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verge AUGUSTA & THE CSRA

FREE |MARCH 2 2011 |VOL 4 ISSUE 1 | YOUR SOURCE FOR COMMUNIT Y DRIVEN NEWS

GOOD CAUSE All the Way Around + PEOPLE Matthew Buzzell + NEWS Phinizy Swamp + ART Boyd Saunders MUSIC Steel Magnolia + Sharon Jones


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vergelive.com | community driven news | March 2, 2011 3


vergestaff

publisher Matt Plocha editor Lara Plocha contributors Chris Selmek, Alison Richter, John Cannon, Dino Lull, Ben Casella, Kris Cook, Skyler Andrews, Charlotte Okie, Gabi Hutchison, Elizabeth Benson, Jennifer Maslyn, Holly Birdsong, Katie McGuire, Mariah Gardner, Susan Hutchison

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we want to hear from you call us: 706.951.0579 mail us: PO Box 38 Augusta GA 30903 email us: advertising and general stuff publisher@vergelive.com

March(ing) Forward

This month – March 2011 – marks a milestone for verge. We enter into our fourth year of publishing! We want to thank all of our business partners, advertisers, writers, photographers and distribution folks for helping make the first three years a success for our community driven newspaper. Also, we give a big thank you to you, our readers. All we have accomplished would not have been made possible if it were not for you. We have come to realize that, in a muddled world of media, our readers like the “breath of fresh air” verge brings, as someone once told me. Over the past year, we have expanded our editorial coverage to include more news from Columbia and Aiken counties. We continue our mission of providing articles and features about the people, places, events and culture of Augusta and the surrounding area. In the crazy world of print media, verge is growing. We are growing our editorial coverage, our distribution and our business partners. Our growth speaks volumes about our community and what it finds important. This issue also marks another small growth spurt for verge. We have incorporated a new feature – everybody’s favorite – a crossword puzzle. The puzzle will be on page 32 as a standard feature in each issue. You spoke, we listened. Please give us your feedback on whether the puzzle is too easy, too difficult or just right. We can adjust the difficulty either way. You can locate the correct answers for each puzzle online at our new blog: vergelive. blogspot.com. The crossword puzzle answers will be posted with each new issue. How cool is that? You won’t have to wait until the next issue to see if you were correct.

story tips, ideas and letters editor@vergelive.com free event listings pipeline@vergelive.com find us online: vergelive.com

vergepolicies the boring part

GENERAL POLICIES: Contents copyrighted 2011 by verge. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Editorial content of verge is the opinion of each contributing writer and is not necessarily the opinion of verge, its staff or its advertisers. DISTRIBUTION: verge is published twice a month and is available free of charge at distribution locations throughout the CSRA, including Publix and Earth Fare. RECYCLE: verge is printed on 50% recycled stock.

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1102 Bar & Grill 8th Street Tobacco AB Beverage Avett Brothers Bar On Broad Brigan’s Land Buzz On Biz Casa Blanca Casella Eye Center Congregation Beth Shalom CSRA Ad Specialties Edge Salon and Spa Elduets Treasures Empty Bowl Family Y Fort Gordon Garlic Clove Halo Salon and Spa Import Auto Exchange International Uniform Manuel’s Bread Cafe Metro Pub Modish New Moon Cafe Palmetto Curb Design Peach Mac Power Serve Re-Fresh Rock Bottom Music Sanford, Bruker & Banks Stella Soy Noodle House The Book Tavern The Loft Urban Blast Windsor Jewelers Zimmerman Gallery

WHAT’S INSIDE

SMATTERINGS

yeah, we made this

While you are peeking at the crossword puzzle answers, check out the rest of our blog. It will highlight previews of articles and upcoming events. It’s also a place for you to interact with our stories, share them with friends and leave your comments. We have one rule and it is simple. Keep it family-friendly. We monitor the site and will approve or reject any inappropriate comments. You will need to sign up for the blog to be able interact. The blog has been “live” for a week and already hundreds of people have tuned in online. Thanks! You can also “friend” us on Facebook (look for Verge Live) and receive notification every time we post a new story. Our goal is to provide timely event announcements so you can make plans to attend or be a part of our community’s activities. Plus, we’ll be posting special offers from our advertisers only available online. We want to thank those that are already our friends. Did you know that practically every issue of verge is online in a flip book format? We have been doing this since 2008 with our very first issue. This makes it easy for you to share verge with distant family members or friends with a few clicks of your mouse. Be sure to look for more as we grow and expand our online presence. As you can see so far, 2011 has been busy, busy and busy. Serving our community is a blast. We, after all, are just the conduits providing information about the great things that you are doing out there. If you are involved with an event that needs an extra push or some help getting the word out about your event, we want to hear from you! You can find our contact information to the left of this column. Send us your press releases, notices and announcements. That is what community is. verge is here to support you… not the other way around. We hope that you enjoy the new features and are able to find us easier whether in print or online.

you won’t want to miss a page

the main feature

7 Viewpoint: Share the Road 11 Front Porch: Meet Matthew Buzzell 13 A Look at Phinizy Swamp

Motorists and cyclists should give each other mutual respect

Filmmaker, musician, teacher and son returns to Augusta

Local resource reorganizes and focuses on core mission

15 The History of North Augusta 23 The Passing Zone

New exhibits coming to the Arts and Heritage Center

Juggling duo brings comedic banter and stunts to Aiken

25 Steel Magnolia Steals The Show 29 The Amazing Soul of Sharon Jones Country music duo never planned to be superstars

Jones returns home with the Dap-Kings for Imperial show

music | theatre | art | film 15 18 19 23 23 24 27 27 33

History: Lewis & Clark and the Indian Country Film: ASU Spring Film Series Music: Jenna Lindbo Art: Boyd Saunders Art: Walter Cummings Film: The Film Reel Music: Second Saturday Beat Battle Fun: Fat Saturday Pub Crawl Sound Bites: Lokal Music Musings

experience more 05 05 07 09 09 18 21 21 29 31 31 32 33 33

Plug In: For a Good Cause All Around Town Buzz on Biz Urban Progress New Business: Broad Street Mini Mart Pipeline to Upcoming Events Good Chow: Naan Kabab Beers Locals Like Festival: The Psychic Fair Cut the Fat XVI In Good Health & Discoveries The Ink Well & Digital Jukebox The Last Word Parting Shot: Malaika Favorite

vergequotes

here’s what inspires us

“Chase down your passion like it’s the last bus of the night.” — Terri Guillemets

See you out and about in the community. Matt

ON THE COVER ALL THE WAY AROUND STARTS HERE by Alison Ryan See page 17 for the full story and more of Alison’s photography.

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“Aim above morality. Be not simply good,

be good for something.” — Henry David Thoreau


PLUG IN: FOR A GOOD CAUSE

Your Time Can Make a Difference run with heart

For six years, hundreds of people have descended on Augusta to run and walk for healthy hearts during the Hear and Sole 5K Walk/Run. Stacey Haskins began this event after her infant niece died from a fatal heart condition despite the heroic efforts of the Children’s Medical Center staff. Funding raised through Heart and Sole, Inc. benefits the CMC Heart Program and also helps to continue research, updates medical equipment and supports Camp Strong Hearts, a summer camp for children with special hearts. Stacey shared, “Our hope is that we can help every child that has a special heart for lifetimes to come.”

The Heart and Sole 5K Walk/Run Saturday, March 5 at 9 a.m. Registration at 7 a.m. | $28 fee MCG Children’s Medical Center HEARTANDSOLEINC.ORG

walk with spirit

Walking seems to be a favorite way for nonprofits to raise awareness for their particular cause. Strap on those walking shoes to remember Scott Walden, a local musician who lost the fight to colon cancer in the prime of his life.

ALL AROUND TOWN AUDITIONS OPEN FOR THE GENERAL AND HIS LADY

Enopion Theatre, the new house theater company for the Kroc Center Augusta, is looking for talent. Auditions for their upcoming production of The General and His Lady are open through March 17 for men, women and children 10 and older. Auditioners should prepare a one minute monologue and one song. The General and His Lady was created specifically for the Salvation Army and will be performed as part of the grand opening and commissioning of the Kroc Center in July. The musical tells the story of William and Catherine Booth, a young couple burdened by the poverty of England in the 1840’s who answered the challenge and founded The Salvation Army. All auditions are by appointment: 706.771.7777 or ENOPION.COM.

HELP AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE A HOME IN BETHLEHEM

Chester Wheeler, director of the Augusta Housing and Community Development Department (AHCDD) announced on February 17 that a new financial incentive program for potential homeowners in Laney Walker/Bethlehem. For a limited time, qualified home buyers can receive up to $40,000 to assist with down payment, closing costs and gap financing. “The program boils down to this: For a limited time only, if you qualify, the City will assist you with the gap financing necessary to close on a home in Laney Walker/Bethlehem,” said Wheeler. A few caveats to the program apply; applicants must be sufficiently creditworthy to qualify for a loan of at least 80% on the house and write a check for $1,000 at closing. “When we brainstormed about putting this program together,” noted Hawthorne Welcher, assistant director for the AHCDD. “We knew we had to address some of the financial obstacles that might slow down the revitalization of Laney Walker/ Bethlehem. First, the residential market nationwide is slack right now. Secondly, while we are convinced that there will be a phenomenal renaissance in Laney Walker/Bethlehem in the coming years, we needed to do something that would prime the pump and accelerate that renaissance. Finally, in order to attract top-notch developers to build in that area, we needed to communicate a message that ‘if they built it, people would come.””

Scott’s wife, Jennifer, started Shine for Scott after his death, a non-profit focused on the fight against colon cancer by progressing colon cancer research, increasing awareness, providing colon cancer screenings and supporting families that are impacted by this horrible disease. The Vellotones with George Croft will provide live music to put “pep” in everyone’s step. Walkers are requested to raise at least $25 in pledges (all money is due on the event day).

Steps to Shine Walk Saturday, March 12 | 9 a.m. to noon Lake Olmstead Gazebo FACEBOOK.COM/SHINEFORSCOTTINC

party with flair

Going green is beginning to fuse all parts of life - including charitable fundraising parties. The Art Factory’s annual auction of art made from recycled objects has become a party not to miss. The Art Factory plays a vital role in the Augusta arts community – providing free art education through hands-on learning to area children through programs such as Art@School, an inschool arts infusion; Summer Stock, a musical theatre camp; Arts Infusion 101, training for art teachers; and Art on the Wall. Support the Factory’s mission and expand your own art education during Celebrating the Artist. Add a new piece to your wall during the silent auction of art created from recycled materials, or be brave and bid during the live auction – you could walk away with an original work by Paul Pearman or Margaret Wamstead Pickett. The $40 ticket includes an open bar and hors d’oeuvres. RSVP: 706.731.0008.

Celebrating the Artist Thursday, March 10 | 7 p.m. Sacred Heart | $40 ARTFACTORYINC.ORG

The revitalization of Laney Walker/Bethlehem got its start in 2008, when the Augusta Commission passed legislation to support strategies promoting an African-American Heritage program in Augusta. Funds are currently being used for land banking, acquisition, planning and improvements for Laney Walker/Bethlehem. Since passage of the resolution, the AHCDD has been actively developing an overall master plan for the area, a pattern book to guide development, a roster of pre-qualified vendors selected to focus on early-phase catalytic construction and the creation of a marketing plan to promote the overall effort. The development of a financial incentive program rounds out a broad set of resources devoted to the revitalization effort. For more information, contact Director Wheeler at the AHCDD, by calling 706.821.1797 or cwheeler@augustaga.gov.

Struggling with FILING Tax Returns?

