Friday, August 17, 2018

Longtime 'CL' Columnist Jerry Klein Dead at 66

Political rabble-rouser, arts and music writer to be remembered this weekend

Posted By on Fri, Aug 17, 2018 at 1:08 PM

Jerry Klein, the author of an estimated half-a-million words worth of Creative Loafing columns, news features and cover stories, lost his battle with esophageal cancer early this morning. He died peacefully, according to loved ones.

Jerry Klein
  • Jerry Klein

A Creative Loafing contributor between 1987 and 2001, Klein tackled the city's toughest issues, lifting the rug to expose the dirt below and the folks who swept it there. He was also a passionate patron of the arts and a fervent music fan, and it showed in his inspired coverage of Charlotte's cultural scene. It is believed he wrote 365 columns for CL during his first decade with the paper.

Klein returned to the paper in 2014 as a contributor, writing a cover story on the struggle to find funding for arts in Charlotte and contributing columns and news stories on the I-77 toll lanes, Thom Tillis, the Michael Brown shooting and much more. You can see his archives here.

A celebration of Klein's life will take place on Saturday, August 18, at the Great Aunt Stella Center, where Klein was Director of Programming from 1988 to 2001, at 926 Elizabeth Ave. at 3 p.m. Organizers ask that attendees wear bright colors in honor of Klein's colorful life. His loved ones also ask that any donations made in Klein's honor be made to DrumsForCures, a local DRUMSTONG program that holds events to raise awareness and funds in support of cancer survivorship, education, prevention and research through uplifting, facilitated and interactive rhythm experiences.

John Grooms, CL's longest-serving editor, worked with Klein for most of his years at the paper. Grooms was saddened to hear of Klein's passing on Friday and offered the following statement: "Jerry was an important part of Charlotte’s cultural growth during the late 1980s and ‘90s, expanding both the limits of political discourse on talk radio and the range of live music available in the city’s venues. He was a big part of Creative Loafing’s growing popularity during that era and it was a personal as well as a professional pleasure being able to coordinate and shape coverage of important issues with Jerry. He was a fiery, passionate man with a strong sense of humor and the absurd, and a 'Damn the torpedoes' attitude that caused some to oppose his efforts, but which we at CL found to be right up our alley. He is already missed."

Born in Philadelphia, Klein moved to Charlotte at 3 years old. In the '90s, he was a talk show host on WBT-AM, where he railed against many of the same injustices he covered in the pages of Creative Loafing. In 2015, Klein wrote a column, titled "The Night They Missed," recalling the time someone shot at him while he got out of his car at the WBT studios one night.

In the early aughts, Klein moved to Washington, D.C., and married his high-school sweetheart. He found a job with WMAL, serving as the token liberal at a station known for giving Rush Limbaugh his platform. Klein made headlines in 2006 when, during his WMAL show, he sardonically called for all Muslims to be rounded up and marked with an identifying tattoo. Near the end of the program, he proclaimed that his remarks were a hoax, then went on a rant indicting the many callers who had phoned in to agree with him, comparing them to those living in Nazi Germany. It was an experiment that today could be called trolling at its best.

Creative Loafing mourns the loss of Jerry Klein. In our 31 years, there has never been, nor will there be, a talent quite like his.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Listen Up: Dexter Jordan Serves Up Pride on 'Local Vibes'

Episode 53

Posted By and on Thu, Aug 16, 2018 at 8:00 AM

After a couple weeks off, Local Vibes is back for another season with a brand new co-host, Mariah Scott. To kick things off, in the lead-up to his performance at Charlotte Pride, Dexter Jordan stops by to talk to Ryan and Mariah about the loss of his mother, "Hello, New Me," and what comes next.

As always, make sure to catch up with the rest of our team at Queen City Podcast Network. And catch up on all our past episodes on iTunes, Stitcher, or simply by typing "Local Vibes" into your Spotify search bar.

