table of contents whine line
- tom tomorrow
- thumbs up, thumbs down
- feature 1: metro spirit b-day
- nytimes crossword
- feature 2: kroc center
are you not entertained
- jenny is wright
- cuisine scene
- augusta tek
- the download
- after dark
- bar notes
- advice goddess
- austin rhodes
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whineLINE I wish the East coast would catch up with the times so I never have to buy weed from a black guy ever again. I’m melting, I’m melting!!! Half-witted wisdom according to the clownish Autsin Rhodes: It wasn’t an extreme fundamentalist Christian, with a murderous and racist hatred towards Muslim immigrants, that was at the root of the Norway massacre. No, in Austin’s crazy world, it was the “damn Norwegian government” and its liberal laissez faire attitude, coupled with a lack of armed security on every street corner, that caused it! Oh, and the rise of Hitler? Liberals caused that too! I’m going to buy the Partridge Inn. IN YOUR FACE!!! Okay, to the little town that could (North Augusta), how about let’s have a city like entertainment.:. The old food lion on Georgia Ave. Would be the perfect building to trasform into an epic skating ring, with all the new hi-tech touches. A water park would be the ultimate money makng attraction if built downtown near the new municipal building. Are people too lazy to proofread their whines? Or are they just that uneducated. So Austin Rhodes is going to play dodgeball? Does that mean I can throw balls at him to dodge? Do I
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have to pay? Remember John Boehner and all these childish political power players who tried to hold our budget hostage to then want to play with our minds in just a few months again. Their silliness makes our disfunctional commissioners seem less like children. It looks like Coco’s head is getting to be as big as his belly. Blinker before brakes. A blinker is an early warning sign to people behind you that you will be applying pressure to your brakes. It is useless to put your blinker on after you brake. Who can deal with a tree with a hole at the base of it before a storm topples it down along with power lines? That tree is on the corner of Stovall Ave. and Wrightsboro Rd. The nice paving job also meant some machine(s) scraped at the tree and its roots enough to reveal a hole that is hollow. Help, help, ants are overrunning some bus shelters. One main one is located at the shopping center close to Augusta Mall. In this heat, it is killing those of us who cannot sit down a bit. I just watched that Youtube video of that fight in the Apple Valley subdivision in south Augusta. I think I now know where that guy looking for Fat chicks in Augusta needs to go. So Scott Hudson came out of the closet on his blog this past week to set
Stupid Smartphones! If you’ve ever pressed send on a text and then actually looked at what you wrote, only to be horrified that your shopping list to your roommate included “penis butter,” then take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone at damnyouautocorrect.com. An oldie but a goodie as far as favorite websites go, this can cheer anyone up, no matter how godawful a day they may be having. Just got fired? Hey, at least you’re not Amy Subwoofer… I mean, Winehouse.
WE RECOMMEND the record straight (no pun intended) on why he has taken a hiatus from local media. And for those of you who were shocked by this announcement, I am sure you were also shocked when Ricky Martin and George Michael came out. That PM radio show which was unkindly described in a certain weekly local print outlet as being presented on a “...little AM station” is putting the fear of God into its competitors. Tony Powers shows that intelligent, mature comments and conversation will attract market-share in metro Augusta. To them know-it-all tv executives who cancelled my favorite afternoon stories, All My Children and One Life to Live. Those were my favorites. I loved me some Erica Cain and Miss Viki Lord! I guess all I have now is General Hospital, which is no where near as good as it was during the Luke and Laura days. They need to be cancelling The Bold and the Beauty. For the knuckleheads who keep
saying that building a new ballpark will make the city money. They need to do their research. The city of Aberdeen, MD, Cal Ripken’s home town no less, used public money to build him a new ballpark there. But the stadium has been such a financial drain on the city that they have tried to unload it with no success. Augusta leaders need to think long and hard before we make the same mistake here. Dumbass say what? What? This is regarding all of the whines from men looking for fat women in the Augusta area: Maybe The Metro Spirit should start a weekly “Fat Chicks Sightings” feature to help these guys out. Any news on the status of the case of The Breck Girl, Scott Dean? Is there ever going to be a trial? Or will all of this be swept under the rug? Don’t hate him because he is beautiful. Austin Rhodes acts as though he
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Well, the medicine appears to be working. To keep our sanity, sometimes it is necessary to take a few whines from one person and move the words around and not add or delete any. Oddly the message is coherent either way. I do well to feed my dog and cat. My money, EVERY DINE, has been spend when I get paid! Augusta is a criminal mega. It is being ALLOWED to decay. You have the opportunity to be an Augusta annoyance! The Mill Village expert educator peasants crave his majesties presence so that we can grovel, in awe, with adoration. Richmond County code and Construction 7-2-1 “behavior or conduct performed by any person, which pose a threat of injury, or! DON”T ASK ME FOR MONEY....DON”T ASK ME TO TRANSPORT YOU. Deke, take a lesson from ghetto culture humble drug house riff raff Rudolph William Louis “Rudy” Giuliani. We never have Sir Deke sightings in the Harrisburg neighborhood interior...or downtown “... Deke and the Grand Duchess Malisas’, This perfectly describes a “KNOWN” drug house I am definitely on the defensive of anyone approaching me while I am in a gas station, grocery store or public place. I have seen NOTHING but riff raff hero found under Buildings scamming and getting over. FLUSH EM! The reason that the riff raff keeps on with their pan handling is because people supply money to them. I am here as an inconvenience to the public. There are food banks and other NON PROFIT agencies for them. Stop enabling for a better Augusta!!!
METRO MASH-UP doesn’t know Norway has one of the lowest crime-rates in the world, because there is so little poverty there due to their excellent welfare-state system. Austin knows this holds true in most European Union countries. Almost all of which are in the world’s top-20 for lowest crime rate. Norway and the European Union have a bigger problem with non-violent white-collar crime than street crime, so why waste money arming everyone all the time?
Perhaps the gentleman speaking of finding BBWs is being fecicious? (Think about the relative ease in finding BBWs.) Or maybe he’s just as lazy as those BBWs he’s looking for... Who the f**k is Coco? When I was a kid, there was a chimp at the zoo named Coco... Would the dude on Eve St. either put on a shirt, or pull up his pants? I
Augusta’s first, and very well-publicized, flash mob coming up on First Friday.
If you find yourself being hassled by the man, place a call to Matthew Duncan, the boozy, Broad Street dispenser of advice. He’ll get arrested so you can go home.
know it’s hot, but pulling your shorts down so they become as long as pants kind of counteracts the measure you took to cool down by wearing shorts in the first place. And you look like a jack ass. Every time I go pick up a paper, they’re all gone. Either this paper has gotten popular or your delivery guy sucks. The Metro Spirit doesn’t have enough articles about femdom tickle torture.
This is a warning to the Cabal that has run Augusta for years and thinks it will continue to run this town into perpetuity: Your days are numbered! Your dirty tricks, deceit, secret backroom deals, and your tax-payer funded gravy train is about to come to an end. A new generation is about to take over. Thank you for your movie theater critique. it’s about time someone called out the big movie theater. I remember when they opened it was such a nice place. Now it is like going to the zoo.
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METRO SPIRIT 8.4.11 5
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LEXINGTON 803.732.2669 V. 22 | NO. 50
INSI ER INSIDER@THEMETROSPIRIT.COM
Insider is an anonymous, opinion-based examination of the hidden details of Augusta politics and personalities.
Putting a Patch on It When it came time to reapply the Patch, all eyes were initially on Corey Johnson, who brought a heap of unwelcome attention upon himself by trying to back out of his vote last commission meeting in favor of the Patch in Augusta LLC taking over the Municipal Golf Course. After being told he couldn’t have a straight re-vote but instead needed the commission to first rescind the vote, which would leave the county once again holding the bag for course operations
should the following vote to allow Affiniti Golf Partners to run the course fail to carry, Corey’s motion to rescind the vote failed. Corey, Johnny Hatney and Grady Smith voted in favor, while the rest of the commission, minus an absent Matt Aitken, who might have been practicing his dodge ball moves in preparation for the big media versus government celebrity dodge ball game at the Kroc Center’s Grand Opening, voting no. After the vote, Alvin Mason
couldn’t position himself in front of his microphone fast enough. Initially pointing out that it would be hypocritical for him not to follow protocol by failing to allow a re-vote after earlier denying Grady Smith the opportunity to take a mulligan, he then made it painfully clear how his convictions were putting him between a rock and a hard place. “It wouldn’t be right on my part, for me — and I’m just talking about me, because that’s who I am. Other people’s actions
shouldn’t determine who you are as an individual. You have to continue to be true to who you are, and that’s what I’m doing here today. According to another commissioner after the meeting, what he was doing was nothing more than trying to have his cake and eat it too, which is otherwise called campaigning.
size of dressing rooms and, yeah, the parking’s a joke and you just know someone’s getting rich because of it, but it’s a damn fine looking building all the same, and the people working there are all damn happy to be there. The response of the typical Augustan? “Has it got mold yet?” Progress — not the kind of tit-for-tat sparring we’re used to, but real, tangible brick and mortar and iron and glass progress — is changing the face of our city right under our noses, and all the guy on the street seems to be bringing to the table is that got mold mentality.
This weekend, the Salvation Army’s monument to goodness and hope and change is celebrating its grand opening by throwing a free party for Augusta. Kroc Center employees have been busy giving tours every hour on the hour for a couple of weeks now, and still the people come. So much positive press has been thrown its way that the journalists in town are starting to drink a little harder and swear a little louder just to compensate. Yet still — still — there are folks who don’t get it. Come on, guys — after all this time, what’s not to get? Are you
really skeptical of those folks in the Salvation Army uniforms? Do you honestly question the intentions of an organization willing to basically coordinate perpetual funding for something as cool as what’s going on over there in Harrisburg? I bet you check your wallet every time they pass that nun that works upper Broad Street, don’t you? Or does it run deeper? Do you think that whole giving a hand up, not a hand out thing is somehow subversive? Maybe you’re afraid that it just might work.
at auction leaving an unpaid balance of $115,902.23 plus interest accruing at 13 percent per annum thereafter, money it is attempting to collect from Tim Duke. Like anyone faced with a foreclosure and sale, Duke is arguing that the sale of the vehicles was not “commercially
reasonable,” stating that if sold properly, the vehicles would have covered the note securing them. The case is still in litigation.
Got Mold? Okay, you all know that the Insider would be the first to say Augusta’s a pretty messed up place most of the time. After all, we’ve got a government that can spend weeks pondering a prepositional phrase (remember “at the courthouse?”) and city officials fully able to keep our Whine Liners busy for a month of Sundays… or was that the General Assembly? Anyway, the thing is, the Municipal Center doesn’t contain all the city’s stupid behavior, and every now and then it doesn’t hurt to remember that. Look around us, people. The Judicial Center might have courtrooms the
Update on Duke Automotive We receive lots of request for updates on legal cases, criminal cases, etc. One often requested is an update in the Duke Automotive closing. When the dealership abruptly closed in March of this year, there were many disgruntled customers who stepped forward in the media.
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As far as legal cases go, there only appears to be one in Richmond and Columbia counties. Dealer Services Corp provided the floor planning for Duke Automotive. The note was for 200k. Dealer Services repo’d Duke Automotive’s inventory and sold it
METRO SPIRIT 8.4.11 7
metro Eric Johnson
Independent Togetherness More Augustans move toward sustainability Nate Lambert
It’s a massively mechanized world around here, and the rapid growth of technology seems unchecked. But parts of this thoroughly industrial region are experiencing an unlikely resurgence: the return of something akin to the pioneer spirit that made today’s system possible in the first place. There aren’t any ships full of huddled masses, no covered wagons or log palisades, but in their places are backyard gardens and farmer’s markets, spinning groups and bartering systems. These modern pioneers are fueled by strong desires for independence and community. As they tell it, this is not the paradox it appears to be. Beech Island’s Pat Holley has a resume that would do any frontierswoman proud. She raises her own vegetables. She keeps a herd of goats, a gaggle of geese and flocks of chickens and guinea fowl. She spins Angora goat fiber into yarn, which she
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then knits. She makes cheese, soap and yogurt from goat’s milk. She heats her water tank with a wood stove. She cans her own food. She teaches others to do most of the above. Holley revels in her independence. “Most of us out here are in the process of becoming independent… going back to basics,” she says. “I wish that more people would wake up to both what they’re eating and what they’re doing with their lives. The country needs to get back to sustainability to survive.” She believes such a change will come one person at a time. Even among farmers, no one is an island. Holley’s neighbors give her Angora fiber from their goats in exchange for milk from hers. When some of her chickens are ready for slaughter, some of her like-minded neighbors pitch in to process them. “The homesteading life makes you
appreciative of what you eat… and grateful for having it,” she says. Holley and her compatriots thank the chickens and goats before they’re slaughtered, and Holley, having raised and cared for them herself, takes comfort in the first-hand knowledge that they’ve had good and healthy lives. Her lifestyle may seem extreme to some, but Holley’s far from alone in seeking a return to simplicity and sustainability. The University of Georgia’s Extension Office, which provides advice on a variety of subjects including gardening, has noticed a recent increase in interest. Valerie Martin, of the Richmond County branch of the office, says that she’s been on the job for four years and that, in the last year, homesteading has become very popular. Martin attributes this to a desire to have fresher, cheaper produce, and the
realization that growing one’s own food is not as difficult as it sounds. Kim Hines, director of Augusta Locally Grown, is certainly on board with both of the aforementioned. In addition to being a grower, she spearheads a project that acts as the middle-person between growers and buyers. Growers can list what they’re selling on the Augusta Locally Grown website, and buyers can place orders. Growers then take the requested goods to Augusta Locally Grown, which delivers them to markets at Frameworks & Tire City Potters in Augusta, the Augusta Jewish Community Center in Evans, and the Riverwood Barn at Riverwood Plantation, also in Evans. Buyers pay Augusta Locally Grown at the markets. Each grower receives 90 percent of the proceeds, with the other 10 percent going towards venue and labor costs. Hines explains that Augusta Locally
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Grown is a very efficient system, allowing local farmers an outlet that doesn’t interfere with any traditional markets they’re selling at. Hines worries that the certain sectors of the public overlook her organization. Lacking the funds to advertise, she attempts to use word of mouth to both promote interest and keep the project supplied with, in her words, “young healthy people interested in food.” Considering it, she adds, “and what young healthy people aren’t?” Local high school students provide much of the labor that keeps ALG moving, hauling produce to the markets every Tuesday. They’re technically volunteers, though Hines tries to pay them a $25 stipend per week. Oddly enough, she claims she also needs competition. She insists that the area needs more farmers markets, particularly in Columbia County, as Richmond
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has taken some strides already, with Saturday Markets meeting downtown. Ultimately Hines attributes the surge in interest towards sustainability to a growing awareness about farming and farmers. “I admire farmers deeply,” she says. “Their work ethic and commitment to the land and to the community… it’s very rare.” Hines describes markets as community events, and hopes that Augusta Locally Grown and others like it can generate interest on the part of Columbia County, which could in turn lead to the creation of a designated space akin to that occupied by Richmond County’s Saturday Market. It’s clear, however, even as she wishes for such acknowledgement and support, that the lack of it isn’t stopping her. Or her buyers. Or her growers. It takes formidable obstacles indeed to daunt them, once they’ve caught the spirit of self-reliance.
METRO SPIRIT 8.4.11 9
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TURN of the
CENTURY A look back at the news the Metro Spirit was covering at the turn of the century
August 3, 2000 Stacey Eidson took a look at the contentious battle to formulate the list of SPLOST projects, particularly the difference between the commission’s list and the recommendations made by the citizens committee that was appointed to review the projects. The arts community turned out in force, only to have their hopes dashed. Approximately $7.85 million that the citizens’ committee had recommended to go to arts and cultural projects was cut. Not because the commission didn’t want to fund the projects, but because commissioners felt the majority of the sales tax money should go toward the government’s space needs because of overcrowding in jail and limited courtrooms, as well as the county’s failing infrastructure. Then, Eidson took a closer look at the separate lists made by commissioners. Commissioners Steve Shepard and Lee Beard had formulated their own sales tax list that they wanted the rest of the commission to consider. Shepard, who had actually come up with two separate lists of his own, concentrated a larger portion of the money toward public safety by asking that an additional $4.94 million be added to the already proposed $20 million for the judicial building. Beard’s proposal was similar to Shepard’s plan, but it did not seek any increase in the $20 million already allocated to the judicial center. Instead, Beard’s plan focused on $3.7 million to be added to the already $2.1 million suggested by the citizen’s committee for Diamond Lakes. But a problem that many commissioners had with Beard’s plan was that he suggested that the commission allocate $1.25 million for a jail pod that would help relieve jail overcrowding. Commissioners pointed out that the jail pod would actually cost approximately $3.7 million to construct. In Shepard’s two proposals, he suggests either building the pod V. 22 | NO. 50
with the full amount funded, or not providing any funding for the pod at all. Commissioner Jerry Brigham said, even though most commissioners realize that the county’s detention center is headed for an overcrowding situation, the commission should not partially fund the jail pod. County Commissioner Randy Oliver told the commission that, under a federal court mandate to build additional space for the jail, the commission would be forced to fund the additional $2.45 million for the jail pod through a certificate of participation (COP) which is debt service not voted on by the citizens of Augusta-Richmond County. In a rare moment, Mayor Pro Tem Willie Mays said that he agreed with Jerry Brigham’s comments about the jail pod. Beard’s proposed SPLOST list was passed by a 6-4 vote. Eidson later profiled controversial Commissioner Marion Williams, who was aggressively shaking up city government. As pastor of Friendship Baptist Church, Augusta Commissioner Marion Williams is used to saving people. But ever since Williams was elected to the District 2 commission seat, several county employees and commissioners have noticed that Williams has moved his crusade from beyond the pulpit and is seeking to reform the local government. In January, when Williams and fellow Commissioner Andy Cheek were elected to the commission, they began a mission to make the county government more efficient. While few could object to such a task, the manner in which the two new commissioners have gone about their goal has been viewed by some departments as invasive and poorly planned. For example, in late June, Williams and Cheek were openly critical of the county’s Department of Housing and Neighborhood Development (HND). The two commissioners paraded a
handful of citizens — dissatisfied with work performed on their homes under HND’s housing rehabilitation program — in front of the commission’s administrative services committee. Commissioner Bill Kuhlke called the two commissioners’ actions that day “interfering and micromanaging.” While many people understand Williams’ frustration and his desire to reform the government, some people are asking: Is Williams doing the county more harm than good? “I’m having an impact,” Williams said with a smile, while sitting behind the mayor pro tem’s desk with his hands clasped behind his head. “Nobody is going to put me in a box by saying I have a big head or that I’m trying to do something. Being a new commissioner, I’m my own man. And I’m going to stand for what I think is the right thing.” As a former city employee, Williams
thinks that qualifies him to point out problems that have existed for more than 40 years. After Williams graduated from T.W. Josey High School in 1966, he became a city firefighter. “I know how this government works,” Williams said. “Back then, it was all about friends, and who knew who. Today, it’s the same old system and it’s got to change.” Department heads and commissioners aren’t the only ones who have had problems with Williams. Some of Williams’ constituents have also turned on him. “I had some people who supported me who are now saying, ‘I’m disappointed in you,’” Williams said. “But I can’t do what someone else wants me to do.” But Williams believes no matter what people say about him, he has just as much “common sense” as any other politician, including President Clinton, George W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan. METRO SPIRIT 8.4.11 11
Police Blotter July 29 in Augusta-Evanez
12:30 a.m. Hardy Court in Augusta. Someone broke the window of a Impala and stole a Dell computer. 12:46 a.m. Broad Street. Scrap at the bar left a couple gents with a small laceration under the eye and another with a boo boo on his forehead. 1 a.m. Hephzibah. Harrassi. 1:51 a.m. Evans. Saturday on Belair Road, the State of Georgia (listed as victim) found a 21 year old kickin’ it old school! This gentleman was found to be in possession of marijuana (13.1 g) and a metal grinder. In a Crown Royal bag! He was charged under the “Captain Obvious” statute. 2 a.m. Sound Track Supper Club on Laney Walker. A T.W. Josey student was jumped by two females and a male, who struck her several times in the head and face with their closed hands. 2:02 a.m. Ellis and Broad. Someone broke driver’s side window and stole a purse. 2:30 a.m. Caldwell Drive, Hephzibah. Someone broke the driver’s side rear vent window and stole the car (1985 Delta 88. Sweet.), wrecked it into two other parked cars before they were able to leave the apartment complex. Vehicle recovered at ENTRANCE TO APARTMENT COMPLEX. 3:15 a.m. Tobacco Road. Someone in a Ford F 150 stole a sheet of ½-inch aluminum which had been cut with a waterjet cutting machine. Complainant has photos of the thief from a trailcam in the wooded area near the shop.
