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Contributors Greg Baker|Sam Eifling |Rhonda Jones |Austin Rhodes|Josh des|Josh es|Josh Ruffin|Matt Stone|Adam W Wa Wadding|Jenny ding|Jenny Wright

o r t e m IR P S



Metro Spirit is a freee newspaper published publis weekly on Thursday, 52 weeks eks a year. Editorial coverage includes local ocal al issues and news, arts, arts entertainment, entert people, places and pectrum. The he views do not necessarily represent present the views of the th publisher. publish Visit us at m.© events. In our paperr appear views from across the political and social spectrum. ner/Publisher: Joe White. Legal: Phillip Scott Hibbard. Reproduction or use without permissio p person, perso please. 15 House, LLC. Owner/Publisher: permission is prohibited. One copy per


Remember When?: Remember when all that money went missing from the Imperial Theatre? We do, even if many around town would rather we forget.

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that Honey Boo Boo makes $15,000 to $20,000 per episode for her television show. I found this post earlier today What would G.F.Y. say about that? while in the office Very useful And besides, just how is Honey Sent the link to myself and will Boo Boo any stupider than 75% most likely bookmark www. of the politicians in D.C.? I mean, when I make Paul Broun, M.D. said: “evolution it home is a lie from the pits of hell”; Harken back to November when Obama said “You didn’t build that”; Todd Akin said: “womens Gwen Fulcher Young said; “... sending Anderson to Washington bodies are almost always able to prevent pregnancy in cases would be like sending Honey of legitimate rape” and Newt Boo Boo up there.” I just read

What kind of hospital would Gingrich said “Romney will get over 300 electoral votes”, didn’t threaten someones job because they are sick? they? GHSU won’t allow sick visitors to visit in the hospital, but they don’t care if their Doctors or nurses come to work sick? My nurse sounded terrible with a cold and bad cough. She told me she could not call in sick or her boss would penalize her and she could be fired. I don’t want a sick nurse taking care of me so she can give me another illness.

I have a small background in magazine journalism but my new job requires no writing at all, except for emails. . . I would like to start doing some creative writing but I don’t know where to start, as in, what do I write about, and whether it’s actually worth bothering with or not. I’d probably be more inclined to

o r t e m IRIT SP do it if there was a competition or group I could join online or something like that. . . Does anyone do any writing or their own, if so, how did you get started? And what have you gotten out of it? Very informative post. Thanks for taking the time to share your view with us. (continued on page 34)

Brigham Reflects: Term-limited commissioner looks back at successes, disappointments and how close Fred Russell was to getting the axe


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INSIDER@THEMETROSPIRIT.COM Insider is an anonymous, opinion-based examination of the hidden details of Augusta politics and personalities.




Closing Channels “Anything else you may have heard has been exaggerated… but of course the media doesn’t do that…” That quotation comes to you courtesy of Sheriff Roundtree. It was in response to a query by Austin Rhodes concerning the fact that he had been told by numerous officers they could no longer talk to him. When Rhodes asked if it was true, that officers’ cell phone records would be reviewed to find leaks to media, Roundtree responded that he had better things to do, but added that it would be allowed. Assembled around the conference table in the new Law Enforcement Center, representatives from most media outlets in Augusta were informed of the administration’s new policy concerning media relations. There are now three public information officers on staff. Any information from the department must come from those three individuals. His officers are no longer allowed to speak to the press. Period. Information will be released to everyone at the same time “to be fair.” When asked how accessible he would be personally, Roundtree reported he will remain as accessible as he always has been. “I was the most accessible candidate in the race,” he said. (Side note: he never returned any calls from the Metro Spirit, nor did he respond to personal visits to his campaign office.) He stated if anyone in the media wants to sit down with him in a few months to talk about the progress of the department he’d be happy to oblige, but the day-to-day communication will come from underlings. “It’s not about me, it’s about the department,” he said. Well sheriff, it is about you. That’s why you hold the title. By clamping down on communication, he is (apparently unbeknownst to him) setting himself up for intense scrutiny. As a patrol officer relayed after meeting, he doesn’t want to be embarrassed again like he was last weekend. Good luck with that.



Cashing In By the time you read this, Charles Holtzclaw may already have been arrested. He is accused of stealing anywhere between $130,000 and $160,000 from his employer, Howard Lumber. Two things make this crime interesting. One: Holtzclaw happens to be the young man Donnie Smith tried to help out of a drunk and disorderly at Wild Wing one Friday night during campaign season. Two: As a salesman for the company, he was selling building materials to contractors at a deep discount, but only if they paid him in cash. He claimed the owner liked to be paid in cash. Now, that leaves a lot of contractors on the hook. They must have known that’s not the way Howard Lumber does business. Consequently, they will not only be asked to pay for the materials again, but, in an interesting twist for homes built with stolen lumber, a lien could theoretically be put on the house until the price of the materials is paid in full. Insiders say Holtzclaw was partying with the stolen loot and gambled most of it away. He is definitely looking at time behind bars and restitution. In another case of stolen money in Columbia County, the law enforcement community is baffled that a neighborhood association would be so blind and naïve as to give one person access to the bank account with no checks or balances. When asked if an audit had been performed routinely as is standard procedure, they said it had. Received, reviewed and paid for… by Laurie Vanover, the lady who confessed to stealing around $200,000. Unlike Charles, Insiders speculate she will get off with no jail time. In both of these instances, the wounded parties — the lumber company and the neighborhood association — took action. Sure, we’ll hear stories for a while and those in charge will sweat for a bit, but then it will be over and forgotten, which is drastically different than the approach taken by others in town, who never seem to be rid of the questions or the doubt.

Don’t Forget So our different legislative delegations spent time this week meeting with members of local government. These relationship-building exercises are good for smiling and shaking hands (and nodding — people in government really seem to like to nodding their heads), but when it comes right down to it, what do they really achieve? While the importance of our legislators in Atlanta has perhaps never been higher, it’s been a long time since expectations for our boys and girls of the General Assembly have been lower. Augusta used to produce leaders. Now, it more or less produces nice people who travel back and forth to Atlanta for a couple months out of the year. Too harsh? Fine — name a piece of legislation one of our own has had a hand in pushing through. Can’t do it? How about just naming the members of each delegation. Not their committee assignments or their district numbers — their names. Can’t do it? If it’s hard for you to remember them, how is the rest of the state supposed to do it?






“Django Unchained”

A review as a segue into a plea for responsible adult behavior

In writing this, I run a great risk of coming across as bafflingly, incomprehensibly stupid. Of course there are greater risks than this, but we can only see a certain distance in front of us at any given time. My sight happens, right now, to end on idiocy; my own, no less. And it’s not so much a matter of writing it well, or writing it poorly — rather, it’s a matter of choosing to do the writing in the first place, and I fear that I am immensely unqualified to do this. This, the self-immolating stupidity I fear I’m courting, is one born out of presumption: a presumption that I, a low-middle class WASP with a master’s degree and obsessions with — in this order — craft beer, combat sports and Game of Thrones, know what the hell I’m talking about when it comes to The Big Issues, slavery and gun violence/control/worship the ones I’m particularly concerned with at the moment. I.e., what do I know about suffering, aside from the inherent version 99.9 percent of us are born into, and do our best to resist/deny/usurp for the rest of our lives? My most egregious daily difficulties top out at soreness in my calves from running, and figuring out how my wife and I are going to buy a house someday. Those are difficulties I’m happy to endure. “Django Unchained” is a good film. A great one, even, and I’m happy to have seen it this morning with the two dozen other people in the theater at 10 am. It is also gruesome, unsettlingly violent, hilarious, ugly and disconcertingly casual in its casual fetishism of firearms. Every problem, monumental or slight, is solved with a bullet or 60, in some admittedly fun, imaginative ways: Christoph Waltz’s character keeps a mini-pistol on a zip track inside his coat sleeve; when it kills a man, the wound it leaves looks like a tiny rosebud. Quentin Tarantino’s obligatory cameo is ended when Django shoots a load of dynamite Tarantino is holding at the time. The sniper kills are beautiful in their minimalism. There’s one scene, further, that particularly stands out, in that it is the embodiment of the moral, social and historical quandary in which I find myself (as should anyone, I don’t mind saying, with half a conscience). In the penultimate climax — an oxymoron, but a true one — Django is engaged in a shootout with a few dozen armed guards employed by Leonardo DiCaprio’s Calvin Candie on his plantation. Django drops several early, including wounding one man in the hip, who writhes on the floor in pain as bullets buzz around him. When he is hit in crossfire, at least four more times during the shootout, the camera jump-cuts to the blood gout, and the whole thing comes off as brazenly slapstick.



To add insult to hilarious injury, a fat man falls on him after being shot and killed, where he remains for the rest of the scene, the camera occasionally cutting back to the wounded man during the gunfight in some semblance of comic relief. And I laughed. Every time, or at least snickered. On the one hand, you have to consider the context, even of that scene alone. The man was working on a plantation, had been seen earlier in the film beating, berating black men and women. At one instance, he watched a captured runaway torn apart by Candie’s trained dogs. What he got — several bullet wounds and a dead fat man to staunch them — he certainly deserved, several times over. Furthermore, what we are meant to laugh at is not the gunshot wounds themselves — guns, in and of themselves as objects, should gnaw at our passions as much as a clod of dirt — but the sheer ridiculousness of the man’s misfortune, seemingly compacted there, all at once. It’s the more extreme version of seeing a man constantly stepping on rakes: the same instance of pain, repeated enough, crosses the line easily — so imperceptible it seems only natural — into comedy. Ergo, the combination of violence and tedium — specifically, the repetition of a violence — is worthy of our laughter. If not, pure callousness remains. Of course all this film school jargon and proselytizing doesn’t translate to the real world. No film truly can. Yes, the best ones can pinpoint socio-cultural undercurrents and contextualize them in a way that is both entertaining and honest (speaking of which, you should see “The Silver Linings Playbook”), but the two universes, regarded empirically, are mutually exclusive. There is a massive disconnect between the types of entertainment I enjoy and my own personal politics. I love watching combat sports, but hate to fight. I listen to Pig Destroyer, Cannibal Corpse, Toxic Holocaust and Burzum, but you’re much more likely to find me out on a run, watching “Chopped” on Food Network or reading. Some of my favorite films and TV shows cake their art in ultra-violence: “The Raid: Redemption,” “Dredd,” “Game of Thrones,” pretty much the entire respective oeuvres of Sam Peckinpah and Quentin Tarantino, etc., even though I’m a gun control advocate. I may enjoy the hell out of seeing the spines of nameless henchmen flap about in the wind after their heads are ripped off by a chainsaw-grenade launcher in “Tokyo Gore Police,” but assault weapons have no place on the open market. None. Handguns don’t either, but, y’know — baby steps, America. Because it’s pulp, make-believe. The cinematic universe — be it populated by reptilian thugs, manic pixie dream girls (looking at you, Zooey), street drugs that slow down time — exists apart from our own, and we must regard them as entirely separate landscapes. We must be intelligent enough to understand that the fantasy of the armed civilian vigilante is just that: a fantasy. Once we’re past that, we’ll all be able to, in the years-old words of our president, “just get along.”

JOSHRUFFIN, a Metro Spirit alum, is a published

journalist and poet who just received his MFA from Georgia College & State University. He was once the most un-intimidating bouncer at Soul Bar.



Roundtree’s Bizarre First Week I have been advised by good media friends that perhaps I need to sit back and let the new sheriff have a few weeks/months/years (take your pick) to get into office, get his feel for things and make some necessary and long-overdue changes for the Richmond County Sheriff’s Department, and the way they enforce the law and investigate crimes. There have been positive announcements, to be sure. For the concept of raising money for charities while celebrating his victory with an Inaugural Ball, more power to him. The addition of Captain Bill Probus to his leadership team, and the promotion of his former political opponent, Captain Scott Peebles, to major in charge of criminal investigations, brilliant. Not a single person I know in his inner circle of advisors and highprofile department members, from Chief Deputy Pat Clayton to Colonel Robert Partain to Lt. Calvin Chew is anything but a nice guy and a class act. Good moves one and all. Some (including myself) have questioned the need for moving the worthy Partain into an office (the officer in charge of administration) so ablely filled for years by Colonel Gary Powell, but hey, the new sheriff gets to do what he wants to do, and, at least in that case, it seems the replacement is admired and experienced in his own right. As much as I try to get in on the enthusiasm I hear from some of these community cheerleaders on what a great new day it is, my optimism gets hit by a few real stinkbombs the new sheriff has dropped as he assumes his throne. A few years back I was doing a feature story on a real


battle-scarred hero of the department, a man whose story of near death at the hands of a pack of brutal criminals shocked this city to its core, and whose story of survival, recovery and new purpose inspired us like few ever have. His name was Deputy David James. He was attacked on a rainy afternoon in 1990 by a gang of teen thugs, for no apparent reason other than their obvious distaste for authority. Shot from behind five times, losing an eye and a kidney in the process and left for dead, by all accounts Deputy James should have been finished right there. Somehow he was able to radio for help before losing consciousness, and he was saved by his fellow public safety workers with barely enough blood in his body to keep a toddler alive. Many thought he would not survive to see another sunrise. But they were wrong. Not only did David James rehab himself, he became a valuable member of the law enforcement training center as a shooting instructor and counselor. In the 20 years he has been at that position, I have never heard anything but praise and delight concerning his work. A few years ago, when a number of us were assisting in a benefit for another officer who had been critically wounded on duty, Investigator Greg Margher, then Sheriff Ronnie Strength said, “It would be a cold day in hell” before he would see anyone suggest that James be shuffled off or retired. “He is capable, and I will be damned if I will let anyone suggest that he be run off...” he told me. Well, as we said, there is a new sheriff in town, and Deputy James’ days at the training center are over. He has been moved to a desk job, and while he has not said one word to me about it, his co-workers are beyond

disgusted. Three of them have contacted me in the last two hours, using email and cell phones belonging to other people, because they have all been told point blank that if anyone in the office is caught discussing departmental business with anyone in the media (“especially Austin Rhodes”) without proper clearance, there will be hell to pay. This story came to me very late Tuesday, and I am already behind deadline, so let me just say this: Those of you who feel you need to let the media or others know of problems or violations within the department, please contact the trusted media of your choosing, just don’t do it on county time or using county equipment or email. There are other stories I am developing, including the very odd choices of two known problem officers (Investigators Shane McDaniel and Cheryl Dorsey) as deputy public information officers, a reported 60k new Tahoe for the sheriff to drive on his first day on the job, and the complete revamping of the media relations policies that made both Sheriff Richard Roundtree and Major Scott Peebles media stars long before they ever ran for office. They have been in place and have worked beautifully for years, so why change them now? Stay tuned. It is going to be an interesting new day in Augusta.


