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table of contents whine line


tom tomorrow


thumbs up, thumbs down


we recommend






news of the weird




are you not entertained




a taste of greece








jenny is wright


art in the park


what are you looking at?


nytimes crossword


free will astrology






after dark


the download




advice goddess


yanked south


austin rhodes


Metro Spirit is a free newspaper published weekly on Thursday, 52 weeks a year. Editorial coverage includes local issues and news, arts, entertainment, people, places and events. In our Production Director paper appear views from across the Amy Christian political and social spectrum. The views do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher. Visit us at漏 15 House, Lead Designer LLC. Owner/Publisher: Joe White. Gabe Vega Legal: Phillip Scott Hibbard. Reproduction or use without is prohibited. One c o v e r d e s i g n permission copy per person, please.

Writer Eric Johnson


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whineLINE It takes a good minute to establish a new business, which essentially is where the Spirit finds itself. What I would love to see is all those businesses who bitched and moaned about its demise those few short months ago, put their hands in their pockets and support it with their advertising dollars. And, it would be equally brilliant to hear more positive comments from those readers that also bitched and moaned, who now have their precious Spirit back. We all know that the Spirit is better than any other paper out there. Great job guys, in spite of the slightly bizarre Waffle House moment, you are loved! where did you move to? i went to your office and its empty. are you floating around on a cloud somewhere? why arent there a list of who works there? going for mysterious? What is that noise in Evans????? It’s like a constant whirring or buzzing sound-it’s making me nucking futs!!!! So who got fired & who got hired? I don’t know where the creator went but come out, come out wherever you are!!! This actually used to be fun reading... This new Metro Spirit sucks!!! About that NY Times Crossword Puzzle mixup, I actually SOLVED that thing. There was an algorithm imbedded in the clue numbers that made everything fit perfectly.

Geee I thought that this rag was gone. At least you did not have any Davis or Palmer whines, Thankfully! do you offer subscriptions? its great to have you back in publication!! no changes necessary but additions are welcome. congratulations. Are you no longer printing newspapers? Has metro spirit been shut down due to financial problems? I miss reading your paper and knowing what’s going on in the CSRA. Thanks I can hear Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler singing, “back in the saddle again...” Congrats to you guys! You are always the consummate professionals. Welcome back!1 ya’ll were missed! Why don’t you make your publication available in Waynesboro and cover the Waynesboro area also? Can anyone tell me where I can purchase a white German Shephard? Don’t know if you really went anywhere... but you are back with The Advice Goddess (not to mention News of the Wierd). Once again, I will make a priority of picking up the Metro Spirit. Thanks. So glad that ‘yall’ are back... was really missing you. I hope that we aren’t the only readers who enjoy the CROSSWORD PUZZLE that you include in Metro Spirit, in addition to everything else.

Has anyone notified you that this week’s and last week’s crossword puzzles are A MESS? Some clues are actually missing. I thought last week a fluke, but there it is again this week. PLZ check into that ........... my only complaint. Brittany James is the coolest. God I want to be just like her. I want to read “Jenny is Wright” on line each week. Can’t pick-up the hard copy when I live in Atlanta. I don’t understand the point of the After Dark section by Brittany James. It seems like a “holier than thou” personal whine line for herself. I’m not sure why it is in the paper. I guess it is supposed to be comical but it reads like a note passed from one cheerleader to another in high school. Let’s all complain about places that we are not even required to go to. C’mon now. Two things: ain’t a website if there’s no content. Either put something up here or just take it down. 2. re: Brittny’s night life articles - a PLUM is a fruit, the word you are looking for is PLUMB. Are you guys texting copy in? While I like how the Spirit magazine is changing and I’m sure we’re going to see more changes as it continues to pick up where it left off... but seriously, what is up with the web site?!? Where is all the content that once provided at least a glimpse at what was going on in the Augusta area. I thought being a hub to all local events was a strong point of the Spirit, when can see this coming back?

Can someone please let the voters in South Augusta know when the road coming from the Airportwill be fixed. We have been dealing with that one lane of the road for over 3 years now.... what the hell is going on, the road has been repaved and that small part of the road has yet to be fixed. Water remains to fill in those holes...GET UR DONE AUGUSTA~ I have never been so taken back and disgusted at a restaurant owner in my life. I was out today enjoying my Saturday night with the ladies... dancing, drinking having a good time. We noticed a restaurant manager not just yelling at an employee but cursing and being very abusive to her, she just so happened to be our waitress. We were stunned. We called him over to ask what his problem was she was in tears, then he proceeded to yell and argue with us. Trying to tell us what our server had done wrong, when she was great with us and everyone around us. We will never set foot back into this establishment and we will tell all of our friends that this man not only verbally abused the waitress in front of everyone but decided to speak with us like that as well. Put down the scotch, from what I was told is this man’s favorite beverage, and look in the mirror. You are the one who needs a grasp on what is wrong and what is right. Didn’t your mother teach you to talk to people the way you would want to be spoken too?



If you need someone to proofread the whines, let me know... Re: Reparation for the Revolutionary War! I think that Great Britain should Cancel that “Royal honeymoon”! The Queen should Hock the Royal Jewels! Then, Use those Big Bucks to Repay US for the Cost of our “War of Freedom from British Tyranny”! With Compounded Interest since 1776, this Sum should Pay Off Our National Debt! C’mon Queenie! Give It Up! How do Companies get away with Economic Downsizing of employees (who have earned the paychecks they get through years of faithful service) and then place the same jobs in the paper at 1/5 the pay? First a rave...I just finished reading the Metro Spirit dated 4.28.11. The format, type face, etc. are very nice. The rants are as follows: 1. Page 12...“We’re everywhere you are.” That may be true but you seem to have changed the distribution date to Thursday. Senior citizens, of which I am one, shop groceries on senior citizen discount days. Kroger, Bi-Lo, Food Lion and many other stores offer that discount on Wednesdays. That means picking up the Spirit on Wednesday rather than Thursday. 2. Page 38...In regards to Metro Spirit boxes, on rare occasions in the past, when I didn’t shop on Wednesday, I was able to pick up the Spirit in the yellow box at the CITGO Station, corner of Bath-Edie and Deans Bridge Roads. There has been no distribution at that box since you revived the Spirit. (I tried to send a note about this from your web site last week. I don’t think that worked.) In any case, I used to pick up and read the Metro Spirit almost religiously every week. I’m sorry to say, you have lost me. Change can be good. Change can be bad. This is one case where it’s bad. Rest in peace Metro Spirit. Sad goodbyes, Mickey The front pages of over 800 newspapers from more than 77 countries each day. There’s a map of the United States with red dots showing where the papers are located. Click on the dot and BAM! that day’s front page pops up in a window. A fascinating way to spend a few minutes each day.



Osama bin Laden is dead.


Kim Jong Il is still alive... which wouldn’t be so bad if he was more like his character on last week’s “30 Rock.”




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

Internal Investigation in Conference Center Killing Insiders say at least one high-ranking official in the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department may face career-altering consequences if it is found he lied to fellow officers in the aftermath of the Belair Conference Center murder. The March 19 shooting occurred when Augusta teens with gang affiliations crashed a birthday party at the facility. James Gillette, an employee of the conference center, was hit by gunfire as

he attempted to gather young people together out of harm’s way when the party crashers turned violent. He died at the scene a hero. Party organizers did not hire a special-duty deputy, whose presence may well have curtailed the crashing before it ever occurred. Now there is word that in fact there was a request for a Columbia County deputy to be present at the party from the very

beginning. Apparently, that request was either lost or went unnoticed. On the surface, it appeared to be an honest mistake that the request went unfulfilled. However, supervisors are now probing the possibility that the officer in charge of assigning such duty may have attempted to cover up his mistake. At issue is a deleted email sent to the department requesting a special-duty

deputy for the night in question. So while it appears the absence of the officer was an honest mistake or an oversight, the alleged cover-up of that fact is of serious concern to lawenforcement leadership. Word is, at the very least, significant changes are coming for the way such duties are requested and assigned.

Mayor’s Receptionist’s Complaint Follow-Up As you read here a couple of weeks ago, the receptionist/secretary for Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver, Natasha McFarley, created quite a stir at the Marble Palace when she filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaint alleging

discrimination and unfair treatment in the form of unequal salary as compared with the mayor’s high-profile assistant (and close personal friend) Karyn Nixon. There were about a dozen closed-door interviews conducted a few weeks ago involving the matter, but now we have

word that EEOC investigators have found “no foundation” for the complaint. No word yet on whether McFarley will attempt to push the issue in civil court (which seems unlikely), or if she will continue in her current position following

what many say was an uncomfortable and time-consuming investigation. Certainly makes for awkward cubicle buddies.

Aw yeah, that’s good n all, but... Together again? Not so fast partner. It was less than 12 hours after the triumphant dispatchment of Osama bin Laden that the right began weaving a storyline to actually discredit President Obama’s actions and take credit themselves. As quoted from the New York Times, “The president’s decision to order a raid on the compound — the only way to gather proof of Bin Laden’s death — rather than

destroying it from the air, showed guts.” Joel Achenbach of the Washington Post sized it up nicely: “An eruption of comity can last about 48 hours, max, in today’s political environment. There are too many organizations for which divisiveness is the core of the business model. So although President Obama said last night that he hoped the feeling of unity post-Osama would last, he surely knows he’s dreaming.”

We should all be celebrating and remembering. Unfortunately about half of us apparentley busied ourselves creating a narrative more suitable to our political palate. Less that 24 hours after the mastermind of 9/11 was finally brought to justice. There has to be more meaning to our country than that.



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Tipsey Wars Two local bars stumble into court

Augusta and Aiken don’t have all that much in common and, for the most part, they seem to be fine with that. A place for everything and everything in its place. You stay on your side of the river, I’ll say on mine. Given this high degree of indifference, it’s funny to consider the dodgy little enterprise that unites them. Tipsey McStumbles. If you haven’t heard by now, there is a Tipsey McStumbles on Broad Street in Augusta and there’s a nearly identical Tipsey McStumbles on the Alley in Aiken. Same look. Same sign. Totally different — and totally feuding — owners. In fact, Augusta Tipsey (Michael Anglin) is accusing Aiken Tipsey (Christopher Griffin) of opening a bar with the same name and logo. In federal court. Not to be outdone, Aiken Tipsey is


accusing Augusta Tipsey of copyright infringement. While the court documents reference important-sounding things like the Tipsey Mark, trade dress and proprietary interests, when it comes right down to it, it’s really just two guys fighting over an atmosphere made up of stripper poles, exposed ceiling beams and Catholic school girl outfits. Classy, huh? It gets better. In an email, Aiken Tipsey actually threatens to seek out Augusta Tipsey’s lawyer Robert Mullins for his actions against his rights. “I have always owned the rights since the day I came up with this concept,” Aiken Tipsey wrote. “My name. My concept and my designs. No questions. Your client is a thief and a liar.” In an affidavit dated two days later, Augusta Tipsey outlines the situation as he sees it: he organized Tipsey McStumbles LLC in May of 2007, is

the sole member and manager of the organization and paid a graphic artist to design the logo, which he alleges Aiken Tipsey appropriated for is own bar in Aiken. He’s also miffed about what he’s calling an illegally obtained copyright. Such bickering may be excessive, but it’s nothing new in the bar industry, where cash flows dry up quickly and anyone with a few bucks to spend is a potential business partner. But talking to Country Club owner Jason Wrens, you almost get the feeling that it doesn’t have to be that way Instead of injunctions and cease and desist orders, he and the Country Club actually bankroll an employee cruise as well as an incentive program that gives the top employees a chance to go to the Vegas Nightclub and Bar convention, something that’s both fun and a learning experience. “Basically, anyone who goes above and beyond what they do — they get to go

to the Nightclub and Bar convention,” Wrens says. While such generosity pays off in a better work environment, he says it also keeps turnover low, which is a big asset. “That’s the hardest thing about the bar business — trying to train somebody in the way you do things,” he says. “The longer you can keep your staff together, the better off you are.” If that’s the hardest thing in the bar business, you’ve got to wonder what the Tipsey guys think is the hardest. For Augusta Tipsey, it might just be running the Tipsey empire solo. Aiken Tipsey missed his court date on Monday, which lawyers say is one of the best ways to tick off a federal judge. Don’t you figure all those debauched Catholic school girls have to be pretty high maintenance?

The Taxman Cometh, But Will He Goeth to Greater Things? Tax Commissioner Steven Kendrick is having a meeting with one of several small groups he’s assembled to help him bring the tax commissioner’s office back up to speed after what he says amounts to a 30-year lull. And today’s topic is year’s support. Year’s support is part of the Georgia Code that allows survivors to waive the taxes on real estate for a year if they can prove paying the taxes would be a hardship. For the last 30 years, Richmond County never objected, no matter how outrageous the claim. Now, Kendrick is getting ready to start objecting. But before he does, he wants to continue discussing it with his people and inform the bar so that Augusta’s legal community isn’t caught off guard. “We need to warn them before they advise their clients,” he says to his group, which sits around a table in Kendrick’s spacious office on the first floor of the Municipal Building. “I want to give them a chance to satisfy their clients. I don’t

want to cut them off at the knees and make them look incompetent when in fact it’s a policy change.” That kind of forethought not only helps the wheels of government, which never like change, run smoothly, it helps make powerful friends along the way. “You can’t blame the homeowner if the lawyer tells them to put this all in,” he says, pointing at a petition asking to waive the taxes on multiple properties as well as personal property, which shouldn’t apply. “That’s why we have to contact the bar, because all the attorneys in this area understand they can do it, and we’re about to do some pushback. So rather than make that a confrontational issue, we’re just going to work with them.” That consistent, methodical approach is Kendrick’s trademark, and it’s one of the qualities that has served him well since taking over a department that had been under the same leadership for three decades.

Jerry Saul had good collection rates, Kendrick says, but lacked adaptability. “There were so many things going on in this office that had been done culturally for 30 years,” he says, “and as we get to them we’re trying to fix them, but not so much that it causes hard feelings in the community.” With the year’s support issue, it came down to being a department that was going to be unwilling to overlook even

the smallest amounts of money. “Fiscally, we can’t afford not to object in Richmond County, so that’s why we have to address this now,” he says. “They were doing things maybe a lot different in the early 1970s and, as the times evolved, perhaps he didn’t evolve with them. So when I got here, there were just too many things to upset everybody at the same time, so we have methodically change things.”

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Rather than blame the people, he decided to use the people and blame the system. “We left some money on the table, but it wasn’t about the talent of the people, it was about the way it was structured,” he says. “They weren’t really given enough room to go out and do the jobs and collect the money.” Which is why he is so excited about the groups he has advising him. Rather than being the expert showing everyone

else how smart he is, he lets the experts under him be the experts they are. When Kendrick lost his bid for mayor in 2006, coming in third behind Deke Copenhaver and Ronnie Few, he licked his wounds and then threw himself into the tax commissioner’s race two years later. In spite of being criticized on the campaign trail for not having the financial chops for the job, he saw the tax commissioner as being an administrator, not a bean counter.

