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  string(4549) "Terrell and I hang our bare feet off a jagged, 40-foot face of gray granite and watch the river through the trees. The morning sun slowly melts the mist off the water. Then Terrell ties an anchor rope around an old-growth oak and climbs down into the thick, green forest. I rappel spider-like down the granite cliff behind him, landing on a carpet of crushed pine needles.   No, we're not in the north Georgia mountains. We're inside the Perimeter, rock climbing a bouldery bluff along the Chattahoochee River.

For the past five years, Terrell has been coming to this secret grove of rock and river to climb. The bluff is pockmarked with flakes and finger holds that are just as challenging as any mountain climb. And unlike indoor climbing walls, this is real rock, with spider webs and bat dung and all the shin-scraping, vein-popping, vertical hangs you could ask for.

Today, he and I are attempting a class-five climb up a steep sheet of granite. The route involves three technical moves: a burly boulder scramble at the base of the cliff, a hanging arm walk along a horizontal seam of rock and then the crux move — an all-out roof grab over the bluff's brow.

Terrell goes first. After yoga stretches and a set of finger-tip push-ups, he ties himself into the top-rope and begins climbing. He glides gracefully up the granite, swinging and pirouetting across the rock. It's a boulder ballet, and the dancer loses himself completely in the dance. Athleticism becomes art.

He ascends the cliff, popping deadpoint holds and dyno lunges. With each lunge, his hands and feet completely leave the rock for a split second, while he reaches for a golf-ball-sized chunk of granite above him. He snags it with one hand and pendulums toward the top.

He comes back down to Earth, purified and hands me the chalk bag.

"Your turn," he says.

This is my first live climb on the bluff, and I don't have any of Terrell's fluid finesse. I step awkwardly into my Swami belt — a hand-made harness fashioned out of lime-green webbing.  Then I knot a few figure-eight loops into the climbing rope. Terrell is holding the other end of the rope, ready to take up slack through his belay buckle.

After calling out the safety checks, I start my climb. I pull myself up the first rock ledges but can't get past the bottom boulder. I dig my fingernails into a crack above the boulder, hang by my fingertips for a few seconds, and fall back down.

"You look like a white boy on the dance floor — all arms and no legs," Terrell laughs. "Use your whole body."

I climb clumsily back up to the boulder. This time, I kick my right heel over my head, and it catches. I focus all of my energy into my right heel, and like a lever, it lifts my body over the boulder. Terrell whoops and whistles below.

Finger-cramped and jelly-armed, I pick my way along a diagonal crimp in the rock. When I can't find a finger hold, I smear the rubber soles of my climbing shoes against the boulder. It gives just enough grip to get me onto the overhanging prow. I brace myself against the rock ledge and look out across the treetops.

I didn't think I'd make it this high. From here, I can see the river — a brown squiggly line with willow and birch bending over its banks. A heron wings across the open water and perches on a river rock.

The next two moves are the hardest, and I'll need every scrap of strength I have left. So I stall for a few more minutes atop the rock ledge. I chalk my hands — bloody and blistered from the gritty granite — and shake my arms loose. Then I study the narrow flake of rock that I'll be dangling from.

After a few false starts, I gorilla out along the flake and hang there, fingers pinched around the thin crack, legs flailing beneath me. Hand over hand, I pull myself across. I'm breathing hard and purse-lipped, like a weightlifter on his last rep of bench press.

"Breathe, baby! You've gotta get O-2!" Terrell shouts.

The golf ball of granite juts out from the boulder above me. If I can grab it, I think I'll be able to pull my body to the top of the bluff. My arms are shaking, my teeth are clenched. I'm in fourth grade P.E. class again, hanging from a chin-up bar.

"Hold on! One quick, explosive burst and you've got it!"

My fingers are starting to slip off the flake. But I'm an arm's length away from golf-ball rock. All it takes is one more move, one last gutsy grunt to the top. In the distance, I can hear the river's water dance. I take a deep breath, let go of my grip, and lunge for the rock.


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For the past five years, Terrell has been coming to this secret grove of rock and river to climb. The bluff is pockmarked with flakes and finger holds that are just as challenging as any mountain climb. And unlike indoor climbing walls, this is real rock, with spider webs and bat dung and all the shin-scraping, vein-popping, vertical hangs you could ask for.

Today, he and I are attempting a class-five climb up a steep sheet of granite. The route involves three technical moves: a burly boulder scramble at the base of the cliff, a hanging arm walk along a horizontal seam of rock and then the crux move -- an all-out roof grab over the bluff's brow.

Terrell goes first. After yoga stretches and a set of finger-tip push-ups, he ties himself into the top-rope and begins climbing. He glides gracefully up the granite, swinging and pirouetting across the rock. It's a boulder ballet, and the dancer loses himself completely in the dance. Athleticism becomes art.

He ascends the cliff, popping deadpoint holds and dyno lunges. With each lunge, his hands and feet completely leave the rock for a split second, while he reaches for a golf-ball-sized chunk of granite above him. He snags it with one hand and pendulums toward the top.

He comes back down to Earth, purified and hands me the chalk bag.

"Your turn," he says.

This is my first live climb on the bluff, and I don't have any of Terrell's fluid finesse. I step awkwardly into my Swami belt -- a hand-made harness fashioned out of lime-green webbing.  Then I knot a few figure-eight loops into the climbing rope. Terrell is holding the other end of the rope, ready to take up slack through his belay buckle.

After calling out the safety checks, I start my climb. I pull myself up the first rock ledges but can't get past the bottom boulder. I dig my fingernails into a crack above the boulder, hang by my fingertips for a few seconds, and fall back down.

"You look like a white boy on the dance floor -- all arms and no legs," Terrell laughs. "Use your whole body."

I climb clumsily back up to the boulder. This time, I kick my right heel over my head, and it catches. I focus all of my energy into my right heel, and like a lever, it lifts my body over the boulder. Terrell whoops and whistles below.

Finger-cramped and jelly-armed, I pick my way along a diagonal crimp in the rock. When I can't find a finger hold, I smear the rubber soles of my climbing shoes against the boulder. It gives just enough grip to get me onto the overhanging prow. I brace myself against the rock ledge and look out across the treetops.

I didn't think I'd make it this high. From here, I can see the river -- a brown squiggly line with willow and birch bending over its banks. A heron wings across the open water and perches on a river rock.

The next two moves are the hardest, and I'll need every scrap of strength I have left. So I stall for a few more minutes atop the rock ledge. I chalk my hands -- bloody and blistered from the gritty granite -- and shake my arms loose. Then I study the narrow flake of rock that I'll be dangling from.

After a few false starts, I gorilla out along the flake and hang there, fingers pinched around the thin crack, legs flailing beneath me. Hand over hand, I pull myself across. I'm breathing hard and purse-lipped, like a weightlifter on his last rep of bench press.

"Breathe, baby! You've gotta get O-2!" Terrell shouts.

The golf ball of granite juts out from the boulder above me. If I can grab it, I think I'll be able to pull my body to the top of the bluff. My arms are shaking, my teeth are clenched. I'm in fourth grade P.E. class again, hanging from a chin-up bar.

"Hold on! One quick, explosive burst and you've got it!"

My fingers are starting to slip off the flake. But I'm an arm's length away from golf-ball rock. All it takes is one more move, one last gutsy grunt to the top. In the distance, I can hear the river's water dance. I take a deep breath, let go of my grip, and lunge for the rock.


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  string(4823) "    Rock climbers scale river bluffs around Atlanta   2000-07-08T04:04:00+00:00 Talk of the Town - Cliff hanger July 08 2000   Bill Harlan 1223531 2000-07-08T04:04:00+00:00  Terrell and I hang our bare feet off a jagged, 40-foot face of gray granite and watch the river through the trees. The morning sun slowly melts the mist off the water. Then Terrell ties an anchor rope around an old-growth oak and climbs down into the thick, green forest. I rappel spider-like down the granite cliff behind him, landing on a carpet of crushed pine needles.   No, we're not in the north Georgia mountains. We're inside the Perimeter, rock climbing a bouldery bluff along the Chattahoochee River.

For the past five years, Terrell has been coming to this secret grove of rock and river to climb. The bluff is pockmarked with flakes and finger holds that are just as challenging as any mountain climb. And unlike indoor climbing walls, this is real rock, with spider webs and bat dung and all the shin-scraping, vein-popping, vertical hangs you could ask for.

Today, he and I are attempting a class-five climb up a steep sheet of granite. The route involves three technical moves: a burly boulder scramble at the base of the cliff, a hanging arm walk along a horizontal seam of rock and then the crux move — an all-out roof grab over the bluff's brow.

Terrell goes first. After yoga stretches and a set of finger-tip push-ups, he ties himself into the top-rope and begins climbing. He glides gracefully up the granite, swinging and pirouetting across the rock. It's a boulder ballet, and the dancer loses himself completely in the dance. Athleticism becomes art.

He ascends the cliff, popping deadpoint holds and dyno lunges. With each lunge, his hands and feet completely leave the rock for a split second, while he reaches for a golf-ball-sized chunk of granite above him. He snags it with one hand and pendulums toward the top.

He comes back down to Earth, purified and hands me the chalk bag.

"Your turn," he says.

This is my first live climb on the bluff, and I don't have any of Terrell's fluid finesse. I step awkwardly into my Swami belt — a hand-made harness fashioned out of lime-green webbing.  Then I knot a few figure-eight loops into the climbing rope. Terrell is holding the other end of the rope, ready to take up slack through his belay buckle.

After calling out the safety checks, I start my climb. I pull myself up the first rock ledges but can't get past the bottom boulder. I dig my fingernails into a crack above the boulder, hang by my fingertips for a few seconds, and fall back down.

"You look like a white boy on the dance floor — all arms and no legs," Terrell laughs. "Use your whole body."

I climb clumsily back up to the boulder. This time, I kick my right heel over my head, and it catches. I focus all of my energy into my right heel, and like a lever, it lifts my body over the boulder. Terrell whoops and whistles below.

Finger-cramped and jelly-armed, I pick my way along a diagonal crimp in the rock. When I can't find a finger hold, I smear the rubber soles of my climbing shoes against the boulder. It gives just enough grip to get me onto the overhanging prow. I brace myself against the rock ledge and look out across the treetops.

I didn't think I'd make it this high. From here, I can see the river — a brown squiggly line with willow and birch bending over its banks. A heron wings across the open water and perches on a river rock.

The next two moves are the hardest, and I'll need every scrap of strength I have left. So I stall for a few more minutes atop the rock ledge. I chalk my hands — bloody and blistered from the gritty granite — and shake my arms loose. Then I study the narrow flake of rock that I'll be dangling from.

After a few false starts, I gorilla out along the flake and hang there, fingers pinched around the thin crack, legs flailing beneath me. Hand over hand, I pull myself across. I'm breathing hard and purse-lipped, like a weightlifter on his last rep of bench press.

"Breathe, baby! You've gotta get O-2!" Terrell shouts.

The golf ball of granite juts out from the boulder above me. If I can grab it, I think I'll be able to pull my body to the top of the bluff. My arms are shaking, my teeth are clenched. I'm in fourth grade P.E. class again, hanging from a chin-up bar.

"Hold on! One quick, explosive burst and you've got it!"

My fingers are starting to slip off the flake. But I'm an arm's length away from golf-ball rock. All it takes is one more move, one last gutsy grunt to the top. In the distance, I can hear the river's water dance. I take a deep breath, let go of my grip, and lunge for the rock.


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Talk of the Town

Saturday July 8, 2000 12:04 am EDT
Rock climbers scale river bluffs around Atlanta | more...
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  string(41) "Talk of the Town - No angels July 08 2000"
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  string(5193) "Last week was the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, the riot against police by patrons of a gay bar in New York City in 1969. The event precipitated the gay rights movement and is commemorated annually in cities around the world, including Atlanta, with pride festivals. This year's gay pride events followed the Millennial March on Washington of a few months earlier. That event, controversial for its unenthusiastic effort to include minorities in its planning, is now under FBI investigation for financial improprieties, particularly in the conduct of its very profitable market where souvenirs of Pride were sold.

As such, the Millennial March on Washington typified what the word "gay" has come to imply as an identity (outside the fundamental choice of sex partners of the same gender): membership in a mainly white middle-class marketing group. A comedian a few years ago expressed the broader irony of what the gay movement has become. "Gay people," she said, "are the only people in America who want to get married and serve in the armed forces now."

Consider what a radical change that is from the early Stonewall movement. In those years, a gay identity implied an affinity for other movements that sought overthrow of the oppressive institutions of the dominant culture, not assimilation into them. "Coming out of the closet" was understood not to be just a personal act but a political statement that opposed the state's effort to control sexual pleasure. The state controls the body through laws that criminalize and stigmatize certain sexual behaviors (like "sodomy," until recently) and reward those who marry and subject themselves to mandatory monogamy.

Coming out in the '70s also meant allying yourself with liberation movements of feminists and ethnic minorities. It meant willfully inhabiting a space in the margins of society for the purpose of creating an alternative culture whose agenda was a critique of the dominant culture. Thus, communities like San Francisco's Castro and New York's West Village — now often misnamed "gay ghettos" — became sites of radical artistic, sexual, social and political expression.

The transition from the radical gay identity of the '70s to today's assimilationist one leaves people like me feeling gay only in the basic sense of our choice of sexual partners. I don't blame anyone particularly for this change from the radical to the mainstream. It is easier to work for civil rights than for overthrow of corrupt institutions. So, much has been gained by the politics of assimilation. But much that was edgy, radical and startlingly creative has been lost, too.

Nowhere is this more evident locally than in the "official" art show of Atlanta Gay Pride at Trinity Gallery now. The show, Hairdos and Tractor Pulls, seems far more addressed to the dominant culture than to people it means to document — gays, bisexuals and lesbians who grew up in the South.

I mentioned to the gallery owner that I was surprised that, with the exception of King Thackston's drawings, the show seemed to have little to do with sex  — odd to me since it pertains to people who enjoy diverse forms of sexual pleasure. He told me that, in fact, almost half the images submitted were sexual, but he intentionally limited their inclusion because he thinks being gay is mainly about being "different" in broader senses. But when you look at most of the images in the show, those "differences" are hard to discern. Granted, the show's theme is personal, and isolation is the experience of most young gay people, but it is surprising not to see more of the figures set amid the personal sexual landscape that made them vulnerable to both the oppression of the dominant culture and the mainstream identity now transmitted through gay popular culture itself.

Interestingly, in a show by a handful of artists, angels figure prominently. It is easy to guess why: the incidence of death in the gay community because of AIDS, the usual description of angels as androgynous, their representation as winged beings of transcendence, the penchant gay people have developed for thinking of themselves as "good."

It is reasonable to ask whether the differences of gay people are effects of our sexual orientation or results of oppression. Gay people, compared to the official canon of procreative heterosexuality, have sex only for pleasure — and will never have it for any other reason. The power (and danger) conferred by pleasure for its own sake is acknowledged as long ago as the story of Eden. And, as Michel Foucault noted, where there is power, there is resistance, even inside those who hold power.

I think — as the edgier queer theory movement advocates — we will have to begin asking ourselves why we now resist the question of what, in our difference, we have to teach and change in the dominant culture, rather than what it has to give us as benefits of normalization.

We are not angels. And some of us are quite proud of not being so.

Cliff Bostock, M.A., is a doctoral candidate in depth psychology. Contact him at 404-525-4774 or in care of his website, www.soulworks.net, at cliff@soulworks.net.


"
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  string(5227) "Last week was the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, the riot against police by patrons of a gay bar in New York City in 1969. The event precipitated the gay rights movement and is commemorated annually in cities around the world, including Atlanta, with pride festivals. This year's gay pride events followed the Millennial March on Washington of a few months earlier. That event, controversial for its unenthusiastic effort to include minorities in its planning, is now under FBI investigation for financial improprieties, particularly in the conduct of its very profitable market where souvenirs of Pride were sold.

As such, the Millennial March on Washington typified what the word "gay" has come to imply as an identity (outside the fundamental choice of sex partners of the same gender): membership in a mainly white middle-class marketing group. A comedian a few years ago expressed the broader irony of what the gay movement has become. "Gay people," she said, "are the only people in America who want to get married and serve in the armed forces now."

Consider what a radical change that is from the early Stonewall movement. In those years, a gay identity implied an affinity for other movements that sought overthrow of the oppressive institutions of the dominant culture, not assimilation into them. "Coming out of the closet" was understood not to be just a personal act but a political statement that opposed the state's effort to control sexual pleasure. The state controls the body through laws that criminalize and stigmatize certain sexual behaviors (like "sodomy," until recently) and reward those who marry and subject themselves to mandatory monogamy.

Coming out in the '70s also meant allying yourself with liberation movements of feminists and ethnic minorities. It meant willfully inhabiting a space in the margins of society for the purpose of creating an alternative culture whose agenda was a critique of the dominant culture. Thus, communities like San Francisco's Castro and New York's West Village -- now often misnamed "gay ghettos" -- became sites of radical artistic, sexual, social and political expression.

The transition from the radical gay identity of the '70s to today's assimilationist one leaves people like me feeling gay only in the basic sense of our choice of sexual partners. I don't blame anyone particularly for this change from the radical to the mainstream. It is easier to work for civil rights than for overthrow of corrupt institutions. So, much has been gained by the politics of assimilation. But much that was edgy, radical and startlingly creative has been lost, too.

Nowhere is this more evident locally than in the "official" art show of Atlanta Gay Pride at Trinity Gallery now. The show, ''Hairdos and Tractor Pulls'', seems far more addressed to the dominant culture than to people it means to document -- gays, bisexuals and lesbians who grew up in the South.

I mentioned to the gallery owner that I was surprised that, with the exception of King Thackston's drawings, the show seemed to have little to do with sex  -- odd to me since it pertains to people who enjoy diverse forms of sexual pleasure. He told me that, in fact, almost half the images submitted were sexual, but he intentionally limited their inclusion because he thinks being gay is mainly about being "different" in broader senses. But when you look at most of the images in the show, those "differences" are hard to discern. Granted, the show's theme is personal, and isolation is the experience of most young gay people, but it is surprising not to see more of the figures set amid the personal sexual landscape that made them vulnerable to both the oppression of the dominant culture and the mainstream identity now transmitted through gay popular culture itself.