Tags: , , ,

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Charlotte Celebrates National Night Out

Join the neighborhood in a city-wide event of camaraderie

Posted By on Tue, Aug 7, 2018 at 1:56 PM

Several children gather around a police officer during a community event. (Courtesy of City of Charlotte)
  • Several children gather around a police officer during a community event. (Courtesy of City of Charlotte)

Tuesday, August 7 may seem like another weeknight to stay in, catch up on your shows and do your best to ignore and avoid interaction with your neighbors as much as possible. But the city of Charlotte with CLT250 want you to rethink your plans.

From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Charlotte is celebrating another installment of the annual National Night Out event, a city-wide neighborhood experience that demonstrates the community’s intolerance for crime. It’s also a way for neighborhoods to enhance their relationship not only among residents, but also with police departments in order to create a safer community.

Charlotte has participated in this national event for 25 of the 35 years it's been running. For one night across the city, over 70 registered events such as cookouts, block parties, porch sit-ins and ice cream socials, will build community togetherness and neighborhood camaraderie while also promoting police-community partnerships.

Because this year is also Charlotte’s 250-year anniversary, CLT250, an organization formed to celebrate the city’s past, present and future, is participating in tandem with the city to promote this campaign of neighborhood friendliness.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is committed to having an officer at every event that is registered with the city. Through this participation, sheriff-elect Garry McFadden hopes to connect with the community and reunite with people that they don’t get to see during the year for a neutral event.

“Reconnect, reschedule and reunite,” Fadden stated. “I look forward to it. I look forward to the candid conversations. It’s not political. For some people it is, but for me it’s not political.”

Although the National Night Out event is only officially held once a year, McFadden hopes the community can come together more often than that for a night of fun and what he describes as “a city-wide picnic.”

McFadden said that he hopes that the community will begin fostering and cultivating connections on a continuous basis, and in the near future, there should a monthly community event much like National Night Out.

“To me, it’s a great opportunity, and we need more opportunities like that,” he stated.

To help support National Night Out, CMPD also invites residents to leave their porch light on from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. as a symbol of alertness and awareness, according to the city’s community letter.

Local Church Group Visits Detention Center to Show Support for Immigrant Detainees

In solidarity

Posted By on Tue, Aug 7, 2018 at 4:00 AM

A group of local church members went to Lumpkin, Georgia over the weekend to visit Stewart Detention Facility in support of immigrant detainees.
  • A group of local church members went to Lumpkin, Georgia over the weekend to visit Stewart Detention Facility in support of immigrant detainees.

On Friday afternoon, August 3, the voices of about 30 congregants could be heard inside the sanctuary at Myers Park Baptist Church in south Charlotte. In unison, the voices sang, "Somebody's hurting our brother, and we're not going to be silent anymore."

That somebody is Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, better known as ICE, acting on orders from President Trump's administration, and Ben Boswell, senior minister at Myers Park, is done being silent about it.

After Friday's prayer vigil at the church, Boswell and his associate minister Chrissy Tatum Williamson led a group of 27 people to Lumpkin, Georgia, where they formed a prayer chain outside of the Stewart Detention Center, an infamous private prison run by ICE that houses immigrant detainees awaiting deportation.

The trip was part of the church's Awakening series, a project thought up by Williamson in which church members study a social justice issue throughout the year, then end their studies with a pilgrimage of sorts. Last year, after studying racial issues in America, participating members toured through the Deep South.

This year's focus on immigration issues was inspired by an experience Boswell had with Gilles Bikindou, a member of his former church in Cary. Bikindou was a Congolese resident who had lived and worked in the United States for 10 years. In January, he was detained during a routine check up at his local ICE office and eventually deported back to Congo, where he had once been witness to a murder and felt his life was in danger.

Boswell decided this year's pilgrimage would follow the path of Bikindou and countless others who have suffered similar fates, from the ICE office in Charlotte to the York County Detention Center in South Carolina and finally to Stewart Detention Center.

