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INSIDER JENNY IS WRIGHT AUGUSTA TEK AUSTIN RHODES

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METRONEWS NY TIMES CROSSWORD RUFFIN’ IT

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R.U.N.ECALENDAR

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SIGHTINGS

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THE8 ART 45

26 30

PETS PAGE

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SLAB IN MUSIC BALL

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WHINELINE TOM TOMORROW

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IN

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

SIDER

The Combo Georgia Health Sciences University (GHSU) President Ricardo Azziz and Augusta State University (ASU) President Bill Bloodworth came before the commission to give then an update on just how things have been going lately. It was fairly open-ended mission, so it was tough to find out if they intended to brief the commission on the merger/marriage of the two schools, or if they just missed the attention since being upstaged by the TEE Center and its related controversies. Unlike the joint meetings they held across the two campuses when news of the merger first become public, the two presidents of the ever-morphing institutions were listed separately on the agenda and had, for the most part, individual messages. It was kind of a higher education song and dance, only broken down into a song and then a dance. Azziz used his first few minutes to make sure everyone understood that the governor had anointed GHSU as the state’s academic health center. Not only is GHSU the state’s academic health center, GHSU is going to be the hub of the hub-and-spoke model for the health professions education in Georgia. Additionally, he explained that the governor intended GHSU to have a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, joining

Emory University as the only such designated cancer centers in the state. If it had been a drinking game, one more GHSU would have had the entire commission, minus Rev. Hatney, under the table. When it was Bloodworth’s time to speak, he focused on the economic impact of education, forwarding a simple formula: more students will spend more money in the community. Beyond that, he talked a lot about how they were going to create a stronger institution by joining together, making it very clear that it was a situation of consolidation, not of one institution absorbing another. He made it so clear, in fact, that he sounded like Jonah yelling from the belly of the whale. Azziz stepped back to the microphone, but instead of adding to the hangover by talking more about GHSU, he started talking about the how the greatest growth potential of the combined university is actually in the undergraduate degrees. While that sounded fairly magnanimous, considering the fact that GHSU has no undergraduates, given Azziz’s aggressive appetite since arriving in Augusta, it’s hard not to think of those undergraduates as anything but fuel pellets going into a really hungry stove.

Foul Air

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METRO SPIRIT 02.23.12

up

THUMBS

When you’re Barry White and you’re sandwiched between Lori Davis and Al Gray like he was on the last commission meeting’s agenda, discretion is definitely the better part of valor. By not being there while Davis and Gray did their best to dismantle the TEE Center parking deck, the TEE Center and pretty much everything else in the city that wasn’t bolted down, White lived to pitch another day. So he put himself back on the agenda and Tuesday he was back in front of the commission, getting the chance to talk about all the great things the CVB was doing to promote the TEE Center and what a great asset it was going to be for the city. The commission, however, was less interested in that than they were in stumbling over the latest hurdle with the TEE Center itself, a $300,000 change in the smoke evacuation system that would bring the city-owned exhibition hall in compliance with the Marriott’s air quality standards. The Marriott’s air quality standards. The Marriott, which is connected to the exhibition space, has standards that are higher than the state standards the building was built to comply with, but without the upgrade, Administrator Fred Russell seemed to feel the Marriott would not be totally onboard and the project could slow to a halt while they quibble over the details. You know all those arguments about the city building the Marriott an exhibition center? This is where they come from. When a private company starts dictating the standards of the city-owned, taxpayer-funded building it’s connected to, the tail is coming pretty close to wagging the dog. You can almost see the battle lines being drawn. Though the mayor came down on the side of building a quality product (“Remember the Jail!”) and Joe Jackson likened the problem to being a little bit pregnant, the commission voted to refer the issue back to committee, where a lot of people will be finding new life in old arguments and someone will undoubtedly be asking, once again, why we are only learning about this now.

Great news, Democrats: Rick Santorum is leading the Republican primary!

down

Saying you’re sorry you offended someone is not an apology. ESPN and writer Anthony Federico are Linsane if they think it is (sorry if that pun offended you).

V. 23 | NO. 08


Hand Out The jockeying surrounding the race to fill Bobby Christine’s chief magistrate position in Columbia County is starting to get interesting. Had Christine decided he wanted to run for the job, everybody would still be talking about Magnolia Trace. But Christine, a JAG officer in the National Guard, threw everybody a curve when he let it be known that he’d gotten wind that he would likely be activated and deployed later in the year. If he waited to drop out until he was sure about the deployment, he said, it might keep good, qualified candidates from stepping forward, so he went ahead and announced his decision not to run before he actually got his orders. Almost immediately afterward, people started looking at the chief magistrate job under a new light, and when they did, they saw Jason Troiano, Jason Hasty and Christopher Hudson smiling back at them, all eager to make a good impression. Troiano, the associate magistrate, is the heir apparent, but he might do well to think twice before he goes back to humming “With a Little Help from my Friends.” Recently, Judge Grady Blanchard was making the rounds pushing for Troiano’s election. In a letter dated January 27, Blanchard made no bones about who he wanted to see in the position. “With Judge Troiano’s experience and leadership, he will continue protecting the citizens of Columbia County by making rulings based on law and sound reasoning. That is why I am giving my full endorsement to Jason Troiano and I encourage you to do the same.” And here you thought it was only Public Broadcasting and those church groups that accost you on the way into Walmart that knew how to shake you down. It’s a shakedown, of course, because the request doesn’t stop there. “You can help by lending your support,” the letter continues. “Enclosed herewith is a pledge card. Please fill out this card and return it along with a donation amount of your choosing in a self addressed stamped envelope. Additionally, you can further show your support by requesting a yard sign or agreeing to help with the campaign.” Shaking the trees is nothing new, but when it’s a judge approaching attorneys it comes awful close to a boss asking an employee to donate to his pet project, then holding out his hand. Blanchard was also hawking tickets for a barbecue for Troiano on February 28. Hatch Act violation? Business as usual? Shameless maneuvering? Or is it just another episode of the “Untouchables?”

Note from the Publisher An image of Barry White by photographer Brent Cline ran in last week’s Metro Spirit. The image was unattributed to Brent and was run without his permission. We regret the error. Joe White Publisher

V. 23 | NO. 08

METRO SPIRIT 02.23.12

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JENNY IS WRIGHT

15 in 5 Because I love a list. Especially a random list. 1. It’s a presidential election year. I hate presidential election years, because they seem to bring out all of the loud idiots. I don’t just mean the voters. There seem to be an especially large number of idiots wanting to get involved this year. 2. Valentine’s Day just came and went, as it usually does. I’m not sure The Man and I have celebrated a single V Day in our 14 years together. That isn’t a complaint. 3. I take that back. This year, we drank the same wine we had the night he proposed to me. That’s as romantic as it gets. That isn’t a complaint, either. 4. What’s up with getting zits as an adult? I knew I’d get gray hair and wrinkles, but pimples? Notsomuch. Do they still sell Stridex? 5. If someone has audible, accidental gas, I will laugh every time. It’s not likely that I will ever outgrow that. Immature? Probably. Hilarious? Absolutely. 6. A fifth grader told The Boy about sex. He was on the bus and was therefore captive audience. I heard him telling The Girl that sex is when two grown-ups take off their clothes, get in bed and kiss each other’s private parts. I’m gonna have to table that one for now. 7. Speaking of the bus, my kids have the nicest, most capable bus driver out there. She drops them off at our driveway each day. Once when The Boy missed the bus, she offered to go back to school and get him. 8. I’m sorry for all of the teachers who get paid less because of the furlough days. I really am. I also really enjoyed a four-day weekend at the lake with my kids. 9. While we were at the lake, I read “The Hunger Games.” It’s impossible to read the first without reading the second. We don’t have wi-fi at our lake house, so when I needed to download “Chasing Fire” to my Kindle, The Kids and I went to Lincolnton in search of free wireless. The first place I thought of was Hardee’s. The only wireless my phone was picking up was password protected. Glancing over at the Kindle, the tiniest sliver of wi-fi was being detected. I dared not move the device, so I slowly touched the screen, purchasing the book I wanted. Success! 10. When I walked in to Hardee’s, I’d swear you could hear a french fry drop. Lincolnton is a small town, and although everyone is more than friendly, I always feel a little funny walking into the local businesses. They all know each other, and they know they don’t know me. 11. It rained some, but when it was dry, The Kids were outside in short sleeves. They even took their shoes off and played in the mud. That’s my kind of winter. 12. I know that many of you hoped for more chilly weather. I hope you’ve been able to come to terms with the beautiful days we’ve had over the past couple of months. If you want snow, go somewhere that has it. Otherwise, please quit complaining about sunshine. We live in Georgia. 13. This weather has given us some of the most beautiful skies. Between the clouds on a sunshiney day, the sunsets at dusk, and the show the moon puts on, it’s been one hell of a “winter.” 14. I’m not sure we’re out of the woods for frigid weather or even snow. Remember Easter a few years ago when we had the cold snap? No one knew what the heck to wear to church that day. Carefully chosen Easter frocks were abandoned for winter coats and sweaters. It could still happen, ye who complain. 15. I used to be one of those people who hated having the windows down in the car if we were going any faster than about 40 miles per hour. The noise was unbearable. On the way back from the lake, I realized something: rolling the windows down while traveling at a high rate of speed is loud. Just loud enough to drown out the sound of whining, bickering children. They are really excited to go back to school tomorrow.

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.

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AUGUSTA TEK Mercury Rising

My first recollection of space flight was the splash landing of the Apollo vehicle at the completion of the Apollo-Soyuz docking. In retrospect, that splash landing closed the book on several different aspects of the American space program. The mission was the official end of the Apollo program, the massive engineering effort that united a country to put a man on the moon and return him safely to Earth. The mission signified the end of the space race with the Soviet Union that started almost 20 years before with the launch of Sputnik. But most significantly, Apollo-Soyuz marked the end of the golden age of space flight, a period defined by engineering achievement that greatly expanded the limits of mankind’s creativity and innovation, ultimately resulting in a triumph over the forces of gravity. This week we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first manned orbital flight. On February 20, 1962, John Glenn became the third American in space and the first American to orbit the Earth. At the time, the United States was trailing the Soviet Union in the space race, the Russians having posted two orbital flights prior to Glenn’s mission. Friendship 7 put the United States back in the game and turned John Glenn into a national hero. While John Glenn became the face of the space program throughout the successful Gemini and Apollo programs, he never again flew into space during his time with NASA. In 1998 at the age of 77, U.S. Senator John Glenn returned to space aboard the space shuttle. As we stand 50 years distant from the Friendship 7 flight, we are confronted with one of the great ironies in our space faring history. While the United States spent the first 20 years of the space race trying to overcome and surpass the space program of the Soviet Union, our country must now pay the Russians $60 million per astronaut to hitch a ride to International space station. Closer to Earth, rumors on the iPad 3 are starting to pick up steam. Most technology talking heads are predicting an April release of the next “Greatest iPad Ever!” Some of the more popular rumors regarding the tech specs of the new iPad include: pictures posted on MacRumors indicate that the pixel density, and likewise the resolution, is twice that of the existing iPad; The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is engaged with suppliers regarding a smaller screen. This seems to correlate with other rumors indicating that three different tiers of iPads will be available; and the iPad 3 should have 4G-network capability. In an example of how natural market forces could shape internet privacy policy, Pinterest released code snippets that would allow websites to opt out of pinning. The announcement addresses concerns that pinning may be in violation of copyright laws. Of course, a pinned site references the source material and generally drives traffic to the site. Many website owners have embraced pinning as the next big thing and even include “Pin It” buttons on their sites. However, if you don’t want to be pinned, add the code snippet to your website and don’t worry about all the extra traffic that might be generated. Until next time, I’ll see you on the internet @gregory_a_baker. L8R.