Interestingly, in a show by a handful of artists, angels figure prominently. It is easy to guess why: the incidence of death in the gay community because of AIDS, the usual description of angels as androgynous, their representation as winged beings of transcendence, the penchant gay people have developed for thinking of themselves as "good."

It is reasonable to ask whether the differences of gay people are effects of our sexual orientation or results of oppression. Gay people, compared to the official canon of procreative heterosexuality, have sex ''only'' for pleasure -- and will never have it for any other reason. The power (and danger) conferred by pleasure for its own sake is acknowledged as long ago as the story of Eden. And, as Michel Foucault noted, where there is power, there is resistance, even inside those who hold power.

I think -- as the edgier queer theory movement advocates -- we will have to begin asking ourselves why we now resist the question of what, in our difference, we have to teach and change in the dominant culture, rather than what it has to give us as benefits of normalization.

We are not angels. And some of us are quite proud of not being so.

''Cliff Bostock, M.A., is a doctoral candidate in depth psychology. Contact him at 404-525-4774 or in care of his website, [http://www.soulworks.net/|www.soulworks.net], at [mailto:cliff@soulworks.net|cliff@soulworks.net].''


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  string(5451) "    The dubious meaning of gay identity   2000-07-08T04:04:00+00:00 Talk of the Town - No angels July 08 2000   Cliff Bostock 1223527 2000-07-08T04:04:00+00:00  Last week was the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, the riot against police by patrons of a gay bar in New York City in 1969. The event precipitated the gay rights movement and is commemorated annually in cities around the world, including Atlanta, with pride festivals. This year's gay pride events followed the Millennial March on Washington of a few months earlier. That event, controversial for its unenthusiastic effort to include minorities in its planning, is now under FBI investigation for financial improprieties, particularly in the conduct of its very profitable market where souvenirs of Pride were sold.

As such, the Millennial March on Washington typified what the word "gay" has come to imply as an identity (outside the fundamental choice of sex partners of the same gender): membership in a mainly white middle-class marketing group. A comedian a few years ago expressed the broader irony of what the gay movement has become. "Gay people," she said, "are the only people in America who want to get married and serve in the armed forces now."

Consider what a radical change that is from the early Stonewall movement. In those years, a gay identity implied an affinity for other movements that sought overthrow of the oppressive institutions of the dominant culture, not assimilation into them. "Coming out of the closet" was understood not to be just a personal act but a political statement that opposed the state's effort to control sexual pleasure. The state controls the body through laws that criminalize and stigmatize certain sexual behaviors (like "sodomy," until recently) and reward those who marry and subject themselves to mandatory monogamy.

Coming out in the '70s also meant allying yourself with liberation movements of feminists and ethnic minorities. It meant willfully inhabiting a space in the margins of society for the purpose of creating an alternative culture whose agenda was a critique of the dominant culture. Thus, communities like San Francisco's Castro and New York's West Village — now often misnamed "gay ghettos" — became sites of radical artistic, sexual, social and political expression.

The transition from the radical gay identity of the '70s to today's assimilationist one leaves people like me feeling gay only in the basic sense of our choice of sexual partners. I don't blame anyone particularly for this change from the radical to the mainstream. It is easier to work for civil rights than for overthrow of corrupt institutions. So, much has been gained by the politics of assimilation. But much that was edgy, radical and startlingly creative has been lost, too.

Nowhere is this more evident locally than in the "official" art show of Atlanta Gay Pride at Trinity Gallery now. The show, Hairdos and Tractor Pulls, seems far more addressed to the dominant culture than to people it means to document — gays, bisexuals and lesbians who grew up in the South.

I mentioned to the gallery owner that I was surprised that, with the exception of King Thackston's drawings, the show seemed to have little to do with sex  — odd to me since it pertains to people who enjoy diverse forms of sexual pleasure. He told me that, in fact, almost half the images submitted were sexual, but he intentionally limited their inclusion because he thinks being gay is mainly about being "different" in broader senses. But when you look at most of the images in the show, those "differences" are hard to discern. Granted, the show's theme is personal, and isolation is the experience of most young gay people, but it is surprising not to see more of the figures set amid the personal sexual landscape that made them vulnerable to both the oppression of the dominant culture and the mainstream identity now transmitted through gay popular culture itself.

Interestingly, in a show by a handful of artists, angels figure prominently. It is easy to guess why: the incidence of death in the gay community because of AIDS, the usual description of angels as androgynous, their representation as winged beings of transcendence, the penchant gay people have developed for thinking of themselves as "good."

It is reasonable to ask whether the differences of gay people are effects of our sexual orientation or results of oppression. Gay people, compared to the official canon of procreative heterosexuality, have sex only for pleasure — and will never have it for any other reason. The power (and danger) conferred by pleasure for its own sake is acknowledged as long ago as the story of Eden. And, as Michel Foucault noted, where there is power, there is resistance, even inside those who hold power.

I think — as the edgier queer theory movement advocates — we will have to begin asking ourselves why we now resist the question of what, in our difference, we have to teach and change in the dominant culture, rather than what it has to give us as benefits of normalization.

We are not angels. And some of us are quite proud of not being so.

Cliff Bostock, M.A., is a doctoral candidate in depth psychology. Contact him at 404-525-4774 or in care of his website, www.soulworks.net, at cliff@soulworks.net.


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Saturday July 8, 2000 12:04 am EDT
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  string(4323) "Whatever you make of his halting, psycho-kindergarten-teacher speech pattern, Al ... Gore ... is ... sud-den-ly ... sound-ing ... real-ly ... des-per-ate. And it's a long way to November. Trailing George W. Bush by 8 to 12 points in national opinion polls, Gore has tried to reinvigorate his listless campaign with a pair of reckless initiatives, attacking big oil companies for higher gas prices and unveiling a massive new federal retirement program.

Gore was out in front in the shrill war of words against oil companies, accusing them of "price gouging" and making what he dubbed "enormous and unreasonable profits." He applauded a Federal Trade Commission investigation of gasoline prices in the Midwest. Through surrogates, he even attempted — absurdly — to link Governor Bush, a former oilman, to surging gas prices.

It was just the sort of response we've come to expect from Gore and his disgraced boss. With these two, it seems no legitimate enterprise in America is safe from demagogic accusations when there is political hay to be made. They think nothing of trying to demonize individual corporations or entire industries, from Microsoft to pharmaceutical firms to HMOs to gun makers.

In this, Gore and Clinton aren't friends of the market system; they are its enemies. And while they claim the political center, there is nothing centrist about always blaming business first. They may win a few fleeting political points, but we all lose when they feed a cancer of cynicism, suspicion and even hatred toward American business and free enterprise.

Gore's twisted petro-logic doesn't begin to add up. As Ohio University economics Professor Richard Vedder told me, "If the oil companies could have gotten rich by colluding to double gasoline prices, they would have done so a long time ago. I suspect Al Gore's role in raising the federal gas tax in 1993 and his attempts to raise it even more have had more impact on raising gasoline prices than any evil collusion on the part of the oil companies."

Indeed, the folks making out like bandits at the gas pump are politicians, not oil company stockholders. When you pay $1.42 for a gallon of gas, for example, 42 cents — about 30 percent — goes to federal, state and local taxes. By contrast, Chevron's U.S. profits over the last eight years have averaged 2 to 3 cents per gallon.

So what's fueling price spikes in the Midwest? A recent Congressional Research Service study attributed 25 cents of the jump to regional pipeline disruptions and another 25 cents to new federal regulations requiring cleaner-burning fuel in cities such as Chicago and Milwaukee. The math wizards at the EPA had earlier figured the new stuff would cost 3 to 8 cents more per gallon, a range Gore and the White House continue to cling to despite contrary fact.

At the same time, as part of his decidedly vapid but determinedly alliterative "Prosperity and Progress Tour," Gore uncorked a vast new entitlement program called "Retirement Savings Plus." Eager to grab the Social Security spotlight from Bush, Gore announced plans to give lower-income couples $3,000 a year toward private retirement accounts via a "refundable tax credit." (Families making more than $30,000 would get less; those making over $100,000 would get nothing.)

In his, umm, creative use of language, Gore clearly has learned at the feet of the master. But, no matter how he tries to dress it up, camouflage it or otherwise obscure the truth, his "tax credit" is nothing more than a handout, his plan nothing less than a national vote-buying scheme carried out in broad daylight.

Ironically, Gore is a big fan of so-called campaign finance reform. He and his ideological buddies are determined to place new limits on the rights of private citizens to give money to candidates. They stay up nights fretting that voters' giving may buy the votes of politicians. In March, Gore even proposed total public funding of campaigns.

With "Retirement Savings Plus," however, Gore is turning the campaign finance story upside down — and trying to buy the support of some voters with the tax dollars of others. I'm not holding my breath, but that's the type of bald-faced corruption that really ought to be reformed out of the system.



Contact Luke Boggs at lukeboggs@hotmail.com ??


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Gore was out in front in the shrill war of words against oil companies, accusing them of "price gouging" and making what he dubbed "enormous and unreasonable profits." He applauded a Federal Trade Commission investigation of gasoline prices in the Midwest. Through surrogates, he even attempted -- absurdly -- to link Governor Bush, a former oilman, to surging gas prices.

It was just the sort of response we've come to expect from Gore and his disgraced boss. With these two, it seems no legitimate enterprise in America is safe from demagogic accusations when there is political hay to be made. They think nothing of trying to demonize individual corporations or entire industries, from Microsoft to pharmaceutical firms to HMOs to gun makers.

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Gore's twisted petro-logic doesn't begin to add up. As Ohio University economics Professor Richard Vedder told me, "If the oil companies could have gotten rich by colluding to double gasoline prices, they would have done so a long time ago. I suspect Al Gore's role in raising the federal gas tax in 1993 and his attempts to raise it even more have had more impact on raising gasoline prices than any evil collusion on the part of the oil companies."

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So what's fueling price spikes in the Midwest? A recent Congressional Research Service study attributed 25 cents of the jump to regional pipeline disruptions and another 25 cents to new federal regulations requiring cleaner-burning fuel in cities such as Chicago and Milwaukee. The math wizards at the EPA had earlier figured the new stuff would cost 3 to 8 cents more per gallon, a range Gore and the White House continue to cling to despite contrary fact.

At the same time, as part of his decidedly vapid but determinedly alliterative "Prosperity and Progress Tour," Gore uncorked a vast new entitlement program called "Retirement Savings Plus." Eager to grab the Social Security spotlight from Bush, Gore announced plans to give lower-income couples $3,000 a year toward private retirement accounts via a "refundable tax credit." (Families making more than $30,000 would get less; those making over $100,000 would get nothing.)

In his, umm, creative use of language, Gore clearly has learned at the feet of the master. But, no matter how he tries to dress it up, camouflage it or otherwise obscure the truth, his "tax credit" is nothing more than a handout, his plan nothing less than a national vote-buying scheme carried out in broad daylight.

Ironically, Gore is a big fan of so-called campaign finance reform. He and his ideological buddies are determined to place new limits on the rights of private citizens to give money to candidates. They stay up nights fretting that voters' giving may buy the votes of politicians. In March, Gore even proposed total public funding of campaigns.

With "Retirement Savings Plus," however, Gore is turning the campaign finance story upside down -- and trying to buy the support of some voters with the tax dollars of others. I'm not holding my breath, but that's the type of bald-faced corruption that really ought to be reformed out of the system.

''''
''''
''Contact Luke Boggs at [mailto:lukeboggs@hotmail.com|lukeboggs@hotmail.com] ''??


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Gore was out in front in the shrill war of words against oil companies, accusing them of "price gouging" and making what he dubbed "enormous and unreasonable profits." He applauded a Federal Trade Commission investigation of gasoline prices in the Midwest. Through surrogates, he even attempted — absurdly — to link Governor Bush, a former oilman, to surging gas prices.

It was just the sort of response we've come to expect from Gore and his disgraced boss. With these two, it seems no legitimate enterprise in America is safe from demagogic accusations when there is political hay to be made. They think nothing of trying to demonize individual corporations or entire industries, from Microsoft to pharmaceutical firms to HMOs to gun makers.

In this, Gore and Clinton aren't friends of the market system; they are its enemies. And while they claim the political center, there is nothing centrist about always blaming business first. They may win a few fleeting political points, but we all lose when they feed a cancer of cynicism, suspicion and even hatred toward American business and free enterprise.

Gore's twisted petro-logic doesn't begin to add up. As Ohio University economics Professor Richard Vedder told me, "If the oil companies could have gotten rich by colluding to double gasoline prices, they would have done so a long time ago. I suspect Al Gore's role in raising the federal gas tax in 1993 and his attempts to raise it even more have had more impact on raising gasoline prices than any evil collusion on the part of the oil companies."

Indeed, the folks making out like bandits at the gas pump are politicians, not oil company stockholders. When you pay $1.42 for a gallon of gas, for example, 42 cents — about 30 percent — goes to federal, state and local taxes. By contrast, Chevron's U.S. profits over the last eight years have averaged 2 to 3 cents per gallon.

So what's fueling price spikes in the Midwest? A recent Congressional Research Service study attributed 25 cents of the jump to regional pipeline disruptions and another 25 cents to new federal regulations requiring cleaner-burning fuel in cities such as Chicago and Milwaukee. The math wizards at the EPA had earlier figured the new stuff would cost 3 to 8 cents more per gallon, a range Gore and the White House continue to cling to despite contrary fact.

At the same time, as part of his decidedly vapid but determinedly alliterative "Prosperity and Progress Tour," Gore uncorked a vast new entitlement program called "Retirement Savings Plus." Eager to grab the Social Security spotlight from Bush, Gore announced plans to give lower-income couples $3,000 a year toward private retirement accounts via a "refundable tax credit." (Families making more than $30,000 would get less; those making over $100,000 would get nothing.)

In his, umm, creative use of language, Gore clearly has learned at the feet of the master. But, no matter how he tries to dress it up, camouflage it or otherwise obscure the truth, his "tax credit" is nothing more than a handout, his plan nothing less than a national vote-buying scheme carried out in broad daylight.

Ironically, Gore is a big fan of so-called campaign finance reform. He and his ideological buddies are determined to place new limits on the rights of private citizens to give money to candidates. They stay up nights fretting that voters' giving may buy the votes of politicians. In March, Gore even proposed total public funding of campaigns.

With "Retirement Savings Plus," however, Gore is turning the campaign finance story upside down — and trying to buy the support of some voters with the tax dollars of others. I'm not holding my breath, but that's the type of bald-faced corruption that really ought to be reformed out of the system.



Contact Luke Boggs at lukeboggs@hotmail.com ??


             13000412 1225080                          Talk of the Town - Desperate measures July 01 2000 "
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Talk of the Town

Saturday July 1, 2000 12:04 am EDT
It's early but Gore sounds worried | more...

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Fourth of July
---

Some people's idea of celebrating Independence Day will be seeing The Patriot and heading home. But for those who like to do their own dirty work, there's a whole lot of celebrating to be done. So cover yourself in watermelon and sulfur, and your bike in streamers and head out and shout. Here's a list of activities that may spark your interest:

Peachtree Road Race More than 55,000 pre-registered runners will hit the pavement from Lenox Square to Piedmont Park. 7:30 a.m. Call 404-231-9067.

Great Americans: Past, Present and Future is the theme of the Stone Mountain Fourth of July parade. There will be floats, horses and free flags. There will also be live music and an Almost 5K Run (entry fee $15).          9:15 a.m.-10 p.m. Laser shows nightly at 9:30 p.m. Parking $6. 404-299-2498.

Salute 2 America Jeff Foxworthy is the Grand Marshal at the annual Fourth of July parade, which kicks off at 1 p.m. at Centennial Olympic Park. The parade proceeds to Marietta Street, then onto Peachtree Street, ending at Ralph McGill Boulevard. Call 404-897-7855.

Centennial Olympic Park Beginning at 2:30 p.m., festivities include strolling entertainers, marching bands, children's activities, a Native American Indian encampment, a Birds of Prey show and more. At 7:30 p.m., the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performs, followed by fireworks at         9:30 p.m. Broadcast on WXIA 11 and Star 94. For more information call           404-222-7275.

Lake Lanier Islands Musical entertainment by Paparazzi and the Tams, followed by fireworks. Park admission $21.99; $13.99 for seniors and age 3 to 42 inches tall. 6:45 p.m. $6 parking. 770-932-7200.

Star Spangled Night Lenox Square Mall hosts a holiday celebration from 1-10 p.m., featuring children's activities, music by Rupert's Orchestra and fireworks. 404-233-6767.

Six Flags Over Georgia offers laser and firework spectaculars every night from June 17-Aug. 20. For more information call 770-948-9290.


font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="4" color="#330033">Music
---

The GMM punks are known for the multiple-act shows they've been putting on around town, and they're at it again, this time hosting the Beer Olympics 2000 at the Masquerade Saturday and Sunday, July 1-2. The Anti-Heroes act as ballast, holding together two days of beer and bands including Adolf and the Piss Artists, as well as Patriot, Murphy's Law, Oxblood, Forced Reality, the Brassnuckle Boys, the Spitfires, the Templars and Iron Cross. Sat. 4 p.m. Sun. 2 p.m. The Masquerade, 695 North Ave. For more information call 404-577-2007 or visit www.masq.com.