The views expressed are the opinions of Austin Rhodes and do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher.






Brigham Reflects

Term-limited commissioner looks back at successes, disappointments and how close Fred Russell was to getting the axe

It’s hard to believe Jerry Brigham isn’t still on the commission. Discussing the ups and downs of being a public servant from behind his desk at his accounting office on Pleasant Home Road — he once had a constituent call him at three in the morning to tell him it was raining — he seems every bit as enthusiastic about local politics as he did before he was term-limited out of office. Considering the fact that he just finished up his second stint, that’s saying something. His first was in the mid- to late 1990s. When asked to check off some of the successes in his time in office, it doesn’t take him long to decide where to begin. “The water is the biggest thing, and I think it’s got the biggest impact economically,” he says. “Prior to consolidation, the old city of Augusta had water and the old county of Richmond had land, and they didn’t get along with each other. It took some raising of the rates and that kind of thing, but we 8


have gone from one of the worst water systems in the state to one of the best.” With water and sewerage comes progress, he says. And money. “Back when we first consolidated, I went to Washington, D.C., on a chamber trip and one of the things they were talking about was turning the utilities at the military bases over to the local governments,” he says. “It took us about 10 years, but we now do the utilities at Fort Gordon, and that’s a big deal. A very big deal.” Not only that, but by looking ahead and continuing the sewage line beyond the Fort Discovery property on Gordon Highway between Gates 1 and Gate 2, the county was able to get a customer of significance to tie in: the city of Grovetown. As far as disappointments, he says he anticipated a lot more efficiency out of consolidation, though he admits that in some ways it’s proved itself to be very efficient. “In the last decade, most municipalities’ workforces have grown 25 percent,” he says. “Ours has not. We’ve basically held the same amount of

people the entire time, and that’s pretty good. So while we didn’t achieve the efficiencies right off the bat, we are achieving them in the long run.” Implementing consolidation was the overarching issue of his time on the commission, and the recent reorganization was a long, contentious chapter of it. Not only did the commission wrestle with aspects of it for the better part of the year, the process nearly claimed longtime administrator Fred Russell, who angered much of the commission in August 2011 by giving pay increases to several employees who took on additional duties because of the restructuring. So just how close was Russell to getting fired? “He was close,” Brigham says. “He was real close.” According to him, the only reason Russell survived was because no one could figure out who to replace him with. “I think the lack of depth in the management was the biggest thing that kept him from going over,” he says. “[Deputy Administrator] Tamika Allen is a wonderful person, but she really has no experience. If you ask her a question in public, you more than likely aren’t going to get an answer, and the 10JANUARY2013


administrator can’t be that way.” At the time, many suspected that the recently retired administrator from Columbia County, Steve Szablewski, might be tapped, and though Brigham says he was certainly a consideration, it was never a likely scenario. “There was an effort made, but I don’t think Steve really wanted to come,” he says. “I think he would have come if the price had gotten right, but I don’t think he really wanted to.” Would Brigham have been willing to make the change? “Depending on who it was and how much confidence I had in their ability to manage, yes,” he says. He likens the situation to when administrator Randy Oliver left back in 2000. “[Deputy Administrator] Walter Hornsby was a caretaker for about a year, but you had [City Attorney] Jim Wall that you could trust to help guide Walter’s decisions,” he says. “We didn’t have a Jim Wall to help guide Tamika.” Just because Russell dodged a bullet once doesn’t mean he’s going to be able to do it with the new commission, however, even though, to Brigham’s way of thinking, not much has changed. “Shanahan is weak, in my opinion, and Tamika’s not much better than she was a year or two ago,” he says. “But we’ve got some people hell-bent to go down that path, and if we go down that path, it’s going to be an interesting time, because it took us about a year to find Randy Oliver and it took us about a year to find Randy Oliver’s replacement. A lot can happen in a year.” It’s not hard to take that as an allusion to the new racial makeup on the commission. Brigham is frank when he talks about the caliber of black politicians currently in Augusta. “The black community basically sends us government employees and preachers,” he says. “They never send us any black businessmen.” He says he finds businessmen more willing to do the negotiating necessary to move forward. “To be honest with you, I found Moses Todd and Willy Mays a lot more compatible to work with to get things done than the current commission,” he says. “I didn’t always agree with the alternatives they put on the table, but at least they put alternatives on the table.” The current black commissioners, he says, offer no solutions in spite of their public frustration that they are being marginalized. He singles out Commissioner Bill Lockett, who often complains that he’s not included in commission discussions. “He may not be in the discussion, but the reason he’s not in the discussion is because we already know what Bill is going to say and do,” he says. “Bill has painted himself into a corner. If you already know he’s going to vote no, why bother to waste your breath on him to do anything?” Though he says there’s a basic philosophical divide in the way they view the role of government, he makes it clear that he believes such divisions have moved beyond political in a way that compromises progress. “My first time on the commission, we had our divides, but it wasn’t racially divided,” he insists. “You’d have two or three blacks and two or three whites voting together on opposite ends of the spectrum. Over time, with the black commissioners being called Uncle Toms and that kind of thing, that went away.” Looking at the current commission, he says the body now lacks seasoned political leadership, both white and black. “They don’t know how to put together a deal, they don’t work together and they don’t have any real plans of where they’re wanting to go,” he says.





Martinez, Evans, Grovetown, North Augusta

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What’s New in Gadgets NFC, car apps and much, much more

(Prequel) Monday Night — Time for football! Unfortunately, I have one sick kid and one tired wife. For everyone’s sake, we were able to get everyone in bed by 9 p.m. Time for me to head downstairs and turn on the game. With six minutes left in the first, Alabama 14, Notre Dame 0. Gotta love the BCS! Television: The Next Generation — Next January I’ve got to remember to ask Joe to send me to Vegas. After all, this is the month for the Consumer Electronics Show, the second most popular winter-time media event for guys. (The first being the release of the Sport Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, of course.) It’s only a couple of days into the conference, but it’s clear that the new generation of TVs rule. I know you’re thinking, “What’s the big deal?” New features are released all the time. Just last year we were inundated with 3D TVs. Those turned out to be more novelty than groundbreaking. The first big change is the down-market slide of 4K technology. The 4K refers to a screen resolution of approximately 4,000 wide by 2,000 high. This resolution provides approximately four times the number of pixels as 1080p (1920 x 1080) screen. The quality of this resolution is fully realized only on larger screens (the format was originally developed to support the movie industry). However, 4K allows for passive 3D in full 1080p, and other neat features such as allowing two people to view separate channels on the same screen. The next change you’ll see is additional capability enabled by near-field communication (NFC). If you haven’t heard of NFC, it’s likely you’ve seen it. The Samsung Galaxy S III commercial showing a wife sharing a naughty video with her husband utilizes a form of NFC. NFC allows different electronic devices to share content. In the new world of TV, this means your can display your mobile phone screen on your TV or stream and share media, all with a simple bump of the phone. In general, NFC is an emerging technology with a number of vendors trying to find the right niche. It’s being integrated onto everything from refrigerators to thermostats to coffee pots. Don’t be surprised if you can’t command and control everything in your home from your mobile phone very, very soon. Car Apps — In a pair of very intriguing announcements, both Ford and GM released their development environments for creating vehicle apps. The GM “info”-tainment system goes by the name MyLink (or IntelliLink in Buicks). Apps written by the Weather Channel, TuneIn and IHeartRadio were demonstrated at CES. The Ford system is called Sync AppLink, and this system integrates with your mobile to remotely control apps installed on your mobile. AppLink supports over 20 third-party apps, including apps from the Wall Street Journal, NPR and Pandora. The Ford package also provides and SDK to allow developers the opportunity to create new apps. Of course, this is just a taste of what can be found at CES. For more details, take a look at CNet or Wired. Until next time, I’m off the grid @gregory_a_baker. GREGORY A. BAKER, PH.D, is vice president and chief rocket scientist for CMA, which provides information technology services to CSRA businesses and nonprofits.






By Steve Savoy / Edited by Will Shortz 87 89 90 91 93

God holding a thunderbolt Expert finish? From ___ Z Tiny chastisement Musical composition about a lumberjack’s seat? 99 Home territories 103 Division of biology 105 Paperback publisher since 1941 106 Siege weapon 108 Swore 109 Wally of cookie fame 110 Stunner 111 Its employees might have jumper cables: Abbr. 112 Shortstop Garciaparra 113 Try-before-you-buy opportunities at knickknack stores? 116 Golfer Norman and others 117 Fabricates 118 Part of an applause-o-meter 119 Brontë heroine 120 Sonny 121 El ___ 122 Analyzes, in a way

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A.T.M. maker Alternatives to chips, say One out? Poor One having a little lamb Over Figaro in “The Barber of Seville,” e.g. 46 “Gangsta’s Paradise” buyer? 48 Empathetic response 49 “Time, the devourer of all things” writer 50 Skewed to one side 51 It juts into the Persian Gulf 52 Less 58 Examine carefully 60 Insts. of learning 61 Capone henchman 63 Elusive African animal 64 Unmitigated 66 Dr. ___ 67 “I’m ___ you!” 69 Do 70 Pacifiers 73 Grilled cheese sandwich go-with 76 “Don’t Nobody Bring Me No Down Bad News” musical, with “The” 1 Straighten out 77 Logical start? 2 Some baton wielders 78 ___ a limb 3 Like stocks 80 Invite to the penthouse suite, say 4 Modern communications, for short 83 Retiring 5 Purse item 84 Mail letters 6 “Silas Marner” author 85 Pro 7 Mendeleev who created the 88 Hold stuff periodic table 92 Goes without nourishment 8 Regrets 94 Detox patients 9 Timeworn 95 Gunner’s tool 10 Heavy-duty protection 96 Skirt 11 Went smoothly 97 “Just watch me!” 12 Go laboriously 98 Hops dryer 13 The “S” of OS: Abbr. 100 Bantu language 14 Eponymous Italian city 101 One way to deny something 15 Like Ben-Hur and company when 102 Equilibria not racing? 103 Skin disorder 16 Handy 104 White shade 17 Jazz pianist McCoy ___ 107 Singer ___ Marie 20 Prettify 109 Glow 21 Pope Agatho’s successor 110 Morse dashes 23 Whizzed 113 Mil. team leader 28 Fix the coloring of, say 114 Panasonic competitor 30 Cymric 115 Certain util. workers 31 Petal pusher? 32 Dragged (on)




















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Across 1 Working hours 7 Bit of a trickle 11 Rental car add-on 14 Series of rounds 18 Unlikely to surprise 19 Megan of “Will & Grace” 21 High 22 Sign-off for Spanish spies? 24 Wee 25 Suffix with human 26 Peyton Manning’s former teammates 27 Chuck of NBC News 28 Grub around 29 Zero-calorie cooler 31 Parched 32 Scale 33 Hosen material 34 Two bottled liquids kept in a cabinet? 37 Language that is mostly monosyllabic 39 Lifeguard’s skill, for short 40 Suffix with direct 41 Some red spots 44 Early education 47 Champion model maker at the county fair? 53 Know-___ 54 Drain cleaner, chemically 55 Early seventh-century year 56 Singer Falana and others 57 Ellipsoidal 59 Handel’s “___ e Leandro” 60 At full speed 62 Blather 63 Movies often with shootouts 65 Wacky exercise regimen? 68 20 cigarettes per unit and 10 units per carton, e.g.? 71 World capital that’s home to Zog I Boulevard 72 Volatile stuff 74 Lions’ din 75 “Well, looky there!” 76 Sweet-talked, maybe 77 Have one’s cake and eat ___ 79 Hoppy pub quaff 80 Covering 81 Forbes competitor 82 Green room breakfast item? 86 Onetime high fliers

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Remember When?

Remember when all that money went missing from the Imperial Theatre? We do, even if many around town would rather we forget. The Imperial’s missing money. It’s one of Augusta’s greatest recent mysteries, one so rooted in our daily vernacular that it has become tough to sort fact from fiction, the real information from the anecdotal. Which seems to be suiting those involved just fine since, five years later, much of the outrage has faded away. No harm, no foul. Only there was harm. Money that was supposed to support and buttress the Imperial — somewhere between $100,000 and $150,000 — was there… and then it wasn’t. Until there’s an answer — a firm, factual answer that leads to some kind of public accounting — a cloud of suspicion is going to hang over the Imperial Theatre and everyone associated with it. Theft. Embezzlement. Mismanagement. Lack of oversight. Until the real story is told, everyone who played a part is tainted by it.