GREGORY A. BAKER, PH.D, is vice president and chief rocket scientist for CMA, which provides information technology services to CSRA businesses and nonprofits. V. 23 | NO. 08

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AUSTIN RHODES

River Glen Homicides: Same Dance, Different Day Note from the Writer Last week on my radio show as I wrapped up a discussion on the River Glen Apartments’ third homicide in just a few months, I respectfully proposed that as soon as our black political leaders decided how to solve the problem of black on black crime in almost exclusively black neighborhoods, they should let the white folks in the community know what we can do to help them. It is a sincere request, based on years of statistical trends. The comment harkened back to this column, written four years ago as the body count at a local minority favored nightclub continued to climb. I consider the corporate owners of River Glen almost as culpable as the “businessmen” who ran the infamous Club Dreams. The only difference is that the suits in charge of River Glen are sitting comfortably in their tony offices many states away. At least the thugs who ran Club Dreams had to fear dodging the bullets themselves. The city shut that place down; is it time for River Glen to be shuttered as well? The line is provocative, and some will find it offensive no doubt, but that does not make it any less true. Reread my thoughts from four years ago, and ponder the question: Is there anything white Augustans can do to help black Augustans solve the River Glen problem? If you build it, they will come. Unfortunately, when they come, they tend to bring guns, knives and drugs. In today’s world of hip-hop, gangsta rap nightclubs, there is a fine line between running a cutting edge, popular hangout and running a place where people get stabbed with cutting edges. One thing is certain, though; if you put out “thug bait” the thugs will find you. That seems to be the general review of the now shuttered Club Dreams. The thugs loved it. With almost 500 police reports generated in connection with the club in the last few years, it is inexplicable how the owners have avoided serious action from the Augusta Commission and the Richmond County Sheriff’s Department until now. Noise ordinance violations had the club in the news a few weeks ago; then, a double shooting early Christmas morning brought the owners back before the commission with a law enforcement request to revoke its liquor license permanently. There are a few interesting political machinations that are underway in the effort to make sure Club Dreams never opens its doors again, but right now we need to address and

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METRO SPIRIT 02.23.12

AUSTINRHODES

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

acknowledge that as long as a nightclub caters to the criminal element, we should not be surprised when the criminals actually show up and commit crimes. Lawmen tell me that Club Dreams loves to play one neighborhood group against another, calling for “shout outs” by gang names over the dance music is which blasted loud enough for the neighbors up and down Washington Road to hear. It is a minor miracle that more blood wasn’t spilled on the dance floor, and I am more than a bit surprised that Sheriff Ron Strength hasn’t banned his people from working off-duty security there. What is it about today’s music that drives young people to such ridiculous behavior? I can think back to some pretty dark music by groups like Black Sabbath, KISS, Alice Cooper and others that grossed out the grown ups of the time, but rarely if ever did the over the top theatrics generate real violence, particularly outside of live performances. Yeah, the old acts were hell on chickens and bats, but rarely did you hear of that music being used as a rallying cry for acts of random violence and gang warfare. Isolated incidents aside, the nasty hard rock acts of the ’70s and ’80s were as harmless compared to the violent, misogynistic garbage that plays in places like Club Dreams.  ]While minority community leaders are anxious to protect the black businessmen who are making big bucks running these establishments, need I remind them that is the blood and guts of young blacks being spilled in these ever-increasing club-related attacks. White kids don’t get killed in this atmosphere, but black youngsters are dropping like flies. Speaking as a white guy, I feel for the black leaders who are stuck between a rock and a hard place in this debate. I understand there is empowerment and great benefit in running a successful business, and these clubs (before the killings shut them down) tend to make a fortune. But at what cost? All I can say that is that ultimately this is not a problem that white citizens and white leaders can solve. When it comes to the violence and tragedy that springs from the urban clubs that specialize in this horrific music and culture, it is up to strong black men and women everywhere to fight the good fight.  If you need us, let us know what we can do for you. These are not our kids dying in these clubs and in this lifestyle. They are yours.

V. 23 | NO. 08


ERICJOHNSON

METRO

NEWS

Half Full

This year’s new-look half marathon is full of changes The fourth annual Augusta Half Marathon has a new look, a new date and a new route. “We decided that there are a lot of big races in the fall, and there’s less competition during this time of year,” says Brinsley Thigpen, CEO of the Augusta Sports Council. “The big Georgia Half Marathon is in a few weeks, so we were hoping some runners would use this as a training run as well.” The Publix Georgia Marathon and Half Marathon will be run on March 18 in Atlanta. Moving the event away from the bigger fall races is a conscious effort to attract more out of town runners, who might otherwise bypass Augusta for more established races. “Twenty-five to 30 percent of our registrants right now are from outside of the Augusta area,” Thigpen says. “And by outside the area, I mean more than an hour away. We certainly hope to grow that number over the years by increasing our marketing.” According to Thigpen, more than 990 runners have registered for the event, which is about 20 percent more than registered for the last race. Though online registration has closed, runners will be able to register in person on Saturday. “We advertised to about 23,000 runners at an event in Savannah last fall and about 15,000 at an event in Atlanta,” Thigpen says. “And we’ve run ads in different magazines and, of course, social media.” Along with the new date and route, the event also has a new website, augustahalf.org, which has also served as a marketing tool. “Running in general is a sport where the interest has grown,” Thigpen says. “It’s just a healthy lifestyle sport.” While changing the date has impacted a number of area runners, changing the route has the potential to impact the traffic pattern of the entire city, and while V. 23 | NO. 08

Thigpen acknowledges that the race doesn’t exactly shy away from high traffic areas, she insists the race will have a minimal effect on traffic. “When we decided to rebrand, we thought we’d look at some other options, and we decided to move the start/finish line,” she says. “We looked at a few locations and we ended up actually coming over to Enterprise Mill.” Enterprise Mill’s big courtyard and its proximity to the event center, which is where the expo will be held, made it a logical choice to start and stop the race. According to Thigpen, the new route was drawn to highlight some of Augusta’s biggest attractions. After starting at Enterprise Mill, runners will head downtown, cross over St. Sebastian and then go up Walton Way, passing the Partridge Inn and Augusta State University. “Then the course takes a right on Highland and it goes passed Surrey Center,” she says. “It goes up Berckmans and then takes a right on Washington Road, where it goes past the Augusta National.” Even though the race is on a Sunday, sending 1,000 athletes running down the majority of Augusta’s main arteries has the potential for causing problems, but Thigpen insists the impact will be small “We’re not totally closing them down to traffic,” she says. “A lot of the roads either have one lane that is blocked or we’ll allow traffic to go as long as it’s safe for the runners and for the traffic.” Of course, this isn’t the first time athletes have taken to the streets in Augusta. “We have worked well with the sheriff’s office in the past and they have helped us out with a lot of events where traffic is not totally shut down,” she says. “One lane might be blocked, for example, but on Washington Road, the right-hand lane going toward the downtown area will be blocked for the duration of the

time that the runners are there. And the race is fast. It starts at 8 a.m., and any runner who has not reached the intersection of Berckmans and Ingleside by 9:45 will be asked to stop running and ride back to the finish line in a bus. “We have alerted the churches, and, again, our race starts at 8 a.m.,” she says. “I talked to the churches on Walton Way, and most of the services won’t even be affected, because our runners will have passed and the race will have been over by the time the church service happens.” In the end, she says, traffic will be impacted, but not stopped. The upside of the inconvenience? “We’re estimating this event is going to bring in well over $100,000 in economic impact to our community,” Thigpen says. “Possibly more.” Bringing in that kind of money is the ultimate goal of the Sports Council, and while it plays a big role in securing splashy events that snarl up traffic, Thigpen says there are plenty of less showy events that are coming through town all the time. “It’s a great way to bring people to our city,” she says. “It’s a great way to improve healthy lifestyles within the people of our city.” METRO SPIRIT 02.23.12

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ADDITIONAL READING By Kurt Mueller / Edited by Will Shortz

98 Avid reader 100 Annual publications for burros? 105 Monotony 108 Whence Zeno 109 Mistreatment 110 Cut down to size 111 Best in business 115 Russian retreat 116 “The Mikado” baritone 117 Dust cover made of 100% aluminum, perhaps? 121 As previously mentioned, in bibliographies 122 Comparatively stupid 123 Room in Clue 124 Diminutive suffix 125 Gobi-like 126 Showed over 127 Black ___ (some military activities) 128 Platoon V.I.P.

43 It’s measured in points 44 Spotted 45 Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Le ___ d’Or” 46 Christina of pop 47 Get together with your bet taker? 50 “Believe ___ Not!” 53 Some trains 55 Pamper 56 Cain raiser 57 Sign the register 58 Part of Y.S.L. 61 Ship’s record 66 Film whale 68 Writer Wallace 69 Jeff Lynne’s band, for short 71 Start of a Vol. I heading 72 ___ Kennedy Smith (sister of J.F.K.) 74 They come from Mars DOWN 75 Classic fragrance sold in France 1 Half of an interrogation as Mon Péché team 76 Macedonian city with Greek and 2 “There’s a Chef in My Soup!” writer Roman ruins 3 Chorus syllables 78 Opposite of “and” 4 Lug 81 Type 5 Orch. section 82 ___ forte (less loud, in music) 6 Successful swinger 83 Judge’s order 7 Shampoo ingredient 88 Dosage frequency, frequently 8 Where the wild things are? 91 “Gnarly, man!” 9 Put an ___ 92 Star or wolf preceder 10 Engage again for a gig 94 Shooting match 11 Father-and-son rulers of Syria 95 Homer’s home 12 One-named fashion designer 97 Supply at a French smoke shop 13 Aid for record-keeping at Mrs. 99 Western evergreen Smith’s? 101 Hail in a loud voice 14 “Copy that” 102 Brouhaha 15 Bridge declaration 103 Volume holder 17 Like some flights 104 Washington airport 18 Sarkozy’s predecessor 105 Sushi bar servings: Var. 19 Film special effects, briefly 106 Dwelling 22 Actresses Dana and Judith 107 Like some energy 23 Enlighten 112 Bone under a watch 28 Believers 113 Govt. gangbusters 30Mail-related 114 To be, to Benicio 32 1987 Broadway sensation, 118 One, in Orléans colloquially 119 Fill completely, in a way 34 Landed estate 120 Law degs. 35 Old Spanish card game 36 The duck in Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” 37 Superboy’s sweetie 41 Magic, once

1

2

3

4

16

5

6

17

21

9

10

33

27 31

34

35

39 47

52

36

37

53 61 65

55

41

73

79

80

85 91

92

68

98

70

75

76

82

94

99

111

116

117 122

125

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E X T R W I L E E X C I N O P S R O M G R O U C O N B I T S U N H E D E F A A L L O B E R R N C I S T A C T A V E R B I R T O C E L B E S E

A S T O C O S T A M I S S I S H O T

95

77 84 89 97

101

102

108 112

78

88

96

100 107

110

71

83

93

121

64

69

87

106

113

114 119

120 124

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E L O P E R A C L E E D A P L T E O D P D A U S S T T S

104

115

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A T V E E N T D A S R A S E T E S T O N C D A P R P O E I T S N T S I E O D D N E S C O N E B U N S G T

103

109

118

S I M O N E

44

59

63 67

81

43 51

58

86

90

42

57

74

15

28

50

62 66

72

56

14

32

49 54

13

38

40 48

60

12

24

30

46

11

20

26

29

105

8

19 23

25

45

7 18

22

PREVIOUSPUZZLEANSWERS

ACROSS 1 Handsome, as Henri 4 Lucky end? 7 Hyundai sedan 12 Mata ___ (spy) 16 G.P.’s group 17 Some nerve 19 They’re all the same 20 Each 21 Send over some Bibles? 24 Tour org. 25 Really want 26 Largest, as a sum 27 Things that may have to be cleared 29 Mark Messier, for 12 years 30 Actress Gilpin of “Frasier” 31 Graybeards 33 Dolt’s football game plans? 38 Bar, legally 39 Cinco follower 40 Drum set set 42 Huffs 45 Word affixed to web or handy 48 Police investigator: Abbr. 49 Comet rival 51 Ogle 52 Curved molding 54 The truth about a popular Internet community? 59 Reveal, in poetry 60 Put down 62 “C’est ___” 63 Sea of ___ (arm of the Black Sea) 64 Stimpy’s pal 65 “The gloves are off!” 67 Jack’s inferior 68 Albanian money 70 Decodes 72 Singer/actress with a simultaneous #1 album and #1 film, familiarly 73 Warden’s charge 75 Fracas 77 Rathskeller vessel 79 Velvet finish? 80 Egotistical author’s request to a reader? 84 Tiny bits of pasta 85 Live 86 Frees 87 Ike’s W.W. II command 89 ___ T. (big name in 1960s music) 90 Like certain passages 93 Professorial 96 Start of some Italian church names

D I G I S R I I N S A E N V E I M T I E C H E R O

O D E U M

O G A K E M A R D E Y I S C O S G E R A D A M S A M A T R A T R S R O S O G U N O N D R A S P U R E P L A N R C T M I O R A L W A D S P A

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METRO SPIRIT 02.23.12 11


Ruffin’ It

Grammy Awards Recap: Founded Outrage and Artificial Patterns It’s been a couple of weeks since the 2012 Grammy Awards have come and gone. I had an initially strong reaction to the show, but I was also just coming down from a euphoria induced by the combination of ice-fishing, New Glarus beer and the self-immolating thrill of the job hunt, so my gut instincts were not to be trusted. As if they ever are. Seriously, I tend to be pretty reactionary, especially when it comes to petty things. Every time Michelle starts to beat me at Settlers of Catan, I go off like George W. just got elected to a sixth term, and I’m still under investigation by the CIA for what happened right after I saw the ending of “The Village.” So it’s no great surprise that the only thing more predictable than the actual outcome of the awards was the backlash it received in the press. Now, some of these arguments hold water, and most of them have to do with the Grammy Board (or the Illuminati, or that soccer octopus, or whoever decides this stuff) remaining hopelessly out of touch. Others, however, seem to be spouted by pundits who subsist on a diet of Fiji water and their own indignation. For your consideration: You’ve Got a Point There:

The Foo Fighters Win Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance As a caveat, let me say that I have nothing against the Foo Fighters, at least not inherently, and certainly not against Dave Grohl. He’s one of the few men walking the earth who knows his way around both a big-ass riff and a catchy hook. He drummed on Queens of the Stone Age’s “Songs for the Deaf” and masterminded the Probot album, which featured vocal spots by Lemmy (Motorhead), Cronos (Venom) and King freakin’ Diamond. By himself, he’s more metal than Metallica’s been in two decades. But Foo Fighters are not a metal band, not by a long shot. And most of the other nominees — Megadeth, Sum 41, Dream Theater — are either even more not metal or are in the sad twilight of their careers. “Public Enemy #1,” Megadeth’s nominated song, sucked so hard that R. Lee Ermey is still screaming insults at it in a new deleted scene that magically appeared on every DVD copy of “Full Metal Jacket.” Dream Theater’s target demographic stops at music theory nerds, and calling Sum 41 metal is like calling a Nair commercial metal.

