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Friday, February 17, 2017

'A Day Without Immigrants' Draws More than 7,000 to Charlotte's Marshall Park

Posted By on Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 10:42 AM

Businesses across the city shut down today in protest of recent ICE raids while more than 7,000 people rallied in Uptown to support the immigrant community. CL reporter Jasmin Herrera was there to shoot photos while the crowd marched from Marshall Park to the center of Uptown and back again.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

To 'Rise' and March For What Is Theirs

Posted By on Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 4:12 PM

Wendsler Nosie, Sr., leads a march from the San Carlos Apache Reservation to a sacred and now endangered site called Oak Flat. - COURTESY OF APACHE STRONGHOLD
  • Courtesy of Apache Stronghold
  • Wendsler Nosie, Sr., leads a march from the San Carlos Apache Reservation to a sacred and now endangered site called Oak Flat.

Apache leader and longtime indigenous rights advocate Wendsler Nosie, Sr., will be speaking at an event in Uptown on Friday night to raise awareness for his years-long fight against efforts to build a copper mine on his tribe’s land in southeastern Arizona. He and local advocates also aim to tie that fight in with land issues facing native and non-native people throughout the country.

Nosie will be the keynote speaker at the Apache Stronghold event at Goodyear Arts on Friday night. The event was organized by Allie Fredericks, who moved to Charlotte three weeks ago after spending nearly a year living with the Apache Stronghold at Oak Flat, a sacred site in danger of being lost to the potential mine construction. The locally-based American Indian Party is hosting the event.

The Apache Stronghold's struggle against the powerful Arizona copper industry will soon be featured in an episode of the new Viceland series, “Rise." Organizers will screen the episode at the event on Friday.

Hosts on Friday will focus not only on the fight for Oak Flat, but emphasize the relevance to everyone of preserving federal land and land promised to indigenous tribes.

Speaking over the phone on Thursday, Nosie said he’s touring the country — as he’s been doing for nearly 14 years now — to educate people on the importance of holding the government accountable when they renege on federally mandated environmental protections, as they did when they approved a land exchange with Resolution Copper Mining, LLC as part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015.

“The administrative process that is required for federal law to go into effect, that law doesn’t particularly deal with the Indian tribes, it deals with all of us,” Nosie said. “But naturally, the land issue and the water issue and the environment is very important to us, and so I think over the years, not only native people but non-native people are waking up to the issue about how Congress can exempt laws — as pertaining to this particular one — that protect the land and water.”

Apache Stronghold youth leader Naelyn Pike, Nosie's granddaughter, stands in Times Square while touring to raise awareness about the fight for Oak Flat. - STANDING FOX
  • Standing Fox
  • Apache Stronghold youth leader Naelyn Pike, Nosie's granddaughter, stands in Times Square while touring to raise awareness about the fight for Oak Flat.
He said while he has been fighting against exemptions to Environmental Protection Agency mandates under multiple administrations, the Trump administration brings new fears that the president could do away with environmental protections — or the EPA as a whole — altogether.

“Now with the new president there, he threatens all preservation, he threatens the future of all people. That’s why I come up here to North Carolina,” Nosie said. “It’s not only for native people but for the people in general, because what I’ve found is that people around this country don’t realize that they have a say on federal land. Even though the land is in California, Arizona, or wherever, if you’re in the United States, you have a say.”

Despite the broad reach of Nosie’s message, a goal of Friday night’s event will be to focus on what can be done on a local level. Representatives of the AIP and Metrolina Native American Association will be on hand to discuss local issues such as recent efforts to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day and the AIP’s clothing drive, being held at Healthy Home Market this year until Feb. 15.

According to Robert Greeson, who is active in the AIP and MNAA, Friday night’s event isn’t just about informing people, but inspiring people to take that information and act on it.

“It’s not to just give people knowledge and do nothing with it, but to harness that knowledge,” Greeson said. “Knowledge alone isn’t power, knowledge with action is power. Nobody cares what you know, they care what you do with what you know.”