The Headquarters Library offers free tax assistance on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Assistance is given on a first come, first served basis. For more information, call 706.821.2600.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR KIDS ART

The Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art is looking for volunteers to assist with the annual Spring Artists’ Festival on Saturday, March 19 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This free community event offers a variety of hands-on children’s art activities and volunteers are needed to guide children through the process of making paper, photograms, raku and more. Email Rebekah Henry at rhenry@ghia.org if you are interested in volunteering your time and helping introduce our youngest community members to the visual arts. GHIA.ORG

TOPS IN BLUE Comes to fort gordon

The Air Force brings its high energy, high tech show, Tops in Blue, to Fort Gordon on Thursday, March 10 at 7 p.m. Tops in Blue is actually a special unit of all-active duty Air Force military personnel. Each year, thousands compete in talent contests on bases across the world to be one of the 35 vocalists, musicians, dancers, comedians, magicians and dramatists chosen to perform in Tops In Blue. From 1958 through 1971, Tops in Blue teams filmed and recorded their performances in studio, sending the films and records to entertain Air Force families stationed across the world. Nothing compares to the excitement of the live performance. The show at Fort Gordon is free and open to the public at Alexander Hall. FORTGORDON.COM

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6 March 2, 2011 | community driven news| vergelive.com


LOCAL BUSINESS

A TALE OF THREE CSRA BUSINESSES CLOSING

Going out of business is always a challenging time for owners and although the customer can benefit with low prices, Augusta overall will lose out in the long term without as much market competition. Here are three local business that had to “call it quits” in February.

PICTURE PEOPLE CLOSE IN A FLASH

Allison Hollimon may end up on a WRDW News 12 On Your Side story if she gets her way. She shared the “buzz” in an email to me that the Augusta Mall’s Picture People studio suddenly closed. “I recently purchased a $125.00 gift card and a picture club membership from the now defunct business. I had my child’s pictures taken at the Augusta store and attempted to go in today [February 24] to use the membership and a gift card for picture printouts from recent sessions. To my dismay, the store was locked up tight and there was no sign indicating who to contact for refunds,” Hollimon wrote. Hollimon said her purchase of the one-year club membership allowed her to “save” approximately 20 photos of her ninemonth-old on the company’s web server for one year. She could not find the photos on the Picture People website and it appeared that her on-line account had been disabled. “I have left phone and email messages with their customer “no service” lines and want to know what can be done to rectify the situation. I am just sick at the fact that [my daughter’s] beautiful photos and my hard earned money seem to be gone without a trace (and without warning.) Please help me to settle this. If you are not a contact person who handles such matters, please forward this to someone who might be able to direct me as to how to proceed,” added the aggravated customer. Neil’s Note: Allison, we hope spreading the word will help. I have also forwarded your email to News 12 On Your Side.

JON RIC CLOSES AND DOES THE RIGHT THING Jon Ric had more than a five-year run in the Furys Ferry Station. They were a multi-purpose spa, salon and light plastic surgery facility, which included services such as microderm abrasion and Botox. When the local franchise owners decided to close the Augusta store, they offered other area salons – like Serenity and Jennifer’s – the opportunity to purchase massage beds, sinks, products and fixtures at reduced prices. In all promotion of the going out of business sale, clients were urged to bring their gift certificates and use them or get a refund. Jon Ric was above board in their business practices. The buzz is the franchisee could no longer afford the rising franchise fees which typically go up after the five-year honeymoon period. Don’t be surprised if you see the husband and wife exfranchisees open a scaled-down version of Jon Ric under a new name.

ECO-FRIENDLY STORE CLOSES IN EVANS TO REBUILD IN DOWNTOWN AUGUSTA

VIEWPOINT

Sharing the Road Calls for Mutual Respect The day I hit a bicycle rider is imprinted on my memory. Over 20 years later, I can still recall the scene with vivid clarity – driving through a quiet neighborhood on my way home from work, the Florida sun illuminating two children playing by the side of the road, one holding a basketball, the other dawdling on a bicycle. I slowed down and eased toward the left, when the boy suddenly and inexplicably darted out in front of my car. I slammed on the brakes, catching the bicycle on my bumper and throwing the boy back toward the sidewalk. As I frantically scrambled to get out of the car, the boy hopped up and ran home. Though the police cleared me of any wrongdoing, the accident haunted me with “what-ifs.” To this day, sharing the road with cyclists makes me wary. My cyclist/motor vehicle accident resulted in no more than a skinned knee, a twisted bike frame and several sleepless nights. For motorist Daniel Johnson, the results of his October 2010 accident are much more severe. When Johnson came upon a group of cyclists on Beech Island Avenue, he plowed straight into them. One of the five injured cyclists, Dr. Matthew Burke, died on February 6, 2011, due to serious head injuries caused by the accident. Now, Johnson is being held on charges of “reckless homicide” and faces up to 10 years in prison. The Johnson incident sparked a local debate on how cars and bicycles should share the road. The Augusta Chronicle, in an October 6, 2010, editorial, called for action: “We hope someone – elected officials, the sports council, bicycle enthusiasts – will begin a constructive dialogue about how to better accommodate the often disparate interests between drivers and bikers. It’s a matter of life and death.” As the days passed, no one seemed to act on that call to action. Last month, on a rainy Wednesday at about 3 a.m., two bicyclists were struck by an SUV on Peach Orchard Road. The accident resulted in the death of cyclist David Laughinghouse. In this case, police laid the blame at the cyclists’ feet – neither had any lights on their bikes. Finally, when verge recently learned of Will Adams’ venture riding a motorized bike from Alaska to Argentina to spark awareness of the world’s water crisis, these incidents were far from our mind. Yet, on February 18, a few hours after our interview with him, Adams was struck by a motor vehicle. The driver wasn’t paying attention and turned in front of Adams (who had the right-of-way), striking the bicycle head-on and throwing Adams over the car to the other side of the road. The bike was broken in half and Adams suffered a torn MCL (a major ligament) and a lot of bruising.

Kamo’s Greenway Store in Evans closed after a run of more than a year in front of the Home Depot on Washington Road. The buzz is rent was in the $5,000 per month range, but one of the owners insist money did not play a factor in closing.

As gas prices increase and the push to “go green” continues, more Augusta residents will park their cars and pull out their bikes and they should – pedal power is good for the environment, the wallet and the waistline. Yet, more bikes on our roadways mean more bike-vehicle incidents. Cars and bikes are equal under traffic rules, but too often their operators don’t behave that way. Some cyclists think their size and agility give them permission to zip between lanes without signaling and to ignore stop signs and red lights. As for drivers, some seem to resent sharing a lane with slower cyclists and fail to acknowledge the road rights of bike riders.

“We had a major security issue at the store happen a few months ago and it was important to us to move [the store] back within our building,” said Harris Weinstein. “The savings in rent is allowing us to do some major renovations downtown and make a bigger and better Green Way Store. The Green Way Store is not out of business. We are alive and better than ever,” he added in an email to The Buzz.

One group is taking it seriously and it appears that last year’s call to action will finally resonate locally. Wheel Movement, a local bike advocacy group, recently received a seed grant from Georgia Bikes!. Created in 2009 at the suggestion of City Administrator Fred Russell, a huge cycling advocate, Wheel Movement plans to host safe riding clinics, develop a safe road media campaign and host law enforcement education seminars [look for Wheel Movement on Facebook to find out more]. Cyclists have also talked about lobbying the city to make infrastructure improvements, such as bike lanes and designated paths. Others support the “vehicular cycling” movement – a philosophy that views the bicycle as a form of transportation that belongs on the streets alongside cars.

The Green Way Store offers eco-friendly green cleaning products. The store also stocks ecofriendly paper goods, light bulbs, trash bags, pet care and personal hygiene products.

Responsibility goes both ways – drivers need to be more careful and cyclists need to use common sense. Cyclists should follow traffic laws, wear helmets and reflective clothing and use lights. And their counterparts behind the wheel must responsibly share the road, slow down and drive safely.

Their headquarters at 1326 Reynolds Street remains open to serve commercial clients which include hotels, schools, churches, manufacturing plants and more. The new and improved Greenway Store will be built on the Kamo property. THEGREENWAYSTORE.COM

Neil Gordon owns Buzz on Biz, LLC, a company dedicated to highlighting business growth through Newspaper, Television, Radio, and Web content. Story idea? Email neil.gordon@buzzon.biz

The true fix is not kicking cyclists off the road by building more bike paths, it is education mixed with a good dose of patience and mutual respect. We can share the road. Lara Plocha is the editor of verge and a downtown activist. Her true passion is being her husband’s helpmate and raising her two daughters, Ashley and Emily (pictured at left), and five-year-old son Adam. As Adam got a new bicycle for Christmas, she will spend the summer teaching him proper bike saftey.

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8 March 2, 2011 | community driven news| vergelive.com


URBAN PROGRESS: THE DDA REPORT

Downtown Projects and Improvements Well Underway PARKING PLAN BUDGET PROPOSED Augusta’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) presented a workshop to the Augusta Commission on January 24, in which they presented the proposed budget for the new downtown parking plan. The DDA asked for no money from the commission, instead arranging for a third party to finance most of the proposed ordinance. “Most of the money would go toward technology to better enforce parking regulations, such as putting sensors in the ground,” said DDA executive director Margaret Woodard. “This would also provide us with valuable information, including which blocks have the highest turnover and the average length of stays, which could possibly lead to future long-term parking in residential areas.” Current regulations stipulate two-hour parking only from 5th Street to 13th Street and from Reynolds Street to Ellis Avenue. However, these regulations are virtually unenforceable as the ordinance currently stands. A 2005 traffic study noted that as many as 40 percent of downtown shoppers ignored the two hour parking limit and that 212 cars were parked for over six hours. A new ordinance would allow safety officers to encourage traffic flow throughout the downtown area and would be modeled after the Clean Augusta Downtown Initiative in which a third party hired and trained the required personnel. Woodard called the meeting with the commission “very successful.”

to Woodard, all major cutout work has been completed on both the north and south side of Broad Street and 70 percent of the underground conduit has been laid. “So far they’ve been doing a great job of keeping traffic moving,” said Woodard. “They may need to close a lane once the lights actually go up for public safety reasons, but traffic throughout the downtown should be relatively unhindered.” Next, the Department of Traffic and Engineering will begin construction on the street median. Ultimately, the area from 5th to 13th Street will receive 131 new overhead lights, including 91 pedestrian lights on both sides of the road and in the center median between 10th and 13th Street, as well as 12 area lights for parking bays. Woodard said that people can expect to see the new lights going up in 30 to 60 days.