Though he has a masters degree in business, he still thinks it’s about administration. “This was an administration role to make sure the policies are right,” he says. “And our policies were off.” While he was surprised by the degree to which the department was lagging behind, he said he was most surprised at how low the morale was, which made last year’s vault scandal that much more devastating.

Last January, a janitor reported to a deputy marshal that he’d found a door open in the tax office, but, despite that information, the theft of $25,000 from the tax office’s vault went undiscovered until after the long Martin Luther King weekend. For most people, a broken window, open vault and that much missing cash would have spelled a quick exit, but Kendrick managed to emerge in one piece, though he admits it was a difficult

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time, both personally and professionally. What made the situation especially problematic was the fact that it happened in the midst of such overwhelming change. And while he still occasionally faces criticism for the break in, he insists the incident has strengthened his resolve. “I’ll probably work for the rest of the time I’m doing this to prove that that $25,000 was an investment in the best tax commissioner’s office you can get,” he says. “It drove me harder to prove that it was an anomaly.” Something that’s almost tougher for him to silence than his phone, which rings incessantly, are the rumors that he’s going to run for mayor. “I get calls just about every day,” he admits, though he says the only election he has his eyes set on is next year’s race for tax commissioner. “I’m 42,” he says. “I made a commitment to the citizens that this is what I’ll do, and I’m not finished fixing this. I’m just not finished.” He pauses appropriately before volleying back the “but.” “But then again, I didn’t think I would be tax commissioner three years before this, either. I thought I was going to be mayor, so you can never say never. But my plan is to be here. I think my folks would be really upset if I left.” He’s young, and while Deke might

have gotten the gavel first, Kendrick just might have the last word. “I think someday in the future when I’m in my 50s or 60s I may want to try to become mayor, but I don’t see that as a current role of mine right now,” he says.

“I like my job. I like the folks I work with and the folks I work for.” If he learned anything from the race, he says it’s that Augusta is a small town with a small town’s power structure. “A lot of the thought process is you’ve

got to talk to influential people in order to make things go the right direction, and a lot of that I didn’t like,” he admits. “I’ve never been like that, and I think a lot of people found that put them off.”

Hildebrandt’s hosts reunion The sign on Hildebrandt’s front door apologized for being closed and directed family members to the side door. Inside, Hildebrandt’s Food Store was no different than it ever is – same old photos, same old memorabilia, same old Augusta history dripping from every corner. Only the faces aren’t quite right. And the voices. The vowels are all wrong for Georgia. Every three years, the family gets together. Seattle. Kansas City. San Francisco. Chicago. Usually they’re in the summer, since so much of the family lives in the Midwest or higher. But when the clan decided to head to Augusta, early May seemed like a good choice. Though Hildebrandt’s is an Augusta institution — when you’re founded in 1879, you can call yourself an institution — Luanne, who’s something of an institution herself, explained that only her grandfather ended up in the south. Judging from the happy faces, the northern guard was pretty happy to be venturing this far south…and lunching at a place that serves liver sausage.

METRO SPIRIT 5.5.11 11

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WEIRD Questionable Judgments For Career Day in April at Shady Grove Elementary School in Henrico, Va., kids heard a local plastic surgeon describe his specialty, but not until afterward did parents learn that the surgeon had brought along as props saline breast implants (which he passed around for the kids to handle). Many parents were outraged, and even one calmer parent commented, “Career Day sure isn’t what it once was.”

Businesses typically resist government regulation, but, in March, Florida’s interior designers begged the state House of Representatives to continue controlling them, with a theatrically ham-handed lobbying campaign challenging a deregulation bill. Designers righteously insisted that only “licensed professionals” (with a minimum six years of college and experience) could prevent the nausea Floridians would suffer from inappropriate color schemes (affecting the “autonomic nervous system” and salivary glands). Also, poorly designed prison interiors could be turned into weapons by inmates. Furthermore, deregulation would contribute to “88,000 deaths” a year from flammable materials that would suddenly inundate the market in the absence of licensing. Said one designer, addressing House committee members, “You [here in this chamber] don’t even have correct seating.” (If deregulation is successful, competition will increase and lower fees are expected.) Cultural Diversity The longstanding springtime culinary tradition of urine-soaked eggs endures, in Dongyang, China, according to a March CNN dispatch. Prepubescent boys contribute their urine (apparently without inhibition) by filling containers at schools, and the eggs are boiled according to recipe and sold for the equivalent of about 23 cents each. Many residents consider the tradition gross but, for devotees, it represents, as one said, “the (joyous) smell of spring.”

12 METRO SPIRIT 5.5.11

Least Competent Criminals A man stole Waltham, Mass., student Mark Bao’s notebook computer in March, but Bao used his automatic online-backup service to access the hard drive while the thief was using it, to discover a performance video of a man (presumably the thief) dancing (lamely, thought Bao) to a pop song. Bao uploaded the video to YouTube — where 700,00≠0 viewers showed it the proper disrespect — and also tracked down the thief’s email address and informed him of his new Internet “stardom.” Shortly afterward, the still-unidentified thief turned in the notebook to Bentley University police with an apology to “Mark,” begging him to take down the video. Recurring Themes Apple’s iPad 2 is in short supply worldwide, and so, coincidentally, are paper models of the device demanded by those of Chinese heritage at the Qingming Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Confucian tradition promises good fortune to the dead if their relatives burn impressive-enough offerings at graveside during the festival (as News of the Weird mentioned in 2006). Though local vendors offer paper models of first-generation iPads to burn, and paper Samsung Galaxy Tabs, some families fear that misfortune will ensue if they fail to burn the most advanced version of the iPad. (Low-tech families burn paper copies of money or paper shirts or shoes.)

METRO SPIRIT 5.5.11 13

Even before the Bo Bo Skin Spa was shut down at the beginning of last month, we knew we wanted to dig into the above-ground underground spa experience in Augusta. “Spas in Augusta” was actually the first idea we had on the board here at the new Spirit, and while there was no doubt the story would get the same attention to detail we give all our news stories, we also knew this particular story demanded something more. Telling the true

story of the Augusta Spa experience was going to require someone on the inside. Since it would take years to develop an inside employee, we simply decided to send someone for us. And we did. So, what really goes on right here in Richmond and Columbia County strip malls? Read on. — MS

“I always here”

How the battle to rid the community of questionable spas seems never ending

It’s 2:30 in the afternoon and I’m standing naked in the middle of a dimly lit room, waiting for a woman who is not my wife to reenter. Moments earlier, that woman, a pretty Asian girl with long black hair and a distant but not disinterested look on her face, repeated the question the older Asian woman had asked me when she ushered me back to the room, one of several along a hallway. “You been here before?” It was very quiet and very dark inside the room, and I told her what I told the older woman. “No,” I said. “I’ve never had a massage before. I don’t know what to expect.” TheprettyAsiangirlnoddedwithoutexpression. “Eighty dollar.” She leaned slightly on her hip indicating that she planned on taking the money right then. It was less transactional than holding out her hand, but it got the point across. Clumsily, I thumbed the $80 out of my wallet and passed it over. She counted it in front of me without embarrassment. “Take off clothes,” she said, pointing to an open hook on the wall, then to a neatly folded towel on the massage table in the corner. “All clothes. I’ll be back soon.” I did as she directed, but the towel that was meant to cover me didn’t quite make it around my waist, which is why I’m standing there naked, waiting for the girl who is not my wife to return.

14 METRO SPIRIT 5.5.11

On April 1, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Department, along with the FBI’s Human Trafficking Task Force, conducted an investigation of the Bo Bo Skin Spa. Located prominently on Washington Road, Bo Bo was not properly licensed to give massages. “Supposedly, they had a license that they could maintain your skin,” says, Sgt. Richard Elim of Richmond County’s Vice Squad. “They could scrub it. Clean it. Give you lotions for it. But they couldn’t administer a massage.” They couldn’t, but they did. “Not only did they illegally give massages there, they branched out into masturbation for hire,” Elim says. Masturbation for hire is the official term for what’s commonly called the happy ending. In the case against Bo Bo, Elim had the good fortune of walking in on a massage at precisely the right time. “Typically, we get information that something else is going on,” he says. “We have to check it out, and that can involve surveillance, it can involve actually going into a place and purchasing a massage or it can involve a site investigation. In this case, we went in, and while we were inside we went into one of the rooms and caught the process ‘in the act.’” That act proved costly for Suki Park Laszlo, the spa’s owner, who was not

only operating without a massage operator’s license, she was operating without a certified massage therapist. In other words, the girl Elim caught in the act was a prostitute, not a massage therapist. “The code allows us to suspend their license before we take them before the commission for actions against their license,” says Rob Sherman, director

of license and inspection. “Then, at the same time, the Sheriff’s Department can cite those that were doing the prostitution or whatever and take them straight to court.” While Elim says he started receiving calls as soon as the Bo Bo sign went up, he thinks the operation probably remained legitimate for the first few months of operation, crossing the line

view from rear of former spa 157 south belair rd. more and more the closer it got to Masters Week. And Elim has good reason to believe the offerings went far beyond happy endings. “I’m convinced there was more going on in that location than masturbation for hire,” he says, describing a bag of condoms he found in the room. “Imagine you buy a pack of condoms,” he says. “Now, imagine having a hundred of those not in the pack, but all lubricated and ready to use in a big plastic bag — just reach in and grab one.” Bo Bo isn’t the first questionable operation to utilize the same location on Washington Road. Years ago, it was home to the notorious Osaka Spa, which was closed along with three others during a sting operation in 2002. “One night, we just went out and made cases on all four — shut them down — and took them to the commission,” Elim says. “Shortly thereafter, we were able to work with the city attorney to draft a new set of ordinances where you have to be nationally certified and where you can verify the license. That cut down a lot of it right there.” The state massage therapy board was established in July of 2006 and has the authority to license individual massage therapists, leaving the local jurisdictions to license the spas themselves, which

Sherman says involves getting an operator’s license and submitting a list of the actual therapists who work there. Sherman, after commission approval, issues the license — or occupational tax — and because the massage industry is regulated, it’s up to the Sheriff’s Office to check up on them. Massage therapists pay a regulatory fee along with the occupation tax. According to Kim Wood, who owns the Balanced Body, the cost of playing by the rules is steep. Georgia requires a massage therapist to have a minimum of 500 hours from a board-recognized massage therapy education program. Sitting for that test can cost up to $225, and a massage therapy license in Augusta is $95 per year. In addition to the administrative costs, there’s the cost of the equipment, which can be significant. A portable massage table, for example, can cost between $500-$1,000. “School itself can cost anywhere from $7,500 to $25,000,” she says. In spite of the money and effort that goes into establishing yourself as a professional in the field, many people are suspicious of all massage therapists because of reputations earned by places like Bo Bo. “Any time that there is anybody that is questionable, I try to get them out of business,” she says. “I’ve been talking to

vice for a couple of years. We have a good relationship and they’ll call me and say, ‘What do you know about so-and-so.’” A few years ago, she says she was approached by a massage therapist who said she was looking for some office space right way. Something didn’t feel right about the situation, so Wood declined to offer the woman space at her practice. Later, while looking for a massage table on Craig’s List, she ran across the woman’s advertisement. She was obviously selling sex. The intermingling of the sex industry with the massage industry leads to a greater amount of bad behavior, Wood says. Before she moved to her current location on Professional Parkway, she used to be on Washington Road near Bo Bo, which was then Osaka, and people were constantly calling up and asking if they did happy endings. Because of all the questionable activity, Wood, who also teaches business and ethics at the Georgia Academy of Massage, says she spends a lot of time with her therapists talking about desexualizing the room and desexualizing the service. “You have to be very careful how you market yourself and your attire,” she says. “So many things can give the wrong impression — music, lighting… all kinds of stuff.”

The pretty Asian girl slowly cracks open the door and slips inside, preserving the sensual rosy light that I’m still trying to get my eyes to adjust to. She’s wearing a tank top and a short jean skirt, and I suspect she is probably not as pretty as she appears, but I’m in no position to hold that against her, standing as I am trying to pinch that little towel closed around me, my earlier “take me as I am” brazenness long gone. If my feeble attempt at modesty amuses her, she doesn’t let on. Instead, she takes me by the hand and leads me to the table, where she takes my towel, forces me to stand naked before her, then finally tells me to lay down. I climb up on the table and do as she says. After a moment, I feel her drape the little towel on top of me. On the end table beside me, next to a bottle of lotion and a box of Kleenex, there is a cheap portable stereo, and with my head turned to the side, supported on a rolled up towel, I watch as she pushes the button that suddenly fills the room with the relaxing sound of a wooden flute. It’s playing the kind of music we westerners are conditioned to hear packaged with water sounds and sold as relaxation aids. The table is solid, so I don’t feel her weight on it as she hops up, but I do feel her bare legs open up as she straddles me, then sidles up against my lower back, nestling in. She leans down into my shoulders and starts to kneed, rocking slowly forward and back. Then she works down my arms. When she’s done working them, she folds them in against my sides and I can feel the METRO SPIRIT 5.5.11 15

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softness of her bare legs against my finger tips. “Do we need the towel?” I ask, and immediately it’s gone. She moves back up to my shoulders, and I know the rocking motion is meant to arouse me. It’s much more than a perfunctory massage, but it doesn’t take $7,500 worth of coursework to realize she’s not working by the book. It feels good, though — very good — and after a little while I start to forget that she’s a stranger and that I’m naked and that outside this room is the bright, noisy world where I belong. Then, suddenly, it’s over. “Have nice day,” she whispers in my ear as she dismounts. We’re far short of our hour, and of course she’s only massaged half of me. I’ve been spared the embarrassment and intimacy of rolling over. “What?” I ask, propping up on an elbow. “What about the front?” “You want more?” she asks, now backing away. “I’ll be back soon.” She quickly leaves the room, but not before her eyes usher mine over to the end table with its radio, its bottle of lotion and its box of Kleenex. “I’ll be back soon.” When shereturns,she’sslightlymoreconfident. “You want more?” she asks again, and her voice, which has never been loud, falls into to a whisper. “You want…” Here, the pretty Asian girl simulates sex. It looks a little like a skiing, or a dog paddle, but it’s unmistakable and electric in the little room. I pantomime another option, which she pantomimes back, eyebrows raised. “You want?” “How much?” I whisper, pantomiming once more. “With clothes or without?” she asks. There’s a price for everything, I learn, and if I want her to finish the massage without her clothes, it will cost me an additional $100. I agree, and by the time I dig the money out of my wallet, she’s already naked. Kim Wood coaches her employees to tell clients that they provide a therapeutic, nonsexual service. Not every reputable establishment is quite that explicit about it, but she likes to make it clear right up front. It minimizes the “what do you wear” questions, she says, and helps avoid most of those awkward moments that occur toward the end of a massage because of mismatched expectations. And if the whole “we provide a therapeutic, nonsexual service” thing isn’t clear enough on its own, the two pages of paperwork her clients fill out usually gets them up to speed, especially the box that indicates any sexual remarks or inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated. Yet no matter how professional she and the other legitimate practitioners make it, those other places remain, clouding the waters. Not all massage parlor violations deal with prostitution, however.