Wendsler Nosie, Sr., (left) prays with Standing Rock chairman David Archambault II during a 2016 visit to show solidarity with tribes and protesters opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline. - ALLIE FREDERICKS
  • Allie Fredericks
  • Wendsler Nosie, Sr., (left) prays with Standing Rock chairman David Archambault II during a 2016 visit to show solidarity with tribes and protesters opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Fredericks said she’s been inspired while meeting with local indigenous organizations since moving to Charlotte, and hopes Friday’s event spurs momentum in an indigenous movement that’s already grown in popularity since recent protests by a multitude of tribes at Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline.

“It’s one of these things where I know people are very open in light of recent political events,” Fredericks said. “It’s becoming more and more important for people to know their own communities and who’s in their own cities and states. I’m really excited that people want to know whose land they’re on.”

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Man Killed by Undercover Police Officer in East Charlotte

Posted By on Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 5:59 PM

A sheet lies where a man was killed by a police officer in east Charlotte Thursday. - RYAN PITKIN
  • Ryan Pitkin
  • A sheet lies where a man was killed by a police officer in east Charlotte Thursday.

A man was shot and killed in east Charlotte this afternoon after allegedly pulling a gun on a man in traffic, not knowing he was a police officer.

According to CMPD, the shooting happened at about 1:18 p.m. on the 6200 block of Albemarle Road, but the incident began elsewhere. Police say an undercover officer was driving an unmarked car near the intersection of Albemarle and Reddman roads. He was then allegedly struck by 28-year-old Josue Diaz, who immediately began driving outbound on Albemarle Road.

The vehicle being driven by the man who was killed showed visible damage to the back-left fender. - RYAN PITKIN
  • Ryan Pitkin
  • The vehicle being driven by the man who was killed showed visible damage to the back-left fender.
The detective followed Diaz and called in to CMPD communications to report the hit-and-run and request a marked vehicle to assist him, but while he was doing so Diaz allegedly stopped his vehicle suddenly, then exited the vehicle and brandished a handgun.

According to a CMPD release, the detective perceived an imminent threat to his life and opened fire on Diaz, who was later pronounced dead on the scene.

A group of about 20 activists were at the scene a couple hours after the shooting. Some demanded answers from police, while others live-streamed from the scene to hundreds of people watching online.

A few officers, including Major Mike Campagna, known for his outreach efforts during and after the Charlotte Uprising, tried to engage with residents on the scene.

"We've tried to engage with CMPD in the past, for years. What has that gotten us? Bullets in the street," said activist Gloria Merriweather to others who had gathered there on Albemarle Road.

CMPD says it won't release the name of the officer, due to the undercover nature of his work. As is protocol, the detective will be placed on administrative leave and the CMPD Internal Affairs Bureau will conduct a separate but parallel investigation to the CMPD's homicide investigation.

Creative Loafing will update this story as more details are released.

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Can Charlotte Really Afford Major League Fútbol?

Posted By on Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 5:15 PM

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The possibility of Major League Soccer in Charlotte quickly became the center of controversy this week because, well, it all happened so quickly.

If you haven’t been close to a news source, or just don’t care about soccer, let me come in with the assist: On Dec. 14, 2016, the MLS told national media outlets of its plans to add two new teams, and it mentioned Charlotte as a possibility. Burton and Marcus Smith, owner and CEO of NASCAR Speedway Motorsports, respectively, jumped at the opportunity, to the surprise of area government officials. The MLS set a Jan. 31 deadline if Charlotte wants in on the deal. 


But the city already has a minor-league soccer team that hopes to expand. The Charlotte Independence, founded in 2014, has been dribbling around the idea of renovating Memorial Stadium, installing 10,000 seats and leaving room for expansion, with the possibility of becoming a MLS stadium in the future. As far back as last year, the Charlotte Observer reported on the team’s hopes. On Wednesday, Jim McPhilliamy, president of the Independence, told the Observer that his architectural plans for the stadium had been used “without our knowledge or consent” to help Marcus Smith score one of the available MLS franchises.


Charlotte certainly has a robust soccer fan base, with the Charlotte Soccer Academy, Charlotte United Soccer, and other clubs. What’s more, Bank of America Stadium has held sold-out games for national and international teams, so there is a profit incentive, too.


The question is: Can Charlotte afford to spend big money on a MLS team?

While Mecklenburg County officials jumped at the opportunity, Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts said in a statement released today that city leaders are not ready to commit. “While this is very promising, it is clear that we are not prepared to move forward at this time on the current soccer proposal,” Roberts wrote. “Any major decision we make needs to be considered as part of the bigger picture, as we serve our entire community.”

