Friday, August 7, 2020

Cancer's better with a side of 'shrooms

Posted By on Fri, Aug 7, 2020 at 11:43 AM

Several articles are currently circulating about how 'shrooms can benefit cancer patients; however, for those of us who've experienced "magic mushrooms," the fact that they can help cancer patients relax isn't surprising. They can also help cancer patients, and others, discover the origins of tie dye, get lost in conversation about topics across the spectrum and encourage an overall sense of well being.

If we've got to lay out every drug in the world on a spectrum that goes from "good" to "bad," psilocybin (aka 'shrooms) would be closer to the good end than a lot of FDA-approved prescription drugs. Same goes for marijuana being a better choice than the processed, chemical-filled pills the government and pharmaceutical companies would prefer we ingest. But, we know that already. Now to change our antiquated laws so we can take the medicines we prefer.

I've decided the only way to help legislators understand the benefits of non-harmful, but currently illegal, drugs is to get them stoned thoroughly and regularly. I'm betting that, in addition to legalizing pot and 'shrooms, they'll get closer than ever to solving our world's lack-of-peace problem, they'll realize the value of the natural world and they'll stop worrying so much about their public facades. Oh, yeah, and they'll likely boost the budget with the taxes they'll impose on these drugs — taxes dealers and users would love to pay so they can spend more time enjoying their trips and less time worrying about getting busted for doing something harmless.

Another bonus: When we start legalizing these types of products and medicines, we'll also start saving some of the money and lives we're currently losing in the war on drugs.

So, what do you think? Who wants to help Washington and Raleigh get baked?

Further reading: Marijuana Eases Neuropathic Pain —

TWO years ago, CNN ran this news story on the benefits of 'shrooms:

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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." 

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Monday, October 9, 2017

Ruben Galindo's Family, Lawyers Call for Investigation into Police Shooting

Posted By on Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 8:27 PM

A group of people gathered in front of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center tonight before the Charlotte City Council meeting to call on city leaders to launch an investigation into the shooting death of Ruben Galindo by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officers. The group included Galindo's family and lawyers representing his estate.

Ruben Galindo was killed on September 6 after calling 911 and telling dispatchers that he had a gun without any bullets in it. CMPD released body cam footage of the shooting on Friday, which showed that Galindo was holding his arms in the air when he was killed.

Hector Vaca with ActionNC spoke at tonight's press conference, stating that Galindo called police to turn in the gun and followed officers' directions when they arrived.

"We need for CMPD to take responsibility for the actions of their officers," Vaca said.

Vaca demanded that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg District Attorney's office press charges against CMPD officers Courtney Suggs and David Guerra, who both fired their weapons at Galindo.

Community members gathered to demand answers after body cam footage showed Ruben Galindo's arms were up when he was killed by CMPD officers on Sept. 6. (Photo by amalia deloney)
  • Community members gathered to demand answers after body cam footage showed Ruben Galindo's arms were up when he was killed by CMPD officers on Sept. 6. (Photo by amalia deloney)

Attorney Brian Hochman also spoke at the press conference. He pointed out that Galindo watched after his four-month-old daughter, Ruby, and five other children who lived with him.

"On September 6, [Galindo] called police for help, and the end result of that call is that he was killed," Hochman said. "On behalf of his family and his loved ones, we are encouraging a complete and thorough investigation, and we have already met with the district attorney's office, who has ensured us that that will occur."

Hochman said he and the family are willing to allow the investigation to run its course, but that they participated in the press conference because of the efforts of others to "get out in front of the story." He encouraged the CMPD to be fully cooperative with the upcoming investigation.

"The videos speak for themselves," Hochman said. "This is horrific. No person, no parent, no spouse should ever have to see what this family has seen."

Following the press conference, the group, dressed mostly in black clothing, went quietly into the city council meeting and held yellow signs in silent protest.

The CMPD announced this morning that officers will be holding a use of force exercise for reporters to participate in on Wednesday morning to help "provide critical insight to [the] community on the important, yet often misunderstood subject involving police use of force," according to an email. Stay tuned to Creative Loafing for more coverage.

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Friday, October 6, 2017

CMPD Releases Footage of Officers Fatally Shooting Ruben Galindo

Posted By on Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 4:40 PM

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department released footage this afternoon of the fatal shooting of Ruben Galindo by police officers on September 6.

CMPD released footage from five body cameras worn by officers on the scene, but only one shows the fatal shooting clearly (graphic video below). It appears from the footage that Galindo was holding a gun and had both hands in the air when the shots were fired.

CMPD officers Courtney Suggs and David Guerra both fired their weapon, although it appears from the videos that Guerra fired the fatal shot.

According to CMPD's version of events, Galindo called police just after 9 p.m. on September 6 and stated that he had a gun, although he gave only vague answers when asked why he had it and why he wanted police to respond.