Sherman says that, within the last couple of weeks, a nail salon at the mall was shut down for offering massages without the proper licensing, and while that hurts the legitimate industry, too, Wood says the cuts aren’t nearly as deep as those caused by the spas that offer prostitution. “Something that tells me that a place is probably not legitimate is a lack of signage and a lack of marketing materials,” she says. “Especially if you come in and there’s nothing indicative of a massage practice and if the walls are bare or look like a boudoir.” The general rule of thumb applies, she says: If it looks like it’s not legitimate, it probably isn’t. “We all kind of know who the violators are,” she says. “Like King Spa over on Belair Road. They’ve been busted and busted and busted. It’s like they’re thumbing their nose at everyone.” With suggestive internet ads and Craig’s List posts that emphasize table showers and body rubs and pretty Asian girls, King Spa seems to be doing Bo Bo one better — hiding in broad daylight right in the heart of Columbia County. According to Captain Steve Morris, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department periodically conducts undercover operations to make sure the law is being followed. “The way we feel about it — the legitimate massage therapists deserve a respectful environment and our citizens deserve to have seedy businesses removed from Columbia County,” he says. But with King Spa having been busted for masturbation for hire three times since 2008, it doesn’t always seem like the county’s doing such a good job of removing those seedy businesses. Development Services Director Richard Harmon, who oversees the License and Inspection department, is well aware of King Spa’s past and its current reputation in the community. “The bad thing about that one — they came back and we had to issue another business license, because it was somebody who was licensed by the state,” he says. ”The person who was tried and convicted didn’t get the license. Somebody else came in and opened up under the same name.” In cases like that, where they can’t make a connection between the current and former owners, Harmon says there is little they can do to stop it, as long as the owners meet the requirements and the property is properly zoned. And while he has the ability to send in the fire marshal and do other forms of spot inspections, he says it’s up to the Sheriff’s Department to conduct investigations. Morris says those investigations aren’t always easy.

“In most cases we would receive a complaint and send undercover operatives into the business, but the undercover operatives have to be careful about the communication between the two,” he says. “We can’t induce them to do something they wouldn’t ordinarily do, so it’s all carefully worded and it’s all recorded for court purposes.” Richmond County’s Elim acknowledges it’s not easy, especially in the era of stretched resources, but says he thinks they ultimately do a pretty good job, considering. “We shift resources where we need to,” he says. “We’re not immune to the budgetary restraints within the organization, but we don’t put this any lower than any of them. If we find a need, we’re going to try to deal with it as quick as we can. There may be some things that prevent us from dealing with it as quickly as people might think we should, but it’s a big area and there’s a lot going on.”

my shoelaces. But the most you could say is that her face is no more disinterested now that we’re partying ways. “Come again,” she says before opening up the door and letting the harsh light of the world spill into our little room. “I always here.”

When my massage is over, the pretty Asian girl puts her clothes back on and then helps me into mine. I thought this part might be rushed, but it’s not. It’s pleasantly relaxed, almost a ceremony, and if there’s any room in all of this for sharing something beyond the business arrangement we’ve just concluded it would be here, with her squatting at my feet tying

METRO SPIRIT 5.5.11 17

waldo? Forget Waldo

Where’s Richmond County, and where’s the will to keep the commission where it is?

Tensions continued to run high in the Richmond County commission chambers as commissioners once again found themselves staring down the barrel of those three pesky little words. At the courthouse. As much as everyone seems to want those three little words gone, they don’t seem to have the will — or the votes — to do it. As long as those three little words remain, the commission will have to meet at the new Judicial Building and Administrator Fred Russell will have to move his office there. This time around, General Council Andrew MacKenzie took a deliberate and thorough approach from the very beginning. “This is a proposed amendment to amend local law to strike the words ‘at the courthouse’ so that the commission can continue to meet at the Municipal Building and to strike the words ‘at the courthouse’ with respect to the administrator’s office and to change the name as reflected in the laws, which said Richmond County, to Augusta, Georgia.” Ever helpful, Mayor Deke made it clear that this was a vote to leave them just where they were, which is pretty much

18 METRO SPIRIT 5.5.11

where everyone’s said they want to be; however, Bill Lockett, continuing his recent heel-dragging, seemed to suspect coercion in the verbiage. “This agenda contains a lot of stuff,” he said. “A whole lot of garbage going back years,” He paused, then really got going. “Mr. MacKenzie — if you want to make sure that we don’t have to meet out at the Judicial Building, you come back with nothing but that one particular item on there to change the meeting, because that’s what this is about.” MacKenzie again explained why the wording was so complicated, an explanation that ended up digressing into an entertaining debate about amending an ordinance that identifies them as Richmond County when they are not, in fact, Richmond County. In doing so, McKenzie got to deliver the night’s best line. “The answer to that question lies in the Consolidation Act of 1995, which actually has conflicting language in it with respect to what happened to the entity known as Richmond County.” In the end, after making the substitute motion to cover only what Lockett wanted covered, Lockett still refused to vote for it. Moments later, after Mayor Deke’s pleading, an inspiring little pep talk by Matt Aitken and J.R, Hatney’s confusion over what the vote was actually for (he ultimately abstained — “I don’t vote yes or no when I’m confused”), the motion failed, meaning that the commission might need to lace up their hiking boots.



Giddy up!

If you’re looking for a party, it’s hard to find a better one than Derby Day, an annual benefit for the Augusta Training Shop in which participants can do much, much more than see if there’s another Secretariat in our midst trying to win the first leg of horseracing’s Triple Crown. Sure, watch the Kentucky Derby on a big screen, but don’t forget to grab a couple of mint juleps, have some WifeSavers fried chicken and put your bid in on the silent auction prizes. (Our advice? Go for the wheelbarrow full of liquor.) And, ladies, don’t let England outdo you — find the most outrageous hat so you’ll win the contest. Tickets are $50 in advance or $60 the day of. Call 706-738-1358 or visit

photography: jWhite illustration: Gabe Vega

METRO SPIRIT 5.5.11 19

calendar Arts First Saturday, hosted by the Center for Arts and Heritage in North Augusta, is Saturday, May 7, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Free with admission to the Arts and Heritage Center. Art supplies included with admission. Call 803-4414380 or visit Day of Art, hosted by the North Augusta Artists Guild, is each Tuesday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Arts and Heritage Center and includes a group of artists painting in the center who will answer questions or allow visitors to join in. Call 803-441-4380 or visit

Exhibitions Art Greene Exhibit and Opening Reception at Sacred Heart Cultural Center will be held Thursday, May 12, from 5-7 p.m. The opening reception will display Greene’s photography, which will be on display through June 30. Call 706826-4700 or visit Painter,PhotographerandVideo Artist Christopher Kuhl will display his work in the second floor gallery at the Headquarters Branch Library throughout the month of May. Call 706821-2600 or visit Cynthia Cox Exhibition of landscapes in pastel and oil shows throughout the month of May at the

Aiken Center for the Arts. Call 803-2780709 or visit “Resonance,” works by Mexican artist Rocío Maldonado, shows through May 27 at the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art and a fully illustrated catalogue of the artist’s work will accompany the exhibition and is available for $10. Call 706-722-5495 or visit “I Will Tell You a Place: Paintings by Brian Rutenberg” shows through May 15 at the Morris Museum of Art. 706724-7501 or visit


KateMorrissey,anAthenssinger/ songwriter, performs at Casa Blanca Cafe on Friday, May 6, at 6 p.m. Call 706-5043431 or visit “Harmony: The Music of Life,” a performance of Brigham Young University’s Young Ambassadors, will be at The Imperial Theatre on Tuesday, May 10, at 7 p.m. The performance is a benefit for the Golden Harvest Food Bank. $10-$18. Call 706-722-8341 or visit Dierks Bentley plays at the Bell Auditorium Wednesday, May 11, at 7 p.m. Opening acts include Josh Thompson and Miss Willie Brown. $32.50-$44.50. Call 877-428-4849 or visit

South Dakota native Kate Morrissey, who now resides in Athens, performs at Casa Blanca Cafe on Friday, May 6, at 6 p.m. during First Friday. This is her second First Friday performance and, by all accounts, those who want to listen to this accomplished singer-songwriter should plan to get there early. Don’t worry; the cafe has plenty of wine and snacks to keep you occupied until Morrissey hits the stage. Call 706504-3431 or visit

Hopelands Summer Concert Series is each Monday evening, MayAugust, at 7 p.m. at Hopelands Gardens in Aiken. Call 803-642-7630 or visit

Literary Passion Author Festival book signing is Saturday, May 7, from 1-4 p.m. at the Headquarters Branch Library. Local authors will be sharing their works. Call 706-821-2600 or visit Sylvia Ramsey Book Signing will be held Thursday, May 12, from 4-6 p.m. at Inner Bean on Davis Road. Ramsey

is the author of “Merchild Land,” an illustrated children’s book in verse form. Call 706-951-7893. NOOK Tutorials at Barnes and Noble in the Augusta Mall are each Saturday beginning at noon, followed by a NOOKcolor tutorial at 12:30 p.m. Free. Call 706-737-0012 or visit


“The Other Tubmans,” a Voices of the Past Museum Theater Series of character monologues, this one highlighting the connection between local Tubman slaves freed in the 1830s

It was nominated for 12 Oscars and won four, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. But if that’s not enough to make you shell out a few bucks to see “The King’s Speech,” then you’ll be happy to know that it shows for free on Tuesday, May 10, at 6:30 p.m. as part of the Movies @ Headquarters series at the Headquarters Branch Library. Cheapskate... not that we’re judging. Call 706-821-2600 or visit

20 METRO SPIRIT 5.5.11

and William Tubman, shows Saturday, May 7, at noon, 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. Free with admission. Call 706-7228454 or visit “The Color Purple,” a musical based on the classic Pulitzer Prizewinning novel by Alice Walker and the film by Steven Spielberg, shows at the Bell Auditorium on Sunday, May 8, at 2 and 7 p.m. $55-$65. Call 877-4AUGTIX or visit

Dance FridayDanceiseveryFridaynight from 8:30-11 p.m. at The Ballroom Dance Center in Evans. $5. Call 706854-8888 or visit Christian Singles Dance, for ages 18 and over, is every Saturday night at The Ballroom Dance Center in Evans from 7-11 p.m. $8-$10. Call 706-8548888 or visit

Flix “Friendly Persuasion” (1956), part of the Films on Friday series, shows at the Morris Museum of Art on Friday, May 6, at noon. After the movie, museum Director Kevin Grogan leads a discussion. Participants are invited to

Ted and Matt Lee write a wine column in Martha Stewart Living and food columns in numerous newspapers and magazines. The Charleston-raised brothers will be at the Morris Museum on Saturday, May 7, at 3 p.m. to talk about their new cookbook, “The Lee Bros.: Simple Fresh Southern,” as well as lead a cooking demo and sign copies of their book. $35 gets you into the talk and includes the tasting and book signing; spring for $75 and you’ll get all that plus a private party with the brothers at 5 p.m. To register, call 706-828-3525 or email janna.crane@

bring a lunch. Free. Call 706-724-7501 or visit “Jerusalem, the East Side Story,” a documentary screening hosted by Aiken Peace, is Monday, May 9, at 7 p.m. at the Aiken Unitarian Universalist Church, 115 Gregg Ave. A discussion will follow. Free and open to the public. Call 803-215-3263 or visit “The King’s Speech” shows Tuesday, May 10, at 6:30 p.m. as part of the Movies @ Headquarters series at the Headquarters Branch Library. Call 706821-2600 or visit “James Brown: Soul Survivor” shows throughout May at the Augusta Museum of History as part of the museum’s History Theater Film Series. Free with admission. Call 706-722-8454 or visit

Special Events

Spring Fest at Fort Gordon is Thursday-Friday, May 5-6, at 4 p.m. at Barton Field and features live entertainment, carnival rides, activities and food. Call 706-791-6779 or visit A Taste of Greece, a spring Greek festival at Holy Trinity Greek

Orthodox Church, is Friday-Saturday, May 6-7, from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. It features authentic Greek dinners of chicken, lamb, moussaka, gyros, side dishes and pastries, along with a wine booth, church tours and a Greek market. Take-out is also available. Donations of $14 per dinner plate and $6 per gyro are requested. Call 706-724-1087 or visit


First Friday is from 5-9 p.m. on May 6 on Broad Street between Seventh and 12th streets. It includes special events in galleries, street vendors, entertainment and more. Call 706-826-4702 or visit Historic Augusta’s Downtown Loft Tour, featuring the architecture and interiors of renovated spaces as well

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The Weather Station: Tornadoes, Hurricanes and Typhoons is a kids program for those ages 5 and up on Friday, May 6, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at Reed Creek Wetlands Interpretive Center. Wonder if the giant tornados that wreaked havoc on Alabama will come up? Free for members; $2 for non-members. Pre-registration required. Call 706210-4027 or visit

as those which are in progress, is from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, May 6, and noon-5 p.m. on Saturday, May 7. Tickets, $15 in advance or $20 during the tour, are valid both tour days. Call 706-724-0436 or visit Aiken Lobster Race, featuring live music, thoroughbred lobster races, a children’s area, food and more, is Friday, May 6, from 6-11 p.m. at the Newberry Street Festival Center. Tickets are $5 (or free if you’re wearing a 2010 Lobster Race T-shirt), and ride bands are $25. Call 803646-0523 or visit 14thAnnualPendletonKingPark Plant Swap and Sale is Saturday, May 7, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Call 706-738-4321 or email The Lee Bros., authors of the new cookbook “The Lee Bros.: Simple Fresh Southern,” conduct a talk, demonstration and book signing at the Morris Museum of Art on Saturday, May 7, at 3 p.m. $35 per person includes talk, demonstration,

22 METRO SPIRIT 5.5.11

tasting and book signing; $75 per person includes talk, demonstration, tasting, one signed copy of their new cookbook and private party with the Lee Bros. at 5 p.m. in the Morris Museum of Art galleries. Preregistration is required. Call 706-828-3525 or email Brick Yard Market is each Friday from 6-9 p.m. at Hammond’s Ferry in North Augusta and features fresh produce and goods, as well as live music in front of Manuel’s Bread Cafe. Call 803-380-1323 or visit Saturday Market at the River, located at 8th Street Plaza, downtown Augusta, is each Saturday through Oct. 29 from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Visit


Cribs for Kids, a program to teach caregivers how to provide safe sleep environment for babies, is Thursday, May 5, from 5:45-8 p.m. at MCGHealth