The Imperial Theatre has entertained Augusta audiences since its opening in 1918. During that time it has hosted everything from ballet to bluegrass, with plenty of other stuff in between. Some 20,000 area schoolchildren each year are exposed to the performing arts through the Augusta Players’ popular Storyland Theatre program, which moved to the Imperial eight years ago. It’s a local treasure loved by just about everyone. Over the years, the theater has frequently faced financial hardships, though former Executive Director Greg Goodwin, who ran the Imperial from 1999 to 2004, worked hard to turn the 853-seat theater’s fortunes around. “When I first walked in there, the first phone call I got was from Georgia Power — they said they were going to turn off the lights because we owed $48,000,” Goodwin says. “I called a board member and they said, ‘Yeah, I think there was a balance on there,’ and I said ‘Do you realize it was $48,000?’ And they said they had no idea.” Goodwin says they came up with a payment plan and he had the bill paid off in two years. He also worked hard to mend fences with the volunteers and the arts organizations, resurrected the campaign to replace the seats, got a new boiler, a ticketing program and, together with the Morris Museum’s Kevin Grogan, helped establish the popular Southern Soul and Song series. “I left them with $60,000 in the bank from that series,” he says. “I left them sitting really pretty, and it’s just real discouraging to see it all, in the years following, run off the tracks.” Following Goodwin as executive director was former board member and Goodwin’s administrative assistant, Lara Plocha. Plocha and her husband, Matt, had moved to Augusta from Winter Haven, Florida, where she was involved with a similar theater, the historic Ritz Theater, and owned a gift store called Blue Magnolia. In the midst of the Imperial’s financial upheaval, much of which was blamed on Plocha, she opened a Blue Magnolia gift shop on Broad Street. Given the timing, it 10JANUARY2013


raised quite a few eyebrows. Opening an expensive store when significant funds are unaccounted for at your day job tends to do that. Initially, however, she seemed like a good fit to take over operations at the theater. As Goodwin’s assistant, she had an understanding of the day to day operations, and as a former board member, she knew that landscape as well, something that can be helpful when it comes to getting things done. “In Lara’s defense, she was a fantastic administrative assistant,” Goodwin says. “She was extremely efficient and organized, and she was very innovative. She took initiative, and I was very pleased with her when I was there.” And while outwardly things after Goodwin’s 2004 departure seemed to be continuing in that same positive direction, internally, it quickly became clear that the theater was not running smoothly at all. One of the first indications came approximately a year later, when Goodwin received a call from a credit card company saying that charges on the Imperial credit card, which had been issued in his name, had not been paid. “When I was there, it was hardly used at all, so it was really interesting to see that there was a large balance on it and it wasn’t being paid,” Goodwin says. “When I left, she said she’d get it changed and get her name on it, but that never happened, and then she started charging stuff on it and not paying the bill and they started calling me.” Needless to say, that was a phone call he wasn’t happy to answer. “That’s why I called the board president at the time (Paul Brewer) and said, ‘Look — you need to take care of this now,’” he says. “I think at that point they were kind of blindsided. I think at that time that was the first they’d heard about anything.” He says they resolved the issue, and though he doesn’t remember the amount that was owed or what it was for, he admits to being disappointed. That may have been the first indication that things weren’t running smoothly, but it was no means the only early warning. In October 2006, House Manager Barbara Owens was filling in at the box office when a city worker came to cut off the water. “There was a school show going on,” Owens remembers. “It’s not a good thing to have a theater full of kids when they’re going to turn off the water.” That wasn’t all. She learned that the week before, a co-worker had to dash off to pay Georgia Power, and another co-worker discovered that checks were bouncing to the firemen and sheriff’s deputies that were paid by the theater to work the shows. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, this worker recalls being stopped by a fireman at McDonald’s. 10JANUARY2013

“A guy was up at the counter and came up to me and said, ‘Do you know my check bounced?’” she says. Owens later spoke with at least three other police and firemen who had experienced the same thing. It had become so commonplace, she says, that they cashed the checks rather than deposit them. It was here Owens says she really began to feel uneasy. “Sixty dollar checks are bouncing,” she says. “I’m thinking — this isn’t good when $60 checks are bouncing.” Interviewed specifically for this story, Plocha recalls a difficult time made even more difficult by programming choices that proved to be unsuitable for the local audience. “Unfortunately, a lot of the things we brought in were awesome things, but you know Augusta — you go all out for something, and sometimes they just don’t show up,” she says. “We suffered quite a few losses and it seems like there was one point where we were all just scrambling to patch it together, and I think that’s where a lot of the misunderstandings and the thing about ‘where’s the money gone’ came from.” Though she acknowledges the missing money became central to the collective understanding of the situation, she denies it was true. “I don’t think there was any Laura Plocha missing money that I’m aware of in the end,” she says.” No missing money? She pauses. “As far as I’m aware.” About that same time as the bounced checks, Owens remembers getting paid from checks out of the box office account instead of the operating account. She asked Plocha why, and the answer, she says, didn’t ring true. “I asked Lara what was happening, and she acted exasperated and said it was because First Union (now Wells Fargo) hadn’t sent them any checks,” Owens says. “We were at 729 Broad Street and they were on the corner of 7th and Broad — I’d have been walking down there to ask them, if it had been my responsibility.” She remembers this lasting a month or more. And these things weren’t happening in a vacuum, either. If the credit card represented the first alarm to the board

that things were amiss — remember, Goodwin says he informed board president Paul Brewer about the issue — there were additional alarms as well. “I told Paul Brewer and (incoming president) Ed Presnell,” she says. “They both knew bills weren’t being paid, checks were bouncing and First Union would not give us checks for the operating account. The board knew.” If so, that goes against the public record of the event, a narrative that maintains the board was unaware of any problems until Dance Augusta came to it on March 16, 2007, with word that the theater owed the group $45,000. In fact, two days before that announcement, Plocha reported to the board that the theater had $100,000 in unencumbered funds. “I don’t exactly recall that,” Plocha says of the $100,000. She doesn’t remember reporting to the board that the struggling theater had $100,000 free of any claim or obligation? “I don’t know how to answer that question,” she says, “because I don’t recall the specifics.” Dance Augusta’s announcement blew the doors off the story, but before that there were plenty of additional irregularities occurring in the theater’s operation, including a new policy where those working concessions were not allowed to balance their drawers. “They no longer put down how many 20s, 10s, fives and ones were in there,” Owens recalls. “She didn’t want anybody cashing anything out.” Without an accurate count, of course, there is no verifiable record of money collected, leaving everyone a suspect if money ever came up missing, something that made those at the theater, including Owens, uncomfortable. Owens, who occasionally had to transfer the cashbox money into the safe, began making sure one of the deputies or one of the firemen was present. “We just left $200 in the drawer for the next show and put whatever was left in a bag,” Owens says. “We didn’t count it. We didn’t fool with it. We just put it in a black bag and put it in the safe, but I made them come and watch me put it in the safe.” Then, somewhere after closing the doors on the evening of December 11, 2006, a pivotal event in the Imperial saga occurred

— $900 was stolen from the theater’s safe. This wasn’t money that simply turned up missing, it was money that was actually physically taken from the theater. By someone caught on security video. Security cameras from the Lamar Building caught the burglar entering the building from one of the side doors in the alley between the buildings. Owens and her son, who occasionally worked concessions for concerts and might have recognized someone from those events, watched the video with Plocha. “Whoever did it was wearing a hoodie and you could not see their face,” she says. “They were tall, slender and had on some kind of boots and jeans. And that hooded sweatshirt.” Two others interviewed for this story who also viewed the tape describe a similar person — tall and slender. “You see somebody go in and you see them come out just a few minutes later,” Owens says. “To get into the executive offices, they would have had to have had a key, because we did not leave those unlocked.” According to the incident report, Plocha told the reporting deputy that the doors were locked when she left and unlocked when she returned. The physical description of the intruder is one of the many frustrating details that make the lack of a definitive resolution so maddening, because while any number of people might be described as tall and thin, it shouldn’t be overlooked that the same description applies to Plocha as well. On March 14, 2007, Plocha submitted that financial report showing $100,000 in unencumbered funds. Media stories at the time reported that the news prompted board members to consider putting the money into an interest bearing account. That optimism, if true — and given what board members had been told about the financial instability, many are skeptical it was — changed abruptly two days later, when Dance Augusta called Brewer reporting that the Imperial owed the group approximately $45,000 for its Nutcracker performances. Reports of more unpaid bills quickly surfaced in spite of the board’s insistence that it was unaware of any problems until Dance Augusta’s call. Most significant of these were the performers that were part of the HaHaPalooza comedy series. In April, the Imperial distributed an announcement that comedian Henry Cho’s show was being canceled due to low-ticket sales, only to come back three days later rescinding the ‘low ticket sales’ part of the statement. Cho, part of the Good Humor Men Tour, told the Metro Spirit that the show hadn’t been canceled by the Imperial because of ticket sales, but that it had been canceled by the show’s producer because the two previous comedians on the tour hadn’t been paid. “The first guys in February still haven’t AUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989



been paid in full,” Cho said in the April 25, 2007, interview. “The second show in March hasn’t been paid at all.” The producer of the shows, comedian Pat Hazell, said negotiations with the Imperial were difficult, and for his part, Cho was obviously disgusted. “This has never happened in 20-plus years of doing stand up,” he said. “I cannot believe the Imperial chose to put out the release of ‘low ticket sales’ after the way they handled all of this.” Plocha was placed on administrative leave in March and fired by a unanimous vote of the board on April 11 — after that year’s Masters. More specifically, it was after the April 3 Rock Fore! Dough concert. The Imperial held the one-day alcohol license for the popular event, and the profitable license was in her name. According to Licensing Manager Larry Harris, Plocha’s termination wouldn’t necessarily have put the event in jeopardy, but given the popularity of Rock Fore! Dough, it’s easy to see how the board would have been worried it would. Providing one-day, off-site alcohol for other organizations was a lucrative fundraising tool for the Imperial, and Plocha held 21 such licenses for the theater. However, instead of making money, the theater was losing it, and at a time when the Plochas were spending a lot of it. Though documents show the Blue Magnolia business license wasn’t applied for until November 2, 2006, the store’s arrival was common knowledge for months prior. In October 2006, when the wheels were coming off the theater and the Plochas were busy stocking their new store, Plocha’s husband, Matt, who was unemployed at the time, made two separate $1,000 contributions in as many days to help the floundering First Friday event stay afloat. The loft furniture store was well stocked with expensive merchandise not usually seen on Board Street. It was also known in the business community for its sophisticated point of sale system, a very expensive check out and inventory device usually reserved for high-volume retailers. The store closed in December 2009, two years after Plocha was fired and about a year after Matt Plocha started the downtown publication, Verge. From the Dance Augusta announcement on, several inconsistencies occurred in the board president Paul Brewer’s statements regarding what transpired, not the least of which was the position, reiterated at a May 16 news conference, that the board was unaware of any problems until the Dance Augusta situation. When Plocha was first put on administrative leave, Brewer dismissed rumors that the Imperial funds had run dry, telling the Augusta Chronicle that the theater was as solvent as it ever was. On 16 METROSPIRITAUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989

April 11, Brewer was quoted as saying Plocha was fired for not meeting goals, and by May 16, he was putting the blame squarely on Plocha’s shoulders. “The simple fact is that there were incorrect financial reports given intentionally to the board and that was the reason Lara was terminated,” Brewer said. Not surprisingly, Plocha has a different interpretation. “Some mistakes were made and there were some tense moments, but I don’t know that I set out to intentionally do anything incorrectly,” she says. “But how Paul feels about it is how Paul feels about it, and that’s fine. I have no hard feelings about what happened. It’s done. It’s over.” Intentionally giving incorrect financial reports to a nonprofit’s board of directors is a pretty damning accusation, as were some of the other things board members told the media they had uncovered, including ghost deposit entries, concession sales that were down in spite of greater amounts being purchased and the repeated last minute sale of tickets, most of which were returned 20 minutes after the show started for a total of $9,000 in cash refunds. In the wake of such incriminating information, the obvious question — the one no one seems willing to answer — is why was there no follow up when such a large amount of money was missing amid such dubious circumstances? Inquiries to Lt. Jimmy Young of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office’s White Collar Crime division confirmed that only minor incidents and the missing $900 had been reported. A request for information from the Imperial came up empty, too, though for a completely different reason. The request, sent to current Executive Director Charles Scavullo, was forwarded to board president Larry Baratto, who refused to answer any questions, including ones as seemingly innocuous as listing the current members of the board. “The Imperial Theatre respectfully declines to respond to your inquiry regarding events that occurred more than five years ago,” the email reads. “The matter was addressed at that time, and the Imperial Theatre Board of Directors has nothing further to add.” But if it had been adequately addressed at the time, would people still be asking questions? The lack of answers from the board only breeds more difficult questions: Do they have something to hide, do they fear more attention might uncover new embarrassments or are they simply unwilling to discuss an uncomfortable subject? Whatever the reason, plenty of questions remain. Former board member Michael Deas, a local music promoter, has some questions about the Imperial organ fund he’d like to

ask. Deas joined the board in July 2007, just months after Plocha was terminated, and he says that four separate movie fundraisers, including the 50th anniversary screening of the “Three Faces of Eve,” which had its world premiere at the Imperial in 1957, brought in a considerable amount of money earmarked for the organ restoration fund, which had already been established. “There should be over $30,000 in that account,” Deas says. “It was restricted funds — that was the way the business plan was written and the way it was voted on by the board.” But according to Deas, the board wanted to borrow money from the organ fund to pay bills. “I’ve got to say I wasn’t really in favor of that, because the money was raised for a purpose, and sometimes when you borrow money, you don’t always pay it back,” he says. “When they decided to borrow money, I decided it was time for me to resign.” Others question the application of the restoration fee attached to each ticket sold, since many involved with the theater say little has been done in terms of restoration. The recent fundraising campaign to earn the $250,000 in matching funds to unlock $1 million in SPLOST money has identified a lot of needs that have been listed for a long time, including things like the fire curtain and improved handicapped accessibility. With first a dollar and then two dollars a ticket being assigned to restoration, people are wondering just what that money has been used for. And then there is the most troubling question of them all: Is it merely a coincidence that these unsupervised Imperial funds became missing at the time Plocha opened Blue Magnolia? In spite of all the controversy, Plocha has remained a public figure, moving from the Imperial to the head up the Downtown Augusta Alliance while also assuming the role of editor at her husband’s paper, Verge, which was briefly owned by Portico Publications, a previous owner of the Metro Spirit.

Verge was later purchased by Buzz on Biz’s Neil Gordon, and while Matt Plocha initially stayed on, the two parted ways late last year. On the record, neither Scavullo or Baratto nor past board presidents Paul Brewer or Ed Presnell will say anything. In fact, they make it very clear that they have absolutely nothing to say. But certain individuals were more than candid during an initial Spirit inquiry conducted by a private investigator. There, they confirmed many of the incriminating allegations that build such a strong circumstantial case against Plocha. Included in these are the concession and ticket refunding irregularities, the fact that Plocha was supplying nearly all of the financial information to the board herself, the fact that after being put on administrative leave, Plocha was allowed access to her office computer to remove files involving the Blue Magnolia, the fact that board members felt steered by Plocha to purchase an expensive and ineffective sound system against the advice of the theater’s technical director and the fact that Plocha never provided a reasonable explanation for why the money was missing. To quote one board member familiar with the finances, “Somebody needs to do a perp walk for this.” Connect all the dots — the sudden derailment of a solvent institution soon after it was passed off to Plocha, the policy change that prevented workers from counting their money; the tall hooded figure walking off with $900; Brewer’s claims that Plocha intentionally gave incorrect financial reports; the last-minute ticket sales; the concession irregularities and everything else — and either those involved are sheltering a thief in order to protect their own reputations for having allowed such a loss under their oversight, or they’re allowing an innocent person to hang out to dry for the same selfish reason. Until those on the board thoroughly explain what happened, fingers will continue to point to Lara Plocha, because as a former employee said, you’d be stupid not to think she did it.