You who is a metal band? Mastodon. But still — let’s forget that this was only their second nomination in their decade as a band, or that “Curl of the Burl” manages to be accessible without alienating a great deal of the fan base. Or that Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher are rightfully drawing comparisons to some of the great twin-guitar attacks of all time. Or that Hinds smoked a joint right in front of me at a Floor concert. No, the real losers here are the scores and scores of other metal bands who released thought-provoking, forward-thinking, genre-defying and yes, BRUTAL, albums this past year: Brutal Truth’s “End Time,” 40 Watt Sun’s “The Inside Room” (my personal No. 1), F***ed Up’s “David Comes to Life,” Gridlink’s “Orphan, Drugs of Faith’s Corroded,” and so many more. You sit down and listen to these albums, and you are, trust me, affected. Whereas listening to Megadeth’s latest will just get you infected… with, like, suckiness. I don’t know, it’s not a very pliant metaphor.

12 METRO SPIRIT 02.23.12

Just… Just Calm Down, Okay?: Adele and the Veracity of Patterns Soon after the Grammys aired, an editorial appeared in the Arts section of the New York Times, taking the committee to task for remaining anchored in the past and falling into old patterns. While the former might slightly fly, I’m a total mark for the Beach Boys, and you can’t not feel great and a little misty-eyed seeing Glen Campbell perform even as Alzheimer’s begins to slowly take over his mind. Those were great moments, and I have no problem with them. It’s the latter remark I want to address, though, as it concerns the six wins nabbed by Adele and her monstrously successful “21.” Whatever you think of the album in and of itself — I think it’s quite impressive, if a bit unoriginal — is irrelevant in this case. The basis of the editorial was to trace the committee’s seeming tendency to heap awards on a breakthrough female singer-songwriter: this year it was Adele, while 2003 saw Norah Jones take home seven trophies. 1999 was the year of Lauryn Hill, who was nominated for 10 awards, winning five. At best, it’s a tenuous connection to make; at worst, flailing for a gripe in a dark room. Never mind that those three albums are extraordinarily different: Lauryn Hill kicked the neo-soul doors off it’s hinges; Norah Jones saw the apex of her whispery piano-folk style; Adele’s got classic soul guts and a voice that could shear mountaintops. But most perplexing is that we’re talking about cherry-picking three instances out of 13 years, when the other recipients have run a pretty substantial gamut, regardless of what you think of the albums themselves: Santana, Green Day, Outkast, Steely Dan, the “O Brother Where Art Thou?” soundtrack and Herbie Hancock. It’s a typical alarmist routine practiced by music and film critics after every major awards show. And in a sense, yes, there are issues of accessibility and politics involved. You’re never going to see Agoraphobic Nosebleed take home a Grammy, and “Bellflower” won’t make the Oscar shortlist. Even if they did, it would obliterate the underground pride fans tend to harbor when their favorite artist goes gleefully unrecognized. And then we, too, would feed on our own indignation.

JOSHRUFFIN, an ASU and 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.

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GoodBoats: Paddling for a Purpose First Annual Dragon Boat Festival April 28, 2012 at Lake Olmstead, Augusta, GA Info: 706-650-5760 or dragonboat@goodwillworks.org www.facebook.com/GoodBoats

University health care system

pops! at the bell

Music of Michael Jackson

Thursday, March 8th | 7:30PM | Bell Auditorium | Tickets: $15-$40

soaugusta.org | 706.826.4705 featuring conductor brent havens and vocalist james delisco V. 23 | NO. 08

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Your Weird Week in Crime Is Augusta-Richmond County really as crime ridden as you think it is? What kind of crime is actually going on? The Metro Spirit sifts through the incident reports to find out.

M T

Monday, February 13

One count of: Burglary with forced entry (daytime) Burglary with forced entry (time unknown) Invasion of privacy Obstructing police Two counts of: Larceny (felony and misdemeanor) Identity fraud

Tuesday, February 14

One count of: Property damage Burglary with forced entry (daytime) Motor vehicle theft Two counts of: Financial fraud Theft/mislaid property Burglary with force (time unknown) Three counts of: Identity fraud Public peace disturbance Five counts of: Assault Seven counts of: Larceny (felony and misdemeanor) Ten counts of: Invasion of privacy

W

Wednesday, February 15

One count of: Property damage Theft/mislaid property Recovered stolen property Burglary with no forced entry (night time) Three counts of: Invasion of privacy Identity fraud

TH SU Thursday, February 16

Sunday, February 19

Two counts of: Assault Burglary with forced entry (daytime) Property damage Forgery

Two counts of: Property damage

Three counts of: Larceny Invasion of privacy

Five counts of: Assault

One count of: Theft/mislaid property Public peace disturbance Obstructing police

F

Four counts of: Larceny

Friday, February 17

One count of: Burglary with forced entry (night time) Burglary with forced entry (daytime) Burglary with no forced entry (night time) Burglary with no forced entry (daytime) Miscellaneous criminal offense Armed robbery Kidnapping of an adult Flight-escape Two counts of: Identity fraud Three counts of: Invasion of privacy Assault Five counts of: Larceny (felony and misdemeanor)

S

Saturday, February 18 One count of: Public peace disturbance

Two counts of: Burglary with forced entry (night time) Burglary with no forced entry (daytime) Property damage Four counts of: Assault

Four counts of: Burglary with no forced entry (daytime) Financial fraud

Six counts of: Invasion of privacy

Nine counts of: Larceny (felony and misdemeanor)

Ten counts of: Larceny (felony and misdemeanor)

14 METRO SPIRIT 02.23.12

One count of: Identity fraud Motor vehicle theft Possession of weapon by a felon

Things “worth fighting for” for the week: A cigarette $20 A Blockbuster cover

Oddities of the week:

The above list is only represents crimes that the victim wishes to prosecute or file. An Augustan called Richmond County Sheriff’s Office to report a kidnapping and sodomy, only to drop the charges later. Another Augustan reported being robbed at gunpoint after the suspect broke into the house, but decided not to press charges. A headstone was intentionally dug up at the St. Paul Church cemetery.

$427.75 in quarters $8,025 in circuit breakers Cell phone car charger Shoes DVDs Gas dryer Copper wire and coils Towels Washclothes Gain liquid detergent Laptop $975 Burgundy Chevrolet van PS2 Slim Chainsaw Weed eater Bushwhacker Leaf blower Gray Toyota Camry $300 An unknown amount of waste cooking oil Utility trailer Checkbooks Gift cards $10 in change In-dash CD players iPods Amps Subwoofers $120 Air conditioning units Debit cards Comforter sets $20 TVs Nike Air Max Hats Shirts Remington 16-gauge shotgun Percocet Oxycodone iPad Cable converter boxes $117 in cash Droid cell phones A white envelope with $1,196 in cash Bicycles Trident gum Gold chain Bank statement Porch swing Benzodiazepine Kodak EZ Share Tom Tom GPS Dell desktop Xbox 360 30 Loricet Five DirecTV boxes Wallets ID cards Six pair of socks A bottle of Crown Royal Black Spares ribs $1 Suitcases Scooter Earrings Sony surround sound system A bottle of Hennessy Five bottles of men’s Dove body wash Two bottles of Olay body wash A sliding screen door A child’s basketball goal $1,840 in cash and coins Purple Dodge Stratus

Stolen items for the week:

TERENCEBARBER

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ERICJOHNSON

Field Unit

Local Guard unit fights Taliban by helping Afghan farmers move out of the 1800s When Carmen Benson was a senior in Mr. Anderson’s horticulture class at Evans High School, it’s possible she had an inkling that that she would end up earning a bachelors of science in agriculture education from the University of Georgia, but there’s no way she could have know she’d be teaching farming techniques in Afghanistan. Now a sergeant in the Georgia National Guard, Benson is one of 58 Georgians slogging through a long, cold Afghan winter as part of the Georgia Agribusiness Development Team 1 (ADT). As the horticulture specialist and agribusiness association coordinator, Benson and her team work to develop training programs to help strengthen the Afghan government.

Georgia ADT1, an all-volunteer unit, is the first of three ADTs the Georgia National Guard has committed to Operation Enduring Freedom. A subunit of the 201st Regional Support Group stationed at Fort Gordon, Georgia ADT1 took over last June from an ADT out of Nevada. “Our mission over here is to use agriculture to help build the capacity of the Government Islamic Republic of

Afghanistan (GIRoA),” says Sgt. Chris Hall, the unit’s Information Operations NCO. “There’s a trust issue between the people here and the government, so we like to put an Afghan face on the projects we do to help build that relationship as well as help people though various agricultural projects.” Lt. Col. John Church, the ag officer in charge, is equally up front about the mission’s objectives. “The counter insurgency effort is basically though ag, and that’s the main reason we’re here,” he says. “Yeah, we’re here to help the people, but we’re here to show the people that there’s a better life when they keep the Taliban out themselves.” Church and Hall spoke to the Metro Spirit via Skype from Church’s tent in Logar Province, Afghanistan. By working to support GIRoA — and to train it to have an increasing amount of power — coalition forces hope villages will be more likely to keep the Taliban out. “Some villages can’t, because the Taliban is too strong,” Church says. “But if the village is strong and they don’t want the Taliban, they’ll

Logar Province, Afghanistan-Staff Sgt. Jeffery Flaugher of Douglasville, Georgia, takes advantage of a photo opportunity during an animal health training event. The training event consisted of classroom and hands-on training. Photo Credit: Courtesy Photo 16 METRO SPIRIT 02.23.12

keep the Taliban out, and we’re starting to see that.” That’s the logic that motivates just about everything the team does. It’s not so much offering a hand up for a society that’s suffered over 30 years of war as it is giving the pro-American government the tools to lift up its own people. Such a policy is more palatable to a nation uncomfortable with its role as nation builder as well as more desirable to a people skeptical of outsiders and fearful of Taliban reprisals. But teaching farmers to farm? “We all know how to farm in the United States,” Church says. “What we didn’t know how to do was farm in the 1900s or the 1800s. That’s something we had to learn, because we are going into a country with no electricity and a very limited infrastructure.” In other words, ADT members had to go back and unlearn an awful lot of the things they knew. “The availability of fertilizer and the availability of equipment,” Church says. “It’s just not here.” What is there, however, are hand tools. “They pretty much use shovels and hoes and axes for everything,” Church says, “though they do have some plows and there are some tractors around.” Mostly, though, there’s individual labor, which is why the unit had arranged a training exercise with Amish farmers when they were stationed at the federal mobilization site at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, before going overseas. Unlike sprawling American farms, Afghan farms are very small. “You’re only talking about a twoor three-acre farm,” Church says. “They’re right on the side of the river where the soil is pretty fertile, so they can break up everything with a shovel. The whole family goes in, breaks it up and, if they’ve got a tractor, they’ll use it.” It’s pretty much hand tools for everything else. After receiving specialized agricultural training at UGA and in Indiana and after spending 30 days reviewing the basics of soldiering at Fort Stewart, the unit shipped to Forward Operation V. 23 | NO. 08


Logar Province, Afghanistan- Sgt. Carmen Benson, Georgia ADT horticulturist and Evans, Georgia, native, talks with Mohammad Agha District Agriculture Extension Agents about different types of seeds. Following their conversation, the seeds were planted in a greenhouse located within the Mohammad Agha District Center in Logar Province. Photo Credit: Sgt. Chris Hall, Georgia ADT Public Affairs Base (FOB) Shank in Logar Province, Afghanistan, where they replaced the ADT from Nevada. Though they had communicated with the other ADT regularly for months, they were unprepared for the physical landscape that greeted them. “You can look at a map and you can see a road, but a map is flat,” Church says. “When we got over here, we learned real quick that we’re dealing with between 6,900 feet and 9,000 feet in elevation. You don’t really realize how the terrain affects you until you get over here, and we learned that real fast.” For security reasons, Church won’t go into numbers, but he says FOB Shank is considered fairly big. Shared with other military units, it has an area for helicopters and it has running water, at least most of the time. “You can get a shower most every day,” Church says. “And meals are pretty good — we’ve got dining facilities.” Not all members of his team are based at FOB Shank, however. Four are in Wardak Province — two in the north and two in the south — which, while generally safer than Logar Province, is much more remote. Therefore, Church pulls them back when he can in order to give them access to showers and hot food. The temperatures are fairly temperate V. 23 | NO. 08

in the summer, but this January and February they’ve experienced a little over two feet of snow — even more for the four stationed in Wardak Province. Though Church and Hall just wear fatigues for the interview, it’s only 6 p.m. their time, which means the temperature has yet to fully drop. “If the temperature stays above 20 degrees, it’s not bad,” Church says. “But if it drops down below 20, the heaters that we have can’t keep up. Most mornings, when the temperatures have been low like they’ve been lately, inside the tents will be anywhere from 45 to 55 degrees.” Such extreme cold has been a little tough for the Georgia group to get used to. “When you have to walk about 30 or 40 yards to the shower or the latrine…” Church says, letting his voice trail off. “It’s cold.” “But you look at the Afghans and you see that you’ve got it pretty good,” Hall adds. Church nods. “You look outside the gate and see them walking around in sandals and at least we’re wearing thick boots, so you can’t complain.” While for most the snow is a novelty and provides opportunities for a little fun, it’s also a considerable hardship when it comes to leaving FOB Shank.

