learning Centers in Augusta stated, “Because overt behaviors common to ADHD also occur in several other conditions, proper testing can rule out other conditions or validate the diagnosis of ADHD. We cannot just assume that because a child has trouble paying attention, focusing or staying seated, that the child has The FDA said the test “can help confirm an ADHD diagnosis” or help decide if further treatment should focus on “other medical or behavioral conditions that produce symptoms similar to ADHD.” “Processing skill deficiencies associated with speed, memory, logic and reasoning and auditory analysis all share common traits with ADHD. Being able to confirm or rule out ADHD allows for proper treatment and training that can make significant impacts in students’ lives. When not properly diagnosed, the traditional treatment of ADHD using medication can miss the mark,” stated Scheyer. The FDA approved the NEBA device after reviewing it as a new and “low- to moderate-risk medical device.” An independent review found the device “aided clinicians in making a more accurate diagnosis of ADHD when used in conjunction with a clinical assessment for ADHD, compared with doing the clinical assessment alone,” the FDA said. ADHD is believed to occur in 5 to 10 percent of US children, and a study in the journal Pediatrics last year found a 46 percent rise in ADHD prescriptions from 2002 to 2010. “I’m saddened by the number of kids who come to PIA with the diagnosis of ADHD, who have been taking medication for years with little or no benefit because the original diagnosis was incorrect. To have an FDA-approved device that can help with physicians’ diagnoses of ADHD is invaluable for proper treatment. With accurate diagnosis comes effective treatment. The more we know about neuroplasticity, the more we know that the brain can increase its functioning through proper training along with our without the use of medication.

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Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club Raise Nearly $160,000 for Children’s Hospital of Georgia

Local Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores raised $159,629 for Children’s Hospital of Georgia, a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, through a six-week fundraising campaign that ended June 21. Customers, members and employees raised the funds mostly $1 at a time with donations taken at the register. The not-for-profit Children’s Hospital of Georgia uses CMN Hospital funds for urgent needs, including specialized equipment and services, pediatric research and education. The 154bed CHOG is the second-largest children’s hospital in the state, providing the highest level of pediatric critical care and neonatal intensive care, as well as a wide range of general and complex health care for children. Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club have partnered with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals since 1987, raising more than $650 million. In 2012, Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club associates, customers and members raised more than $60 million for CMN Hospitals across the United States and Canada. Compiled from Press Releases By Jennifer Pruett

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kroc center

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It’s Never Too Late (or Too Early) to Learn C

rayons, pencils, backpacks and lunch boxes line the shelves of local stores as we approach the upcoming school year. And while the focus is on children getting a great local education, we at The Salvation Army Kroc Center believe that continuing to learn and experience new things is a worthy lifelong goal for people of all ages. Art, music and educational classes help children to grow and adults to expand their horizons. It is never too early to learn and never too late to develop a new talent. At a recent Kroc Center music recital, an eight-year-old piano student impressed the audience with a beautifully played tune that he wrote himself in the advanced level piano class. And at our stringed instrument summer jam sessions, an 86-year-old plays along with a group of other music lovers, including instructor Eryn Eubanks. She began learning to play at the age of 60 after a lifelong love of music. Music is a universal language that can be felt and understood by anyone. But why stop at playing an instrument? Preschoolers can learn coordination, balance, rhythm and expression through creative movement. Children can bring their imagination to life in a Myth, Magic & Dragons mixed media illustration class. Adults can paint their own masterpieces or learn more about gardening. And if you can hum a tune or write a sentence then you -- yes, you -- can learn how to write a song! It is never too late to continue your education, learn a new language or use a computer. We love to see people boot up a computer or sign up for an e-mail account for the very first time in a computer class. Lives are transformed through the hard work of those in GED classes who have new opportunities available to them as they work toward new job goals and higher education. At any age, a handmade gift is a precious memory to hold onto, and children, teens and adults alike can show their creative talent and artistic abilities to make special gifts for the ones they love that will be treasured for a lifetime. Little sculptors could make clay ornaments while the adults create their own wreaths or decorate their homes from their gardens. And why not create a digital scrapbook to remember it all? The holidays are for everyone, and adding that personal touch will create wonderful memories for all. The arts and continuing education enrich the lives of everyone at any stage of life and there is truly something for everyone here at The Salvation Army Kroc Center. See for yourself at www.krocaugusta.org! By Melody Taylor, Arts & Education Associate, The Salvation Army Kroc Center

AUGUST ISSUE / 33


WHAT DOES THE REST OF THE WORLD KNOW THAT YOU DON’T?