BULKHEAD STAGE NEARS COMPLETION The public stage at the end of 8th Street near the Riverwalk is nearing completion, and Woodard anticipates a groundbreaking in about 30 days. Improvements yet to be placed include an awning and bike racks. When finished, the stage will be available for Saturday concerts and other uses. The Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) committee will convene again this month to approve applications for allocating these funds. article and photo by CHRISTOPHER SELMEK

LIGHTING PROJECT UNDERWAY Construction is ongoing throughout the downtown area for the downtown lighting project. According

DONWNTOWN’S STREETS ARE BUSTLING WITH CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

NEW BUSINESS: DORIS BUIDLING GETS NEW LIFE

New Broad Street Grocery Store Will Open This Month Several new businesses are moving into the Doris Building, next door to the White’s Building at 930 Broad Street, courtesy of building owner Mike Raeisghasem and his goal of catering to the professional crowd living in downtown Augusta. The first, Broad Street Mini Mart, will open before St. Patrick’s Day with all the amenities of a traditional small grocery store, including milk, eggs and frozen foods along with more upscale conveniences such as gourmet coffee, pastries, a wine rack and frozen yogurt. “This is going to be a really nice place to shop, not a cheap convenience store,” said Raeisghasem. “A lot of downtown people that live in these lofts don’t have a place to shop and we hope they’ll support us.” Raeisghasem also plans to coordinate with local growers and producers of farm fresh products to sell their wares through his store. “Bobby Sharifi is a good friend of mine who operated a series of convenience stores in the Atlanta area and now he wants to move to Augusta and open one here,” said Raeisghasem. “He’s going to be the manager and co-owner of the grocery store so that I can spend more time looking after the other businesses operating out of the Doris Building.” The second business visible from Broad Street is the upcoming Tantra Lounge. Raeisghasem currently has several architects working on designs for the interior and envisions a very clean and neat martini bar that would cater to professionals as well as college students and slightly older patrons. The bar will likely include a dance floor and live deejay. “Our original goal was to open [the bar] by Masters week, but

OWNER MIKE RAEISGHASEM

we’re not sure that’s going to happen now,” said Raeisghasem. “It all depends on the alcohol licensing, so we’re thinking about 60 days or so for this one.” The third component of the redesigned Doris Building involves the new company Augusta Executive Suites. Lisa Coleman will be directing the small business incubator that leases mailboxes and office space for companies who need to operate locally but do not have the funds for permanent headquarters. “My goal is to be what we call ‘a business incubator’ for small businesses,” said Raeisghasem. “We provide furnished offices that have all the stuff an office has, like internet, a printer network and professional atmosphere with a shared conference room.” Access to a reception area will be through the White’s Building, where a receptionist can direct visitors to the office they are visiting. Currently, Augusta Executive Suites has four offices and three small alcoves, with larger offices opening soon. Sandler Training, a national sales training company, already inhabits the largest office on the second floor, and one of the alcoves is being shared by a local man starting a limousine company and a heavy machinery company operating out of Atlanta that occasionally does business in Augusta. “I’m glad so many local operators are interested in using the space I’m fixing up for them,” said Raeisghasem. “I used to be part owner of the White’s Building until the bank failed, but I decided to invest a lot of money into saving the Doris Building, which I now own by myself. I’m just trying to generate enough business to pay for the building and hopefully help grow the local, downtown economy.” article and photo by CHRISTOPHER SELMEK

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FRONT PORCH: MEET MATTHEW BUZZELL

Acclaimed Filmmaker’s Many Talents Benefit Augusta’s Arts Scene

“My personal goal is to continue making films, creating music, hopefully educate, and contribute to the fabric of Augusta to help it grow in some way. I feel compelled to do that. I want to be a contributor.” Getting out of a small town is never easy; getting out and achieving success and recognition is almost impossible. Augustan Matthew Buzzell has accomplished both. After 14 years in Los Angeles, he opted to give up the bright lights and big city and move home for admirable reasons: to be in closer proximity to his mother and spend quality time with her during her senior years. Since relocating, Buzzell has become an integral part of the Augusta arts and music scene, doing his best to bring more culture to the town via film and music projects. He launched Semi-Precious Productions with Coco Rubio and Eric Kinlaw, and brought Andy Warhol’s 13 Most Beautiful to Augusta last year as part of the annual Westobou festival. He is working on another music-and-cinema project for the 2011 festival, continues his music and cinematography careers and performs with his band, Night People. He also travels regularly to the West Coast to work on documentaries, most recently one that celebrates the early career and collaborations of legendary comedians Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner. In January 2011, Buzzell became an adjunct professor at Augusta State University, teaching a course entitled Introduction to Television Production. This isn’t his first teaching job; during his years in Los Angeles, he was a guest instructor at the Musician’s Institute, teaching a course about directorial communication in scoring and working with music in film. He has also been a guest speaker at UCLA, ASU and the American Film Institute Conservatory, where he obtained his MFA in Directing after graduating with a BFA from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

After pursuing an acting career in New York and Los Angeles and being cast in several feature films, he realized that directing was his true passion. He moved to Athens and enrolled in classes at the University of Georgia. While there, he involved himself in the film community and later enrolled at AFI, where he made invaluable contacts that led to opportunities for world travel. Buzzell wears many hats and wears them all well, but he describes himself humbly as “a filmmaker, musician, educator and son.” He has no regrets about his decision to come back to Augusta, noting, “By and large, I love my life here. I very much enjoy exploring the possible life of being a college professor. I like the students and the challenges that teaching presents. Thus far, it has been a terrific experience. The mantle of being an educator and teaching is a big deal to me in that it’s very important that I get it right in terms of honoring my dad. It’s a challenge and responsibility and something that I keep tucked in the back of my mind at all times.” Buzzell’s love and respect for his parents is paramount in his life. He was born in Frankfurt, Germany, relocated to Augusta when his father was stationed at Fort Gordon, then to Kansas, Augusta, Kansas and finally Augusta. He has fond childhood memories of growing up in a small town, and a wealth of recollections about his parents. His mother was an art student at the University of Wisconsin; his father, originally from New Jersey, was a fellow student when the two met. Buzzell remembers his father returning from Viet Nam and, as a 4-year-old, getting to know him for the first time, which became the subject of his thesis film at AFI. Upon retiring from the military, his father taught high school English and Drama at Glenn Hills. He credits his parents for his appreciation for visual arts, music and language, noting, “They never discouraged me from being

artistically inclined. My father passed away in 1990 while I was a struggling, wildly insecure actor in New York. I regret not having a relationship with him as an adult. I was 25 and naïve, and in that regard I cherish having my mom around and relating to her as an adult.” Buzzell stays busy with his teaching job and numerous projects. He is in demand as a filmmaker and keeps in touch with former classmates from AFI, which has helped to expand his contacts, networking and job opportunities. His accomplishments are many and his work is known and respected throughout the U.S. and abroad. Last October, he began the Reiner/Brooks project, which included interviewing both subjects and other comedy legends, among them Bob Newhart, Garry Shandling, Richard Lewis and Paul Reiser. The documentary will air as part of a PBS Pledge Drive campaign. In December, he was in New York to shoot a music video for indie rock band Elk City. The group found him through Tell Me Do You Miss Me, his highly acclaimed documentary about the final days of music group Luna. Buzzell is optimistic about Augusta’s future and hopes to continue playing a part in bringing culture to its citizens. “Augusta is alive and vibrant in its own unique way,” he says. “One of my missions, my personal goal, is to continue making films, creating music, hopefully educate, and also contribute to the fabric of Augusta to help it grow in some way. I feel compelled to do that. I want to be a contributor.” by ALISON RICHTER photo GABI HUTCHISON

vergelive.com | community driven news | March 2, 2011 11


12 March 2, 2011 | community driven news| vergelive.com


COMMUNITY: IS PHINIZY SWAMP IN PERIL?

Academy Refocuses on Core Mission While Community Steps Up

“The Savannah River is our lifeblood,” declares Susan Nicholson, executive director of the Southeastern Natural Sciences Academy at Phinizy Swamp. Her recent guest column in The Augusta Chronicle lays out the importance of the Academy to the Savannah River Basin, which binds the whole southeastern region together with water, and comes as an outflow of a recent re-tooling of the Park’s business model to return to its core mission – to understand the river better so that it can be used most wisely by stakeholders in the Savannah River region. Since before the ancient Roman aqueducts, humans have been interested in manipulating the flow of water. In recent years, Americans have become aware of how much stress we put on our water. The Academy of Natural Sciences and Phinizy Swamp Nature Park are a direct result of efforts to use our water resources more wisely. There efforts began in earnest in 1977 with the Clean Water Act and accompanying legislation. Beginning in the 1800’s, Butler Creek was the wastewater dump of all of Augusta. According to Ruth Mead, senior education specialist at the Academy, by 1972 it had become a “lime green dead zone.” The 1,100-acre swamp was cleaned up significantly in response to the Clean Water Act, with the new wastewater treatment plant sending its treated water down the river. But by the 1990’s, numerous changes to the legislation had been introduced and the swamp was no longer in accordance with the law. The treatment of wastewater had to be expanded. In 1996, the city of Augusta began an innovative partnership with the Southeastern Natural Sciences Academy and ZEL Engineering. Together they built the 700-acre Phinizy Swamp Nature Park, a system of new wetlands on a portion of the original swamp that would provide tertiary treatment to the water coming from the plant upstream. A part of the Clean Water Act provides for some kind of “compensatory mitigation” when a part of a natural wetlands is taken away; an entity must engage in some sort of restoring or preserving of wetlands in exchange for the wetlands it is using. Phinizy’s model of compensatory mitigation is innovative because the mitigation they chose is to add an educational component to the treatment cells at the man-made swamp and in 1996, it was the first time it had been done in the South. “The city is very happy with what’s going on here,” says Ruth. “The research is very important to the economy of Augusta.” Since 1996, the park has expanded its partnerships with industry

and community leaders in the Savannah River Basin, including Pfizer, the Eagle Scouts and The Nature Conservancy. In 2004 and 2005, the construction of the Academy’s campus provided a central point for the research and educational programs conducted at the swamp and newly-built wastewater treatment wetlands. Last year, however, red flags began to emerge, demonstrating that the park was not being run in the most efficient, sustainable manner possible. A recent business counsel, convened by the Academy, concluded that the work of the Southeastern Natural Sciences Academy had been hindered by ove r- pro g r am m i ng and under-funding. The counsel urged the staff and board of the Academy to refocus its efforts in its core - SUSAN NICHOLSON mission: to be a water research center.

“The Savannah River is our lifeblood.”

As such, for five years, Academy researchers have been collecting and analyzing the water from over 200 miles of the Savannah River (the same water that was treated at the constructed wetlands), every 15 minutes, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. This long-term analysis of the lifeblood of the region is then given to governmental agencies and other stakeholders in the region so that sound decisions may be made about the river and the industry and development that exists along it. The Academy is trying to understand the effect of what the city puts into the river has on the river on a daily basis. If one has never visited Phinizy Swamp, it may be a surprise how easily ordinary people and sewage can co-exist. In the man-made swamp area, high grassy berms lead the way between

regularly-shaped ponds flitting with waterfowl. Just over a fence, the original, natural swamp boasts the same plants and animals as the man-made swamp, which was created as part of compensatory mitigation. The day Mead led me around the park, the wetlands were alive with people enjoying the unseasonable weather, having picnics and identifying wildlife. We found a group of visitors hanging over the side of a bridge, talking excitedly about a python. A snake was coiled lazily inside the structure of the bridge, out for some sunshine. Bending down, Mead immediately (and very genially) dismissed the python idea, calling it a grey rat snake. A few feet away, a cottonmouth nestled in the rocks next to the creek. These interactions between staff and visitors make Phinizy a strong educational environment. Indeed, 55,000 students have benefited from programs at Phinizy in 14 years. Unfortunately, the educational programming was suspended in November. “Education is hard to pay for itself, and it wasn’t financially sustainable the way we were going with it,” Ruth tells me, shaking her head. “We had some of the best field trips around, but you can’t take that cost to the students or no one can afford to come on the field trips.” Since the suspension of programming, little support has materialized until very recently – so recently, in fact, that Nicholson hesitates to give all the details. “Some entities in the community have stepped forward to tell us that our educational programming is vital to our core mission and they are willing to help financially until we are sustainable again.” Meanwhile, Mead is looking forward to several middle school and high school field trips this spring. These changes are, at their heart, bringing the park back to its original set of purposes: to clean the region’s water while providing a place for learning. So how should our community respond? First, visit the swamp. Then, become member, attend the Swamp Soiree this summer and join those who have marked it as a special place. For more info, visit www.naturalsciencesacademy.org by CHARLOTTE OKIE photo GABI HUTCHISON

vergelive.com | community driven news | March 2, 2011 13


St. Patrick’s Day E V LI

The Endall’s A St. Patrick's Day Tradition

Irish Drink Specials ALL DAY &ALL NIGHT!