If you want a heavy meal of music to get you moving on a weekend known primarily for marching bands going nowhere, check out the fifth annual Corndogorama at the EARL Saturday, July 1. Sixteen local bands, including American Dream, Chocolate Kiss, Some Soviet Station, Dropsonic and the Black Mollys, perform. 1 p.m. $5. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Road. For more information call 404-352-4225 or visit www.theearl.com.


font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="4" color="#330033">Benefit
---

Global Imports hosts the National Motorcycle Ride for Breast Cancer Research Sunday, July 2. Join the Pony Express riders for food, prizes and live entertainment. 4-7 p.m. Global Imports, 500 Interstate North Parkway, Marietta.


font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="4" color="#330033">Festivals
---

Trade being jaded in the shade for sitting under jade trees at the Asian Cultural Experience Saturday and Sunday, July 1-2, and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. There will be traditional arts and crafts, origami, calligraphy, ceremonies, games, martial arts, culminating with the Performance Celebration, featuring various dancers and musicians. Sat. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sun. noon-6 p.m. $7. 1345 Piedmont Ave. For more information call 678-592-3679 or e-mail j.oak@asianculturalexperience.com.


font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="4" color="#330033">Nightlife
---

The British invade Studio Central Independence Day weekend for Liquid Groove's Rhythm Collision. July 1 sees the nu_break tech-house of Adam Freeland and the progressive trance of Slacker, along with the trancey breaks of Deepsky and the progressive trance of Sandra Collins, create fireworks. All the while 20 Hz. Cartel and Rydim Ryders, plus others, rule the drum 'n' bass room. 11 p.m. $25. 150 Central Ave. For more information call 404-257-2515 or e-mail liquidgroove@mindspring.com.


font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="4" color="#330033">Convention
---

Created to celebrate the worlds of sci-fi and fantasy, Dragon*Con has become a world unto itself. The most massive of America's sci-fi conventions, Dragon*Con provides people with a place to express their obsessions in the open June 29-July 2, and pick up some nifty autographed pictures of Borg No. 3 from shot No. 5 of episode No. 143. Along with costume contests, dealer rooms, viewing rooms, live gaming and 348 celebrity guests, Dragon*Con presents wrestling, movie premieres for The Crow: Salvation and Dungeons and Dragons, music by the Misfits, Changelings and DangerWoman, social dances and a whole bunch of other stuff. Four-day pass $75, other packages available. Hyatt Regency, 265 Peachtree St. For more information visit www.dragoncon.org.??


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~~#330033:__Fourth of July__~~
---

Some people's idea of celebrating Independence Day will be seeing __''The Patriot''__ and heading home. But for those who like to do their own dirty work, there's a whole lot of celebrating to be done. So cover yourself in watermelon and sulfur, and your bike in streamers and head out and shout. Here's a list of activities that may spark your interest:

__Peachtree Road Race__ More than 55,000 pre-registered runners will hit the pavement from Lenox Square to Piedmont Park. 7:30 a.m. Call 404-231-9067.

__Great Americans: Past, Present and Future__ is the theme of the Stone Mountain Fourth of July parade. There will be floats, horses and free flags. There will also be live music and an Almost 5K Run (entry fee $15).          9:15 a.m.-10 p.m. Laser shows nightly at 9:30 p.m. Parking $6. 404-299-2498.

__Salute 2 America__ Jeff Foxworthy is the Grand Marshal at the annual Fourth of July parade, which kicks off at 1 p.m. at Centennial Olympic Park. The parade proceeds to Marietta Street, then onto Peachtree Street, ending at Ralph McGill Boulevard. Call 404-897-7855.

__Centennial Olympic Park__ Beginning at 2:30 p.m., festivities include strolling entertainers, marching bands, children's activities, a Native American Indian encampment, a Birds of Prey show and more. At 7:30 p.m., the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performs, followed by fireworks at         9:30 p.m. Broadcast on WXIA 11 and Star 94. For more information call           404-222-7275.

__Lake Lanier Islands__ Musical entertainment by Paparazzi and the Tams, followed by fireworks. Park admission $21.99; $13.99 for seniors and age 3 to 42 inches tall. 6:45 p.m. $6 parking. 770-932-7200.

__Star Spangled Night__ Lenox Square Mall hosts a holiday celebration from 1-10 p.m., featuring children's activities, music by Rupert's Orchestra and fireworks. 404-233-6767.

__Six Flags Over Georgia__ offers laser and firework spectaculars every night from __June 17-Aug. 20__. For more information call 770-948-9290.


font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="4" color="#330033">__Music__
---

The GMM punks are known for the multiple-act shows they've been putting on around town, and they're at it again, this time hosting the __Beer Olympics 2000__ at the Masquerade Saturday and Sunday, __July 1-2__. The Anti-Heroes act as ballast, holding together two days of beer and bands including Adolf and the Piss Artists, as well as Patriot, Murphy's Law, Oxblood, Forced Reality, the Brassnuckle Boys, the Spitfires, the Templars and Iron Cross. Sat. 4 p.m. Sun. 2 p.m. The Masquerade, 695 North Ave. For more information call 404-577-2007 or visit [http://www.masq.com/|www.masq.com].

If you want a heavy meal of music to get you moving on a weekend known primarily for marching bands going nowhere, check out the fifth annual __Corndogorama__ at the EARL Saturday, __July 1__. Sixteen local bands, including American Dream, Chocolate Kiss, Some Soviet Station, Dropsonic and the Black Mollys, perform. 1 p.m. $5. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Road. For more information call 404-352-4225 or visit [http://www.theearl.com/|www.theearl.com].


font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="4" color="#330033">__Benefit__
---

Global Imports hosts the __National Motorcycle Ride for Breast Cancer Research__ Sunday, __July 2__. Join the Pony Express riders for food, prizes and live entertainment. 4-7 p.m. Global Imports, 500 Interstate North Parkway, Marietta.


font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="4" color="#330033">__Festivals__
---

Trade being jaded in the shade for sitting under jade trees at the __Asian Cultural Experience__ Saturday and Sunday, __July 1-2__, and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. There will be traditional arts and crafts, origami, calligraphy, ceremonies, games, martial arts, culminating with the Performance Celebration, featuring various dancers and musicians. Sat. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sun. noon-6 p.m. $7. 1345 Piedmont Ave. For more information call 678-592-3679 or e-mail [mailto:j.oak@asianculturalexperience.com|j.oak@asianculturalexperience.com].


font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="4" color="#330033">__Nightlife__
---

The British invade Studio Central Independence Day weekend for Liquid Groove's __Rhythm Collision__. __July 1__ sees the nu_break tech-house of Adam Freeland and the progressive trance of Slacker, along with the trancey breaks of Deepsky and the progressive trance of Sandra Collins, create fireworks. All the while 20 Hz. Cartel and Rydim Ryders, plus others, rule the drum 'n' bass room. 11 p.m. $25. 150 Central Ave. For more information call 404-257-2515 or e-mail [mailto:liquidgroove@mindspring.com|liquidgroove@mindspring.com].


font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="4" color="#330033">__Convention__
---

Created to celebrate the worlds of sci-fi and fantasy, __Dragon*Con__ has become a world unto itself. The most massive of America's sci-fi conventions, Dragon*Con provides people with a place to express their obsessions in the open __June 29-July 2__, and pick up some nifty autographed pictures of Borg No. 3 from shot No. 5 of episode No. 143. Along with costume contests, dealer rooms, viewing rooms, live gaming and 348 celebrity guests, Dragon*Con presents wrestling, movie premieres for ''The Crow: Salvation'' and ''Dungeons and Dragons'', music by the Misfits, Changelings and DangerWoman, social dances and a whole bunch of other stuff. Four-day pass $75, other packages available. Hyatt Regency, 265 Peachtree St. For more information visit [http://www.dragoncon.com|www.dragoncon.org.]??


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Fourth of July
---

Some people's idea of celebrating Independence Day will be seeing The Patriot and heading home. But for those who like to do their own dirty work, there's a whole lot of celebrating to be done. So cover yourself in watermelon and sulfur, and your bike in streamers and head out and shout. Here's a list of activities that may spark your interest:

Peachtree Road Race More than 55,000 pre-registered runners will hit the pavement from Lenox Square to Piedmont Park. 7:30 a.m. Call 404-231-9067.

Great Americans: Past, Present and Future is the theme of the Stone Mountain Fourth of July parade. There will be floats, horses and free flags. There will also be live music and an Almost 5K Run (entry fee $15).          9:15 a.m.-10 p.m. Laser shows nightly at 9:30 p.m. Parking $6. 404-299-2498.

Salute 2 America Jeff Foxworthy is the Grand Marshal at the annual Fourth of July parade, which kicks off at 1 p.m. at Centennial Olympic Park. The parade proceeds to Marietta Street, then onto Peachtree Street, ending at Ralph McGill Boulevard. Call 404-897-7855.

Centennial Olympic Park Beginning at 2:30 p.m., festivities include strolling entertainers, marching bands, children's activities, a Native American Indian encampment, a Birds of Prey show and more. At 7:30 p.m., the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performs, followed by fireworks at         9:30 p.m. Broadcast on WXIA 11 and Star 94. For more information call           404-222-7275.

Lake Lanier Islands Musical entertainment by Paparazzi and the Tams, followed by fireworks. Park admission $21.99; $13.99 for seniors and age 3 to 42 inches tall. 6:45 p.m. $6 parking. 770-932-7200.

Star Spangled Night Lenox Square Mall hosts a holiday celebration from 1-10 p.m., featuring children's activities, music by Rupert's Orchestra and fireworks. 404-233-6767.

Six Flags Over Georgia offers laser and firework spectaculars every night from June 17-Aug. 20. For more information call 770-948-9290.


font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="4" color="#330033">Music
---

The GMM punks are known for the multiple-act shows they've been putting on around town, and they're at it again, this time hosting the Beer Olympics 2000 at the Masquerade Saturday and Sunday, July 1-2. The Anti-Heroes act as ballast, holding together two days of beer and bands including Adolf and the Piss Artists, as well as Patriot, Murphy's Law, Oxblood, Forced Reality, the Brassnuckle Boys, the Spitfires, the Templars and Iron Cross. Sat. 4 p.m. Sun. 2 p.m. The Masquerade, 695 North Ave. For more information call 404-577-2007 or visit www.masq.com.

If you want a heavy meal of music to get you moving on a weekend known primarily for marching bands going nowhere, check out the fifth annual Corndogorama at the EARL Saturday, July 1. Sixteen local bands, including American Dream, Chocolate Kiss, Some Soviet Station, Dropsonic and the Black Mollys, perform. 1 p.m. $5. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Road. For more information call 404-352-4225 or visit www.theearl.com.


font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="4" color="#330033">Benefit
---

Global Imports hosts the National Motorcycle Ride for Breast Cancer Research Sunday, July 2. Join the Pony Express riders for food, prizes and live entertainment. 4-7 p.m. Global Imports, 500 Interstate North Parkway, Marietta.


font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="4" color="#330033">Festivals
---

Trade being jaded in the shade for sitting under jade trees at the Asian Cultural Experience Saturday and Sunday, July 1-2, and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. There will be traditional arts and crafts, origami, calligraphy, ceremonies, games, martial arts, culminating with the Performance Celebration, featuring various dancers and musicians. Sat. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sun. noon-6 p.m. $7. 1345 Piedmont Ave. For more information call 678-592-3679 or e-mail j.oak@asianculturalexperience.com.


font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="4" color="#330033">Nightlife
---

The British invade Studio Central Independence Day weekend for Liquid Groove's Rhythm Collision. July 1 sees the nu_break tech-house of Adam Freeland and the progressive trance of Slacker, along with the trancey breaks of Deepsky and the progressive trance of Sandra Collins, create fireworks. All the while 20 Hz. Cartel and Rydim Ryders, plus others, rule the drum 'n' bass room. 11 p.m. $25. 150 Central Ave. For more information call 404-257-2515 or e-mail liquidgroove@mindspring.com.


font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="4" color="#330033">Convention
---

Created to celebrate the worlds of sci-fi and fantasy, Dragon*Con has become a world unto itself. The most massive of America's sci-fi conventions, Dragon*Con provides people with a place to express their obsessions in the open June 29-July 2, and pick up some nifty autographed pictures of Borg No. 3 from shot No. 5 of episode No. 143. Along with costume contests, dealer rooms, viewing rooms, live gaming and 348 celebrity guests, Dragon*Con presents wrestling, movie premieres for The Crow: Salvation and Dungeons and Dragons, music by the Misfits, Changelings and DangerWoman, social dances and a whole bunch of other stuff. Four-day pass $75, other packages available. Hyatt Regency, 265 Peachtree St. For more information visit www.dragoncon.org.??


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Talk of the Town

Saturday July 1, 2000 12:04 am EDT


Fourth of July



Some people's idea of celebrating Independence Day will be seeing The Patriot and heading home. But for those who like to do their own dirty work, there's a whole lot of celebrating to be done. So cover yourself in watermelon and sulfur, and your bike in streamers and head out and shout. Here's a list of activities that may spark your interest:

Peachtree Road Race More...

| more...
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  string(3659) "Dear readers: I am gravely concerned about our state's Republican insurance commissioner, John Oxendine. In fact, I am so concerned that I am offering a $100 reward for information that may lead to his exoneration of allegations that he lied to a police officer.  As you may know by now, since his election in 1994 Mr. Oxendine has had the misfortune of having personally destroyed nearly $40,000 worth of state-issued, taxpayer-purchased Ford Crown Victoria automobiles. The most recent case apparently involves some kind of snafu in which there is suspicion that he may have, well, let's just say deceived a Cobb County cop.

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Nobody was hurt, but the truck required massive repairs and Oxendine's car was totaled. Witnesses told police a tale of Oxendine driving aggressively around traffic with the blue lights on and siren wailing. Ox excused his dangerous and illegal behavior by saying that he was responding in his official capacity as fire marshal to a hazardous materials alarm at the state Department of Insurance offices. It was, he said, an emergency.

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This allegation, if not refuted, could lead to widespread chaos down at the state Insurance Department. Oxendine would be preoccupied with his legal problems, and the poor insurance companies who have come to depend on Oxendine's rubber-stamp rate increases will be left out in the cold. Who will do the bidding of Big Insurance if Commissioner Oxendine is forced to hire lawyers to defend himself against the petty and rather pathetic allegation of having told a wormy little lie to a cop who was investigating a traffic accident?

As a proud Georgian, I am concerned about this stain upon governmental integrity. We simply must defend our commissioner at all costs. His good name and reputation are at stake!

Consequently, I have decided to offer a $100 reward to any person who can prove that a hazardous materials or fire alarm occurred on the morning of Sept. 29, 1999 at the state Insurance Department offices, or can provide the identity of any person who contacted Commissioner Oxendine on that morning to notify him of such an alarm.

This is a serious offer. I have posted the necessary funds in escrow at the office of my editor at Creative Loafing, and a check will be disbursed to any person who can prove as an irrefutable fact that there was a hazardous materials or fire alarm resulting in the evacuation of the Georgia Department of Insurance offices on the morning of Sept. 29, 1999. As a good citizen, it is the least I can do to try and salvage the reputation of our state's Insurance Commissioner.

It may not be a lot of money, but it's the thought that counts.??


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It was WAGA-TV investigative reporter Randy Travis who uncovered the rest of the story: Oxendine, apparently frustrated with traffic delays, flipped on the blue lights and siren in his Crown Vic (Ox, by title of his job, is also the state fire marshal) and roared around traffic at the intersection.

Driving crazily, he illegally turned in front of a moving pickup truck, which promptly T-boned Oxendine's car. Crash!

Nobody was hurt, but the truck required massive repairs and Oxendine's car was totaled. Witnesses told police a tale of Oxendine driving aggressively around traffic with the blue lights on and siren wailing. Ox excused his dangerous and illegal behavior by saying that he was responding in his official capacity as fire marshal to a hazardous materials alarm at the state Department of Insurance offices. It was, he said, an emergency.

Problem is, investigators with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation have been unable to find any records of a hazardous materials alarm that morning. Or a fire alarm. Or any other kind of alarm. In fact, the way the evidence looks now, there simply was no such alarm, meaning that Mr. Oxendine may have told a bald-faced lie to a police officer -- which, it turns out, is illegal.

This allegation, if not refuted, could lead to widespread chaos down at the state Insurance Department. Oxendine would be preoccupied with his legal problems, and the poor insurance companies who have come to depend on Oxendine's rubber-stamp rate increases will be left out in the cold. Who will do the bidding of Big Insurance if Commissioner Oxendine is forced to hire lawyers to defend himself against the petty and rather pathetic allegation of having told a wormy little lie to a cop who was investigating a traffic accident?

As a proud Georgian, I am concerned about this stain upon governmental integrity. We simply must defend our commissioner at all costs. His good name and reputation are at stake!

Consequently, I have decided to offer a $100 reward to any person who can prove that a hazardous materials or fire alarm occurred on the morning of Sept. 29, 1999 at the state Insurance Department offices, or can provide the identity of any person who contacted Commissioner Oxendine on that morning to notify him of such an alarm.

This is a serious offer. I have posted the necessary funds in escrow at the office of my editor at ''Creative Loafing'', and a check will be disbursed to any person who can prove as an irrefutable fact that there was a hazardous materials or fire alarm resulting in the evacuation of the Georgia Department of Insurance offices on the morning of Sept. 29, 1999. As a good citizen, it is the least I can do to try and salvage the reputation of our state's Insurance Commissioner.

It may not be a lot of money, but it's the thought that counts.??


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  string(3956) "    $100 reward offered to clear Oxendine's good name   2000-07-01T04:04:00+00:00 Talk of the Town - Searching for the truth July 01 2000   Jeff Berry 1223551 2000-07-01T04:04:00+00:00  Dear readers: I am gravely concerned about our state's Republican insurance commissioner, John Oxendine. In fact, I am so concerned that I am offering a $100 reward for information that may lead to his exoneration of allegations that he lied to a police officer.  As you may know by now, since his election in 1994 Mr. Oxendine has had the misfortune of having personally destroyed nearly $40,000 worth of state-issued, taxpayer-purchased Ford Crown Victoria automobiles. The most recent case apparently involves some kind of snafu in which there is suspicion that he may have, well, let's just say deceived a Cobb County cop.

The story begins on a traffic-stalled morning in September of last year. Oxendine, like so many of us, was caught up in heavy traffic, idling restlessly near the I-285 and Atlanta Road interchange.

It was WAGA-TV investigative reporter Randy Travis who uncovered the rest of the story: Oxendine, apparently frustrated with traffic delays, flipped on the blue lights and siren in his Crown Vic (Ox, by title of his job, is also the state fire marshal) and roared around traffic at the intersection.