Someone stole a 1994 Chevy pickup. Owner stated the vehicle had a damaged steering column so It didn’t need a key to start. 9:30 a.m. Madrid Drive. Someone chunked a rock through the front window of a house. 10 a.m. Bennock Mill Road. Guy leaves a truck on the homeowner’s property after it breaks down with permission from the son. Instead of getting it the next day, he waits two weeks and retrieves it when no one was home. Homeowner wishes to prosecute for criminal trespass. 11 a.m. West Richmond Hill Road, Augusta. An unknown burly type person kicked in the back door and walked away with a 30” Mitsubishi flat panel TV. High Noon. Robert C. Daniel Parkway. Someone stole a Jessica Simpson purse from a car. High Noon. Magnolia Cemetery. Someone spray painted “G Shine” on the side of the Baron Mausoleum. 3 p.m. Hephzibah. Diamond Lakes. Someone broke into the Youth Field and Adult Field offices and ransacked the place. Broke windows and set off fire extinguishers. 3 p.m. Goshen Road, Augusta. Rear door kicked in. Nothing taken.
4 p.m. Commerce Drive. Thief took off with $150 worth of copper wire.
When confronted she takes off, leaving her cell phone behind.
4 p.m. Dan Bowles Road. Stolen white wall tire valued at $50. Last seen underneath red Lincoln Town Car parked in yard.
8:50 p.m. Peach Orchard Rd. Augusta. Lemeatrice and Shaqwasha got into it in a parking lot. Cigarette flicked in face, drink thrown on car. Both parties wish to prosecute.
4:06 p.m. Church Street, Blythe. (Blythe in the house! Give it up for Blythe!) Suspect rolled down his window and pointed a handgun at the complainant. Very vague about why. 4:30 p.m. Shelby Drive, Augusta. A broken window at an abandoned house. 5 p.m. Braddock Street, Martinez. Left front door unlocked and returned to a ransacked house, missing iPad, Nintendo and 42” plasma. 6:06 p.m. Windsor Spring Road, Augusta. A trailer had its front door kicked in. Nothing missing. 6:50 p.m. Bertram Court, Augusta. On routine patrol, officer noticed front door wide open and broken rear window. No one home. 8 p.m. Harding Road, Augusta. Friend got all drunk, then when the homeowner closed the front door, he kicked it in and whopped her on the head. 8 p.m. 3rd Avenue, Augusta. Magnolia Cemetery. Spray paint on large crypt, several above-ground tombs uncovered. Shudder. 8 p.m. Windsor Spring Road, Augusta. Unknown connoisseur of the finer things tried to rip off a 87 Buick Lesabre, tan in color. No luck. 8:44 p.m. Family Dollar on Milledgeville Road. Lady sticks Ajax, Downy, Gain and Clairol in her purse.
9 p.m. Hephzibah. White Mitsubishi Galant took a brick to the windshield. 9:15 p.m. on Claussen Road, Augusta. Ex points a gun in his face then hits the bricks before officers arrive. 10 p.m. East Boundary, Augusta. 2000 Chevy Malibu took a BEATIN’! Four slashed tires. Busted windshield. Smashed rear drivers side tail light. Broken off driver’s side mirror. 10:29 p.m. Hephzibah. Four juveniles kicked a homeowner’s screen door and took off. The lady of the house hunted one of them down and brought him back to meet up with the police. 10:30 p.m. Old Waynesboro Road, Augusta. Missing 2,500 pound steel root rake used on the front of a yellow bulldozer. 10:30 p.m. 1st Avenue, Augusta. 1989 blue Caprice left unlocked. Goodbye 40 caliber Smith and Wesson and iPod. 10:45 p.m. 3rd Avenue, Augusta. House ransacked. Xbox stolen. 11:30 p.m. Downtown Augusta. Unknown white male with neck tattoo and tattoos on both arms, walks with a limp. Ordered a drink from the bar. Claimed his money was in his car. On his way out he snatched cash off a table.
3:59 a.m. Heritage Circle, Augusta. Someone is calling stating she wants to “drag her” and blow her head off. 7 a.m. Madrid Drive. Augusta. Stolen push mower. 8 a.m. Belgrade Court. Augusta. Ex boyfriend and cousin (possibly nephew) keep calling and either moaning or threatening to assault her. 8:30 a.m. Cameron Drive, Augusta.
12 METRO SPIRIT 8.4.11
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The Spirit of Survival The Spirit rises from the ashes to celebrate yet another anniversary eric johnson & jason lind
At 9 a.m. on Wednesday, March 2, the staff of the Metro Spirit gathered in the vacant publisher’s office at 700 Broad Street to take a conference call from their owner and group publisher in Charlottesville, Va. The mood was decidedly tense and the news was not good. Portico Publications, which had owned the paper since 2006, had decided to cease publication effective immediately. After nearly 22 years, Augusta’s independent voice was silenced. It wasn’t silenced for good, of course. Unknown to most, former publisher Joe White had been trying to buy the Spirit since June, and before the staff had even found boxes for their belongings, White was on the phone with Portico. The following Tuesday, White bought the paper and the Spirit was alive once more. Though it may have been alive, it was over a month before we put out our first issue, and in that time the community had a chance to do something it hadn’t done in over two decades: contemplate life without the Spirit. It’s easy to forgot, but 22 years ago, Augusta was an entirely different place. When it came to news, Augusta was a
14 METRO SPIRIT 8.4.11
Metropolitan Spirit staff circa 1994
rip and read company town, and what the daily published each morning was spread across the airwaves for the rest of the day. The daily alone decided what was news and what wasn’t. One paper and one editorial board set the agenda. But then in walked the Metropolitan Spirit. Before long, Augusta started hearing about things the daily wasn’t covering. Or it started hearing about the things the daily was covering, but from a different perspective. Finally, Augusta had an alternative. And because it takes two sides to have a conversation, Augusta actually had something to talk about. It didn’t take long for the marketplace to notice. It was a different time back then. The daily was as strong as any daily paper in the country, and its salespeople were hustling to make the most of it. Radio was a free for all of independently owned stations, each with its own salespeople on the streets. And the networks were out there, too. Because nobody knew what to make of the Spirit, they tried to poison the waters before it could turn into a problem. Those days were tough for the Spirit salespeople because there was so much
disinformation to overcome. You had to be a true fan of the paper — and incredibly thick skinned — to weather the abuse, and plenty weren’t. But soon something happened. Thanks to a foundation of solid journalism and an unblinking resolve to shake things up, business owners started to understand what we were doing. The strength of the editorial content, which had immediately won over readers, started winning over clients as well. And where they once found skepticism and antagonism, the sales force started seeing business owners plunking down money not just to buy ads, but to support the paper. It was the same kind of community buy-in we experienced during the re-launch a few months ago, where certain businesses went beyond simply recognizing a good advertising value and instead saw a greater purpose. That’s the beauty of a newspaper. No other business impacts the greater good of the community the way a newspaper does, and these advertisers saw their financial relationship as a two-way investment. And the rest is history, improbable though it may be, both for Augusta and for the fortunate individuals who have
Original Spirit Randy Lambeth created the Spirit’s original logo — not that he was given any choice in the matter Local artist Randy Lambeth knew Alice Vantrease wanted to start the free weekly newspaper that became the Metro Spirit, but he had no idea he would play an integral part in its formation. “One day I was on Bobby Jones Expressway and I saw this billboard,” he remembered. “Bright yellow — school bus yellow — with my ‘Spirit’ on it bleeding off the sides.” The road to that day on Bobby Jones started months earlier, when Vantrease shared her business idea with her friend Lambeth. “She mentioned that she wanted to start a newspaper and I said, ‘A newspaper?’” he recalled. “She said, ‘I’m not going to make money by selling them, I’m going to make money by giving them away.’” Skeptical, Lambeth said he nonetheless went to visit her at work one day, during which time Vantrease asked him to do her a V. 22 | NO. 50
worked for the Spirit, whether there at that first house on Russell Street or in the offices on Broad or now here in the yellow building on Washington Road. Has it all been smooth sailing? Of course not. The Spirit has never been immune to the ebb and flow of talent and the fickle ticks of the market. There have been embarrassments and mistakes and the occasional clueless blunder, but always there has been that commitment to factual reporting and a clear-eyed understanding of our role, and because of that continuity, the paper has evolved into something larger than the people who have managed it. David Vantrease sold to Portico. Portico eventually sold to White. And the paper keeps soldiering on. Eventually, a paper takes on a life of its own, because after a certain amount of time it’s about the paper, not the people associated with it. The personalities become caretakers, simply parts of a whole. Offices move, people come and go, but the culture remains. As you look at the faces of just a few of our past employees, keep in mind this little bit of institutional humor: you’re not really a part of the Spirit unless you’ve left and come back. Over the years, the masthead of the Spirit has been littered with retreads. In fact, three of the four members of the paper’s current creative team are former employees. The fourth? He was two years old when the first Spirit rolled off the presses, so you can’t really hold it against him. Besides, there’s time. The paper’s not going anywhere. The reasons for such recidivism are pretty clear. It takes a particular type of person to work in such a fast-paced environment, one not easily fatigued or offended. The atmosphere is at once incredibly silly and incredibly serious.
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The stakes are high and there’s no net to catch you, but the freedom and solidarity are intoxicating. Really, only those who have faced the challenge of putting out a paper each week, every week, know the glorious and appalling addiction of it all. Each Thursday the slate is wiped clean. A fresh start every week. You don’t find that anywhere else, and once you’ve had it, it’s tough not to want it again. Plus, the Spirit has never had those adults frowning from the sidelines. You know the ones. They stand there with their arms folded in sour disapproval, waiting for someone to demonstrate too much exuberance. Everyone at the Spirit has had a certain playfulness and sense of fun which has allowed them to mesh together and form a family. Dysfunctional, sometimes and certainly nontraditional, but a family nonetheless. Successs at the Spirit is all about loving the job and fitting in, and the only way you can fit in is to love the job.
So here we are, a 22-year-old publication that’s a little over three months out of the cradle, a purely print publication in an ever-growing digital world. And we like it that way. Our philosophy on the Information Age is that it’s about the information, not the delivery system. The people who focus on content are the ones who will be successful. Methods of delivery will rapidly evolve, but no matter how miniaturized or digitalized or pixilated, we Augustans are still going to be eating in restaurants and going to the movies and hitting the cafes and moving around town. And we’re still going to be picking up Metro Spirits. Therefore, we we’re not going to join the race. We’ll just concentrate on what we’re already doing and let everyone else figure it out. We can do that because, contrary to what everyone assumes, there’s no shame in not being on the internet. Honestly. The only complaints we’re
favor for the paper that was then called the Metropolitan Spirit. “One day I walked in and she said, ‘I would like you, Randy, to design the logo for the Metropolitan Spirit,’” he said. “’I want you to design the Spirit.’” The two, he said, had already discussed the fact that while the formal name would be the Metropolitan Spirit, Vantrease really wanted to focus on the “Spirit” part of the name. Still unsure, Lambeth said Vantrease eventually didn’t give him much of a choice in the matter. “She said, ‘Randy get in there!’ She had these rooms with tables, I guess you’d call them interrogation rooms. She put me in one of these rooms and said, ‘Don’t come out of there until you’ve got a logo for the Spirit,’” he said. “I went in there and she slammed the door shut.” While she was in a meeting, however, inspiration struck. “I snuck out and went to the secretary at the front desk. I just came up with this wild idea,” Lambeth said. “I said, ‘Do you have one of those old-timey ink jars with the stopper with the ink thing down at the bottom with the hook?’ Durn if she didn’t produce exactly that.” Using the stopper and hook, Lambeth began writing. “I wrote ‘Spirit’ over and over and over again,” he said. “Just all kinds of ways, not in rows or anything, but actually here and there on various typewriter paper. Only on one side, you know, because it [the ink] soaked through.” After a while, Lambeth picked his seven favorites, cut them out and delivered them to Vantrease. “I walked in and put them down and said, ‘Well there you go. There’s my design,’” he said. “I don’t think she was expecting that be she said alright and I was out the door.” Next thing Lambeth knew, his work was gracing a billboard on one of the busiest roads in town. “So that was that,” he said. Well, almost. Lambeth recalled a time, after Alice Vantrease sold the paper to her ex-husband, David Vantrease, when he noticed something a bit odd. “They tried copying it one time and I called up David and I said, ‘I know you did wrong. You got someone to copy my Spirit,’ because I could tell,” he said. “It looked just like it, but I knew it wasn’t mine.” The original, however, is all Lambeth.
METRO SPIRIT 8.4.11 15
getting are from readers upset that they can’t read us online, and if we were them, we’d be complaining, too… all the way to pick up a paper. And Augustans are getting back to
the routine of picking up a paper. “It’s Thursday — we need to pick up a Spirit.” For years that was what you heard on Thursday mornings. That and the bam-bam-bam of Spirit box
doors slamming shut. Our short time on the internet took away that sense of urgency, but we’re getting it back and we say it’s about time. Who knows what the next 22 years
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will bring other than this: Thursday mornings will continue to matter and the yellow boxes throughout Augusta will continue to slam shut. You have our word on that.
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METRO SPIRIT 8.4.11 17
“It’s Part of the Reestablishment of That Neighborhood”
Following a closed-door legal meeting before last Monday’s committee meetings, the Augusta Commission voted 8-0 to spend $175,000 in unused SPLOST money to buy the historic Penny Savings Bank on the corner of Laney Walker and James Brown boulevards. This purchase comes as the commission and the administrator are unsure how to go about choosing a brokerage firm to market several surplus buildings the county is currently trying to unload, including the old library building on Greene Street and the depot property on Reynolds. Why take on a new building in the midst of a property sell-off? According to Administrator Fred Russell, the answer has to do with the historic nature of the building, the neighborhood where it’s located and the city’s plan for the area. “It’s part of the reestablishment of that neighborhood,” he said. “It goes with our neighborhood revitalization plan in that neighborhood.”
18 METRO SPIRIT 8.4.11
That neighborhood, of course, is Laney-Walker, which in spite of its reputation has seen quite a bit of attention over the course of the last few years. Projects at A.R. Johnson and Laney Walker High School, a streetscape project and Urban Redevelopment Agency of Augusta’s Heritage Pine project have all drawn favorable attention to the neighborhood. The Augusta Housing Authority is also proposing a new development where the old Immaculate Conception school is, and Historic Augusta’s Executive Director Erick Montgomery said he is working to try to ensure the Housing Authority reuses the old building instead of demolishing it. Russell said the Laney Walker’s reemergence would help the move be successful. “We’ll warehouse it for a while and make sure it’s secure and basically hold it until we move that neighborhood another step or two further, then put it on the market,” he said.
He says it’s likely the city could recoup its investment. “Two reasons we picked it out — it’s a prominent building and part of the redevelopment is based on the historic nature of that community,” he said. “It’s a very historic building, not only historywise, but also culture-wise. It has a rich cultural history.” Established in the early 20th century, the Penny Savings Bank was Augusta’s first independently owned black bank and remained a cultural landmark long after it went out of business. Though he said he’s been keeping track of the state of the building, Montgomery said the commission’s move caught him by surprise. “I don’t really know what’s going on,” he said. “I have talked to people about that building over the last couple of years, but I’m not sure what precipitated the move.” Montgomery said he was last in the building over the winter, and though the vacant building needed some work, it
appeared to have a lot of promise, both in its historic nature and in a practical capacity. Though the contract for the building has yet to be signed, Russell said that putting the property into the Land Bank Authority would be beneficial. The Land Bank Authority is a mechanism communities use to purchase and hold on to advantageous properties, often when there’s a failure to pay taxes. Though Russell and the commission appeared enthusiastic about the plan, anything right now involving real estate seems likely to take a long time to be resolved. “It might be a year or two down the line, but I think as that neighborhood continues to grow and you see the improvements we’re making up and down that street, then you’ll see that that’s going to become a fairly marketable piece sometime in the future,” he said.