Music OnTap - March

Tues. March 1 - Josh Pierce First Friday March 4 - Famous Last Words Sat. March 5 - Mason Jars Sat. March 12 - DJ Kris Fisher

1054 Broad Street Downtown Augusta 14 March 2, 2011 | community driven news| vergelive.com


HISTORY: Arts and Heritage Center of North Augusta

Interactive Exhibits Demonstrate the Area’s Rich History

The Arts and Heritage Center of North Augusta, located on the first floor of the municipal building overlooking the 13th Street bridge, has joined with the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor in a move expected to bring new and exciting historical exhibits into North Augusta. The new permanent historical exhibits are expected to take up one third of the 5,700 square foot display space, and include interactive kiosks, as well as, audio and visual components. “This is something we’ve been studying for a number of years now,” said Arts and Heritage Center director, Lauren Virgo. “Tragically, it took the closing of a local museum to make it happen. The SCNHC Region 3 Discovery Center had to close their doors, and we inherited all of their exhibits after the South Carolina Arts, Recreation and Tourism Department budget got cut.”

The Arts and Heritage Center will serve as the new Discovery Center, a gateway to historical sites and attractions throughout the region, which includes Aiken, Bamberg, Barnwell and Orangeburg counties. Signs and services within the building will direct visitors to designated sites and provide a profile of each location and relevant themes.

wildlife sanctuaries in the winter, spring, summer and fall. Prior to the new, permanent exhibit, everything within the Center has been displayed on a rotating basis. Previous exhibits have included Tying the Knot: 150 Years of Wedding Gowns, Hampton Terrace Hotel: The Elegance That Was, and Historic Homes of North Augusta.

The exhibits, including a locomotive conductor and a civil war soldier speaking about their life, strongly feature the history of the North Augusta area. Another exhibit donated by the Silver Bluff Audubon Society involves binoculars on a rotating slide that allow the viewer to examine scenes from

The Center has a gift shop selling the creations of 70 local vendors, staffed by over 40 volunteers. The Center is funded through the gift shop primarily, with supplemental funding through memberships, donations and grants. “This was always intended to be a showpiece

for the community,” said Virgo. “When [the City of North Augusta] opened the building, they had us in mind and made sure to provide enough room for the exhibit space. We moved in during July 2009, and currently consume 11% of the building and are open even when the rest of the building is not.” Virgo hopes to host a grand opening in April or early May. The Center is normally open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults, $1 for K-12 students and free for children five and younger. For more information, call 803.441.4380 or visit artsandheritagecenter.com. article and photos by CHRISTOPER SELMEK

HISTORY: LEWIS & CLARK

Exhibit Relives the Adventure Traipse back to the year 1804 and set off across America with Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Lewis & Clark and the Indian Country, a traveling library exhibit, follows this intrepid journey and brings public audiences a new set of ideas about the encounters of Native Americans with the United States Corps of Discovery between 1804 and 1806, while tracing the dramatic impact of those encounters during the subsequent two centuries. Visitors will be able to explore the “Indian Country” as it existed at the beginning of the 19th century, glimpse the variety of relationships Native peoples and the Lewis and Clark party forged with one another, view the impact of the American presence on the Indian Country and reflect on the efforts of contemporary reservation communities to support and sustain the Indian Country and its remarkable cultures in the 21st century.

WHAT Lewis & Clark and the Indian Country WHERE Headquarters Library, Augusta WHEN March 2 through April 15 | normal library hours MORE | ecgrl.public.lib.ga.us

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16 March 2, 2011 | community driven news| vergelive.com


FOR A GOOD CAUSE: ALL THE WAY AROUND

Will Adams and Matt Riley Create A New “Cycle” for Clean Water In the spirit of the term “Carpe diem!,” I recently enlisted a friend for a bike ride due to the recent pre-spring weather that we Augustans have enjoyed. Fully seizing the opportunity to be spontaneous, we did not bother to nail down the specifics of time, terrain or distance of the ride – we simply set out to take advantage of good friendship and a great pair of wheels. Veteran cyclists Will Adams and Matt Riley, on the other hand, take a different approach to biking. Their strategic, marathon approach to a twowheeled ride will commence mid-May and end around 8 or 9 months later. During that time, they will cover 15,000 miles on homemade bicycles that are outfitted with 2.5 horse power, motorized engines and get 150-200 miles per gallon. Their journey along the Pan-American Highway begins at the northernmost tip of the world (Anchorage, Alaska) and ends at the southernmost tip of the world (Ushuaia, Argentina). It will cover terrain that is rugged and dangerous, including three mountain ranges, jungles and deserts. These details alone make for an interesting story, but the motivation behind their mobile goal is a paramount detail. Adams, a natural athlete with a degree in Occupational Therapy and his co-rider Riley, a distance runner and anthropology major at the University of South Carolina, are teaming together in an effort to raise awareness of the lack of clean water worldwide. “The expedition was originally something Matt and I were doing in secret, where we were just going to leave one night. Nobody knew I was even building motorized bikes,” Adams said. “But I decided I could do some good with the expedition so I started researching statistics on global health problems. The water issue kept popping up.” A lack of clean water is the biggest cause of death and disease in the world. According to a 2008 World Health Organization study, 10,000 deaths occur every day from lack of clean water worldwide. 8,000 of those deaths are children 5-years-old or younger. An even “dirtier” secret is that the average American expends more water during a 5 minute shower than the average person in a developing county uses in an entire day.

“I feel so lucky that I have been able to grow up in a country where water has never been a problem.” — WILL ADAMS

Get Involved

“I feel so lucky that I have been able to grow up in a country where water has never been a problem,” Adams said. “I’ve hiked a lot on the Appalachian Trail and even in that mostly remote landscape, clean water points are well marked along the way. Along their course of adventure, they will also volunteer with local charities; assisting Central and South American organizations that are actively working to eradicate the problem of lack of clean water worldwide. They will partner with them to educate and increase awareness of alternative means of transportation. The duo, known as “All the Way Around,” will work for Water for Life, an organization that instructs people on the construction and maintenance of local water resources, and Amigos for Christ, which stresses the importance of water and sanitation on healthcare and business opportunities. Riley explains, “[We] want to get a good profile of best to worst clean water availability, this is not just about water issues; it’s about getting to know the world better. It is about the journey, not the destination.” \ Adams also wants to tout fuel efficient transportation along the way. He became intrigued with creating alternate means of energy and transportation as a child and, in seventh grade, made a working methane generator for a science fair project with his father’s help. “I used to make pneumatic powered carts with my parents’ leaf blower. I really enjoy combining the energy created by the human and the motor and using it to power a vehicle,” Adams explained. While Adams and Riley accomplish this brave and impressive journey, they might also break the World Record for longest distance traveled by motorized bicycle. A more appropriate summation would be that they plan to annihilate the record, which is currently held by Eddie Sedgemore. This UK native cycled an impressive 1,912.1 miles over the course of 28 days. Our local heroes plan to cover over 7 times that and change lives on the way. by KRIS COOK photos ALISON RYAN

On Friday, February 18, a few hours after our interview with Will Adams (pictured above), a motorist struck Will while he was riding his motorized bicycle, totalling the bike and throwing Will over the car. Will suffered significant bruising and a torn MCL. Will is already planning construction of a new bike and remains optimistic that the ride will launch on its planned date. Delays may be inevitable depending on how long his knee takes to heal. Remember, drive responsibly – share the road.

EDITOR’S NOTE:

LEARN MORE about the mission or track them from the comfort of your own couch at allthewayaround.net

SPONSOR the effort by becoming a local sponsor or make a donation.

NEED DETAILS? contact Will Adams at general@allthewayaround.net.

vergelive.com | community driven news | March 2, 2011 17


3

Your Pipeline to Upcoming Events

7 MAR

MAR

14 MAR

ZING ZANG ZOOM: The Circus is Coming

Opens Thursday, March 3 at 7 p.m. | James Brown Arena | $11 to $37 It’s a American family tradition – the circus is coming to town! Prepare for The Greatest Show on Earth as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey rolls into town with the new high-flying circus Zing Zang Zoom. Grab the edge of your seat as “thrillusionist” David Davinci attempts to escape a straightjacket while suspended above a den of lions, the Hairdaring Duo spin eloquently by their hair 35 feet in the air, the Kung Fu Kings dive through hoops of razor-sharp sabers while blindfolded and the Barons of Balance leap from one thumb-thin low-wire to the next. The action begins an hour before show time at the All Access Pre-show, free to all ticket holders. The All Access Pre-show is the only place where you can register for a chance to win a masterpiece created by one of Ringling Bros. artistic Asian elephants. Additional performances are scheduled for Friday, March 4 at 7 p.m., Saturday, March 5 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 6 at 1:30 p.m. For tickets, visit GEORGIALINATIX.COM or call 1.877.4AUGTIX. RINGLING.COM

4 MAR

5 MAR

Wycliffe Gordon Friday, March 4 | 7 p.m. Fort Gordon | Free

Wycliffe Gordon joins the U.S. Army Signal Corps Brass Band at a free concert in Fort Gordon’s Alexander Hall. A highly acclaimed trombonist, Gordon’s career has spanned continents while performing and touring with some of the world’s most sought-after jazz musicians. His highenergy, traditional hard-swinging style captivates audiences from dignitaries and heads-of-state to elementary school children. He is equally at home as a composer, arranger and recording artist with over 50 recordings to his credit. All patrons 16 years and older must have a photo ID to enter Fort Gordon. Driver must have State registration and proof of insurance in their vehicle. 706.791.3113 | FORTGORDON.COM

Rhythm of Dance

Saturday, March 5 | 9:30 p.m. Sky City | $5 You don’t have to travel to Cairo to see authentic belly dancers shimmy across the stage. Augusta has a growing belly dance community and several of them will perform at Sky City’s dance exposition – Rhythm of Dance. The fun continues as the evening branches into other dance styles including salsa, hula, hip hop, tap and ballet – all for a good cause. 50 percent of ticket sales will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. If Sky City reaches maximum capacity (that’s 500 people), 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the charity. Sky City is located at 1157 Broad Street in downtown Augusta (you must be 21 or over). SKYCITYAUGUSTA.COM

18 March 2, 2011 | community driven news| vergelive.com

Bliss

Monday, March 7 | 7 p.m.