Building 1010C. Those who can demonstrate a financial need will receive a portable crib, fitted sheet, sleep sac and pacifier for $10. Pre-registration required. Call 706-721-7606 or visit FreeChildSafetySeatInspections, providing information of how to use a car seat properly, are at MCGHealth on Friday, May 6, and at the Columbia County sheriff substation Wednesday, May 11, by appointment. Call 706-7217606 or visit La Leche League will meet Tuesday, May 10, at 10 a.m. at United Presbyterian Church, Kimberly Drive. Visit Breastfeeding Class at Aiken Regional Medical Center is Tuesday, May 10, from 6-8 p.m. on the 6th floor, classroom A. $5. Call 800-322-8322 or visit

Joint Efforts, an informational class about knee and hip pain causes and treatments sponsored by Trinity Hospital of Augusta, meets every Thursday at 11 a.m. at Augusta Orthopaedic Clinic. Call 706-481-7604 or visit

Support Huntington Disease Support Group is Thursday, May 5, at 6:30 p.m. at MCGHealth’s Marks Building. Call 706-721-4895 or visit Look Good... Feel Better Cancer Support Group, to help female cancer patients maintain their appearance and self-image during treatment, meets Monday, May 9, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the MCGHealth Cancer Center’s first floor community room. Pre-registration required. Call 706-721-0466 or visit Pink Magnolias Breast Cancer Support Group meets Monday, May 9, at 6:30 p.m. at University Hospital’s

Breast Health Center. Open to all ages. Free. Call 706-774-4141 or visit DiabetesSupportGroupwillmeet at O’Dell Weeks Center on Whiskey Road Tuesday, May 10, from 3-4 p.m. Pre-registration required. Call 803-2930021 or visit Let’s Talk Cancer Support Group meets Tuesday, May 10 and 24, from 5:30-7 p.m. in MCGHealth’s Cancer Center’s first-floor community room. Call 706-721-0550 or visit MCGHealth Childbirth Tours, guiding expectant parents through the Labor and Delivery and Mother/Baby units, are Tuesday, May 10, from 7:308:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 14, from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Pre-registration required. Call 706-721-9351 or visit

The Loft Tour is downtown Augusta’s chance to show of f the varied architectue and interior design of both the renovated spaces in its midst, as well as the ones that are currently in progress. Sponsored by Historic Augusta, the tour is this weekend; from 6-9 p.m. on Friday and noon-5 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $15 in advance and can be purchased from Historic Augusta, First Bank of Georgia branches, Hill Drug, Mellow Mushroom and Polka Dot Pig Gastropub. The days of the event, tickets are $20 and can be had at the tour’s headquarters, New Moon Cafe. For more information, call 706-724-0436 or visit

Bariatric Support Group meets Wednesday, May 11, from 6-7 p.m. at Aiken Regional Medical Center’s Bariatric Services on the second floor, room 209. Pre-registration required. Call 803-641-5751 or visit Free Oral Cancer Screenings are on Thursday, May 12, from 8:30-11:45 a.m. at the MCGHealth Cancer Center.

Pre-registration required. Call 706-7216744 or visit ALS Support Lunch and Learn is Thursday, May 12, from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in MCGHealth Medical Office Building’s fourth floor, room 4306. Lunch is provided. Pre-registration required. Call 706-721-2681 or visit Breast Cancer Support Group meets Thursday, May 12, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in MCGHealth’s Cancer Center’s first floor community room. Call 706721-4109 or visit Car Seat Class will be held Thursday, May 12, from 5:45-8 p.m. in MCGHealth Building 1010C. $10. Preregistration required. Call 706-721-7606 or visit Moms Connection meets every Tuesday from 1-2 p.m. at 1225 Walton Way (the old Fairway Ford dealership), room 1010C. Pre-registration required. Call 706-721-9351 or visit Weight Loss Surgery Support Group meets each Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in Suite 110 of Medical Office Building 2, 3624 J. Dewey Gray Circle, on

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the Doctors Hospital campus. Call 706651-2229 or visit

Education Basic Resume Writing Class is at Friedman Branch Library on Saturday, May 7, at 10:30 a.m. or Saturday, May 21, at 10:30 a.m. Pre-registration required. Call 706-736-6758 or visit


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Absolute Beginner’s Computer Class at the Headquarters Branch Library is Wednesday, May 11, at 10 a.m. Pre-registration is required. Call 706-821-2600 or visit


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24 METRO SPIRIT 5.5.11

Derby Day, a Kentucky Derby party that benefits the Augusta Training Shop, is Saturday, May 7, from 4-8 p.m. at St. Paul’s River Room. The event features live music, food, mint juleps, a hat contest, live race viewing, silent auctions, raffles and more. Tickets are $50 in advance or $60 the day of. Call 706-738-1358 or visit 18th Annual Paul Anderson Golf Classic, a benefit for the youth home of the same name, is Monday, May 9, at The River Golf Club in North Augusta. Call 912-537-7237 or visit 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 money or a personal item which will be given to the Cumbee Center to Assist Abused Persons. Call 803-648-8048 or visit

Sports-Outdoors TheAugustaGreenJacketsplaythe West Virginia Power Thursday-Saturday, May 5-7, at 7:05 p.m. and Sunday, May 8, at 2:05 p.m. The GreenJackets play the Rome Braves May 9-12 at 7:05 p.m. at Lake Olmstead Stadium. Tickets are $1-$13. Call 706-922-WINS or visit Kids Restart Seventh Annual Charity Golf Tournament will be held at Gordon Lakes Golf Course Friday, May 6. Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. Shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. $50 per person (includes 18 holes of golf, range balls, cart and food). Call 706-828-0180 or visit Moonlight Music Cruise will be held on Friday, May 6, at 7 p.m. and features entertainment by Tara Scheyer, a southern storytelling singer/songwriter. $25 per seat. Call 706-823-0440 or visit

Get on the Good Foot Walk at the Augusta Common is on Saturday, May 7, from 8-11 a.m. $5 for ages 9 and up, $1 for ages 5-8 and free ages 4 and under. Family activities will be featured after the walk. Call 706-722-7030 or visit Swamp Saturday at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park, in which trained volunteers lead a free 2.5 mile, 1.5 hour hike through the park’s trails, outlooks and wetlands, is May 7 at 9:30 a.m. Pre-registration required for groups. Call 706-828-2109 or visit Adaptive Golf Clinic is at the First Tee of Augusta Tuesday, May 10, from 4-6 p.m. Call 706-826-5809 or email GroupRunbeginseachTuesdayat 5:30 p.m. at Nacho Mama’s. Three- and four-mile routes are available for all ages and abilities of runners. Call 706-414-4059 or email Hockey Skills & Drills is every Thursday from 6-8 p.m. at Augusta Ice Sports Center. $10-$15. Call 706-8630061 or visit Thursday Night Chain Reaction Ride begins at 6 p.m. each Thursday at Patriots Park in Grovetown. For intermediate to fast-paced cyclists, who average 25-32 miles. Participants should bring their own water and helmet. Call 706-855-2024 or visit RiverviewDiscGolfLeaguemeets 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 AugustaRugbyFootballClubmeets every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Julian Smith Casino ballpark. New players are welcome. Email arj6402@ Road Bike Ride meets each Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Andy Jordan’s Bicycle Warehouse downtown for an approximately 25-mile ride at a moderate to fast pace. Front and rear lights, as well as a helmet, are required. Call 706-7246777 or visit Wheelchair Tennis Clinic, presented by the Walton Foundation for Independence, meets each Monday at 6 p.m. (weather permitting) at The Club at Rae’s Creek. Free and open to the public. Call 706-826-5809 or email

Augusta Canal Boat Tours lasting one hour are offered daily at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday Sunset Cruises, lasting three hours, are at 5 p.m. All tours include admission to the Augusta Canal Interpretive Center. Call 706-823-0440 or visit

Kids Toddler Time at the Morris Museum of Art is Thursday, May 5, from 10-11 a.m., or 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Participants will listen to DuBose Heyward’s stories “The Country Bunny” and the “Little Gold Shoes” while viewing the exhibition The Charleston Renaissance. Afterwards, participants will make their own country-bunny-inspired watercolor illustration. Museum family members and parents, free; nonmembers, $4 per participant. Pre-registration required. Call 706-724-7501 or visit TheWeatherStation:Tornadoes, Hurricanes and Typhoons is Friday, May 6, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at Reed Creek Wetlands Interpretive Center. For ages 5 and up. Free for members; $2 for nonmembers. Pre-registration required. Call 706-210-4027 or visit “I Love Ewe” Mother’s Day Craft is Saturday, May 7, at 2 p.m. at the Diamond Lakes Branch Library. Ages 5 and up. Pre-registration required. Call 706-772-2432 or visit Mother’s Day Story Time is Tuesday, May 10, at 10:30 a.m. at the Headquarters Branch Library. Call 706821-2600 or visit The James Brown Academy of Musik Pupils auditions will be held Tuesday, May 10, from 5:30-8 p.m. at C.H Terrell Academy, 2230 Broad Street. Call 736-6216 or visit Ocean Life Story Time at the Maxwell Branch Library is on Wednesday, May 11, at 10 a.m. Call 706793-2020 or visit Nurturing Nature Walk at Reed Creek Nature Park, for ages 3 to 5, is on Wednesday, May 11, from 10-11 a.m. Free for members and $2 per child for non-members. Call 706-210-4027 or visit Basic Cake Decorating Class is at Columbia County Library on Wednesday, May 11, at 1 p.m. and Thursday, May 12, at 4 p.m. For ages 8 to 11. Pre-registration required. Call 706447-7657 or visit

Story Time at the Diamond Lakes Branch Library, including books, stories, songs, games and more, is each Tuesday at 10 a.m. Pre-registration required for groups of six or more. Call 706-772-2432 or visit The Augusta Arsenal Soccer Club Junior Academy, for boys and girls ages 5-8, meets each Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Augusta Soccer Park. Call 706-8540149 or visit Storytime in the Gardens, a free program for children 8 and under, is held Tuesdays through May at 4 p.m. in Hopelands Gardens in Aiken. Free. Call 803-642-7630 or visit Toddler Time, free play for children ages 5 and under, is each Monday and Wednesday from 9:3011:30 a.m. at the H.O. Weeks Center in Aiken. Call 803-642-7631 or visit Ceramics Class, for ages 14 and up, meets Mondays at 9 a.m. or 6 p.m., Tuesdays at 6 p.m. and Wednesdays at 9 a.m. in the Weeks Ceramics Center. Call 803-642-7631 or visit Wacky Wednesday Story Time is each Wednesday at 10 a.m. in the children’s department of Barnes and Noble in the Augusta Mall. Call 706-7370012 or visit

Weeks Center. Call 803-642-7631 or visit Fit 4 Ever is offered at the Weeks Center in Aiken on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10-11 a.m. Call 803-642-7631 or visit

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

Yoga I and II is offered at the Weeks Center in Aiken on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 8:45-9:45 a.m. and on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Call 803-642-7631 or visit


Augusta Genealogical Society meets every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 9 a.m. and Sundays from 2-5 p.m. at the society’s Adamson Library, 1109 Broad St. Free. Call 706-722-4073. Georgia-Carolina Toastmasters Meeting, for those who want to brush up on their public speaking skills, is every Wednesday at noon at the Cotton Patch downtown. Free. Call 803-593-6605.

FrenchClubmeetseachThursday at 7 p.m. at Borders. Free. Call 706737-6962.

HomeschoolPlaygroupmeetseach Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at Creighton Park in North Augusta. Call 803-613-0484.


Games for Seniors at the Weeks Center in Aiken include Rummikub each Thursday from 9 a.m.-noon, Mahjong each Thursday from 1-4 p.m., Bridge each Friday from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Bingo each Tuesday at 9 a.m., Pinochle each Tuesday from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; and Canasta on Tuesdays and Fridays from 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Call 803-642-7631 or visit Line Dancing is each Tuesday at the Weeks Center in Aiken at 10 a.m. Call 803-642-7631 or visit Silversneakers I is offered Mondays and Wednesdays at 9 a.m. and Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 11:15 a.m., while Silversneakers Yogastretch is offered Mondays and Wednesdays at 11:15 a.m. at the Weeks Center in Aiken. Call 803-642-7631 or visit Ceramics Class is offered at 9 a.m. on Mondays or Wednesdays and 6 p.m. on Mondays or Tuesdays at the


f o e t s a T A

Eat up, but don’t miss out, at Spring Greek Cuisine The first thing that springs to most people’s minds when they think of Augusta’s Greek Orthodox Church is food. The church, located on Telfair Street downtown, is the home of fall’s annual Greek Festival, four days of singing, dancing and celebration but, for the past 20 years or so, most participants visit for the grub: lamb or chicken dinners, moussaka, gyros and, of course, baklava. The parish also hosts the annual Spring Greek Cuisine, coming up this weekend, and all the crowd favorites will be present and accounted for. It shouldn’t be confused with the fall festival, though. “As much as we are trying to keep it separate, people think that the Spring Greek Cuisine is a mini Greek Festival,” says Rev. Father Vasile Bitere. “But this is more of a dining, sitting event which gives people more opportunities to taste the Greek food and dine together and visit.” The event will also give visitors a chance to meet Father Bitere, the parish priest of Holy Trinity for the past six years. The Romanian-born Bitere, who conducts church tours at both the spring and fall events, was a natural for the priesthood. Growing up, his brother, uncle and three first cousins were all priests, so it was kind of a family business. After moving to the United States in 1995, Bitere served at churches in Jacksonville, Fla., and Columbus before the Bishop asked him to come to Augusta in 2005. In the Orthodox Church, he explains, bishops work with priests and parishes to best determine the needs of all involved before making personnel changes. “I had the choice to say yes or no,” Bitere says. “However, the church is like the army. You can say no to one, but the next time you don’t.” Bitere, in fact, said yes the first time after the Bishop explained that the church needed help recovering from a 2003 fire which left the parishioners meeting for services in the social hall. The sanctuary was still uninhabitable when Bitere first arrived in Augusta, although it was restored and the

26 METRO SPIRIT 5.5.11

congregation was able to return in March of 2006. Those who take Father Bitere’s church tour will find out that this wasn’t Holy Trinity’s first fire. “The structure is itself original,” he explains, standing in the naos, the main part of the sanctuary which contains pews for the congregation. “Remember that this building iself suffered three different fires and the last one was in 2003.” Pews, incidentally, are western tradition. Traditional Orthodox sanctuaries, Bitere, says, wouldn’t have them, only high-backed chairs lining the sides for elderly or sick worshippers. Much of Holy Trinity’s sanctuary was updated after the last fire, receiving new floors and new icons on the iconostasion, the icon screen that separates the solea, the elevated area at the head of the room, where the sacraments and special services take place, and the altar. The icons, images of Christ, the Virgin Mary and saints, are important tools of the Orthodox Church, but Father Bitere points out that they are often a source of confusion for outsiders. “We do not worship the icons,” he explains. “We venerate icons as we venerate the saints.” Bitere, using himself as an example, says that when he prays or worships in front of a particular icon, he is not praying to the icon. Rather, he is praying to God as he keeps in mind the attributes of a particular icon he wants to emulate. “Of course, we’re trying as much as we can to imitate Christ and the saints, and icons help us in our process,” Bitere says. Icons serve another purpose as well, as indicated by the translation of the word. Icon means “windows to heaven,” which Bitere explains helps bridge the gap between the militant church made up of worshippers who are still alive, and the triumphant church made up of those already in heaven. Bitere compares the icons in Holy Trinity’s sanctuary to the picture of a departed loved one some might carry around with them in their wallets, looking at it from time to time in order to remember their predecessors by.