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NINE OF DIAMONDS By Kurt Mueller / Edited By Will Shortz
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31 34 38
A S I A
T H A W S
H I R E S
B E L L P E P P E R
J I B E S
A N E S T
G A S S Y
M W A H
O H N O
T E N S
P O P P E D T U T T E B O R A T
O N P A T R O L S H A R O N
P O L L O I T H E R E F
H O I W N E T N S
A L S R A H A C E S S P E K H U N C E S O A R S W M D H A Z O C K E W H I T O D A E L U C K I S A A E A L T L D I T H E W I A M I N G I N K
101 Slot machine symbols, often 102 With 86-Down, what Washington purportedly could not do 104 Boors
J U N G
O C T A D S
L O O K
D O G S
A L O U
A N D K A U W I T H E N R M A E S O F H A R I O N T O P C T E H Y W E S E P S I E S L D T H O R O G O W
105 106 110 113
Banks who was known as Mr. Cub Late bloomer Some notebook screens, for short Fourth notes
G E A I T L P E O P P G H C L A T H E A I M R E L A F A D E K R T H E I V A R D O S S I K A L E N A L T H L I E T N U I N G S D I L E E B E R
D A L E Y A T E A R S T A Y I N
D U E T
L E T T
E R O O
F R I S K
L A V I E
U T E N N
T A P D A N C E R S
A G A I N
N O R A D
I R A E
O R Y X
DOWN 1 Mosey 2 Perform Hawaiian music, say 3 Shell alternative 4 “Uncle Moses” novelist Sholem 5 Smack 6 French first lady ___ Bruni-Sarkozy 7 Staggering 8 Game tally: Abbr. 9 It was invaded in the War of 1812 10 Prayer 11 Airlift, maybe 12 Really bugged 13 Orphan girl in Byron’s “Don Juan” 14 Seldom 15 Urging at a birthday party 16 I-5 through Los Angeles, e.g. 17 Heckle, e.g. 18 Thou follower? 24 Some volcanoes 28 Doesn’t stop, in a way 32 Pitcher part 33 Animal with a snout 35 Urgent transmission, for short 38 Result of a pitch, perhaps 39 Schedule opening 40 Trolley sound 41 Distant 42 Side in checkers 43 Metered praise 44 Tasseled topper 45 Leader exiled in 1979 47 Not much 48 Nobelist Walesa 49 Queen’s request, maybe 50 Skin cream ingredient 51 Adds insult to injury, say 52 Land on the Sea of Azov: Abbr. 53 Cultural org. 59 Stomach area 60 Deferential denial 62 Junk bond rating 64 Something on a hog? 65 Stalk by a stream 66 Feudal lands 67 Ex-governor Spitzer of New York 68 When repeated, a TV sign-off 69 Kind of story 70 Hi-tech organizer 74 Sonoma neighbor 75 Metric wts. 77 Vast, in verse 78 Vietnam’s ___ Dinh Diem 79 “What ___?” 80 Towel 82 Reach at a lower level 84 Emoticon, e.g. 86 See 102-Down 89 “___ tu” (Verdi aria) 91 Words following see, hear and speak 92 1972 Best Actor nominee for “The Ruling Class” 93 Winning length in a horse race 94 Finally 95 Side in a pickup game 96 Minute 97 Swiss quarters? 98 Confederate general who won at Chickamauga 99 Noted 1991 Harvard Law grad 100 Supplied, as data
ACROSS 1 Crackerjack 4 Org. fighting pirates? 9 Pink shade 14 Wyle and Webster 19 Man of mystery 20 Stylish 21 Mountain ridge 22 Hit TV show that ended in 2011 23 Cuts in a cardboard container? 25 American-born Japanese 26 Prefix with meter or methylene 27 Tax lawyer’s find 28 Heel 29 7’1” former N.B.A. star 30 Feminine suffix 31 Yelled initially? 34 Nursery noise 36 Empty 37 26 of the 44 U.S. presidents: Abbr. 38 Instruction part 40 Beach site, maybe 42 It might be skipped 44 So-so formal dance? 46 Went far too slowly during the 10K? 54 State symbols of North Dakota and Massachusetts 55 Leader who said “All reactionaries are paper tigers” 56 Slight 57 “Use the Force, ___” 58 Arizona is the only state to have one 59 Attach to 61 “Rocks” 62 Certain helicopter 63 Piece of black-market playground equipment? 69 Cousin of kerplunk 71 ___ for life 72 Purple shade 73 Press 76 It comes out in the wash 77 Northernmost borough of London 81 Freud’s one 82 Antlered animal 83 Wool or cotton purchase request? 85 Disgusting advice? 87 Way out 88 24 hrs. ago 90 Isle of the Inner Hebrides 91 Brown-___ 94 New York’s historic ___ Library 97 Top of a ladder?: Abbr. 98 Whiskey bottle dregs? 103 Courtroom entry 107 Corporate shake-up, for short 108 Beyond ___ 109 People whose jobs include giving tours 111 To have, in Le Havre 112 “I don’t give ___!” 113 Nobleman after a banquet? 114 Rita Hayworth’s femme fatale title role of 1946 115 Effects of many waterfalls 116 Felt bad 117 Bind 118 Toothpaste brand once advertised as having the secret ingredient GL-70 119 Not settled 120 Hits and runs 121 Rev.’s address
METRO SPIRIT 8.4.11 19
It’s a Big Deal
The Kroc Center’s all day Grand Opening hopes to introduce the community to the $35 million facility while giving Augusta one heck of a summer Saturday of fun
Before the Kroc Center officially opens for business on Sunday, Kroc Center officials hope to give the community a Saturday for the ages. “We wanted to have an event that, except for the Masters, of course, was the biggest event in Augusta all year,” says Public Relations Coordinator Antony Esposito. “And we wanted to do that to let people know that the Kroc Center of Augusta is an important part of Augusta. It’s not some little thing that opened and you’ll never hear from again. It’s a big thing.” Augusta’s had its share of big things in the past, but when it comes to the Kroc Center, the facts match the hype. Not only does it have a 75,000-gallon pool with a 190-foot long water slide that actually exits the building, it’s made up of about 634,000 bricks specially matched to blend in with Sibley Mill, which sits on the other side of the Augusta Canal. With only 27 in the nation, most in major metropolitan areas like
20 METRO SPIRIT 8.4.11
Philadelphia and Atlanta, Augusta’s Kroc Center is considered by many to be the finest in the country. In 1998, Joan Kroc, the widow of McDonalds founder Ray Kroc, donated $90 million to the Salvation Army to build what would become the first Kroc Center in San Diego. With an ice arena, gym, three pools and a performing arts theater, the community center, which opened in 2001, became so successful, both as a center and as an anchor for neighborhood redevelopment, that Joan Kroc left $1.5 billion to the Salvation Army for the construction of 26 more Kroc Centers across the nation. For Augusta’s Kroc Center, the Kroc estate contributed $33.9 million toward construction and $33.9 million toward the endowment. In turn, the community had to raise $20 million, which it did in historically quick fashion. The result of all that money is the 100,000-square-foot facility Esposito is anxious to show off during the open house.
“We wanted to bring everybody in the CSRA to the Kroc Center in one day to let them know that we’re here, that we’re here for the community and that we can host big events,” Esposito says. Not only can it host big events, it can provide lots and lots of arts, educational and recreational programming. “We said all along that we just want to get people to see the building,” says Communications Director Derek Dugan. “What it comes down to is we want members. We want people to join the Kroc Center and use the Kroc Center. We want to make it as appealing as possible to the families in Richmond County and Columbia County, so we wanted to put together a day that would be so appealing that nobody could resist coming down.” That days starts at 10 a.m. with the Salvation Army of Augusta Band and ends with a fireworks display over the Augusta Canal. In between, there’s an exhausting slate of events ranging from the chance to play catch with the
members of the Augusta GreenJackets to a free Cowboy Mouth concert. According to Dugan, there’s enough variety to draw just about everyone in the CSRA. If they’re not a Cowboy Mouth fan or they don’t get excited about fireworks, he says, there’s still plenty of other cool stuff to do. “We’re trying to appeal to families,” Dugan says. “So we want to load up the day and make it a celebration.” Funding for the 11 and a half hours of free entertainment comes from the Kroc Center sponsors. “Enough people saw this as a big enough day,” Dugan says. “This is a pretty big deal. This is a project that so many people have been involved in for so long — it’s a big deal for Augusta.” Headlining the day’s entertainment is the popular New Orleans rock band Cowboy Mouth. “Cowboy Mouth is one of the absolute best live bands you’ll ever see, and that’s what we wanted,” Esposito says. “They are performing a family-friendly show V. 22 | NO. 50
with a lot of crowd involvement, which is absolutely perfect for what we’re doing.” Though Cowboy Mouth frontman Fred LeBlanc shies away from any kind of “up with people” talk, he does acknowledge his band’s ability to inspire and motivate, a talent that leads to several fundraiser concerts throughout the year. “We’re a band that encourages positive energy from the stage and the audience, and I think that’s because we work to make sure that the audience has a great time and leaves feeling good,” he says. “It just goes along with the fundraising/ community spirit thing. You just have to go out there and encourage people to be positive, encourage them to celebrate and kind of bring those parts of themselves out of themselves and then it just becomes a great thing.” A drummer, LeBlanc has been at it long enough to be humble. Though Cowboy Mouth has been fortunate to maintain a comfortable level of success, he spent some lean days with the southern punk band Dash Rip Rock. “I’ve never looked at it like I’m a rock star bestowing my greatness and my genius on the undeserving masses or any of that crap,” he says. “For me, it’s always been this little game. It’s called rock show. Me and my three friends are going to be the band and you guys are going to be the audience. And who knows, maybe sometime we’ll play this game again and you guys can be the band and we’ll be the audience.” Though Cowboy Mouth has a long list of former members, LeBlanc and lead guitarist John Thomas Griffith represent
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the band’s longstanding core. Currently, they’re rounded out by Casandra Faulconer on bass and Matt Jones on rhythm guitar. Born with tonsils and adenoids blocking his ear canals and lungs too underdeveloped for surgery, LeBlanc spent the first three years of his life deaf. Desperate to provide their son some stimulation, his parents would lay his head on the stereo so he could experience the vibration. Dealing with that kind of adversity seems somehow fitting for a band from the Big Easy. “New Orleans has always had kind of a tenuous grip on the reality of life and death because they kind of go hand in hand down there,” he says. “There’s always the knowledge in the back of your mind that this place could be wiped out at any minute.” Out of that low-grade fear comes some pretty high-energy music. “Basically, all I’m trying to do with the audience is to get them to have as much fun as I am,” he says. “I get to get up there and play drums and act like a five year old for a living, and I’m just trying to get them to that place I get to go every night.” And unlike some drummers, who are lost in the spectacle and motion of the concert, LeBlanc has made sure you’re going to see him, though it has nothing to do with ego. “I spent years in other bands staring at guitar player’s behinds,” he says. “That just irritated me to no end, so when I finally decided to put this band together, I said drums are going up front. I didn’t
METRO SPIRIT 8.4.11 21
necessarily want to put anybody behind me, but I just wanted to be up where the fun is.” Kid favorite Tara Scheyer and the Mud Puppy Band will open for Cowboy Mouth at 6. Scheyer’s known for the way she connects with her audience as well as her ability to play several instruments, including toy piano. Harrisburg product Eryn Eubanks will bring her Family Fold to the performing arts center for a concert at 2:30, Karen Gordon of Garden City Jazz fame will
22 METRO SPIRIT 8.4.11
perform jazz on the lawn just outside the Kroc Center and the youth choral ensemble Creative Impressions will sing at the performing arts center at 1:30. With seating for 400 and a 2,300-square-foot stage, the performing art center is a cornerstone of the new building. It features amenities like a cough and cry room, 7.1 surround sound and three separate screens. “One of the things the Kroc Center is about is the arts, and so we wanted to show off our theater and our ability to
have great music at the Kroc Center,” Esposito says. “No matter what your taste in music — whether it’s folk or jazz or rock or kids music — we’ve got you covered. But the Kroc Center is more than just a place for the arts. It’s also a place for education and recreation, and therefore the Grand Opening will have a variety of other things. The Augusta GreenJackets will be playing catch and signing autographs on the lawn from 10 until 2, while Olympic
Silver medalist swimmer Kristina Kowal will be signing autographs and displaying her silver medal in the aquatic center throughout the afternoon. She will also give a motivational speech in the performing arts center at 1. For those interested in learning new sports, experts from the national association will be on hand to give a Pickleball demonstration in the gym at noon (think tennis with a wooden paddle and a whiffle ball). Experts will also be introducing people to the sport of
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futsal, an indoor soccer-like sport played between two teams of five with a ball that is smaller, less bouncy than a soccer ball. Both sports utilize the 8,500-squarefoot double gym. Also on hand will be Courtney Turner, Miss South Carolina USA, the Champions Made from Adversity wheelchair basketball team and a familyfriendly magic show at 4:30 by master illusionist Harris III. And then there’s the Team Media vs. Team Government Celebrity Dodgeball game, which pits a team lead by talk show host Austin Rhodes and members of the <<IT>>Metro Spirit<<IT>> against Commissioner Matt Aitken’s government team. “We want to draw people inside the Kroc Center, because not only do we have all the entertainment, whether it’s meeting an Olympic silver medalist or meeting Miss South Carolina or going to a free magic show by a nationally known magician, we wanted to show off the facility, because once people walk into the Kroc Center, they’re blown away by it,” Esposito says. “But we also wanted to be able to show off our programming, so while people are looking at the aquatic center or looking at the gym or group fitness room, theater or banquet hall, we’ll have people there telling them about the programming.” Getting that message out there hasn’t
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always been easy. Ever since word got out back in 2005 that the Salvation Army was proposing this facility, people have consistently, and in some cases adamantly, painted the facility as nothing more than a poor man’s community center. Despite Dugan’s six-year crusade, so many misconceptions have continued to exist that the Kroc Center staff has issued a list of myths. Myth: The Kroc Center is a large homeless shelter. Myth: Money from the Salvation Army Red Kettle Drive was used to pay for the Kroc Center. Both myths are emphatically untrue, and Dugan says that these days fewer and fewer people are needing to be schooled. “About 1,500 people have taken a tour of this facility since we moved in here,” he says. “And remember that old commercial — they tell two friends, and they tell two friends? Well, that’s happening. Now, we’re giving tours to people who have heard how great it is from their friends. And that’s what we want to accomplish. We want people to see it, and I think once you see it you know what it is.” Dugan was the Kroc Center’s first employee, and he has seen it go from an idea to a plan to a project to a reality, so he has a perspective few can appreciate. “The quote I’ve been using a lot to
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friends is that it’s like we’ve spent a long time building this amazing toy and now it’s time to start playing with it,” he says. Though it might be tempting to think that giving up control would be difficult, Dugan says getting the staff in place has been rewarding. “It’s a different feeling, sure, but you bring in experts in these areas,” he says. “I mean, I don’t know how to build a building or run programs. Until we got to the point where peoples’ areas of expertise were needed, I could do those things, but then we brought those people in and now we have a full staff who are the best at what they do.” One of the little details that makes him – c a r e e r
smile is easily overlooked if you’re not paying attention. “When I go out front and I look through the glass from the lobby to the aquatic center, if I look at kids’ height, I see nose prints,” he says. “The parents come in to get information and the kids go straight to the glass.” Like any new toy, it’s bound to attract attention, and he hopes the Grand Opening will bring many more noses to the glass.
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METRO SPIRIT 8.4.11 23
R.U.N.E ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED
Some performers don’t know when to hang it up. Unable to leave the road, they keep on playing as long as people continue to show. That doesn’t necessarily lead to an enjoyable concert experience. We’d heard that Merle definitely doesn’t fall into that category, so we looked up a recent performance. Here’s what the Orange County Register had to say about his May 12, 2011, performance in Anaheim. After all, the 74-year-old California native sang with an affecting authority that eludes most artists his age, thrilled the audience whether playing tasty licks on his Fender Telecaster or his fiddle, and led his trusty band the Strangers through more than a dozen of the best outlaw country classics ever written. And while it came as little surprise that classics like “Okie” and “Mama Tried” elicited cheers, it were the unlikely moments that ultimately made the concert far more than a mere nostalgia trip. His vocal delivery on “Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Star” was beautiful, his baritone mining the deepest of emotions; his guitar work on “Silver Wings” and “If We Make It Through December” was unexpectedly stunning for its simplicity and sway. Haggard’s backing band was also fantastic, notably his son and lead guitarist Ben Haggard, whose fiery fretwork provided another dimension to Merle’s sound. - Robert Kinsler Orange County Register Bell Auditorium | Saturday, August 6 7:30 p.m. | $39.50-$57.50 | 877-4AUGTIX
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“The Smurfs” prove no match for “Cowboys & Aliens.” Okay, so they were a pretty good match, actually. RANK TITLE
WEEKEND GROSS TOTAL GROSS
COWBOYS & ALIENS
CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE.
“Crazy, Stupid, Love.” Sam Eifling Only one of the three apply to this indie-feeling romantic comedy On the basis of its title, “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” belongs in the “Eats, Shoots & Leaves” camp of punctuation lessons. Surely if there were no commas, it would be suggesting that the love depicted in this film is particularly crazy and stupid — otherwise, why specify? That happens not to be the case, actually, even though every major character in the film is falling for another, in some fashion, each in ways that feel exceedingly honest, despite the trouble that most of that crushing will bring. Their loves don’t feel any crazier or any stupider than your most recent romance, nor do the characters. In all, it is an exemplary date movie, funny and moving, with a few surprises and enough reliance on romantic comedy formula to qualify, by the end, as cinematic comfort food. This one begins on a down note, as Julianne Moore’s Emily, amid what she guesses might be a midlife crisis, admits to her husband Cal, played by the straightest Steve Carell you’ve ever seen, that she has slept with a co-worker (Kevin Bacon) and wants to divorce.