Galindo spoke Spanish, and spoke with a Spanish-speaking interpreter over the phone. Officers have Galindo demands to show his hands in Spanish as officers approached, which he did.

CMPD stated that officers fired because they perceived "an imminent deadly threat."

[Correction: The original headline and content of this article spelled Galindo's first name as Rueben, as it's listed on official police reports. We have since confirmed with people working directly with the family that his name is spelled Ruben.]

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

'CL' Tampa Bay Creates 'Furricane Relief' for Irma's Animal Victims

Posted By on Tue, Sep 19, 2017 at 4:40 PM

Our friends at Creative Loafing in Tampa Bay, Florida, have set up a GoFundMe for its "Furricane Relief" project to raise funds animal victims of Hurricane Irma, which swept through that state last week.

If you would like to help, please click the image below.
click image furricane-social.jpg

"Tampa Bay is coming together in countless amazing ways to help and support one another in the wake of Hurricane Irma. It's truly inspiring, and makes us proud to be a part of this community," James Howard, the publisher of CL Tampa Bay, wrote in an email yesterday.

"In that spirit, we've created a Furricane Relief GoFundMe to help raise money for two local organizations going above and beyond to help local pets and wild animals despite limited resources, an already packed workload and their own Irma-related issues: The Humane Society of Tampa Bay and the Suncoast Animal League.

"Both of these outfits work year-round to provide shelter and services for domestic and wild animals throughout the Bay area (and often beyond)," Howard wrote. "Now is an especially critical and busy time, and we're asking you to do what you can to help. Every cent raised through this campaign will be split evenly between HSTB and SAL, and presented to both at our annual Best of the Bay Awards Party at St. Pete's Mahaffey Theater on Sept. 27."

Please go to the GoFundMe page and help CL Tampa Bay raise desperately needed funds for these important organizations.

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Five Names For Your Irish Pub That Aren't Milestone

Posted By on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 12:46 PM

Earlier this week, a Charlotte Agenda article caused some debate around town when it announced the upcoming opening of a new bar in Dilworth. What’s the fuss? Its owner Jackie McHugh, who recently moved here from New York, plans to name it Milestone.

Though the Agenda article failed to mention it, Charlotte already has a bar called The Milestone. Perhaps you’ve heard of it: world famous, been here since 1969, Nirvana played there, historic local icon…?

You may be wondering why this dude would want to brand his new bar with the same name as one of the city’s most beloved establishments, simultaneously confusing and pissing off potential patrons before the doors even open. The answer: it’s a tribute to his 11-month old son, Miles, who gives zero fux about your precious punk rock mecca.

The one true Milestone. Photo by Daniel Coston.
  • The one true Milestone. Photo by Daniel Coston.

Here at Creative Loafing, we can appreciate Mr. McHugh’s dedication to his son, but we can’t get behind the name. We’ve come up with other suggestions -- all of which are a better idea:

This name is hitting on several levels. Here’s a word that incorporates Miles’ name, conveys the happy feeling customers can expect to have when they visit, and potentially lends itself to a cool Irish tagline (Something about “When Irish eyes are smiling…”).

Daddy’s Pub
Like the fictional “Paddy’s Pub” from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – only this one is a tribute to being a dad. Bonus: It’s likely to become the go-to meeting place for old rich guys and the hot young gold-diggers who “love” them.

The Dilhole
A watering hole in Dilworth? It begs for this name.

Because if you’re going to steal the name of an iconic punk club, make it one from the city you just left, not the one you’re setting up shop in.

It’s a name that says “Around here we’re Irish. Also, we have no idea how to Google a name before claiming it as our own.”

Mr. McHugh, you are free to use any of these. We don’t expect a consultant fee, public acknowledgement or even a free beer (although that would be nice). We consider it a public service.

Oh and by the way, welcome to Charlotte!

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Homer Thief Returns

Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 5:17 PM

Joe Gillespie after a night of Homerin' it up in 2015. - MCSO
  • MCSO
  • Joe Gillespie after a night of Homerin' it up in 2015.

Next week kicks off another season for the Charlotte Knights at BB&T Ballpark, and to help us celebrate we've brought in a guy whose hijinks at the park have already become urban Uptown legend.

Joe Gillespie, aka the Homer Thief, subject of the most-read story Creative Loafing has ever published, has hooked up with JD Harris, founder of Charlotte-based Glory Days Apparel, to bring the city something they didn't know they needed for the upcoming baseball season.

Yes, Gillespie is bringing back the mullet-and-mustache combo seen 'round the world, but that ain't all. You'll have to wait until Creative Loafing brings you the full story on Monday, but until then, catch up on the legend as it was originally told, and check our guy in the teaser below...