Driving crazily, he illegally turned in front of a moving pickup truck, which promptly T-boned Oxendine's car. Crash!

Nobody was hurt, but the truck required massive repairs and Oxendine's car was totaled. Witnesses told police a tale of Oxendine driving aggressively around traffic with the blue lights on and siren wailing. Ox excused his dangerous and illegal behavior by saying that he was responding in his official capacity as fire marshal to a hazardous materials alarm at the state Department of Insurance offices. It was, he said, an emergency.

Problem is, investigators with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation have been unable to find any records of a hazardous materials alarm that morning. Or a fire alarm. Or any other kind of alarm. In fact, the way the evidence looks now, there simply was no such alarm, meaning that Mr. Oxendine may have told a bald-faced lie to a police officer — which, it turns out, is illegal.

This allegation, if not refuted, could lead to widespread chaos down at the state Insurance Department. Oxendine would be preoccupied with his legal problems, and the poor insurance companies who have come to depend on Oxendine's rubber-stamp rate increases will be left out in the cold. Who will do the bidding of Big Insurance if Commissioner Oxendine is forced to hire lawyers to defend himself against the petty and rather pathetic allegation of having told a wormy little lie to a cop who was investigating a traffic accident?

As a proud Georgian, I am concerned about this stain upon governmental integrity. We simply must defend our commissioner at all costs. His good name and reputation are at stake!

Consequently, I have decided to offer a $100 reward to any person who can prove that a hazardous materials or fire alarm occurred on the morning of Sept. 29, 1999 at the state Insurance Department offices, or can provide the identity of any person who contacted Commissioner Oxendine on that morning to notify him of such an alarm.

This is a serious offer. I have posted the necessary funds in escrow at the office of my editor at Creative Loafing, and a check will be disbursed to any person who can prove as an irrefutable fact that there was a hazardous materials or fire alarm resulting in the evacuation of the Georgia Department of Insurance offices on the morning of Sept. 29, 1999. As a good citizen, it is the least I can do to try and salvage the reputation of our state's Insurance Commissioner.

It may not be a lot of money, but it's the thought that counts.??


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Talk of the Town

Saturday July 1, 2000 12:04 am EDT
$100 reward offered to clear Oxendine's good name | more...
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  string(3709) "Atlanta is at its best when we, as a city, are able to showcase our incredible diversity, as was the case this past weekend. Take Saturday night, for example. I started the evening attending the Atlanta Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's Twelfth Annual Awards Gala at the downtown Hyatt. As I crossed the lobby of the Hyatt, I ran into a company of exhausted visitors in town for the Pride festival. "I think my ass is going to fall off," noted Darren Dial, 29. When his comment drew peals of giggles from his friends, Dial clarified that his ass was "tired from walking."

At the awards gala, Gov. Roy Barnes kicked things off with a welcoming speech before local lawyer Hipolito Goico, the event's master of ceremonies, took the podium. After dinner, awards were given out to several local business people, including lawyer Ralph Perales and travel agent Blanca Gilmore.

The keynote speaker was Delta Air Lines CEO Leo Mullin. Later, Mullin revealed that his interest in the Hispanic community stemmed from his wife's Peace Corps stint in Peru. "She refers to that as the greatest experience in her life," he joked, "and that includes marrying me."

I left the Gala early and busted it over to the Tabernacle, where the Atlanta Press Club was holding its annual Gorilla Ball, which includes an award for Blooper of the Year. As I arrived, I noticed CBS Atlanta sportscaster Steve Taylor driving away, which I thought odd. It turned out that the event already had ended. Two drunk men, one carrying a stuffed gorilla, informed me that WXIA-TV had been awarded the Blooper of the Year, though they had no actual memory of the blooper.

Later, at a party in Midtown's Club Kaya for Dreamworks Records, I found a perch with Nigel Killikelly, the Atlanta-based managing editor of The Source magazine. A few minutes later, Portland Trailblazers point guard Damon Stoudamire emerged from a haze of aromatic smoke. "I just moved here," he reported, "so you'll see me around every night, now."

After a few hours of dance music was spun by Hot 97.5's DJ Mars, local rappers P.A. took the stage. Despite a balky microphone, they tore through 30 minutes of music. Afterwards, P.A. member Kawan "KP" Prather (who also happens to be replacing L.A. Reid at LaFace Records) said, "You don't know nothin' 'bout alternating mic's."

I'm a lumberjack: Dad's Garage received a write-up in last Friday's Wall Street Journal, in a piece that discussed the local comedy troupe's current projects, including Oh Happy Day, a recently discovered play written by the late Monty Python member Graham Chapman. Dad's Garage will premiere the play in the fall.

Monty Python's John Cleese has agreed to serve as a script consultant on Oh Happy Day. "He's gonna help us figure out perhaps what Graham was trying to say in certain points and what the stains on the script are," says Dad's Garage artistic director Sean Daniels.

Daniels also pointed out that his communication with Cleese occurs in a positively Python-ian manner: "I have his fax number, and he has my cell phone number. So, when I want to contact him, I fax him and then he calls me. The last time he called, the number came up as 'number is restricted,' so I didn't answer it. After hearing his message, which I still have saved on my phone, I promised to be less of a caller-ID snob and just answer my phone."

This and that: The Thrashers' chose Wisconsin star Dany Heatley with the second pick in the NHL Draft, Heatley's father, Murray Heatley, asked a reporter, "What's a Thrasher?" We don't know either. ... I'm out.

What's up, Atlanta? Let me know what you want to read and hear about. Hit me up at 404-688-5623 x.1502 or e-mail me at lang@creativeloafing.com.??


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  string(3843) "Atlanta is at its best when we, as a city, are able to showcase our incredible diversity, as was the case this past weekend. Take Saturday night, for example. I started the evening attending the Atlanta Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's Twelfth Annual Awards Gala at the downtown Hyatt. As I crossed the lobby of the Hyatt, I ran into a company of exhausted visitors in town for the Pride festival. "I think my ass is going to fall off," noted __Darren Dial__, 29. When his comment drew peals of giggles from his friends, Dial clarified that his ass was "tired from walking."

At the awards gala, __Gov. Roy Barnes__ kicked things off with a welcoming speech before local lawyer __Hipolito Goico__, the event's master of ceremonies, took the podium. After dinner, awards were given out to several local business people, including lawyer __Ralph Perales__ and travel agent __Blanca Gilmore__.

The keynote speaker was Delta Air Lines CEO __Leo Mullin__. Later, Mullin revealed that his interest in the Hispanic community stemmed from his wife's Peace Corps stint in Peru. "She refers to that as the greatest experience in her life," he joked, "and that includes marrying me."

I left the Gala early and busted it over to the Tabernacle, where the Atlanta Press Club was holding its annual Gorilla Ball, which includes an award for Blooper of the Year. As I arrived, I noticed CBS Atlanta sportscaster __Steve Taylor__ driving away, which I thought odd. It turned out that the event already had ended. Two drunk men, one carrying a stuffed gorilla, informed me that WXIA-TV had been awarded the Blooper of the Year, though they had no actual memory of the blooper.

Later, at a party in Midtown's Club Kaya for Dreamworks Records, I found a perch with __Nigel Killikelly__, the Atlanta-based managing editor of ''The Source'' magazine. A few minutes later, Portland Trailblazers point guard __Damon Stoudamire__ emerged from a haze of aromatic smoke. "I just moved here," he reported, "so you'll see me around every night, now."

After a few hours of dance music was spun by Hot 97.5's __DJ Mars__, local rappers __P.A.__ took the stage. Despite a balky microphone, they tore through 30 minutes of music. Afterwards, P.A. member __Kawan "KP" Prather__ (who also happens to be replacing __L.A. Reid__ at LaFace Records) said, "You don't know nothin' 'bout alternating mic's."

__''I'm a lumberjack'':__ Dad's Garage received a write-up in last Friday's ''Wall Street Journal'', in a piece that discussed the local comedy troupe's current projects, including ''Oh Happy Day'', a recently discovered play written by the late Monty Python member Graham Chapman. Dad's Garage will premiere the play in the fall.

Monty Python's __John Cleese__ has agreed to serve as a script consultant on Oh Happy Day. "He's gonna help us figure out perhaps what Graham was trying to say in certain points and what the stains on the script are," says Dad's Garage artistic director __Sean Daniels__.

Daniels also pointed out that his communication with Cleese occurs in a positively Python-ian manner: "I have his fax number, and he has my cell phone number. So, when I want to contact him, I fax him and then he calls me. The last time he called, the number came up as 'number is restricted,' so I didn't answer it. After hearing his message, which I still have saved on my phone, I promised to be less of a caller-ID snob and just answer my phone."

__''This and that'':__ The Thrashers' chose Wisconsin star __Dany Heatley__ with the second pick in the NHL Draft, Heatley's father, __Murray Heatley__, asked a reporter, "What's a Thrasher?" We don't know either. ... I'm out.

''What's up, Atlanta? Let me know what you want to read and hear about. Hit me up at 404-688-5623 x.1502 or e-mail me at [mailto:lang@creativeloafing.com|lang@creativeloafing.com].''??


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  string(3967) "    Atlanta has diversity covered   2000-07-01T04:04:00+00:00 Talk of the Town - Party people July 01 2000   Lang Whitaker 1223537 2000-07-01T04:04:00+00:00  Atlanta is at its best when we, as a city, are able to showcase our incredible diversity, as was the case this past weekend. Take Saturday night, for example. I started the evening attending the Atlanta Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's Twelfth Annual Awards Gala at the downtown Hyatt. As I crossed the lobby of the Hyatt, I ran into a company of exhausted visitors in town for the Pride festival. "I think my ass is going to fall off," noted Darren Dial, 29. When his comment drew peals of giggles from his friends, Dial clarified that his ass was "tired from walking."

At the awards gala, Gov. Roy Barnes kicked things off with a welcoming speech before local lawyer Hipolito Goico, the event's master of ceremonies, took the podium. After dinner, awards were given out to several local business people, including lawyer Ralph Perales and travel agent Blanca Gilmore.

The keynote speaker was Delta Air Lines CEO Leo Mullin. Later, Mullin revealed that his interest in the Hispanic community stemmed from his wife's Peace Corps stint in Peru. "She refers to that as the greatest experience in her life," he joked, "and that includes marrying me."

I left the Gala early and busted it over to the Tabernacle, where the Atlanta Press Club was holding its annual Gorilla Ball, which includes an award for Blooper of the Year. As I arrived, I noticed CBS Atlanta sportscaster Steve Taylor driving away, which I thought odd. It turned out that the event already had ended. Two drunk men, one carrying a stuffed gorilla, informed me that WXIA-TV had been awarded the Blooper of the Year, though they had no actual memory of the blooper.

Later, at a party in Midtown's Club Kaya for Dreamworks Records, I found a perch with Nigel Killikelly, the Atlanta-based managing editor of The Source magazine. A few minutes later, Portland Trailblazers point guard Damon Stoudamire emerged from a haze of aromatic smoke. "I just moved here," he reported, "so you'll see me around every night, now."

After a few hours of dance music was spun by Hot 97.5's DJ Mars, local rappers P.A. took the stage. Despite a balky microphone, they tore through 30 minutes of music. Afterwards, P.A. member Kawan "KP" Prather (who also happens to be replacing L.A. Reid at LaFace Records) said, "You don't know nothin' 'bout alternating mic's."

I'm a lumberjack: Dad's Garage received a write-up in last Friday's Wall Street Journal, in a piece that discussed the local comedy troupe's current projects, including Oh Happy Day, a recently discovered play written by the late Monty Python member Graham Chapman. Dad's Garage will premiere the play in the fall.

Monty Python's John Cleese has agreed to serve as a script consultant on Oh Happy Day. "He's gonna help us figure out perhaps what Graham was trying to say in certain points and what the stains on the script are," says Dad's Garage artistic director Sean Daniels.

Daniels also pointed out that his communication with Cleese occurs in a positively Python-ian manner: "I have his fax number, and he has my cell phone number. So, when I want to contact him, I fax him and then he calls me. The last time he called, the number came up as 'number is restricted,' so I didn't answer it. After hearing his message, which I still have saved on my phone, I promised to be less of a caller-ID snob and just answer my phone."

This and that: The Thrashers' chose Wisconsin star Dany Heatley with the second pick in the NHL Draft, Heatley's father, Murray Heatley, asked a reporter, "What's a Thrasher?" We don't know either. ... I'm out.

What's up, Atlanta? Let me know what you want to read and hear about. Hit me up at 404-688-5623 x.1502 or e-mail me at lang@creativeloafing.com.??


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  string(4666) "I was hanging upside-down underwater, trapped in a flipped-over kayak. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't think. And I certainly couldn't remember the roll technique I'd just learned. The cold current was spinning me downriver, where another foaming rapid bared its rocky teeth. So I did what any other air-breathing animal would do: I panicked. I bailed out on my paddle and started flailing my arms in a desperate attempt to get above water. When that didn't work, I pulled the release strap on the skirt and wiggled out of the boat. I popped to the surface moments later, blue-faced and foggy-headed, and grabbed onto Gene's kayak to catch my breath.

I was trying to Eskimo roll on the Nantahala, a loud, hard-flowing whitewater river in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains. My friend Gene — a class V kayaker — had already talked me through the roll technique dozens of times that morning: Tuck your body, cut your paddle, snap your hips. It seemed so easy above water. But every time I flipped, the words fell out of my head and washed downstream, and all I could do was flounder in the freezing flow until Gene rescued me.

"Stay relaxed out there," he suggested. "Next time you flip, clear your head and count to three."

On shore, I tried to knock the water out of my ears, which were still ringing with the underwater sound of the river. Then I climbed back into my kayak — an oversized Dagger from the early-70's that looked like a long, ripe banana — and paddled out into the current.

Veils of morning mist still shrouded the river. In the gray gauze, Gene and I eddy-hopped through Patton's Run — a bouncy rapid with a 90-degree bend, and played in the splashy wave train below Jaws, a fin-shaped rock in the middle of the river. At Delabar's Rock, we haystacked over large tongues of whitewater. My head still felt cloudy, but it was starting to shake loose.

Next up was Whirlpool — a sudsy, squirrelly rapid with a great surfing wave. Gene demonstrated a few Eskimo rolls in the rapid, then asked me to give it a try.

The wave knocked me over instantly, and my mind was swallowed up again in the underwater surround-sound — a dull, low-pitched ringing that drowned out my thoughts. It reminded me of lying on my back in a bathtub while trying to listen to a radio in the other room. Only this time, the radio was my own muffled brainwork.

Nothing was getting through the river's garbled static. I frantically flapped around underwater — like a hooked fish fighting the line — then squirmed out of the kayak again.

Usually, after I wet-exited, Gene tried to come up with something positive and encouraging to make me feel better: "You almost had it ... You're getting closer ... Your set-up looked really good ..." But this time, he told it to me straight: "You're scared."

It took a few seconds to sink in. He was right, dammit. I was scared to death. I wasn't trying to roll — I was trying not to drown.

We paddled silently downstream for a while. Steep granite cliffs blocked all but a sliver of sky. Ahead, I could hear the churning, crashing sounds of Nantahala Falls — a class III rapid with swirling suckholes and skull-cracking rock ledges.

Gene whirled his index finger in circles, signaling me to eddy out above the rapid. I ferried across the river and paddled toward the pocket of calm water — when my kayak unexpectedly skimmed a rock and flipped. It caught me completely off guard. I didn't have time to think about my roll. I didn't get a chance to get scared. One second I was talking to Gene, the next I was blowing bubbles.

Once again, the hollow hum of river water clogged my ears. I started to panic. I reached for the release strap, then stopped myself. I counted one ... two ... three ... and suddenly, in the river's voice, I heard my own. It said: tuck, cut, snap.

Keeping my body close to the boat, I twisted my paddle and flicked my hips toward the surface. I felt the kayak rotate. And the next thing I knew, the river was below me again.

I pumped my fist and screamed — a deep, throat-scorching screech that sounded strangely like the ring of the river. Gene hugged me, and I almost flipped over again. We high-fived our paddles and slapped them against the water. Not even the noisy Nanny Falls could drown out our hoots and howls.

We finished our run down the Falls, snaking smoothly along a seam of current and splatting onto the frothy foam below. The sun had burned off the mist, glossing the water with white light. I wasn't scared now. And for the first time all morning, my mind was as calm and clear as the river below me.??


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I was trying to Eskimo roll on the Nantahala, a loud, hard-flowing whitewater river in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains. My friend Gene -- a class V kayaker -- had already talked me through the roll technique dozens of times that morning: Tuck your body, cut your paddle, snap your hips. It seemed so easy above water. But every time I flipped, the words fell out of my head and washed downstream, and all I could do was flounder in the freezing flow until Gene rescued me.

"Stay relaxed out there," he suggested. "Next time you flip, clear your head and count to three."

On shore, I tried to knock the water out of my ears, which were still ringing with the underwater sound of the river. Then I climbed back into my kayak -- an oversized Dagger from the early-70's that looked like a long, ripe banana -- and paddled out into the current.

Veils of morning mist still shrouded the river. In the gray gauze, Gene and I eddy-hopped through Patton's Run -- a bouncy rapid with a 90-degree bend, and played in the splashy wave train below Jaws, a fin-shaped rock in the middle of the river. At Delabar's Rock, we haystacked over large tongues of whitewater. My head still felt cloudy, but it was starting to shake loose.

Next up was Whirlpool -- a sudsy, squirrelly rapid with a great surfing wave. Gene demonstrated a few Eskimo rolls in the rapid, then asked me to give it a try.

The wave knocked me over instantly, and my mind was swallowed up again in the underwater surround-sound -- a dull, low-pitched ringing that drowned out my thoughts. It reminded me of lying on my back in a bathtub while trying to listen to a radio in the other room. Only this time, the radio was my own muffled brainwork.

Nothing was getting through the river's garbled static. I frantically flapped around underwater -- like a hooked fish fighting the line -- then squirmed out of the kayak again.