“It makes it difficult to get around, but the trucks that we’re in do a pretty good job,” Church says. “We’re expecting two more feet of snow tonight, so we’ve got a lot of missions we’re going to have to cancel or reschedule over the next few days. You’ve got to be flexible when you’re over here.” Totally self sufficient, they have their own trucks and pull their own security whenever they go out into the field. “When we go out, we go out with usually 20 or 30 people,” Church says. “Up-armor trucks with guns on top — we go out prepared to fight and sometimes we have to.” Hall, the Information Operations NCO, is quick to say that their missions have gone without incident, but the look on Church’s face and the number of fingers he holds up tells another story. Clearly, Afghanistan remains a dangerous place. While security concerns are a part of every mission, Church says team members are careful to make the distinction between the Afghan people and the Taliban. “It’s not the people — they’re glad to see us,” he says. “But the Taliban is here. The province that we’re in actually borders Pakistan. They hide in Pakistan, then come back.” Church, from Mount Airy, Georgia,

has a forestry degree from the University of Georgia and comes from a farming family. “I’ve been farming and in the timber industry pretty much my whole life,” he says. The majority of ag team members come from a similar background. “I have a vet, I have a horticulture expert, I have a hydrologist and I have a forester,” he says. “I also have a pest control guy and several people who just farm for a living.” And they’re all Georgians. “We’re handing it off to another Georgia team, so Georgia’s legacy is going to be here for three years,” Church says. “We’ve got Georgia flags everywhere and we’ve got red and black signs everywhere. Pretty much everybody knows Georgia’s here.” Given the fact that the equipment the Afghans have is so rudimentary and their agricultural economy is practically nonexistent, the unit had to go back to the basics, not just of farming, but of agribusiness as well. In Afghanistan, the two are intertwined with survival. When a crop comes in, the Afghans have to sell it on the open market right there or else it gets ruined — so everybody’s grapes come in at the same time, which means that basically the markets get flooded, which drives the METRO SPIRIT 02.23.12 17


price down. “So what we’ve done — we’re teaching them to preserve food,” Church says. “Again, we’re going back to the 1900s.” They’re teaching the Afghans how to juice, how to dry and can food, and they’re teaching them about cool storage, which is basically using a kind of root cellar to keep potatoes or onions cool without electricity, because preserving food can have important consequences. “If you have an onion and you sell it when it comes out of the ground, say in September, you might get a few dollars a pound,” Church says, working in dollars to make his point clear. “But if you could store those onions for four or five months — every single month you store them, the price of those onions goes up 21 percent.” According to Benson, the families they work with have shown considerable appreciation. “I think it’s because our team recognizes the value of their knowledge and experience,” she says. “We have ideas, they have ideas and together we are working to make change.” That receptiveness, she says, adds to the feeling of accomplishment. “A lot of my work is geared toward women’s agricultural initiatives,” she says. “Sometimes, I am struck by their amazing stories of hardship and perseverance in a country that seems so

18 METRO SPIRIT 02.23.12

different from the United States. Other times, I’m struck by the similarities between Afghan women and American women and their families. Our female Afghan friends enjoy talking about clothes, purses and kitchen recipes just as much as I do.” Beyond teaching preservation skills, the ADT is also creating associations that can better market products, so instead of selling locally, farmers can get their products into larger markets like Kabul or even India, Dubai or Pakistan. “All those associations are actually starting to become small businesses,” Church says. “We’re teaching them how to front a business, how to manage a business, how to manage employees and how to deal with customers.” ADT members also teach Afghans how to manage wheat seed and greenhouses to insure high yields and to prolong the short growing season. On the livestock side, it’s become mostly a question of equipment. “Doc — he’s really been a rock star,” Church says of his team’s veterinarian. “He’s been to most of the villages in most of our areas, and some of the villages had never seen an American soldier before.” Because each village is structured with elders and individuals knowledgeable in medicine and livestock, the vet will bring the livestock people equipment

and show them how to use it to improve things like hoof care, castration and artificial insemination. And while the years of war have robbed the culture of much of its farming knowledge, it’s also depleted the nation’s resources. Several decades of living day to day has resulted in the loss of trees and grasses and an increase in erosion. “There’s nothing left on the mountain slopes,” Church says. “Even though you think it’s a real arid place, it’s really not. Afghanistan gets a lot of precipitation in the form of rain and in the form of snow, but over the last 30 years of turmoil and war, they’ve lived day-to-day, not worried about the trees on the side of the mountain. They’re going to cut those trees down and use them to heat with or cook with or whatever.” Because there’s nothing left on the mountain slopes, when the snow melts or when it rains, there’s nothing to catch that water and let it infiltrate back into the ground and into the aquifer. The water runs off the mountainside, runs into a river and they have no way of catching it. To combat this, the ADT is teaching the government how to run an effective watershed management program. “We don’t just go up and do this stuff ourselves,” Church says. “We actually let the villagers do it. We train them how to

do it and show them the importance of it so once we’re gone, they can actually go up and do watershed management right behind their village.” That’s the kind of self-reliance they want every mission to achieve, and while the Afghans were resistant at first, Church says they’ve begun to accept their help and advice. “We’ve had a lot of successes, but Sayed Abad (a district in southern Wardak Province) has been a huge success story,” he says. “When we first got down there, the sub governor told us we were wasting our time, but within two months we had already implemented a lot of our projects and now we have people from that district actually call us to see if we can provide training. Though scheduled to return home in mid-April, Benson says the variety and worth of the mission will be tough to leave. “One of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of my job is that it changes daily,” Benson says. “One day I may be in the office negotiating with contractors, designing new projects or briefing leaders. The next day I may be flying on a Blackhawk helicopter to another province to lead horticulture, livestock or business training for Afghan youth, women or men.”

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ENTERTAIN

ME

Fore! Images in Golf Art, featuring 25 paintings, photographs and drawings, shows through April 15 at the Morris Museum of Art. Featured artists include LeRoy Neiman, Will Barnet, Tim Clark and Ray Ellis. Call 706-724-7501 or visit themorris.org.

Music

Johnny Cash and the Paradoxial South, a Phi Kappa Phi Arsenal Speaker Series lecture featuring Dr. John Hayes, is Thursday, February 23, at 2:30 p.m. at 170 University Hall. Call 706-729-2416 or visit aug.edu. ASU Orchestra and Wind Ensemble perform Thursday, February 23, at 7:30 p.m. at Augusta State University’s Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre. Call 706-667-4100 or visit aug.edu. The Fine Arts Quartet, an ASU Lyceum Series event sponsored by the Harry Jacobs Chamber Music Society, is Friday, February 24, at 7:30 p.m. at ASU’s Maxwell Theatre. Call 706-667-4100 or visit aug.edu.

Celebrate the Oscars in style at Casa Blanca Cafe on Sunday, February 26, at 6 p.m. with a red carpet entrance, nominated movie inspired appetizers, a wall screen projection of the awards ceremony, prizes throughout the evening and more. $25; reservations recommended. Call 706-504-3431 or visit casablancatime.com.

Arts

Face Jugs, a two-day workshop led by artist David Stuart, is Saturday-Sunday, February 25-26, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Morris Museum of Art. $80, members; $95, non-members. Pre-paid pre-registration required. Call 706-8283867 or visit themorris.org. Band Art Project, featuring almost 20 artists and bands including The Industry, The Mood and Eleventhour, is Saturday, February 25, at 7 p.m. at Freedom Bible Church in Evans. Each artist will be given one song to create a painting. Visit bandartproject.com.

Exhibitions

Blast from the Past, a temporary exhibition, opens Friday, February 24, at the Augusta Museum of History. Call 706722-8454 or visit augustamuseum.org. Young Masters: Work by Savannah River Area High School Students shows through February 26 at the Morris Museum of Art 20 METRO SPIRIT 02.23.12

in the Education Gallery. Call 706-7247501 or visit themorris.org. LeMay Art Exhibit shows through February 28 at the Aiken Center for the Arts, and features the work of local artists Ann and Bill LeMay. Call 803-2780709 or visit aikenartistguild.org. Lenn Hopkins exhibit, featuring work inspired by images and lifestyles of the rural south, shows through February 29 at Sacred Heart Cultural Center. Call 706-8264700 or visit sacredheartaugusta.org. Working South: Paintings and Sketches by Mary Whyte shows through March 11 at the Morris Museum of Art. Call 706724-7501 or visit themorris.org. African American Trailblazers of Augusta shows through March 31 at the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History. $2-$5. Call 706-724-3576 or visit lucycraftlaneymuseum.com.

The Augusta Choral Society is offering a $300 scholarship to high school seniors who have contributed their vocal musical talents to the area. The application, due April 14, is available online, as is further criteria. Call 706-826-4713 or visit augustachoralsociety.org.

Literary

Read and Feed, a Guild of Poetic Intent open-mic style poetry reading, is Friday, February 24, at 7 p.m. at USC-Aiken’s Gregg-Graniteville Library. Free and open to the public, with refreshments provided. Call 803-641-3570 or email roys@usca.edu. Maxwell Morning Book Club meets Tuesday, February 28, at 10 a.m. to discuss “The Borrower” by Rebecca Makkai. Call 706793-2020 or visit ecgrl.org. Poetry Matters is accepting entries through March 23 for their annual poetry contest. Cash prizes will be give out. Categories are middle and high school, adults and seniors. Visit poetrymatterscelebration.com.

Theater

Blue Black, a series of short plays centering on the black experience written and directed by local writers, shows Friday-Saturday, February 24-25, at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. at the Blue Bistro Theater.

$12. Email bluebistrotheater@gmail.com. “Children of Eden,” a two-act pop-rock musical produced by the Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre, shows February 24-25 and March 2-3 and 9-11, with dinner at 7 p.m. and the show beginning at 8 p.m. $25-$40. Call 706-793-8552 or visit fortgordon.com. “Chicago: The Musical,” a production of the Augusta Players, shows FridaySaturday, February 24-25, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, February 26, at 3 p.m. at the Imperial Theatre. $15-$41. Call 706826-4707 or visit augustaplayers.org. “You Can’t Take It With You…,” a production of the ACP Youth Wing, shows February 24-25 and March 2-3 at 8 p.m. and February 26 at 3 p.m. at the URS Center for the Performing Arts in Aiken. Call 803-648-1438 or visit acp1011.com. Neil Simon’s “Barefoot in the Park,” a production of the Edgefield County Theatre Company, shows February 24-25 at 8 p.m. at the William Miller Bouknight Theatre. Call 803-637-3833 or visit edgefieldcountytheatrecompany.com. “Pickin’”, an Augusta Mini Theatre production about the consequences of bullying, will show Saturday-Sunday, February 25-26, at 3 p.m. at the theater’s facility on Deans Bridge Road. Call 706-722-0598 or visit augustaminitheatre.com.

Flix

“Lady Day: The Many Faces of Billie Holliday” shows Thursday, February 23, at noon at Headquarters Branch Library. Bring your lunch. Free. Call 706-8212600 or visit ecgrl.org. “The Future,” part of the ASU Department of Communications and Professional Writing’s Monday Night Film Series, shows February 27 at 7 p.m. at University Hall Room 170. $2, general public; free with JagCard. Call 706-7292416 or visit aug.edu. “Reservoir Dogs” shows Tuesday, February 28, at 6:30 p.m. at the Headquarters Branch Library. Free. Call 706-821-2600 or visit ecgrl.org.