Rev. Ben Boswell speaks at the recent vigil at Myers Park Baptist Church. (Photos by Mackenzie Harris)
  • Rev. Ben Boswell speaks at the recent vigil at Myers Park Baptist Church. (Photos by Mackenzie Harris)

"When we saw his path and the inhumanity of the path that he experienced and the secrecy of it and how quiet it was and how nobody could get to him ... we knew that there was something secretive and inhumane and immoral about what's going on that we need to shed light on, that we need to bear witness to as people of faith and to tell the truth to the world about what's happening in our own community," Boswell said on Friday. "Friends and neighbors, brothers and sisters who are from other countries are being detained and they're disappearing, and we need to be able to tell that story."

The group also stopped in Atlanta to meet with representatives of refugee and immigrant advocacy groups and Baptist cooperative fellowships to discuss the Sanctuary Movement, a religious and political campaign in the 1980s that offered sanctuary to undocumented immigrants fleeing wars in Central America. During Trump's administration, more than 800 faith communities have come together across the country to form the New Sanctuary Movement.

For Williamson, it's all the more important for churches like hers to speak up as evangelists and politicians spouting off about religious values have been largely silent in the face of Trump's "Zero Tolerance" immigration policies.

"As a religious person, I think one of the central tenets of our faith is to love our neighbors, Williamson said. "So when I think about what does that look like played out in public life, it's certainly not ripping children from parents, it's not locking people up who are in search of survival or fleeing violence or domestic violence or gang situations or no economic opportunity.

"The tricky spot we're in right now has emerged from the religious right using itself as a political movement to different politicians, and so the message of Christ in my opinion has been deluded and has become a political message that's co-opted by the Republican Party," she continued. "So I think it's important for Christians on all sides of the political spectrum to speak out about how we interpret text and how God is telling us to live in the world. And I think some more progressive Christians have lost our public voice and it's time to reclaim that."

Local immigration lawyer Cynthia Aziz (left) also spoke at the vigil.
  • Local immigration lawyer Cynthia Aziz (left) also spoke at the vigil.

Cynthia Aziz, an immigration lawyer from Charlotte, spoke at Friday's prayer vigil. While she said she wouldn't be joining the group on their trip to Georgia, she said she would be with them in spirit.

"I've practiced immigration law for almost 30 years and it's a conversation that I've had with people about immigration for years, and I was excited to see that people now really care and want to see what's really happening," Aziz said. "It's sad that it's taken this kind of atrocity at our borders to get people's attention, but this movement, this prayer pilgrimage really means a lot, even to people that don't know they're doing it."

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Thursday, August 2, 2018

'Trading Spaces' Announces Casting Call in Charlotte

Swap houses with your neighbors for a TLC redesign

Posted By on Thu, Aug 2, 2018 at 11:41 AM

TLC’s long-running show, Trading Spaces has announced a casting call in our very own Charlotte. In a video posted on Twitter by the network, host Paige Davis announces that it’s time for another season and they are looking for neighbors who are interested.

Cast members (left to right) Genevieve Gorder, Paige Davis and Ty Pennington (Photo Courtesy of TLC)
  • Cast members (left to right) Genevieve Gorder, Paige Davis and Ty Pennington (Photo Courtesy of TLC)

“If you’ve got a neighbor who’s maybe even a sister, or maybe you do live next door to your boss, perhaps,” Davis excitedly says in the video. “I can’t wait to meet you if you get picked!”

The premise of the show is two neighbors, either down the street or right next door, will trade homes for a week. Armed with a $2,000 budget and a team of carpenters and designers, the neighbors redesign and redecorate a room in one another's homes.

Trading Spaces, which first aired in 2000, was nixed by TLC after 8 seasons in 2008. The show was revived and rebooted by the network for season 9, which aired this summer. Renewed for another season, producers are now conducting casting calls in Southern California as well as Charlotte.