Usually, after I wet-exited, Gene tried to come up with something positive and encouraging to make me feel better: "You almost had it ... You're getting closer ... Your set-up looked really good ..." But this time, he told it to me straight: "You're scared."

It took a few seconds to sink in. He was right, dammit. I was scared to death. I wasn't trying to roll -- I was trying not to drown.

We paddled silently downstream for a while. Steep granite cliffs blocked all but a sliver of sky. Ahead, I could hear the churning, crashing sounds of Nantahala Falls -- a class III rapid with swirling suckholes and skull-cracking rock ledges.

Gene whirled his index finger in circles, signaling me to eddy out above the rapid. I ferried across the river and paddled toward the pocket of calm water -- when my kayak unexpectedly skimmed a rock and flipped. It caught me completely off guard. I didn't have time to think about my roll. I didn't get a chance to get scared. One second I was talking to Gene, the next I was blowing bubbles.

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Keeping my body close to the boat, I twisted my paddle and flicked my hips toward the surface. I felt the kayak rotate. And the next thing I knew, the river was below me again.

I pumped my fist and screamed -- a deep, throat-scorching screech that sounded strangely like the ring of the river. Gene hugged me, and I almost flipped over again. We high-fived our paddles and slapped them against the water. Not even the noisy Nanny Falls could drown out our hoots and howls.

We finished our run down the Falls, snaking smoothly along a seam of current and splatting onto the frothy foam below. The sun had burned off the mist, glossing the water with white light. I wasn't scared now. And for the first time all morning, my mind was as calm and clear as the river below me.??


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I was trying to Eskimo roll on the Nantahala, a loud, hard-flowing whitewater river in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains. My friend Gene — a class V kayaker — had already talked me through the roll technique dozens of times that morning: Tuck your body, cut your paddle, snap your hips. It seemed so easy above water. But every time I flipped, the words fell out of my head and washed downstream, and all I could do was flounder in the freezing flow until Gene rescued me.

"Stay relaxed out there," he suggested. "Next time you flip, clear your head and count to three."

On shore, I tried to knock the water out of my ears, which were still ringing with the underwater sound of the river. Then I climbed back into my kayak — an oversized Dagger from the early-70's that looked like a long, ripe banana — and paddled out into the current.

Veils of morning mist still shrouded the river. In the gray gauze, Gene and I eddy-hopped through Patton's Run — a bouncy rapid with a 90-degree bend, and played in the splashy wave train below Jaws, a fin-shaped rock in the middle of the river. At Delabar's Rock, we haystacked over large tongues of whitewater. My head still felt cloudy, but it was starting to shake loose.

Next up was Whirlpool — a sudsy, squirrelly rapid with a great surfing wave. Gene demonstrated a few Eskimo rolls in the rapid, then asked me to give it a try.

The wave knocked me over instantly, and my mind was swallowed up again in the underwater surround-sound — a dull, low-pitched ringing that drowned out my thoughts. It reminded me of lying on my back in a bathtub while trying to listen to a radio in the other room. Only this time, the radio was my own muffled brainwork.

Nothing was getting through the river's garbled static. I frantically flapped around underwater — like a hooked fish fighting the line — then squirmed out of the kayak again.

Usually, after I wet-exited, Gene tried to come up with something positive and encouraging to make me feel better: "You almost had it ... You're getting closer ... Your set-up looked really good ..." But this time, he told it to me straight: "You're scared."

It took a few seconds to sink in. He was right, dammit. I was scared to death. I wasn't trying to roll — I was trying not to drown.

We paddled silently downstream for a while. Steep granite cliffs blocked all but a sliver of sky. Ahead, I could hear the churning, crashing sounds of Nantahala Falls — a class III rapid with swirling suckholes and skull-cracking rock ledges.

Gene whirled his index finger in circles, signaling me to eddy out above the rapid. I ferried across the river and paddled toward the pocket of calm water — when my kayak unexpectedly skimmed a rock and flipped. It caught me completely off guard. I didn't have time to think about my roll. I didn't get a chance to get scared. One second I was talking to Gene, the next I was blowing bubbles.

Once again, the hollow hum of river water clogged my ears. I started to panic. I reached for the release strap, then stopped myself. I counted one ... two ... three ... and suddenly, in the river's voice, I heard my own. It said: tuck, cut, snap.

Keeping my body close to the boat, I twisted my paddle and flicked my hips toward the surface. I felt the kayak rotate. And the next thing I knew, the river was below me again.

I pumped my fist and screamed — a deep, throat-scorching screech that sounded strangely like the ring of the river. Gene hugged me, and I almost flipped over again. We high-fived our paddles and slapped them against the water. Not even the noisy Nanny Falls could drown out our hoots and howls.

We finished our run down the Falls, snaking smoothly along a seam of current and splatting onto the frothy foam below. The sun had burned off the mist, glossing the water with white light. I wasn't scared now. And for the first time all morning, my mind was as calm and clear as the river below me.??


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Talk of the Town

Saturday July 1, 2000 12:04 am EDT
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  string(4898) "There's nothing lonelier than a starting line — especially when it's the starting line of a 90-mile Appalachian adventure race.  I was about to begin the Odyssey, a 24-hour eco-challenge that combines running, orienteering, canoeing, rock climbing and mountain biking through the tallest mountains in the East. Most of the other Odyssey competitors were running in teams of two or four. But like Odysseus, Homer's legendary Greek hero, I was going solo.

My hubris must have angered the gods. Moments before the 8 p.m. start, lightning ripped open the sky and diagonal sheets of rain lashed down. It wasn't a good omen. Two miles up the mountain slope, I was already soaked and sucking wind.

More bad signs. Somehow I had forgotten to pack my compass and my topo maps were beginning to dissolve in the rain. So I tried to follow other runners — whose headlamps made them look like giant one-eyed Cyclopes.

Since there were no crews or aid stations, I had to carry everything with me: climbing harness, ropes, lifejacket, bike helmet, flashlight, first aid kit and 24-hours worth of food — all in an old college backpack with a broken zipper. By midnight, my shoulders were blistered and rubbed raw.

I splashed across creeks and scrambled up switchbacks in the rain, desperately trying to keep up with the lead pack. Finally, around two in the morning, their headlamps disappeared behind the ridge and I found myself all alone in the woods. Animal eyes suddenly were glowing all around me. I heard a very, very large creature bolt through the underbrush and I just barely missed stepping on a snake stretched across the trail.

To pass the long, lonely hours in the dark, I began humming tunes out loud. The Muses must have been offended by my off-key offerings, because it started to rain even harder. My maps looked more like papier-mâché, but I was able to piece them together and bushwhack my way to the bike transition checkpoint.

For the next hour, I pedaled through a gauzy, gray fog to the top of Virginia's tallest mountain, then hydroplaned down the other side. The rest of the bike course was on rocky, muddy forest trails. Without a compass, I got lost several times, and at one point, wandered completely off the map. But the rain finally had stopped and stars were blushing through the clouds. I found the Little Dipper and used its North Star handle to orient me back on course.

I reached the James River at dawn and felt good about my chances of finishing the race. In the canoe, I began calculating the remaining mileage to the finish and figured I only had about four hours after the paddle.

Suddenly, a 40-knot wind began blowing over the water. Aeolus, keeper of the winds, had teamed up with the river gods to punish me for my presumption. Squalls of white-capped water pounded my canoe and eventually pinned it against a rock. The canoe tipped and dumptrucked me into the cold river.

Instinctively, I grabbed my pack before it floated away, then I doggy-paddled my overturned canoe to a rock in the middle of the river. Balanced on the rock, I righted the canoe and used a plastic bottle to scoop out the water.

I knew I was in bad shape. My whole body was shivering uncontrollably and I couldn't feel my feet. I had lost all of my food and my emergency radio in the spill. My clothes were drenched and beginning to freeze in the cold wind. My epic adventure had become a tragedy. I had to do something quick.

So I paddled ashore and started a smoldering fire to warm myself and dry my clothes. Like shipwrecked Odysseus, I felt helpless and homesick. For the first time, I thought about quitting. I could blame it on the wind and weather, of course. It was just bad luck. I rationalized it over and over in my head until quitting made perfect sense.

But during that long hour of drying out, I pictured myself standing again at the starting line, alone and unsheltered in the rain. I had come a long way, without any help from the gods. And it suddenly occurred to me that maybe I was more than fate's puppet. Maybe I could make my own luck.

I got back on my feet. My stomach had knotted up, my quads were quivering and my hands and feet were cramped, but even worse than pain was the thought of failure. I was going to finish. I owed it to that scared, shivering kid at the starting line.

Once I stopped whining about fate and started doing something about it, everything seemed to go my way. I glided downriver, climbed a steep granite wall and biked another 30 miles to the finish line.

Ultimately, the journey ended where it began — in a quiet mountain valley at dusk, all by myself. There was no hero's homecoming welcome, no maiden waiting for me at the finish. But it didn't matter. I felt divine.

The next Odyssey One-Day Adventure Race is June 24-25. For more information, visit Odyssey's website at www.beastoftheeast.com.??


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''The next Odyssey One-Day Adventure Race is June 24-25. For more information, visit Odyssey's website at www.beastoftheeast.com.''??


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I splashed across creeks and scrambled up switchbacks in the rain, desperately trying to keep up with the lead pack. Finally, around two in the morning, their headlamps disappeared behind the ridge and I found myself all alone in the woods. Animal eyes suddenly were glowing all around me. I heard a very, very large creature bolt through the underbrush and I just barely missed stepping on a snake stretched across the trail.

To pass the long, lonely hours in the dark, I began humming tunes out loud. The Muses must have been offended by my off-key offerings, because it started to rain even harder. My maps looked more like papier-mâché, but I was able to piece them together and bushwhack my way to the bike transition checkpoint.

For the next hour, I pedaled through a gauzy, gray fog to the top of Virginia's tallest mountain, then hydroplaned down the other side. The rest of the bike course was on rocky, muddy forest trails. Without a compass, I got lost several times, and at one point, wandered completely off the map. But the rain finally had stopped and stars were blushing through the clouds. I found the Little Dipper and used its North Star handle to orient me back on course.

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Suddenly, a 40-knot wind began blowing over the water. Aeolus, keeper of the winds, had teamed up with the river gods to punish me for my presumption. Squalls of white-capped water pounded my canoe and eventually pinned it against a rock. The canoe tipped and dumptrucked me into the cold river.

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I knew I was in bad shape. My whole body was shivering uncontrollably and I couldn't feel my feet. I had lost all of my food and my emergency radio in the spill. My clothes were drenched and beginning to freeze in the cold wind. My epic adventure had become a tragedy. I had to do something quick.

So I paddled ashore and started a smoldering fire to warm myself and dry my clothes. Like shipwrecked Odysseus, I felt helpless and homesick. For the first time, I thought about quitting. I could blame it on the wind and weather, of course. It was just bad luck. I rationalized it over and over in my head until quitting made perfect sense.

But during that long hour of drying out, I pictured myself standing again at the starting line, alone and unsheltered in the rain. I had come a long way, without any help from the gods. And it suddenly occurred to me that maybe I was more than fate's puppet. Maybe I could make my own luck.

I got back on my feet. My stomach had knotted up, my quads were quivering and my hands and feet were cramped, but even worse than pain was the thought of failure. I was going to finish. I owed it to that scared, shivering kid at the starting line.

Once I stopped whining about fate and started doing something about it, everything seemed to go my way. I glided downriver, climbed a steep granite wall and biked another 30 miles to the finish line.

Ultimately, the journey ended where it began — in a quiet mountain valley at dusk, all by myself. There was no hero's homecoming welcome, no maiden waiting for me at the finish. But it didn't matter. I felt divine.

The next Odyssey One-Day Adventure Race is June 24-25. For more information, visit Odyssey's website at www.beastoftheeast.com.??


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  string(4988) "I have been thinking a lot about the psychological value of animals to human beings lately. Partly, it's because I live a few blocks from Zoo Atlanta. Sometimes I take clients to the zoo and ask them just to pick an animal and pay attention to it, to describe to me every detail of its appearance and behavior, as if I was blind.  As they articulate the details of the animal, they are inevitably shocked to find themselves in the presence of another being — a kind of being for whom everything is on the surface. That's the thing about animals, as James Hillman notes: All their depth is right on the surface in the way they display themselves. But they are also very shy and tend to hide themselves. In that, they are very much like the parts of ourselves we don't accept. Our "complexes" are always out front despite our efforts to hide them. When we start playing with them, treating them with some respect, they begin to behave differently

I think all animals remind us of the unseen beauty that is waiting to erupt in our lives if we give it sufficient invitation and patience.

A month or so ago, I had the idea to place a bird feeder in the narrow strip of wooded area outside my library window. My computer faces the window and I thought it would be interesting to watch the birds when I tired of writing. It will be no shock to veterans of this practice, but I was outraged that the feeder was immediately overtaken by squirrels. For hours every day, while the birds sat on a fence and watched forlornly, the squirrels engorged themselves at the feeder. Two — Porky and Petunia, as I named them —  became acrobats, hanging upside down, even swatting at blue jays that dive-bombed them. My cat Mr. Mew sat on my library table, often with a paw on the window, his claws fully exposed in the apparent hope that a creature would magically come through the window into his grasp.

In the very brief interludes when Porky and Petunia were too sated to eat more, the feeder attracted gorgeous cardinals, blue jays, and the mother from a nearby nest of brown thrashers.

I returned to the store where I bought the feeder. Unless I could set the feeder in the middle of a space about the size of a football field and put shields on the top and bottom, I was stuck with the squirrels, I was told. An alternative was to buy, for nearly $100, a special "squirrel-proof" mechanical feeder. When the squirrels put their weight on the perch, the feeder closes. Cool!

I installed the new feeder and, indeed, Porky and Petunia went mad with frustration. They repeatedly tried to break into the feeder, repeatedly losing their balance and repeatedly falling to the ground. "Strike!" I'd scream, leaping from my chair, with every failure.

I'm sure you can guess what happened. I looked up two days later and saw one of the squirrels eerily wrapped about the feeder. With one paw, he was bouncing the perch up and down and, as it went up, he'd insert a foot and grab a seed or throw some to the ground.

I was reminded I could adjust the feeder, making it even more sensitive. I did. In fact, the squirrels seemed quite discouraged. But the adjustment made it hard for large birds, like the blue jays, to feed. I tinkered some more and got it to a position that the squirrels had to work very hard to get a single seed. The birds began to spend more time than the squirrels at the feeder.

Then, one day last week as I was writing, I looked up and saw what I thought was a very large cat lumbering about the base of the feeder. It turned, reared back on its hind legs and stared directly into the window. It was a huge raccoon. While the squirrels watched from nearby branches, the raccoon climbed onto the fence, stood up, stretched over to the bird feeder and, putting a paw in just the right position, began feasting. I banged on the window. He hopped down, came closer and astonished me by stretching over to the window for a close look at me. We do this daily now. Moreover, the birds now often fly over to the burglar bars on the window and tap on the glass. One of the squirrels does the same thing.

I'm sure the irony is clear to you. I, not them, am behind bars. They are coming to the window to look at me as much as I watch them. This reversal astonishes me! Of course, I have given up the battle against the squirrels. I figure if I banish the raccoon, a skunk will appear. Perhaps an elephant will escape the zoo and take to stealing sunflower seeds from me and then putting his trunk through my window! The world really does call our animal hearts to engagement at all times.

Do yourself a favor. Join Zoo Atlanta (404-624-5600) or the Atlanta Humane Society (404-875-5331). At the least, install a bird feeder. Canine Showcase and Wild Bird at Ansley Mall (404-875-0611) has the best selection in town.

Cliff Bostock, M.A., is a doctoral candidate in depth psychology in private practice. Contact him at 404-525-4774 or at his website, www.soulworks.net.??


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I think all animals remind us of the unseen beauty that is waiting to erupt in our lives if we give it sufficient invitation and patience.

A month or so ago, I had the idea to place a bird feeder in the narrow strip of wooded area outside my library window. My computer faces the window and I thought it would be interesting to watch the birds when I tired of writing. It will be no shock to veterans of this practice, but I was outraged that the feeder was immediately overtaken by squirrels. For hours every day, while the birds sat on a fence and watched forlornly, the squirrels engorged themselves at the feeder. Two -- Porky and Petunia, as I named them --  became acrobats, hanging upside down, even swatting at blue jays that dive-bombed them. My cat Mr. Mew sat on my library table, often with a paw on the window, his claws fully exposed in the apparent hope that a creature would magically come through the window into his grasp.

In the very brief interludes when Porky and Petunia were too sated to eat more, the feeder attracted gorgeous cardinals, blue jays, and the mother from a nearby nest of brown thrashers.

I returned to the store where I bought the feeder. Unless I could set the feeder in the middle of a space about the size of a football field and put shields on the top and bottom, I was stuck with the squirrels, I was told. An alternative was to buy, for nearly $100, a special "squirrel-proof" mechanical feeder. When the squirrels put their weight on the perch, the feeder closes. Cool!

I installed the new feeder and, indeed, Porky and Petunia went mad with frustration. They repeatedly tried to break into the feeder, repeatedly losing their balance and repeatedly falling to the ground. "Strike!" I'd scream, leaping from my chair, with every failure.

I'm sure you can guess what happened. I looked up two days later and saw one of the squirrels eerily wrapped about the feeder. With one paw, he was bouncing the perch up and down and, as it went up, he'd insert a foot and grab a seed or throw some to the ground.

I was reminded I could adjust the feeder, making it even more sensitive. I did. In fact, the squirrels seemed quite discouraged. But the adjustment made it hard for large birds, like the blue jays, to feed. I tinkered some more and got it to a position that the squirrels had to work ''very'' hard to get a single seed. The birds began to spend more time than the squirrels at the feeder.

Then, one day last week as I was writing, I looked up and saw what I thought was a very large cat lumbering about the base of the feeder. It turned, reared back on its hind legs and stared directly into the window. It was a huge raccoon. While the squirrels watched from nearby branches, the raccoon climbed onto the fence, stood up, stretched over to the bird feeder and, putting a paw in just the right position, began feasting. I banged on the window. He hopped down, came closer and astonished me by stretching over to the window for a close look at me. We do this daily now. Moreover, the birds now often fly over to the burglar bars on the window and tap on the glass. One of the squirrels does the same thing.