Cal, despite having loved her and only her since he was 15, surrenders immediately and blurts to the babysitter Jessica (Analeigh Tipton) and his 13-yearold son Robbie (a precocious Jonah Bobo) that they’re divorcing. He doesn’t realize Jessica has a crush on him and Robbie has just proclaimed his love for Jessica. Unrequited all around, everybody hurts. Frumpy, middle-aged and newly single, without so much as a sprig of pick-up artistry in his quiver, Cal takes to hanging around a posh meet-market lounge and complaining loudly that he has been cuckolded. A wolfishly dashing gadabout named Jacob (Ryan Gosling, jacked) takes Cal on as a special project, volunteering to help him become a more confident, bettershod metrosexual with a thirst for feminine insecurity. Some successes ensue (somehow,
in this world, Marisa Tomei is not handily out of Steve Carell’s league) and yet Cal pines for Emily, Jessica pines for Cal, Robbie pines for Jessica, and Jacob, who can pluck any woman from the bar at any time, holds a flame for the only one who spurned him, a young lawyer-type named Hannah (the incomparably striking Emma Stone). Lay it all out like that, and it’s easy to see how the dominoes are aching to fall. “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” announces several times that it’s not above a touch of farce, but mostly directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (who also collaborated variously on “Bad Santa” and “I Love You Phillip Morris”) manage to imbue the film with an indie sensibility that steers away from the
kind of paint-by-numbers schlock that makes most big-release romantic comedies feel like stupid, stupid love. It gives the finger to the Gap, for instance, in no uncertain terms, but ultimately returns to play nice with nuclear family values. Jacob can’t go on as an unstoppable sex machine forever, nor can Cal move on from the mother of his kids. In fact, the only one here who goes ahead with anything truly, beautifully crazy/stupid is Jessica in her efforts to reach for Cal. The rest of them are just in love, gazing at stars, bumping into things. As Robbie will tell you: “Love is the biggest scam of all.”
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Opening Friday, August 5
THE8ERS Going to the movies this weekend? Here’s what’s playing.
Drama “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” rated PG-13, starring James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow. Not usually a big fan of origin stories? Yeah, they can be tired when used to string along a superhero franchise, but this is as far from that as apes are from humans. Wait…
Comedy “The Change-Up,” rated R, starring Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds, Olivia Wilde, Leslie Mann. Again with the whole switching of the bodies thing? We love you, Jason Bateman, but… wow.
The Big Mo thebigmo.com August 5-6 Main Field: The Smurfs (PG) and Captain America (PG-13); Screen 2: and Rise of the Planet of the Apes (PG-13); Screen 3: X-Men: First Class (PG-13) and The Change-Up (R). Gates open at 7 p.m.; shows begin at 8:30 p.m. (approximately)
4:15, 6:35, 7:05, 9:15, 9:45; Friends With Benefits (R) 11:50, 2:20, 4:50, 7:20, 10; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (PG-13) 12:50, 3:55, 6:45, 9:40; Horrible Bosses (R) 12:25, 5:30, 7:50, 10:10; Zookeeper (PG) 12:10, 2:40, 5:10, 7:35, 10:05; Cars 2 (G) 2:55
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August 5-6 Mr. Popper’s Penguins (PG) 12:30, 2:45, 5, 7:15, 9:30; X-Men: First Class (PG-13) 1, 4, 7, 10; The Hangover Part II (R) noon, 2:30, 5, 7:30, 10:15; Kung Fu Panda 2 (PG) noon, 12:45, 2:15, 3, 4:30, 5:15, 7:30, 9:45; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (PG-13) 12:45, 4, 7, 10; Jumping the Broom (PG-13) 12:15, 2:45, 5:15, 7:45, 10:15; Thor (PG-13) 6:45, 9:15
August 5-6 The Change-Up (R) 11:15, 12:15, 1:55, 2:45, 4:35, 5:15, 7:15, 7:45, 9:55, 10:25, 12:35; Rise of the Planet of the Apes (PG-13) 11, noon, 1:30, 2:30, 4, 5, 7, 7:30, 9:30, 10, midnight, 12:30; Cowboys & Aliens (PG-13) 11:20, 12:20, 2:05, 3:50, 4:50, 7:05, 7:35, 9:50, 10:20, 12:35; Crazy, Stupid, Love. (PG-13) 12:35, 3:20, 4:15, 7:25, 10:10, 10:40; The Smurfs (PG) 11, 11:30, 1:35, 2:05, 4:10, 4:45, 7:20, 7:50, 10:20; Captain America: The First Avenger (PG-13) 11:25, 11:55, 12:25, 12:55, 2:15, 2:45, 4:05, 4:40, 5:05, 5:35, 7:10, 7:30, 7:55, 8:25, 10, 10:30, 10:45, 11:15; Friends With Benefits (R) 12:45, 4:25, 7:20, 9:55, 12:30; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (PG-13) 11:05, 12:05, 2, 3:30, 4, 4:55, 7, 7:50, 9:50, 10:30, 10:45, 12:35; Winnie the Pooh (G) 11:10, 1:05; Horrible Bosses (R) 12:40, 4:20, 7:40, 10:15, 12:40; Transformers: Dark of the Moon (PG-13) 12:10, 3, 6:30, 7:05, 10; Bad Teacher (R) 10:05, 12:25; Cars 2 (G) 12:30, 7:15
Evans Cinemas georgiatheatrecompany.com
D N E M M O C E R E W “Open Water” If you fear you’ll go into Shark Week withdrawal soon, delay it a little bit with this 2003 nail biter starring no one you’ve ever heard of before. It doesn’t matter, though; viewers get to know Susan and Daniel in the first few minutes of the movie, which is the first part of their Caribbean vacation. That familiarity with the two main characters makes what happens to them all the more appalling. A day-long scuba-diving trip starts of well enough, but ends disastrously when a fluke and a miscount finds the couple stranded in the middle of the ocean alone. The movie’s documentarystyle pacing makes the couple’s fear and dread contagious, especially when the sharks arrive and start to circle. An effective and difficult to watch movie that’ll make you think twice about your next open-water swim. “Jaws,” schmaws. — MS
August 5-6 The Change-Up (R) noon, 2:30, 5, 7:30, 10; Rise of the Planet of the Apes (PG-13) 11:45, 1, 2:10, 3:30, 4:40, 6:30, 7:10, 9, 9:55; Cowboys & Aliens (PG-13) noon, 1:30, 2:45, 4:10, 5:30, 7, 8:15, 9:50; Crazy, Stupid, Love. (PG-13) 1:10, 4:30, 7:15, 9:50; The Smurfs (PG) 11:55, 12:40, 2, 3:10, 4:20, 5:20, 6:55, 7:40, 9:20, 9:55; Captain America: The First Avenger (PG-13) 12:40, 1:20, 3:40,
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Better Than Ever
Scenes, above and below, from the fire that gutted Athens’ famed Georgia Theatre on June 19, 2009 They revamped the marquee. They hung a new red curtain. They added a brand new PA, a new coat of paint and refurbished the bathrooms; these were all part of the improvements. Improvements that proved to be temporary; all these factors contributed to the gradual renovation of the historic Georgia Theatre between 2004 and 2009. And with the exception of the iconic marquee, all of them were lost. “After the fire, we had to gut the thing out and completely shell it,” says Scott Orvold, talent buyer for the Georgia Theatre. “We literally had four walls and a marquee when we started rebuilding.” The grand reopening of the Georgia Theatre, on Aug. 1 and featuring Athens’ reculsive indie-rock cult favorites The Glands, has long felt like both an inevitability and a faroff goal. Heavier hitters in terms
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of national prevalence are booked for the two-week grand-opening celebration that runs through Aug. 14 and include Georgia-centric acts like Big Boi or Drive-By Truckers. The end result of the rebuilding effort is a combination of comforting commonality with the theater’s traditional look and a happy surprise, and it’s all a long, long way from four walls and a marquee. Two weeks before the official reopening of the theater, Orvold and theater owner Wilmot Greene walked around and inspected what was left to be done as well as what had been accomplished. It’s all an overwhelming amount of change, but the commitment to retaining much of the theater’s old charm is wholly evident. “We tried to make the venue feel as much like it did before [as possible],” says Orvold. “So, we’re trying to do things like have the red
curtain that everybody remembers, have the slanted floor that everyone remembers… we were able to reclaim some of the stuff from the old venue, like some of the old wood that was in our office and in the hallway. We were able to salvage it and hire a wood craftsman to reuse it and continue to give it the same feel that it had in the past.” The handiwork of Landus Bennett and Richard Shrader, the wood craftsmen from the company Watson Springs who were hired for the project, is evident in nearly every corner of the building, including the
photos by mike white
The newly reopened Georgia Theatre in Athens now includes a bigger balcony, quiet areas and a rooftop restaurant
scorched wood found in the ticket booth, the semicircular bars and elsewhere. Upon stepping into the foyer, a colorful, fractal-flecked ceiling mural by local painter Kris D can be seen overhead. Stepping further into the building, under one of the original beams from continued on page 33
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continued from page 28 1887, one can take in one of the biggest differences in the new theater: a completely revamped balcony. “We changed the style of the balcony; instead of having all seats, we made it three-tiered,” says Orvold. “That was for a couple of reasons. One, to gain capacity, so we could sell more tickets legally; and two, just to make it more of a rock/dance style venue. We modeled a lot of the building after the way they have it set up at the 9:30 Club in D.C.” The new balcony is equipped with stylish handrails and a bar of its own; there are areas along the sides that
can be reserved for VIP tables. The sight lines all around give a perfect view of the expanded stage as well as the new Nexo PA system put in place by Production Manager Rick Wallace. Everything seems bigger, but with a bigger room comes a higher cost of staying open. “Overhead will be higher, bottom line. Overhead was high before!” says Greene. Aside from the physical renovations, another major change that came with the new ownership and management in 2004 was a renewed commitment to showcasing local talent, something bigger rooms are often reluctant to do. Many theater-goers will recall ex-Elf Power guitarist Jimmy Hughes’
marathon local shows circa 2008. “It’s going to be harder, but we’re going to make a very conscientious effort to make sure we still do it,” says Orvold. “We’re definitely committed to making sure that locals are able to grow into this room and that we’re able to still do that. I’m also very much going to try every chance we get to put locals in front of national touring support, and to create opportunities that a local band wouldn’t have before. So when they’re able to support doing a show in here, it’s gonna be a real step as far as accelerating their career.” On the second level above the main floor, audiences will discover something that was nonexistent in the
theater’s previous life: a place to find some quiet. “One of the things we thought the Georgia Theatre never had was a quiet space to get away from the music a little bit, if you needed a spot to kind of chill and step out for a second, somewhere to meet people,” says Orvold. The lounge area, which directly overlooks the marquee, will have comfortable seating and, for the grand reopening, a photographic presentation of the theater’s phoenixlike development from smoldering walls to full-fledged venue. Taking the stairs (or the new elevator) up to the third floor, Athenians — show-going or not — can take advantage of another revenue-
The new and improved Georgia Theatre features a rooftop restaurant, shown here during construction. Michael Johnson
Tanner Eargle, Katy Walker, Leanne Adams and Jesse Adams at the Pizza Joint downtown.
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Dedro Ortiz and Jacqueline Tucker with Rebecca and Michael Miles at Coyote’s.
Sherill Read, Matt Monroe, Traci Duffie and Paul Larkin at The County Club.
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increasing aspect to the new theater: the rooftop restaurant. Which is named... nothing, so far. “We’ve talked about that a lot, and the marquee on the side says ‘Classic Triple’; I’m curious to see if that name will stick,” says Greene. “We’re featuring three proteins, so it works: barbecue, chicken and tofu. I kinda want people to just name it themselves, see what people start calling it. And I bet people will just say ‘The Roof.’ But if ‘The Classic Triple’ stuck, I’d be cool with that.” The restaurant will be run by Ken Manring, the smoked-meat guru behind White Tiger Gourmet and Greene’s former bandmate in local act Ashtray. The rooftop bar, all odd-cut thick granite, was built by Matt Zbornik and Five Eight vocalist/guitarist Mike Mantione. The restaurant area will, much like The EARL in Atlanta, feature live video feed of the show going on beneath the diners’ feet. You can call the restaurant whatever you want, just don’t call it closed (hey now); it’ll be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, right until the bars close. The entire building has an nearlyalmost-there feel, right down to the offices, which are, much to the management’s chagrin, not quite there yet. Where have they actually been conducting office work? “Everywhere,” Greene and Orvold say simultaneously. “I’ve had, like, six offices since the fire,” says Orvold. “That’s been the hardest part of this whole process for me personally — the displacementness of it. Not being around your partners and the people you’re working with
has made operating a business pretty tricky. Mr. Horton donated some space to us for a little bit above Horton’s Drug Store, but it was too cold in the winter and too hot once it got warm out.” Greene seems alternately exhilarated and exhausted. “It’s crazy when you do a process like this,” he says. “You stare at it on paper for so long, and I didn’t actually really start feeling good about it until two or three weeks ago. [It] didn’t really start looking like a venue; it just looked like a big construction mess until two or three weeks ago.” The day it all came together was a milestone in triplicate: “The [balcony] handrails, the production lighting and the floor happened all in one day,” says Orvold. With the floor area cleared in order to be treated, Orvold says, “it was, ‘Ah, that’s what we’ve been doing for the last two years.’ It really kind of put it in perspective.” The Georgia Theatre’s Grand Re-Opening August 1-14 Sold-out shows include Blackberry Smoke on Aug. 5, Big Boi on Aug. 11, Drive-By Truckers on Aug. 12-13 and Gillian Welch on Aug. 14. Tickets are still available for the following shows: RJD2, Aug. 6; Aquarium Rescue Unit featuring Col. Bruce Hampton, Jimmy Herring, Oteil Burbridge and Art Q-258, Aug. 8; J. Roddy Walston and the Business, Reptar, Aug. 9; Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Aug. 10 georgiatheatre.com Jeff Tobias is a contributing writer to Flagpole magazine in Athens, in which this story first appeared.
From top: the rooftop restaurant on opening night; Wilmot Greene, center, and Scott Orvold, right, talk construction; the theater.
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Ron and Stephanie Watford, Sandra McCormick and Michael Schmieden at Limelite Cafe.
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Butch Huntington, Criss Chang and Robyn Green at Carolina Ale House.
Katie Valentine, Christopher Luke , Trisha Shea and Kristen Benninghover-Nell at Club Argos.
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JENNY is WRIGHT
Jenny Wright lives in Summerville with her husband, who she calls The Man, and two kids, who she affectionately calls The Boy and The Girl. She enjoys taking photos, cooking and playing tennis.
Don’t Make Me Pull This Car Over! Ah, the family road trip. I’ll admit that they’re much easier as The Boy and The Girl get older. The list of things to pack shrinks as we have outgrown diapers, bottles and sippy cups. There are some must-haves, but they change from trip to trip. This time, The Girl had to bring a certain babydoll with us because she couldn’t be left home alone. Because no one would cook her dinner. She had a backpack stuffed with animals who had to come with us. She unsuccessfully tried to bring a blonde wig, her Barbie bed and a big golf umbrella. Per usual, the second we crank the car, someone asks how long it’s going to take. The Man and I reply with a solid, unified “AWHILE.” This doesn’t stop the incessant asking and counting down. The Boy enjoys announcing the time throughout the trip. He’s even sweet enough to read the clock once per minute. Jealous? There’s the inevitable whining, too. It makes my ears hurt just to think about it. My friend Liz and I turn the tables on the kids. We start talking in the same whiny tone. Not a word comes out of our mouths that isn’t saturated with whine. After about 10.6 seconds, both kids are yelling, telling us how annoying we are. So we keep it up. They angrily request that we stop. Mission accomplished. The Girl, being 5 years old, is especially impatient in the car. She asks
in such a sweet way, but anything that repeats itself that much loses its luster. I finally taught her that if she goes to sleep, when she wakes up we will be there. So far, we’ve had great success. I haven’t tried it on any trips longer than three hours, though. Growing up, we played games in the car. This was pre-DVD players. You know, when the middle seat of the van
was removed so you could set up a pallet on the floor. Punch Buggy and the Alphabet Game were top choices. Last week, we played the Watermelon Game. The highway between Augusta and most South Carolina beaches are home to a town that boasts a Watermelon Festival. Most homes and businesses hang painted watermelons on everything. Counting them makes
for a fun game. We played for about 30 minutes. I declared game over when I had the highest total. Fun game! The Man always drives. I actually love driving, but I want my passenger to stay awake and keep me company. The Man loves to sleep in the car. Therefore, he drives. Using a GPS has all but eliminated any arguments about asking for directions. Now we are a unified front against Delores, the angry GPS narrator. I put the GPS in the Marriage Savers file, along with DVR and double sinks. He is a great driver, but I have the world’s most ineffective air brake. I’m sure The Man would openly admit that when I brake, grab the door handle and suck air through my teeth, he wants to toss me out the window. He doesn’t talk to other cars. I have full conversations with the idiots who drive in the left lane, cut us off or brake too much. If they get mad at me, I smile and wave. Nothing makes road rage flair up like a smiling, waving enemy. They get more and more angry and look like an ass. I love it. I hope you consider these examples as tips for improving and enhancing your next adventure. Road trips don’t have to be frustrating. There are games to be played, minutes to count and whining to combat. Just be sure to use the potty before leaving the house. Don’t make me pull this car over.
Lauren Story, Jennifer Brown and Haley Stencel at Cadillac’s.
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Sheila Barton, Julie Keen and Julie Childress at Wild Wing Cafe.
Matt Loss, Leigh Ann Davidson and Chris McLaughlin at Wild Wing Cafe.
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CUISINE SCENE CRISP
As Neapolitan’s owner prepares to open Aiken location, she feels she’s barely scratched the surface in Augusta
The Neapolitan team includes, top row, from left to right: Ciera Lasiter, Lauren Jenkins and Nina Daniel; bottom row, owner Molly Meek and TJ Lasiter. Not pictured are Samantha Rice, Grace Jansen and Amber Saverance.