The Smith family would shell out $150 million for one of the teams. But the rest of the project would cost $175 million, $87.5 million of which would be split between Charlotte and Mecklenburg County to help cover the construction costs of a new stadium over the Grady Cole Center and Memorial Stadium. The Smith’s team would agree to repay those costs at a rate of $4.26 million a year, for 25 years, raising the original $87.5 million to $106.5 million. But by that time the new stadium would need millions in renovations.

What’s more, that plan would kick the Charlotte Independence out, forcing the team to find a new home — halting its future like a dead ball.


In case you’re not already convinced that this deal is an attack on an integral part of the Charlotte community, including people's jobs and taxpayer dollars, take a look at what Jay Leach, senior minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte said in a Facebook post Tuesday:


“Keep in mind, these county funds are not restricted and could be invested in public education, affordable housing, social services, museums, parks, or other opportunities to enhance the well-being of our community. But this rushed proposal is in support of one of the wealthiest families in the nation and their interest in getting to own a pro soccer team.”


Let’s red-card the multi-billion-dollar family that will profit off a project that the city is so clearly not ready for; a project that tackles the dreams of a club that is already active in our community.



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Friday, January 20, 2017

LISTEN: 'Eyes Closed in Prayer' Documentary on Love, Hate, and the Charleston Church Shooting Premieres Tonight on WFAE

Posted By on Fri, Jan 20, 2017 at 11:58 AM

Charlotte public radio station WFAE premieres its 60-minute documentary Eyes Closed in Prayer, about the racially motivated shooting at the historic Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, tonight at 8 p.m.

After tonight's premiere, the doc will air three more times: Saturday at 2 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Listen to a clip from the documentary at bottom.

WFAE news director Greg Collard said the documentary came about after it occurred to him that the station was sitting on hours of material from its coverage of the Charleston massacre and trial, as well as tangential stories from the earlier debate over the flying of the Confederate flag outside the South Carolina state house. Most importantly, WFAE had stories from Charlotte residents who were either directly connected to victims — such as Malcolm Graham, brother of victim Cynthia Graham Hurd — or connected to the City of Charleston.
GWENDOLYN GLENN/WFAE
  • Gwendolyn Glenn/WFAE

"We spoke with one woman whose sister had died in the shooting and she had taken in her nieces," Collard said. "It told the story of one family's survival."

Collard knew there was an even larger story to tell about race in America, in the South, and in our region.

"We had a lot of other stories, so it just occurred to me, 'Hey we have so much material: Why don't we weave it together?" Collard said. "The great thing about a documentary is you can put all these pieces together and a story with a stronger message emerges."

Eyes Closed in Prayer was written and produced by Tom Bullock, and hosted by Gwendolyn Glenn, who traveled to Charleston for much of the reporting.

Listen to a segment of the Eyes Closed in Prayer below, and tune in to WFAE tonight at 8 p.m. for the full documentary.



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Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Black Sheep and Nike SB collabo goes quick in nationwide release

Posted By on Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 2:19 PM

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Snow and ice couldn't stop over 100 people from showing up at Black Sheep Skate Shop in Plaza Midwood on Saturday morning to sell the store out of the “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” sneakers, the store’s newest collaboration with Nike SB, so it’s no surprise that today’s nationwide release saw the shoes disappearing from Nike’s site and independent shops around the country within minutes.

“I’m struggling to even describe it,” said Black Sheep founder Josh Frazier of the national reaction to the shoe’s release.

Not only did Black Sheep sell out of nearly 150 pairs of the Dunk High Traditional sneakers, — then go through an undisclosed amount of pairs available online in three minutes — on Saturday, but the Nike website also sold out of the shoes within a matter of minutes this morning.

“I was shocked by how quickly it sold out. It’s sort of unprecedented for it to sell out that quickly on Nike,” Frazier said. “I’m kind of reeling from the whole thing right now.”

The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing is named as such thanks to some hidden features below the 
nikesb_dunkhi_blacksheep_scratchoff.jpg
 seemingly simple design. The shoe’s “Summit White” vintage suede along with white tongue and white Nike swoosh give the appearance and feel of a “sheep,” but sinister designs lurk below.