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Do yourself a favor. Join Zoo Atlanta (404-624-5600) or the Atlanta Humane Society (404-875-5331). At the least, install a bird feeder. Canine Showcase and Wild Bird at Ansley Mall (404-875-0611) has the best selection in town.

''Cliff Bostock, M.A., is a doctoral candidate in depth psychology in private practice. Contact him at 404-525-4774 or at his website, www.soulworks.net.''??


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I returned to the store where I bought the feeder. Unless I could set the feeder in the middle of a space about the size of a football field and put shields on the top and bottom, I was stuck with the squirrels, I was told. An alternative was to buy, for nearly $100, a special "squirrel-proof" mechanical feeder. When the squirrels put their weight on the perch, the feeder closes. Cool!

I installed the new feeder and, indeed, Porky and Petunia went mad with frustration. They repeatedly tried to break into the feeder, repeatedly losing their balance and repeatedly falling to the ground. "Strike!" I'd scream, leaping from my chair, with every failure.

I'm sure you can guess what happened. I looked up two days later and saw one of the squirrels eerily wrapped about the feeder. With one paw, he was bouncing the perch up and down and, as it went up, he'd insert a foot and grab a seed or throw some to the ground.

I was reminded I could adjust the feeder, making it even more sensitive. I did. In fact, the squirrels seemed quite discouraged. But the adjustment made it hard for large birds, like the blue jays, to feed. I tinkered some more and got it to a position that the squirrels had to work very hard to get a single seed. The birds began to spend more time than the squirrels at the feeder.

Then, one day last week as I was writing, I looked up and saw what I thought was a very large cat lumbering about the base of the feeder. It turned, reared back on its hind legs and stared directly into the window. It was a huge raccoon. While the squirrels watched from nearby branches, the raccoon climbed onto the fence, stood up, stretched over to the bird feeder and, putting a paw in just the right position, began feasting. I banged on the window. He hopped down, came closer and astonished me by stretching over to the window for a close look at me. We do this daily now. Moreover, the birds now often fly over to the burglar bars on the window and tap on the glass. One of the squirrels does the same thing.

I'm sure the irony is clear to you. I, not them, am behind bars. They are coming to the window to look at me as much as I watch them. This reversal astonishes me! Of course, I have given up the battle against the squirrels. I figure if I banish the raccoon, a skunk will appear. Perhaps an elephant will escape the zoo and take to stealing sunflower seeds from me and then putting his trunk through my window! The world really does call our animal hearts to engagement at all times.

Do yourself a favor. Join Zoo Atlanta (404-624-5600) or the Atlanta Humane Society (404-875-5331). At the least, install a bird feeder. Canine Showcase and Wild Bird at Ansley Mall (404-875-0611) has the best selection in town.

Cliff Bostock, M.A., is a doctoral candidate in depth psychology in private practice. Contact him at 404-525-4774 or at his website, www.soulworks.net.??


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Saturday July 1, 2000 12:04 am EDT
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  string(8202) "ARIES (March 21-April 19): Whenever I psychically tune into your imminent fate, I get visions of you taking champagne baths, playing tag in fountains and making love near waterfalls. With my watery Cancerian nature, I interpret this to be a very appealing prophecy of giddy, fizzy adventures in intimacy. But I'm wondering if you, with your addiction to playing with fire, will be dazzled at all by these moist thrills. I hope so. Here's one good omen to report: This morning I dreamed of Rosie O'Donnell and Spike Lee, both of whom are Aries, blowing bubbles in a hot tub as a nearby choir sang "Take Me to the River."TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I appreciate the subtlety and care with which you've been trying to convey your increasingly insistent message. Sad to say, however, you're just not being met with the receptivity you deserve. It's time, therefore, to summon more high-impact modes of communication. How about squalling a homemade manifesto through a bullhorn or Fed-Exing a half-burnt $20 bill covered with poetic demands? Better yet, put your face right in the faces of your target audience and speak the bald truth without a trace of anger.GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I mischievously considered sending you white gloves and juicy strawberries for your birthday, but decided it might aggravate your feeling that life has been one big tease lately. Instead, here are the gifts I promise to try to deliver (or at least predict) during the rest of 2000: Growing pains that feel pretty good; disposal of the psychic garbage left over from 1995-1999; advice that inspires you to develop a greater receptivity to help, rewards, and invisible means of support; lessons in the difference between oppressive self-control and liberating self-control; and the luck and skill you'll need to ensure that love triumphs over infatuation.CANCER (June 21-July 22): Personally, I'm glad I didn't end up spending my adult life in the neighborhood I grew up in. Some folks thrive on that version of long-term community, but it would have been stifling to me. I'd hate trying to keep evolving while straitjacketed by the expectations of people who thought I would and should always remain the person I was when I was younger. You might be different from me, though, Cancerian. Maybe you're more likely to shine when you're in close contact with an extended tribe you've known forever. If so, this is an excellent moment to work hard on building a more family feeling. If not, it's prime time to run away from home and start the next chapter in your life story.LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): "Companies have three options," says biz wiz Louise Biggs. "They can either ignore change, be in constant struggle about change, or learn how to thrive and prosper in change." Businesses that fail, she adds, often do so because they've refused to change or changed at the wrong time. I believe this advice is equally applicable to individuals - especially to Leo individuals in the coming weeks. In the near future, you will have ripe opportunities to mutate and transform with poignant grace. Please don't refuse these soul-stirring invitations.VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Never before, Virgo, have you reminded me of a hawk - an elegant pheasant or busy hummingbird, yes, but never a powerful hunter like the hawk. And yet, that's exactly what you resemble now. Maybe for the first time ever, you're primed to act more like a predator than prey. You're ready to go on the offensive, scouring large expanses for juicy tidbits. As you journey far and wide in search of the exact nourishment you need, I urge you to learn from the hawk's approach to travel. Rather than flapping its wings relentlessly, it often hitchhikes on thermals - warm updrafts created as the sun heats the earth's surface at midday. Riding one of these windy spirals to high altitudes, the hawk then soars free of it and glides slowly downward for miles until it finds another thermal.LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): "Dear Dr. Brezsny: What am I going to do this summer? Will I have fun? Will I meet anyone nice? Will my life be forever changed for the better?" - Curious Libra in Nashville. Dear Curious: I predict that this summer you will make a pilgrimage to a holy wasteland, where you will pluck a magic weed at the exact moment a thunderclap booms. You will then place a shred of the weed under your tongue, whereupon you will feel an irresistible urge to memorize and act out Emily Dickenson's poem, "Soul at the White Heat."SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): To celebrate the grand re-opening of your direct hotline to God, I'll tell you about two ideas that might come in handy. First, there's philosopher Robert Anton Wilson's notion that what this planet really needs is six billion religions - in other words, a unique spiritual path for each seeker. Secondly, there's the democratic approach to spirituality cultivated by the Gnostics of the first few centuries A.D. They believed that every devotee was potentially a visionary who could experience epiphanies worthy of becoming part of the ever-evolving Gnostic doctrine. I hope these help inspire you to reach new heights of intensity in your conversations with the Divine Wow, Scorpio. More than ever, you don't need any priest, rabbi, guru, lama or imam to serve as middleman.SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): You're delectable! You're radiant! Your pheromones are as similar to those of a sexual champion as they will ever be. If you're single and don't want to be, the cosmos is conspiring for you to meet your match. To prep you for action, let's review a few flirtation techniques. The lip-lick and the eyebrow flash are great icebreakers, as is tilting your neck sideways. Once the conversation begins, patting your clothes or smoothing your hair is sure to send signals straight to your target's libido. And of course, nothing beats fondling a nearby object like a wineglass. Oh, by the way ... if you're happily mated, the above still applies. Use your ripeness not to win a new paramour, but to seduce your old familiar into a deeper level of intimacy.CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): "The psychic health of an individual resides in the capacity to recognize and welcome the 'Other,'" writes poet and translator Rosanna Warren in The Art of Translation. "Our word 'idiot' comes from the Greek idiotes ... whose primary sense is of privacy ... isolation." With this warning, Warren builds her case for the virtues of reading literature that has been translated from its native tongue. Her point could also be applied to the value of encountering people that are utterly different from you and of going places that are outside of your comfort zone. These exercises will be especially healthy for you in the weeks to come, Capricorn. I urge you to cultivate an eagerness for what is foreign, even alien, and almost untranslatable.AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): "The doors to heaven and hell are adjacent and identical," novelist Nikos Kazantzakis wrote, "both green, both beautiful." After extensive meditation, I decided that while this thought might be good for you to contemplate right now, it's only partially true. Here are some additional clues for you to consider as you decide which door to slip through in the coming weeks. First of all, the door to heaven is harder to open, and so you may be tempted to go with the other choice simply because it's less taxing. Secondly, the beauty of hell's door is cheaper and less enduring - look closely and you can see the paint chipping away and a subtle lack of impeccability in the craftsmanship.PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): I'm sure you'd be hard-pressed to say anything positive about the emotional traumas you've endured in the course of your life. Wounds are very bad things, right? Normally, I'd agree, but not now. These days, losses that occurred long ago may have a tonic effect on you. Ancient griefs are ripening into useful wisdom. The broken heart you suffered way back when could be the X-factor that rouses you to stake a claim to fierce, fresh love.Where will you be at the exact moment the June 20 solstice occurs? What images will be swimming in your mind's eye? I suggest you imprint yourself with the very best environment and thoughts.??


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How about squalling a homemade manifesto through a bullhorn or Fed-Exing a half-burnt $20 bill covered with poetic demands? Better yet, put your face right in the faces of your target audience and speak the bald truth without a trace of anger.%%%%%%__GEMINI (May 21-June 20):__ I mischievously considered sending you white gloves and juicy strawberries for your birthday, but decided it might aggravate your feeling that life has been one big tease lately. Instead, here are the gifts I promise to try to deliver (or at least predict) during the rest of 2000: Growing pains that feel pretty good; disposal of the psychic garbage left over from 1995-1999; advice that inspires you to develop a greater receptivity to help, rewards, and invisible means of support; lessons in the difference between oppressive self-control and liberating self-control; and the luck and skill you'll need to ensure that love triumphs over infatuation.%%%%%%__CANCER (June 21-July 22):__ Personally, I'm glad I didn't end up spending my adult life in the neighborhood I grew up in. Some folks thrive on that version of long-term community, but it would have been stifling to me. I'd hate trying to keep evolving while straitjacketed by the expectations of people who thought I would and should always remain the person I was when I was younger. You might be different from me, though, Cancerian. 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They believed that every devotee was potentially a visionary who could experience epiphanies worthy of becoming part of the ever-evolving Gnostic doctrine. I hope these help inspire you to reach new heights of intensity in your conversations with the Divine Wow, Scorpio. More than ever, you don't need any priest, rabbi, guru, lama or imam to serve as middleman.%%%%%%__SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):__ You're delectable! You're radiant! Your pheromones are as similar to those of a sexual champion as they will ever be. If you're single and don't want to be, the cosmos is conspiring for you to meet your match. To prep you for action, let's review a few flirtation techniques. The lip-lick and the eyebrow flash are great icebreakers, as is tilting your neck sideways. Once the conversation begins, patting your clothes or smoothing your hair is sure to send signals straight to your target's libido. And of course, nothing beats fondling a nearby object like a wineglass. Oh, by the way ... if you're happily mated, the above still applies. Use your ripeness not to win a new paramour, but to seduce your old familiar into a deeper level of intimacy.%%%%%%__CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):__ "The psychic health of an individual resides in the capacity to recognize and welcome the 'Other,'" writes poet and translator Rosanna Warren in ''The Art of Translation''. "Our word 'idiot' comes from the Greek [[idiotes] ... whose primary sense is of privacy ... isolation." With this warning, Warren builds her case for the virtues of reading literature that has been translated from its native tongue. Her point could also be applied to the value of encountering people that are utterly different from you and of going places that are outside of your comfort zone. These exercises will be especially healthy for you in the weeks to come, Capricorn. I urge you to cultivate an eagerness for what is foreign, even alien, and almost untranslatable.%%%%%%__AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):__ "The doors to heaven and hell are adjacent and identical," novelist Nikos Kazantzakis wrote, "both green, both beautiful." After extensive meditation, I decided that while this thought might be good for you to contemplate right now, it's only partially true. Here are some additional clues for you to consider as you decide which door to slip through in the coming weeks. First of all, the door to heaven is harder to open, and so you may be tempted to go with the other choice simply because it's less taxing. Secondly, the beauty of hell's door is cheaper and less enduring - look closely and you can see the paint chipping away and a subtle lack of impeccability in the craftsmanship.%%%%%%__PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20):__ I'm sure you'd be hard-pressed to say anything positive about the emotional traumas you've endured in the course of your life. Wounds are very bad things, right? Normally, I'd agree, but not now. These days, losses that occurred long ago may have a tonic effect on you. Ancient griefs are ripening into useful wisdom. The broken heart you suffered way back when could be the X-factor that rouses you to stake a claim to fierce, fresh love.%%%%%%''Where will you be at the exact moment the June 20 solstice occurs? What images will be swimming in your mind's eye? I suggest you imprint yourself with the very best environment and thoughts.''??


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  string(8435) "    June 15-21   2000-06-17T04:04:00+00:00 Talk of the Town - free will astrology June 17 2000     2000-06-17T04:04:00+00:00  ARIES (March 21-April 19): Whenever I psychically tune into your imminent fate, I get visions of you taking champagne baths, playing tag in fountains and making love near waterfalls. With my watery Cancerian nature, I interpret this to be a very appealing prophecy of giddy, fizzy adventures in intimacy. But I'm wondering if you, with your addiction to playing with fire, will be dazzled at all by these moist thrills. I hope so. Here's one good omen to report: This morning I dreamed of Rosie O'Donnell and Spike Lee, both of whom are Aries, blowing bubbles in a hot tub as a nearby choir sang "Take Me to the River."TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I appreciate the subtlety and care with which you've been trying to convey your increasingly insistent message. Sad to say, however, you're just not being met with the receptivity you deserve. It's time, therefore, to summon more high-impact modes of communication. How about squalling a homemade manifesto through a bullhorn or Fed-Exing a half-burnt $20 bill covered with poetic demands? Better yet, put your face right in the faces of your target audience and speak the bald truth without a trace of anger.GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I mischievously considered sending you white gloves and juicy strawberries for your birthday, but decided it might aggravate your feeling that life has been one big tease lately. Instead, here are the gifts I promise to try to deliver (or at least predict) during the rest of 2000: Growing pains that feel pretty good; disposal of the psychic garbage left over from 1995-1999; advice that inspires you to develop a greater receptivity to help, rewards, and invisible means of support; lessons in the difference between oppressive self-control and liberating self-control; and the luck and skill you'll need to ensure that love triumphs over infatuation.CANCER (June 21-July 22): Personally, I'm glad I didn't end up spending my adult life in the neighborhood I grew up in. Some folks thrive on that version of long-term community, but it would have been stifling to me. I'd hate trying to keep evolving while straitjacketed by the expectations of people who thought I would and should always remain the person I was when I was younger. You might be different from me, though, Cancerian. Maybe you're more likely to shine when you're in close contact with an extended tribe you've known forever. If so, this is an excellent moment to work hard on building a more family feeling. If not, it's prime time to run away from home and start the next chapter in your life story.LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): "Companies have three options," says biz wiz Louise Biggs. "They can either ignore change, be in constant struggle about change, or learn how to thrive and prosper in change." Businesses that fail, she adds, often do so because they've refused to change or changed at the wrong time. I believe this advice is equally applicable to individuals - especially to Leo individuals in the coming weeks. In the near future, you will have ripe opportunities to mutate and transform with poignant grace. Please don't refuse these soul-stirring invitations.VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Never before, Virgo, have you reminded me of a hawk - an elegant pheasant or busy hummingbird, yes, but never a powerful hunter like the hawk. And yet, that's exactly what you resemble now. Maybe for the first time ever, you're primed to act more like a predator than prey. You're ready to go on the offensive, scouring large expanses for juicy tidbits. As you journey far and wide in search of the exact nourishment you need, I urge you to learn from the hawk's approach to travel. Rather than flapping its wings relentlessly, it often hitchhikes on thermals - warm updrafts created as the sun heats the earth's surface at midday. Riding one of these windy spirals to high altitudes, the hawk then soars free of it and glides slowly downward for miles until it finds another thermal.LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): "Dear Dr. Brezsny: What am I going to do this summer? Will I have fun? Will I meet anyone nice? Will my life be forever changed for the better?" - Curious Libra in Nashville. Dear Curious: I predict that this summer you will make a pilgrimage to a holy wasteland, where you will pluck a magic weed at the exact moment a thunderclap booms. You will then place a shred of the weed under your tongue, whereupon you will feel an irresistible urge to memorize and act out Emily Dickenson's poem, "Soul at the White Heat."SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): To celebrate the grand re-opening of your direct hotline to God, I'll tell you about two ideas that might come in handy. First, there's philosopher Robert Anton Wilson's notion that what this planet really needs is six billion religions - in other words, a unique spiritual path for each seeker. Secondly, there's the democratic approach to spirituality cultivated by the Gnostics of the first few centuries A.D. They believed that every devotee was potentially a visionary who could experience epiphanies worthy of becoming part of the ever-evolving Gnostic doctrine. I hope these help inspire you to reach new heights of intensity in your conversations with the Divine Wow, Scorpio. More than ever, you don't need any priest, rabbi, guru, lama or imam to serve as middleman.SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): You're delectable! You're radiant! Your pheromones are as similar to those of a sexual champion as they will ever be. If you're single and don't want to be, the cosmos is conspiring for you to meet your match. To prep you for action, let's review a few flirtation techniques. The lip-lick and the eyebrow flash are great icebreakers, as is tilting your neck sideways. Once the conversation begins, patting your clothes or smoothing your hair is sure to send signals straight to your target's libido. And of course, nothing beats fondling a nearby object like a wineglass. Oh, by the way ... if you're happily mated, the above still applies. Use your ripeness not to win a new paramour, but to seduce your old familiar into a deeper level of intimacy.CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): "The psychic health of an individual resides in the capacity to recognize and welcome the 'Other,'" writes poet and translator Rosanna Warren in The Art of Translation. "Our word 'idiot' comes from the Greek idiotes ... whose primary sense is of privacy ... isolation." With this warning, Warren builds her case for the virtues of reading literature that has been translated from its native tongue. Her point could also be applied to the value of encountering people that are utterly different from you and of going places that are outside of your comfort zone. These exercises will be especially healthy for you in the weeks to come, Capricorn. I urge you to cultivate an eagerness for what is foreign, even alien, and almost untranslatable.AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): "The doors to heaven and hell are adjacent and identical," novelist Nikos Kazantzakis wrote, "both green, both beautiful." After extensive meditation, I decided that while this thought might be good for you to contemplate right now, it's only partially true. Here are some additional clues for you to consider as you decide which door to slip through in the coming weeks. First of all, the door to heaven is harder to open, and so you may be tempted to go with the other choice simply because it's less taxing. Secondly, the beauty of hell's door is cheaper and less enduring - look closely and you can see the paint chipping away and a subtle lack of impeccability in the craftsmanship.PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): I'm sure you'd be hard-pressed to say anything positive about the emotional traumas you've endured in the course of your life. Wounds are very bad things, right? Normally, I'd agree, but not now. These days, losses that occurred long ago may have a tonic effect on you. Ancient griefs are ripening into useful wisdom. The broken heart you suffered way back when could be the X-factor that rouses you to stake a claim to fierce, fresh love.Where will you be at the exact moment the June 20 solstice occurs? What images will be swimming in your mind's eye? I suggest you imprint yourself with the very best environment and thoughts.??