Those interested are told to go to the casting site, to submit their applications.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Charlotte 'Hamilton' Sales Go Awry After Bot Interference

Posted By on Wed, Aug 1, 2018 at 10:34 AM

"I'm past patienly waitin'," -Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton in 'Hamilton' (Photo by Steve Jurvetson)
  • "I'm past patienly waitin'," -Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton in 'Hamilton' (Photo by Steve Jurvetson)

As thousands of people showed up to the Blumenthal Arts box office in uptown Charlotte this morning for a chance at the highly sought after tickets to the Hamilton musical's long-awaited arrival at Belk Theater in Charlotte, many more were stopped in their tracks online, as a technical issue crashed all internet sales for more than two hours.

Not content with interfering with our elections, it appears bots were to blame with trying to influence the sale of Hamilton tickets in Charlotte, according to the Blumenthal Performing Arts Twitter feed. At around 8:30 a.m., a half an hour after tickets were supposed to go on sale, Blumenthal tweeted an aplogy for the delay, stating, "[Sales] will begin as soon as a technical problem is resolved."

An hour later, another tweet was more specific, reading, "We have learned the technical issue is related to bot prevention software that detected more than 8,000 bots trying to influence the official on sale around 6am."

Then at 10:19 a.m., the tweet everyone had been pulling their hair out in anticipation for finally came.

There's still no word on whether Blumenthal will hold a separate show specifically for bots, since there is such a high demand, apparently. Here's to hoping you all kept your space in the internet line. When we just tried, we were number 87,300 in line when we just tried for shits and giggles. Something tells us we won't be getting in.

Tags: , , , ,

Saturday, July 28, 2018

'Creative Loafing' Writers Win Five Awards and an Honorable Mention at National AAN Convention

Posted By on Sat, Jul 28, 2018 at 11:00 PM

CL's Kia O. Moore takes First Place in the Arts Feature category at AAN convention.
  • CL's Kia O. Moore takes First Place in the Arts Feature category at AAN convention.

Creative Loafing took home five awards and an honorable mention at the 2018 Association of Alternative Newsmedia convention in San Diego on Saturday, including First Place in the Arts Feature category for contributor Kia O. Moore.

Moore was awarded for her February 2017 cover story '5 Artists Who Will Not Be Ignored.'

Editor-in-Chief Mark Kemp won two awards: Second Place in the Music Writing category for a series of feature stories, including coverage of the Bla/Alt black alternative music festival, and Third Place in Columns for a series of editor's notes including a September 20, 2017, reflection on the Charlotte Uprising one year later.

News Editor Ryan Pitkin won Second Place in the new LGBT Coverage category for his cover story on Time Out Youth, and received an Honorable Mention in the Beat Reporting category for a series of crime stories.

CL contributor Lara Americo won Second Place in the Multimedia category for their series "Muslims in Charlotte."

Two other N.C. alt-weeklies also won awards at the AAN convention:

The IndyWeek in the Triangle was nominated for six awards and took three First Place honors: Brian Howe for Arts Criticism; Victoria Bouloubasis, Erica Hellerstein and Sarah Willets for Immigration Coverage; and VC Rogers for Best Cartoon.

And the Triad City Beat in Greensboro won two awards: Senior Editor Jordan Green took Second Place in Political Columns and freelancer Jonathen Michels won Third Place in the Longform News category.

See the full list of winners here; read all of the stories for which Creative Loafing was recognized under "related stories" below.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Listen Up: Dollar Signs Cash In on 'Local Vibes'

Episode 52

Posted By and on Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 8:00 AM

A whole 52 episodes! By our horrible math that means we've been up to this Local Vibes thing for a year (we missed two weeks, so maybe a little longer). To celebrate, we brought in local favorites Dollar Signs — or three of them, anyway — to discuss open mics, anxiety, and the new album, This Will Haunt Me. [In the photo (from left): Mark Kemp, Luke Gunn, Dylan Thomas, Erik Button and Ryan Pitkin]