Special Events

104th Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting is Thursday, February 23, at 7 p.m. $55. Call 706821-1300 or visit augustachamber.net. V. 23 | NO. 08


28th Annual Pasta Festival, sponsored by the Italian-American Club of the CSRA, is Friday, February 24, at the Hellenic Center of the Greek Orthodox Church downtown, with lunch served from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and dinner from 4:30-8 p.m. $8. Call 706-869-0747. Seventh Annual Augusta Home & Garden show at the James Brown Arena is Friday, February 24, at 2 p.m., Saturday, February 25, at 10 a.m. and Sunday, February 26, at 11 a.m. Visit augustaentertainmentcomplex.com. Tour d’Italia, an Italian Wine Seminar featuring Lisa Brophy of Grassroots Wine, is Friday, February 24, at 7 p.m. at Wine World in North Augusta and features a sampling of 11 wines. $15; $20 at the door, if space is available. Call 803-279-9522 or visit wineworldsc.com. Battle of Aiken Reenactments are Saturday-Sunday, February 25-26, at Confederate Memorial Park on Powell Pond Road beginning at 8:30 a.m. and lasting throughout the day. The event also includes exhibitions, food, shopping, music and dancing. Visit battleofaiken.org. Living History Guided Re-Enactment Tours of Cedar Grove Cemetery, hosted by students of Paine College’s History Club in honor of Black History Month, are Saturday, February 25, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., with tours running every 30 minutes. Free. Call 706-821-8371 or email aholmes@paine.edu. John Wesley Gilbert Monument Dedication is Saturday, February 25, at 2 p.m. at GHSU’s College of Dental Medicine, where a public housing complex named in his honor once stood. Email georgiahealth.org. CSRA Business League’s 42nd Anniversary Banquet is Saturday, February 25, at 7 p.m. at the Augusta Marriott. The event will feature keynote speaker Dr. Dennis P. Kimbro, ClarkAtlanta University professor and author, as well as the presentation of several awards. $50. Call 706-722-0994. Cultural Heritage Program, hosted by C.H. Terrell Academy, is Sunday, February 26, at 4 p.m. in the ITC Auditorium at Augusta Tech. Call 706-736-6216. Oscar Party at Casa Blanca Cafe is Sunday, February 26, at 6 p.m. and includes a red carpet entrance, nominated movie inspired appetizers, V. 23 | NO. 08

a wall screen projection of the awards ceremony, prizes throughout the evening and more. $25; reservations recommended. Call 706-504-3431 or visit casablancatime.com. First Thursday at Midtown, at Midtown Market and the shops at Central Avenue and Kings Way, is Thursday, March 1, from 5-8 p.m. The event features former Augusta Mayor Bob Young, author of “Treasure Train,” artists Yong Alford and Meredith McPherson, jewelry designer Susan Senn-Davis, Historic Augusta and more. Call 706-364-8479. Savannah River Site Citizens Advisory Board Committee Meetings are each Tuesday in February at the DOE Meeting Center, 230 Village Green Blvd., in Aiken at 6 p.m. Agenda topics include strategic and legacy management, facilities disposition and site remediation, waste management and nuclear materials. Call 803-952-7884. AARP Tax Help is offered through February on Monday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at Euchee Creek Branch Library; Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at the Columbia County Library; Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at the Headquarters Branch Library; Thursday, noon-4 p.m., and Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at Maxwell Library. Visit ecgrl.org.

Pre-registration required. Call 706-4817727 or visit trinityofaugusta.com. Family and Friends CPR Training is Thursday, February 23, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Aiken Regional Medical Center (Sixth Floor, Classrooms A&B). $10. Pre-registration required. Call 800-8827445 or visit aikenregional.com. Introduction to Infant CPR is Thursday, February 23, at 7 p.m. at University Hospital. Free, but pre-registration required. Call 706-774-2825 or visit universityhealth.org. Georgia Health Sciences Weight Loss Seminar is Thursday, February 23, at 7 p.m. at Georgia Health Sciences Cancer Center (First Floor, Community Room). Call 706-721-2609 or visit georgiahealth.org/weightloss. Babies, Bumps and Bruises, featuring instruction in infant safety issues, is Thursday, February 23, from 7-9 p.m. at Doctors Hospital (Medical Office Building 1, Suite 310). Call 706-651-BABY or visit doctors-hospital.net. Heart Health Education Program and Luncheon is Friday, February 24, at

11:30 a.m. at Doctors Hospital’s Medical Office Building 3. Pre-registration required. Call 706-651-6716 or visit doctors-hospital.net. Community Health and Wellness Fair, sponsored by GSHU residents, is Saturday, February 25, from 10 a.m.2 p.m. at the Kroc Center. Free. Email mglover@georgiahealth.edu. Let’s Talk… Heart to Heart, a women and heart health symposium, is Saturday, February 25, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Doctors Hospital Classroom 2. This free program features dietitian and comedian Zonya Foco, lunch, cooking demonstrations, health screenings, panel discussions, free gifts and prizes. Preregistration required. Call 706-651-4343 or visit doctors-hospital.net. Go Red for Women Fashion Show and Heart Disease Symposium is Sunday, February 26, at 3 p.m. at the Kroc Center, featuring guest speaker Dr. Mac Bowman. Visit linksinc.org. AngioScreen Vascular Screenings will be held Monday, February 27, from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at Doctors Hospital. Preregistration required. Call 706-651-4343

Call for applications: the Fort Gordon Spouses and Civilians Club funds, services or supplies to deserving organizations or individuals as part of their Grants and Services program. Deadline: March 1. Call Debbie Franco at 706-495-7181 or visit fgscc.com.

Health

Living with Heart Failure: Sink or Sail, part of GHSU’s Heart to Heart series of talks, this one featuring Dr. Amin Yehya, is Thursday, February 23, at 5 p.m. at the Cardiovascular Center. Refreshments and door prizes are also included. Pre-registration required. Call 706-7219055 or visit georgiahealth.org. Bariatrics Seminar, with Drs. Blaney and Glass, is Thursday, February 23, from 6-7 p.m. at Doctors Hospital (South Tower, Classroom 1). Pre-registration required. Call 706-651-4343 or visit doctors-hospital.net. Childbirth Education 101, which includes a tour of the Family Focused Childbirth Unit, is Wednesday, February 23, at 6 p.m. at Trinity Hospital of Augusta. METRO SPIRIT 02.23.12 21


22 METRO SPIRIT 02.23.12

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or visit doctors-hospital.net. Look Good… Feel Better, an American Cancer Society program for female cancer patients on restoring their appearance and self-image, is Monday, February 27, at 5 p.m. at the American Cancer Society Office. Pre-registration required. Call 706-731-9900 or visit universityhealth.org. Trust Birth Augusta meets Monday, February 27, at 7 p.m. at Steinle Wellness Center. Call 706-833-5101 or email trustbirthaugusta@comcast.net. The Birds, the Bees and Me, a class for girls ages 12-15 and their mothers, female relatives or friends, is Tuesday, February 28, at 6:30 p.m. at Trinity Hospital of Augusta. $10. Preregistration required. Call 706-4817604 or visit trinityofaugusta.com. Breastfeeding Class is Tuesday, February 28, at 7 p.m. at Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center. Pre-registration required. Call 706-721-9351 or visit georgiahealth.org. Stretching and Flexibility, a class at University’s Heart & Vascular Institute, is Wednesday, February 29, at 8:25, 9:25 and 1:55 p.m. Pre-registration required. Call 706-774-3278 or visit universityhealth.org. Smart Heart Month Luncheon is Wednesday, February 29, at 11:30 a.m. at The Richmond on Greene. Pre-registration required. Call 706-6670030 or visit universityhealth.org. Infant CPR Class is Wednesday, February 29, at 6 p.m. at Trinity Hospital of Augusta. Pre-registration required. Call 706-4817727 or visit trinityofaugusta.com. Infant CPR Class is Wednesday, February 29, at 6:30 p.m. at GHSU’s Medical Center. Pre-registration required. Call 706-7219351 or visit georgiahealth.org. Cribs for Kids, a sleep education program for parents to help reduce the risk of infant injury, is Thursday, March 1, at 5:45 p.m. at GHSU’s 1225 Walton Way Building. Medicare, Peachcare or WICC families will receive a portable crib, fitted sheet, sleep sac and pacifier for $10. Pre-registration required. Call 706-7217606 or visit georgiahealth.org.

Support

Georgia Health Sciences A.W.A.K.E. Sleep V. 23 | NO. 08

Apnea Support Group meets Thursday, February 23, from 7-9 p.m. at Georgia Health Sciences Children’s Medical Center (First Floor, Family Resource Library). Call 706-721-0793 or visit georgiahealth.org. Cancer Share, for anyone diagnosed with cancer, is Monday, February 27, at 6 p.m. at University’s Breast Health Center. Call 706774-8308 or visit universityhealth.org. Parkinson’s Disease Support Group meets Tuesday, February 28, at 6 p.m. at St. Johns Towers. Call 706-863-6355 or visit universityhealth.org. Huntington Disease Support Group meets Thursday, March 1, at 6:30 p.m. at GHSU’s Marks Building. Call 706-7214895 or visit georgiahealth.org. Narcotics Anonymous, sponsored by Trinity Hospital of Augusta, meets Fridays and Sundays at 7:30 p.m. Call 706-8552419 or visit trinityofaugusta.com. AA Meets every Sunday and Wednesday at 7:15 p.m. at Aiken Regional Medical Center (Aurora Pavilion), and features an open discussion. Call 800-322-8322 or visit aikenregional.com. Burn Support Group meets every Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at Doctors Hospital (Lori Rogers Nursing Library, JMS Building). All burn survivors, and their families and friends are welcome. Call Tim Dorn at 706-651-6660 or visit doctors-hospital.net. Moms Connection, a free support group for new mothers and their babies, meets Tuesdays from 1-2 p.m. at Georgia Health Sciences Building 1010C. Call 706-7219351 or visit georgiahealth.org.

Education

The African American Experience: Spirituals, featuring the Midland Valley High School Chorus, is Saturday, February 25, at 10 a.m. at Redcliffe Plantation State Historic Site. $8, adults; $5, ages 6-16; $6.50, South Carolina seniors. Call 803-827-1473 or visit southcarolinaparks.com. Beginning Word is a computer class that meets Tuesday, February 28, at 11 a.m. at the Appleby Branch Library. Pre-registration required. Call 706-7366244 or visit ecgrl.org.

Wednesday, February 29, at 10 a.m. Preregistration and PINES card required. Call 706-821-2600 or visit ecgrl.org. African-American History on the Web, a class for older children, teens and adults with basic computer, mouse and keyboard skills, is Wednesday, February 29, at 6 p.m. at Diamond Lakes Branch Library. Pre-registration required. Call 706-772-2432 or visit ecgrl.org. Call for applications: the Fort Gordon Spouses and Civilians Club awards merit scholarships for graduating seniors, and to adults continuing their education. Scholarships are open to dependents of all military members and dependents of our civilian club members. Deadline: March 1. Call Debbie Windhorn at 706364-8702 or visit fgscc.com.

Benefits

A Cause for Paws, a benefit for the Tuscaloosa K9 Camp (TK9) in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, that features live music from Brian Mitchell, Kevin Mollenhauer and She N She, is Friday, February 24, from 5-9 p.m. at the Pizza Joint downtown. The camp and rescue facility was destroyed by a tornado April 27 and participants at the benefit are asked to bring dog food, collars, dog beds, crates, toys, treats, towels, blankets and any dog-related items. Call 706-774-0037 or visit thepizzajoint.net. Hope for Sight Concert, a fundraising concert sponsored by the Evans Lions Club, the proceeds of which will go toward assisting people with limited vision, is Friday, February 24, at 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Augusta. Musical guests include Terry Gibbs, The Sassy Brass Band and Glorying Hands, and there will be a silent auction as well. $20. Call 706434-3944 or 706-513-1531. Casino Night 2012, to benefit the Arts and Heritage Center in North Augusta, is Friday, February 24, from 7-10 p.m. and will feature 18 gaming tables, a silent auction, food and drinks. $35. Call 803-441-4380 or visit artsandheritagecenter.com. A Taste of Something Wild, an Augusta West Rotary Club wild game tasting and soiree for Alzheimer’s research and the Augusta Warrior Project, is Saturday, February 25, from 5-8 p.m. at the Julian Smith Casino Barbecue Pit. $40, advance; $45, at the door. Call 706-731-9060.

National Pancake Day will be observed Beyond Google is a computer class at the on Tuesday, February 28, at local IHOP Headquarters Branch Library that meets locations on Washington Road in Augusta

and Evans, Peach Orchard Road and Aiken Mall Drive in Aiken, and local proceeds will benefit GHSU’s Children’s Medical Center. Visit georgiahealth.org. Karma Yoga is offered at Just Breathe Studio, downtown Aiken, each Friday at 10 a.m. and is free if participants bring a donation of a personal item, which will be given to the Cumbee Center to Assist Abused Persons. Call 803-648-8048 or visit justbreathestudio.com.