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Job # 1271GRM13 • Job Title: Spine_BuzzOnBiz Publication: Buzz On Bizz • Colors (include spots if used): CMYK Trim: 9.5 x 2.9 Date due to Pub: • Run Date:


AUGUST ISSUE / 35


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Education brought to you by: GEORGIA MILITARY COLLEGE

Augusta Tech Offering New Chemical Technology Program

Augusta Technical College is offering a new program in Chemical Technology. Graduates of this two year, five semester program will receive an Associate Degree in Applied Science in the field of Chemical Technology. It is the only program of its kind in Georgia. This newly-created program was the brainchild of Dr. Charles (Rick) Hall, VP of Academic Affairs and Dr. David Maryniak, Chair of the Chemistry Department, both long time members of Augusta Technical College. The program is headed by Dr. LeVerne Fernandez, a retired SRS veteran with considerable teaching experience. The program is loaded with chemistry courses designed to train for direct entry into the workforce or be prepared for further education in the chemical field. Forty five of the sixty credit hours needed for graduation are in chemistry courses. Chemical technicians will find a variety of employment opportunities in government laboratories, manufacturing facilities, environmental and research laboratories as well as production, both in operations and quality control. The actual job duties are varied and include operating facilities, equipment and instruments, and analyzing plant materials to ensure quality and process safety. They will also be able to perform assigned experiments in research settings. There are about two dozen potential employers of these graduates in the CSRA, a major reason for initiating this program; there are at least four major employers at the SRS site plus a large and diverse group of companies in the Augusta area who can utilize chemically trained personnel. Registration for Fall Semester is going on now. Classes begin on August 19. For more information, contact Dr. LeVerne Fernandez at lfernandez@augustatech.edu or 706.771.4852 or visit www.augustatech.edu.

New Book Examines Steve Jobs, the Cult of Apple, and the Engineering of Enlightenment

VERGE FREE

Apple founder Steve Jobs’s visionary use of media to explain technology to a hungry culture has created a de facto religion, says University of Notre Dame business professor Brett T. Robinson in his new book, Appletopia: Media Technology and the Religious Imagination of Steve Jobs (Baylor University Press, $24.95 cloth, August 15, 2013). “The Renaissance Man from Los Altos found a way to imitate God by endowing a cold lifeless bundle of circuits with a soul,” Robinson says. A unique combination of left- and right- brain, Jobs provided the meaning that people were eager to find in the burgeoning technological revolution. He re-imagined technology not as a dehumanizing force but as spiritually liberating. He believed that the computer was for more than crunching code, it was meant to be an aesthetic experience. Yet Apple’s romantic notions of self-fulfillment in the form of enlightened machines have resulted in a device lifestyle that breeds internet addiction, hollow relationships, and short attention spans. Jobs spent his life trying to resolve the contradiction that the more we use media technology the more our interior lives shrivel, says Robinson. “Jobs never lost his inner Buddhist monk. He confronted the paradox by adhering to the tenets of Eastern spirituality, imagining technology as a tool for expanding human consciousness rather than diminishing it.” Apple stores have become modern-day shrines—the $7 million shimmering glass cube on Fifth Avenue is one of the most photographed landmarks in New York. Examining Apple iconography, Robinson shows how it conflates technology and the sacred. Apple’s advertising campaigns, branding messages, product design and store layout are emblems of a culture that has adopted technology as a religion. Whether iMacs, iPhones or iPods, Apple offers its acolytes a way to fulfill the human desire for transcendence. “When the shared sense of transcendence recedes from the wonders of nature and the baroque cathedrals of religion, enchantment is sought elsewhere,” Robinson says. The number of people turning to technology in search of transcendent experiences illustrates what it means to be human in the age of machines. Compiled from Press Releases By Jennifer Pruett

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Sam G. Nicholson and Harry D. Revell and the law Àrm of

Nicholson Revell LLP are pleased to announce that

George S. “Sam” Nicholson has joined the Àrm as an associate. Prior to graduating from Virginia Tech, Sam was the varsity golf team captain. He then attended and graduated from the Georgia State University College of Law. Sam is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, is currently an Executive Committee Member of the Augusta Bar Association and serves on the Board of Trustees for Augusta Preparatory Day School. Prior to joining Nicholson Revell LLP, Sam served over two years as an Assistant District Attorney for the Augusta Judicial Circuit. Sam’s experience will be a welcome addition to the Àrm’s focus in the areas of serious personal injury, consumer protection, and criminal defense.

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life face first

A Rude Awakening A

t 4 a.m. my cell phone rumbled loudly on the night stand. I thrust an arm out from under the covers and fumbled for it. I normally change the setting to complete silence at night. I must have accidentally left it on vibrate and the high setting at that because it made so much noise that it could double as a tornado siren. My fingers found the phone and pressed the silence button. The rumbling continued. I sat up and blinked at my phone in confusion. The screen was black, there was no incoming call and the display showed that there never was an incoming call. I was confused. I was sure I heard it. The rumbling happened again. This time, I was awake and I knew where it came from. I glared at my husband Brian who tranquilly slept next to me. On his next inhale, the bed rattled like we were in a small earthquake. I shot him a nasty look. He exhaled peacefully. The rumbling started again. The cat awoke, rose and crossed the bed. He lay on Brian’s chest and rose and fell with each inhale and exhale. Inspired by the noise, the cat began purring. I rolled my eyes. Annoyed, I shoved Brian until he stopped snoring. He grunted but didn’t wake up. When silence ensued, I lay back down to sleep. I had just drifted off when a sudden roar shook me awake. I groaned. Brian snored again louder than before. I put a pillow over my head and tried to go