Rev. Father Vasile Bitere

“We are the militant church but, at the same time, we are in the presence of the whole church,” he says. “It’s not a separation, it’s a communion, and the icons help us make that connection.” Visitors might also learn about the altar, separated from the rest of the room by three sets of doors. Modeled after the Holy of Holies area of the tents the Israelites used as temples while wandering in the desert, most everything in the room represents something from the Old Testament. The cross represents Moses’ staff, the communion bread represents the manna God delivered to the Israelites when they were hungry. “You have to remember that we are a Judeo-Christian tradition of faith. We do not dismiss the Old Testament,” Bitere explains. “You see how tied together it is?” Everything in Holy Trinity’s sanctuary, in fact, is tied together and has a purpose. “We do not do things in the church just to look good,” he says. “Everything is a symbol, everything has a design and a role.” Everything down to the candles, of which the Orthodox Church uses many. “It’s because Christ said, ‘I am the light,’” Bitere says. “He illuminates our way to salvation.” And that everything includes what will be for many the focal point of the tour, the image of Christ as teacher and judge, surrounded by angels, painted on the dome in the center of the church. That the chandelier hanging from the spot includes a hand reaching down from the center is no accident, Bitere says. It is a common theme in Byzantine church architecture — Christ reaching down to rescue us. These are only a few of the things visitors will learn during Father Bitere’s tour of Holy Trinity, after which they will sure to by hungry. So it’s a good thing the parishioners at this church really know how to cook. “There is nothing that is Greek that does not include food,” Bitere says with a smile. “It is a big part of all we do. It’s not just the routine or the practice, it’s the way that our people are putting their hearts into what they do and I think that makes a difference.”

photography: Amy Christian

2011 Spring Greek Cuisine Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church Friday-Saturday, May 6-7 11 a.m.-9 p.m. 706-724-1087

METRO SPIRIT 5.5.11 27

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“Fast Five” has a record weekend, proving there’s no slowing this franchise. RANK TITLE





























$ 5,000,000




“Fast Five” Sam Eifling Don’t worry; you can keep up There have now been four sequels since the seminal “The Fast and the Furious” put the scare into Americans that their streets would be overrun by drag-racers with fuel types as surnames. That scenario didn’t come to pass, but the odd-couple duo of wanted man Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and L.A. cop Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) has gone on to wreak havoc in Los Angeles, Miami, Toyko, Mexico — and now, in “Fast Five,” they’ve managed to invade Rio de Janeiro to pull off One Last Job. Fast cars? Check. Fantastic stunts? Check. Hot women and a percussionheavy soundtrack? Uh, it’s Brazil. For a 130-minute film, “Fast Five” feels, well, fast, and it’s clear early on that director Justin Lin, making his third “Fast” movie, has no time to dwell on anything dull. The first couple of minutes (don’t miss ’em) get us from the end of 2009’s “Fast & Furious,” when Dominic had just been sentenced to 25-to-life and was on a prison bus. Suffice it that buses in these films are made to be flipped; Dom escapes, and all involved, including Brian and

his squeeze/Dom’s sister Mia (Jordana Brewster), flee to South America. The trio intersect on a job that sees them cutting open the side of a moving passenger train to extract some muscle cars (it’s as jaw-dropping as it sounds). Then, whoops, some of the guys they’re working with turn out to be real scoundrels, henchmen of Rio’s most powerful drug kingpin, a corporatized thug named Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida). Some American drug agents who were escorting said cars are killed and, as the United States doesn’t take kindly to

fugitives who whack drug agents abroad, Uncle Sam sends down unabashed meathead Special Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson, a.k.a. The Rock) to bring Dom and Brian to justice. Those two, meanwhile, have decided to cripple Reyes by robbing him blind. Enter their team of tech-savvy, leadfooted crooks; devotees of the series will recognize Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Matt Schulze, Tego Calderon, Don Omar and the double-take-worthy Gal Gadot back in their familiar roles. It’s not a given that a cast of rappers, models and athletes would

gel as well as these players do, and it sounds ridiculous to say so, perhaps, but Vin Diesel’s acting chops hold this thing together. Unlike the pro wrestler he matches wits against, Diesel’s sleepyeyed calm keeps the movie chill enough that its engine doesn’t seize. Since the good guys (Dom, Brian) are really bad guys who are mostly good, and the bad guy (Hobbs) is really a good guy who’s mostly good, it’s not a stretch to see them teaming up against the bad guy who’s really bad (Reyes). But even if you can see that coming from a quarter-mile down the road, there is no way, absolutely no frickin’ way, you’re going to guess how the screenwriters manage to get everyone through the final act. In the storied history of movie car chases, there are maybe a dozen that qualify as truly immortal. Surely there have been better car chases in cinema, but there are none more audacious and ludicrous (with an “ou”) than what caps “Fast Five.” You won’t believe a frame of it. Still, you won’t help but enjoy it.


METRO SPIRIT 5.5.11 29

Opening Friday, May 6 Drama “Jumping the Broom,” rated PG-13, starring Angela Bassett, Mike Epps, Loretta Devine. Two very different families; one upscale wedding. And, no, we’re not still talking about Will and Kate.

Action “Thor,” rated PG-13, starring Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman. It’s summer, so that means that the movie studios are foisting another superhero movie on us. Fortunately, perhaps, this one is directed by Kenneth Branagh, best known for his Shakespeare movie adaptations. Can he apply those classical touches to this story of the God of Thunder banished to earth?

Rom-Com “Something Borrowed,” rated PG-13, starring Ginnifer Goodwin, Kate Hudson, John Krasinski. Wasn’t this already made and called “My Best Friend’s Wedding”? Presumably, this one has a happier ending for Goodwin that Julia Roberts had in the previous version. We know this because Kate Hudson is such a bitch in those commercials.

THE8ERS Going to the movies this weekend? Here’s what’s playing. The Big Mo May 6-7 Main Field: Thor (PG-13) and Rango (PG); Screen 2: Fast Five (PG-13) and The Adjustment Bureau (PG-13) Screen 3: Soul Surfer (PG) and Rio (G). Gates open at 7 p.m.; shows begin at 8:30 p.m. (approximately)

Masters 7 Cinemas May 6 DiaryofaWimpyKid:RodrickRules (PG) 5:25, 7:40, 9:55; Sucker Punch (PG13) 4:30, 7:10, 9:40; Battle: Los Angeles (PG-13) 4, 7, 9:35; The Adjustment Bureau (PG-13) 7:20; Beastly (PG-13) 4:40, 9:50; Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (PG-13) 4:20, 6:50, 9:30; I Am Number Four (PG-13) 4:10, 6:40, 9:25; Gnomeo and Juliet (G) 5:15, 7:30, 9:45 May 7 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (PG) 12:50, 3:05, 5:25, 7:40, 9:55; Sucker Punch (PG-13) 1:40, 4:30, 7:10, 9:40; Battle: Los Angeles (PG-13) 1:10, 4, 7, 9:35; The Adjustment Bureau (PG-13) 1:50, 7:20; Beastly (PG-13) 4:40, 9:50; Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (PG-13) 1:30, 4:20, 6:50, 9:30; I Am Number Four (PG-13) 1:20, 4:10, 6:40, 9:25; Gnomeo and Juliet (G) 1, 3:15, 5:15, 7:30, 9:45

f o k c i P

ek e W the

Regal Augusta Exchange

This week’s Netflix pick is of a subject apparently near and dear for a lot of Metro Spirit readers. “Wordplay,” a 2006 documentary directed by Patrick Creadon, is an in-depth look at the New York Time’s long-time crossword puzzle editor Will Shortz and his loyal fan base. As an added bonus, it’s fun to watch. Ninety-four minutes actually fly by. Seriously! It’s a well done doc. But, to me it’s another example of, “Boss, there’s lotsa folks out there different than me-n-you.” — MS

Logo Guide lines

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May 6 Fast Five (PG-13) 12:10, 12:50, 1:20, 1:50, 3:10, 3:40, 4:10, 4:40, 6:35, 7, 7:30, 8, 9:30, 9:50, 10:20, 10:55; Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (PG-13) 1, 4:05, 7:20, 9:55; Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil (PG) Noon, 2:10, 4:20, 7:15, 9:25; Prom (PG) 12:10, 2:35, 5, 7:25, 9:50; Memphis Broadway Musical (NR) 7:30; African Cats (G) 12:30, 2:50, 5:05, 7:20, 9:35; Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family (PG-13) 12:05, 12:35, 1:05, 2:35, 3:05, 3:35, 5:05, 5:35, 7:05, 7:35, 8:05, 9:35, 10:05, 10:35; Water for Elephants (PG13) 12:40, 1:40, 3:50, 4:50, 7:05, 8:05, 10, 10:50; Rio The Movie (G) 12:15, 12:45, 2:45, 3:15, 5:10, 7:10, 7:40, 9:30, 10; Scream 4 (R) 1:15, 3:55, 7:10, 9:45; Soul Surfer (PG) 1:30, 7:45; Hop (PG) 12:25, 2:40, 4:55, 7:25, 9:40; Insidious (PG-13) 1:10, 4:15; Source Code (PG-

13) 5:15, 10:45; Jane Eyre (PG-13) 12:20, 4, 7:15, 10:15 May 7 Thor (PG-13) 10:30, 11, 11:30, 12:10, 12:40, 1:20, 1:50, 2:20, 3, 3:30, 4:10, 4:40, 5:10, 5:50, 6:20, 7, 7:30, 8, 8:40, 9:10, 9:50, 10:20, 10:50, 11:30, 12, 12:40, 1:10; Jumping the Broom (PG-13) 10:40, 1:30, 4:20, 7:10, 7:40, 10:10, 10:45, 12:50; Something Borrowed (PG-13) 10:50, 1:40, 4:30, 7:20, 10:10, 12:50; Fast Five (PG-13) 10:45, 11:15, 12:15, 1:45, 2:15, 3:15, 4:45, 5:15, 7:15, 7:45, 8:15, 8:45, 10:10, 10:40, 11:10, 11:40, 1:05; Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (PG-13) 5, 10:30, 1:05; Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil (PG) 10:55, 1:05, 4:05; Prom (PG) 1:15, 7:50; Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family (PG-13) 11:05, 12:05, 1:35, 2:35, 4:05, 5:05, 7:05, 7:35, 9:35, 10:05, 12:05, 12:35; Water for Elephants (PG-13) Noon, 4:15, 7, 9:45, 12:30; Rio The Movie (G) 10:35, 11:10, 12:55, 1:30, 3:20, 3:50, 5:40, 7:15, 9:40, 12:10; Scream 4 (R) 12:45, 4:35, 7:25, 10, 12:45; Soul Surfer (PG) 12:30, 7:35; Insidious (PG-13) 1, 4:25, 7:55, 10:25, 12:55; Jane Eyre (PG-13) 4:50, 10:15

Evans Stadium Cinemas May 6-7 Jumping the Broom (PG-13) 4:10, 7:10, 9:55; Something Borrowed (PG-13) 4, 7, 9:40; Thor (PG-13) 4:20, 7:15, 9:55; Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (PG-13) 2:35; Fast Five (PG-13) 3:15, 4:40, 6:45, 7:45, 9:45; Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil (PG) 2:25, 4:50, 7:20; Prom (PG) 5:05, 7:35, 10; Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family (PG-13) 2:30, 5, 7:30, 10; Water for Elephants (PG-13) 3:40, 6:50, 9:40; Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 (PG-13) 3:50, 9:30; The Conspirator (PG-13) 6:40; Rio The Movie (G) 2:55, 5:15, 7:40, 10; Scream 4 (R) 9:35; Soul Surfer (PG) 4:30, 7:05, 9:50


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Amy Christian


“Purple” Is the Color of Life If you can’t find Chicago native Allison Semmes, you haven’t looked in the three most obvious places. “I’m either on a bus, in a hotel or on the stage,” Semmes laughed. The actress, from a phone on the first of the three most obvious places, is currently inhabiting the role of Squeak in the Broadway musical version of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book “The Color Purple,” which shows at the Bell Auditorium this weekend. But before the tour bus stops in Augusta on Sunday, Semmes and the rest of the cast and crew will have hit Macon on Tuesday and Wednesday, Athens on Thursday and Tupelo, Miss., on Friday. It’s a hectic life, one which Semmes has been living since she joined the cast in

32 METRO SPIRIT 5.5.11

February of 2010. Primarily a singer — Semmes has a masters in music from New York University and sang with children’s and young adult’s choirs in Chicago growing up — she said she has no complaints about the schedule since it allows her to broaden her theatrical horizons. “I’ve always been a singer as far back as I remember, so just straight acting is new for me,” she explained. “I’ve always acted through the music. This is an opportunity for me to work on my acting chops, so it’s a nice stepping stone.” And, of course, it doesn’t hurt to be a part of something as revered as Walker’s 1982 book, the 1985 Steven Spielberg movie it later became and its third incarnation as the wildly popular Broadway music that ran from 2005-2008.

“I grew up with the movie and then I was excited to see it on Broadway. I was in school in New York when it came out,” she remembers. “I saw it with Fantasia (“American Idol”’s Fantasia Barrino), so she was really singing. Seeing the musical interpretation of the story was interesting as well. I was thinking, ‘Oh I would love to be able to do something like that’ and, now, to be able to do it is really nice.” Nice, however, is not a word that can usually be associated with the story contained in “The Color Purple.” Set in rural Georgia of the 1930s and focusing on the protagonist Celie, a woman the work follows from childhood to old age, it is a story that contains dark themes that include infanticide, rape, violence and oppression, not to mention lesbianism.

More a commentary on gender inequality than racial inequity, most of the women in “The Color Purple” are manipulated and controlled by men. That includes Semmes’ character Squeak, the girlfriend of a man, Harpo, whose wife Sophia left him because he tried to beat her. Squeak desperately wants to be a singer in Harpo’s juke joint “He won’t let her sing,” Semmes says of her character. “He’ll just let her waitress but, at the same time, she makes it work for her.” Despite its darkness, fans of the production extol its virtues, describing it as a story of strength, survival and redemption. And Semmes completely understands where they are coming from. “It is a heavy piece because there’s

Honey, it’s time to paint!

heavy material in there,” she admits. “But every expression is shown in this play. Not just the good; not just the bad.” “The Color Purple” is the latest production in the Broadway in Augusta series, the same one that has brought productions such as “Mama Mia!” and The Blue Man Group to town this year. The popular series, said Augusta Entertainment Complex Director of Marketing Katie Wells, has been bringing Broadway-caliber performances to town for the past eight years. “They’re the same touring groups who play Chicago, New York and L.A.,” Wells says. “When you come to these events, you’re in fact seeing a Broadway production.” And this particular Broadway production promises to be a moving experience, Semmes said, something everyone can relate to. “It’s definitely a balanced show,” she says. “You know, I feel that the musical captures the entire human experience.”