Molly Meek, owner of Neapolitan Cupcake & Gift Shoppe, is busy. Her fledgling business in the Le Pavilion Shopping Center is less than a year old and she’s about to open a second location in Aiken over Labor Day weekend. “I double book myself these days,” she admitted after rescheduling an appointment in Aiken while sitting in her Augusta shop during a recent morning. Meek has experienced an incredible amount of growth since she first embarked on the Neapolitan journey. She opened a gift shop booth in Le Pavilion’s Antique Market in February
of 2010, and first began giving away cupcakes as a way to drive gift purchases in her booth. “With any gift purchase, I would give customers a free cupcake and it turned out that people were more interested in the cupcakes than the gifts,” she explained. “So the owner of the Antique Market said, ‘Why don’t you try selling them here and see how it goes?’” Needless to say, it went well. “The cupcake sales led to bigger orders and I recognized there was a bigger opportunity here,” she said. “So I did some research on bakeries in the
CSRA, as well as the cupcake business at large.” Meek, an Augusta native who graduated from Lakeside High School, was on firm ground when it came to researching and opening her own business. She studied business management at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, where she gained real-world experience by participating in the school’s co-op program. “I would go to school for a semester and then work for a semester, and I worked in the marketing department at IBM,” she said. “It took me five years to
Angel Jenkins, Emily Nichols and Christina McClain at the Pizza Joint Downtown.
36 METRO SPIRIT 8.4.11
Roman Waldera, Stacey Wilson, Brent Slagle and Kathy Tobis at the First Round of Augusta.
get through school, but two and a half of those years were spent working at IBM.” After graduating, Meek got a job in the logistics and brand management departments at Mars, Inc., the candy company giant. During her tenure at Mars, Meek attended NYU’s Stern Business School and earned an MBA in 2004. Post graduation, Meek spent time at Revlon and SC Johnson before moving to Columbus, Ohio, to work for Victoria’s Secret. “I was pretty much hard core for about eight years,” she laughed. “It was all about my career — climbing the corporate ladder.” What Meek found in Columbus was a big-city small-town atmosphere similar to that of her hometown and she eventually decided to move back. “I came back to Augusta but didn’t know what I was going to do,” she said. “I didn’t know it was cupcakes, but I knew I wanted to be in retail. I knew I wanted to be a business owner.” The fact that her career path would center on cupcakes came as a huge surprise to Meek, who admits that, even now, she doesn’t cook (or bake) at home. “My mom is a Martha Stewart type,” she explained. “She lives and breathes the kitchen. I’ve always been a career person, so domesticity has never been a priority.” Baking may not be what she would have chosen for herself or her business, but Meek says cupcakes offer a creative outlet unlike anything she could have hoped for. She and her team of women — including students, mothers and one bride-to-be — pride themselves on Michael Johnson
Dean Faw, Beth Hutto. Ginger Lanham and John Carter at Limelite Cafe.
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photos by jWhite being on the cutting edge of cupcake trends, with flavors like banana puddin’, key lime pie and salted caramel sharing the store’s refrigerated case with more traditional ones such as vanilla buttercream, strawberry delight and red velvet. “I’ve been dying to try something with lavender but I don’t know if this market is ready for it yet,” Meek said. “We’re focused on establishing the business and building our customer base and, come January, we’ll probably start experimenting with more exotic flavors.” The team at Neapolitan has expanded their confection portfolio to include cupcake pops, Parisian macaroons, whoopee pies, chocolate-covered pretzels and shortbread. All in an atmosphere that compels customers to slow down and relax. A television in one corner plays music videos (or kids cartoons) and is surrounded by sofas. Tables and chairs invite those who come in to enjoy their cupcake in the store along with a glass of pink lemonade or a mug of V. 22 | NO. 50
Jittery Joe’s coffee. And though their target customers are women ages 18-34, Meek said they do have many others who walk through the door. “We have lots of groups of kids who’ll just come and hang out,” she said. “We have lots of father-daughter dates who’ll come in for a cupcake and some lemonade. And, of course, women who have been shopping at the Antique Market and the consignment store next door will come in for a cupcake.” Neapolitan also hosts Birthday Cupcake Camps, in which attendees get to decorate their own cupcakes. The store takes special orders for weddings, parties and other special events. Virtually anything a customer wants, the staff at Neapolitan can do. “People are amazed at how fast we can come up with ideas for them,” said Neapolitan employee Ciera Lasiter, who was in the middle of creating fondant chili peppers to top margarita cupcakes for a special order.
“It’s a learning process,” agreed employee TJ Stewart. “With the chili peppers, it was like, ‘How are we going to do that?’ Next time, we’ll say, ‘Oh yeah, we’ve done that before.’” It’s the same philosophy Meek applies to opening her new store in Aiken. “When I was opening the Augusta store, I was on a tremendous learning curve,” she said. “This time, I am at least half knowledgeable.” Meek says she can envision a future with Neapolitan locations in Athens and Savannah but, for the time being, she’s focused on her two present locations. “I like to take it one day at a time,” she said. “Though there is some risk with opening a second shop so soon, the opportunity in Aiken for a niche bakery offsets my hesitation. However, it’s doing business in another state so now I have to figure that out before I consider anything else. And really, our penetration in this market is negligible. I don’t think we have even scratched the surface.”
Meek is definitely making a dent, however, with promotions like a cupcake card (buy 12 regular-sized ones and get two free) and her cupcake of the month. July’s was Chocolate Chip Cheesecake; August’s is Peach Cobbler. And, she added, the store will be making a push this fall for corporate holiday gift orders. In the end, however, it’s all about making the customer happy, which Meek says they do by offering homemade products prepared using the best ingredients. “We want people to feel delighted, welcome and inspired,” she said. “We want people to come, get a cupcake and you’re day is better because you’ve come to Neapolitan.” Neapolitan Cupcakes & Gift Shoppe 106 Pleasant Home Road, Ste. 2A Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 706-814-8959 neapolitangifts.com
METRO SPIRIT 8.4.11 37
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Havana native Rosa Blanco is a pediatric dentist who lives in Evans with her “very” American husband and two energetic daughters. When she’s not working, Rosa says she likes to swim, read, needlepoint and spend time with her family. One of Rosa’s other favorite things is getting in the kitchen to cook traditional Cuban recipes. And despite what readers might think, she says many of those recipes, like her Camarones Enchilados included here, are not only easy to make, they’re fun as well. Camarones Enchilados (Shrimp in Cuban Creole Sauce) Serve with fresh Cuban bread (Publix) and steaming white rice.
A FIRST CLASS STEAKHOUSE WITH 152 ROOMS. We age our own steaks for 28 days, grow our own herbs and make our own sauces. Washington Road at I-20 | 1069 Stevens Creek Road | Augusta
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6 Tbsp. Spanish olive oil 3 large finely chopped garlic cloves 1 small white onion, finely chopped 1/2 green pepper, finely chopped 1 can tomato sauce 2 Tbsp. tomato paste 1-2 bay leaves 1/2 cup white cooking wine 1/2 cup finely chopped, drained pimentos 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce Salt and pepper to taste 1 habanero chili, seeded and finely chopped (optional) 1 lime, juiced 1 1/2 pounds shelled and deveined shrimp Cook the chopped onions in the olive oil on low heat until translucent (about eight minutes). Add the garlic, pimentos and green peppers, and simmer on low heat another five minutes. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, cooking wine, salt and pepper, and habanero pepper, and cook another 10 minutes. Five minutes before serving add the shrimp and lime juice, cooking about five minutes. V. 22 | NO. 50
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Sunday Sketch at the Morris Museum of Art, in which participants can sketch in the galleries using museum materials, is Sunday, August 7, from 2-3:30 p.m. Free. Call 706-724-7501 or visit themorris.org. Painter, Sculptor and Mixed Media Artist Juan Logan discusses his work as part of the Terra Cognita lecture series at the Morris Museum of Art on Thursday, August 11, at 6 p.m. Reception follows. Free. Call 706-828-3867 or visit themorris.org. 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 artsandheritagecenter.com.
Jennifer Weaver White Photography Exhibit Opening is Thursday, August 4, from 6-9 p.m. at Inner Bean. Call 706-414-6231. Lauryn Sprouse Art Opening is at Sky City from 8-10 p.m. on Friday, August 5. Visit skycityaugusta.com. No Nature, No Art, an exhibition by William Willis, shows at the Morris Museum of Art. Call 706-828-3867 or visit themorris.org. Jane Popiel Exhibition shows at Sacred Heart Cultural Center through the month of August. Call 706-826-4700 or visit sacredheartaugusta.org. Civil War Redux: Pinhole Photographs by Willie Anne Wright shows at the Morris Museum of Art. Call 706-828-3867 or visit themorris.org. Philip Juras: The Southern Frontier, landscapes inspired by Bartram’s travels, shows at the Morris Museum of Art. Call 706-724-7501 or visit themorris.org.
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Morgan Johnson, 8, and her brother Duncan, 6, enjoy a couple of Blizzards at Dairy Queen on Central Avenue during the 2010 Miracle Treat Day. A Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals sponsor, Dairy Queen supports the Georgia Health Sciences Children’s Medical Center by donating a portion of the proceeds of every Blizzard sold on Miracle Treat Day, which is slated for Thursday, August 11, this year.
John Kolbeck performs as part of the Music in Boeckh Park concert series in Hammond’s Ferry on Friday, August 5, at 7 p.m. Free. Participants are encouraged to bring blankets, chairs and picnics. Call 803-613-1641 or visit hammondsferry.com. Merle Haggard performs at the Bell Auditorium Saturday, August 6, at 7:30 p.m. $39.50-$57.50. Call 877-4AUGTIX or visit georgialinatix. com. Fayth Hope performs at the 8th Street Riverwalk Stage as part of the Candlelight Jazz Series on Sunday, August 7, at 8 p.m. Participants are
invited to bring their own seating and picnic. $6. Call 706-495-6238 or visit gardencityjazz.com. The Fort Gordon Jazz Band performs at Hopelands Gardens in Aiken as part of the Hopelands Summer Concert Series on Monday, August 8, at 7 p.m. Call 803-642-7630 or visit aiken. net/hopelandsgarden.html. Brian Adams: The Bare Bones Tour visits the Imperial Theatre Monday, August 8, at 8 p.m. $35-$64. Call 706722-8341 or visit imperialtheatre.com. Auditions for the Augusta Choral Society are Tuesday, August 9. Membership is open to those high
school age or older who are able to read music. The group rehearses Tuesdays from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Augusta. Call 706-826-4713 or email cdolen@augustachoralsociety. org to schedule an audition. Visit augustachoralsociety.org.
Cookbook Book Club meets Monday, August 8, at 6 p.m. at the Columbia County Library and will discuss “Dinner at My Place” by Tyler Florence. Participants should bring a dish from the cookbook to share. Call 706863-1946 or visit ecgrl.org. NOOK Tutorials at Barnes and Noble in the Augusta Mall are each V. 22 | NO. 50
Saturday beginning at noon, followed by a NOOKcolor tutorial at 12:30 p.m. Free. Call 706-737-0012 or visit bn.com.
with a $3 rebate with the purchase of a featured wine. Call 803-279-9522 or visit wineworldsc.com.
First Friday Block Party and Westobou Festival Ticket Launch is Friday, August 5, at 6:30 p.m. at the corner of 10th and Broad streets. Hosted by Niki Haris, Madonna’s former backup singer and dancer, the free performance will feature a drum line from Laney Walker High School, Not Gaddy, conga drummers, the ASU string ensemble, Creative Impressions, Augusta Pyroteque, more than 150 dancers and more. Visit westoboufestival.com.
“Sanders Family Christmas,” a summer dinner theater event, is FridaySunday, August 5-7, at Crossbridge Baptist Church on Skinner Mill Road. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with dinner at 7 and the show at 8. Tickets are by advanced ticket sale only and are $15, or $65 for a table of six. Call 706-733-3652 or visit crossbridgeonline.com. Schrodinger’s Cat Extreme Theater Games, a live improv comedy competition, is at Le Chat Noir on Friday, August 5, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Call 706722-3322 or visit schrodingerscataug. com.
Friday Dance is every Friday night from 8:30-11 p.m. at The Ballroom Dance Center in Evans. $10. Call 706854-8888 or visit thebdc.us. 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 thebdc.us.
“God’s Little Acre” (1958) shows Friday, August 5, at noon at the Morris Museum of Art as part of the Films on Friday series. After viewing the film, museum Director Kevin Grogan leads a discussion. Participants are invited to bring a lunch. Free. Call 706-724-7501 or visit themorris.org. “Raising Arizona” shows Tuesday, August 9, at 6:30 p.m. at the Headquarters Branch Library. Call 706821-2600 or visit ecgrl.org.
First Thursday at the Shops in Midtown, on the Hill’s Monte Sano Avenue and the shops at Kings Way, is from 5-8 p.m. on Thursday, August 4. First Friday is Friday, August 5, from 5-10 p.m. in downtown Augusta and includes street vendors, entertainment, music and shopping. Galleries and restaurants are open late and include many specials and exhibition openings. Visit augustaarts.com. First Friday Wine Tasting at Wine World in North Augusta is Friday, August 5, from 5-8 p.m. Tasting includes three white wines, three reds and cheese. $5, V. 22 | NO. 50
Our Civil War Ancestors: Show Us the Records, a seminar sponsored by the Augusta Genealogical Society, the ASU Center for the Study of Georgia History and the Augusta-Richmond County Historical Society, is Saturday, August 6, beginning at 8 a.m. at Augusta State University. Featured speakers include Robert Scott Davis, director of the Family and Regional History Program at Wallace State College, Dr. Lee Ann Caldwell, director of the Center for Study of Georgia History at ASU, and Patricia E. Kruger of the Charleston, S.C., Genealogical Society. $45. Call 706-722-4073 or visit augustagensociety.org. Kroc Center Grand Opening, featuring free entertainment, food, an outdoor concert by Cowboy Mouth and a fireworks show. It is Saturday, August 6, from 10 a.m.- 9 p.m. Call 706-421-3047 or visit krocaugusta.org. Georgia Democrats’ Day of Action features two local events on Saturday, August 6. In Columbia County, a President Obama Birthday Celebration will be held at Liberty Park Community Center in Grovetown from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. In Richmond County, the Obama Birthday Bash & Jazz Fest will be held at IBEW Union Hall from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Visit georgiademocrat.org. WeeklyWineTastingsatVineyard Wine Market in Evans are each Friday at 6:30 p.m. and each Saturday from 1-6 p.m. Call 706-922-9463 or visit vine11.com. Nominations sought for 2011 Preservation Awards. In order to be considered for an award, a property must be on or eligible for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places, either individually or as part of a historic district, and the project must be completed. Nominations will be accepted until Aug. 15. Call Robyn Anderson at 706-724-0436, e-mail robyn@
historicaugusta.org or mail to P.O. Box 37, Augusta, GA 30903. 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 theaugustamarket.com.
Cribs for Kids, a program to teach caregivers how to provide safe sleep environment for babies, is Thursday, Aug. 4, from 5:45-8 p.m. at MCGHealth. Those who can demonstrate a financial need will receive a portable crib, fitted sheet, sleep sac and pacifier for $10. Preregistration required. Call 706-721-7606 or visit mcghealth.org. Free Child Safety Seat Inspections, providing information on how to use a car seat properly, are at MCGHealth on Friday, August 5, and at the Columbia County sheriff substation Wednesday, August 10, by appointment. Contact Rene Hopkins, MCGHealth, at 706-721-7606 or Jamie Champion, Columbia County, at 706-860-7763. Visit mcghealth.org. Baby Care Basics and Breastfeeding is Friday, August 5, from 9 a.m.-noon at Trinity Hospital of Augusta. This class offers parents an opportunity to gain confidence in the care of newborns. Call 706-481-7604 or visit trinityofaugusta.com. Shepeard Community Blood Center Blood Drive is Friday, August 5, from 2-5 p.m. at Bruster’s in North Augusta. Call 706-737-4551 or visit shepeardblood.org for a complete list of blood drives. Saturday Express Lamaze Childbirth Preparation is Saturday, August 6, from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Trinity Hospital of Augusta. Participants will learn Lamaze coping techniques such as massage, relaxation and patterned breathing. A tour of the hospital’s Family-Focused Childbirth Unit is included in the class. Call 706481-7604 or visit trinityofaugusta.com. Hug Your Baby, a class that provides Help, Understanding and Guidance for young families as they prepare for the birth of their infant, is Monday, August 8, from 7-9 p.m. at Trinity Hospital of Augusta. Call 706481-7604 or visit trinityofaugusta.com. Childbirth Tour, a free tour that guides expectant parents through MCGHealth’s Labor and Delivery Unit, are held Tuesday, August 9, from 7:30-
8:30 p.m. and Saturday, August 13, from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Call 706-721-9351 or visit mcghealth.org. American Red Cross Babysitter’s Training is Thursday, August 11, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Aiken Regional Medical Center. Students ages 11 to 15 will learn about leadership, safety, basic care and first aid in order to provide safe, responsible care. $30 fee includes babysitting text and certificate. Call 803641-5000 or visit aikenregional.com. Car Seat Class will be held Thursday, August 11, from 5:45-8 p.m. in MCGHealth Building 1010C. $10. Pre-registration required. Call Renee Hopkins at 706-721-7606 or visit mcghealth.org. Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson Disease Aquatics Class, sponsored by the CSRA Parkinson Support Group and The Family Y, is a group class designed specifically for ambulatory participants affected by Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson Disease. Held each Friday at noon at the Wilson Family Y indoor pool. Call Claudia Collins at 706-922-9664 or visit thefamilyy.org. 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 trinityofaugusta.com.
Huntington Disease Support Group is Thursday, Aug. 4, from 6:307:30 p.m. at MCGHealth’s Marks Building. Call Amanda Stefanakos at 706-721-4895 or visit mcghealth.org. Pink Magnolias Breast Cancer Support Group meets Monday, August 8, at 6:30 p.m. at University Hospital’s Breast Health Center. Open to all ages. Free. Call 706-774-4141 or visit universityhealth.org. La Leche League will meet Tuesday, August 9, at 10 a.m. at United Presbyterian Church, Kimberly Drive. Visit lllofga.org. Let’s Talk Cancer Support Group meets Tuesday, August 9, from 5:30-7 p.m. in MCGHealth’s Cancer Center’s first-floor community room. Call 706721-0550 or visit mcghealth.org. OB/GYN Cancer Support Group meets Tuesday, August 9, at 7 p.m. For more information and meeting location, call 706-821-2944 or visit METRO SPIRIT 8.4.11 41
Saturday Historic Trolley Tour, every Saturday, begins at the Museum of History and tours historic downtown Augusta from 1-3:15 p.m. Reservations required. All seats are $12. 706-724-4067.