Sports-Outdoors

Wildcat 5K Trail Run and 1-Mile Fun Run at Westminster Schools of Augusta is Saturday, February 25. Check-in and registration begins at 8:30 a.m., with the 1-Mile Fun Run beginning at 9 a.m., following by the 5K at 9:30. The 5K course will incorporate the school’s new cross-country trail. $15, fun run and $20 5K, through February 17th; after February 17, it is $25 for 5K. All age groups welcome. Email rachelmsheldon@ gmail.com or visit wsa.net. Running for Justice: Natalee Holloway 5K, featuring an appearance from Natalee’s mother Beth, is Saturday, February 25, at 10 a.m. on the Augusta Prep crosscountry trail. The run-walk, organized by two Augusta Prep students, is $20 and registration forms are available online. Visit augustaprep.org. The Augusta Half-Marathon, which starts and ends at Enterprise Mill and whose course includes many area landmarks, is Sunday, February 26, at 8 a.m. Late registration, by cash or check only, is February 23 and 25 and is w$75. Visit augustahalf.org. The Soul City Sirens 2012 season opening bout against the CQS Miss B-Havers from Columbia, S.C., is Sunday, February 26, at Red Wing Rollerway, with doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the bout beginning at 6:30 p.m. Halftime will feature the Augusta Junior Roller Derby Rock n Roller Girls in an exhibition bout. $10 in advance; $15 at the door, with kids under 12 free. Visit soulcitysirens.com. 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. Riverview Disc Golf League meets each Thursday at 6 p.m. at Riverview Park in North Augusta. $5 entry fee and $1 ace pool. Call 803-215-8181 or visit augustadiscgolf.com. METRO SPIRIT 02.23.12 23


Zumba with Sohailla is every Saturday from 10-11 a.m. at the Ballroom Dance Center in Evans. Call 706-421-6168 or visit zumbawithsohailla.blogspot.com. 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 706-7914864 or visit fortgordon.com. Nacho Mama’s Group Run is each Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. and features food and drinks afterwards. Three- and fourmile routes are available for all ages and abilities of runners. Call 706-414-4059 or email jim@enduranceconcepts.com. Hott Shott Disc Golf is each Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Killer B Disc Golf, 863 Broad Street, and features games and prizes for all ages and skill levels. $2. Call 706-814-7514 or visit killerbdiscgolf. blogspot.com/p/hott-shott. Youth Archery League meets Wednesdays through March 21 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Odell Weeks Center in Aiken, and features lessons in history, safety and technique for ages 5-16, accompanied by an adult. $11 per session. Call 803-642-7631.

Kids

Healthy Heart Kids Craft Workshop, for ages 3-5, is Thursday, February 23, at 11 a.m. at the Appleby Branch Library. Pre-registration required. Call 706-7366244 or visit ecgrl.org. Craft Workshop for kids ages 8-11 is Thursday, February 23, at 5 p.m. at the Columbia County Library. Call 706-8631946 or visit ecgrl.org. Lego Club Meeting, for kids in grades K-5 and limited to 10 attendees, is Friday, February 24, at 4 p.m. at the North Augusta Library. Pre-registration required. Call 803-279-5767 or visit abbe-lib.org. The World of Owls, a program for those ages 5 and up, is Friday, February 24, at 4:30 p.m. at Reed Creek Park. Free, members; $3 per child, non-members. Pre-registration required. Call 706-2104027 or visit reedcreekpark.com. Children’s Saturday Event featuring Jeff Rucker is February 25 at 10 a.m. at the Columbia County Library. Call 706-8631946 or visit ecgrl.org. 24 METRO SPIRIT 02.23.12

Medals for Miles Fun Run Program, presented by The Augusta Sports Council and the Family Y, is February 25, at 4 p.m. at Enterprise Mill. The event, for children in grades K-5, is part of Augusta’s Half-Marathon Festival, and encourages children to run or walk a total of 12 miles prior to the 1.1 mile Fun Run. Pre-registration required. Call 706-722-8326, ext. 231, or visit augustahalf.org.

DECLASSIFIED

Follow the Drinking Gourd, a show about how slaves used astronomy and song to escape to Canada, shows Saturday, February 25, at 7 and 8 p.m. at USC-Aiken’s DuPont Planetarium. $1-$4.50. Reservations recommended. Call 803-641-3654 or visit http://rpsec.usca.edu/planetarium. Tuesday Story Time at the Headquarters Branch Library, featuring a local dentist, is February 28 at 10 a.m. Call 706-8212600 or visit ecgrl.org. Digital Photography Club for Young Adults holds its New Year’s Party Tuesday, February 28, at 4 p.m. at the Columbia County Library. Participants will discuss ideas for the coming year and have refreshments. Call 706-863-1946 or visit ecgrl.org. Alice in Wonderland Leap Year Tea Party, for kids ages 11-14, is Wednesday, February 29, at 4:30 p.m. at the North Augusta Library. Call 803-279-5767 or visit abbe-lib.org. Game Day is each Friday in February from 3:30-4:30 p.m. at Headquarters Branch Library in the Children’s Department. Call 706-821-2600 or visit ecgrl.org.

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Hobbies

The Dogwood Garden Club meets Tuesday, February 28, at 6:30 p.m. at Advanced Services on Columbia Road. Dues to join the club are $25 for a single member and $35 for couples. Email deborah.s.mcgugan.civ@mail.mil. The Augusta Archaeological Society meets Thursday, March 1, at 6:30 p.m. at Sabi Japanese, 4272 Washington Road. Open to the public; meeting begins at 8 p.m. Call 706-863-7964.

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

(actual size) 1.5” x 1.9” Tall $40 per week All declassified ads are Cash in Advance (credit card payment required) and are $40 per week. Visit metrospirit.com to place your ad in minutes.

V. 23 | NO. 08


Michael Johnson

mejphoto.photoreflect.com

Brooke Hunter, Amy Hunter, Michael Seibel and David Williamson at Wild Wing Cafe.

SIGHTINGS

Thomas Freeman, Collin Bentley and John McCutcheon at French Market Grille.

Claudia Davis, Christine Thompson, Silvia Leanhart and Maya St. Roc at Weiberfastnacht at Villa Europa.

SIGHTINGS

Ashley Dodgen, Stephanie Shirley and Chelsea Robinson at The Country Club.

Audrey Renteria, Lee Brice and Kayla Williamson at The County Club.

SIGHTINGS

Natalie Angel, William Wallace and Jordan Sausa at Allie Katz.

V. 23 | NO. 08

Travis Mayott, Jessica Fibelkorn, Jamie Lowe and Grace Inman at the Fat Saturday Pub Crawl.

Bryan Schaffer, Brittany Schaffer and Robert Donohue at Weiberfastnacht at Villa Europa.

Michael Johnson

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Martine Stevens with VH1 Celebrity Rehab’s Frankie Lons and Shana Mobley at the signing of her book “The Best Years I Never Had” at Bar544.

METRO SPIRIT 02.23.12 25


THE

EIGHT

BOX TOPS

Bad Denzel wins out over the sappy romantic comedies, as we all knew he would. RANK

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AMYCHRISTIAN

An Off Year Despite the return of Billy Crystal, The Sunday’s Oscars may be a flop Billy Crystal has his work cut out for him. And, given his appearance in recent photographs, it’s questionable whether he’s up for the job. His job, of course, is to make this Sunday’s 84th Academy Awards telecast entertaining, which ABC will measure in ratings. But how many people are going to sit at home and watch a celebration of the year’s best movies and performances when many of the nominees have little name recognition? Please don’t misunderstand: Hollywood and movie aficionados love the fact that, the week before the winners are announced, there is no clear frontrunner in many of the races, including Best Picture. That makes for an exciting few minutes before the envelope is opened and the winner’s name is announced. But with no blockbuster such as “Titanic,” or even a popular underdog such as “Shakespeare in Love,” to root for, all the excitement in the world probably won’t translate into big ratings numbers. For example, any idea what the names of the nine Best Picture nominees are? Thought not. They include “The Artist,” a black and white, mostly silent film starring mostly French actors; “The Descendants,” a family movie with an indie feel starring George Clooney; “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close,” based on a book about the aftermath of 9/11 for one family, it stars lots of big names but didn’t get great reviews; “The Help,” also based on a book, got great reviews for its performers and is the closest thing to a blockbuster in the bunch; “Hugo” is director Martin Scorsese’s foray into the world of family films; “Midnight in Paris” is Woody Allen’s most popular film to date; “Moneyball,” starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, opened during the summer, which usually doesn’t do much for a film’s chance of winning in this category; “The Tree of Life” is a beautiful but confusing movie by director Terrence Malick that 10 people saw in the theater; and Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse.” For the average person, those nine movies don’t represent a whole lot of reasons to watch a three-plus hour show, especially when they can tune into E! (they start coverage at 1:30 p.m. EST, but there’s really no reason to start watching until 4:30 or 5) beforehand and see what everyone’s wearing, watch Billy’s opening

monologue — always good for a laugh or two — and then go about their business. “The Walking Dead” is on at 9 p.m., after all, and premium cable waits for no awards show. But it’s not just the Best Picture category. Even the Animated Feature Film category, usually filled with popular Disney and Pixar entries, contains two movies — “A Cat in Paris” and “Chico & Rita” — that few have heard of. There are reasons to watch, however, one of my favorite being that there’s usually a surprise winner announced early on in the show. It seems the Academy always tries to stave off its reputation as a group of stodgy old men by awarding a dark horse nominee the Supporting Actor or Actress prize. I’m just hoping it’s “Bridesmaids”’ Melissa McCarthy and not “Moneyball”’s Jonah Hill who takes it this year — and that they don’t sandwich these presentations between the Art Direction, Cinematography, Costume Design and other categories nobody really cares about. They usually begin with Supporting Actress, and, should she win, McCarthy will definitely start the evening off on the right foot. The other category I’ll be watching for is the Original Song award. It better go to Flight of the Conchords’ Bret McKenzie for his song from “The Muppets.” Aside from those few reasons, there is not much to be excited about for this Sunday’s Academy Awards. So best of luck to you, Mr. Crystal. You’re gonna need it.

The 84th Academy Awards | Sunday, February 26 | 8:30 p.m. | ABC | oscar.com

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V. 23 | NO. 08


OPENING FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24

COMEDY

“Wanderlust,” rated R, starring Paul Rudd, Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux. The second, following “Horrible Bosses,” in Jennifer Aniston’s attempt to transform herself from the rom-com girl next door to a sex machine. In this one, she and her onscreen husband ditch their Manhattan life for one in a hippie commune. “Good Deeds,” rated PG-13, starring Tyler Perry, Gabrielle Union, Thandie Newton, Eddie Cibrian. No Madea in this one, though it probably doesn’t matter to Perry fans.

THRILLER

“Gone,” PG-13, starring Amanda Seyfried, Wes Bentley. Speaking of good girls gone bad, Amanda Seyfried plays a victim turned vigilante who escapes a serial killer only to have him return and take her sister. “Act of Valor,” rated R, starring real-life Navy SEALs. Moviegoers say they want realism, so it’ll be interesting to see how many of those go see this movie, starring SEALs instead of stars, which doesn’t get any more real.

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“Wet Hot American Summer” Yes, Paul Rudd has a movie in theaters this weekend, but if you don’t want to shell out money to go to the movies, there are plenty of ways to get your Rudd fix. We can recommend lots — including “Clueless” and “Anchorman” — but, to get the most bang for your buck, try this 2001 comedy. Not only does Rudd make an appearance (as a jerk, no less), but so does Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Molly Shannon, Christopher Meloni, Elizabeth Banks, Michael Ian Black, Bradley Cooper and Amy Poehler. It’s premise, hearkening back to classics like “Meatballs,” is ridiculous: On the last day of a Jewish camp, a bunch of horny campers and counselors are trying to get some while simultaneously trying to stage the best talent show in history and keep the camp from being destroyed from a piece of NASA’s Skylab that appears to be coming right for them. Dumb? Absolutely. But it’s worth it to see Meloni (“Law and Order Special Victims Unit”) shed his buttoned-up image and talk to a can of vegetables. Word has it a sequel might be in the works. We can only hope. V. 23 | NO. 08

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IN THE MIX

Aaron Brock Bartender, Shannon’s

Aaron Brock, along with his older brother Ethan, is a well-known artist in Augusta. But he’s also an accomplished bartender at Shannon’s, who, on Fat Tuesday’s, was bemoaning the lack of places (besides the two that would be packed) to get a real, New Orleans style Hurricane. A native of South Dakota (“I’m one of the five people who you’ll ever meet from South Dakota,” he laughs), Aaron and his family moved to the Augusta area when he was a teenager and decided to stay. “I was finishing up school and had a job and thought it was about time to live on my own,” he said. “The folks moved and my brother and I stayed. The funny thing is, the folks are getting ready to move back.” When he’s not sculpting or slinging drinks, Aaron has plenty of hobbies to keep him busy. “I’m a very avid gardener and I love to bake,” he said. “I bake pies. Old-fashioned pies, too, make you want to slap your grandma. Lard crusts.” Yum. What is your dream car? A tank. Why do you play disc golf? It’s really a great excuse to just get out and hike once a week. What’s your favorite childhood memory? I had a good childhood so this is hard. I really did. Maybe picking grapes down in Phoenix. You could pick anything down there. Grapes, apricots, plums, grapefruits, oranges, lemons… you name it. Last movie you watched? “Madea Goes to Jail.” I watched it last night. It was high-larious. Favorite food? My favorite food right now is pho. It’s a Vietnamese soup… so good for hangovers. Wasabi Express. Favorite restaurant in Augusta? 5 O’Clock Bistro. Best service I’ve had in a while. What’s your passion? To create beautiful, wonderful things. What is your most guilty pleasure? Conquering the world at the game of Risk.