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No need to fear this wet paint. The Wet Paint Party: Live Art Auction and Sale will be presented by the Greater Augusta Arts Council 7 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 12, at the Julian Smith Casino. Members free. Features fashion and hair show, appetizers, cash bar, silent auction, live auction. Call 706-8212804 or 706-826-4702 or visit




Wet Paint Party: Live Art Auction and Sale will be presented by the Greater Augusta Arts Council 7 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 12, at the Julian Smith Casino. Members free. Features fashion and hair show, appetizers, cash bar, silent auction, live auction Call 706-821-2804 or 706-826-4702. Day of Art, hosted by the North Augusta Artists Guild, is each Tuesday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Arts and Heritage Center and includes a group of artists painting in the center who will answer questions or allow visitors to join in. Call 803-441-4380 or visit


Local sculptor Brian Rust will present his work in an opening reception at Sacred Heart Cultural Center 5-7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 10. Exhibit runs until Feb. 24. Call 706-826-4700 or visit Ed Smith will exhibit his work at the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art Friday, Jan. 11. Call 706-722-5495 or visit Aiken Retro Exhibition will be on display at the Aiken Center for the Arts through Feb. 25. Call 803-641-9094 or visit “Reflections on Water in American Painting” shows through Sunday, Feb. 10, at the Morris Museum of Art. Call 706-724-7501 or visit Tying the Knot, a display of wedding dresses and accessories from the late 1800s to the 1960s, will be on exhibit at the Augusta Museum of History until May 2013. Call 706-722-8454 or visit “Blast From the Past” is a new exhibit currently on display at Augusta Museum of History in downtown Augusta to celebrate the museum’s 75th anniversary. Call 706-722-8454 or visit “Local Legends,” a new permanent exhibit highlighting Augusta notables, is now on display at Augusta Museum of History. Call 706-722-8454 or visit “Protect and Serve,” a new exhibit highlighting the stories of CSRA law enforcement officers, is now on display at the Augusta Museum of History. Call 706-722-8454 or visit “Delightful Decanters” is a temporary exhibit on display at the Augusta Museum of History featuring colorful bottles used to sell products as late as the 1970s. Call 706-722-8454 or visit 18 METROSPIRITAUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989


Sam Bush performs at the Imperial Theatre 7:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 11, as part of the Southern Soul & Song series. $13 to $65 individual shows, $65 to $185 series. Call 706-722-8341 or visit

on Davis Road. Both published and unpublished writers needing a support group are invited to attend. Call 706-836-7315. Brown Bag Book Discussion is Thursday, Jan. 17, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Columbia County Library. Call 706-863-1946 or visit

The Glenn Miller Orchestra will perform at the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center in Evans 7:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 11. Guests encouraged to wear 1940s-‘50s attire in tribute to Glenn Miller, and walk the red carpet to the entrance of the center. Doors open 6:30 p.m. $32.50 and $37.50. Call 706-447-7652 or visit

It’s Your Book Club Meeting, featuring a discussion of Christopher Sullivan’s “The Noose on the Black Community,” is Thursday, Jan. 17, from 6:30-8:45 p.m. at the Headquarters Branch Library. Call 706-821-2600 or visit

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse chamber group will perform at the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center in Evans 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 12. $20. Call 706-826-4705 or 706-447-7652, or visit

Poetry Matters is accepting entries through March 23 for their annual poetry contest. Cash prizes will be given out. Categories are middle and high school, adults, and seniors. Visit

“Peter and the Wolf,” presented by the Aiken Performing Arts Group and featuring the Symphony Orchestra of the Midlands with Donald Portnoy conducting and 45 young string musicians with Suzuki Strings, is Sunday, Jan. 13, at 3 p.m. at USC-Aiken’s Etherredge Center. $15, adults; $8, children and students 17 and under. Call 803-641-3305 or visit


Guitarist Frank Vignola will perform at the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center in Evans 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 13. Doors open 6:30 p.m. $25 and $30. Call 706-726-0366 or visit Columbia County Choral Society will host a newcomers evening Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 6:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Evans open to anyone who wants to sing in the society’s spring season. Those unable to attend the newcomers evening are invited to one of the society’s regular rehearsals, which are held each Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at the church. Call 706-6502311 or visit


Book signing for “Shadows of History: Photographs of the Civil War from the Collection of Julia J. Norrell” will be held at the Morris Museum in conjunction with an exhibit, 6-8 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 10. Call 706-7247501 or visit Poetry Workshop with Lucinda Clark is Saturday, Jan. 12, from 10 a.m.1:30 p.m. at the Headquarters Branch Library. Pre-registration required. Call 706-821-2600 or visit CSRA Writers meet Monday, Jan. 14, at 6:30 p.m. at Georgia Military College

Texas Night will be held at Augusta Jewish Community Center 7 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 12. Visit


Auditions will be held by Augusta Opera at Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church 7-10 p.m., Monday, Jan. 10, for a February production of Puccini’s “Suor Angelica.” Pre-registration required. Call 706-364-9114 or visit “Frost/Nixon” will show at the Aiken Community Playhouse, 8 p.m., FridaySaturday, Jan. 11-12 and 3 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 13. Call 803-648-1438 or visit Monty Python’s “Spamalot” will show at the Bell Auditorium 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 16. Call 706-722-7545 or visit Auditions for Enopion Theatre Company’s production of “The Story of Noah and His Great Big Gopher Boat,” which will show in March, are going on now by appointment. Parts are available for men and women 18 years and older. Call 706-771-7777 or visit


“Diary of a Wimpy Kid” will be shown at the Aiken Public Library 3-4:45 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 12. Rated PG. Call 803-642-7575 or visit “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” shows Monday, Jan. 14, at 5:30 p.m. at the Euchee Creek Branch Library. Refreshments will be served and pre-registration is required. Call 706-556-0594 or visit 10JANUARY2013


“Liberal Arts” shows Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 6:30 p.m. at the Headquarters Branch Library. Free. Call 706-821-2600 or visit

the Georgia Health Sciences Alumni Center. Call 706-721-2609 or visit

Special Events

Intermediate Sign Language Class will begin at University Hospital 7-8:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 10. $40. Pre-registration required. Call 706-7748559 or visit

Chamber Before Hours Breakfast and Networking event will be held 7:30 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 16. Members free; nonmembers $25. Call 706-6510018 or visit Meet and Greet the new library director is Wednesday, Jan. 16, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Headquarters Branch Library. Call 706-821-2600 or visit 2013 Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., presented by USC-Aiken and Aiken Technical College, is Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 6 p.m. in the lobby of USC-Aiken’s Etherredge Center. The event will feature guest speaker Demetrius McCoy and the presentation of the Legacy of the King Award. Light refreshments will be served and the event is free and open to the public. Visit


Mobile Mammography Screenings will be held 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 10 at Augusta Sportswear; Tuesday, Jan. 15 at the Columbia County Campus on Flowing Wells Road; Wednesday, Jan. 16 at Christ Community Clinic; and Thursday, Jan. 17 at University Hospital. Appointment required. Call 706-774-4149 or 866-774-4141. Car Seat Safety Class will be offered at the Safe Kids Office 5:45-8 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 10. Registration required. $10. Call 706-721-7606 or visit

Women’s Center Tour at University Hospital will be held 7-9:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 10. Free. Pre-registration required. Call 706-774-2825 or visit Lamaze Childbirth Education Class for expectant mothers and their support persons is Saturday, Jan. 12, from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Trinity Hospital of Augusta. Visit

Ready and Able, a five-part class series for late pregnancy covering techniques for maximizing comfort during childbirth, will be held 7-9:30 p.m., Tuesdays, Jan. 15-29, at Doctors Hospital. Pre-registration required. Call 706-651-4343 or 706-651-2229, or visit Stress Management Classes will begin at the University Hospital Heart & Vascular Institute at 8:25 a.m., 9:25 a.m. and 1:55 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 16. Classes will continue at 8:15 a.m., 9:15 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. each Wednesday. Call 706-774-3278 or visit

Team Lean, a 12-week weight-loss competition for individuals and teams, kicks off at each Y location, Monday, Jan. 14. Members $50; nonmembers $70. Visit

Breastfeeding Class for expectant mothers will be held at Babies R Us in Evans 7-9 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 17. Free. Registration required. Call 706774-2825 or visit

Total Joint Replacement Class will be held at the University Hospital Levi Hill III Auditorium 1-3 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 15. Free. No reservations required. Call 706-774-2760 or visit

Babies, Bumps and Bruises will be taught at Doctors Hospital 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 17. Call 706-651-4343 or visit

Fresh Start Smoking Cessation Class will be held in the University Hospital Cafeteria 6-7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 15. Registration required. Call 706-774-8094. Childbirth Education 101, which includes a tour of the Family Focused Childbirth Unit, is Tuesday, Feb. 15, from 6-8:30 p.m. at Trinity Hospital of Augusta. Visit

Bariatric Seminar will be held 6-7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 10, at Doctors Hospital. Focuses on exploring options for medical weight loss. Drs. Michael Blaney and Darren Glass will speak. Free, but pre-registration required. Call 706-651-4343 or visit

Breastfeeding Class will be offered to Aiken Regional Medical Center patients only, at the Aiken Regional Medical Center 6-8 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 15. $5 single or couple. Registration required. Call 803-641-5000 or visit

Breastfeeding Class will be held at Doctors Hospital 6:30-9:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 10. Call 706-651-2229 or visit

Cervical Cancer Lecture will be presented by Brandon Daniels, M.D. at the Aiken Regional Medical Center 6 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 15. Free, light dinner will be served. Call 803-641-5000 or visit


Prenatal Education, offered in a three-week series, will begin 7-9 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 15 at the University Hospital Women’s Center. Continues Tuesday, Jan. 22 and Tuesday, Jan. 29. Free. Registration required. Call 706-774-2825.

Childbirth Tours are Saturday, Jan. 12, from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at GHSU Medical Center. Free, but pre-registration required. Call 706-721-9351 or visit

Tai Chi for Boomers free demo will be held at 6 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday starting Jan. 10. Call 706-394-0590, email sbeasley@ or visit

Weight Loss Surgery Seminar will be held 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 10, at

Breastfeeding Class is Tuesday, Jan. 15, from 7-9 p.m. at the GHSU Medical Center. Free, but pre-registration required. Call 706-721-9351 or visit

Childbirth Education Class will be held at the Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center 6:30 p.m. each Wednesday in January. Pre-registration required. Call 706-721-9351 or visit Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease Aquatics Class meets every Monday and Friday at noon at the Wilson Family Y. Members, free; nonmembers, $3. Pre-registration required. Call Claudia Collins at 706-9229664 or visit Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Orientation is every Monday at 6 p.m. and Tuesday at 2 p.m. at University Hospital’s Heart & Vascular Institute (Classroom 3). Call 706-774-5548 or visit Prenatal Education, offered in four-week series, will be offered Mondays in January from 7-9:30 p.m. at the University Hospital Women’s Center. Free. Pre-registration required. Call 706-774-2825.




Joint Efforts, presented by Trinity Hospital of Augusta, meets from 1111:45 a.m. every Thursday at Augusta Bone and Joint, and features a free seminar about knee and hip pain, treatments, medication, food and exercise. Call 706-481-7604 or visit Infant CPR Anytime Learning Program is held at 6:30 p.m. every Thursday at the first floor information desk (west entrance) of Georgia Health Sciences University. Visit Adapted Wii Special Populations available by appointment at the Wilson Family Y, and feature individual half-hour classes for physically and developmentally challenged individuals of all ages. Members, $10; nonmembers, $20. Call 706-922-9662 or visit


Breast Cancer Support Group will be held 12:30-2 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 10 on the first floor of the Georgia Health Sciences Cancer Center in Augusta. Call 706-721-4109 or visit Cancer Survivor Support Group meets at Doctors Hospital 6-7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 10. Call 706-651-2283 or visit Brain Injury Support Group will meet 6-7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 10, at NeuroRestorative Georgia. Survivors of stroke, traumatic brain injury, aneurysm and other acquired brain injuries and their families and caregivers are invited to attend. Call 706-829-0370. PFLAG, a support group for parents, family, friends and allies of LGBT people and LGBT people themselves, meets Thursday, Jan. 10, at 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Augusta. Visit LaLeche League, a support group for mothers-to-be, and nursing moms and their babies, will meet 10 a.m., Friday, Jan. 11. Call 706-737-2405 or visit Mended Hearts, a volunteer organization of people affected by or interested in heart disease, meets 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 11, at the USC-Aiken Business Conference Center. Call 803-648-2381. ALS Support Group will be offered in the Georgia Health Sciences Medical Office Building, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Friday, Jan. 11. Call 706-721-2681. Prostate Cancer Support Group meets at the Georgia Health Sciences Cancer Center 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 15. Call 706-721-0550 or visit Alzheimer’s Support Group meets 2 p.m. at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church and 7 p.m. at Brandon Wilde, Tuesday, Jan. 15. Call 706-731-9060 or visit Us-Too Prostate Cancer Support Group, for patients, spouses, friends and family, meets at Augusta Technical College, Building 600, 7-8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 15. Free. Pre-registration required. Call 706-868-8758 or visit Celiac Support Group meets at Trinity Hospital of Augusta 7-8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 15. Call 706-481-7000 or visit Blood Cancer/BMT Support Group meets at the Georgia Health Sciences Cancer Center 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 16. Call 706-721-9134 or 706-721-1634 or visit Trauma Support Group meets at the Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center noon-1 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 16. Call 706-721-4633 or 706-7213264 or visit Spine Education and Support Group will be held at the University Hospital Levi Hill III Auditorium 1-2:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 16. Free. Call 706774-2760 or visit Weight Loss Support Group meets at Doctors Hospital 6 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 17. Call 706-651-4343 or visit Recovery Support Group meets 7:30 p.m. Sundays and Fridays. Call 706855-2419. Burn Support Group meets every Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at Doctors Hospital’s Lori Rogers Nursing Library, JMS Building. All burn survivors, and their families and friends are welcome. Call Tim Dorn at 706-6516660 or visit Moms Connection, a weekly support group for new mothers, is held 1-2 p.m., each Tuesday. All moms and babies welcome. Free. Call 706-7219351 or visit 20 METROSPIRITAUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989

Narcotics Anonymous meets Fridays and Sundays at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity Hospital of Augusta. Visit AA meets every Sunday and Wednesday at 7:15 p.m. at Aiken Regional Medical Centers’ Aurora Pavilion, and includes an open discussion. Call 800-322-8322 or visit Beyond the Bars is a support group for those with incarcerated loved ones. Call 706-855-8636. Diabetes Youth Support Group meets quarterly. Call 706-868-3241 or visit Cardiac Support Group meets three times a year. Call 706-774-5864 or visit Families Who Have Lost a Baby Support Group is offered by GHSU. Call 706-721-8299 or visit Adult Sexual Assault and Rape Support Group provides group counseling at University Hospital for those who have experienced sexual assault, incest, rape or childhood sexual abuse. Call 706-724-5200 or visit Alcoholics Anonymous is a support group for those who wish to stop drinking. Call 706-860-8331. Gamblers Anonymous is a support group for those who wish to stop gambling. Call 800-313-0170. Lupus Support Group meets at the Headquarters Branch Library. Call 706-394-6484.