As always, make sure to catch up with the rest of our team at the Queen City Podcast Network. You can also catch up with all our past episodes on iTunes, Stitcher or simply by typing "Local Vibes" into your Spotify search bar.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Listen Up: Cyanca Brings 'Local Vibes' to 'The Isle of Queens'

Episode 51

Posted By on Thu, Jul 19, 2018 at 10:40 AM

You've seen her at Made From Scratch Fest. You've seen her on the cover of Creative Loafing. Now hear her story on Local Vibes, as up-and-coming R&B/neo-soul singer Cyanca (pictured above, right) blesses the booth alongside her friend and manager Megan Wolford (left), whose poetry skills are featured on a track that the two share with me (center) in this fun and illuminating episode. Cyanca discusses her inspirations — both personally and artistically — and her friendships with local hip-hop luminaries Lute and Elevator Jay. And don't forget to watch the terrific video for Cyanca's song "New Phone, Who Dis?" (below), which we talk about in the podcast.

As always, be sure to catch up with the rest of our team over at Queen City Podcast Network, where we've joined with some of the *other* best podcasts in town. And you can catch up with all our past episodes on iTunes, Stitcher or simply by typing "Local Vibes" into your Spotify search bar.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Community Rallies in Support of Couple Targeted by Racist Ranter

Posted By on Wed, Jul 18, 2018 at 1:22 PM

Cat Bao Le (left) and Tin Nguyen stand with community support outside of their home. (Photo by Ryan Pitkin)
  • Cat Bao Le (left) and Tin Nguyen stand with community support outside of their home. (Photo by Ryan Pitkin)

More than 30 people rallied outside the home of Tin Nguyen and Cat Bao Le on Tuesday night just two days after the couple posted a video showing a man harassing them in their front yard.

The man, who can be seen on the video yelling "I'm going to get you" at the couple and calling them the N-word, was apparently upset that the couple had a sign in their yard that read, "Fuck Donald Trump."

During a press conference in front of the home on Tuesday evening, Le said she was in the shower when she heard someone banging loudly on her door. She said she grabbed a towel and her phone and began recording when she realized the man was acting belligerent.

Le, executive director at the Southeast Asian Coalition, said she believes the man's actions were part of a bigger pattern of harassment aimed at minorities and immigrants during Donald Trump's presidency.

"The Trump administration has allowed white supremacists to feel emboldened and to escalate attacks against our communities," she said. "And when I say our community, I mean a lot of the communities that are facing these attacks under this administration and continue to fear for their lives."

Multiple online sources have identified the man as Charlotte's Cullen Heald, although Creative Loafing has not yet confirmed this. Heald's arrest record shows 31 infractions and arrests, including multiple charges of assault on a woman and domestic violence.

Nguyen, a local lawyer, said he did not trust the police to take action against Heald, so he did not call them, but that he appreciates the response both from the community around him and from the online community, in which the video has been shared thousands of times and made headlines.

"We know what happens to people like him," Nguyen said. "In the past few months, just turn on your TV, turn on your Facebook, you will see some white person wanting to police somebody just for breathing ... and so we know that that’s our justice. This video went viral within hours, it got picked up by all the different news networks, so that’s the kind of transformative justice that we believe in."

Nguyen said it's not the first time he and Le have been confronted over the yard sign, but that a previous call to local code enforcement was fruitless, as they hadn't broken any city ordinance.

"We have these signs here because we know that the president deserves this sign, he deserves this big middle finger," Nguyen said. He then referenced other signs in the yard stating, "Black Lives Matter" and "Refugees Welcome."

"We know that Cullen Heald was not just perturbed by the 'F Trump' sign, but he was perturbed by all of this," he said, referencing the multiple signs. "And the signs that we have here is the vision of the community that we believe in. We believe that refugees are welcome here. We elevate black lives and queer and trans black lives. We believe in all the immigrants that are in this community, and we do not stand with Trump one bit." 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Search Events

Recent Comments

© 2018 Womack Newspapers, Inc.
Powered by Foundation