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ART 45

AMYCHRISTIAN

The Beat Goes On The Band Art Project, now in its third year, started out as a school project Stephanie Forbes was a senior at Greenbrier High School and literally had three days to decide on a topic for her senior project, a requirement for graduation. “I knew I wanted to do something art-related but I had no idea what I was going to do,” said the girl known to her father, and now everyone else, as Sunshine. “I was painting one day and listening to my iPod and I noticed that my paintbrush was literally moving to the beat of the music. I noticed the correlation and decided I wanted to do something that combined music and art.” Of course, Stephanie already knew that music and art go together like pb&j. She had begun painting and drawing on guitars in 2008, the year before her senior project was due. “It’s really funny because it kind of wasn’t even my idea,” she explained. “I was doodling on paper one day and this guy I knew, Scott Sizemore, asked me to paint his guitar and I freaked out. I always liked the idea of doing it but I never thought someone would trust me with their guitar. Honestly, if Scott hadn’t asked me to do it, then I don’t know if I would have ever started.” Stephanie, who also sings and plays guitar — “I’m not that great at it, but I do try,” she says — decided to do something a little different from her classmates who, a lot of times, learn a new skill or job-shadow a professional person for their senior project. “I chose to host an event,” she said. She called that event the Band Art Project and it consisted of live music played by a band while, one by one, 13 artists joined the musicians on stage to create a work on canvas inspired by what they heard. The project was a success, garnering Forbes the Senior Project Award at Greenbrier and inspiring her to continue the event. This year’s Band Art Project will be held Saturday at Freedom Bible Church. Though successful, Forbes admits she had a difficult time that first year getting artists to participate — not because they didn’t want to, but because they were hesitant about the time restrictions. During the event, each artist is given one song to start and finish a work on a 30x40 canvas, a monumental undertaking for many who were used to having days, if not weeks, to complete a painting. “I had to do a lot of convincing,” she said of that first year. “I had about three artists turn me down because they didn’t want to make a fool of themselves.” As a participating artist herself, Forbes said she couldn’t blame them. “It is nerve wracking and scary, but I tell the artists that as soon as you get on stage everything disappears,” she said. “It’s just a moment that you’re completely inspired by the music and it doesn’t matter what you create because it’s all beautiful. It’s just you and the canvas; everything else disappears.” She then added that almost all of the participants found the time limits freeing rather than restricting and ended up loving the Band Art Project, as evidenced by their continued participation.

30 METRO SPIRIT 02.23.12

This year, the number of artists has risen to 16, while the bands participating are up to three (four if you count Forbes herself, who will sing one song). “Every artist who did it the first year is back again for the third year and participated in the second one, too,” she said. “It is a nerve-wracking thing, but it is also a special thing and it’s not as bad as they think.” Bands performing include The Industry, The Mood and Eleventhour, and artists include Jay Jacobs, Ruth Pearl, Miles Kilpatrick, Jordan Tejeda, Jack Lowery, Carrie Brooks (Forbes’ high school art teacher), Cathy Tiller, Lane Peters, Leonard Zimmerman, billy s, Brian Stewart, Jesse Lee Vaughn, Andy Bullard, Blaine Prescott, Rob Forbes and Austin Peters. As always, the completed canvases are donated to Walton Rehab, which will sell them April 12 during their annual Undercover Artists Show to raise money for Camp To Be Independent, a summer program for those with brain injuries. Forbes said that, last year, the canvases from the Band Art Project raised approximately $2,000 for the camp. Though spectators won’t be able to buy any of the night’s work, Forbes said a new component of this year’s Band Art Project is the $20 Art Room, in which those interested can pay $20 and choose from any work provided by artists participating in the show. Plans are already underway for 2013’s Band Art Project and Forbes, who recently bought Broad Street’s Gaardensity Gallery, says she hopes to move it downtown. Regardless of where it ends up, she said her plan is to make what started as a school project into an annual part of Augusta’s calendar of events. “A lot of people don’t continue on with their senior projects. I didn’t even know I was going to, but it came to be something that I’m so passionate about that I did,” she said. “My intent is for it to become bigger and bigger each year and for it just to become a part of Augusta.” Third Annual Band Art Project | Freedom Bible Church, 207 North Belair Road Saturday, February 25 | 7 p.m. | Free | bandartproject.com

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What could be better than a great coffee and a good book? When it helps your community. Shopping at GoodBooks Ca fé supports Goodwill’s job training and place ment services across the CSRA.

GoodBooks Café

Specializing in gourmet coffees, smoothies, paninis, salads, and VeryVera desserts Open Mon-Sat 9AM-8PM, Sun Noon-5PM 3179 Washington Road (Corner of Fury’s Ferry) Donate your gently used books today and help someone start a new chapter in their life! www.goodwillworks.org

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SPONSOR THE

Metro Spirit’s Pet Page! lauren@themetrospirit.com

Heartsong Has a Heart for Homeless Animals Heartsong Spay Neuter Clinic  opened when founders Erik and Loretta Emmons of Martinez realized that their 501(c)3 nonprofit rescue was not doing enough to save the many animals from the local and state shelters.  The Emmons’ opened the first clinic in Martinez in 2006. Since then they have sterilized over 15,000 pets in the original clinic and have opened two more high-quality low-cost clinics. The second clinic opened August 3, 2008, in Aiken, S.C. and the third opened October 7, 2009, in Clearfield, Utah.  The new location of Heartsong Spay Neuter Clinic at 421S Belair Road boasts full-service grooming, as well as cage-free and traditional boarding and daycare services. Beginning February 20, training classes, which include Canine Good Citizen (CGC), STAR Puppy, Therapy Dog and all levels of obedience, will begin. Heading these classes is Loretta Emmons, who has been a trainer, professional handler and kennel master for more than 25 years, during which she has brought a wealth of expertise and gentle positive reinforcement training to our area. As an all-breeds handler, both canine and feline, Loretta had the opportunity to work with many breeds, gaining insight into their characteristics, training needs and behaviors.  Loretta has been an AKC judge for nearly 10 years, utilizing her skills to improve the standards of those breeds. As a junior showmanship judge, she realizes the future of the sport is with the next generation.  Heartsong offers education classes for local schools and has been involved with Belvedere Elementary School's Science Day in North Augusta for the past three years. The Lodge will offer day and evening camps for young people from 8-17 starting the summer of 2012. The drive to help people afford their pets’ care, thereby keeping them from the county shelters and landfills, drives the increase in services, affordable prices and opening of new facilities around the country. According to a neighboring county shelter, the efforts of the spay neuter clinic have reduced the number of euthanasia in their facility by over 2,500 per year. Heartsong Animal Rescue takes in and rehomes over 1,100 animals every year where are kept in a network of volunteers who keep them in foster homes. The model is successful because the animals are loved and treated as family members while awaiting their forever homes.  Heartsong takes in the harder to place animals, those who have medical issues, and those who are forgotten at the high-kill shelters by owners who don't care that the end days of their pet may be in a cold damp cell with no one to love.  Heartsong has canine ambassadors that travel

32 METRO SPIRIT 02.23.12

Upcoming Benefits March 31 Block Party 2012 Sponsored by Vic’s Motorcycle Sales and Service. 10 a.m. 2113 Harding Rd (off Peach Orchard Rd) Augusta, GA 30906

with us to schools and educate our young people about the importance of commitment and responsibility.  What does the future hold? Heartsong has begun the groundwork for a Community Cat Sanctuary for feral cats that have been displaced. The ongoing effort to reduce the numbers of feral cats by natural means — spay and neuter, vaccinations and allowing them to live out their lives without repopulating — is high on the agenda of Heartsong for the CSRA. For more information, visit heartsonganimalrescue.com, thelodgeatheartsong.com and heartsongspayneuter.com, or friend us on Facebook.

A benefit for Feathered Friends Forever Bird Sanctuary in Harlem, admission is $10 and the event includes live music from bands and DJs, a Poker Run, field events, a live internet feed and raffles. For more information on the event, call 706-691-5093 or 803-640-4329. For more information on Feathered Friends Forever, a nonprofit that cares for exotic birds, visit featheredfriendsforever.org. May 20 Village Deli’s Annual Charity Golf Tournament A benefit for That’s What Friends Are For, Inc., a 501C3 that raises money for local rescues, spay and neuter and more. Registration will begin in March. Call 706-736-3691 or visit thatswhatfriendsarefor.org.

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. Tractor Supply 596 Bobby Jones Expressway, next to Sam’s Club Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4 p.m. AARF volunteers@aarf.net Augusta Humane Society 706-736-0186 Augusta-Richmond Co. Animal Services 706-790-6836

Feathered Friends Forever 706-556-2424 featheredfriendsforever.org

Old Fella Burke County pope.jodi@gmail.com oldfella.org

Girard Life Saver 706-871-8273, 478-569-9209 samantha@girard-lifesaver.org

STARS 706-592-4158 starsrescue.org

Graced Kennels 706-738-7168

Washington-Wilkes Humane 706-678-2287

Boston Terrier Rescue of South Carolina 706-726-2221 or 803-279-8069 bostonrescueofsc.org

Happy Tails 706-955-0438, 706-836-2708 csrahappytails@gmail.com

Columbia Co. Animal Services 706-541-4077

Heartsong 706-855-1241 heartsongent@hotmail.com

CSRA Chihuahua Rescue 706-825-8090, 706-763-8071 csrachihuahuarescue@gmail.com CSRA Humane Society 706-261-7387 csrshumanesociety.org

Helping Hands Humane Society 706-456-3339 wytwch@yahoo.com Long Dog Rescue 706-854-8646 bmeismer@comcast.net

Fundraising Organizations for Local Rescue and Spay/Neuter Efforts PawPrints Foundation 706-863-2067 pawprintsfoundation.org That’s What Friends Are For, Inc. c/o The Village Deli 706-736-3691 thatswhatfriendsarefor.org

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34 METRO SPIRIT 02.23.12

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Thursday, February 23 Live Music

Coyote’s - Bang Tango, Hell’s 40 Acres French Market Grille West - Doc Easton Smooth Jazz Joe’s Underground – Jamie Jones Laura’s Backyard Tavern – Allen & Larry O Lounge - Jazmine Soul Band Red Pepper Cafe - Funk/Fusion Jazz Rose Hill Stables - Preston, Weston and Sandra Surrey Tavern – Sibling String Travinia’s - Smooth Jazz Wild Wing – Sun Dried Vibes The Willcox - Classic Jazz

What’s Tonight?

Casa Blanca - Thursday Tango Club Argos - Karaoke Cocktails Lounge - Karaoke Coyote’s - Karaoke Fishbowl Lounge - Karaoke Fox’s Lair - Soup, Suds & Conversations Helga’s Pub & Grille - Trivia The Highlander - Butt Naked Trivia The Library - DJ Kris Fisher The Loft - Karaoke Malibu Jack’s - Sports Trivia with Mike Thomas Mi Rancho (Downtown) - Karaoke Mi Rancho (Evans) - Karaoke The Playground - Open Mic with Brandy Shannon’s - Karaoke Sky City – Ayo K, Joycette, Splaxxed Out Somewhere in Augusta - Keno, Poker Soul Bar - Boom Box Villa Europa - Karaoke Wooden Barrel - ’80s Night Karaoke

The Playground - Jesup Dolly, JK & the Lost Boys Sky City - Nappy Roots, Anthony “Sleepyeyez” Carter, Eternal Everlasting, DJ Nick Snow Stillwater Tap Room – Adam Klein Surrey Tavern - Pretty Petty, the Broadcast Wild Wing – Irritating Julie

What’s Tonight?