EBooks at GADD Class is Thursday, Jan. 10, at 10 a.m. at the Diamond Lakes Branch Library. Participants will learn how to download books and need to have a general knowledge of computers and the internet. Preregistration required. Call 706-772-2432 or visit

determined. Email E-Mailing for Beginners Class is Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 6 p.m. at the Wallace Branch Library. Pre-registration required. Call 706-722-6275 or visit Sierra Club meeting, featuring guest speaker Bob Munger, founder and president of the Augusta Greenway Alliance, is Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 6:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church. Email Identifying Backyard Birds seminar will be presented by wildlife biologist Ron Breneman at Birds and Butterflies in Aiken, 7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 15. Pre-registration required. $5 over 16. Call 803-649-7999. Creating a Budget with Excel is Wednesday, Jan. 16, from 10 a.m.-noon at the Headquarters Branch Library. Library card and pre-registration are required. Call 706-821-2604 or visit Out of the Box, a class for those learning to use their digital cameras, is Wednesday, Jan. 16, from 10 a.m.-noon at the Columbia County Library. Pre-registration required. Call 706-863-1946 or visit “Remembering the Music Scene” will be presented by Don Rhodes at the Augusta Museum of History 12:30-1 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 16, as part of the Brown Bag History Series. Participants should bring their own lunches; the museum will provide beverages beginning at 11:30 a.m. Free to museum members; $3 for non-members. Visit World Processing Basics Class, a two-session class, meets Wednesdays, Jan. 16 and 23, at 6 p.m. at the Diamond Lakes Branch Library. Preregistration required. Call 706-772-2432 or visit Computing for Beginners, a three-session class, meets Thursdays, Jan. 17, 24 and 31, at 10 a.m. at the Diamond Lakes Branch Library. Preregistration required. Call 706-772-2432 or visit Creating Flyers and Business Cards Class is Thursday, Jan. 17, from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Wallace Branch Library. Pre-registration required. Call 706722-6275 or visit

Third Annual Jimmie Dyess Symposium, which includes remarks by Major General Perry Smith and the awarding of the Jimmie Dyess Distinguished American Award to three individuals, is Thursday, Jan. 10, at 5 p.m. in the rotunda of the Augusta Museum of History. Call 706-722-8454 or visit

Middle and Upper School Open House is Thursday, Jan. 17, at 6:30 p.m. at Westminster Schools of Augusta. Call 706-731-5260 or visit

Forks Over Knives, sponsored by the CSRA Vegetarian Society, is Thursday, Jan. 10, from 6-9 p.m. at the Headquarters Branch Library. Call 706-8212600 or visit

Karate will be offered at the Family Y of Thomson and the Family Y of North Jefferson. $43 and $63. Visit

Introduction to the Internet Class is Thursday, Jan. 10, at 6 p.m. at the Wallace Branch Library. Pre-registration required. Call 706-722-6275 or visit Intermediate Sign Language Class will begin at University Hospital 7-8:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 10. Meets Thursdays through Feb. 28. $40 for class; $40 for textbook. Call 706-774-8559 or visit Microsoft PowerPoint Class, a three-session class, meets Fridays, Jan. 11, 18 and 25, at 10 a.m. at the Diamond Lakes Branch Library. Preregistration required. Call 706-772-2432 or visit Free Organizing Seminar, sponsored by Professional Organizers of Augusta and Carpenters in the Home, is Saturday, Jan. 12, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Carpenters in the Home showroom on Columbia Industrial Boulevard. The event will include tips, demonstrations, refreshments, door prizes and more. Visit or

Basics of Creating a Will With S.C. Legal Aid will be presented at the Aiken Public Library 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 17. Call 803-642-7575 or visit

Intermediate Spanish Language Class is each Monday from 2:30-4 p.m. at Friedman Library. Pre-registration required. Call 706-736-6758 or visit Beginner’s Spanish Language Class is each Monday from 4-5 p.m. at Friedman Library. Pre-registration required. Call 706-736-6758 or visit Free Tutoring for all ages, offered by ASU’s Literacy Center, is available by appointment Monday-Thursday, from 4-8 p.m., at the center at 1401 Magnolia Drive. Appointments required. Call 706-737-1625 or visit Guided tours of 1797 Ezekiel Harris House offered by appointment only Tuesday-Friday, and Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Last tours of the day begin at 4 p.m. Adults, $2; children, $1. Call 706-722-8454 or visit GED Classes are held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Headquarters Branch Library. Pre-registration required. Call 706-8212600 or visit

Voices of the Past: The Other Tubmans will be presented at noon, 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 12, at the Augusta Museum of History Theater. Free with museum admission. Visit

English as a Second Language (ESL) classes are offered every Tuesday from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Headquarters Branch Library. Call 706-821-2600 or visit

Tangled Threads quilting demonstrations are Sunday, Jan. 13, from 1-4 p.m. at the Augusta Museum of History. Free with museum admission. Call 706-722-8454 or visit

Fort Gordon Toastmasters meets 11:30 a.m. each Wednesday in the Organizational Conference Room (Fish Bowl) on Fort Gordon Army base. Open to public. Visit

Defibrillator training will be given at AYS 1 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 13. Visit

Adult Hebrew Class is taught at Congregation Children of Israel at 10:30 a.m. every Thursday. Email or visit

Downloading E-books and Audio-books from GADD class is Monday, Jan. 14, at 10 a.m. at the Maxwell Branch Library. Pre-registration required. Call 706-793-2020 or visit

The Joy of Signing meets every Thursday from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at the Headquarters Branch Library. Call 706-821-2600 or visit

Downtown Connects, an informal gathering of those who live, work and play in downtown Augusta, hosted by the Downtown Augusta Alliance, meets Tuesday, Jan. 15, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Location to be

Computer classes are offered every Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Wallace Branch Library. Call 706-722-6275 or visit Augusta Museum of History in downtown Augusta is open Thursday10JANUARY2013


Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 1-5 p.m. Closed Monday-Wednesday. Adults $4, seniors $3, kids 6-18 $2, children 5 and under free. Call 706722-8454 or visit Historic Trolley Tour of Augusta boards at the Augusta Museum of History at 2 p.m., Saturdays. See historic sites and hear spooky legends. $2, including admission to the museum. Reservations required 24 hours in advance. Call 706-722-8454 or visit


Jennifer Sheehan black-tie reception will be held at the Juilliard in Aiken, 6:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 11. Dinner, cabaret and champagne reception with the artists. $150. Encore performance and festive attire event is 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 12 at the Willcox in Aiken. Proceeds benefit Julliard in Aiken Festival performances and outreach programs. Visit Jeff Barnes Elvis Fundraiser will be held 7 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 12, at Greenbrier High School Auditorium. Visit Blood Drive will be held at AYS 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 13. Visit Karma Yoga is offered at Just Breathe Studio in downtown Aiken at 10 a.m. each Friday. Participation is free with donation of a personal item to be given to the Cumbee Center to Assist Abused Persons. Call 803-648-8048 or visit Pet adoptions are held by CSRA Happy Tails Rescue at the Mullins Crossing Petco in Evans from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. each Sunday and from 1-4 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday at the Tractor Supply Company. Visit


The Augusta RiverHawks face the Columbus Cottonmouths Friday, Jan.11, and the Mississippi RiverKings Saturday, Jan. 12. Home games are held at the James Brown Area in downtown Augusta and start at 7:35 p.m. $10$21. Call 706-993-2645 or visit Red Nose Run 5K and Fun Run will start at the James Brown Arena 8 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 12. $25 through Jan. 11; $30 race day. Kids’ Fun Run free with any adult registration. Call 706-722-3521. Wheelchair Tennis Clinic, presented by the Walton Foundation for


Independence, meets each Monday at 6 p.m. (weather permitting) at The Club at Rae’s Creek. Free and open to the public. Call 706-826-5809 or email Yoga Class at Euchee Creek Library meets every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Call 706-556-0594 or visit Weekly Group Runs include the Monday Metro Run meeting at Metro Coffeehouse at 6 p.m.; Monday Intervals meeting at the Family Y track on Wheeler Road at 7 p.m.; the Tuesday Nacho Mama’s Group Run at 6 p.m.; Wednesday’s Blanchard Woods Group Run at 6 p.m.; Wednesday Stay in Shape Group Run at 6 p.m.; Wednesday’s Post Office Hill Training Run at 7 p.m.; Thursday’s Homer Hustle at 6 p.m.; and Saturday’s Stay in Shape Run at 8 a.m. Visit Augusta Canal Interpretive Center and Petersburg boat tours winter schedule runs through March 31 and is as follows: The Center is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Hour-long Petersburg boat canal tours depart at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 and 3 p.m. Admission to Center is $6, or free with $12.50 boat tour ticket. Seniors 65+, active military/dependent and students (age 4-grade12 or with valid college I.D.) are $2. One child under 3 per ticketed adult may get in free. Closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Call 706-823-0440, ext. 4. Groups call ext. 7. Visit The Augusta Fencers Club is open five nights a week from 5:30-9 p.m. and most Saturday mornings from 10 a.m.-noon. Visitors always welcome. Call 706-722-8878. The Augusta Rugby Club holds weekly practice sessions at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Larry Bray Memorial Pitch in Augusta. Experienced players and newbies ages 18 and up are welcome. Bring a pair of cleats or cross trainers, a mouthguard, gym shorts and a T-shirt. Visit or Facebook under the Augusta Rugby Club heading. Hott Shott Disc Golf is held each Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Killer B Disc Golf in downtown Augusta, and features games and prizes for all ages and skill levels. $2. Call 706-814-7514 or visit Thursday Night Chain Reaction Ride begins at 6 p.m. each Thursday at Patriots Park in Grovetown. For intermediate to fast-paced cyclists, who average 25-32 miles. Participants should bring their own water and helmet. Call 706-855-2024 or visit

Riverview Disc Golf League meets each Thursday at 6 p.m. at Riverview Park in North Augusta. Entry fee $5; ace pool $1. Call 803-215-8181 or visit Road Bike Ride meets each Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Andy Jordan’s Bicycle Warehouse downtown for an approximately 25-mile ride at a moderate to fast pace. Front and rear lights, as well as a helmet, are required. Call 706-724-6777 or visit Guided Trail Rides at Hilltop Riding Stables at Fort Gordon are available Saturdays at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.; Sundays at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and noon; and Wednesday-Friday at 11 a.m. with reservations 24 hours in advance. All trail rides are on a first-come, firstserved basis, and participants should arrive 30 minutes prior to the trail ride starting for sign in procedures. $23-$30. Call 706-791-4864 or visit Lakeside Rideouts at Hilltop Riding Stables at Fort Gordon are each Sunday beginning at 1:30 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. The ride, which begins at 2 p.m., is a two-hour guided ride to Wilkerson Lake. $45-$50. Call 706-791-4864 or visit BlazeSports Swim Team, for all ages of physically challenged swimmers who want to train for competition, meets at the Wilson Family Y. Members $35 a month; non-members $50 a month. Pre-registration required. Visit


Sensory Friendly Story Time, for those ages 6-11, meets Thursday, Jan. 10, at 4 p.m. at the Columbia County Library. Call 706-863-1946 or visit Lego Club meets Thursday, Jan. 10, from 4-5 p.m. at the Aiken Public Library. Call 803-642-2023 or visit National Letters About Literature Competition will accept submissions from students in grades 4-10 until Jan. 11. Visit Auditions for kids up to age 16 for the Augusta Players production of “The King and I” will be held at Crossbridge Baptist Church, 10 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 12. Email or visit American Girl Doll Ice Skating & Tea Party is Saturday, Jan. 12, at 10:30




a.m. at the Augusta Ice Sports Center. Girls are invited to bring their American Girl dolls; boys are invited to bring stuffed bears. $15 admission includes skate rental, a raffle ticket for an American Girl doll and more. Call 706-868-1587. Parents’ Night Out will be offered at the Family Y of North Augusta and Marshall Family Y, 6-9:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 12. Kids 2-12 enjoy a night of fun while parents enjoy a night out. $12 or $20 per child. Discount for additional siblings. Registration required. Visit

Library. Call 706-863-1946 or visit Book Club meeting, for those ages 6-11, is Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 6:30 p.m. at the Columbia County Library and includes snacks, drinks and book discussions. Call 706-863-1946 or visit School Day Out will be offered at the Family Y of North Jefferson, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 16. Early drop-off at 7 a.m. and late pick-up at 6 p.m. Age 5-12 years. $25 and $50. Visit

Talent Show, presented by 6th-12th grades at Westminster Schools of Augusta, is Saturday, Jan. 12, at 7 p.m. at the school. $5, students; $10, adults; $25, family maximum. Call 706-731-5260 or visit

“The Ugly Duckling” will be presented by the Patchwork Players at 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 16. Call 706-667-4916 or visit aug. edu/pat/literacycenter.