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Saturday June 17, 2000 12:04 am EDT
June 15-21 | more...

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With Ray Lewis  off the hook, leave it to John Rocker to stir up trouble again. Rocker proved his mettle last week by attacking Sports Illustrated's Jeff Pearlman, one of the nicest writers around. Rocker then confounded observers by going on 96 Rock's "The Regular Guys" to announce that he's considering stockbroking.

The more I thought about Rocker's ambitions, the more I realized he could be on to something. Is Rocker's baseball talent so flighty because he's actually cut out for something else? I asked Christopher Renaldo, president of Atlanta-based GM Systems Consulting, a job placement firm, if Rocker could be better suited for another profession.

"I think the obvious post-closer career for John Rocker is politics," Renaldo says. "His message would have a broad appeal to all Americans. He should consider throwing his hat in the New York Senate race, where he could run as a co-dependent."

Despite all the jokes he's given us, Rocker is an admitted bigot and just a plain old nasty guy, who also happens to possess terrible judgment. His teammates are sick of him (Brian Jordan referred to Rocker as a "cancer" last week). Yet there he is, still wearing the word "Braves" across his chest. In a few weeks, he'll probably be back at Turner Field, sprinting around and making an ass of himself while thousands of people cheer him on. For the first time in my life, I'm ashamed to be from Atlanta.

Moving on: Jeff Dickerson, former columnist and editorial board member at the Atlanta Journal, is leaving the afternoon daily. "It's true," confirms Dickerson, "I'm finally going to put my money where my mouth is and try my hand at entrepeneurship, having written about the need for minority entrepeneurship for these many years."

Dickerson says he will be partnering with Betsey Weltner, a state Capitol insider who also happens to be the daughter of Charles Weltner, the late former chief justice of the state Supreme Court.

Boo hoo: In related news, former Atlanta Citymag editor Isabel Gonzalez has accepted a senior editor position with Teen People, a job that will move her to New York starting in July. "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity," says Gonzalez, "and I can't wait to play in the big leagues."

Pity the Foo: Before the Foo Fighters' show last Wednesday, June 7, at Lakewood, Dave Grohl and the boys stopped by the Best Buy in Roswell for an acoustic performance. 99X's Leslie Framm took the stage to welcome the band, though Grohl introduced her as "my sister, um, Lisa." The band then tore through covers, including "Sweet Home Alabama" and Rush's "Tom Sawyer."

A couple of thousand bleached and pierced teens erupted after each cover. "That's all we do at home, just sit around and rip-off songs by people like Eddie Money," Grohl told the audience. "And you guys don't even notice!" Maybe they will now.

This and that: We hear TLC's Rozonda "Chili" Thomas was in Fusebox on Saturday night sporting a 15-carat diamond on her finger. ... Horizon Pacific Homes owner Peter Spirer surprised his wife, Becky, with a party at his store June 7. In attendance were CNN producer Kimberly Babbit, record industry promoter Ron Herbert, former Deux Plex owner Beatrice Spathe and philanthropist Sara Schlesinger. Upon arrival, Becky's jaw dropped; she turned and ran. Surfacing later, she thanked everyone for coming out to her "28th birthday party." ... Hawks' center Dikembe Mutumbo has been chosen one of America's "Points of Light," the highest honor for volunteer work in America. Mutumbo, who is attempting to raise over $40 million dollars to build a hospital in his native Congo, will be visiting Washington to receive the award from President Clinton. ... In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Don Keenan's Midtown law firm has acquired the original artist's proof of Norman Rockwell's "The Problem We All Live With." ... I'm out. 

What's up, Atlanta? Hit me up at 404-688-5623 or lang@creativeloafing.com.??


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With __Ray Lewis__  off the hook, leave it to __John Rocker__ to stir up trouble again. Rocker proved his mettle last week by attacking ''Sports Illustrated'''s __Jeff Pearlman__, one of the nicest writers around. Rocker then confounded observers by going on 96 Rock's "The Regular Guys" to announce that he's considering stockbroking.

The more I thought about Rocker's ambitions, the more I realized he could be on to something. Is Rocker's baseball talent so flighty because he's actually cut out for something else? I asked __Christopher Renaldo__, president of Atlanta-based GM Systems Consulting, a job placement firm, if Rocker could be better suited for another profession.

"I think the obvious post-closer career for John Rocker is politics," Renaldo says. "His message would have a broad appeal to all Americans. He should consider throwing his hat in the New York Senate race, where he could run as a co-dependent."

Despite all the jokes he's given us, Rocker is an admitted bigot and just a plain old nasty guy, who also happens to possess terrible judgment. His teammates are sick of him (__Brian Jordan__ referred to Rocker as a "cancer" last week). Yet there he is, still wearing the word "Braves" across his chest. In a few weeks, he'll probably be back at Turner Field, sprinting around and making an ass of himself while thousands of people cheer him on. For the first time in my life, I'm ashamed to be from Atlanta.

__''Moving on:''__ __Jeff Dickerson__, former columnist and editorial board member at the ''Atlanta Journal'', is leaving the afternoon daily. "It's true," confirms Dickerson, "I'm finally going to put my money where my mouth is and try my hand at entrepeneurship, having written about the need for minority entrepeneurship for these many years."

Dickerson says he will be partnering with __Betsey Weltner__, a state Capitol insider who also happens to be the daughter of __Charles Weltner__, the late former chief justice of the state Supreme Court.

__''Boo hoo:''__ In related news, former ''Atlanta Citymag'' editor __Isabel Gonzalez__ has accepted a senior editor position with ''Teen People'', a job that will move her to New York starting in July. "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity," says Gonzalez, "and I can't wait to play in the big leagues."

__''Pity the Foo:''__ Before the Foo Fighters' show last Wednesday, June 7, at Lakewood, __Dave Grohl__ and the boys stopped by the Best Buy in Roswell for an acoustic performance. 99X's __Leslie Framm__ took the stage to welcome the band, though Grohl introduced her as "my sister, um, Lisa." The band then tore through covers, including "Sweet Home Alabama" and Rush's "Tom Sawyer."

A couple of thousand bleached and pierced teens erupted after each cover. "That's all we do at home, just sit around and rip-off songs by people like Eddie Money," Grohl told the audience. "And you guys don't even notice!" Maybe they will now.

__''This and that:''__ We hear TLC's __Rozonda "Chili" Thomas__ was in Fusebox on Saturday night sporting a 15-carat diamond on her finger. ... Horizon Pacific Homes owner __Peter Spirer__ surprised his wife, Becky, with a party at his store June 7. In attendance were CNN producer __Kimberly Babbit__, record industry promoter __Ron Herbert__, former Deux Plex owner __Beatrice Spathe__ and philanthropist __Sara Schlesinger__. Upon arrival, Becky's jaw dropped; she turned and ran. Surfacing later, she thanked everyone for coming out to her "28th birthday party." ... Hawks' center __Dikembe Mutumbo__ has been chosen one of America's "Points of Light," the highest honor for volunteer work in America. Mutumbo, who is attempting to raise over $40 million dollars to build a hospital in his native Congo, will be visiting Washington to receive the award from President Clinton. ... In celebration of its 25th anniversary, __Don Keenan__'s Midtown law firm has acquired the original artist's proof of Norman Rockwell's "The Problem We All Live With." ... I'm out. 

What's up, Atlanta? Hit me up at 404-688-5623 or [mailto:lang@creativeloafing.com|lang@creativeloafing.com].??


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  string(4193) "    From the Lip   2000-06-17T04:04:00+00:00 Talk of the Town (2) - June 17 2000   Lang Whitaker 1223537 2000-06-17T04:04:00+00:00  from the lip

With Ray Lewis  off the hook, leave it to John Rocker to stir up trouble again. Rocker proved his mettle last week by attacking Sports Illustrated's Jeff Pearlman, one of the nicest writers around. Rocker then confounded observers by going on 96 Rock's "The Regular Guys" to announce that he's considering stockbroking.

The more I thought about Rocker's ambitions, the more I realized he could be on to something. Is Rocker's baseball talent so flighty because he's actually cut out for something else? I asked Christopher Renaldo, president of Atlanta-based GM Systems Consulting, a job placement firm, if Rocker could be better suited for another profession.

"I think the obvious post-closer career for John Rocker is politics," Renaldo says. "His message would have a broad appeal to all Americans. He should consider throwing his hat in the New York Senate race, where he could run as a co-dependent."

Despite all the jokes he's given us, Rocker is an admitted bigot and just a plain old nasty guy, who also happens to possess terrible judgment. His teammates are sick of him (Brian Jordan referred to Rocker as a "cancer" last week). Yet there he is, still wearing the word "Braves" across his chest. In a few weeks, he'll probably be back at Turner Field, sprinting around and making an ass of himself while thousands of people cheer him on. For the first time in my life, I'm ashamed to be from Atlanta.

Moving on: Jeff Dickerson, former columnist and editorial board member at the Atlanta Journal, is leaving the afternoon daily. "It's true," confirms Dickerson, "I'm finally going to put my money where my mouth is and try my hand at entrepeneurship, having written about the need for minority entrepeneurship for these many years."

Dickerson says he will be partnering with Betsey Weltner, a state Capitol insider who also happens to be the daughter of Charles Weltner, the late former chief justice of the state Supreme Court.

Boo hoo: In related news, former Atlanta Citymag editor Isabel Gonzalez has accepted a senior editor position with Teen People, a job that will move her to New York starting in July. "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity," says Gonzalez, "and I can't wait to play in the big leagues."

Pity the Foo: Before the Foo Fighters' show last Wednesday, June 7, at Lakewood, Dave Grohl and the boys stopped by the Best Buy in Roswell for an acoustic performance. 99X's Leslie Framm took the stage to welcome the band, though Grohl introduced her as "my sister, um, Lisa." The band then tore through covers, including "Sweet Home Alabama" and Rush's "Tom Sawyer."

A couple of thousand bleached and pierced teens erupted after each cover. "That's all we do at home, just sit around and rip-off songs by people like Eddie Money," Grohl told the audience. "And you guys don't even notice!" Maybe they will now.

This and that: We hear TLC's Rozonda "Chili" Thomas was in Fusebox on Saturday night sporting a 15-carat diamond on her finger. ... Horizon Pacific Homes owner Peter Spirer surprised his wife, Becky, with a party at his store June 7. In attendance were CNN producer Kimberly Babbit, record industry promoter Ron Herbert, former Deux Plex owner Beatrice Spathe and philanthropist Sara Schlesinger. Upon arrival, Becky's jaw dropped; she turned and ran. Surfacing later, she thanked everyone for coming out to her "28th birthday party." ... Hawks' center Dikembe Mutumbo has been chosen one of America's "Points of Light," the highest honor for volunteer work in America. Mutumbo, who is attempting to raise over $40 million dollars to build a hospital in his native Congo, will be visiting Washington to receive the award from President Clinton. ... In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Don Keenan's Midtown law firm has acquired the original artist's proof of Norman Rockwell's "The Problem We All Live With." ... I'm out. 

What's up, Atlanta? Hit me up at 404-688-5623 or lang@creativeloafing.com.??


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  string(9355) "Saving my lunch Luke Boggs column "Saving Elian" (CL, June 10) about little Elian Gonzalez made me want to puke. Ronald Reagan this, Ronald Reagan that. Ronald Reagan was a senile old man who was just as good at back-slapping and glad-handing as Bill Clinton. Boggs obviously knows not of what he talks about. Totalitarianism and communism do not have to even be related. Nazi Germany was totalitarian, but not communist. And to say that communism failed because Reagan stood up to them is ludicrous. Communism would have failed no matter what, because eventually the people rise up, just like what happened in the USSR ten years ago. The coup and the ousting of communist power, I suppose those were the works of covert ops by Reagan's CIA? Please, don't make me laugh. Communism failed because it doesn't work not because Ronald Reagan sold arms to Iran to finance a revolution in Central America ... whoa, did I actually say that? Funny how selective memory works, isn't it Luke? Maybe that is why you don't remember Ronald Reagan's embarrassing testimony in front of the Senate all those years ago. Thankfully, there is an explanation for that now: He was senile and really couldn't remember it. What he didn't tell us is that he also didn't remember where the bathrooms in the White House were anymore and had to have poor Nancy take time out of her Say No To Drugs campaign to run his foreign policy. Ronald Reagan was a joke, and the fact that he is remembered differently is a testament to the spin doctors that the Republicans have working for them. They are almost, almost, as good as Bill Clinton's.- Eric Bowman, Stone MountainP.S. About that war all those years ago that you spoke so glowingly of; you ought to have a talk with my aunt who lost her husband defending that country and see if she thinks it was worth the price paid. She might have a little different take than you do. Of course, how old are you anyway? Obviously not old enough to have been worried about having to go to that war.Not such a glowing report I am writing to point out several inaccuracies in the Atlanta CL article "Traveling Nukes Through Georgia" by Nicole Lee in your June 3 edition. The inaccuracies come from mixing information about two separate programs and a lack of understanding about the transportation of nuclear materials.First, the Department of Energy is not shipping commercial spent nuclear fuel anywhere in the United States. Any commercial spent nuclear fuel shipments that have taken place in Georgia have been done by the private reactor operators under the control of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. These shipments are usually from the reactor to their company's storage site.@body: The Department is shipping domestic and foreign research reactor spent nuclear fuel to the Savannah River Site, Aiken, S.C., and the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID. There is an significant difference in fuel size and radioactivity between commercial spent nuclear fuel and research reactor spent nuclear fuel.However, we are not shipping any spent fuel to Yucca Mountain, in Nevada, at this time. In fact, we are in the process of doing an environmental impact study on whether Yucca Mountain can be the repository for commercial spent fuel and other highly radioactive materials. Current schedules show shipments being in about 2010 to 2015 time frame.@body: The shipment taking place this summer is a shipment of foreign research reactor spent nuclear fuel from the United Kingdom going to the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory in Idaho. It is not going to Nevada as reported. This will the second such shipment through Georgia.@body: Ms. Lee reference to transport beginning in 1969 and continuing through 2009 is also incorrect. The program in questions is the Foreign Research Reactor Spent Nuclear Fuel Acceptance program which was renewed in 1996 and will run until 2009. Under this program, U.S.-origin highly enriched uranium was provided to foreign countries for peaceful research with the understanding that the U.S. would take the spent fuel back. We have completed 14 shipments under this program with only one going through Georgia so far.@body: While Ms. Lee did capture my quotes correctly, they where only referring to the research reactor shipments and not any commercial spent fuel shipments.@body: I hope with this information you will see fit to print a correction to the story. If you need more information about the foreign research reactor program, please give me a call. If you want more information on Yucca Mountain and commercial spent nuclear fuel, please call Allen Benson at 702-794-1366 [e-mail: allen_benson@ymp.gov}- James R. Giusti, ???????NOW, it's our turn As the newly elected executive committee of the Georgia National Organization for Women, we are writing to challenge the sexist and incorrect reporting contained in the recent article you published about the change in leadership of Georgia NOW ("NOW's Not the Only 'n' Word," CL, May 27).Your article begins with the false and overheated charge that Georgia NOW was "hijacked by women haters," but fails to note that five of the six state officers chosen by the membership at the May 7 election are women.  As if to further justify this assertion, your reporter then proceeded to quote three men - two of whom do not even hold positions on the state council - leaving the impression they were speaking on behalf of Georgia NOW, when, in fact they were not. The article did quote Goldy Criscuolo, our new state president, but this hardly justifies your reporter's failure to even attempt to contact longtime NOW members and feminists like Liz Flowers and Claudia Schauffler, who were part of the victorious Progressive Slate.Among those NOW members who did vote on behalf of our Progressive Slate were five members of organized labor, two of whom were women. Unfortunately, your reporter neglected to report this, preferring instead to rely on the bigoted, condescending and plainly inaccurate assertions of Tina Trent (who garnered all of two votes in her lackluster candidacy to become Georgia NOW state president).According to Ms. Trent, Georgia NOW was "taken over" with the help of "the unibrowed dregs of organized labor carrying spanking-new NOW membership cards wedged sweatily between their beer-bellies and lifting belts and a gaggle of silk-socked males from the Georgia Equality Project."  While questioning the only two of us (Goldy Criscuolo and Daniel Levitas) whom she did interview, your reporter made no attempt to verify these statements of Ms. Trent, nor did she even grant us the courtesy of responding to them.  Your reporter further dismissed the elitist, intolerant, anti-labor and homophobic prose of Ms. Trent by calling it simply: "colorful language."  So much for journalistic balance and objectivity at Creative Loafing.Your article implies that the victory of the Progressive Slate resulted in the ouster of "longtime NOW officeholders," yet your article does not name or cite any of these people because they do not exist.  In truth, there were only two candidates running for the state council, and neither of them (including Tina Trent) were "longtime officeholders" in Georgia NOW.While the article correctly noted that the overwhelming defeat of Tina Trent stemmed largely from her opposition to hate crime legislation, your reporter mistakenly asserted that Ms. Trent opposed the hate crime bill "because it did not specifically address crimes against women such as rape."   This is untrue.   Ms. Trent stated in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that she would oppose the hate crime bill regardless of whether "activists made a good faith effort to include crimes like rape."  Instead of checking the facts with experts like Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, who authored the hate crime bill inclusive of gender from the start, your reporter took Ms. Trent's bogus assertions as fact.  This is shoddy reporting at best.  Had Creative Loafing taken the time to contact Sen. Fort, your readers would have learned that all the major women's groups in Georgia supported the bill.  @body:Turning finally to the issue of the quote in the article attributed to Joe Criscuolo, we wish to inform the readers of Creative Loafing that Mr. Criscuolo has resigned his post as Action Vice President of the Atlanta Chapter of NOW.  In his letter of resignation, Mr. Criscuolo, who has a life-long record in support of civil rights and progressive causes, explained that it was never his intention to offend or harm anyone, and that his remark was clearly taken out of context.   However, in the interest of ensuring that Georgia NOW is able to maintain its focus on the critical issues that matter - fighting sexism and discrimination; protecting reproductive rights; promoting affirmative action and equal opportunity; challenging violence against women; and combating the radical right - Mr. Criscuolo has resigned his post as Action Vice President with Atlanta NOW.We can only hope that your future reporting on the activities of Georgia NOW will be more accurate, balanced and objective.- Goldy Criscuolo, President; Claudia Schauffler, Vice President/Executive; Liz Flowers, Legislative Coordinator; Lisa Taylor, Recorder/Archivist; Daniel Levitas, Financial Coordinator??