Classic Men of the Garden City Bachelor Auction to benefit the American Cancer Society is Friday, August 5, at 8 p.m. at the Vue. $12 in advance, $15 at the door, with bidding starting at $25. 706-731-9900 or visit cancer.org. Mercy Ministries Yard Sale is Saturday, August 6, at 1621 15th Street from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and will include furniture, clothing books, toys and more. Call 706-823-0054 or visit mercyministries.org.
Christmas in August? Crossbridge Baptist thinks now’s as good a time as any to remember the reason behind everyone’s favorite holiday; that’s why they’re showing “Sanders Family Christmas,” a summer dinner theater event, on Friday-Sunday, August 5-7. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with dinner at 7 and the show at 8. Tickets are by advanced sale only and are $15, or $65 for a table of six. Call 706-733-3652 or visit crossbridgeonline.com.
universityhealth.org. ALS Support Lunch and Learn is Thursday, August 11, 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 mcghealth.org. Breast Cancer Support Group meets Thursday, August 11, from 5:307:30 p.m. in MCGHealth’s Cancer Center’s first floor community room. Call 706-721-4109 or visit mcghealth.org. Families Who Have Lost a Baby During Pregnancy, Childbirth or Early Infancy Support Group is ongoing. For information and support following a pregnancy loss, call Sue Ellen Abney at 706-721-8299 or visit mcghealth.org. 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 mcghealth.org. 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 the Doctors Hospital campus. Call 706-651-2229 or visit doctors-hospital.net.
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Richmond County PTA Back to School Kickoff is Saturday, August 6, from 1-4 p.m. at the James Brown Arena and includes school supply and book bag giveaways, inflatables, face painting, free pizza and ice cream, and special guests. Free. Visit rcboe.org. Rivers Bridge Battlefield Tour at Rivers Bridge State Historic Site south of Ehrhardt, S.C., is Saturday, August 6, at 2 p.m. $5 for adults and $3 for students ages 6-16. Call 803-267-3675 or visit southcarolinaparks.com. Introduction to Word, an educational computer class, will be offered Tuesday and Thursday, August 9 and 11, at 10 a.m. at the Wallace Branch Library. Free, but pre-registration required. Call 706-722-6275 or visit ecgrl. org. GED Classes are held every Monday and Tuesday night at 6 p.m. at the Headquarters Branch Library. No pre-registration is required, but participants must have a valid PINES library card. Call 706-821-2600 or visit ecgrl.org. ESL Classes are held every Wednesday night at 6 p.m. at the Headquarters Branch Library. Preregistration required. Call 803-279-3363 or visit ecgrl.org.
Bike for the Ballet, sponsored by the Augusta Ballet and the Augusta Sports Council, is Sunday, August 7, beginning at Enterprise Mill. Registration for the ride, which includes 20-25-, 56.1- and 100-mile routes, begins at 6:30 a.m. and the ride starts at 8 a.m. Cyclists will wear pink tutus and, for $50, anyone can sponsor a tutu, which will help one child go to the ballet’s Anyone Can Dance and Cook Camp in December. Call 706-261-0555 or visit augustaballet.org. Miracle Treat Day, at area Dairy Queen stores, is all day on Thursday, Augusta 11. A portion of the proceeds from each Blizzard purchased with go toward the Georgia Health Science’s Children’s Medical Center. Call 706-721-4004 or visit mcghealth.org/kids. Community Enabling Grant Applications are now available at the Junior League of Augusta’s website. Grants are available to nonprofits in the area who apply by 5 p.m. on the Sept. 2 deadline. Visit jlaugusta.org. Karma Yoga is offered at Just Breathe Studio, downtown Aiken, each Friday at 10 a.m. and is free if participants bring a donation of a personal item which will be given to the Cumbee Center to Assist Abused Persons. Call 803-648-8048 or visit justbreathestudio.com.
The Augusta GreenJackets play the Rome Braves Thursday-Saturday, August 5-6, and Monday, August 8, at 7:05 p.m. and Sunday, August 7, at
5:35 p.m. at Lake Olmstead Stadium. Tickets are $1-$13. Call 706-922WINS or visit greenjacketsbaseball. com. Swamp Saturday at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park is Saturday, August 6, at 9:30 a.m. Volunteers lead free 2.5 mile, 1.5 hour hikes through the nature park. Call 706-828-2109 or visit naturalsciencesacademy.org. Couch to 5K at the Wilson Family Y is registering now for the program which begins Aug. 23. The sixweek session is designed for beginner to intermediate runners and walkers, who will prepare for the Gasping Gobbler 5K on Nov. 19. $15 per session for members; $25 for non-members. Visit thefamilyy.org. Augusta Rugby Football Club meets every Wednesday from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Larry Bray Memorial Pitch, 100 Wood Street. New players are welcome. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Group Run begins each Tuesday at 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 jim@ enduranceconcepts.com. Hockey Skills & Drills is every Thursday from 6-8 p.m. at Augusta Ice Sports Center. $10-$15. Call 706-8630061 or visit augustaicesports.com. 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 chainreactionbicycles.net. Riverview Disc Golf League meets each Thursday at 6 p.m. at Riverview Park in North Augusta. $5 entry fee and $1 ace pool. Call 803-2158181 or visit augustadiscgolf.com. 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 andyjordans.com. 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 alsalley@ wrh.org.
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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 augustacanal.com.
Toddler Time: Sun Print Fun! is Thursday, Aug. 4, from 10-11 a.m. or 11:15 a.m.-12:15 a.m. at the Morris Museum of Art. Participants will learn about the magic of photography while viewing the exhibition Civil War Redux. Afterwards, they will create their own sun print. Museum family members and parents, free; non-members, $4 per participant. Pre-registration required. Call 706-724-7501 or visit themorris.org. Teen Lock In at North Augusta’s Nancy Carson Library, for those in grades 6-12, is Friday, August 5, from 6-11 p.m. and includes games, refreshments and more. Pre-registration required. Call 803-279-5767 or visit abbe-lib.org. Insect Investigations is a program at Reed Creek Park on Saturday, August 6, at 10 a.m. for children ages 5 and up and their parents in which participants will catch and release insects with bug nets in different areas of the park. Pre-registration required. Free for members; $2 per child for non-members. Call 706-210-4027 or visit reedcreekpark.com. Fit 4 School Carnival at the USC-Aiken Convocation Center is Saturday, August 6, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and includes free school supplies, haircuts and fun ways to stay healthy. Free. Call 803-643-6901 or visit uscatix.com. Luau Back to School Party is Saturday, August 6, at 2 p.m. at the Headquarters Branch Library. Participants will make ice-cream the old-fashioned way, enjoy a free scoop and learn about the first ice cream freezer invented in 1948. Call 706-821-2600 or visit ecgrl.org. Artrageous! Family Sunday: We’re with the Band! is Sunday, August 7, at 2 p.m. at the Morris Museum of Art. Participants will enjoy a special performance of Civil War-era music by reenactors from the Eighth Regiment Band. Afterwards, they will create sun prints and decorate frames. Call 706724-7501 or visit themorris.org. How It’s Made, Homemade is Wednesday and Thursday, August 1011, at 1 and 4 p.m. respectively at the V. 22 | NO. 50
Columbia County Library. For ages 6-11. Pre-registration required. Call 706-4477657 or visit ecgrl.org. “Follow the Drinking Gourd” shows at the DuPont Planetarium in Aiken each Saturday in August at 8 p.m. Tickets are $4.50 for adults, $3.50 for senior citizens, $2.50 for 4K-12th grade students and $1 for USC-A students, faculty and staff. Call 803-641-3313 or visit usca.edu/rpsec/planetarium/. “Digistar Laser Fantasy” shows at the DuPont Planetarium in Aiken each Saturday in August at 9 p.m. Tickets are $5.50 for adults, $4.50 for senior citizens, $3.50 for 4K-12th grade students and $1 for USC-A students, faculty and staff. Call 803-641-3313 or visit usca.edu/rpsec/planetarium/. Tootsie Roll Guessing Game goes on throughout the month of August at the Headquarters Branch Library. The winner will be announced Sept. 7. Call 706-821-2600 or visit ecgrl.org. Fall Story Time at area libraries begin during the month of August. Many require pre-registration, especially for groups, and include the following: Headquarters Branch, beginning Aug. 9, is on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. for preschoolers ages 3-6 and Wednesdays at 10 a.m. for those ages 2 and under (with parents); Appleby Branch Library is on Wednesday at 10:05 for toddlers ages 18-35 months (with parents) and at 10:30 for preschoolers ages 3 and up; at Diamond Lakes Branch Library, starting Aug. 16, are Tuesday at 10 a.m.; Friedman Branch, starting Aug. 16, are Tuesdays at 10 a.m; Maxwell Branch, beginning Aug. 3, are Wednesdays at 10 a.m.; Wallace Branch, starting Aug. 17, are Wednesdays at 10 a.m.; Euchee Creek Branch are Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. and Thursdays at 4 p.m.; Harlem Branch are Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. For library phone numbers, visit ecgrl.org. Tae Kwon Do lessons are at the Wilson Family Y, Family Y of Augusta South and North Augusta throughout the month of July. Lessons are twice a week and for all skill levels, ages 5 and up. $35 per month for members; $55 per month for non-members. Register at any Family Y location or online at thefamilyy.org. Monday Movie Matinees at the Diamond Lakes Branch Library show at 2 p.m. throughout the summer. Participants may bring their own snacks. Call the library for a list of movies to be shown. Call 706-772-2432 or visit ecgrl.org.
My Android Got Hacked Greg Baker So there I was in a meeting with the practice manager of a major primary care practice, and all of the sudden the Black Eyed Peas started spewing from my Android. Several choice words came to mind that, thankfully, I was able to catch before my lips started moving. “Sorry about that…” was the actual spoken phrase used as I pulled out my phone and quickly ended my Pandora app. Later in the meeting, I couldn’t help but thinking, “That was odd.” As it turns out, not really. In the few
• Make sure any apps that your parents download come from a reputable app market such as Google Market. • When installing the app, check that the permissions requested by the app are consistent with the app’s features. For example, be wary of a flashlight application that requests access to your personal data. • Abnormal or slow behavior could be a sign that your phone is infected with malware. • Install anti-virus software designed for your phone. I’m working my way
days prior, my phone had been acting strange. It was slower than normal. Apps quit without reason. Strange text messages started appearing. If it had been a computer, I would have thought that it was infected with a virus. But that can’t happen to phones, right? Yeah, right. Here’s a CNET News headline from Aug. 2, 2011: “Android Trojan records your phone conversations.” Below that were a few more stories related to various scenarios where Android phones become infected. It’s no surprise that virus writers target smartphones. The type of personal information people like to keep close at hand creates a tempting target. Since security software is sparsely deployed to mobile devices, smartphones may be an easier target as well. So as you kids head back to school, here’s a few things you can do to help your parents keep their phone protected.
through the free software available in the Google Market. The few that I’ve tried tended to slow my phone down a bit. I’ll let you know when I find one I like. For more information on the spread of viruses across Android devices, Google “Android malware.” BTW — all you iPhone users, your devices share Apple’s natural immunity to viruses. But don’t get too smug. iPhones infections do occur, albeit rarely. As long as you don’t click on things that you know shouldn’t be clicked, you should be fine. Spotify Revisited — A couple of weeks ago I offered a free Spotify subscription to a devoted reader that could convince me their life would end without Spotify. Congratulations to Anthony for a very persuasive argument. You should have received your Spotify invite by now, and I hope your collection of vinyl can finally follow you wherever you may go.
Gregory A. Baker, Ph.D., is vice president and chief rocket scientist for CMA, which provides information technology services to CSRA businesses and nonprofits. METRO SPIRIT 8.4.11 43
Family Y Day Camps, at all area branches, run weekly throughout the summer. For ages 5-17, preregistration is required for all camps, and a deposit of $15 per child per week is charged upon initial enrollment in a camp program. Register at any Family Y location or online at thefamilyy.org. The Augusta Arsenal Soccer Club Junior Academy, for boys and girls ages 5-8, meets each Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Augusta Soccer Park. Call 706-854-0149 or visit augustasoccer.com. 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 cityofaikensc.gov.
Homeschool Playgroup meets each 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 cityofaikensc.gov. Line Dancing is each Tuesday at the Weeks Center in Aiken at 10 a.m. Call 803-642-7631 or visit cityofaikensc.gov.
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 cityofaikensc.gov. 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 bn.com.
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 cityofaikensc.gov. Ceramics Class is offered at 9 a.m. on Mondays or Wednesdays and
earrings & necklaces hand crafted leather Great Prices
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 cityofaikensc.gov. 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 cityofaikensc.gov.
The Garden City Chorus, the area’s leading men’s singing group and a member of the Barbershop Harmony Society, is seeking new members. Those interested are welcome to attend Tuesday night rehearsals, held at 7 p.m. at North Augusta Church of Christ on W. Martintown Road. Visit gardencitychorus.org. 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.
Local well established Real Estate Company has an opening for a full time, new home sales site position in Richmond County! Experience in new home sales preferred! Please email email@example.com with resume or details about your experience in new home sales.
Chandler’s Mystique Creations
hand crafted jewelry sterling silver all natural stones FIND US EVERY SATURDAY 8AM - 2PM at the Augusta Market (8th & Reynolds)
6 p.m. on Mondays or Tuesdays at the Weeks Center. Call 803-642-7631 or visit cityofaikensc.gov.
Turn your living room into a Private Winery by hosting a wine tasting! We provide fun and Edutainment! augustawinetastings.com
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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. French Club meets each Thursday at 7 p.m. at Borders. Free. Call 706-737-6962.
Jazz Journeys is each Friday night from 7-9:30 p.m. at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. Participants can listen to live music while viewing the aquarium’s exhibits. Visit georgiaaquarium.org. Thursday Nights at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta features half-price tickets each Thursday from 4-8 p.m. A guided tour of permanent collection highlights is offered at 6:30 p.m. Call 404-733-4444 or visit high.org. If you would like to see your organization’s events listed in our calendar, please email Amy Christian at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for each Thursday’s issue is the previous Friday at noon.
declassifieds (actual size) 1.5” x 1.9” Tall $40 per week All declassified ads are Cash in Advance (credit card payment required) and are $40 per week. Visit metrospirit.com to place your ad in minutes.
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Surrey Tavern Thursday, Saturday Sibling String
5 O’Clock Bistro King's Way's secret gem
Bistro 491 fancy food with a sense of humor
Cheese is supposed to be paired with wine, but we prefer the Bistro’s cheese plate with their Palmer Punch, Sweet Tea Vodka, Grand Marnier, sour mix and Sprite.
Calvert’s Restaurant old school Continental Club Argos LGBT Crums on Central live jazz on weekends French Market Grille New Orleans in the Garden City Helga’s med student heaven
Bachelor Auction Friday, August 5 It’s a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society so, ladies, there’s no excuse not to go. Bidding starts at 8 p.m.
Polka Dot Pig unique atmosphere & unique bar Sheehan’s Irish Pub the nicest pub ever
French Market Grille
Monday-Friday, 4:30-7 p.m. Sit at the bar and have some mudbugs (that’s crawfish to us non-Cajuns) and beer, only a buck fifty during happy hour. For the beer, that is.
Surrey Tavern the original neighborhood bar Tako Sushi Asian / Mexican fusion The Vue upscale dance club w/ occasional bands Verandah Grill at the Partridge Inn Augusta’s best balcony Cue n’ Brew pool hall Laura’s Backyard Tavern Laura’s house
Mellow Mushroom plus full bar
Thursdays Live music makes stopping by to try New Belgium Brewing’s Hoptober, now on tap, much more acceptable.
Pizza Joint Beer Me Tuesday
East or West? Can’t decide? Have the Ahi Pokke with one of their insanely delicious margaritas.
Pickles locally owned restaurant in ColCo Rhinehart’s backyard seafood The Tavern at the Bean discreet, top shelf Sidetrack Bar & Grill by the railroad tracks Tako Sushi Asian / Mexican fusion
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The Highlander - real Bristish pub
Wednesday $5 pitchers? That’s why the Hash House Harriers hang out at the Highlander on Wednesdays.
Augusta Canal - music on the water Sweet Lou’s Crab Shack - Broad & 13th
A salad (best bet — the Sicilian Chef) and a Hoegaarden—the perfect combo on a hot summer afternoon.
Frog Hollow Tavern - upscale restaurant & bar / locally sourced
Tropicabana - salsa. no chips. Pizza Joint - 40 beers on tap and slices Mellow Mushroom - plus full bar Sky City - large music venue Firehouse - proud downtown dive
1102 - block deep restaurant & bar
Metro Coffee House - coffee, beer, liquor, people
Soultry Sounds - jazz club Wicked Wasabi - authentic Japanese Soy Noodle - Asian sensation
08 09 10 11
First Friday DJ Mix It’s a little bit of what everybody loves from Disco Hell, ’80s Night, ’90s Night and more.
12 14 13
Blue Sky Kitchen - new parents New Moon Cafe - ecclectic grindhouse Bee’s Knees - small plates Rooster’s Beak - tacqueria w/ great ice cream Soul Bar - pure funk Playground - rock-n-roll Nacho Mama’s - rolling ‘em fat Stillwater Taproom - blugrass before bluegrass was cool Casa Blanca - JB White’s storefront
The Bee’s Knees
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Manuel’s Bread Cafe - locally sourced bistro
Ever tried a Mojito with sake and a splash of Pama Liqueur? You should.
Wheels - cool & on the corner The Loft - liquor with attitude Bar on Broad - contemporary South Beach vibe Club Rehab - upscale sportsbar Joe’s Underground - live music underneath Broad St. Tipsy McStumbles - confess later
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Friday, August 5 John Berret and the Laroxes
Saturdays The patio is the spot for a little people watching, and an early afternoon margarita, during the Saturday Market.
Yeah, there might be some dancing on the bar. You got a problem with that?