John Rabe

Monday, March 14 | 7 p.m. ASU University Hall, Room 170 | Free ASU’s free Spring Film Series continues on Monday nights in March with foreign films certain to stir up discussions about different cultures and customs. International Women’s Week inspired the series’ March 7 selection, MUTULUK (Bliss). This 2007 Turkish drama explores the morality of honor killings after a teenage girl named Meryem is asked to kill herself to restore her family’s honor after being brutally raped. When she fails to hang herself with a rope provided by her family, Meryem’s male cousin – a soldier with demons of his own – is asked to take her on a trip for the purpose of killing her en route. Along the way, he develops feelings for Meryem and cannot bring himself to carry out his gruesome task, so they literally run away from the constraints of their cultural obligations. The pair befriends a professor whose modern beliefs clash with the old-world philosophies of Meryem’s family, including her cousin’s view of women as inferior beings. This story of a young woman victimized by tradition in the aftermath of a sexual assault was adapted from a novel by Zulfu Livaneli. March 14 brings a German film inspired by true events about a businessman named JOHN RABE who is credited with saving the lives of an estimated 200,000 Chinese citizens during the Nanking Massacre in 1937. Atrocities committed by Japanese soldiers against Chinese civilians not only included mass murder, but also unequivocally brutal rapes and acts of mutilation of Chinese women. Rabe formed a safe area for civilians called the Nanking Safety Zone. German actor Ulrich Tukur played Rabe in this 2009 drama, which also features Steve Buscemi. AUG.EDU | by MARIAH GARDNER


Art | Dance | Music | Film | More

8 MAR

Marina Lomazov Tuesday, March 8 | Noon St. Paul’s Church | Free

Tuesday’s Music Live presents its final concert of the season with pianist Marina Lomazov. The State said, “One of the many remarkable things about Lomazov’s playing is how she makes every nuance seem perfectly natural and absolutely right.” Lunch following the concert is $10, a reservation is required Details: 706.722.3463. TUESDAYSMUSICLIVE.COM

9 MAR

12 MAR

Awake, My Soul

Wednesday, March 9 The Morris Museum of Art 6 p.m. | $3 Awake, My Soul: The Story of the Sacred Harp is the first feature documentary about Sacred Harp singing, a form of a cappella, shape note hymn singing. Shape note singing has survived over 200 years. Singers break open “The Sacred Harp,” a 160-year-old shape note hymnal which has preserved these fiercely beautiful songs which are some of the oldest in America. The film offers a glimpse into the lives of this “Lost Tonal Tribe” whose history is a story of both rebellion and tradition. After viewing the movie, enjoy a question-and-answer session with producer and director Matt Hinton. THEMORRIS.ORG

12 MAR

Jenna Lindbo

Saturday, March 12 | 2 p.m. Aiken County Public Library | Free Jenna Lindbo is a young emerging folksinger with serious spark. Originally from the Pacific northwest, Jenna now makes her home in Asheville, NC. In an area steeped in the rich tradition of folk singing, Jenna brings a genuine new flavor: fresh squeezed Americana poured straight from her heart. A brilliant songwriter with a compelling presence and soaring vocals, Jenna Lindbo, is a songbird in the truest sense. Her songs tell stories, both whimsical and riveting, that transport listeners into a world where life feels a little brighter. Jenna is a rising star creating quite a stir in the independent music scene. Whether it is her captivating live performance or her highly praised debut album “Strings and Spokes”, people are standing up and taking notice. Stay after the concert for a Q&A with Jenna. AIKENLIBRARYFRIENDS.COM | JENNALINDBO.COM

through Friday, March 11 Friday, February 4 Annual Agnes Markwalter Youth Art Competition

Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art

Ree Drummond: The Pioneer Woman

Saturday, March 12 | Savannah Rapids Pavilion | 5 p.m. | Free Ree Drummond is a blogger, author, homeschooler, cook and photographer. Her award-winning blog chronicles her life as a city-turned-country girl. She writes about country cooking, homeschooling and everyday life on the family’s Oklahoma ranch. Her cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, was published in 2009. Black Heels and Tractor Wheels, the story of her courtship with the cowboy who would become her husband, was published in February and quickly hit #2 on the New York Times Bestseller list. Drummond also will give a special homeschooling presentation at 11 a.m. Presented by the Columbia County Library, all activities will take place at the Savannah Rapids Loblolly Room at 3300 Evans to Locks Road. Contact the library for more information: 706.863.1946 or ecgrl.

The annual Agnes Markwalter Youth Art Competition marks its 32nd year with an exhibition of works by children in grades K – 12, inspired by the theme The Power of Art: Image, Message, and Means. Free | GHIA.ORG

Sunday, March 6 Empty Bowl 2011

Augusta Jewish Community Center This annual fundraiser for the Golden Harvest Food Bank and the Augusta Jewish Community Center offers a hearty “all-you-can-eat” soup-kitchen style buffet, with a hand-crafted ceramic bowl made by local students and artists. Guests keep the bowl as a reminder of hunger in the world. $5 to $20 | 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. | emptybowlcsra.org

public.lib.ga.us | THEPIONEERWOMAN.COM

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20 March 2, 2011 | community driven news| vergelive.com


GOOD CHOW: NAAN KABAB

Pakistani Fare Wows the Tastebuds with Flavor

beers locals like

A Few More Beers of Winter If you think seasonal depression disorder only affects Eskimos, think again. The harsh winter has taken its toll on us Southerners. In mid-February, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Then, it became apparent that the light was a freight train of cold and cloudy weather. The next light, however, will be spring – decimator of harsh elements and bringer of fresh barley and new hops. I have three dark beers to help you celebrate the fact that the cold winter is over. Next month, we will turn toward lighter beers; let me be nostalgic for a few more lines at least.

flat bread and the kabab, the proverbial meat on a stick. Since Pakistan borders India (and in fact used to be a part of that country), its food is nearly identical to that of northern India’s Muglai region. Dishes are not quite as hot to the taste as the food from the south. Sadia characterized Pakistani food as using less spice than traditional Indian food and she claims their “nonvegetable” or meat dishes are better.

STOVEPIPE PORTER

This formidable, non-preserved nip is a product of Middlebury, Vermont’s Otter Creek Brewing. The nose exaggerates itself with sweet sweeps of spice, herb and a pinch of fruit. The pour is deep and dark, with all the richness that a porter should entail. When you get to the sip, there exists an almost chocolaty overtone of malt that provides the perfect first impression. It does not linger because a hoppy punch throws your taste buds for a loop just in time to have another sip. Such a combination of flavorful motifs makes this brew a great complement to anything from a Granny Smith to a gamey piece of meat to a lick of ganache.

SMOKED BALTIC PORTER

From Colorado’s Great Divide Brewing Company, this porter combines several elements of Old-World style brewing to craft a complex web of scent and savor like few domestic porters I have had to date. Smoked beer (or “rauchbier”) is a truly unique experience with a cold one and the folks at Great Divide do it up right with fine malts and hops from Germany. You can tell it right off the nose, which hints of sugar, malts and toast. The strong but pleasant odor gives way to a sip that is surprisingly easy – for a porter, that is. The hops do not overwhelm, but the malts don’t spoil with linger, either. The result is a subtle balance with enough verve to remind you it’s a porter and a smoked one.

GREEN’S ENDEAVOR

This is cool: an all-natural dubbel dark ale with no gluten from Belgium. Leave it to the Europeans to be progressive and allergy-aware with a quality brew. There are more than a handful of gluten-free sorghum ales made in the States, but this one does stand out as it has managed to retain the flavor-filled timbre of all that Belgium has to offer – and that country is home to some hearty wheat beers! The nose hints at ripe pomegranate and Concord grape; the sip begins with a mellow sweetness followed instantly by a sour takeover that brings the rest of the tongue into play. Enjoy this brew with a Black Forest ham or a bratwurst. It will be perfect!

NAAN KABAB OWNERS SADIA AND SHAMS HASSAN

Pakistani natives Sadia and Shams Hassan operated a printing business in Brooklyn, New York. Life took an abrupt turn eight years ago, when their young son became seriously ill and they turned to MCG’s Children’s Medical Center for help. The entire family moved to Augusta to help care for the two-year-old. When it became difficult to make ends meet, the Hassans opened a small ethnic grocery store on Washington Road. Eight years later, the Hassans now call Augusta their home, their son is a thriving 10-year-old and they have transformed the grocery store into a full-fledge Pakistani restaurant at 3107 Washington Road. Though circumstances brought them to the South, Sadia said it was the friendliness of Augusta that kept the family here. In Augusta, “people will look you in the eyes and aren’t always automatically suspicious of you if they don’t know you,” Sadia said comparing Augusta to New York City. The Hassans named their restaurant after two of the most popular and well-known Pakistani/Indian foods – Naan, an oven-baked

5

“Tell them to come and try our buffet,” declared Sadia. For $7.99, Naan Kabab offers a daily lunch buffet of 13-15 dishes. “Come and try my food before you make a decision - at least come and give me a chance. If you don’t give me a chance, I will never know you,” she continued. The Hassans’ Samosas (chicken, mutton, or vegetables wrapped in a tender, crispy pastry) took first place at the Arts in the Heart festival last year. Other popular dishes include: Biryanis – spicy meat and rice with chutney; chicken, goat and lamb kababs; Butter Chicken (tasting is believing); Lahori fish (tilapia marinated in a secret batter); chicken meatballs (spicy gems that taste so much more exciting than their name implies). Most of these appear on the lunch buffet – so customers can try a little bit of everything before committing to a particular favorite. Sadia directs the cooking of the fresh meat and vegetables which they procure locally and from the international markets in Atlanta. The Hassans also offer catering (Sadia considers less than 400 guests a small wedding). Naan Kabab is open 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and 12:30 pm to 8 p.m. on Sunday. The restaurant is located at 3107 Washington Road. Details: 706.504.220.

article and photos by JENN MASLYN

PAKISTANI DISHES YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY TRY Kabab Masala this spicy dish clears out the sinuses | KHIR sweet rice dessert | CHANA DAL flavor-packed with ginger and chiles | MUTTON KABAB goat on a stick | PAKORA crispy veggie pockets

These quality brews can be found at Eighth Street Tobacco (corner of Eighth and Ellis). by BEN CASELLA Ben Casella thinks that any of the above beers would serve as a good name for a band. In college, he was briefly in a band called the Baby Carrots. Don’t tell anybody. Okay?

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22 March 2, 2011 | community driven news| vergelive.com


COMEDY AND JUGGLERS

The Passing Zone Tosses Aiken

ART: BOYD SAUNDERS

Boyd Saunders, September Folly/Atlantic II, 2005. Courtesy of the artist.

“Classy, edgy, jaw-dropping and hilarious. Wee and Morse light up the stage with remarkably complex club-juggling and a steady stream of genuinely comic banter.” – LOS ANGELES TIMES

Juggling, chainsaws, sickles and assorted stunts — it’s not what one generally associates with stand-up comedy, but Jon Wee and Owen Morse, better known as the Passing Zone, are not your general stand-up comics. The award-wining duo received the International Jugglers’ Association’s Award of Excellence, the highest possible honor. They have appeared on The Tonight Show, were the top comedy act on America’s Got Talent and performed at the White House. In addition to their standup routine, they are in demand as keynote speakers and entertainers for corporate events. Wee and Morse met in 1986 at a juggling convention. Upon graduating from college, they began performing together, winning the Silver medal at the International Jugglers’ Association Teams Competition only two weeks after their first performance. The following year they won the Gold. That was the catalyst to launching their successful career. They were invited to appear at the renowned Comedy and Magic Club in Los Angeles, were approached by a talent scout from The Tonight Show on their first night and booked for their first national television appearance in September 1990. Johnny Carson liked them so much that they were asked to return less than a year later. Then came their first feature film as doubles in The Addams Family Movie. They also appeared in the award-winning comedy documentary The Aristocrats. The Passing Zone’s first London appearance was in the Royal Variety Performance at the Dominion Theatre, performing for Prince Charles and sharing the bill with Tony Bennett and Riverdance. They were featured twice on the gala stage at the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal and have opened for comedians Bill Cosby, George Carlin, Bob Newhart, Bob Hope and Penn & Teller. Television appearances have included Comic Strip Live, An Evening at The Improv, MADtv, Penn & Teller’s Sin City Spectacular, Steve Harvey’s Big Time and regular returns to NBC’s Today. They were commentators on ESPN for their coverage of the World Juggling Federation competitions and expanded their U.S. national television audience by passing clubs over the heads of Miss America Pageant contestants during the swimsuit competition. They have been awarded five Guinness World Records and 18 Gold medals from the International Juggler’s Association.