The white swoosh is susceptible to wear, and once its worn down or taken off scratch-off style, the shoe bears fangs once hidden within the iconic checkmark. The soles also depict a wolf's face in a symmetrically drawn graphic.

The “Wolf” is Black Sheep’s second collabo with Nike SB. The 2014 “Paid in Full” Dunk High sneakers featuring a Gucci print were hugely popular, and became even moreso after a legal snafu led to a recall, but even those can’t compare to the reaction the new “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” got.

What Frazier believes put things over the top for Black Sheep in terms of local sales was the exclusive packaging he put together with the help of some partners that drove collectors to the newly relocated shop on Saturday. A purchase at Black Sheep included a specially designed box, an exclusive “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” dust bag and other accessories — namely the exclusive shoe laces designed by San Francisco-based company Fully Laced that feature a pattern of blood spatter to go along with the shoe’s theme.

“We created the box to give us a point of differentiation. There are a lot of collectors out there, we wanted to give them a reason to want to purchase it from us,” Frazier said. He also shared the special packaging with some other independent shops around the country — “our friends,” as Fraziers puts it — as a way to support local ventures.

blacksheep_boxpack-1.jpg

As could be seen in retweets on Black Sheep’s Twitter account throughout the day today, local shops throughout the country sold out on Thursday just as quick as he did on Saturday, and by afternoon, the only pairs available online were size 6 or lower, for the most part.

In fact, except for the tight-knit sneakerhead community here in Charlotte, the release came and went with little fanfare locally, while national and international sneaker blogs hailed the release.

“I feel like we’ve gotten a lot more national coverage than we have locally,” Frazier said. “We’re kind of wondering, does anyone here even know?”

Unfortunately, if you’re just now finding out, it’s too late. The nature of the “quick strike” release, as Nike calls it, is to create buzz around a very limited release. Once their gone, there’s not much of a chance you’ll find them in stock anywhere again.

“I’m hoping that we might see a small restock, but I’m not certain,” Frazier said. “We sold through our allotment. Everyone is sold out at this point. It’s sort of the nature of these types of products. It’s sort of evaporated.”

They’ll certainly reappear online as resellers look to turn quick profit on the quick strike, as they’re wont to do, but as far as finding a decently priced pair with all the packaging, the odds are against you.

A release like this only comes around so often, and like the breath of a wolf hunting on a snowy day, the shoes will disappear into thin air as quickly as they appeared.

Better act quicker next time, Charlotte.

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

CORRECTION: New crossword puzzle for Jan. 5 issue

Posted By on Thu, Jan 5, 2017 at 10:37 AM


We ______ up. (6 letters)

As crossword puzzlers across the city quickly brought to our attention when print editions of Creative Loafing hit racks yesterday, we made a big mistake. Somehow in the process of putting the paper together, we included last week's puzzle board with the clues for the this week's puzzle.

It quickly became apparent to most that some obviously right answers were not fitting in the puzzle. We apologize, and have included here the full, correct puzzle as it was supposed to appear in this week's paper. We've made it big enough to print and enjoy, although we know it's just not the same as a crossword on newsprint.

If you just print this page, the puzzle will split on two pages. If you press the image, open it in a new tab and then print, it should come out just fine. I know, so annoying. We'll be sure not to make the same mistake again.

Email us at backtalk@clclt.com for the answer key and we'll send it right over.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Walker, Charlotte Ranger aims to end Charlotte's NBA All Star drought

Posted By on Wed, Dec 28, 2016 at 12:43 PM

Kemba Walker (right) and his deputy Frank Kaminsky in Walker, Texas Ranger.
  • Kemba Walker (right) and his deputy Frank Kaminsky in Walker, Texas Ranger.


Who said the local film industry is dead?

A new web series that debuted at the Spectrum Center over the holiday weekend is filmed wholly in Charlotte and aims to raise awareness for a problem that has plagued our local NBA franchise for years: no players in the All Star Game.

Let's just sidestep the fact that Charlotte was in line to host the upcoming All Star Game until House Bill 2 inspired commissioner Adam Silver to move it — lost to New Orleans just as the franchise itself was in 2002.