S S36 T Joe’s Underground
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Sector 7G - laundromat turned landmark Eagle’s Nest - best view downtown Blue Horse Bistro - jazz tapas The Sports Center - old school pool hall and burgers Luigi’s - Augusta institution Beamie’s Restuarant & Oyster Bar - taste of the beach downtown The Boll Weevil - great food and the best desserts Cotton Patch - eat, drink, be happy Mi Rancho - chips & salsa on the Savannah 209 Restaurant & Lounge - soul food & lounge La Maison on Telfair - fine dining & tapas Fox’s Lair - coolest bar in America
The Joker Lounge girls dancing nightly Fantasy Showgirls girls dancing nightly Discoteque girls dancing nightly
Mondays All-day happy hour, trivia at 9 p.m. and waitresses that look like this. What more do you want?
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Thursday, August 4 Ruskin
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Tuesday, August 9 John Fisher
A view from the clouds… or the haze from the 100-degree heat, if we’re being totally honest.
Casa Blanca Cafe
Friday, August 5 Live acoustic music, wine and Jai West’s food make for the perfect First Friday.
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Cadillac’s Saturdays DJ Rana
Doubletree Hotel Friday, August 5 A Step Up
Allie Katz good cheap drinks Bar West martini lounge Cadillacs cozy neighborhood spot Cadwallader’s Cafe Italian flair Carolina Ale House sports themed restuarant / feat. outdoor covered bar Country Club dance hall and saloon Cue & Brew great burgers
The wings come regular or “naked style”; the waitresses don’t. So don’t even ask.
Doubletree Hotel popular restuarant
Somewhere in Augusta
French Market Grille West NOLA in the Garden City
Wednesday, August 10 Comedy Zone with Ward Anderson and William Sloan
Hooters hooters Limelite Cafe extensive beer selection Malibu Jacks beach themed restaurant & bar Rack & Grill true pool hall Rae’s Coastal Cafe worth finding
Buy Your Friend a Beer Go to Facebook, pick a friend, tell them why they’ve earned it and pay the tab.
Rhinehart’s backyard seafood Robbie’s Sports Bar true pool hall Shannon’s old lounge / new look Somewhere In Augusta sports bar & grill
Wild Wing Café
Sunday, August 7 Blue Jean Brunch with live music from Cody Webb
TakoSushi Asian / Mexican Fusion TGI Friday’s How many pieces of flair do you have? Wild Wings Cafe live music 7 nights a week
Friday, August 5 The Dallas Martin Band
Coyote’s great live music & DJs Road Runner Cafe in front of Coyote’s Villa Europa German / Italian /International favorites since 1974
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earDRUM Hellblinki Comes Home… For One Night Only
Hellblinki Several years back, Augusta got much less weird with the relocation of a single native to Asheville. Andrew Benjamin (pictured below) had previously spent years crafting a sphere of artistic influence that held a gravitational pull over many of Augusta’s more openminded (and sorta bent) citizens. Predating Sector 7G, Benjamin’s Hangnail Gallery was a fearless DIY endeavor on a shoestring budget that brought music and art from all over the country to the punk rockers, goths, art weirdos and noise fanatics that generally did not play in the more conventional venues in town. Pair that with his shape-shifting collab Hellblinki Sextet and you probably had third eyes opening all over the CSRA as a spooky menagerie of well-patina’d and antiqued art paraded past their eyes and ears....
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Alas (for Augusta anyway), the love of a beautiful girl and the promise of a new family lured Benjamin away. I think it not hyperbole to say that our music and art scene was at least for a time much less rich for it. They say you can’t go back home. Who in the world is “they” anyhow? You can come back home, and that is indeed what Andrew Benjamin and Co. will be doing Saturday, Aug. 13. Hellblinki returns to Augusta on that date to Sky City and, if you ask Andrew, they’ll make ya famous. Not only can you expect an evening of some fine tunes that evoke the dark underbelly of the south mixed with a twisted black circus of bacchanalia, but the evening will be set down upon the permanent record for all of posterity. In other words, the band will be
shooting a live video. And should you deem yourself a soul hearty enough, your image will be captured indelibly for the world to see. At which point, you can tell “they” to suck it. I suggest you dress the part for suggesting that sentiment to “they.” I suspect that this show will be a bit of hot ticket on that particular Saturday evening. Do not be frightened by the drag queens in attendance. They are mostly harmless and enjoy a good backwoods stomp covered in runny mascara now and again, too. Up and comers Mann Ray will open the show. You really should refrain from missing it. On a side note, I’d like to invite you to come and listen to me ramble, along with my co-host John “Stoney” Cannon, as we host the weekly music podcast Confederation of Loudness.
Go to confederationofloudness.com to get some. I’d also like to put out there the fact that we are currently seeking new material by local Augusta artists, and artists of the southeast at large. Tracks can be emailed to neatodrum@gmail. com for inclusion on the show. Until next week, adieu. See y’all at the rock show... Stak Author’s Note: In the interest of full disclosure, I was indeed a member of Hellblinki Sextet for a period of time, joining just prior to the release of “A Pirate Broadcast” and leaving well after the relocation of the band to Asheville, N.C. I haven’t seen Andrew Benjamin in years.
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the download Josh Ruffin
Josh Ruffin is a published journalist and poet, who just received his MFA from Georgia College & State University. He was once the most un-intimidating bouncer at Soul Bar.
MMA and Beer: What’s Not to Love?
Thursday, August 4 Live Music Coyote’s Necessary Evil French Market Grille West Doc Easton Smooth Jazz Joe’s Underground Ruskin Malibu Jack’s Marilyn Adcock One Hundred Laurens Kenny George Rose Hill Stables Preston & Weston Wild Wing Stephen Lee Band The Willcox Four Cats in the Doghouse
What’s Tonight? Bloody Elbow Radio, Episode 62: Fedor vs. Henderson Results Recap If there’s one thing I love, it’s mixed martial arts. Detractors like New York Congressman Bob Reilly and professional case for human chemical castration Tony Kornheiser say it’s little more than sanctioned street fighting, but that would only be true if the fighters funneled multiple Jager bombs just before stepping into the cage and at least six out of the two combatants had a rebel flag tattooed above the meth burns on their genitalia. In reality, hardcore MMA fans are some of the most knowledgeable, observant people populating the podcast-o-sphere (that’s a word now), and the Bad Boy-sponsored Bloody Elbow Radio underscores that very point. Probably the best MMA blog out there anyway, Bloody Elbow writers like Mike Fagan and Matt Roth host a radio show each week to discuss relevant news, complete with decent if minimalist production values, intelligent listener call-ins, and OCD-like breakdowns of recent fights. This week, the crew discusses the fallout from Saturday’s Strikeforce card, which saw the once-invincible Russian fighter/ tank-eater Fedor Emelianenko suffer his third consecutive loss at the hands of former two-division PRIDE champ Dan Henderson’s atomic right fist. Fedor is one of MMA’s more divisive figures, and that makes the measured, technical conversation that much more refreshing and listenable. You can stream the show directly from bloodyelbow.com, or subscribe on iTunes. Fedor Emelianenko
New Brew Thursday, July 21: Bison Organic Homebrew Contest Winners If there’s another thing I love, it’s beer. Not your typical see-through yellow pisswater, but beers with character — beers that stretch, soothe, excite and lacerate the palate with flavors like anise, chocolate, passion fruit, barnyard hay, pine and caramel. Beers that say “Where is your God now?” The guys that host the weekly New Brew Thursday video-blog are kindred spirits, and dedicate each show to between 1-4 top-notch craft brews. This past week, they ran down the winner (and three runners-up) of Bison Brewing’s organic homebrew contest. Everything looks delicious: the cardamom witbier, the coffee porter, the raspberry stout and certainly the winner, an insanely hopped New Zealand pale ale. In other episodes, you can get advice on which cheeses or cigars to pair with certain beers, but the vlog mostly functions as a means of vicarious living for those of us who’ll never be able to afford a North Coast Bourbon Barrel-Aged Old Stock Ale. The production is spare, with a single-camera setup, but the picture is borderline HD-quality, the personalities are knowledgeable and engaging, and one dude looks like Paul Giamatti. Subscriptions are free on iTunes.
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Cadillac’s Karaoke Casa Blanca Thursday Tango Club Argos Karaoke Club Rehab Candy Stripers Cabaret Cocktails Lounge Karaoke Fishbowl Lounge Karaoke Fox’s Lair Soup, Suds & Conversations Helga’s Pub & Grille Trivia 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 Somewhere in Augusta Karaoke with Charles Soul Bar Boom Box Villa Europa Karaoke with Just Ben Wooden Barrel ‘80s Night Karaoke
Friday, August 5 Live Music Cotton Patch Alan Thompson Country Club Natalie Stovall Coyote’s Dallas Martin Band Doubletree Hotel A Step Up Fox’s Lair R2D1 French Market Grille West Doc Easton Joe’s Underground Jam Samitch, Green Arrow, X Factor, Stone Dogs Laura’s Backyard Tavern Live Music One Hundred Laurens John Kolbeck The Playground John Berret and the Laroxes Polo Tavern Robbie Ducey Band Sit a Spell Joel Cruz and Travis Shaw Stillwater Tap Room Acoustic Muffin (Danger Muffin) Wild Wing Matt Mackelcan The Willcox Kenny George
What’s Tonight? Cadillac’s DJ Doug Club Argos Variety Show Club Rehab DJ C4 Cocktails Lounge Grown-Up Fridays with DJ Cork and Bull Pub Karaoke 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 Somewhere in Augusta Footloose Dance Party Soul Bar First Friday DJ Mix Tropicabana Latin Friday Wooden Barrel Karaoke Contest
Saturday, August 6 Live Music The Acoustic Coffeehouse Open Acoustic Jam Session with Eryn Eubanks and the Family Fold Bell Auditorium Merle Haggard Blue Horse Bistro Live Music The Cotton Patch Ray Piazola Country Club Gary Ray Coyote’s Derrick Dove Joe’s Underground Josh Pierce P.I. Bar and Grill Not Gaddy Polo Tavern Jim Fisher Band Sky City Gift Horse, Eat Lightning Wild Wing Stereotype
What’s Tonight? Cadillac’s DJ Doug Club Argos Variety Show Club Rehab DJ C4 Cocktails Lounge Latin Night Fishbowl Lounge Karaoke Fox’s Lair Karaoke with Mario and Birkie 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 One Hundred Laurens DJ Kenny Ray The Playground DJ Fugi Tropicabana Salsa Saturday Wooden Barrel Kamikaze Karaoke
Sunday, August 7 Live Music 8th Street Riverfront Stage Candlelight Jazz w/ Fayth Hope Crums on Central Jim Perkins P.I. Bar and Grill Live Music Wild Wing Cody Webb
What’s Tonight? Caribbean Soul Love Jones Sundays Malibu Jack’s Karaoke with Denny V. 22 | NO. 50
Club Sparx Karaoke with Big Tony Fishbowl Lounge Dart League Islands Bar & Lounge DJ Fred Nice Malibu Jack’s Karaoke with Denny Somewhere in Augusta Trivia with Charles
Mi Rancho (Downtown) Karaoke Mi Rancho (Washington Road) Karaoke, Salsa Dancing
Monday, August 8 Live Music Hopelands Gardens Fort Gordon Jazz Ensemble Imperial Theatre Bryan Adams Soul Bar Metal Monday
Wednesday, August 10 Live Music 209 on the River Smooth Grooves Cadillac’s Live Band Joe’s Underground Sibling String Malibu Jack’s Marilyn Adcock Wild Wing Endalls The Willcox Hal Shreck
What’s Tonight? Applebee’s (Evans) Trivia Club Argos Karaoke Club Rehab Jenn’s Crazy Karaoke Malibu Jack’s Trivia with Mike Thomas Mi Rancho (Downtown) Karaoke with Danny Haywood Somewhere In Augusta Poker Tournament Wild Wing Trivia and Karaoke
What’s Tonight? Club Argos Santoni’s Satin Dolls Club Rehab Jenn’s Crazy Karaoke Club Sparx Trivia Cocktails Lounge Augusta’s Got Talent The Cotton Patch Trivia and Tunes with Cliff Bennett Laura’s Backyard Tavern Karaoke The Loft Karaoke Mi Rancho (Downtown) Karaoke Mi Rancho (Washington Road) Karaoke with Rockin’ Rob The Place on Broad Jazz DJ The Playground Krazy Karaoke with Big Troy Polo Tavern Karaoke with Tom Mitchell
Tuesday, August 9 Live Music Blue Horse Bistro Tim Sanders Cocktails Lounge Live Music Fox’s Lair John Fisher Wild Wing Sabo & Mike The Willcox Hal Shreck
What’s Tonight? Club Argos Karaoke Club Rehab Jenn’s Crazy Karaoke
It’s Hot... Our Beer’s Cold!
September 29 Langhorne Slim Sky City October 1 Leon Redbone Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center October 2 Branford Marsalis Imperial Theatre October 3 Casting Crowns USC-Aiken Convocation Center November 25
Somewhere In Augusta The Comedy Zone with Ward Anderson and William Sloan
Upcoming Ed Turner’s Rock and Soul Review Imperial Theatre August 12-13 Whiskey Gentry, American Aquarium, Sibling String Sky City August 12 The New Familiars Stillwater Tap Room August 13 Keith Urban James Brown Arena August 13 Hellblinki Sky City August 13 Amy Taylor Coyote’s August 13 Lexie’s Legacy Memorial Concert w/ G-City Rockers, Panic Manor, Josh Pierce, The Radar Cinema, She N She Sky City August 19 Betsy Franck Stillwater Tap Room August 19 The Mason Jars Stillwater Tap Room August 26 Timothy Bloom Sky City August 27 Corey Smith Jessye Norman Amphitheatre September 1 Smooth Music Festival with Boney James and Rachelle Ferrell Bell Auditorium September 2 Whiskey Gentry Stillwater Tap Room September 16 Efren Stillwater Tap Room September 23 Livingston Taylor Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center
Elsewhere Blackberry Smoke Georgia Theatre, Athens August 5 Gillian Welch Variety Playhouse, Atlanta August 6 The Go Go’s Chastin Park Amphitheatre, Atlanta August 9 Bela Fleck & the Flecktones Georgia Theatre, Athens August 10 Death Cab for Cutie Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park, Alpharetta August 11 Big Boi Georgia Theatre, Athens, August 11 Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin Chastain Park Amphitheatre, Atlanta August 13 If you own or work at a local bar and want to have your events listed, please email Amy Christian at email@example.com. The deadline for each Thursday’s issue is the previous Friday at noon.
$10 anything off
must present coupon | limit one per customer | expires 8.18.2011
new and used Owner Bob Williams Manager: Chris Hiers
GASTROPU B C E N T E R
S U R R E Y
$3 Cocktails $2 Domestic Beer $3 Glasses of Wine
Happy Hour 4 - 7 pm
Great Micro Beers on Tap! Lunch & Dinner Tuesday - Saturday
Private Parties or Call Ahead and Take Us Home
Augusta’s Best Fish & Chips! P
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In and out in under 60 minutes
Our family serving your family since 1952
1854 Gordon Highway | 706.738.3374 METRO SPIRIT 8.4.11 51
! Y B A B , S A I N V E GER 23RD & 24TH SEPTEMB
Washington Road just past I-20 • 706-364-WILD (9453) • www.wildwingcafe.com 52 METRO SPIRIT 8.4.11
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KoL Crash and Burn; M-Tank Just Crashes (But Everyone’s Okay) Matt Stone Kings of Leon
One of the biggest bands touring these days is the Kings of Leon. Well, they were until they cancelled the rest of their tour this past week. Is rehab in the future for the Caleb Followill, the lead singer of the Tennessee-bred quartet? After a booze-induced shutdown of their Dallas show last Friday night, and then the cancellation of their entire tour, we may have seen the last of these guys. Fortunately for me, I managed to catch them Wednesday night in Atlanta, and they were in top form. The official statement from the band: “We are so sorry to say Kings of Leon are cancelling their entire U.S. tour due to Caleb Followill suffering from vocal issues and exhaustion.” It’s funny how he’s exhausted after three shows of the current tour. At least I got to see them and that’s all that matters. New rule for the band: start boozing when you get off stage. Hopefully you guys are getting out and seeing some live shows. Two thumbs up to the Eskimojitos, who performed Friday night at the Playground. Cool band, they love to have fun and they sound awesome. Perfect ingredients for a great live band. ESKIMOJITOS!!! (You have to scream it, it’s a rule.) Visit eskimojitos.com for more details on the band. They play parties, children’s
birthdays, bar mitzvahs and county fairs. Get well wishes go out to the band M-Tank. Band members Walter Lane, Jason Walter and Scott Dence were in a pretty bad car wreck over the weekend. The band is currently out on tour and were heading back to town when their vehicle took a sharp curve too fast, flipped over, then fell off an overpass. The guys are in stable condition now and we hope for a speedy recovery. Seatbelts save lives, kids; here’s your perfect example. Mark your calendars for the Lexie’s Legacy 2011 Memorial Concert and CD release at Sky City coming up on the Aug. 19. The $5 cover includes a CD, and you get to enjoy the music of She ‘N She, The Radar Cinema, Josh Pierce, Panic Manor and the G-City Rockers. And last in new releases that I do not recommend you checking out: LMFAO, Beyonce and Limp Bizkit. That’s right, Limp Bizkit is making new music for no one. I can recommend the new Incubus disc, though, “If Not Now, When?” Isn’t Brandon Boyd dreamy?
open thursday, august 4 conveniently located on Walton Way Ext.
How popular is our Friday night Prime Rib and Seafood Buffet? Our Menu Highlights include:
Hand Carved Prime Rib Sweet and delectable Snow Crab Legs Delicious Fried Jumbo Shrimp Oyster on the Half Shell Seafood Pasta Station (Design your own!) Ahi Tuna with Wasabi and Pickled Ginger Full Dessert Bar Plus live music! This Friday Night Jazz Collective Saturday night Michael Peele and Old Skool
Know of some shows or bands that you want me to check out? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We do it all again every Saturday night. 2651 Perimeter Parkway | Augusta | 706.855.8100
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Lara Fortune, our outrageous new nightlife columnist, is real, fun and she gets around, which is mandatory if you’re going to be our heels on the ground. Did we mention she’s real?