See the Show

Their new show, Gravity Attacks, involves audience participation, flying objects, three audience members floating through space and a multitude of juggling tricks and amazing stunts. In their words, it is “the closest thing to a world without gravity, but with plenty of levity.”

by ALISON RICHTER

WH0 The Passing Zone WHERE URS Center for the Performing Arts | 126 Newberry Street SW, Aiken WHEN March 17 and 18 | 8 p.m. TIX $40 | aikenperformingartsgroup.org

MORE Their all-ages shows are appropriate for the entire family.

If you happen to own a copy of Spotted Horses by William Faulkner and that copy is illustrated with Boyd Saunders original, hand-drawn and hand-pulled lithographs, you are in elite company. Only 600 of these exquisite books were printed by the University of South Carolina Press in 1989. Like Faulkner, Saunders is a born storyteller. Only Saunders’ stories emerge from his hands – detailed prints and sculptures, haunting illustrations and gothic Southern paintings. Saunders’s art has carried the story of the South all over the world and has been the subject of numerous one-man shows in the United States, Italy, the Netherlands and China. A native Tennessean, Saunders is also the distinguished professor emeritus of art at the University of South Carolina. If you don’t own Spotted Horses, you can at least immerse yourself in his work this month at the Morris Museum of Art.

WHAT Return of the Wanderer: Recent Work by Boyd Saunders WHERE The Morris Museum of Art | One Tenth Street, Augusta WHEN Through Sunday, April 10 | Normal Museum Hours MORE | THEMORRIS.ORG

ART: WALTER CUMMING

Georgia artist Walter Cumming bicycled and sketched his way from Berlin to Paris last year. The result of the artist’s diary – the exhibit The Art of Reconciliation France – Germany 1945 – 2010 celebrates the 65th anniversary of continued peace between France and Germany. Full size watercolors based on his sketchbook will grace the halls of Sacred Heart for three days, March 6, 7 and 8, for viewers to experience the vibrancy Cumming gives to his work. The artist will talk about his journey during the opening reception on March 6 at 3 p.m. Walter Cumming created award winning art for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for 28 years. In 2008, he chose to leave the paper and become a full time, independent artist. Last year, he brought the exhibit El Camino de Santiago to Augusta portraying a journey on the medieval Christian pilgrimage route between Spain and France.

WHAT The Art of Reconciliation France – Germany 1945 – 2010 WHERE Sacred Heart Cultural Center | 1301 Greene Street, Augusta WHEN March 6, 7 and 8 | 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. MORE | WALTERCUMMING .COM or SACREDHEARTAUGUSTA.ORG

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THE FILM REEL

Aliens, Beasts, Wolves Does your obsession with conspiracy theories only pale in comparison to your intense hatred of restraints put in place by the proverbial “man?” If so, you might enjoy seeing Matt Damon’s latest paranoid thriller, THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU. Damon plays David Norris, a New York Senate hopeful whose career path and life plans are dramatically altered when he falls for a beautiful ballerina (Emily Blunt). Before long, David discovers that a group of men acting as angels of fate looking to break up his new relationship by any means possible so he may continue on his carefully-orchestrated rise to political significance.

RUN AWAY! DAMON & BLUNT

The plot was derived from a short story by Philip K. Dick, who also wrote Blade Runner, Minority Report, Total Recall and A Scanner Darkly. George Nolfi, who wrote the screenplay for this film along with those of two other Damon vehicles (Ocean’s Twelve, The Bourne Ultimatum), makes his directorial debut with this feature.

Johnny Depp has a chameleon-like ability to change his mannerisms and appearances drastically as an actor. In the past few years alone, we have seen him play an eccentric pirate, a mad hatter, and Stephen Sondheim’s sadistic barber, Sweeney Todd. In a March 4 opener, Depp personifies an animated chameleon named RANGO. Rango’s dreams of being a famous hero become reality when he accidentally kills a predatory bird that has been terrorizing residents of “Dirt.” The townsfolk are made up of rodents and reptiles who make Rango their sheriff in hopes that he will protect them from an antagonistic snake and his gang of hooligans. This animated Western also features the voice talents of Abigail Breslin, Isla Fisher and Alfred Molina. It comes from director Gore Verbinski, who directed Depp in the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

JOHNNY DEPP’S BUG EYED

Alex Pettyfer and Teresa Palmer, two of the rising stars currently featured in I Am Number Four, also have starring roles in March 4 openers. Pettyfer plays a handsome but vain high school student who is made ugly by a witch’s spell in BEASTLY. He has one year to make a girl (Vanessa Hudgens) fall in love with him in this modernized take on Beauty and the Beast. Palmer plays the object of Topher Grace’s (That ‘70s Show) affection in TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT, a romantic coming-of-age comedy inspired by and set in the 1980’s. Grace also served as a writer and executive producer for this flick.

IS BEAUTY ONLY SKIN DEEP?

The March 11 box office brings science fiction and fantasy tales to moviegoers. Aaron Eckhart plays a Marine who leads his platoon in an effort to squelch an attack by extraterrestrial forces looking to wipe out Earth’s population and strip its natural resources in BATTLE: LOS ANGELES.

Aliens are also the focus of a Disney 3D creation. In MARS NEEDS MOMS, a boy named Milo finds he does not fully appreciate his mom (Joan Cusack) until Martians kidnap her and take her to their planet, where moms are sorely needed to raise their youngsters. Milo finds adventure as he tries to rescue his mom. Simon Wells directs with help from producer Robert Zemeckis, who employed the motion-capture technology he used in The Polar Express to animate this film’s characters. Amanda Seyfried plays a classic fairytale adaptation’s title character in RED RIDING HOOD. Catherine Hardwicke, director of the first Twilight film, helms this romantic fantasy. The story is set in a Medieval village where one of the citizens has a secret identity: that of a bloodthirsty werewolf. Another bit of popular fiction gets an update this week, too. Mia Wasikowska (The Kids are All Right) personifies a literary heroine in yet another adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s morality tale, JANE EYRE. A STARRY EYED RED RIDING HOOD

by MARIAH GARDNER, MOVIE GURU

24 March 2, 2011 | community driven news| vergelive.com


LIVE MUSIC: STEEL MAGNOLIA OPENS FOR SHELTON

New Duo Balances Skyrocketing Fame with Tenacious Honesty While countless new artists struggle to get their music heard, Joshua Scott Jones and Meghan Linsey, the duo known as Steel Magnolia, literally skyrocketed from record release to a number one chart position in a matter of hours. Their self-titled debut album debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Country Album Charts and at No. 7 on the Top 200. Their single “Keep On Lovin’ You” has earned over 1 million downloads, they are a 2011 Academy of Country Music nominee for Top New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year, and their album was produced by Dann Huff, possibly the most in-demand producer in Nashville. The story of Steel Magnolia did not come without dues. Jones and Linsey were turned down by virtually every Nashville label, despite strong response at songwriter showcases. When the opportunity came to audition for the second season of CMT’s Can You Duet, the pair was not interested. They made a last-minute decision to give the television competition a go and came out winners with a record deal. From there, says Meghan Linsey, it’s been a whirlwind of activity and dreams come true. VERGE: Your album went to Number One on iTunes in less than twelve hours. Was there a moment of disbelief when you heard the news?

“You figure out what works. Like anything else, it’s trial and error. You keep what works and toss what doesn’t.”

LINSEY: I think we’re getting used to the surprises, but everything is a big shock. It’s been an incredible year and a half since we won the show until now. We finished the record last February and almost a year later it felt good to finally have it out. VERGE: The delayed release must have been difficult. LINSEY: You have moments of “Will it come out? Do they believe in us?” We did the Brad Paisley tour all summer with no record. We hit the ground running, but it’s tough to spend a year on tour and everyone has a record out and you don’t. We strategically worked it so that it came out at the right time. The label withheld it for a good reason, with all the big releases out last year. We had a five-song EP to work with, and at least it was something to promote ourselves and sell at shows. VERGE: What do you think resonates so strongly with listeners? LINSEY: Our sound is a little different and we weren’t developed by anyone. We met, started dating and wrote a song together. People heard us and told us we sounded good. It just happened; we came up with a sound without thinking about it. You can also hear elements of all genres in the album. I grew up in Louisiana singing soul music and I have pop influences for sure, but we’re both grounded in country music. The tone of our voices together binds it all. With so many different influences, a lot of people can relate, no matter what genre of music they listen to. VERGE: Whose idea was it to do Can You Duet? LINSEY: Neither of us wanted to do it. Amanda Williams, a friend and songwriter in Nashville, did writers’ rounds and we would play. The producers of the show asked her for a duo to audition. She called us and we said, “Maybe next year.” She called again and we finally said ‘OK!’ on the day of the auditions. We didn’t know what to expect and we didn’t want to be sent home. They put us through and it was the biggest shock of our lives. We didn’t realize that the head of a label [Scott Borchetta, Big Machine Records] was judging us, and then Josh said, “Let’s go. We’re doomed,” because we’d been up and down Music Row and told we were too left of center. So we figured that television would want the middle-of-the-road, usual Nashville sound and we’d have no chance of getting through. Scott heard something in us. He kept us and we ended up winning. I’m glad we went! VERGE: How did Dann Huff take you to the next level?

– MEGHAN LINSEY

LINSEY: Being a musician in Nashville for so long, you get a little jaded. We worried about losing our sound and being swallowed up, but that wasn’t the case at all. We got to do seven [original] songs and working with Dann was a lot of fun. He’s one of the greatest guys and so talented. He brought stuff out in us that we didn’t know we could do. He’s very hardworking and wouldn’t let us slide. If it’s not perfect, he makes you sing it again. But he was very patient. Dann worked well with us and pushed us to do our best. You think you know what you’re doing until you get in the studio with someone like Dann. VERGE: You met in a karaoke bar. When did things click in terms of a musical partnership? LINSEY: That was my first job when I moved here five and a half years ago. Josh was in radio sales. He walked in one day after work, we talked, and we’ve been together ever since. We wrote that first song [“The Edge of Goodbye”] and played it at writers’ nights. We enjoyed singing together, and being in a relationship, it made sense. We started going through our songs, a lot of his old songs, and I’d sing harmony to them. You can never really pinpoint the creative process. Sometimes you’re “given” songs, and other times it’s more work.

are hard in general, and when you’re in a tour bus all the time, performing and working together on top of it, it will be a little harder. We’re so transparent with our songs on the record that everybody knows our personal lives! VERGE: Everything has happened so fast on so many levels. How do you cope? TRUCKS: We take everything day by day and try not to think too far ahead, because if we did we would be crazy. I don’t look more than a week ahead on my calendar so that I don’t get overwhelmed. I look at what we have to do today. That’s how we’ve done it the whole time. We do the best we can and focus on getting through the day. The key is to live in the moment and not worry so much. by ALISON RICHTER photo R SMITH

See The Show

VERGE: How has the partnership developed? LINSEY: When we first met, I was drawn in by his very raw talent and honesty with his songwriting. It was intriguing to me. I learned a lot about how to tell a story when I sing. He has become a better singer with me. We learned from each other. Over the last year and a half we found our direction. Once you’ve been doing it for a while, you figure out what works. We’ve come a long way together. Like anything else, it’s trial and error. You keep what works and toss what doesn’t. VERGE: How do you balance the personal and professional relationships? Are you able to leave one behind in order to focus on the other? LINSEY: I don’t know if you ever really do. A lot of people act like they can, but it’s really hard. There are moments of being in couple mode, or moments of Josh waking up in the middle of the night thinking about the ACM [Academy of Country Music] performance. It’s hard to turn it off. Music helps us get over stuff. It’s a healing thing, a way to get it all out. Relationships