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Katherine Fortson, Christy Arrington, Ashley Patterson and Brian Prochaska at the Sacred Heart Garden Festival Preview Party.

Kurt Bleemel and Denise Lechner with Rachele and Chad Ferons at Stillwater Tap Room. Jared Carter, Jennifer Weidner, Krista Cox and Paul Hinchey at the Southeastern Firefighters Burn Foundation’s Annual Rodeo Nights at the Columbia County Fairground.

Cedric Smith, Donna Briscoe, Ryan Lambert with Lindsay and Vic Angela JonesCof and Randy Casella at Metro feehouse. Hunter at the Par 3 Party at the Augusta Common

Rhonda Hall, Kitty Best, Becky Beul and Chris Houck at Bonefish Grill.

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JENNY is WRIGHT I can see your underwear! With Easter having just passed, summer approaching, clothing becoming minimal and a general trend towards more revealing attire, it might be time for an examination of underwear etiquette. People are particular about undergarments. Some like delicate lace, others prefer durable and practical cotton. There are ladies who won’t attend church without pantyhose and many won’t wear them for anything. Quite a few prefer no underwear, as has been proven by Lohan, Hilton and Spears. Obviously, celebs aren’t the only ones who elect to go commando. While using the free vacuums at a car wash on Washington Road last week, The Boy yells, “Mama, look at her booty!” And he meant it. Just as I was about to scold him for talking about someone’s bottom (and so loudly!), I looked over to see the entirety of this girl’s rear bits as she bent over to clean her floor mats. If she was actually wearing underwear, ouch! I shushed the kids and hopped in the car. No need for an anatomy lesson just yet. Support garments are growing in popularity. This isn’t your grandmother’s girdle, people. Basically, you get the control top part of pantyhose without the horribleness of a leg cocoon. I have to admit, they are great. Sure, it might be better to eat healthy food and exercise, but Spanx make skinny so easy. Last year, I was playing singles in the Banana Open at Petersburg Racquet Club. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why the shorts I’d put on under my skirt were riding up so high. They were covering my stomach, despite the near constant tugging. They felt so tight. They were not tennis shorts. They were Spanx. Do you know how hard it is to fit your extra tennis ball into compression shorts? I lost the match. I blame the inability to take deep breaths. Pantyhose. Is it still expected that women wear them to work? When I first moved to Augusta over a decade ago, I worked for WJBF-TV and there was still a pantyhose-mandatory policy. I wore

pants as much as I could to avoid them. Are the nude ones supposed to look like real skin? Anyone out there with super tan netted skin and a seam across your toes, please stand up. This wouldn’t be a discussion about underwear without the mention of the low-rise jeans issue. Although I do feel like this has gotten a lot better (lower underwear? Jeans on the rise?), it’s still a problem. These people with inches of their panties and hiney hanging out baffle me. Don’t they feel the breeze? How do they not notice that they’re mooning everyone behind them? We ran out of time to talk about the brassiere. Let’s just say this about that: wear one. No one wants to see that. And for the love, please wear panties to the car wash. Or at least treat me to lunch first.

METRO SPIRIT 5.5.11 35


Art That Everyone Can Get Involved In

Brooke Willis

Brooke Willis

May 14. School’s almost out. What can you do with the kids that you’ll actually enjoy before shipping them off to summer camp? Sounds like a great day for Art in the Park! Each year, Columbia County puts on a smorgasbord of artistic entertainment, creations and activities. For those of you who think art is just painting and drawing, prepare for a little culture shock. The sixth annual festival brings visual arts, sculpture, homemade handicrafts and performing arts together for one fun-filled day. Over the past six years, the art scene in the area has blossomed and the festival has become a much-anticipated annual event. “It has really grown in popularity” says Stacie Adkins, community events manager for the county. “Each year, there are more participants and more schools getting involved.” If you like owning one-of-a-kind pieces, you can satisfy your need

to creatively one-up your cousin in Michigan. You can’t get this stuff at Target. The best part? Art in the Park features only local and regional vendors. Not only are their goods for sale, but many of them offer hands-on activities and live demonstrations. Want to throw a pot? Visit Juliet King of Grunge Goddess Pottery. Wonder how they make yarn? Watch Judy Maxwell from Twisted Fence Ranch in action, as she turns alpaca fur into yarn for needle felting. Not sure what an alpaca is? Well, you could look it up, but I’m sure Judy can explain that, too. If you’ve ever wanted to make or own something Etsyesque but from someone local, here’s your chance. Art in the Park also features the third annual Chalk Art Contest, for those ages eight and older. Get there early because registration begins at 10 a.m. For the $10 entry fee, participants will get a box of chalk and an assigned square in which to showcase their mad art skills. Cash prizes

will be awarded to winners in each age group following the judging at 4 p.m. There is a free-draw area for the younger crowd who want to have fun without the pressure of official judgement. If the performing arts pique your interest, grand jete your way to see the Columbia County Ballet’s performance of “Mayfest.” The budding ballerina in your life will be enthralled. “Each year, the Columbia County Ballet shares a free outdoor performance with the community,” Adkins says. “Art in the Park is this year’s stage.” Trying to bring culture to the masses? Love it. This free event is a great alternative to the usual Saturday shenanigans. Cindy Epps, president of the Artists Guild of Columbia County and event coordinator for Columbia County Arts, doesn’t just want you to be a spectator, though. “Art in the Park provides a place, an opportunity for the artists to bring their art to the community regardless of the

medium,” Epps says. “And it gives the community an opportunity to participate in art. It’s for people of all ages — kids and adults.” Art in the Park Columbia County Amphitheater and Memorial Garden Saturday, May 14 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free

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This week, Rhett McBride decided to pass the apron off to his good friend and co-worker David Thorpe, caddiemaster at the Augusta National Golf Club. When Thorpe isn’t working, chances are you’ll still find him on a golf course. If he’s not there, you’ll find him smoking meat on his Big Green Egg, playing with his young son Wyatt or camping in north Georgia. What Thorpe came up with is a simple but crowd-pleasing recipe that takes advantage of one of Georgia’s most well-known staples. Vidalia Onion Casserole 1 sleeve Ritz crackers 2 large Vidalia onions, diced 4 eggs 1 stick of butter 1 1/2 cups milk 1 pkg grated sharp cheddar cheese Paprika

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No. 0424

By Caleb Madison and J.A.S.A. Crossword Class / Edited by Will Shortz















































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115 120


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DOWN 114 Any boat

previous week’s

USEACROSS IT OR LOSE IT By Caleb Madison and J.A.S.A.1Crossword Class / say Edited by Will Shortz Blot with gauze,

METRO SPIRIT 5.5.11 39

free will Rob Brezsny

a s t r o l o g y

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

You’re an animal! Your vitality is heading toward peak levels, and your body is as smart as it gets. If you were ever going to act as if every move you make is a dance, now would be the time to do it. If you ever wanted to explore the righteous blending of grace and power, this is a perfect moment. Give yourself permission to be a fluid bolt of ingenious fun. Play hard and sweet, with sublime ferocity. GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

CANCER (June 21-July 22)

Writing in the Journal of Medical Ethics, psychologist Richard Bentall proposed that “Happiness is statistically abnormal.” It “consists of a discrete cluster of symptoms, is associated with a range of cognitive abnormalities and probably reflects the abnormal functioning of the central nervous system.” If he’s correct, you may have a problem. You’re about to be besieged by a massive influx of good feelings. It may be hard for you to fend off surges of unreasonable joy, well-being and gratitude. Are you prepared to enter into rebel mode as you flaunt your abnormal bliss?

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

If given the choice between having our lives change or keeping our lives the same, many of us would choose the status quo. We feel that even if the current state of things is uncomfortable, it’s preferable to having to deal with the uncertainty of transformation. But you’re the most receptive to shifting the mood and experimenting with the rules. It’s easier than usual for you to imagine different ways of doing things. Take advantage of this superpower.

but in recent years it has grown absurdly. As journalist Les Leopold notes, there are hedge-fund gamblers who rake in more money in an hour than a middle-class wageearner makes in 47 years. Raise your voice against this inequity. Dramatically shrink the discrepancy between the haves and havenots in your own personal sphere, where you can actually have an immediate effect. You might start by asking yourself how the rich aspects of your psyche steal from the poor. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)

There’s a good chance you will soon utter the smartest words you have ever said in your life. It’s also possible that you will generate two of the top five thoughts that have popped into your brain in the last decade. That’s how in tune I expect you to be with your inner sources of wisdom. And that’s how closely aligned you’ll be with the Divine Intelligence formerly known as God. Your

brilliant insights and cogent statements may tempt you to be wilder and freer than you’ve been in a long time. ARIES (March 21-April 19)

Imagine this scene, as described by Seattle-based video artist Michael Douglas. “Sometimes a tree falls down in a field of cows, and the cows walk over to it and stare at it. There’s something different in the field and the cows start to hang out around the tree and watch it like it’s television. They gather around it for months, even after they completely forget why they started doing it.” I think there’s a comparable scene going on in your life right now. People you care about are in a daze, seemingly hypnotized by a certain “rupture in the order of things” that took place some time ago. It’s your task to wake them up, gently if possible, and motivate them to move on.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

Hugo Chavez is the president of Venezuela who recently speculated that the planet Mars once had a thriving civilization that met its doom because its resources were drained off and poisoned by the excesses of capitalism. You should also consider departing from your usual raps and unveiling some unpredictable self-expressions to anyone who thinks they have you all figured out. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

Symmetry and equilibrium are not all that valuable right now. Cultivate a jaunty knack for stylish lopsidedness. Be alert for the way incongruous details and crooked angles reveal fresh, hot truths that provide you with exactly what you need. Even so-called flaws and mistakes may lead to lucky accidents.



“Make the invisible dark force beautiful.” That was the first line of the horoscope I wrote for you in my dream last night. “Create a song out of your moans. Brag about your wounds. Dance reverently on the graves of your enemies. Sneak a gift to your bad self. Dissolve the ties that bind you to hollow intelligence. Seek the angel near the funky gulley that winds through no man’s land. Dig for treasure in the muddy puddle where the single lily grows.” If you can align yourself with my dream’s spirit, you’ll be primed for the waking-life opportunities headed your way.

to sacrifice or surrender? Whatever it is, I predict you will be compensated for it over the course of the next 12 months. It’s not likely that the incoming blessing will bring an exact replacement for the dream that got away. Rather, you will be awakened to an unexpected new source of excitement, thereby dissolving the lingering sense of loss and liberating you to rise again.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

Two British men, Jack Jones and Chris Cuddihy, pulled off an epic deed in 2009. They ran seven marathons in seven consecutive days on seven continents. I’m not recommending that you try something as ridiculously excessive as they did, but you’re now in a phase when your capacity for amazing feats is bigger than usual. Do you have any ideas about what you could accomplish that’s beyond your expectations?

“It was better for me when I could imagine greatness in others, even if it wasn’t always there,” said Charles Bukowski, a cranky writer not renowned for his optimism. This strategy will work wonders for you in the coming days. Trying to see what’s great about other people will tend to activate your own dormant greatness, and will just generally make you feel good. What’s beautiful, smart, interesting and successful about the people you know? Fantasize aggressively.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

What have you had to relinquish in the past 10 months? What were you forced

The income gap between the richest and poorest of society has always been large,

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)

40 METRO SPIRIT 5.5.11

photography: jWhite illustration: Gabe Vega

METRO SPIRIT 5.5.11 41

earDRUM Don’t Look Now, But We’re Trying to Go Places

I’ve always held that Augusta has a poor appreciation for the talented music makers who live right beneath our noses. The legendary Godfather of Soul James Brown couldn’t even get a fair shake here. Put simply, as a town, Augusta has a horrible case of nothing good could come of Bethlehem syndrome. A pity, really. It’s my intention with this space on this public platform to try and turn some of that mindset around. I hope that’s okay with you guys. Will McCranie said recently in a public forum that Augusta

has pound for pound more talented musicians than anywhere he has ever been (and he lives in NYC). While I feel that statement borders on hyperbole, I can’t help but feel proud of our music scene. There is a lot of talent calling Augusta home. For your perusal I present Exhibit A... Julia Easterlin As announcements are made for the line-up of the iconic Lollapalooza festival, it has come to light that the Davidson Fine Arts graduate and

Berklee undergrad has been added to the bill. Now ain’t that something? Lollapalooza’s website calls her “one part Regina Spektor, one part loop scientist and a sophisticated musical mind that can wield composition, production and performance in one fell swoop.” High praise indeed and 100 percent accurate. Easterlin first came to my attention several years ago when the video for “Go Straightaway” was shared on the Soul Bar message board (look up the video on YouTube; you’re gonna dig it). I was pretty instantly enamored with the

jazzy lilt of her voice and understood immediately why she was awarded a full scholarship at Berklee. You can check out her music at and I predict that Lollapalooza will not be the last high-profile gig graced by Easterlin’s presence. She clearly has places to go and people to see. As for me, I’ll see y’all at the rock show... Brian Allen

Have times really changed all that much? My 12-year-old daughter, Maya Lucia, loves Broadway musicals with a passion. She’s finishing up sixth grade at Davidson Fine Arts and has had a wonderful first-year experience there. This summer she’ll be going up to NYC to sing with the school treble choir at Lincoln Center and I’m sure we’ll also be going to see a musical or two or three. This past weekend she went to see the Augusta Players’ production of “Hairspray” at the Imperial Theatre and wrote a review about it for school. She

42 METRO SPIRIT 5.5.11

thought it was simply fabulous and loved the costumes, especially the wigs, and thought the singers were outstanding. We also talked about the racial undertones that make up the story of white and black kids who love music but aren’t allowed to dance together and socialize in 1962 Baltimore. I told her that, yes, it was true, but that music does indeed have the power to bring people together and that times have changed and, today, luckily, we don’t really have to worry about stuff like that.