Club Argos - Variety Show Cocktails Lounge - Grown-Up Fridays Cork and Bull Pub - Karaoke Eagle’s Nest - Free Salsa Lessons; Latin Dance Party First Round - DJ Kris Fisher Fishbowl Lounge - Karaoke

Acoustic Jam Session with Eryn Eubanks and the Family Fold Cotton Patch – Keith Gregory Country Club – Ross Coppley Coyote’s – Jeremy Graham Band Fox’s Lair – R2D1 Hotel Aiken – Pretty Petty Joe’s Underground – Will McCranie Malibu Jack’s - South Atlantic P.I. Bar and Grill - Smooth Jazz Sector 7G – Synapse Defect, Devour the Dead, Off Gods and Man, Only in October Sky City - Black Tusk, Nuklear Blast Suntan Stillwater Tap Room – Funk You Surrey Tavern – The Broadcast Wild Wing – Mad Margritt

What’s Tonight?

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5 O’Clock Bistro - Buzz and Candice Casa Blanca Cafe - Karen Gordon The Willcox - Jazz Jam Session Wild Wing – TJ Mimbs

What’s Tonight?

Malibu Jack’s - Karaoke with Mike Swift Mi Rancho (Downtown) - Karaoke Mi Rancho (Washington Road) - Karaoke, Salsa Dancing

Monday, February 27 Live Music

The Playground- Barb Wire Dolls w/ Shotgun Opera Sky City- Ryan Star, Michael Tolcher

What’s Tonight?

Applebee’s (Evans) - Trivia Club Argos - Karaoke Malibu Jack’s - Trivia with Mike Thomas Mi Rancho (Downtown) - Trivia with Mike Thomas Somewhere In Augusta - Free Poker Tournaments Wild Wing – Trivia

Tuesday, February 28 Live Music Cocktails Lounge - Live Music The Highlander - Open Mic Night Wild Wing – Sabo & Mike The Willcox - Piano Jazz

What’s Tonight?

Club Argos - Karaoke Fishbowl Lounge - Dart League Laura’s Backyard Tavern - Karaoke Malibu Jack’s - Karaoke with Denny Somewhere In Augusta - Big Prize Trivia & Hawk Talk

Friday, February 24 Live Music

Carolina Ale House – Jim Perkins Cotton Patch – Old Man Crazy Country Club – Natalie Stovall Coyote’s – Jeremy Graham Band Fox’s Lair – Billy McKnight French Market Grille West - Doc Easton Hotel Aiken – Robbie Duey Band Joe’s Underground – Randall & The Rest of Em Malibu Jack’s - Tony Williams Blues Express PI Bar & Grill - Jazz Duo

Sunday, February 26 Live Music

Wednesday, February 29 Live Music 209 on the River - Smooth Grooves Joe’s Underground – Sibling String Malibu Jack’s - Marilyn Adcock Wild Wing – Erik Smallwood 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 Rebeck’s Hideaway - Open Mic Roadrunner Cafe - Karaoke with Steve Chappel Soul Bar – Pop Life Tropicabana - Latin Friday Wheels - Live DJ Wooden Barrel - Karaoke Contest

Saturday, February 25 Live Music The Acoustic Coffeehouse - Open

Club Argos - Variety Show Cocktails Lounge - Latin Night Crazy Turk’s - DJ Kris Fisher Fishbowl Lounge - Karaoke Fox’s Lair - Karaoke Helga’s Pub & Grille - Trivia The Loft - Karaoke Mi Rancho (Downtown) - Karaoke with Rockin Rob Mi Rancho (Clearwater) - Karaoke with Danny Haywood Mi Rancho (Washington Road) - Karaoke Ms. Carolyn’s - Karaoke One Hundred Laurens - DJ Kenny Ray Robbie’s - Saturday Night Dance Party Tropicabana - Salsa Saturday Wheels - Live DJ Wooden Barrel - Kamikaze Karaoke

What’s Tonight?

Club Argos - Santoni’s Satin Dolls Cocktails Lounge - Augusta’s Got Talent Cotton Patch - Trivia and Tunes Coyote’s - Drink N Drown w/ Snow Bunny Bikini Contest Hotel Aiken - Karaoke w/ Tom Mitchell Laura’s Backyard Tavern - Karaoke The Loft - Karaoke 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 w/ Jason Russell & Michael Mitchell Surrey Tavern - Trivia V. 23 | NO. 08


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38 METRO SPIRIT 02.23.12

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IN MUSIC

Anyone Want Some More Rock Shows?

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e h a littl t i w e f i rl vor we up you SPICE the Border fla ILD for! W f South o 're gonna go ou think y

Okay, so I don’t know what is going on, but it seems to be raining rock shows in Augusta. Your calendar should be getting quite full. Just announced on Tuesday, Seether and Chevelle, with specials guests Black Stone Cherry and New Medicine, will be performing at the Lady Antebellum Pavilion at the Evans Towne Center Park on Thursday, May 3. Tickets go on sale Friday, February 25, at 10 a.m. And check out the deal on tickets: there’s a $30 early-bird advance through March 24. Then it goes to $35 after that and $40 the day of the show. And for you wild and crazy kids, a limited number of pit area tickets, directly in front of the stage, will be available for $55 each. This is awesome for Augusta, and definitely for everyone under 21. That’s right, an all-ages show. Enjoy. And now, let the crazy wide world of music begin. I’ll start you out with a good question: Do you know how I know that Bobby Brown is classy? Well, I found out when he walked out of Whitney Houston’s funeral because of a seating dispute. Good one. When asked for a statement, Bobby replied, “It’s my prerogative.” In other news of the mentally insane, Rihanna and Chris Brown have announced that they will each be featured on remixes of each other’s songs. I guess Rihanna is desperate for more hits. (You see what I did there?) “America’s Got Talent” host Nick Cannon officially resigned from his radio gig in New York City. Cannon has been ill these past few weeks, so under doctors orders, he was asked to put his health first. I’m not sure what is more surprising, Nick Cannon quitting his radio job or finding out that Nick Cannon had a radio job. We got one summer break from them touring, but it looks like they are back with a ton of summer dates. Dave Matthews Band is set to hit the road in May, and will actually be playing a couple dates near us, May 22 in Atlanta and May 23 in Charlotte. Hey, remember that one time their bus dropped gallons of feces on people in the Chicago River? That was awesome. Wait a second, is that Fire Marshall Bill? Nope, that’s Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. The newly reunited California band has announced an extensive reunion tour. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Beach Boys, but I love the Beach Boys from the 1960s, and that’s how I would like to keep it. Except for that one episode of “Full House” when John Stamos played with them. Now that was special. Catch the Beach Boys, minus John Stamos, in Atlanta on April 28. Download of the week: Anything by Sleigh Bells. Something different in your life is always good. Check out their performance from this past week on “Saturday Night Live.” Lana Del Rey should be taking notes. Side note: Justin Timberlake impersonating Bon Iver was priceless. In a look back on how old you are, Kurt Cobain would have been 45 this week. I bet he would have loved Facebook and Twitter. Couple dates to mark in your calendars for the Augusta rock band, G-City Rockers. The guys are playing at The Playground on March 2 with Motley Crude and at 1102 Downtown Bar and Grill on March 23. $5 shows are the best. Check out The Barb Wire Dolls and my buddies in Shotgun Opera Monday, February 27, at The Playground. The Barb Wire Dolls are led by some chick named Isis Queen and she looks dirty. I’m there. What shows am I missing? What venues do you think I should check out? You’re one email away from letting me know. Email matt@themetrospirit.com.

MATTSTONE can be heard weekdays from 2-6 p.m. on 95 Rock. V. 23 | NO. 08

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T E E T R S

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with Irritating Julie Saturday Night Live

Mad Margritt Sunday

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ON THE BALL

Cattle Call Future millionaires head to Indy with millions at stake

The NFL Combine is one of the most important events of the offseason for NFL franchises. Players prance around in their underwear, desperately trying to look their fittest, fastest and strongest in an effort to draw acclaim from GMs and owners alike by way of extra zeros in their rookie contracts that come with their coveted draft position. Outside of the draft that takes place late in April, no other event promises to be more attention-wrangling than the Combine. And just to give you a little background, in 2010, the Combine was watched by 5.2 million American homes on the NFL Network. Those numbers were better than any 2010 regular season baseball game on ESPN all year! ESPN is also in 43 million more homes than NFL Network. Sold on the importance yet? What we find most riveting is not only the process of finding out how our favorite college players measure up during the event, but in unknown gems that are unearthed throughout the event that spans from this Friday through next Tuesday. Like in 2008, when Chris Johnson, formerly of the East Carolina Pirates and now a member of the Tennessee Titans, ran his record setting 4.24 electronically timed 40 yard dash that quickly blasted him into the nation’s consciousness. (He won the NFL’s rushing title in only his second year of professional football, and became the sixth player in history to break 2,000 yards in a season.) The power of the unknown in sports is what arouses interest for fans and keeps the NFL’s motor running in overdrive year-round. NFL Network’s Mike Mayock — who is one of the most respected analysts in the NFL — released his pre-Combine Top 5 rankings for each position group, so let’s take a look at where the standouts from our regional college teams stack up before the all-important cattle call. Wide Receiver 5. Alshon Jeffery-USC Had problems separating from defenders this year. Will need to run in mid-4.5 range to standout. Tight End 1. Orson Charles-UGA (in photo) Early entry whose receiver style promise has coaches licking their chops, and extending their play charts. 3. Dwayne Allen-Clemson Another pass catching tight end that fits the mold of the current trend in the NFL. Everybody go deep! Offensive Tackle 5. Cordy Glenn-UGA Had a great week at the Senior Bowl. Invited to Combine as a tackle, but grades out as an A+ interior lineman.

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Defensive End 1. Melvin Ingram-USC His play speaks for itself. Everyone knows the havoc this guy creates off the edge. Combine success is just icing on the cake for this playmaker. 3. Andre Branch-Clemson Speed rusher with an NFL frame. Strength and power are his only question areas. Defensive Tackle 5. Brandon Thompson-Clemson Arguably made biggest jump in Senior Bowl practices with his solid play. Became a safe player to draft and, like Ingram, does not need outlandish testing numbers to prove value.

MATTLANE is host of The Weekend Rundown which airs from 10 a.m.-noon Saturdays on News-Talk-Sports 1630 AM. He can be reached at mattlane28@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @Mattlane28. V. 23 | NO. 08


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WHINE

LINE

WHINELINE@THEMETROSPIRIT.COM

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 Wednesday’s issue. Oh, and whines may be edited for content but will pretty much be printed exactly as you type them.

Anybody remember WBBQ? Of course you do, which will make visiting marksummersinthemorning.com a nice little walk down memory lane. Summers, who hosted the morning show, not only spun records, but entertained his audience with tales of the Lizard Man and other characters. Well, somebody has assembled some clips from these old shows for your listening pleasure. And you’ll also get to see George Weiss in Car One, so what’s not to love?

Every time I see a picture of Barry White (CEO of the CVB), I picture him saying “Mr. McClane, give me back my detonators.”

How wonderful that the Diaz couple and their illegal workers were caught and will get deported. And that their $1.7 million house and other assets can be seized. Wonder where the monies will end up? Why did someone think that a union would have prevented company layoffs? No way for anyone to guarantee jobs if they can’t afford to pay someone for the job. So glad that Feb. 14 is over with. Now to run out to get chocolates on discounts! Was it bad karma or stupidity that arranged for this retreat for the mayor and commissioners this week right in the Marriott, whose owners are related to the ones who created all this fuss and furor over the parking deck? If the TEE Center deal doesn’t open people’s eyes to see how the Augusta-Richmond County Government exists at the pleasure of Billy Morris, I don’t know what will. Honestly, folks. It’s like Pullman, Chicago, around here. WTH are you talking about with the black helicopters on the TEE Center parking deck? Couldn’t find the punchline anywhere in the paper.

42 METRO SPIRIT 02.23.12

WERECOMMEND

Your Feb. 16 cover was way too zombie apocalypse. Why on earth did they hire THAT tourism expert Stop freaking me out. who spoke on Wednesday, Feb. 15? He said there was nothing to do at downtown around 6 p.m., that The next time I see a lazy, good for nothing welfare a cannon could have been shot off down Broad and/or disability recipient with your five kids (you Street. Why did he not ask someone of the AMCVB know who you are) in a public place wearing your about events, the group that paid him to speak? pajamas bottoms at 1pm, I am going to pants you Why did he not look at a web site for information on right in front of everyone.I mean seriously, put on events on Feb. 14? some pants when you pick up your ramen noodles. why can’t I get a decent bowl of chicken noodle soup in this town? God Bless the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department! Out here in Rural Columbia County there’s Little Else that we receive for our Ever Increasing Taxes! At what point in one’s life do they realize the noises their mouth make while eating are grotesque and inappropriate not only at work but while you are around any hearing person.

V. 23 | NO. 08


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Metro Spirit 02.23.2012