WHO Blake Shelton + Easton Corbin + Steel Magnolia

WHERE James Brown Arena WHEN Saturday, March 12 | 7:30 p.m. TICKETS $32.50 to $47.50 BUY JAMESBROWNARENA.COM MORE | STEELMAGNOLIAMUSIC.com

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26 March 2, 2011 | community driven news| vergelive.com


LIVE MUSIC

The Battle for the Beat Goes On Two years ago, Marcus “El Ra” Curtis returned to his Augusta home from Atlanta and opened I.Zoom Studios in May 2009. A few months later, the Second Saturday Beat Battles took off. Since that time, the Beat Battles have evolved from a simple face-off of different hip-hop producers to a regional showcase of musicians more interested in comparing their styles and giving support than slamming their fellow music-makers. On the night of Saturday, February 12, cars line 8th Street, a section of downtown that has often been home of underground music since the early 1990’s. From all points of the compass, people converge at 216 Eighth Street, the home of I.Zoom Studios. The neon lights of Eighth Street Tobacco and the bright white lights of Le Chat Noir give the chilly night a warm glow. Behind the doors of I. Zoom, a different warmth, even more inviting than the city lights, spills out onto the street. Four people are showcasing their music tonight: CJ, Classic, Selassie and Len. CJ, a winner of past Beat Battles, adds a flare of orchestral symphony to his music. Classic employs stronger beats, also with a touch of overtly classical music. Selassie is heavy on the bass, while Len delves more into electronic and R&B sounds. It is easy to get lost in the sound yet, behind the music, there is something more – an independent spirit and do-it-yourself belief system. In order to make the most out of their craft, the musicians must know the insidious aspects of the business too, including the legal troubles sampling the songs of other musicians can bring and the fine lines of copyright theft. Making music today is more than mere following passion, an understanding of the politics involved is important, too. This is what the Second Saturday Beat Battles offer underneath the surface. Sure, there is awesome original music by some of the most intriguing musicians in the underground hip-hop scene but a community spirit of education and brotherhood exists as well. If you are interested in checking out the Second Saturday Beat Battles or want to contribute music, put some of your original beats on a CD and bring them to Marcus at I. Zoom at 216 Eighth Street. The Beat Battles continue the second Saturday of every month, usually kicking off around 9 p.m.

by DINO LULL

FOR FUN

When in Augusta, do as the Romans do… celebrate the last Saturday of Carnevale (the predecessor of Mardi Gras) with Sabato Grasso – or Fat Saturday. Augusta’s version, courtesy of the the Greater Augusta Arts Council, is the Fat Saturday Pub Crawl on March 5. For $6, patrons can sample beers from the New Belgium Brewing Company at 15 downtown bars and restaurants. Registration stars at 3 p.m. at the tent on 10th Street (the Crawl officially starts at 7 p.m.) and the first 500 will receive a free Fat Saturday t-shirt. Each participant will be given a Fat Saturday passport. At each stop, pub crawlers will receive a stamp. Once the passport is filled with stamps, the cards can be turned in to win various prizes – though the cards must be turned in before midnight to qualify. WHAT Fat Saturday Pub Crawl WHERE Along Broad Street in Downtown Augusta WHEN Saturday, March 5 | Registration starts at 3 p.m. & Crawl starts at 7 p.m. COST $6 |Must be 21 or older to participate MORE | facebook.com/FatSaturday

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Your Number 1 source for everything tobacco Domestic, Traditional and Non-traditional tobaccos CSRA’s Largest selection of Hand Blown Glass Glass Artist on Staff Huge collection of Exotic Smoking Accessories

28 March 2, 2011 | community driven news| vergelive.com


LIVE MUSIC

FESTIVAL

Brigan’s Hosts First Psychic Fair Sharon Jones Brings Soul Home Augusta’s first Psychic Fair will be held at Brigan’s Land of Enchantments, 912 Broad Street, March 26 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. to raise money for the local Pagan Pride chapter. The half-dozen or more psychics involved in this fair are skilled at methods as diverse as Tarot cards, I-Ching, runes, numerology, pendulums and crystals. “Most people like the tarot cards because of their visual impact,” said Jezibel Anat, local organizer for Pagan Pride. “Some people might also want to try something that’s totally new and different, which is why we’re offering a lot of options at this Psychic Fair.” According to Joe Zuchowski, who will be reading cards at the fair, Tarot originates with two French and Italian card games played in the 15th Century. It wasn’t until the 19th century that their divinatory uses began to become respectable through their use by ceremonial magicians. Zuchowski believes that it is because Tarot links so many other methods of divination that they have become so widely accepted. The I-Ching, however, is adapted from Chinese shamanism and means “Book of Changes”. According to Zuchowski this is the least subjective discipline, in that there is no room for interpretation by the reader, and that every line drawn by the falling sticks has an exact meaning laid out in the book. Numerology is an ancient discipline based on

the Pythogorian philosophy that every object in the universe has a name that is linked to a vibrational number, according to Zuchowski. It is similar to astrology except that it uses only math instead of the positions of the stars. “Part of getting a good reading with any method is to be yourself, centered and focused on what you want to learn before you go in,” said Anat. “Most people want to know about love and money but just about everyone leaves feeling very satisfied with the answers they got.” Brigan’s, which sells crystals balls, stones and cards as well as weapons, artwork and a host of interesting oddities, has been involved with the Pagan community in Augusta since its opening and hopes to use this opportunity to show off their store. “We started with the people, which led to our supplying the merchandise just because it was what they wanted,” said store owner Rita Brigan. “We’re hoping this fair will show more people that we’re here and also give us a chance to help out Pagan Pride.” Baked goods will also be available at the fair for those who want to drop by, enjoy a snack and make a small donation. Readings are a dollar-a-minute, with five or 15 minute sessions available.. All donations are tax deductable and go directly to Augusta Pagan Pride, Inc. PAGANPRIDE.COM by CHRISTOPHER SELMEK

Selling over 150,000 copies, 100 Days, 100 Nights, the big-hit 2007 album from Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, launched the jazzy R&B/Soul group into national recognition. When the band released I Learned the Hard Way last year, the album reaffirmed the band’s prominence in traditional soul sound and received rave reviews. Entertainment Weekly said, “[Sharon Jones’] fourth album with the Dap-Kings is pure joy, even when heartbreak sends her voice digging deep. This isn’t just old-school; it is school.” Getting to a place where people recognize your name doesn’t happen overnight.

“Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings make the kind of music that moves them, and their feverish passion is contagious. ” – PASTE MAGAZINE

Jones and the Dap-Kings have put in their dues, travelling the festival circuit, including Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and the Chicago Blues Festival. The band has also hit the international circuit, playing sold-out shows in New Zealand, Holland, Denmark, England and France. Then, there was the late night talk show scene, playing for the audiences of David Letterman, Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon. Collaborations followed – Jones worked with David Byrne, Lou Reed, Booker T. and Phish. The band’s road to fame started years ago. Jones, who hails from Augusta, started her solo career in the 1990’s with Desco Records. The label crashed and Jones’ back-up band, Soul Providers, called it quits. Out of the ashes, the Dap-Kings was formed. The band’s first release, Dap-Dippin’ with the Dap-Kings, came out in 2002, followed by Naturally three years later, and the fame-launcher 100 Days, 100 Nights in 2007. With a sound that pays homage to classic soul and a stage show that leaves fans drooling for more, Jones and the Dap-Kings have toured relentlessly and worked with some of the biggest names in soul. Their accomplishments are astounding; their most recent album reaching #15 on the Billboard 200 list. They were also on the soundtrack for the movie American Gangster with Denzel Washington and played as the backing band on Amy Winehouse’s album Back in Black (2007) and Al Green’s Lay It Down (2008).

See the Show

When Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings arrive at the Imperial Theatre, this fiery band will bring their wild stage show to Augusta, complete with horns, guitar and Jones belting it out Aretha-style. Jones will have come full circle, to home. by DINO LULL photo LAURA HANIFIN

WH0 Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings WHERE The Imperial Theatre

745 Broad Street, Augusta WHEN Saturday, March 12 | 7:30 p.m. TIX $19 to $26.50 | IMPERIALTHEATRE.COM

MORE sharonjonesandthedapkings.com

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30 March 2, 2011 | community driven news| vergelive.com


CUT THE FAT XVI Out of the Starting Gate

IN GOOD HEALTH

Green Tea Lowers Risk of Illness

Dr. Stephen Hsu

As a youth, Dr. Stephen Hsu found only misery in green tea. For six and a half years, he spent up to 18 hours a day working in a remote farmland, harvesting tea leaves and growing other produce in a Chinese labor camp for children from the “capitalist class.”

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”

- MARK TWAIN

If you caught the last issue of verge then you are aware that I have this mad desire to jump out of a plane. I am sure some will think this goal idiotic, while others may say “Dang bro, when do we leave?” Sky diving isn’t for everyone but, then again, neither is the Dave Matthews Band. (Sorry, DMB fans but their music just makes me want to dig up Jerry Garcia and smack HIM around) My plan is to jump the weekend after Father’s Day; to do so, I must weigh less than 250 pounds. My motivation to lose weight resides in the opportunity to jump into the wild blue yonder while screaming my bloody fool head off in terror. Does not quite sound much like motivation, does it? To be honest, I have wanted to sky dive for a long time. So you see, sky diving is simply another manageable task (see Mark Twain’s quote above) on my way to finally reaching my weight loss goal. My wife Jeannie has been known to say to me – “You work great with a list, otherwise you suck.” I do agree to a point. I had a game plan when I won Biggest Loser, since then it’s been an up and down battle. So, what should I do? Make a freaking list! My list started with “make my list of manageable tasks.” The first task was to pick an inspiring starting date for my new weight loss plan. I chose February 10, which is my daughter Alexis’ birthday. Since she was originally supposed to take me sky diving on Father’s Day, I felt it was perfect. I chose additional goal dates of March 9 (first day of Lent), April 4 (my birthday), May 8 (Mother’s Day), culminating in my end goal date of June 19 (this year’s Father’s Day). Now that I have my list of manageable task dates, I must decide what I wish to accomplish by each date The last time we met, I was just about to get started. So for the quick catch up, here’s what went down – I started on February 10 with a combination of some weight training, neighborhood and downtown walking and a daily menu of five-small meals each day separated into three-hour increments. As my wife has to drink a daily protein shake, I added that in as my morning meal with my medication and vitamins and lowered my carbohydrate intake (I’m a diabetic, so I do have to be careful). For me, this was an easy, well-coordinated way to start things off and head towards my next goal – Ash Wednesday and my healthy Lenten promise. For some people, simply having a goal or a list is not enough. Sweetening the pot can help and I am the type of person who can go either way depending on my mood. To play things safe, I have decided to add little mini-awards to each goal date. For example, my first true marker lies on March 9, by which date I want to lose 15 to 20 pounds. Since my Lenten promise is not to eat any red meat or fried food, I plan on having a grilled cheeseburger on March 8 (as I’m not the biggest fried food lover, I’m not too worried abut the French fries. A cheeseburger will suit me just fine), IF I meet my goal. It’s just my way of earning a treat before I have to do without for a while. I compare it to a monk going on a karaoke tour before taking a vow of silence. It’s a chance for a little enjoyment while getting it out of your system. So here we go … by the time you read this, hopefully I will be just a few days from being several pounds lighter AND savoring my cheeseburger. As determined as I am and with my “work by list,” I think my success percentage is pretty high. I am confident that not only will I be feeling better; I will also be geared and primed for Lent!

by JOHN “STONEY”CANNON

John “Stoney” Cannon began chronicling his weight loss Spring 2009 and has since lost over 150 pounds. Follow his progress and get more inspiration at FATKATFITNESS.BLOGSPOT.COM as he works towards his big jump!