The more immediate problem faced now by the Hornets — one that can potentially be fixed without having to deal with slithery members of the NCGOP — is a six-year drought in sending a Charlotte player to the NBA All Star Game. The last player to make it was Gerald Wallace, who appeared in the 2010 game as a representative of the Charlotte Bobcats. It's been 14 years since a player went as a Charlotte Hornet, when point guard Baron Davis repped the Hornets in 2002, their last year before moving to New Orleans.

Now in steps a brave new point guard — one who has arguably proved to be the best at his position in franchise history in five-and-a-half seasons — with a cowboy hat, a duster and a seemingly magical basketball.

Over the weekend, the Hornets debuted the first two episodes of Walker, Charlotte Ranger, a web series that parodies the awful '90s Chuck Norris vehicle Walker, Texas Ranger. In it, Walker stars as the namesake of the show alongside his deputy, played by the goofy Hornets big man Frank Kaminsky.

SPOILER ALERT: In the first two episodes, Walker assists a young Hornets fan in distress with a simple bounce pass of his basketball, then saves Hugo from three bad guys — conveniently wearing shirts that read Bad Guy 1, Bad Guy 2 and Main Bad Guy — with juke moves. The main bad guy then makes off to New Orleans, where Kaminsky promises Walker will eventually follow. The acting is laughably bad throughout and can be hard to watch, but that's what makes it fun. There won't be any Webby awards handed out for these performances, but the Hornets are hoping the awkwardness of it all will lead to a trip to New Orleans for Walker.

The series is meant to inspire fans to vote Walker into the All Star Game. Corny but fun campaigns like this have become the norm for the Charlotte marketing team. In 2014, they launched a "Big Al's Paint" website in an attempt to make the case for Bobcats center Al Jefferson to be named to the All-NBA team. He was named third team All-NBA that year.

Near the end of the 2014-15 season, the Hornets launched a "MKG Security" campaign complete with commercials and a press kit seen below. That campaign to get Michael Kidd-Gilchrist named to the NBA All-Defensive team was not successful, although it appears MKG will reprise his role as "chief security officer" in an upcoming episode of Walker, Charlotte Ranger.

The Hornets are expected to release new episodes at upcoming home games on Thursday night against the Miami Heat, New Year's Eve against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Jan. 4 against the Oklahoma City Thunder. All-Star voting ends on Jan. 16.

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Today's Top 5: Thursday

Posted By on Thu, Dec 22, 2016 at 4:54 PM

Here are the five best events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area today, Dec. 22, 2016 as selected by us folks at Creative Loafing.

Holy Ghost Tent Revival at Visulite Theatre
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Christmas Karaoke at Milestone

Uptown Crawl

Leanna Eden and the Garden Of, Blu House and Monty Mak at Petra's

America Is A Mistake at Lunchbox Records

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Mark Kemp returns to Creative Loafing as editor-in-chief

Posted By on Wed, Dec 21, 2016 at 4:06 PM


Mark Kemp
  • Mark Kemp
For the third time in the past decade, we here at Creative Loafing Charlotte have welcomed North Carolina-native Mark Kemp as editor-in-chief at our award-winning alternative newsweekly and website.

Kemp returns to Charlotte after three years in the San Francisco Bay area, where he served stints as editor of the music-instruction magazine Acoustic Guitar and editor-in-chief of SF Weekly. A former senior music editor at Rolling Stone, VP of music editorial at MTV Networks, and entertainment editor at The Charlotte Observer, Kemp began his journalism career as a reporter for the Times-News of Burlington. In the early ‘90s, he served as longtime executive editor of Option, the groundbreaking alternative music and culture magazine.

Kemp edited Creative Loafing in the mid-2000s as well as the early 2010s, spearheading CL’s joint coverage of the 2012 Democratic National Convention with Huffington Post. His book Dixie Lullaby: A Story of Music, Race, and New Beginnings in a New South, was published by Simon & Shuster in 2004.

“The addition of Mark Kemp as editor-in-chief at Creative Loafing in Charlotte is something that the staff and readers of CL should be very excited about ,” says Womack, publisher at CL's parent company, Womack Newspapers, Inc. “Kemp brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the position and knows the Charlotte market extremely well. Personally, I am a huge fan and am anxiously looking forward to his taking the CL brand of print, social media and more to the next level.”

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