values back to sleep. Suddenly, the noise broke off with a snort mid-roar. I sat up concerned thinking that my husband had stopped breathing. With a growl and a great whooshing exhale, Brian resumed snoring. My instinct was to scream and whack him with a pillow but painful experience taught me that he kicks in his sleep and his toenails draw blood. Unconsciously, I pulled my legs up away from his feet. I started to put my pillow back over my head but stopped. Perhaps I was putting the pillow on the wrong head. I eyed my husband. He could sleep through anything. I wondered. Supposed I put the pillow over Brian’s face instead of my own? I mulled this over for a few moments. What would I do if I put the pillow over Brian’s head and he suffocated in his sleep? The cat watched me from Brian’s chest smiling smugly as only a cat can. Of course, I would blame the cat! I stuck the pillow on my husband’s face and returned to sleep. nora blithe is an Augusta native, an entrepreneur and a syndicated humor columnist. She lives in Greenville, SC with her husband Brian and their pets. Read her syndicated humor column Life Face First in Verge or find her online at doorinface.com or email her directly at norablithe@gmail.com.

Love letters from Fran and Jack

Threshold (part 5)

J

ack glared down at his shotgun. It was in the dirt a few feet from the pile of discarded tools. He had to go back down. He thought of how exposed he would be on the ground, how easily flanked from the blind corners of the barn. He’d read the stories and seen the pictures. The dark unseen was home to all manner of evil and bad luck. He looked out over Wilson’s field, past the fence and into the gloom of the trees beyond. Green eyes bobbing through the tall grass would have been a reassuring sight--at least he would know for certain that the bobcat was not stalking in the shadows behind the barn. Climbing back onto the ladder, he took one last glance over his shoulder. Two green orbs flashed and disappeared together. Peering into the dark, not daring to blink, he wondered if the pair of lights had been

fireflies. He wondered if he had seen anything at all. He scrambled down the ladder, skipping over the bottom rungs, and took one long step toward the shotgun. His bound fingers fumbled and dragged it across the dirt. Stepping on the barrel, he was able to get hold of the stock in both hands and lift the shotgun. He broke open the action over his left arm then worked his right hand into his pants pocket. Fishing for a shell, he cursed the cotton wrapped around his palms and when his clumsy fingers finally seized on one, he struggled to pull out his clenched fist. So, he dropped the shell and shook his hand free. He tore away the binding tape with his teeth. The iodine bit his tongue, bitter and metallic. He spat as he unwound the bandage with his left hand, but could not rid himself of the bloody taste. In the full moonlight, his palm looked as rusty as Wilson’s barn roof. The shells were easier to get at now. He loaded the shotgun and snapped the barrel back into place. Out in the field, green sparks flickered in the darkness, here and there in pairs as if dozens of killer beasts were stalking just out of the light. Jack inched toward the ladder, certain that the bobcat would appear the moment he turned his back. He knew just how it would look, slinking low to the ground, its mouth drooling, its eyes and claws sharp as knives. Then he saw it. It did not creep or sneak or stalk as it emerged from the tall grass. Rather, it sauntered like a fat old tom into the clearing. For a moment, Jack tried to reconcile the image he had formed in his mind with the real thing, the bobcat, smaller than he imagined, walking right toward him. Doubt subsided, however, and he raised the shotgun. The flash-bang ripped through the night. The bobcat spun like a sudden gust of wind had torn it from the ground and dropped it just as abruptly. The goats still rose a hellish ruckus from the barn but Jack could hardly hear them through the ringing in his ears. He lowered the shotgun and approached

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his kill. The bobcat was sprawled and still. The shot had torn off most of the upturned side of its face. Jack stared down at the peeled back half-jaw, the shattered skull, the churning mess floating in more blood that he had ever seen. Jack dropped the gun and stumbled back, landing hard on his hip and unwrapped hand. He yelped in pain then vomited. When he had emptied his gut, he crawled away from the sick puddle and lay facedown, crying. Duke was still dead. Jack had been certain that he would feel better when he had exacted his revenge, but he only felt the gritty sand in his bare palm and the throbbing ache of a spreading bruise where he landed. He won, but there was no joy in this victory. Off to his right, within reach of his bloodied right hand, lay a shovel. He pushed himself to his feet and picked it up. It dragged the ground behind him as he approached the carcass.

the love letters of fran and jack by Doug Holley and Jennifer Craig is an ongoing, serialized story cycle. Look for further adventures of Fran and Jack in the second issue of Verge each month.

AUGUST ISSUE / 39


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August verge