Fast-forward several decades and Dr. Hsu is now a Molecular and Cell Biologist in the Georgia Health Sciences (formerly MCG) College of Dental Medicine and a world-renowned green tea researcher. Together with Christine Hurley Deriso, Georgia Health Editorial Manager, Dr. Hsu has written a new book, Green Tea and Beyond, which explains the health benefits of green tea based on his ten years of research. Along with Dr. Hsu’s findings of green tea’s effects on cancer, skin disorders, obesity, autoimmune diseases and other conditions, the book discusses the origins of tea and how to easily incorporate it and other related products into the diet to prevent or lower the risks of many illnesses. According to Dr. Hsu, countries such as China and Japan, which consume high quantities of green tea, have lower rates of certain cancers, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease than the United States. With the adoption of a Western lifestyle, he says, this tradition weakens and these diseases became more prevalent, despite the modernization of health care. “The more I learned, the more I found there was to learn,” he says. “This book is a way to share those research results with anyone who wants to improve their health and prevent illness without spending too much money or taking excessive medications. While research is in its infancy as to how green tea impacts specific diseases, its general health benefits are indisputable. For example, green tea contains a unique group of polyphenols, powerful antioxidants proven to help eliminate free radicals, which can cause genes to mutate.” Green Tea and Beyond was published by Nova Publishing and is available in the United States, Europe and Japan. For more information or to purchase, visit novapublishers.com/catalog and type in the title of the book. by ALISON RICHTER

DISCOVERIES: CATNIP REPELS FLIES Catnip, the plant that attracts domestic cats like an irresistible force, has proven 99 percent effective in repelling the blood-sucking flies that attack horses and cows, causing $2 billion in annual loses to the cattle industry. That’s the word from a report published in ACS’ biweekly Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Junwei Zhu and colleagues note that stable flies not only inflict painful bites, but also transmit multiple diseases. Cattle harried by these bloodsuckers may produce less meat and milk, have trouble reproducing, and develop diseases that can be fatal. All traditional methods for controlling stable flies — even heavy applications of powerful insecticides — have proven less than effective. The scientists thus turned to catnip oil, already known to repel more than a dozen families of insects, including houseflies, mosquitoes and cockroaches. They made pellets of catnip oil, soy, and paraffin wax, and spread them in a cattle feedlot. Within minutes, the pellets shooed the flies away, with the repellent action lasting for about three hours. Pellets without catnip oil, in contrast, had no effect. The scientists now are working on making the repellent action last longer, which they say is the key to putting catnip to use in protecting livestock both in feedlots and pastures. provided by The American Chemical Society - Savannah River

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THE INK WELL

Stretch Your Brain Cells Crossword by Myles Mellor

Across

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1. 60s rock group, with Corner 5. Slight 9. Partition 14. Lion’s beard? 15. Type of insurance for owners 16. Pointed arch 17. Nose out 18. Tapi endings 19. Rich tapestry 20. Place for pessimists 23. Virgo mo. 24. Cries at a circus 25. Keen 28. Swimmer’s gear 30. Banned pesticide, for short 32. “Star-Spangled Banner” preposition 33. Tongue 35. Conundrum 37. Invest in a risky fashion 40. Witch 41. Bean 42. Greyhound, e.g. 43. Magazine revenue source 44. Come back again 48. Go up and down 51. Supporting 52. Grassy area 53. Investing term that came from poker 57. Salad oil holder 59. Old audio system 60. Horse course 61. Where to get a fast buck? 62. Fall locale 63. Anatomical network 64. Experiments 65. Used to be 66. Four’s inferior

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3. Captivate 4. AtAcross no point in time, contraction rock group, with Corner 1. 60s 5. Native American people Slight water areas 5.6. Scottish V.I.P. Partition 9.7. Mosque 8. City in Arizona Lion's beard? 14. 9. Drenches 10. Type Wading of bird insurance for owners 15. 11. Great musicians Pointed arch 16. 12. “Desperate Housewives” actress, outfirst name 17. Nose 13. Court matter 18. Tapi endings 21. A chemical salt tapestry 19. 22. Rich Deserter 26. Romeo or Juliet Place for pessimists 20. 27. Blunder mo. flair 23. 29. Virgo Distinctive 30. Beach a circus 24. Cries atsights 31. Angry outburst

34. Investor’s alternative Down 35. Inquisitive people 36. Look at flirtatiously1. Cells in the sea? 37. Constant 2. Improvised 38. Flower starts 39. Belladonna poison3. Captivate 40. ABC’s rival 4. At no point in time, contraction 43. Amazement 45. Plant 5. Native American people 46. Fertility goddess 6. Scottish water areas 47. American sharpshooter 49. Driving hazard 7. Mosque V.I.P. 50. Common carriers 8. City in Arizona 51. Flute player 54. Consider, with on 9. Drenches 55. Cover up 10. Wading bird 56. Legal wrong Great musicians 57. PC component, for11. short 58. Delicacy 12. "Desperate Housewives" actress, first name

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26. Romeo or Juliet

by MYLES MELLOR | Find the solution to this issue’s puzzle at VERGELIVE.BLOGSPOT.COM

 DIGITAL JUKEBOX

The Songs that Inspired Us (This Issue)

1 2 3 4 5

HALLELUJAH by Leonard Cohen Often covered,

this is the orginal off the studio album Various Positions (1984) — Christopher Selmek

FÜR ALINA by Arvo Pärt Considered an essential work of this Estonian composer’s tintinnabuli style. — Charlotte Okie

YOU ARE by Jason Castro

Off the 2010 album Who I Am. Check out Jason’s cover of Cohen’s “Hallelujah” on the same album. — Holly Birdsong

PUMPED UP KICKS by Foster the People

This is the current favorite song of my daughter, Ruby, the 21-month-old music critic. — Sarah Childers

ADDICTED by Saving Abel & LIPS OF AN ANGEL by Hinder These songs are burned into my brain on replay thanks to an incredible show at the Country Club on February 28. Congratulations to Steve Hall, who is five for five on sold-out concerts in 2011! — Alison Richter

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SOUND BITES

Lokal Music Musings The world has changed quite a bit since March 15, 1961, when music legend Ray Charles refused to perform for a segregated audience at the Bell Auditorium. Charles may not have been able to visibly tell the difference between black and white, but he knew that it was not so much how you see it, as how you FEEL it. Fifty years later, Charles’ message of musical unity continues to be felt, perhaps nowhere more strongly than in Augusta’s own musical community. Thank you, Mr. Charles Hootie & the Blowfish frontman and now solo country superstar, Darius Rucker, has been nailed down to perform at this year’s Rock Fore! Dough concert to be held during Masters week. Tickets went on sale February 26th and more info on where to get them, (including updates on additional acts) can be found online at thefirstteeaugusta.org. Guys, you know you lady wants to go. Don’t “Let Her Cry”… get your tickets now!

THE LAST WORD

A Bird to the Wise

Do you ever feel like your own worst enemy? Like there is only one person standing between success and you - but the person in the way is... yourself. Hopefully, this internal attack is infrequent and fleeting but, the next time it occurs, try applying the following lesson and fight back! Let’s call this strategy a “bird to the wise.” This lesson recently unfolded for me, when an unfamiliar noise kept tapping away at my kitchen window and gnawing away at my nerves. The nuisance persisted for days, pestering me and puzzling me to no end. Finally, the mystery was revealed one morning when I looked outside to find a male cardinal who was busy defending his home turf against an “intruder.” The funny thing was that the enemy was none other than the bird himself – battling his own shadow. While my initial reaction was to dismiss the bird as just another “silly male,” I quickly realized that (all too often) I am guilty of the exact same thing – being my own worst enemy. To be sure, this behavior is not unique to birds; we humans practice it at a young age and sharpen our skills as we grow older. I lovingly recall times last summer when my three-yearold niece would both run toward and then away from her own shadow whenever the late-day sun would hit the concrete pool deck just right. I was amused as I watched her alternate between dancing with and running from her shadow – never realizing that the shadow was her very own.

DASH RIP ROCK

Speaking of Masters week and stuff, Metro Pub & Coffeehouse has decided to dig deep into their roots and bring back live music on a regular basis with acoustic Tuesday nights and full-on bands on the weekends. What does this have to do with Masters Week? It turns out that rockers Dash Rip Rock will make their return to Augusta that week at … you guessed it … Metro Pub! Speaking of Metro, have you had their Bourbon Cookie flavored coffee? It will make you sit up and say WOW! If you’re looking for that little something extra to give to the one you love for a birthday gift or perhaps to hide until Christmas, get over to Ebay and check out the framed James Brown Birthday Bash 97 poster. Just click on the “Buy It Now” button to get the poster for a cool $550. It’s time to close up shop on another edition of the ol’ music column so, until next time, get an earful of what’s happening in Augusta music stop by and listen to me rant with my good buddy Brian “Stak” Allen each week on CONfederation of LOUDness which can be found ironically enough at confederationofloudness. com and as always… Make it LOKAL, Keep it Loud, by JOHN “STONEY” CANNON To keep up with what’s going down in Augusta music, check out Stoney’s long-running website LOKALLOUDNESS.COM.

Look out for the next issue of VERGE hitting the newstands on

MARCH 16 Find Your Copy At

And so it is in our own lives. We talk “ugly” to ourselves all day long, spewing silent verbal venom we would not dare avenge on anyone else. Whose side are we on and who do we expect will win when we are playing both offense and defense? It is we who end up losing – and losing big – from toxic self-talk. Psychiatrists, self-help gurus, marketing and advertising managers, authors and others have long been intrigued with the power of persuasion, particularly when it pertains to self-dialog. What we say, how often we say it and why we say it wields great power in our thoughts, our dialog and

While I’m not suggesting that we all spend hours a day in the self-help book section (too much of that stuff can be nauseating), I’m betting that we all could make some minor tweaks here and there to our ways of thinking. Over the course of the next week, I’m going to try to not be that silly bird. I’m going to speak to myself as I would speak unto others – monitoring and keeping track of my inner chitchat – befriending my shadow rather than belittling it. Heck, if there’s any wisdom residing in between my two ears, I may as well tap into it – don’t you think? by KRIS COOK Kris Cook is a freelance writer who speaks from the heart and shoots from the hip. Clearly, she spends way too much time pondering the peculiarities of everyday life. kriscook@ymail.com

 Parting Shot

Two Museums and 40 Years of Favorite

The bio of artist, author and teacher Malaika Favorite is pages long, an impressive catalogue of exhibits, collections, books and commissions. What cannot be extrapolated from Favorite’s written bio is her visual biography – the work itself; discreetly abstract paintings with a raw boldness that gives life to the history her work interprets. Now, in a unique doublemuseum exhibit, Favorite’s life’s work can be seen on the walls during Retrospective of a Hardback Woman. WHAT Malaika Favorite: Retrospective of a Hardback Woman: 1970 – 2010

Publix | EarthFare | Mellow Mushroom

WHERE Paine College Collins-Calloway Library

New Moon Cafe | Sunrise Grill

The Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History WHEN Through April 14

And Over 150 Locations Throughout the CSRA

our behavior. It seems that “you are who you say you are,” quite literally. “It’s that little voice in your head that can be your best friend or your worst enemy,” according to Dr. Shad Helmstatter in his landmark bestseller, What to Say When You Talk to Yourself. “The average person never realizes that the internal monologue maintained every day can have farreaching effects in daily life. Depression, fatigue and inner anger can be directly correlated to a poor self-image.”

MORE | lucycraftlaneymuseum.com

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March 2011 Issue A