You Won’t Like Me When I’m Angry OMG! My boyfriend goes out of town and my friends can’t understand why I don’t hook up with someone? Really. It’s not that he deserves my devotion or anything. He’s cheated on me plenty. I’m just not a whore or a cheater. And probably more of a concern is that I can never find someone who lives in my town to have sex with me one time and leave me alone. I know it sounds vain, but I just do that to people. So if I was so inclined, I’m out of luck Unless I travel and meet strangers. Ewww. And another thing. Little Miss Soon to be Divorced. You were supposed to be with my friend, who is all about you. You’re not officially divorced, still live with your husband and my friend has been sneaking all over with you. What do you do? Show up and dance and flirt with everyone but him. And how the hell are you so hot with three kids? That’s weird. So, we’re out. Boyfriend is gone. I just want to get drunk, dance around like an idiot and go home. Why
is that so weird? But lo and behold, there’s Beer Belly Scene Guy. Honestly. I am 100 percent sure he was keeping an eye on me. And my boyfriend heard some BS, so the next time I see him I’m going to give him an earful. So, my friend shows up, Miss Priss. Miss gained a few LBs, so check out my tatas! She proceeds to drink shot after shot and get in the middle of Miss Soon to be Divorced and my friend. Why? Alcohol + Alcohol = LOUD OBNOXIOUS MISS PRISS! I can get as drunk as can be and still be in control. Why do all of my friends turn into loud obnoxious drama queens? Dear Lord. I really think it may be for the gossip column. Everyone lives their lives around here to document it on FB. Oh, and short skirt with your ass hanging out, you look like a tramp. The guys talk about you like you are the dumbest girl on earth. If that is what you are going for, congratulations. You’re now this week’s FB FLAV. Ho.
Bar Biz Booming There are a ton of pending liquor licenses in Richmond County, so looks like the heat has been good for business. Want to buy a Mexican restaurant? Got $75,000? Mi Rancho in Evans can be yours! Bar West finally opens this Thursday night for a soft opening, which means 8 p.m.-midnight. We’re willing to bet no one is leaving at midnight. Everyone is talking about getting the early crowd, from 4 p.m. until 6 or so. Does that crowd still exist? Bumped into an old friend recently back in Augusta after six years in Texas. She walked into the Firehouse Bar and she swore most of the same people were there. That’s loyalty. Top notch comedy is on tap in August in Augusta. Tim Wilson, one of the funniest touring comics out there, is appearing at Somewhere in Augusta Wednesday, Aug. 17. Tim brings something you don’t find in stand up that often… immediacy. If you’re
lucky enough to catch him on a more surly night, he’ll happily turn a minor slight into a night-long assault on an unfortunate soul. Unforgettable. And word is Screech will be making his Augusta debut at The Country Club Dance Hall and Saloon. The Playground is serving hamburgers, hotdogs, mozzarella sticks… your basic bar food. Waffle House at midnight? No way. Club Rehab has a new operator who has been upgrading the small bar at the end of a long hall. Says business is brisk. First Round is offering 1.50 PBRs every First Friday. Behind Metro on 11th Street. The local sports bars are gearing up for football season. With Wild Wing, Somewhere in Augusta, Carolina Ale House, Buffalo Wild Wings and Hooters, Augusta has never had more screens to look at. Competition will be fierce. Bar on Broad reports packed Friday nights. Their recent Wednesday night ladies night was a big success. Look for it to become a monthly promotion.
3112 Washington Road (behind Picadilly)
A Neig hborh ood Ba r
$1 $2 $3
56 taps in Evans + liquor 706.447.4992
30 taps in aiken + liquor 803.648.9074
30 taps downtown 706.774.0037
24 taps in columbia + liquor 803.454.1743
L THE ALL THEAL IMEE TTIM !! 6 DAYS
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Open Late Every Tuesday
$1.95 Draft $1.95 Specialty Slices
5PM to Close
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Local fighters Zack Day and Stevie Dement breakdown three of the top fights, live on pay-per-view on Saturday, Aug. 6
Mike Pyle vs. Rory McDonald Stevie Dement: Mile “Quicksand” Pyle is 170 pounds. I think his record is 21 wins, seven losses and one draw. He trains with Forrest Griffin and Randy Couture and I got to hang out with him at Forrest’s wedding. He’s a great guy. He’s coming off of three wins. The guy loves to submit everybody and he’s really tough. He’s looking at Rory McDonald who’s the “Water Boy.” He’s 11-1. Zack Day: I’m really impressed with McDonald beating Nate Diaz on a unanimous decision, which means he soundly handled him for three rounds, and those Diaz boys are good, as much as I don’t like them. Dement: I’m with you on that one. Day: But I do like Pyle and who he’s coming from. Those guys are always in shape. So I’m probably going to lean towards Pyle, especially since Stevie knows him. Victor Belfort vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama Dement: Victor Belfort — they call him “The Phenom.” He’s 10-9 with 13 KOs. I’ll have to say in the beginning I thought Belfort was unstoppable. Day: I agree. I think he has all the tools. He was just a little young when he came out, but I think he’s really matured now as a fighter. Dement: If you remember his last fight, which was a loss against Anderson Silva, who is in my opinion one of the best fighters ever to fight in the cage, Victor got knocked out with a crazy front kick — I think you kicked me with the same thing one time. Day: I did, Stevie. That’s just a tough kick, and it’s a tough shot if you get hit like that. I don’t care who you are, you’re going down. So, nothing against Belfort on that one. I still think he’s one of the tops in his game — one of the top five in that weight range. Dement: You know, Belfort did win his previous five fights, Rich Franklin being one of them. So that’s saying something. On the other hand, Yoshihiro Akiyama… Day: I like him right way from his nickname — “Sexyama.” Dement: He’s 13-3. Unfortunately, he’s coming off of two losses to Michael Bisping and Chris Leben. And the problem is, both Bisping and Leben are very similar to Belfort, maybe not as good. Day: Their striking is what took him down. He wins by submissions, and I don’t think he’s going to get into a submission war with Belfort. Dement: I think Sexyama is in deep water. Day: I think so, too. I’m going with Belfort on this as well. Main Event: Rashad Evans vs. Tito Ortiz Day: Two big, big names. Dement: They are 205 pound specimens. “Suga” Rashad Evans is 15-1-1 with five TKOs, two submissions and eight decisions. His background is wrestling, as is Tito’s, but I’ve got to tell you about Rashad — his hands have vastly improved throughout his career. He’s coming off two wins against Quinton Jackson and Thiago Silva — that’s saying something. Day: That’s huge. Everyone had pretty much written off Tito Ortiz until he just happened to come back and did a good showing. You’ve got to give him a fighter’s chance in this because V. 22 | NO. 50
he is a scrapper and can fight. However, I think Rashad is at the top of his game right now. I don’t think Tito is going to be able to compete with him. Dement: Well, we’ll have to watch. Tito’s background is also wrestling, very similar to Rashad’s, but he’s coming off a surprising, in my opinion, win against Ryan Bader. Day: Very true. I don’t normally expect submissions out of Tito — he’s more of a wrestler, pound and ground guy, but that was a surprising win. Dement: Also something that’s interesting about this fight is the fact that Evans and Tito fought to a unanimous draw in UFC 73, so these guys have been at it before. Day: Yeah. They’ve got some unfinished business. They want to have a definite win over the other one, so this should be a great fight. I’m going to side with Rashad Evans. Dement: I’m with Rashad, too, but this is going to be a fun one to watch. Both Day and Dement have fought professionally in the World Combat League, and are ranked in the top 3 in current professional world rankings. Both have multiple submission wins and boxing and kickboxing titles. Day is the current U.S. Middleweight Kickboxing Champion. METRO SPIRIT 8.4.11 55
Matt Lane is host of The Weekend Rundown, which airs from 10 a.m.-noon Saturdays on News-TalkSports 1630 AM. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Local Football Team Capsules With the high-school football season fast approaching, here is what local fans can expect from some of their favorite teams. More capsules will be included in next week’s column.
North Augusta The Yellow Jackets were one of the more exciting teams in the CSRA last year. Their hurry-up, 11 seconds or less offense devastated the competition in averaging 33 points per game. They finished up 11-2 on the year, losing in the State Semis to Greenwood. Star quarterback Loranzo Hammonds graduated, but while filling in last year for an injured Hammonds, Tyrell Hillary showed that he is more than capable of handling the job this year. Hillary also has some experience at the receiver position in returning seniors Montez McGuire, who had over 1,000 yards last year, and DeVontez Rouse. Defensively, the Jackets are led by senior linebacker Compton Daugherty, senior defensive lineman Tony Merriweather, and junior defensive back Trey Morgan.
Thomson Usually when new coaches — like Thomson’s Milan Turner — come into town, they look to make their mark and detach their new team from the previous coach’s ideologies to employ a fresh start. So when asked how he planned to replace the fourth winningest high school coach in Georgia history, Turner’s answer was simple. “You don’t.” Helping Coach Turner keep the tradition rich and the Brickyard full on Friday nights are some familiar faces and a fresh one. All-Region tight end John Atkins returns, as well as offensive lineman Sebastian Hargrove for the offense. Also joining the offense is new coordinator Tucker Pruitt, who prior to arriving at Thomson served on staffs at Georgia Southern and Valdosta State, where he played quarterback. Tucker is also the son of Robbie Pruitt, currently the sixth active winningest coach in Georgia history.
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photos by matt lane
In serving as both athletic director and head football coach, Andrew Bryan knows his plate is full. Although many coaches around the area juggle both duties, what makes Coach Bryan’s case any different? Only in their second year of organized football, Westminster is still in the foundation stages of their program. They return one of their main offensive threats, wide receiver Patrick Moseley, who had 1,000-plus yards last year as a junior, but they lost talented quarterback Thomas Mehrhof due to graduation. The Wildcats have a strong schedule that will test them each and every week, but the experience they will garner in the process will serve as building blocks for this blossoming program.
Augusta Christian Head Coach Keith Walton (pictured above in the red shirt and brown visor) has been doing a lot of teaching the past few seasons. When your team is loaded with underclassmen, you become the main source of instruction, not the senior starter who’s been in the program for a few years. In this, the master motivator has been able to cultivate players at key positions by starting some even as freshman. That strong familiarity with each other, like with juniors quarterback Tyler Roberson and center Matt Herzwurm, will be what carries this team through the season. Also, having a Division 1 prospect in Michael Clifton, who can play TE/OL/DE, and a solid senior starter in Eric Fogle at wide receiver and punter doesn’t hurt either.
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advice goddess Amy Alkon
Frozen Dude Section Men’s magazines and blogs always have some article telling guys to pick up women at grocery stores. Really? I’ve actually never heard of a guy successfully asking a girl out in the vegetable section. The meat counter doesn’t seem all that conducive to romance, either. What’s the real deal on meeting women at the supermarket? — Cleanup In Aisle Two There’s all this breathless encouragement for guys to go meet women at the supermarket, as if the place is the key thing. As if a guy who always strikes out at the bar just needs to lurk in the organic lettuce section and picking up women will play out like the deer trotting up to the hunter and saying, “Hi, my name’s Tiffany, and I’ll be your dinner.” The guy most likely to score at the supermarket is one who has the mojo to score at a wake, while leaning over the embalmed dead body. Sure, if you spot some babe foraging in the probiotic dairy products, try your luck. But, as the author who calls himself “Mystery” points out in his book “The Pickup Artist,” the supermarket is a poor place, statistically speaking, to go to meet women. You might see one hot one there some night, but, in his words, “Why run around searching for one woman at a time when you can wait in a valley where all the animals will come to drink from the water hole?” Although Mystery tries to pick up women everywhere he goes, he finds there’s no “water hole” that compares to clubs. (In his definition of “clubs,”
Senior Momentum he includes bars, “social restaurants” and parties.) Even if you don’t like venues like these, they’re the best training ground for a guy who needs to get game, because there are lots of women who are single and looking, and not just for fresh cilantro. Having lots of women to hit on is how you get practice, which is how you get good. (Essentially, you fail your way to success.) The high volume of women in a club also helps keep you in a more positive mindset. If one disses you, it’s just a sign to move on to the next — in an environment conducive to approaching them. There’s sexy music and lighting, and you can ask a woman to dance, buy her a drink afterward and talk. What do you say in the supermarket, “Lemme buy you that head of cabbage”? Part of what you need to practice is having the right stuff going on in your head. Mystery talks about conveying personality rather than convincing a woman you’re worthy of her. This takes having fun trying to meet women. You do that by making your goal going out and having a good time working on your mojo instead of being on some grim life-or-death mission to score. Once you get good at hitting on women in clubs, you increase your chances of success everywhere… increasing your chances that some woman will follow you out of the supermarket, determined to get into your pants, and not just because she saw you on the security tape sticky-fingering a box of Pop-Tarts.
meet real women tonight
most local singles
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When you’re 24, an “older man” is probably 36, not somebody who used to enjoy “long walks on the beach” but now enjoys long walks to the salad bar. (If you listen closely, you can hear his pacemaker.) An old dude who hits on you may have a distorted sense of his attractiveness (charming at any age). He may think that if he can just get you out
on a date, his timeless sex appeal will make you go deaf when the waitress offers him the senior citizen discount. And who knows… maybe you’re looking for a sugar grandpa. Doesn’t hurt to ask! Well, not nearly as much as if the old coot were doing it while looking down your cleavage at Starbucks: “Hey, baby, I could tell you stories about the days before voicemail.” Online, however, you and the other 3,126 young chickies he hits on will probably just delete him. But, there’s always that chance that one will be drunk, crazy or desperate enough (in his mind, smart, insightful and adventurous enough) to meet him and see that he looks not a day over 40… in the right light. (Unfortunately, the right light would be near-pitch darkness 20 years ago.)
©2011, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit advicegoddess.com 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).
The Augusta Chiefs’ Mess is hosting:
Where: When: Who: Cost:
Savannah Rapids Park (Overlook Gazebo) 3300 Evans to Locks Rd, Martinez, GA 30907 6 – 9 AM; Race starts at 7 AM Anyone who wants to get some exercise and have a great time! $25 if you register by 8 August $20 if you register early in groups of 5 or more $30 late registration after 8 August
Register online at: http://www.active.com/running/martinez-ga/thar-she-blows-5k-2011?int=29-6
706.434.0108 More Local Numbers: 1.800.210.1010 18+
Since I’ve been online dating, I’ve noticed a shocking trend: old men hitting me up for dates. I’m 24, and my profile states that I’m seeking men ages 24 through 35. Yet men my father’s age and a few close to my grandfather’s have “winked” at me and asked me out. Gross. Men this old never approach me in “real life.” Why do they do it online? — Icked Out
For more information, please contact: Milo Close (706) 791-1942 email@example.com Mark Hockenberry (706) 791-5125 firstname.lastname@example.org Tunnesha White (706) 791-0646 email@example.com
Ahora en Español
METRO SPIRIT 8.4.11 57
The views expressed are the opinions of Austin Rhodes and do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher.
Tell Me Why This Won’t Work “No one believes it will fly... but I do.” Caractacus Potts, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” Call this the hair-brained scheme of the day, but try to explain why it won’t work other than just saying, “People won’t go for it.” As history has shown us, people tend to adopt some pretty strange habits and customs once technology and the law conspire to allow them to develop. It was once said that American women would never vote, American slaves would never be freed, and that the sun would never set on the British Empire. See how well that worked out? Here is my plan to help the budget crisis, rid the country of illegal aliens and end most of the property and drug crime as we know it today: Turn the American economy into a cashless system. No more cash or coin. The technology exists to handle this right now, and most of us already use debit cards instead of checks, use direct deposit from our employers, and participate in automatic
bill pay for regular, monthly payments for utilities, auto loans and mortgages. (Lord knows we do at my house!) The technology also exists to transfer money from individual to individual via cell phone gimmickry and, yes, this would include every kind of purchase from buying a car from your neighbor to paying the kid next door for cutting your grass. How would this system fix the big problems of the day? America’s Tax and Budget Woes. Conservative estimates tell us the U.S. government loses as much as 40 percent (some say more) of its rightly owed tax revenue to criminal underreporting of income/financial transactions and the “underground” economy (criminal activity and unreported cash-only businesses). Many of us have very little chance of cheating the system like this, because we are paid through direct deposit,
and only a total moron would fail to report as taxable income that which is clearly visible in his own bank records. But there are plenty who earn cash and never deposit the dough, which makes it difficult for the feds to tax you on it, much less know you ever made it to begin with. Under a cashless system, all transactions could be tracked, and if an individual seems to have income that doesn’t logically add up to the wages they claim, the IRS will come knocking. You think the money order business thrives because people are too lazy to order paper checks? No. You can’t send cash into the satellite TV provider, but crack dealer Jack can buy a money order with his drug cash and he is set up for the NFL Ticket on Sunday! Scared of Big Brother? Hell, I know I am. But the authorities have the ability to subpoena my bank records right now if the cause is legitimate, and since I am almost 100 percent cashless in the way I handle my accounts, I am already “submitted for their approval.” (If I can do this, everybody can do this.) Those of you who want a Fair Tax, or even a flat tax, this would be the best way to collect it. Sales tax collection would take place at the time of purchase, going straight to the local collection agency. No more middle man,
no more sales tax thieves. Illegal Aliens. All employees would have to be paid wages electronically, and then all purchases will be verified with a biometric system that verifies identity upon use. The technology is already here that can handle these transactions. No one but legal citizens and guests would have the ability to earn and-or spend money in this country. Want to see how many illegals stick around once they can’t have access to untraceable or untaxable cash? Let’s give it a try and see. Crime. Under this cashless system, anyone who pays another individual for any good or service will be generating a record of the transaction. How quick is the casual drug user going to cease and desist if they know their purchase has been logged on the dealer’s account? This won’t be 100 percent effective, but it will take a huge bite out of the drug business, particularly among the middle class and affluent who are terrified of being caught. Stolen property? The crooks couldn’t effectively fence it. The technology to bring Americans online with such a system is already in place; all that is missing is the desire. A few more years of oppressive and illogical tax policy, illegal alien overrun and the expensive war on crime might just bring that out.
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Georgia Power Home Energy Improvement Rebate. Summit Green Solutions is a Program Participating Contractor. V. 22 | NO. 50
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Published on Apr 20, 2012
The Metro Spirit is a free weekly newspaper that serves readers in the Augusta and North Augusta area. Editorial coverage includes Richmond...