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HB2 Deal Draws Criticism From Rights Leaders

Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 12:45 PM

Hunter Schafer (left) and Miquel Rodrigues of Raleigh protest the North Carolina General Assembly during a special session on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. - JAMES WILLAMOR
  • James Willamor
  • Hunter Schafer (left) and Miquel Rodrigues of Raleigh protest the North Carolina General Assembly during a special session on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016.

Reacting to a deadline from the NCAA demanding that the North Carolina General Assembly repeal HB2 if the state wanted to host any championship games through 2022, leaders of both parties have gotten behind a compromise deal being pitched by Republican leaders of the NCGA and Gov. Roy Cooper. The new bill has already been passed through the state Senate and will go to the House floor this afternoon.

Politicians of both parties were already in celebration mode this morning, with North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin releasing a statement saying, "this dark chapter in North Carolina history appears to be finally coming to a close."

But as the American Civil Liberties Union said this morning in a tweet calling for a full repeal of HB2 without compromise, “This is more than economic issue. It's a civil rights issue. We must stand 4 [sic] LGBT people, especially #trans N. Carolinians. #RepealHB2 #NCGA.”

One of Gov. Roy Cooper’s campaign promises was to fully repeal HB2. Last night, in a backroom deal between the NCGA and Gov. Roy Cooper, a “compromise” was reached. “It’s not a perfect deal, but it repeals House Bill 2 and begins to repair our reputation,” Cooper said last night.

The new bill, HB142, stops local governments from passing non-discrimination ordinances like the one that Charlotte passed last year. It stops state agencies, offices, schools, and any political subdivisions of the state from regulating single-sex multiple occupancy facilities like bathrooms and changing rooms, “except in accordance with an act of the General Assembly.” The bill places a moratorium on these actions until Dec. 1, 2020.

“Setting a moratorium on local government's ability to pass anti-discrimination ordinances and to regulate private employment practices is another sweeping act of hubris by the legislature and takes power from officials elected by the people to serve the rights of the people,” said the Rev. Dr. William Barber II, NC NAACP President in a statement released by the organization.

“This is no compromise. This is no repeal. This is HB2.0 and is perhaps more insidious in its targeting of LGBTQ,” said Chase Strangio, ACLU staff attorney, in an article earlier this morning. “Our bodies do not make others unsafe. We do not infringe on the privacy rights of others by existing in the world.”

Just after 11:30 a.m., the senate passed the bill 32-16. HB142 is now headed to the House and is expected to be voted on this afternoon.

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

TIMELINE: Wishing a Not-So-Happy Birthday To That Hellish House Bill #2

Posted By and on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 7:39 PM

Hunter Schafer (left) and Miquel Rodrigues of Raleigh protest the North Carolina General Assembly during a special session on Wednesday, Dec. 21. (Photo by James Willamoor)
  • Hunter Schafer (left) and Miquel Rodrigues of Raleigh protest the North Carolina General Assembly during a special session on Wednesday, Dec. 21. (Photo by James Willamoor)

So today, we decided to give our intern Jasmine a crash course education on that plague that is House Bill 2 by asking her to construct a quick timeline of all the reactions and effects of the law on our state — its people and its economy — since its passing one year ago today.

Hours later, she sent the following list, with only one exasperated comment to go alongside it: "Holy shit, that was a lot."

Even for us folks who were closely covering it all along, this list brings back some bad memories we had buried elsewhere. But we also know some stuff is missing. We plan to go more in depth with this shell of a timeline, and continue to add to it as the year progresses. So take to the comments section below and tell us what we missed.


22: Charlotte's City Council adds protections to the city's nondiscrimination ordinance that include sexual orientation and gender identity. Gov. Pat McCrory, Charlotte's former mayor, had warned city councilmen that if they did this, the state would intervene.


3: In a press conference, Republican legislators balk at the Charlotte ordinance, turning their ire on provisions that allow transgender people to use the bathroom of their gender identity; the Republicans vow to hold a special session to overturn the ordinance, and one senator comments, “the city council of Charlotte has lost its mind.”

23: In one day, the NC General Assembly passes HB2, which goes well beyond the "bathroom" aspect of the Charlotte ordinance, nullifying all nondiscrimination ordinances statewide, effectively allowing overt discrimination against transgender people, and even prohibiting local governments from setting fair employment standards; hours later, McCrory signs the bill into law.

More than 100 people gathered in front of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center on March 24 to protest the passing of HB2. (Photo by Ryan Pitkin)
  • More than 100 people gathered in front of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center on March 24 to protest the passing of HB2. (Photo by Ryan Pitkin)

24: Lionsgate Entertainment Corp. moves production of a new show, a Hulu original series named Crushed,​ out of Charlotte weeks before it was set to begin.

28: The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority publishes statement voicing concern about customers “negative feedback and potential event cancellations” in response to legislation. Later, announces that it has lost 13 conventions following the passage of HB2.