Ancient Sky Lore will be presented at DuPont Planetarium in Aiken, 7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 12. Call 803-641-3654 or email

All About Cars Story Time is Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 10 a.m. at the Headquarters Branch Library. Call 706-821-2600 or visit

Digistar Laser Fantasy will be presented at DuPont Planetarium in Aiken, 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 12. Call 803-641-3654 or email

Carat Club Meeting, for those ages 6-11 who are interesting in making jewelry, is Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 1 p.m. at the Columbia County Library. Call 706-863-1946 or visit

Chess Anyone?, a family friendly chess class for all ages sponsored by the CSRA Chess Club, is Sunday, Jan. 13, at 2 p.m. at the Headquarters Branch Library. Free. Call 706-821-2600 or visit Rivers and Rapscallions will be presented at part of Artrageous! Family Sunday at the Morris Museum of Art, 2 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 13. Free. Call 706-724-7501 or visit Our New Baby sibling baby care class, which includes a visit to the nursery, is Monday, Jan. 14, from 4-5 p.m. at Trinity Hospital of Augusta. Visit Snowman & Crafts Story Time is Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 10 a.m. at the Headquarters Branch Library. Call 706-821-2600 or visit Poetry Matters Workshop for Middle School Students, in which participants will learn about poetry in time to submit a poem to the contest, is Tuesday, Jan. 15, from 4-5 p.m. at the Columbia County Library. For those in grades 6-8; pre-registration required. Call 706-863-1946 or visit Ick Club Meeting, for those ages 6-11 who want to explore icky and gross phenomena, is Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 5:30 p.m. at the Columbia County


Study Hall, a young adult even in the second floor YA room in which library staff will assist participants with homework and project help, is Wednesday, Jan. 16, from 3-5 p.m. at the Columbia County Library. Call 706-863-1946 or visit President Barack Obama’s Inauguration, a family friendly event that includes refreshments and a movie, is Wednesday, Jan. 16, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Headquarters Branch Library. Call 706-821-2600 or visit Winter Fun Craft Workshop, in which participants will make a snowman, Jack Frost puppet and snowman paper bag puppet and should bring their own glue, crayons and/or markers, is Thursday, Jan. 17, at 11 a.m. at the Appleby Branch Library. Pre-registration required. Call 706-736-6244 or visit Craft Club Meeting, for those ages 6-11, meets Thursday, Jan. 17, at 5:30 p.m. at the Columbia County Library. Call 706-863-1946 or visit Teen Bad Art Night will be held at the Aiken Public Library 6-7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 17. Call 803-642-7575 or visit

Honky Tonk Angels will be presented by Augusta Preparatory Day School Upper School, 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Jan. 17-19. Adults $12; students $10. Call 706-863-1906. Spring Soccer Registration with the Columbia County Recreation and Events Department will be held through Friday, Jan. 18. Boys and girls leagues are ages under 8’s, 10’s and 12’s. Co-ed soccer leagues are under 11, and 18 and under. $70 first child, $60 second child, $50 third child for Columbia County residents. First-timers should bring birth certificate. Call 706-863-7523 or visit Drawing and Painting Classes are offered in January at the Family Y of Aiken for ages 6-12. Creations will be displayed in a spring art show. $35 and $55 per session. Financial aid available. Visit Reading with Ringling Bros., a special program at the Headquarters, Appleby and Diamond Lakes branch library, starts in January. Kids ages 2-12 who read five books receive one child’s tickets. Rewards cards are available at each branch’s circulation desk. Visit Tae Kwon Do will be offered for all skill levels age 5 and up at the Family Y of Aiken County, North Augusta, Augusta South and the Wilson Family Y. Registration required. Visit Winter Basketball is held January-March at the Family Y of North Jefferson for ages 7-18 years. Members $30; nonmembers $50. Call 706-547-2653 or visit African-American History Month Trivia Contest begins in January fro those ages 8-11. Pick up a form from the registration desk, fill it out and drop it in the contest box. A prize will be awarded for the entry with the most correct answers and will be announced in February. Call 706-863-1946 or visit Ceramics Class, for ages 14 and up, meets Mondays at 9 a.m. or 6 p.m., Tuesdays at 6 p.m., and Wednesdays at 9 a.m. in the Weeks Ceramics Center. Call 803-642-7631 or visit Toddler Time, free play for children ages 5 and under, is each Monday and Wednesday from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the H.O. Weeks Center in Aiken. Call 803-642-7631 or visit



Little Friends Gym, a parent and child class for those ages 6 months-4 years, is held each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Warren Road Community Center. Call 706-860-2833 or visit Story Time is held at the Columbia County Library at 10:15 and 11 a.m., Tuesdays, for kids under 2 years old; at 10:15 a.m., Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for 2-year-olds; at 11 a.m., Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for preschoolers; and at 4 p.m., Wednesdays, for all ages. Call 706-863-1946 or visit Loud Crowd, a supervised after-school program for those ages 4-12, is Monday-Friday from 3-6 p.m. at the Warren Road Community Center. Call 706-8602833 or visit Homeschool PE Time, for elementary school aged kids, meets Monday-Friday, from 9-11 a.m. at the Kroc Center. Members free. Call 706-364-5762 for nonmember prices. Visit Mother’s Morning Out is every Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., at the Wilson Family Y for children ages 3-4. The schedule follows the Richmond County school calendar. $90 per month for members; $110 per month for non-members. Register at any Family Y or visit Tai Chi Panda, a Chinese martial arts program for kids ages 5-13, meets Tuesdays and Thursdays. Ages 5-7 meet at 4 p.m.; ages 8-10 meet at 5 p.m.; ages 11-13 meet at 6 p.m. Call 706-394-0590 or visit Preschool Story Time is every Tuesday at Headquarters Branch Library at 10 a.m. Toddler Story Time is every Wednesday at 10 a.m. Group registration required. Call 706-821-2600 or visit Story Time is held every Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Friedman Branch Library. Groups of six or more must pre-register. Call 706-736-6758 or visit Story Time is every Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at Harlem Branch Library. Call 706-556-9795 or visit Lap-Sit Story Time, for children under two, is every Tuesday at the Columbia County Library at 11 a.m. Story time for two-year-olds is every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10:15 a.m. and for preschoolers at 11 a.m. Group registration required. Call 706-863-1946 or visit Story Time is held every Wednesday from 10-11:15 a.m. at Wallace Branch Library. Pre-registration required. Call 706-722-6275 or visit Story Time is held each Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the Maxwell Branch Library. Pre-registration required for groups. Call 706-793-2020 or visit Wacky Wednesday Story Time is each Wednesday at 10 a.m. in the children’s department of Barnes and Noble in the Augusta Mall. Call 706-737-0012 or visit Story Time is held each Wednesday at the Appleby Branch Library from 10:05-10:20 a.m. for toddlers age 18-35 months, and from 10:30-11:15 a.m. for preschool kids age 3 and up. An adult must remain with the child. Call 706-736-6244 or visit Story Time is every Wednesday at Appleby Branch Library from 10:05-10:20 a.m. for toddlers 18 months-35 months, and from 10:30-11:15 a.m. for preschoolers ages 3 and up. Parent must stay with child. Call 706-736-6244 or visit Story Time is every Wednesday at 10:15 a.m. for Pre-K, and either 11 or 11:30 a.m. for preschoolers at Aiken County Public Library. Call 803-642-2023 or visit Story Time is every Wednesday from 10:30-11 a.m. 10JANUARY2013

for toddlers and 11:15-11:45 a.m. for preschoolers at North Augusta Branch Library. Call 803-279-5767 or

Jewish Community Center 11 a.m.-noon every Thursday starting Jan. 10. Call 706-394-0590 visit

Story Time at the Euchee Creek Branch Library, for all ages, is held each Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. and each Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. Call 706-556-0594 or visit

AARP Defensive Driving Class for seniors is Monday, January 14, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Headquarters Branch Library. pre-registration required. Call 706821-2600 or visit

Homeschool Playgroup meets each Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at Creighton Park in North Augusta. Call 803-613-0484. Mudpuppies, an arts and crafts program for ages 2-5, is held each Thursday at 10:45 a.m. at the Warren Road Community Center. Call 706-860-2833 or visit

Making a Difference, a talk by Dr. Dave Killough of the GHSU pharmacy program to provide information to help recognize symptoms in ourselves and others, will be held at 11:45 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 16 as part of the Soup’s On at the AJCC series. Call 706-228-3636 or email

Sunday activities at the Kroc Center include an adult Bible class at 9:30 a.m., youth Sunday school at 9:45 a.m., and a worship service at 11 a.m. Free. Call 706364-5762 or visit


Field trip to Savannah National Wildlife Refuge and Beach at Tybee Island, sponsored by the AugustaAiken chapter of Audubon Society, is Saturday, Jan. 12, at 9 a.m. Free. Call 706-793-2788 or 803-215-1594 or visit Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” will show at The Shakespeare Tavern in Atlanta, 7:30 p.m., through Jan. 27. Sunday shows begin at 6:30 p.m. $15. Call 404874-5299 or visit

The Augusta Arsenal Soccer Club Junior Academy, for boys and girls ages 5-8, meets each Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Augusta Soccer Park. Call 706-854-0149 or visit


Genealogy Club, led by Michele Lewis, meets Thursday, Jan. 10, at 1 p.m. at the Euchee Creek Branch Library. Preregistration required. Call 706-556-0594 or visit

“Anxious Visions” by surrealist Michael Northuis will be on display at the Columbia Museum of Art until April 7. Call 803-799-2810.

Kroc Tots Activity Hour, for those 5 and under, meets every Friday from 9-10 a.m. at the Kroc Center. Free, members; $1, non-members. Call 706-364-5762 or visit

White and Green Tea Seminar will be held at The Curiosity Shop in Aiken, 4-7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 10. $20. Call 803-644-0004 or visit

Thursday Nights at the High, a special event at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, offers half-price tickets from 4-8 p.m. each Thursday. A guided tour is offered at 6:30 p.m. Call 404-733-4200 or visit

Beginners Genealogy is Saturday, Jan. 12, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Headquarters Branch Library. Pre-registration required. Call 706-821-2600 or visit

Fun-Time Fridays, for ages 2-5, is held each Friday at 10:45-11:30 a.m. at the Warren Road Community Center. Call 706-860-2833 or visit Gesher, a teen program for post b’nai mitzvah youngsters (7th-12th grade), meets every other Sunday at Adas Yeshurun Synagogue. Call 706-733-9491. Creek Freaks, a Georgia Adopt-a-Stream team of middle- and high-school students, meets regularly at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park to monitor the health of Butler Creek. Call 706-796-7707 or visit


Tai Chi for Seniors will be held at the Augusta


“God Is One: Moses, Jesus, Muhammad” talk on monotheism will be presented at AJCC 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 10. Visit Bible Teaching Seminar, featuring the topic of Naomi and Ruth, is Saturday, Jan. 12, from noon-1 p.m. at the Friedman Branch Library. Participants should bring their Bibles. Visit Religious School will be held at AYS 4-6 p.m., Monday, Jan. 14 and Wednesday, Jan. 16. Visit

Story time and craft is held at the Burke County Library in Waynesboro at 10:30 a.m., Fridays, for preschoolers. Call 706-554-3277. Story time is held at the Midville Branch Library in Midville at 4:30 p.m., Fridays. Call 478-589-7825. Story time is held at the Sardis Branch Library in Sardis at 3:30 p.m., Fridays. Call 478-569-4866.

If you would like to see your organization’s events listed in our calendar, please email Amy Christian at The deadline for each Thursday’s issue is the previous Friday at noon.

DECLASSIFIED Rape Crisis & Sexual Assault Services

Seeking Volunteer Advocates Seeking volunteers for Richmond, Burke, Jefferson, and McDuffie counties. Advocates answer crisis calls and respond to hospitals in their area within 30 minutes. Please contact 706.774.2746 or email for more information.


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Don’t miss the Ride to the White House!

Join us to witness history once again as President Obama takes his oath of office. The 2013 Presidential Inauguration is Monday, January 21st 2013 and you don’t want to miss the bus. For payments, deposits and more infor please call 706.724.1508 or 706.306.5083 or 706.631.0912 Be a part of history CALL NOW! You can call Pyramid music and video at 706.724.1508




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UPSCALE EVANS SPA seeking a nail tech. Booth renters only. Very competitive rent; perfect location; elegant, professional atmosphere.





Cheers to a New Year

Some resolutions are easier to keep than others What resolutions will you break this year? I’m not being a pessimist. I’m a realist. Don’t get me wrong; I’ll set some goals and keep them. Most of them will go out with the dirty dishwater. The idea of resolutions at the start of the new year is a good one, really. After two weeks of ingesting nothing but cheese, chocolate and wine, everyone needs to reset. I’m not sure why, though. That diet sounds delicious. I think I ate more cheese this Christmas than I did the whole rest of the year. I went to a party where all but two appetizers had cheese as one of the main ingredients. The remaining two did at least have dairy. I love cheese, but sheesh. Reset. This year, I’m making resolutions that are unbreakable. Don’t believe me? Listen here. I resolve to drink wine. I hope it doesn’t sound like I have a problem. I’d actually like to drink less wine than I did last year. I just think it should be more expensive wine. With as much as I love champagne, I need to add that to the rotation more often, too. I just learned that it’s lower in calories than wine anyway. Win win. Bubbly it is. Is that a separate resolution? I resolve to drink more bubbly. I resolve to do laundry. Well, of course I do laundry now, fools. With the way my kids’ feet smell, their socks walk on their own after one wearing. Laundry is inevitable. I’m just promising to continue to do it. Easy goal. I resolve to make more money. My first thought was to resolve to treat myself for fancy things more. I like manicures and nice dinners out with The Man. However, I decided that I should start small. If I make more, I can probably spend a little more too, making my original intention entirely possible. Now I just need to find that money tree. I resolve to plant something. I suppose it would be wise to plant that money tree myself, but I have a bad habit of killing plants. There are plants in our house that are still alive, but it’s a sad sight. Two are houseplants that apparently don’t require much water. How do I know? Because they don’t get much water. Seriously, I think they’ve been watered twice in six months. My brother in law says that’s cruel treatment of a plant. I say they don’t look thirsty. We have some cool shamrocks that The Boy’s former teacher brought back from Ireland, and they’ve died and come

back to life at least a dozen times. That’s my kind of plant. So, I’ll plant something. I’ll even add keeping it alive to the challenge. If I could then eat the thing I plant, like, say a tomato, that would completely blow my mind. Maybe next year. I resolve to keep in touch with my friends. The Man is laughing right now. I don’t have a problem in this department. It’s a good thing we don’t pay for long distance. Like I said, though, I’m making promises I can keep. Aim low for supreme satisfaction. I resolve to continue to eat cheeseburgers and pizza. I like healthy food, I do. My kids enjoy healthy meals, and so does The Man, but I love cheeseburgers and thin crust pizza. This should be an easy one. I resolve to continue to pass judgment on liars, cheaters and thieves. Not like religious judgment or anything, just “wow, what the hell” judgment. Quit judging me for doing it. If you have any sense, you feel the same way. We must be at the age when people abandon all virtues. I can’t for the life of me figure out how one finds the time to have an affair, and then thinks they won’t get caught. Who doesn’t get caught? Don’t even get me started on the stealing, either. I resolve to love my kids. Any parent knows that this goes without saying. Some days are easier than others, but I’ll keep loving them. I’ll get mad when they take forever choosing a dadgum grid spot to call out in Battleship when it’s at the beginning of the game and it doesn’t even matter yet (just guess! my battleships could be anywhere at this point!), but I’ll still love them. I’ll want to run away when The Boy chooses to write and illustrate the entire script for Phantom of the Opera instead of listening to the lecture that his wonderful teacher prepared. I’ll beat my head against the wall when The Girl teaches her friends a new cuss word. I’ll still love them, though. I resolve to stay married. Well, duh. I love my husband. I know I drive him crazy, and he sees an awful lot of my bad moods, but I hope he’ll keep me. See how that worked? I set reasonable goals for myself. I have a feeling this is going to be a super successful year. Sure, I’ll exercise more and eat better. I’ll keep my house cleaner and such. I’m not making any of those promises out loud, though. Sure would hate to disappoint myself. Now let’s get started. Someone pop the cork. Cheers!