Hmmmmm. We sat in silence for a few seconds wondering if all this was really true. I mean, think about it. Just this past weekend we had Powerfest and A Day in The Country, two polar opposite local music festivals catering to completely different demographics. Different strokes for different folks, right? I reminded her that the music and art event Social Canvas also took place last weekend at The Morris Museum of Art and, even though we were out of town,

by all accounts it brought out a very diverse crowd to paint and enjoy all the music and vendors. “That’s why more people need to see ‘Hairspray,’” Maya says. I couldn’t agree more. Happy Birthday James Brown, Feliz Cinco de Mayo, Happy 44th to me and Happy Mother’s Day! What a week. See ya downtown, Coco

Free SOA concert brings community together Brooke Willis

When many think of great outdoor concert venues, they think of Chastain Park in Atlanta. In order to get there, though, you have to pack up the kids, pack a picnic, drive over two hours and sit in Atlanta traffic. Oh, and don’t forget to bring the tickets you had to fork out the big bucks for, as if the loan you had to take out to afford the tank of gas wasn’t bad enough. Or you could just take a leisurely drive to Evans next Saturday for Symphony Orchestra Augusta’s Pops! Under the Stars. The concert, now in its seventh year, was started to celebrate the symphony’s 50th anniversary. Over the years, it has evolved into a community event that draws thousands of people from all walks of life. You might wonder what makes this concert so special. What keeps thousands of patrons and sponsors coming back year after year? There’s a whole host of reasons. Amazing venue, free admission, local restaurants providing food and drink for purchase (not just the standard carnie food, folks). That’s all great, but what makes Pops! Under the Stars different from any other outdoor concert is “Z,” Music Director Shizuo Z Kuwahara. Sandra Self, executive director of Symphony Orchestra Augusta, explains that an exciting change to Pops! Under the Stars came when Z signed on with SOA. Watching him conduct, the audience isn’t just listening to music, they are “feeling the enthusiasm, the verve and passion ‘Z’ has,” says Self. Not only does the audience respond to his energy, she said, but the musicians do as well. Watching him walk on stage, he acknowledges the musicians, leads them with a smile and directs them with, not just his hands, but his whole body; his face reflects the mood he wants the musicians to convey with their instruments. If your curiosity hasn’t been piqued by a free opportunity to watch Maestro Z in action, well, there might be something wrong with you, but there’s still more. Self explains that while the Pops! Under the Stars stage was once filled with 40-45 musicians, they have expanded to 60 to create a “fuller, bigger sound.” With this huge sound and thousands of attendees, it really sounds like a logistical nightmare. However, the administrative team at SOA make it seem effortless. They do have some help, though. Leading up to the event, there

are scores of details that have to be orchestrated (oooh, two puns in one sentence). Generators need to be up and running, bathrooms have to be provided (you’ll even be impressed by these accommodations), basically creating a venue from nothing. It takes nearly 100 volunteers the day of the event as well. Self knows this wouldn’t be possible without help from all those who generously donate their time, services and products. “Everyone comes out to work with us,” she says. Let’s talk about clean-up for a second. With thousands of patrons, kids and canines included, you’d think that this place, when all is said and done, would be trashed like a college campus after a game day. Not so, says Self. Apparently people come out and “enjoy themselves, but they care about the property” and little mess is left at the end of the event. Why is this? Other than it being good form to clean up after yourself, Self says that Pops! Under the Stars brings a “feeling of pride to the community.” So, what can you really expect when you join in the concert festivities? Starting at 6:30 p.m., the U.S. Army Signal Corps Brass Band will entertain and give a salute to our men and women in uniform. At 7:30, Symphony Orchestra Augusta will begin its performance. Their music selection is broad and includes many pieces that younger and older crowds will both recognize. Expect movie music selections including “The Star Wars Suite.” As a crowd favorite, they will be ending the night with the “1812 Overture” and “Stars and Stripes Forever.” To accommodate the crowd and the concert, the venue has to be pretty special. And it is. The Evans campus of the University Health Care System has a stage where the concert will take place. Self describes it as a “pocket,” hidden away, dipping down where the stage is. It’s almost like a natural amphitheater, or, in more symbolic terms, it mimics the hands in the University Health Care System logo. It is an outdoor event, so there is the possibility of rain, but don’t worry; in that event the concert will be held at West Acres Baptist Church. In the event of clear skies, this concert is open to adults and kids, both the two-legged and four-legged varieties, of all ages. Self wants this event to feel like you’re going “back in time almost.” Thanks to local vendors, participants can also purchase ice cream, specialty

Maestro Z

subs, soft drinks, water, beer and wine. This concert is really about uniting the community and making music accessible to everyone. Self says “music should bring people together.” When asked what she hopes to see when she looks at the audience, self replied, “happy faces, different ages, a mixture of people from the community.”

Pops! Under the Stars w/ Symphony Orchestra Augusta University Health Care System’s Evans Campus Saturday, May 14 Music, 6:30 p.m.; orchestra, 7:30 p.m. Free

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Thursday, May 5 Live Music Country Club Frontiers (Journey Tribute) French Market Grille West Doc Easton Smooth Jazz Joe’s Underground Keith Gregory One Hundred Laurens Mike Frost Jazz Trio Rose Hill Stables Preston & Weston Sky City Cinco de Mayo Fiesta w/ Matthew Acosta Band and ASU Banda Grande de Jazz Surrey Tavern The Osbon Brothers Wild Wing Running Down Romance The Willcox Four Cats in the Doghouse

Events Cadillac’s Karaoke Club Argos Karaoke Club Rehab Candy Stripers Cabaret Club Sparxx Playlist with Shannon Cocktails Lounge Karaoke Fishbowl Lounge Karaoke Fox’s Lair Soup, Suds & Conversations Helga’s Pub & Grille Trivia HD Lounge Karaoke Islands Bar & Lounge DJ Fred Nice The Loft Karaoke Mi Rancho (Downtown) Karaoke Mi Rancho (Evans) Karaoke Pizza Joint, Evans DJ Kris Fisher The Playground Open Mic with Brandy Shannon’s Karaoke Soul Bar Boom Box Villa Europa Karaoke with Just Ben Wheeler Tavern Karaoke Wooden Barrel ’80s Night Karaoke

Friday, May 6 Live Music Augusta Canal Tara Scheyer Casa Blanca Kate Morrisey Cotton Patch Alan Thompson Country Club Kason Layne Coyote’s Saving Abel, Black Stone Cherry, Within Reason Doubletree Hotel A Step Up French Market Grille West Doc Easton, Karen Gordon Joe’s Underground Jam Samwich Laura’s Backyard Tavern xx One Hundred Laurens John Kolbeck The Playground Electric Voodoo Sector 7G Fireworks, The Wonder Years, Such Gold, Make Do & Mend, Living with Lions Surrey Tavern The Unmentionables Wild Wing Sibling String, the Broadcast The Willcox Kenny George

Events Cadillac’s DJ Doug

44 METRO SPIRIT 5.5.11

Club Argos Variety Show Club Rehab DJ C4 Club Sparxx DJ Rana and Music Explosion Cocktails Lounge Grown-Up Fridays with DJ Cork and Bull Pub Karaoke with Libby D. and Palmetto Entertainment Fishbowl Lounge Karaoke Iron Horse Bar & Grill Karaoke Islands Bar & Lounge Caribbean Night with DJ Spud Mi Rancho (Downtown) Karaoke with Ryan Moseley Mi Rancho (Washington Road) Karaoke with Jeff Barnes Mi Rancho (Clearwater) Three J’s Karaoke Ms. Carolyn’s Karaoke Palmetto Tavern DJ Tim The Place on Broad Rock DJ Rebeck’s Hideaway Open Mic Roadrunner Cafe Karaoke with Steve Chappel Sky City First Friday ’80s Night Soul Bar First Friday DJ Mix Tropicabana Latin Friday Wooden Barrel Karaoke Contest

Country music superstar Dierks Bentley visits the Bell Auditorium Wednesday, May 11, at 7 p.m., bringing with him Josh Thompson and Miss Willie Brown. Tickets, still available, are $32.50-$44.50. Call 877- 428-4849 or visit

One Hundred Laurens DJ Kenny Ray Sky City DJ Joycette Tropicabana Salsa Saturday Wooden Barrel Kamikaze Karaoke

Sunday, May 8 Saturday, May 7 Live Music The Acoustic Coffeehouse Open Acoustic Jam Session with Eryn Eubanks and the Family Fold Blue Horse Bistro Live Music The Cotton Patch Chadd Nichols Country Club Thomas Tillman Coyote’s Lance Stinson Joe’s Underground Candice Hurst Band Laura’s Backyard Tavern xx P.I. Bar and Grill Live Music The Playground The Good End Sky City Mazes & Monsters, Sea Wolf Mutiny, Heyrocco Surrey Tavern The Unmentionables Wild Wing Irritating Julie

Events Cadillac’s DJ Doug Club Argos Variety Show Club Rehab DJ C4 Club Sparxx DJ Wreboot House Party Cocktails Lounge Latin Night Fishbowl Lounge Karaoke Helga’s Pub & Grille Trivia Islands Bar & Lounge Reggae Night with Island Vybez 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

Live Music Crums on Central Jim Perkins Jessye Norman Amphitheatre Candlelight Jazz w/ Greenbrier High Jazz Band P.I. Bar and Grill Live Music Wild Wing Jason Marcum

Events Caribbean Soul Love Jones Sundays Malibu Jack’s Karaoke with Peggy Mi Rancho (Downtown) Karaoke Mi Rancho (Washington Road) Karaoke, Salsa Dancing

Monday, May 9 Live Music Soul Bar Metal Monday

Events Applebee’s (Evans) Trivia Club Argos Karaoke Club Rehab Jenn’s Crazy Karaoke HD Lounge Game Night Malibu Jack’s Team Trivia with Mike Thomas Mi Rancho (Downtown) Karaoke with Danny Haywood Somewhere In Augusta Karaoke with Charles Wild Wing Trivia and ’80s Karaoke

Tuesday, May 10 Live Music Cocktails Lounge Live Music Fox’s Lair John Fisher Joe’s Underground Ruskin Sky City Those Darlins, Shaun Piazza Band Wild Wing Patterson & Nate The Willcox Hal Shreck

Events Club Argos Karaoke Club Rehab Jenn’s Crazy Karaoke Club Sparxx Karaoke with Big Tony Fishbowl Lounge Dart League HD Lounge Trivia Islands Bar & Lounge DJ Fred Nice

Wednesday, May 11 Live Music 209 on the River Smooth Grooves Bell Auditorium Dierks Bentley, Josh Thompson, Miss Willie Brown Cadillac’s Live Band Joe’s Underground Sibling String Wild Wing Beatles Tribute, Matt Acosta & The Special Guests The Willcox Hal Shreck

Events Club Argos Santoni’s Satin Dolls Club Rehab Jenn’s Crazy Karaoke Club Sparxx Trivia Cocktails Lounge Augusta’s Got Talent The Cotton Patch Trivia and Tunes with Cliff Bennett HD Lounge Open Mic Laura’s Backyard Tavern Karaoke The Loft Karaoke Mi Rancho (Downtown) Karaoke Mi Rancho (Washington Road) Karaoke with Rockin’ Rob


Hot Seats Stillwater Tap Room May 13 RecordsRecords,Eskimojitos,The Favors, Cocoa Dylan Sky City May 13 My Instant Lunch Sky City May 14 FasterPussycat,DizzyReed,Venrez, G City Rockers Sky City May 19 Big Daddy Love Stillwater Tap Room May 20 Zach Deputy, Funk You Sky City May 20 New Familiars Stillwater Tap Room May 27

May 14 Bon Jovi Philips Arena, Atlanta May 14 Mother’s Finest Melting Point, Athens May 14 Neko Case 40 Watt Club, Athens May 18 Flaming Lips The Tabernacle, Atlanta May 19-20 Kenny Chesney Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood, Atlanta May 20 Of Montreal, The Buckhead Theatre, Atlanta, May 20 Paul Simon Chastain Park Amphitheater, Atlanta May 21 Panic at the Disco The Tabernacle, Atlanta May 27 James Taylor Chastain Park Amphitheater, Atlanta May 27 Deftones The Tabernacle, Atlanta May 28 The Monkees Chastain Park Amphitheater, Atlanta June 3 Miranda Lambert, Josh Kelley, Ashton Shepherd Verizon Wireless

Local singer-songwriter Tara Scheyer, always a hit with the kids, plays for the grown-ups on Friday, May 6, at 7 p.m. when she entertains passengers on board the Augusta Canal’s Petersburg Boat as part of the Moonlight Music Cruise series. Tickets are $25. Call 706-8230440 or visit

Minus the Bear, Skysaw, The Constellations Sky City May 30


Echo and the Bunnymen The Masquerade, Atlanta May 5 Kylie Minogue The Fox Theatre, Atlanta May 6 Zac Brown Band Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Alpharetta May 6 Margaret Cho Laughing Skull Lounge, Atlanta May 7 The Wood Brothers Variety Playhouse, Atlanta May 7 Atlanta Rhythm Section Wild Bill’s, Duluth May 7 Bruno Mars, Janelle Monae The Fox Theatre, Atlanta May 10 My Chemical Romance The Tabernacle, Atlanta May 11 Jefferson Starship Variety Playhouse, Atlanta May 11 Doc Severinsen Classic Center, Athens May 12 Edwin McCain, Eric Dodd Melting Point, Athens May 12 Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven The Buckhead Theatre, Atlanta May 13 Better Than Ezra Center Stage, Atlanta May 13 Fleet Foxes The Tabernacle, Atlanta

Amphitheatre, Alpharetta June 4 B.B. King, Buddy Guy Chastain Park Amphitheater, Atlanta, June 5 Katy Perry Arena at Gwinnett Center, Duluth June 7 Josh Groban Arena at Gwinnett Center, Duluth June 8 Loretta Lynn Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, Atlanta June 10 Willie Nelson CoolRay Field, Lawrenceville June 12 Mumford & Sons The Fox Theatre, Atlanta June 12 Phish Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Alpharetta June 14-15 Uriah Heep Variety Playhouse, Atlanta June 14 Adele The Tabernacle, Atlanta June 17 Jo Dee Messina The Frederick Brown Amphitheater, Peachtree City June 18 Daryl Hall & John Oates Chastain Park Amphitheater, Atlanta June 19 New Kids on the Block, Philips Arena, Atlanta June 22 Chris Isaak Chastain Park Amphitheater, Atlanta June 22 Steve Miller Band Chastain Park Amphitheater, Atlanta June 24 Skid Row Wild Bill’s, Duluth June 25 R. Kelly Philips Arena, Atlanta June 25 Dinosaur Jr. Variety Playhouse, Atlanta June 26


The Place on Broad Jazz DJ The Playground Krazy Karaoke with Big Troy Polo Tavern Karaoke with Tom Mitchell Somewhere In Augusta The Comedy Zone Wheeler Tavern Trivia

1102 Bar & Grill 209 on the River Aiken Brewing Company Allie Katz Bar on Broad Blue Horse Bistro Cadillac’s Club Argos Club Sparxx Club Rehab Cork & Bull Pub Cotton Patch Country Club Coyote’s Crums on Central Doubletree Hotel Fox’s Lair French Market Grille West Helga’s Pub & Grille The Highlander Iron Horse Bar & Grill Joe’s Underground Laura’s Backyard Tavern Limelite Cafe The Loft Malibu Jack’s Metro Cof feehouse One Hundred Laurens Pizza Joint The Place on Broad The Playground Roadrunner Cafe Robbie’s Sports Bar Rose Hill Stables Sector 7G Shannon’s Sidetrack Bar & Grill Sky City Somewhere In Augusta Soul Bar Soultry Sounds Stillwater Tap Room stillwatertaproom Surrey Tavern Tipsey McStumbles Tribeca Tropicabana Vue Wild Wing The Willcox

METRO SPIRIT 5.5.11 45

Jacob Beltz | Saturday, April 30, 2011 | 7:23PM

46 METRO SPIRIT 5.5.11

dark AFTER

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The 26th Annual Kicks 99 A Day in the Country was Sunday. A Day in the Country, preceded obviously by a day at the tattoo parlor. Man. That is a crowd. I decided to spend my day on the river… floating with friends and people watching to my little heart’s content. It was really, really fun! There were hundreds of boats joined together. It reminded me of a rap video for white people. There was no sunscreen, of course, only beer. Oh, and strawberry flavored moonshine. Oh, and beer pong. On the river. Corey Smith and Montgomery Gentry and some other people were playing on land, but we couldn’t hear them anyway. Have you ever been in the Savannah River? It is freezing. Try peeing in the

METRO SPIRIT 5.5.11 47

the download Matt Stone

Nerd Alert! Chris Hardwick, at left, in Rob Zombie’s “House of 1000 Corpses.” And, yes, that’s Rainn Wilson at right.