29: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo bans non-essential state travel to North Carolina. The American Civil Liberties Union files a lawsuit asking courts to overturn HB2.

29: CEOs of more than 80 companies write open letter to Gov. McCrory urging repeal. Companies include Apple, Coca-Cola, Facebook, Time Warner Cable, Yahoo, United Airlines, IBM and Visa.

31: ​Stephen Schwartz, composer of ​Wicked, prohibits any of his musicals from being performed in North Carolina.


1: Google Ventures pledges not to invest in North Carolina companies until law is repealed.

2: Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton bans all non-essential business travel to North Carolina.

5: PayPal Holdings cancels company expansion plans for Charlotte.

8: Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed bans non-essential city travel to North Carolina; Bruce Springsteen cancels April 10 Greensboro show, the first of many artists to follow.

12: Deutsche Bank financial services announces it is freezing planned expansion in Cary until bill is amended.

13: Former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr cancels June 18 concert in Cary.

14: Mumford and Sons donates all profits from show to local LGBTQ organization

18: Pearl Jam cancels April 20 show in Raleigh.

25: Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas cancel dates for dual tour.


9: Attorney General Loretta Lynch announces U.S. Department of Justice and the Obama administration is filing a federal civil rights lawsuit against North Carolina on grounds that HB2 is “impermissibly discriminatory.”

20:​ ​Maroon 5 cancels September shows scheduled for Charlotte and Raleigh.


4: Cyndi Lauper performs in Raleigh, donates all proceeds to Equality North Carolina’s efforts to repeal HB2.


13: Men’s basketball game between Duke and Albany is cancelled due to NY Gov. Cuomo’s travel decision.

21: NBA pulls 2016-2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte.


1: Federal Judge Thomas Schroeder blocks HB2 in the case of a faculty member and two students at University of North Carolina, allowing them to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify while on campus.


12: NCAA announces it is pulling seven national championship games from North Carolina

14: ACC moves all neutral site championship games out of North Carolina.


25: CoStar Group Inc. real estate company chooses Richmond, Va., over Charlotte for firm expansion because of HB2.


20: Charlotte City Council repeals major protections of nondiscrimination ordinance in an attempted negotiation with state legislature to repeal the bill.

Students with Campus Pride protest the recent action of city leaders and inaction of state leaders on Dec. 22 in Charlotte. (Photo by Ryan Pitkin)
  • Students with Campus Pride protest the recent action of city leaders and inaction of state leaders on Dec. 22 in Charlotte. (Photo by Ryan Pitkin)

21: The state legislature fails to follow through on promises to repeal HB2 in return for Charlotte’s repeal of its ordinance.


26: NC Senate leader Phil Berger says a "clean repeal" of HB2 is unlikely in 2017 legislative session.


1: NC Sen. Jeff Jackson files a bill for full repeal of HB2.

9: House Democrats file a bill for clean repeal, adding a “protected status,” defined as “a person’s race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, sex, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military or veteran status, or genetic information.”


21: NC Sen. (and Charlotte mayoral hopeful) Joel Ford files bill for an HB2 repeal that would include one of those infamous "cooling-off periods," which mandates that cities cannot pass any ordinances regarding restroom access until 30 days after the current legislative session.

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Robert Bush Speaks Out on Trump's Proposed Cuts to NEA Funding

Posted By on Thu, Mar 16, 2017 at 12:15 PM

Robert Bush, president of the Charlotte-based Arts & Science Council (ASC), released a statement this morning regarding reports that President Donald Trump's first federal budget proposal would strip all funding from the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA).

Robert Bush
  • Robert Bush
Bush, who was named president of the ASC in March 2014, noted the value of the arts to the country's economy. According to figures from the NEA and U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released in 2013, the arts contributed $704 billion to the economy that year alone, accounting for more than 4 percent of the nation's GDP and employing nearly 5 million workers.

"Funding to the NEA serves as a significant leveraging tool that has helped create an entire industry of locally based small businesses and jobs that cannot be outsourced," wrote Bush. "Investment in the NEA provides funding that promotes artistic innovation and addresses access social, technological and healthcare issues."

Bush went on to list the ways the NEA-funded ASC helps folks here in our community, and called on local residents to contact their representatives and demand the budget not be approved as proposed.

"In Charlotte-Mecklenburg, military families can explore Charlotte museums for free, Charlotte Symphony musicians can engage with music students at Northwest School of the Arts, public art animates our community and a UNC Charlotte professor can be featured in the New York Times for re-creating a long-lost dance," he wrote.

"Everyone should have access and opportunities to experience the arts regardless of their economic status, where they live, ethnicity or disability. This budget proposal must not be approved. ASC, the cultural community and its supporters are reaching out to their representatives in Congress now and advocate to keep funding the NEA. It is my hope that fellow residents will do the same."

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