JENNYWRIGHT lives in Summerville with her husband, who she calls The Man, and two kids, who she affectionately calls The Boy and The Girl. She enjoys taking photos, cooking and playing tennis.





Masterful Performance

Guitarist Frank Vignola may not be a household name, but his resume is impressive

Born on suburban Long Island, New York, Frank Vignola (above right) has been playing the guitar most of his life. His career spans decades and he has played with such big-name artists as Ringo Starr, Madonna, Donald Fagen, Wynton Marsalis, Tommy Emmanuel, the Boston Pops, the New York Pops and guitar legend Les Paul, who named Vignola to his “Five Most Admired Guitar List� for the Wall Street Journal. “I started at the age of 6 on the ukulele and at age 7 switched to guitar,� Vignola explains. “It was then I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to the guitar.� As a young adult, Vignola studied at the Cultural Arts Center of Long Island, and at the age of 27 he signed with Concord Jazz. Since then he has released several albums, and has written 18 guitar instruction books for Mel Bay Publications and has recorded six Educational DVDs for He has performed hundreds of clinics and master classes at major universities and colleges throughout the world including Juilliard and Boston University.

With such great accomplishments under his belt, Vignola has received many accolades and has been called by some a “master guitarist.� So, what’s in a name? “I don’t really know what this means,� says Vignola. “I have spent the last 40 years of my life practicing and entertaining people in many different countries and still truly enjoy practicing and performing. A ‘master’? I don’t know. There are no tests to determine one’s achievement level on the guitar nor should there be. Music is such a personal thing. One may really enjoy one type of music or instrumentalist and another might not.� While we’re on the topic of different types of music, Vignola may be known primarily for jazz, but his interests and influences encompass a wide variety. He grew-up listening to classical, rock, R&B and pop. The guitarists that he admires range from Django Reinhardt and Les Paul to rock icons like Frank Zappa and Eddie Van Halen. “I love to play good songs from Beethoven and Mozart to Simon and Garfunkel,� he says. “I love to play acoustic guitar music of all genres.� Vignola will be performing this Sunday, January 13, at The Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center in Evans along with guitarist Vinny Raniolo. What can the audience expect to hear? Almost anything, explains Vignola. “In Augusta, Vinny Raniolo and I will be performing Mozart, Beethoven, [a] tribute to the great Les Paul who I worked with for many years and even some singalong material,� he says. “We love to entertain so all is fair game. We take requests and hopefully they are songs we know. If not, we will learn them for next time.� An Evening with Master Guitarist Frank Vignola Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center Sunday, January 13 | Doors, 6:30 p.m.; music, 7:30 p.m. | $25-$30 706-726-0366 |

Come in for a tour TODAY!







706-855-0068 Locally owned and independently operated franchise A^XZchZY™7dcYZY™>chjgZY 26 METROSPIRITAUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989















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January 10 10Thursday, Live Music

French Market Grille West - Doc Easton Smooth Jazz Joe’s Underground – Jeff Johnston Malibu Jack’s - Marilyn Adcock Mellow Mushroom (Downtown and Evans) - Live and Local Rose Hill Estate - Preston Weston & Sandra Somewhere in Augusta - Ruskin Yeargain Surrey Tavern - Zach Deputy The Willcox - Four Cats in a Doghouse Wild Wing – Jessup Dolly

What’s Tonight?

Club Argos - Karaoke Cocktails Lounge - Karaoke Coyote’s - DJ Richie Rich & Chad Mac Music Video Mixx Fishbowl Lounge - Karaoke Fox’s Lair - Trivia, Soup and Suds Helga’s Pub & Grille - Trivia The Highlander - Butt Naked Trivia The Loft - Karaoke Malibu Jack’s - Karaoke Mi Rancho (Downtown) - Karaoke Mi Rancho (Evans) - Karaoke The Playground - Open Mic with Brandy Shannon’s - Karaoke Villa Europa - Karaoke Wooden Barrel - ’80s Night Karaoke

January 11 11Friday, Live Music

100 Laurens – Keith Gregory Country Club – Eric Scott Band Coyote’s - Dave Firmin, Rhes Reeves & the Coyote Band Doubletree - Classic Jazz The First Round - Tattermask Fox’s Lair - She N She French Market Grille West - Doc Easton Imperial Theatre- Sam Bush Joe’s Underground – TX Clergy Laura’s Backyard Tavern - Shameless Dave and the Miracle Whips The Loft - Dash Rip Rock Malibu Jack’s - Tony Williams PI Bar & Grill - Music for Lovers featuring guitarist Matthew Whittington Polo Tavern - JAR Sky City - Happy Bones, Shaun Piazza Somewhere in Augusta - Joe Stevenson Duo Stillwater Taproom - The Welfare Liners Surrey Tavern - The Unmentionables Wild Wing – Irritating Julie

What’s Tonight?

Cocktails Lounge - Grown-Up Fridays with DJ Cork and Bull Pub - Karaoke Eagle’s Nest - Free Salsa Lessons; Latin Dance Party Fishbowl Lounge - Karaoke Iron Horse Bar & Grill - Karaoke Mi Rancho (Downtown) - Karaoke with Ryan Moseley Mi Rancho (Washington Road) - Karaoke with Jeff Barnes Mi Rancho (Clearwater) - Three J’s Karaoke Ms. Carolyn’s - Karaoke Palmetto Tavern - DJ Tim The Playground - DJ Rebeck’s Hideaway - Open Mic Roadrunner Cafe - Karaoke with Steve Chappel Soul Bar - ‘80s Night Wooden Barrel - Karaoke Contest 28 METROSPIRITAUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989

King of Newgrass Sam Bush plays the Imperial Theatre Friday, January 11, at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Budweiser True Music Southern Soul & Song Series. Tickets are $13-$24. Call 706-722-8341 or visit

January 12 12Saturday, Live Music

100 Laurens – Terry Bouknight The Acoustic Coffeehouse - Open Acoustic Jam Session with Eryn Eubanks and the Family Fold Country Club – Thomas Tillman Coyote’s - Dave Firmin, Rhes Reeves & the Coyote Band The First Round – John Berret’s LaRoxes MAD Studios – Josh Pierce Music, Matthew Kahler, Skilyr Hicks Malibu Jack’s - South Atlantic Metro Coffeehouse & Pub - Happy Bones P.I. Bar and Grill - Not Gaddy Jazz with Pam Bowman Polo Tavern – Jim Fisher Band Sky City - Dead End Sons, The Radar Cinema, Sunwell Surrey Tavern - The Unmentionables Wild Wing - AcostaA

What’s Tonight?

Club Argos - Variety Show Cocktails Lounge - Latin Night Fishbowl Lounge - Karaoke Fox’s Lair - Karaoke with Beth Helga’s Pub & Grille - Trivia The Loft - DJ Richie Rich Mi Rancho (Downtown) - Karaoke with Rockin Rob Mi Rancho (Clearwater) - Karaoke with Danny Haywood Mi Rancho (Washington Road) - Karaoke Ms. Carolyn’s - Karaoke Robbie’s - Saturday Night Dance Party Soul Bar - DJ JB Fresh Wooden Barrel - Kamikaze Karaoke


Sunday, January 13 Live Music

5 O’Clock Bistro - Funk You Cotton Patch - Keith Gregory (brunch) Malibu Jack’s - Playback The Band w/ Tutu Dy’Vine Patridge Inn - Sunday Evening Jazz w/ the Not Gaddy Jazz Trio The Willcox - Jon Vaughn (brunch; Preston & Weston, night) Wild Wing – Dave & Michael

What’s Tonight?

Malibu Jack’s - Karaoke Mi Rancho (Downtown) - Karaoke

Mi Rancho (Washington Road) - Karaoke, Salsa Dancing Shannon’s - Karaoke with Peggy Gardner

January 14 14Monday, Live Music Shannon’s - Open Mic Night

What’s Tonight?

Applebee’s (Evans) - Trivia Club Argos - Karaoke Malibu Jack’s - Karaoke Mi Rancho (Downtown) - Trivia with Mike Thomas Somewhere in Augusta - Poker

January 15 15Tuesday, Live Music Fox’s Lair - John Fisher/Irish The Highlander - Open Mic Night Joe’s Underground – Happy Bones Malibu Jack’s - Marilyn Adcock The Willcox - Piano jazz

What’s Tonight?

Club Argos - Karaoke Fishbowl Lounge - Dart League Laura’s Backyard Tavern - Karaoke w/ David Doane Limelight Cafe - Bottom’s Up Karaoke Malibu Jack’s - DJ Ray Thompkins Mellow Mushroom (Downtown and Evans) - Trivia The Playground - Truly Twisted Trivia with Big Troy Polo Tavern - Karaoke Shannon’s - Karaoke with Mike Johnson Somewhere In Augusta - Big Prize Trivia

January 16 16Wednesday, Live Music

Joe’s Underground – Kathleen TurnerOverdrive Malibu Jack’s - Marilyn Adcock Soul Bar - Koko Beware, Jason Walter & Heather Warren, DJ Matto

What’s Tonight?

Club Argos - Santoni’s Satin Dolls Cocktails Lounge - Augusta’s Got Talent Cotton Patch - Trivia and Tunes Hotel Aiken - Karaoke w/ Tom Mitchell Laura’s Backyard Tavern - Karaoke w/ David Doane The Loft - Karaoke

Midtown Lounge - Karaoke w/ Charles O’Byrne Mi Rancho (Downtown) - Karaoke Mi Rancho (Washington Road) - Karaoke with Rockin’ Rob The Playground - Krazy Karaoke with Big Troy Polo Tavern - Karaoke w/ Tom Mitchell Somewhere in Augusta - Comedy Zone w/ Eric Hunter and Chad Miller Surrey Tavern - Trivia with Christian and Mickey Wild Wing - Trivia


Ruskin – Joe’s Underground January 17 Pujol w/ Diarrhea Planet – Sky City January 17 Storm Branch Band – Wild Wing January 17 John Kolbeck – 100 Laurens January 18 Jared Ashley – Country Club January 18 Pretty Petty – Polo Tavern January 18 Almost Kings, Focus, Necessary Evil - Sky City January 18 Bad Cash – Wild Wing January 18 Tony Williams and the Blues Express - Surrey Tavern January 18 Rooftop Wariner – MAD Studios January 19 Funk You - Surrey Tavern January 19 Camper Van Beethoven - Sky City January 23 Undone, Send the Signal - Sky City January 24 Paleface - Stillwater Taproom January 25 Jeff Mangum, Tall Firs - Sacred Heart Cultural Center January 28 Ronnie Milsap - Bell Auditorium February 14 Mike Farris & the Roseland Rhythm Revue Imperial Theatre February 15 The Corduroy Road, Have Gun Will Travel Stillwater Taproom February 15 Fishbone - Sky City February 18 The Burning Angels - Stillwater Taproom February 22 That 1 Guy - Sky City February 25 Playback The Band with Tutu Dy’Vine - Surrey Tavern January 25-26 Classical Mystery Tour - Bell Auditorium March 8 Little Tybee CD Release Show w/ Colorfeels - Sky City March 8 Lindsay Lou and the Flat Bellys - Stillwater Taproom March 29


Guster - Variety Playhouse, Atlanta January 10-11 Emeli Sande - Variety Playhouse, Atlanta January 12 The Machine - Variety Playhouse, Atlanta January 13 The Growlers - 40 Watt Club, Athens January 15 10JANUARY2013


New Year, New Music

Including from Bowie, minus the pink spiky hair

So far it seems to be a fresh start for 2013 as local shows are starting to flow in. Rumors are swirling of bands to come, but with the way things are looking, the calendar is about to fill up quickly. Downtown Augusta is the normal hotspot for live music and I love it. I live downtown so every show is only a stumble away from my doorstep. Sometimes that doorstep is my bed. We’ll kick things off with John Berret and LaRoxes at the new and improved First Round Bar, this Saturday night. John is one of the best guitarists and teachers that the CSRA has to offer and his band always puts on an awesome show. If you want to watch a show where you stare at a guy playing guitar and you ask the question, “How does he do that?” then this is the show for you. The band Almost Kings returns to Augusta next Friday night, January 18, to Sky City, with special guests F.O.C.U.S. and Necessary Evil. Tickets are only $7 in advance at That show is going to definitely be the loud show of the evening, so if that’s not your style and you’re looking for more of a relaxed feel, head over to Stillwater Taproom for The Copper Thieves. They’re playing Friday night as well. I’m not sure if there’s a cover, but I’m sure that there’s really good beer on tap. Looking a couple weeks ahead, Sky City is bringing in two big shows. The first one is Camper Van Beethoven, back at Sky City on the 23rd. And then the one I’m most excited about, Ponderosa! I cannot tell how awesome this band is. I will be front and center. Ponderosa returns on Saturday, February 16. The “up and comers” shows around Augusta are my favorite. They are what will drive the music scene in Augusta and help shed light on all the local talent we have. The only challenge for local bands is getting attached to those shows. Luckily there are some great promoters around. With the spice and excitement of a new year, most people sit down with a list of resolutions and get to work on bettering themselves. For musicians, it’s time to get back to work. Most are making plans for a new album and hopefully a tour that will bring them close to Augusta. I have to say the biggest surprise of new music came this week from David Bowie. It was no “Space Oddity,” but it was still new music from someone I thought was dead. Bowie came out of reclusion with the new track “Where Are We Now?” on Tuesday, which was also his 66th birthday. The song is off his new album, “The Next Day,” which will hit store shelves on March 12, the first new album from Bowie in 10 years. Can he at least go back to the pink spiked hair? Some other bands also hit the web with news of new music. Vampire Weekend, as well as the Black Keys, are set for spring releases. The Black Keys also announced four dates on an upcoming tour and, jackpot, the southeast is covered. The band with be in Atlanta at Lakewood Amphitheatre on May 2. I will be there with bells on. Eddie Vedder, lead singer of Pearl Jam and ukulele aficionado, told Rolling Stone magazine that Pearl Jam was about halfway done with a new album. And according to his Twitter feed, Nathan Followill, the drummer for the Kings of Leon, announced that the band is back in the studio working on album number six. What music is coming to Augusta? What albums do you want to hear? My birthday is Sunday, can you cover my bar tab? Email me,

MATTSTONE can be heard weekdays from 2-6 p.m. on 95 Rock. 10JANUARY2013







Horror, western, fantasy, musical, family: Yep, looks like most of the the movie categories are represented here. RANK




































“Promised Land”


There’s a lot to like in this sometimes heavy-handed Message Movie “Promised Land” sees a natural gas company rep named Steve, played by writer/producer Matt Damon, visit a small northeastern town with the aim of buying leases from landowners. This routine trip goes sideways when the townsfolk, spurred first by a kindly science teacher (Hal Holbrook) and then reinforced by a cocky environmental activist (John Krasinski, sharing a screenwriting credit) decry the dangers of drilling. Steve’s offering the promise of money: a few thousand per acre for the rights, plus a cut of later revenue. The detractors point to risk: evidence of poisoned streams, fields and drinking water. The townsfolk propose a vote on whether to allow the gas company to come and drill, leaving a few weeks for this debate to unfold. Now, as “Promised Land” is decidedly a Message Movie, and painfully self-aware of that fact, it does its best not to clonk you over the head with the argument that gas exploration is bad. It nearly succeeds in making a movie for adults. But it falters, no more baldly than in a scene midway through, as Krasinski’s do-gooder shows schoolkids what happened to his family’s dairy farm after gas drilling. He pours some household chemicals, meant to represent the hodgepodge of hydro-fracking agents that get pumped into underground rock to release trapped natural gas, into a plastic bag pregnant with water and sand. Then he lets the witches’ brew leak onto a toy farm set, and lights it aflame. The point is that fracking might be dangerous, you see? Did you catch that? Or does the nice man at the front of the room need to set more toys on fire? To the credit of Damon and director Gus Van Sant, “Promised Land” avoids polemic by offering a pretty solid pro-drilling case. Steve hails from rural Iowa, where the shuttering of a Caterpillar plant meant economic death. A town with tens of millions of dollars’ worth of fossil fuels beneath its feet could, he argues, provide for itself in ways otherwise unthinkable. He posits the following: subsistence agriculture is an untenable grind, American manufacturing is a shell, we all consume fossil fuels, Americans don’t want to have a conversation about cutting their consumption, and it’s better to burn a domestic energy source than to rely on foreign oil or to burn ever more coal. It’s hard to argue strongly against any of those points, even for anyone who tends toward the “Gasland” view of things. (By the way, go see “Gasland.”)