Did you ever wonder what happened to that guy who hosted the MTV show “Singled Out” back in the ’90s? Me neither, but it turns out he’s insanely popular... and funny. Chris Hardwick delivers geek humor weekly with his podcast, appropriately titled Nerdist. Some may know Chris from his work on the G4 television show “Web Soup,” his guest appearances on “Attack of the Show” or the many times that he’s been murdered in Rob Zombie movies (IMDB it). Each week there are two podcasts from Chris and his co-hosts, fellow stand-up comedians Matt Mira and Jonah Ray. I consider the guys nerds, but not pocket-protector nerds. From videogames to comedy, they are legitimate fans, big enough fans that it makes them nerds. They come to the table extremely well-informed. Chris is a busy guy. He hosts a television show, a podcast, just finished his first book “The Nerdist Way,” writes articles on and is constantly on the road selling out comedy venues around the country. Oh, and he even makes time to write and perform comedy music with Mike Phirman. The band name? Hard ‘N Phirm. Right off the bat you know the podcast is funny. The guys perform on a weekly basis for audiences around the country, so when they sit down to record Nerdist, they are bringing their A+ material. They tell jokes, relay funny stories back and forth and fill your head full of knowledge. Picture Comic Con crammed into one hour every week. Is there an excess of “Lord of the Rings” jokes? Yes, but they are still

48 METRO SPIRIT 5.5.11

Bringing Hollywood Home! funny. With one of the top downloaded podcasts, Hardwick lands highprofile guests like John Hamm, Zach Galifianakis, Ozzy Osbourne and Bill Maher, just to name a few. Nerdist has become so popular that they are now doing some of the podcasts without guests. Just last week Nerdist was No. 1 on iTunes in the comedy section, which is hard to do when you are going up against the best comedians out there. Probably the best side effect of having a hugely successful podcast is being able to sell out stand-up dates all around the country, since it gives people an insight to Chris’ comedy, so they get to decide whether $20 is worth paying to see his live show. I think it is well worth it. In the end, you don’t have to be Lewis or Gilbert to enjoy Nerdist. And yes, that was a “Revenge of the Nerds” reference. My recommendation is episode 17 with special guest Weird Al Yankovic.

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Bowers Gives Bucs Biggest Steal of Draft The questions swirling around Da’Quan Bowers come draft day were of the chance of him needing microfracture surgery at some point during his rookie contract, not skill or drive. The questioning of his drive was answered with the help of a familiar face around the Clemson Tigers and Tampa Bay Bucs organization — someone previously in a similar situation, with a comparable set of skills and a knack for answering Bowers’ calls when he needed some big brotherly advice. Enter Gaines Adams Adams, who passed away from an enlarged heart in January of last year, was Bowers’ teammate and mentor throughout his career at Clemson. Adams was the Bucs’ first-round draft pick in 2007 (fourth overall), yet found time to stay in tune with his friend’s progress. “He was always checking in on me and making sure my head was in the right place,” said Bowers.

And it was that constant reminder that helped unearth and transform Bowers from an average, injury-riddled starter to the 2010 NCAA sacks leader. So while the wait was expensive, as the Clemson defensive end fell to the second round of the NFL Draft before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers called his name, it was worthwhile. And for those who have followed Bowers since his days at BambergEhrhardt, where he was the No. 1 high school prospect in the nation, you know the Buccaneers’ selection of him is far from serendipitous. The religious Bowers also happens to think the path was shaped with guided hand. “I think everything happens for a reason, and it’s all in God’s plan,” he said. “He made this plan for me since Day 1, and I’m living it out. “I’m just excited to see where things lead me.”

Blank explains drastic moves in draft Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank explained why moving up in this year’s draft was right choice. “This is a decision that was made by the organization. This is an organization that is not timid. This is an organization that is concerned about winning today. We are concerned about winning on a sustainable basis. This is an organization that works together with our coach and with our general manager, everybody in

this building, to make the kind of thoughtful decisions that Thomas [Dimitroff] has made.” Good enough for me. They want to win now and stop the continual “wait till next year” dialogue. Sure, they are rolling the dice. I like it, but maybe I’m partial because all my friends love to gamble and I love all my friends because they love to gamble.



Baseball State Playof fs

Last Friday’s news? Typically British. Last Sunday’s news? Typically American. USA! USA! USA!

All series start on May 6

AAA Harlem hosts Westover Cross Creek @ Cairo Thomson hosts Worth County Grovetown @ Crisp County

Was in New York over the weekend. Who says nothing’s free these days? Staten Island Ferry, The NFL Draft and a Coney Island beachside dance party. Does it get any better?


Tried the Sweet Action from the local Six Point Craft Ale Brewery in Brooklyn. Dry and spicy with a hint of orange underneath. An accepted male version of Blue Moon in my book. Keep the peel.

Greenbrier @ Jonesboro Send stats and updates to before Monday.

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advice goddess Amy Alkon

The Ultrasound of Silence My 27-year-old girlfriend has two kids (ages 10 and 5). She is financially stable and owns her own house. We began planning to get married, but then she said she didn’t want any more children. She cites the financial burden, the time a baby would take from “us,” how she’d be starting all over again and not wanting to do that to her body again. I think she’s being selfish, seeing me as good enough to help raise her two girls but not good enough to have a child with. I want a child who’s genetically related to me, who I can raise and form from the start. I told her, if she won’t have a baby, I won’t take the next step and get married and purchase a house together. Am I in the wrong here or is she? — Feeling Used It’s always so cute when a man announces “We’re having a baby!” — as if “we” will

be getting huge, bloated and hormonal, and nuzzling the toilet bowl for nine months. And then there’s the really fun part, when we get strapped to a table, legs spread and we’re surrounded by strangers shouting “Push! Push!” (As if it’s sheer laziness that keeps a person from squeezing a Mack truck out a carport-sized opening.) Your fiancee was a teen mother way back before you’d get a reality series for that and has now spent over a third of her life being somebody’s mommy. Not surprisingly, she isn’t into having yet another human being to be responsible for for the next 20-plus years — understanding all too well that “Hey, can we get a new person?!” isn’t like getting another kitten (as in, what’s one more once you’ve already got two shedding on the couch?). Unfortunately, it seems you assumed

Mommy Dirtiest Last week, my 25-year-old daughter’s ex-boyfriend said hi to me in a bar, and one thing led to another, and we ended up in bed. I felt absolutely terrible about what happened, and then my daughter, out of the blue, announced that she’s finally over him. In fact, she insisted she is. Is there any way I could keep seeing him, and, if so, should I tell her? — Don’t Want to Lose My Daughter A mother doesn’t risk her relationship with her daughter for just anything. In your case, somebody has to say hi. (One wonders what

you’d do for “Lovely weather we’re having” or “Have a nice day.”) If you care at all about your daughter, think hard about what creepy, narcissistic competitiveness led you to go home with her ex and how creepy you’re still being, wondering how you might snag her okay to go back for seconds. Sure, your daughter said she’s over the guy. And she could be — more than anybody has ever been over anybody — and still never get over hearing her mother say, “Oh, sweetie, I bumped into your ex… and then I ground into him for hours.”

©2011, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or email Also visit and read Amy Alkon’s book: “I See Rude People: One Woman’s Battle to Beat Some Manners Into Impolite Society” (McGraw-Hill, $16.95).

there’d be some sort of kid pro quo here: You drive her kids to soccer and admire their crayonings, and she’d make you a kid of your own. You’re right to expect some really big hugs for doing the standin dad thing, but just because she has the womanparts doesn’t mean she owes it to you to fire up the assembly line and give you an heir. What you’re calling selfishness on her part is actually a sign of emotional health — not being so needy that she’d agree to be your baby vending machine, only to end up resentful and angry (“Here’s your lunchbox, you little snot!”). You don’t get a kid out of her by acting like one — sniffling that you’re “not good enough to have a child with” and announcing, “No baby, no marry, no housie!” Instead of trying to pout and guilt her into more motherhood, discuss this like

adults to see whether there’s any wiggle room here. (Don’t get your hopes up.) As for your question about which one of you is in the wrong, you’re probably just wrong for each other. Ultimately, this could be one of those unfortunate situations where love just isn’t enough. Two people also have to want the same major things: Must love dogs. Must want kids. Need to be horsewhipped daily. Should this relationship crash and burn, try to learn from it: If you really, really want to be something’s dad, prudent family planning involves casually putting that out there as early as the first date. This isn’t foolproof, but it beats the other kind of family planning: planning to swap out the wife’s birth control pills for 30 days of Tic Tacs: “Gee, my Ortho-Novum tastes minty-fresh!”

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METRO SPIRIT 5.5.11 51



Bill Astoria

Say Hi I hail from Wisconsin, land of the wave. We’re enthusiastic wavers, we Wisconsinites, and for good reason, too — stop too long for a chat and you’re libel to freeze to the ground. During the winter it can be especially dangerous. Even during the summer weeks, however, most Wisconsinites prefer the wave over speech. Meet a Cheesehead on the street, and nine times out of 10 you’ll get a twitch of a finger or a waggle of a wrist instead of a hello or a how ya doin’. Up there, waving is a perfectly acceptable form of communication. Here, though, such a gesture seems to border on the obscene. In the few months I’ve been here, I have yet to see

52 METRO SPIRIT 5.5.11

anyone — anyone — pass up the chance to talk. Obviously, Wisconsinites have the ability to talk (we’ve got to do something while we drink all that milk and eat all that cheese) but talking — really, truly talking — just doesn’t come easy for us. Like table manners, it has to be taught. And, like table manners, we do it only when we have to. Here in the south, though, I’ve noticed talking comes as natural as breathing. That’s not to say I understand everything that’s said to me — I’m still a little slow when it comes to decoding the drawl — but the point is, people talk. A lot. Not that I’m complaining. In the short

time I’ve been here, that tendency has brought me up onto the broad front porches of several people’s lives. Me — a complete and total stranger. At Wendys. At Walmart. In line at the post office. Everywhere I go, I’m welcomed by warm words and slow, easy stories. In the spirit of honesty, I suppose I should confess that I’m not always as receptive as I could be. Sometimes, like when I’m trying to run an errand in my sadly overbooked life, I’d really prefer a wave to hearing about your aunt’s labradoodle or your cousin’s second marriage to that exterminator down in Tifton, but you know what? That’s my problem, and it’s only because I’m new.

Anyone who’s ever spent any time in Wisconsin knows what it’s like to come in from the cold. Right now, here, that’s me. I’m still carrying the chill around my shoulders, but trust me — I’ll warm up soon enough. You all are making sure of that.

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The Prez Grows Up and Grows a Pair! Congratulations to President Barack Obama and all those in his administration who played any part in securing the head of Osama Bin Laden on the end of a very sharp stick. What we witnessed this weekend was something far more important than the death of a single, psychotic, Muslim extremist. Actually, what we saw was proof positive that left wingers like “candidate” Barack Obama don’t know their butt from a hole in the ground while taking shots at conservatives who are fighting terrorists all over the globe. What was it we heard in virtually every speech the good senator from Illinois made on the topic of the Bush administration’s war on terror, and even for a few minutes after he became president? “To overcome extremism, we must also be vigilant in upholding the values our troops defend — because there is no force in the world more powerful than

the example of America. That is why I have ordered the closing of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, and will seek swift and certain justice for captured terrorists — because living our values doesn’t make us weaker, it makes us safer and it makes us stronger.” — President Barack Obama, Address to Joint Session of Congress, Feb. 24, 2009. Oops. Well... certainly the president had his allies all squared away as he ordered the raid deep within the borders of Pakistan in the effort to kill the nutbag Bin Laden, right? “We didn’t contact the Pakistanis until after all of our people, all of our aircraft were out of Pakistani airspace... Clearly, we were concerned that if the Pakistanis decided to scramble jets or whatever else, they didn’t know who were on those jets. They had no idea about who might have been on there, whether it be U.S. or somebody else. So, we were watching

and making sure that our people and our aircraft were able to get out of Pakistani airspace. And thankfully, there was no engagement with Pakistani forces. This operation was designed to minimize the prospects, the chances of engagement with Pakistani forces. It was done very well, and thankfully no Pakistani forces were engaged and there were no other individuals who were killed aside from those on the compound.” — John Brennan, deputy national security Advisor to President Obama. Oops, again. Technically, such an obvious show of “cowboy diplomacy” (raid first, ask questions later) is illegal under international law, and some would say that an armed raid while innocent (or unknown) civilians are known to be present constitutes a war crime. You know, kinda like “torturing” detainees. But I am not meaning to mock President Obama’s tactics in sending Bin Laden straight to Satan’s sub-basement. In fact, I am proud of him for doing it. What I do hope, though, is that this entire chain of events will serve as a great lesson that unless you have been in the position to make such life and death decisions, like whether or not to break international law in the effort to take down the No. 1 terrorist of all time, you don’t have any business criticizing those

who have been making those decisions. Were there legitimate problems with the way the Bush administration conducted military and intelligence campaigns in the Middle East? Of course! The Abu Ghrab scandal is a great example. But keep in mind, that was a singular meltdown that reflected a few sickos’ bad behavior way down the chain of command; it was not a reflection of bad policy. President Obama used Bush intelligence-gathering procedures to secure much-needed information, in part from detainees kept at the Bush detainee center, aka Guantanamo Bay, and Bushstyle “cowboy” tactics (the unilateral Navy Seal hit on foreign soil) to take down the bad guy. It is unpleasant (for liberals) to admit, but such tactics are highly effective when going after the scum of the earth. President Obama now knows what President Bush knew and, given the same choices, decided just as he would have, no doubt. Of course, if “candidate” Obama had gotten his way a few years ago, the glorious announcement made this week would have never been possible, and all of middle America would have been able to see the end of “Celebrity Apprentice.” Thank God “candidate” Obama has finally grown up.

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Metro Spirit 05.05.2011  

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