But ultimately there’s much to appreciate in “Promised Land” for anyone who doesn’t particularly care for fracking or the way energy companies do business. For one, the film probably uses the word “fracking” more than any previous Hollywood feature, a step toward a wider and, yes, adult conversation. Steve’s increasing reluctance to make his pitch mirrors America’s own ambivalence to the toxic downside of domestic energy development. People somewhere are always going to be willing to let corporations pillage their land so long as the rest of us like to drive cars and keep our lights on late and watch flatscreen TVs and buy plastics and eat beef fed by grains grown with oil-based fertilizers and keep central air running in the summer. That doesn’t mean we have to accept it without acknowledging the consequences. If we don’t want to foul our own nest, we have to use less. Until the day when we want to have that discussion, to really have it, you can get the gist of “Promised Land” in much less time by recalling the allegedly Native American quote that Greenpeace likes to deploy: “When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.”





“Gangster Squad,” rated R, starring Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Giovanni Ribisi, Josh Brolin, Nick Nolte. A group of LAPD officers take off their badges and take the law into their own hands to stop the east coast mob, led by Sean Penn’s Mickey Cohen, from taking over Los Angeles in the 1940s and ‘50s. Guys, your lady friends might actually want to see this since Ryan Gosling’s in it. “Zero Dark Thirty,” rated R, starring Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt. A sure thing for an Oscar best picture nomination, this recounts the hunt of Osama bin Laden. And it’s got Andy from “Parks and Rec” in it!


“A Haunted House,” rated R, starring Marlon Wayans. A spoof of the “Paranormal Activities” movies, in case you couldn’t guess from Wayans’ involvement. “Quartet,” rated PG-13, starring Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Billy Connolly. Oh lord, the oldsters will invade the theaters in droves not seen since “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” opened. Consider yourself warned. “Struck by Lightning,” not yet rated, starring Chris Colfer, Rebel Wilson, Christina Hendricks. Because a kid being struck and killed by lightning sounds absolutely hilarious.


Overwrought is an understatement when it comes to describing this 1990 series from oddball director David Lynch. Considered groundbreaking in its day, “Twin Peaks,” now available on Hulu, is at best quaint. It is, however, a lot of fun as well. Lynch, of “Eraserhead” an “Blue Velvet” fame, favored slow, tensionbuilding scenes in which characters did, well, not much at all. Getting into a car to be chauffeured to school takes 30 seconds. Putting on red lipstick? A full minute. The way he filmed it may have been completely new to TV audiences, but Lynch’s tale is one that is as old as time: Pretty cheerleader Laura Palmer is found dead. No one can believe it. Dating the captain of the football team, it turns out that Palmer has secrets. Lots of them. When a second girl turns up missing and is found alive (barely), little Twin Peaks calls in the FBI: Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Dale Cooper, to be precise. And this is where it gets fun. Despite the slow scenes, the overacting and the terrible clothes, Kyle MacLachlan is a joy to watch every single moment he’s on screen. Lynch ultimately bungled the mystery, much like Veena Sud recently did with AMC’s adaptation of “The Killing,” but you may like Agent Cooper so much that you don’t mind sticking around. 10JANUARY2013




Michael Johnson

Logan Berman, Becca St. Lewis and Jesslynn Burr at Stillwater Taproom.


Aaron Pyle, Tracey Todd and Travis Iles at the Whiskey Bar (Kitchen).

Larry Moody, Gerry Duncan and Sam Graci at Stillwater Taproom.


Lindsey Garic, Beth Quick, Lori Jenkins and Whitney Ellison at the Pizza Joint downtown.

Bobby and Rosa Roundtree with Sheriff Richard Roundtree at his Inaugural Charity Gala at the Legends Club.


Ken Mafredi Sr. with Jen and Ken Mafredi Jr. at the Fox’s Lair.

Gregory Bartley, Kathy Tobias and Braden Meredith at Club Argos.

Chelsea and Jason Wren with Michelle and Jonathan Vick at the Country Club.

Michael Johnson

Callie Doyle, Mary Glenn Yort and Elaina Bates at the Bee’s Knees.

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METRO SPIRIT’S PET PAGE! Group Hopeful That Participants Run in This Race

Hopeful Hounds will host its Third Annual Dog Gone Cold 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, January 19, at the Julian Smith BBQ Pit in conjunction with the American Black and Tan Coonhound Rescue. Hopeful Hounds, Inc. is a nonprofit group in the CSRA made up of volunteers who are dedicated to improving the welfare of animals. The mission of Hopeful Hounds is to promote pet adoptions through county animal services and rescue groups; educate the public on the importance of spay/neuter programs; educate our community about animal welfare and responsible pet ownership; and fundraise to help support shelter animals and animal rescue groups. The American Black and Tan Coonhound Rescue (ABTCR) is a national rescue for coonhounds. In just 2012, more than 500 coonhounds were saved through ABTCR. Most of the coonhounds they have up for adoption come from kill shelters all across America. The Dog Gone Cold 5K was initially started in order to raise money for local animal rescue groups as well as to raise awareness to how many pets are in shelters that need homes. It has turned into a very successful event because it draws in runners as well as animal lovers. Proceeds from the Dog Gone Cold 5K go to support ABTCR as well as local animal rescue groups. Local rescue groups that participated last year included CSRA Humane Society, CSRA Happy Tails, Humane Society of McCormick County, Heart Song Animal Rescue, Old Fellas Burke County Animal Rescue and Greyhound Crossroads. We are expecting some of these same groups as well as some new additions this year. The Dog Gone Cold 5K Run/Walk will consist of a 3.1-mile run/walk that begins at 10 a.m. and a 1-mile fun run that begins at 9:30 a.m. There will also be adoptable dogs from the CSRA present. Sponsors for the event include Purina Pro Plan Rally 2 Rescue, Fleet Feet, Knology and Petco. The registration fee for the 5K is $25 per runner/walker (prior to January 12) and the registration for the 1-mile fun run is $10 per person. Participants can choose to get an event T-shirt with their registration. Participants are encouraged to run/walk with their dog. The Dog Gone Cold 5K is held rain or shine! Last year we had approximately 415 participants in the 5K and 40 in the 1-mile fun run. Our goal this year is to get close to 500 participants for the 5K! Please come out and join us for a morning of fun Third Annual Dog Gone Cold 5k Run/Walk and raising money for the animals that need it. For Julian Smith BBQ Pit more information on Hopeful Hounds or the Dog Gone Cold 5K, please visit us at Saturday, January 19, 2013

Upcoming Events

Sponsored by Hopeful Hounds, Inc. and The American Black and Tan Coonhound Rescue, organizers are currently looking for sponsors as well as participants for this fun fundraiser. Pre-registration required. 706-294-6200

Ongoing Adoption Events PETCO 4209 Washington Road, Evans Saturdays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Sundays, 1-4 p.m. PetSmart 225 Robert C. Daniel Parkway, Augusta Saturdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Augusta Animal Services 4164 Mack Lane, Augusta 706-790-6836.


i have met many people in augusta who seem to ramble and are relatively incoherent but i’ve never seen anything that absurd in print until i read (attempted,anyway) lasts week on the back page some mashed up thing that made so little sense i thought I MUST BE STONED because this is incomrehensible, but unfortunately, i was sober... just shows weed will scramble what little gray matter you started with... wow Hey can we get a Hostess-maker here? Maybe where the former Regency Mall is taking up moldy space? That’s just what Augusta needs, more unhealthy products produced to place on all the buffets. The daily paper has ramped up the costs so that a lot of people can no longer afford it. “Metro Spirit,” when can you be ready to print a daily, PLEASE? Or at least a thrice weekly paper? How about twice weekly? Let’s have evening broadcasts of the commission meetings. It will be a great nighttime soap opera with crying jags and comedy spots. Better than some of the shows currently provided on non-cable channels. Since JR’s gone, let’s get Marion on for show. Want to stop mass murders by guns? First of all stop the mass murder of abortion. And get over that “I have rights” a matter of don not. Respect human life. ALL human life. What fun 2013 is stacking up to be: Marion Williams back on council...sure to be entertaining. Ruffin back in the Spirit...sure to be regurgitating. Brad Owen around to tell us how everything is supposed to be...according to Brad. The Harrisburgers... always in great form. The Metro Spirit - missing the mark again... and again...and again. Entertainment abounds in the AUG. the solution is -- all these criminals in prison need to be on the (6am to 6pm - monday thru saturday) chain gang - (there is a lot of work they can do instead of having taxpayers dollars paying for the work to be done or find a rock quarry or something to keep them physically busy) instead of living in(side) prison paradise like they are free and at home) - only sundays off & not enjoying all these liberties such as college enrollment, tv`s, computer access, playing sports games, body building training (most are bigger than the guards who monitor them) etc... during monday thru saturday & tv`s monitored on



Have something you want to get off your chest? Send your whines to whineline@themetrospirit. com. If you do so by noon on Friday, you might just see it in the next Thursday’s issue. Oh, and whines may be edited for content but will pretty much be printed exactly as you type them.

sundays like watching the history channel, discovery channel, etc.... nothing to watch to arouse them sexually or violently. remember the movie “ cool hand luke “ starring paul newman. every governor of the state need to implement this method in their jail & prison system. jails and prisons are supposed to be established for punishment & not pleasure. in the movie they were worked sunup to sundown & were obviously tired to do anything crazy after working hard every day. today`s jail & prison system in America encourage crime. Unfortunately for Baltimore Raven linebacker Ray Lewis, his Hall of Fame career screeches to a halt next week at the Denver Broncos. #52 can take that insipid, DoodleBop dance with him as he leaves the thin air of Denver. The only question left is how many times the televising network will show that stupid dance. My guess says MORE than 10,000 times. The whiner whining about Columbia County drivers is so right. They drive like they have no concern for anyone else. For example, the lady who I was behind on Washington road Saturday, driving 35 miles an hour in the left lane (yes you old lady, in your little blue Hyundai). Then she brakes and STOPS IN THE LEFT LANE OF TRAFFIC to let another person get in front of her! There was no reason that person had to have the left lane that very moment, he didn’t even turn left for 5 miles! People stopping in front of me in the left lane of traffic is how I got rear-ended TWICE. Your lucky I was not driving or you would have gotten the honking of your life. This goes for the rest of you...if you are driving stupidly, I’m going to honk you LOUD AND LONG just to wake you up. Someone needs to. Another thing, just because you cannot figure out where you are going, I’m not going to break for you to pull in front of me when you suddenly realize you need to get into the other lane, especially if you don’t use your turn signal. Here’s an idea, figure out where your going before you get in the car and quit driving like everyone can read your mind because we can’t. Don’t make me honk you! Does anyone really believe no Splost money was not taken from the Imperial? City of Augusta holds a share of the blame. No monitoring of how Splost dollars are being and have been spent. In response to the comment about the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting (putting a dagger through the belief that God exists, and so on): If there is any disbelief that an all merciful God exists, Victoria Soto, the teacher who tried to save her students by sending Adam Lanza to the empty auditorium to find them, should make you at least reconsider any doubt you have. I pissed off a couple of my “redneck friends” when I wrote that the Metro Spirit is not giving proper recognition to President Obama’s re-election and Sheriff Roundtree’s historic victory in Richmond County. And sadly, that is still the case. One “friend”

told me to go back to decaying Detroit. That’s where I’m from and I gladly travel to that “great” city often. It takes living in the south for me to appreciate being from the north. But my “friend” has probably never been past the Mason Dixon line so; ignorance is “bliss”. My other “friend” from the “burbs”, Windmill Plantation, called me a northern racist (although I did not mention race) and claims she helps the needy in Richmond County. The last Word I heard is that when you’re helping others you don’t have to let the whole world know what you’re doing, but do it privately so you’ll be openly rewarded by God. Sadly my “surburban friend” failed that test, too. Peace. guns do not come to life and kill people -- evil & wicked people do. the best way for gun control to be effective for semi & automatic assault weapons that have been sold to the general public is to IMMEDIATELY BAN the sell of ammunition for those type weapons to the general public & only allow the sell of that type of ammunition to police, federal agents, US military, etc.. by their respective organizations who are seen as qualified by the US Government to obtain that type ammunition. the right for people to bear arms ( never said anything about ammunition) would not be a barrier because the general public can still buy guns that are not the assault type to defend themselves and their families. it is just that simple.





Bowie is back with a new single that, get this, doesn’t suck. Although you will be convinced that he made up about half the words after listening to it.


A plague on the parent who shut down a Utah high school’s modern take on Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” because the Elvis Presley songs they were using were too sexy for school. And yes, this happened in 2013.


Metro Spirit 01.10.2013  

The Metro Spirit is a free weekly newspaper that serves readers in the Augusta and North Augusta area. Editorial coverage includes Richmond...

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