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  string(9528) "Saving my lunch Luke Boggs column "Saving Elian" (''CL, June 10) about little Elian Gonzalez made me want to puke. Ronald Reagan this, Ronald Reagan that. Ronald Reagan was a senile old man who was just as good at back-slapping and glad-handing as Bill Clinton. Boggs obviously knows not of what he talks about. Totalitarianism and communism do not have to even be related. Nazi Germany was totalitarian, but not communist. And to say that communism failed because Reagan stood up to them is ludicrous. Communism would have failed no matter what, because eventually the people rise up, just like what happened in the USSR ten years ago. The coup and the ousting of communist power, I suppose those were the works of covert ops by Reagan's CIA? Please, don't make me laugh. Communism failed because ''it doesn't work not because Ronald Reagan sold arms to Iran to finance a revolution in Central America ... whoa, did I actually say that? Funny how selective memory works, isn't it Luke? Maybe that is why you don't remember Ronald Reagan's embarrassing testimony in front of the Senate all those years ago. Thankfully, there is an explanation for that now: He was senile and ''really'' couldn't remember it. What he didn't tell us is that he also didn't remember where the bathrooms in the White House were anymore and had to have poor Nancy take time out of her Say No To Drugs campaign to run his foreign policy. Ronald Reagan was a joke, and the fact that he is remembered differently is a testament to the spin doctors that the Republicans have working for them. They are almost, ''almost'', as good as Bill Clinton's.%%%%%%- ''Eric Bowman, Stone Mountain''%%%%%%P.S. About that war all those years ago that you spoke so glowingly of; you ought to have a talk with my aunt who lost her husband defending that country and see if she thinks it was worth the price paid. She might have a little different take than you do. Of course, how old are you anyway? Obviously not old enough to have been worried about having to go to that war.%%%%%%Not such a glowing report I am writing to point out several inaccuracies in the Atlanta ''CL'' article "Traveling Nukes Through Georgia" by Nicole Lee in your June 3 edition. The inaccuracies come from mixing information about two separate programs and a lack of understanding about the transportation of nuclear materials.%%%%%%First, the Department of Energy is not shipping commercial spent nuclear fuel anywhere in the United States. Any commercial spent nuclear fuel shipments that have taken place in Georgia have been done by the private reactor operators under the control of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. These shipments are usually from the reactor to their company's storage site.%%%%%%@body: The Department is shipping domestic and foreign research reactor spent nuclear fuel to the Savannah River Site, Aiken, S.C., and the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID. There is an significant difference in fuel size and radioactivity between commercial spent nuclear fuel and research reactor spent nuclear fuel.%%%%%%However, we are not shipping any spent fuel to Yucca Mountain, in Nevada, at this time. In fact, we are in the process of doing an environmental impact study on whether Yucca Mountain can be the repository for commercial spent fuel and other highly radioactive materials. Current schedules show shipments being in about 2010 to 2015 time frame.%%%%%%@body: The shipment taking place this summer is a shipment of foreign research reactor spent nuclear fuel from the United Kingdom going to the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory in Idaho. It is not going to Nevada as reported. This will the second such shipment through Georgia.%%%%%%@body: Ms. Lee reference to transport beginning in 1969 and continuing through 2009 is also incorrect. The program in questions is the Foreign Research Reactor Spent Nuclear Fuel Acceptance program which was renewed in 1996 and will run until 2009. Under this program, U.S.-origin highly enriched uranium was provided to foreign countries for peaceful research with the understanding that the U.S. would take the spent fuel back. We have completed 14 shipments under this program with only one going through Georgia so far.%%%%%%@body: While Ms. Lee did capture my quotes correctly, they where only referring to the research reactor shipments and not any commercial spent fuel shipments.%%%%%%@body: I hope with this information you will see fit to print a correction to the story. If you need more information about the foreign research reactor program, please give me a call. If you want more information on Yucca Mountain and commercial spent nuclear fuel, please call Allen Benson at 702-794-1366 [[e-mail: [mailto:allen_benson@ymp.gov|allen_benson@ymp.gov]}%%%%%%- ''James R. Giusti, ???????''%%%%%%NOW, it's our turn As the newly elected executive committee of the Georgia National Organization for Women, we are writing to challenge the sexist and incorrect reporting contained in the recent article you published about the change in leadership of Georgia NOW ("NOW's Not the Only 'n' Word," CL, May 27).%%%%%%Your article begins with the false and overheated charge that Georgia NOW was "hijacked by women haters," but fails to note that five of the six state officers chosen by the membership at the May 7 election are women.  As if to further justify this assertion, your reporter then proceeded to quote three men - two of whom do not even hold positions on the state council - leaving the impression they were speaking on behalf of Georgia NOW, when, in fact they were not. The article did quote Goldy Criscuolo, our new state president, but this hardly justifies your reporter's failure to even attempt to contact longtime NOW members and feminists like Liz Flowers and Claudia Schauffler, who were part of the victorious Progressive Slate.%%%%%%Among those NOW members who did vote on behalf of our Progressive Slate were five members of organized labor, two of whom were women. Unfortunately, your reporter neglected to report this, preferring instead to rely on the bigoted, condescending and plainly inaccurate assertions of Tina Trent (who garnered all of two votes in her lackluster candidacy to become Georgia NOW state president).%%%%%%According to Ms. Trent, Georgia NOW was "taken over" with the help of "the unibrowed dregs of organized labor carrying spanking-new NOW membership cards wedged sweatily between their beer-bellies and lifting belts and a gaggle of silk-socked males from the Georgia Equality Project."  While questioning the only two of us (Goldy Criscuolo and Daniel Levitas) whom she did interview, your reporter made no attempt to verify these statements of Ms. Trent, nor did she even grant us the courtesy of responding to them.  Your reporter further dismissed the elitist, intolerant, anti-labor and homophobic prose of Ms. Trent by calling it simply: "colorful language."  So much for journalistic balance and objectivity at Creative Loafing.%%%%%%Your article implies that the victory of the Progressive Slate resulted in the ouster of "longtime NOW officeholders," yet your article does not name or cite any of these people because they do not exist.  In truth, there were only two candidates running for the state council, and neither of them (including Tina Trent) were "longtime officeholders" in Georgia NOW.%%%%%%While the article correctly noted that the overwhelming defeat of Tina Trent stemmed largely from her opposition to hate crime legislation, your reporter mistakenly asserted that Ms. Trent opposed the hate crime bill "because it did not specifically address crimes against women such as rape."   This is untrue.   Ms. Trent stated in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that she would oppose the hate crime bill regardless of whether "activists made a good faith effort to include crimes like rape."  Instead of checking the facts with experts like Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, who authored the hate crime bill inclusive of gender from the start, your reporter took Ms. Trent's bogus assertions as fact.  This is shoddy reporting at best.  Had Creative Loafing taken the time to contact Sen. Fort, your readers would have learned that all the major women's groups in Georgia supported the bill.  @body:Turning finally to the issue of the quote in the article attributed to Joe Criscuolo, we wish to inform the readers of Creative Loafing that Mr. Criscuolo has resigned his post as Action Vice President of the Atlanta Chapter of NOW.  In his letter of resignation, Mr. Criscuolo, who has a life-long record in support of civil rights and progressive causes, explained that it was never his intention to offend or harm anyone, and that his remark was clearly taken out of context.   However, in the interest of ensuring that Georgia NOW is able to maintain its focus on the critical issues that matter - fighting sexism and discrimination; protecting reproductive rights; promoting affirmative action and equal opportunity; challenging violence against women; and combating the radical right - Mr. Criscuolo has resigned his post as Action Vice President with Atlanta NOW.%%%%%%We can only hope that your future reporting on the activities of Georgia NOW will be more accurate, balanced and objective.%%%%%%- ''Goldy Criscuolo, President; Claudia Schauffler, Vice President/Executive; Liz Flowers, Legislative Coordinator; Lisa Taylor, Recorder/Archivist; Daniel Levitas, Financial Coordinator''??


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  string(9578) "       2000-06-17T04:04:00+00:00 Talk of the Town - Paradigms June 17 2000   Cliff Bostock 1223527 2000-06-17T04:04:00+00:00  Saving my lunch Luke Boggs column "Saving Elian" (CL, June 10) about little Elian Gonzalez made me want to puke. Ronald Reagan this, Ronald Reagan that. Ronald Reagan was a senile old man who was just as good at back-slapping and glad-handing as Bill Clinton. Boggs obviously knows not of what he talks about. Totalitarianism and communism do not have to even be related. Nazi Germany was totalitarian, but not communist. And to say that communism failed because Reagan stood up to them is ludicrous. Communism would have failed no matter what, because eventually the people rise up, just like what happened in the USSR ten years ago. The coup and the ousting of communist power, I suppose those were the works of covert ops by Reagan's CIA? Please, don't make me laugh. Communism failed because it doesn't work not because Ronald Reagan sold arms to Iran to finance a revolution in Central America ... whoa, did I actually say that? Funny how selective memory works, isn't it Luke? Maybe that is why you don't remember Ronald Reagan's embarrassing testimony in front of the Senate all those years ago. Thankfully, there is an explanation for that now: He was senile and really couldn't remember it. What he didn't tell us is that he also didn't remember where the bathrooms in the White House were anymore and had to have poor Nancy take time out of her Say No To Drugs campaign to run his foreign policy. Ronald Reagan was a joke, and the fact that he is remembered differently is a testament to the spin doctors that the Republicans have working for them. They are almost, almost, as good as Bill Clinton's.- Eric Bowman, Stone MountainP.S. About that war all those years ago that you spoke so glowingly of; you ought to have a talk with my aunt who lost her husband defending that country and see if she thinks it was worth the price paid. She might have a little different take than you do. Of course, how old are you anyway? Obviously not old enough to have been worried about having to go to that war.Not such a glowing report I am writing to point out several inaccuracies in the Atlanta CL article "Traveling Nukes Through Georgia" by Nicole Lee in your June 3 edition. The inaccuracies come from mixing information about two separate programs and a lack of understanding about the transportation of nuclear materials.First, the Department of Energy is not shipping commercial spent nuclear fuel anywhere in the United States. Any commercial spent nuclear fuel shipments that have taken place in Georgia have been done by the private reactor operators under the control of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. These shipments are usually from the reactor to their company's storage site.@body: The Department is shipping domestic and foreign research reactor spent nuclear fuel to the Savannah River Site, Aiken, S.C., and the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID. There is an significant difference in fuel size and radioactivity between commercial spent nuclear fuel and research reactor spent nuclear fuel.However, we are not shipping any spent fuel to Yucca Mountain, in Nevada, at this time. In fact, we are in the process of doing an environmental impact study on whether Yucca Mountain can be the repository for commercial spent fuel and other highly radioactive materials. Current schedules show shipments being in about 2010 to 2015 time frame.@body: The shipment taking place this summer is a shipment of foreign research reactor spent nuclear fuel from the United Kingdom going to the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory in Idaho. It is not going to Nevada as reported. This will the second such shipment through Georgia.@body: Ms. Lee reference to transport beginning in 1969 and continuing through 2009 is also incorrect. The program in questions is the Foreign Research Reactor Spent Nuclear Fuel Acceptance program which was renewed in 1996 and will run until 2009. Under this program, U.S.-origin highly enriched uranium was provided to foreign countries for peaceful research with the understanding that the U.S. would take the spent fuel back. We have completed 14 shipments under this program with only one going through Georgia so far.@body: While Ms. Lee did capture my quotes correctly, they where only referring to the research reactor shipments and not any commercial spent fuel shipments.@body: I hope with this information you will see fit to print a correction to the story. If you need more information about the foreign research reactor program, please give me a call. If you want more information on Yucca Mountain and commercial spent nuclear fuel, please call Allen Benson at 702-794-1366 [e-mail: allen_benson@ymp.gov}- James R. Giusti, ???????NOW, it's our turn As the newly elected executive committee of the Georgia National Organization for Women, we are writing to challenge the sexist and incorrect reporting contained in the recent article you published about the change in leadership of Georgia NOW ("NOW's Not the Only 'n' Word," CL, May 27).Your article begins with the false and overheated charge that Georgia NOW was "hijacked by women haters," but fails to note that five of the six state officers chosen by the membership at the May 7 election are women.  As if to further justify this assertion, your reporter then proceeded to quote three men - two of whom do not even hold positions on the state council - leaving the impression they were speaking on behalf of Georgia NOW, when, in fact they were not. The article did quote Goldy Criscuolo, our new state president, but this hardly justifies your reporter's failure to even attempt to contact longtime NOW members and feminists like Liz Flowers and Claudia Schauffler, who were part of the victorious Progressive Slate.Among those NOW members who did vote on behalf of our Progressive Slate were five members of organized labor, two of whom were women. Unfortunately, your reporter neglected to report this, preferring instead to rely on the bigoted, condescending and plainly inaccurate assertions of Tina Trent (who garnered all of two votes in her lackluster candidacy to become Georgia NOW state president).According to Ms. Trent, Georgia NOW was "taken over" with the help of "the unibrowed dregs of organized labor carrying spanking-new NOW membership cards wedged sweatily between their beer-bellies and lifting belts and a gaggle of silk-socked males from the Georgia Equality Project."  While questioning the only two of us (Goldy Criscuolo and Daniel Levitas) whom she did interview, your reporter made no attempt to verify these statements of Ms. Trent, nor did she even grant us the courtesy of responding to them.  Your reporter further dismissed the elitist, intolerant, anti-labor and homophobic prose of Ms. Trent by calling it simply: "colorful language."  So much for journalistic balance and objectivity at Creative Loafing.Your article implies that the victory of the Progressive Slate resulted in the ouster of "longtime NOW officeholders," yet your article does not name or cite any of these people because they do not exist.  In truth, there were only two candidates running for the state council, and neither of them (including Tina Trent) were "longtime officeholders" in Georgia NOW.While the article correctly noted that the overwhelming defeat of Tina Trent stemmed largely from her opposition to hate crime legislation, your reporter mistakenly asserted that Ms. Trent opposed the hate crime bill "because it did not specifically address crimes against women such as rape."   This is untrue.   Ms. Trent stated in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that she would oppose the hate crime bill regardless of whether "activists made a good faith effort to include crimes like rape."  Instead of checking the facts with experts like Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, who authored the hate crime bill inclusive of gender from the start, your reporter took Ms. Trent's bogus assertions as fact.  This is shoddy reporting at best.  Had Creative Loafing taken the time to contact Sen. Fort, your readers would have learned that all the major women's groups in Georgia supported the bill.  @body:Turning finally to the issue of the quote in the article attributed to Joe Criscuolo, we wish to inform the readers of Creative Loafing that Mr. Criscuolo has resigned his post as Action Vice President of the Atlanta Chapter of NOW.  In his letter of resignation, Mr. Criscuolo, who has a life-long record in support of civil rights and progressive causes, explained that it was never his intention to offend or harm anyone, and that his remark was clearly taken out of context.   However, in the interest of ensuring that Georgia NOW is able to maintain its focus on the critical issues that matter - fighting sexism and discrimination; protecting reproductive rights; promoting affirmative action and equal opportunity; challenging violence against women; and combating the radical right - Mr. Criscuolo has resigned his post as Action Vice President with Atlanta NOW.We can only hope that your future reporting on the activities of Georgia NOW will be more accurate, balanced and objective.- Goldy Criscuolo, President; Claudia Schauffler, Vice President/Executive; Liz Flowers, Legislative Coordinator; Lisa Taylor, Recorder/Archivist; Daniel Levitas, Financial Coordinator??


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Talk of the Town

Saturday June 17, 2000 12:04 am EDT
Saving my lunch Luke Boggs column "Saving Elian" (CL, June 10) about little Elian Gonzalez made me want to puke. Ronald Reagan this, Ronald Reagan that. Ronald Reagan was a senile old man who was just as good at back-slapping and glad-handing as Bill Clinton. Boggs obviously knows not of what he talks about. Totalitarianism and communism do not have to even be related. Nazi Germany was... | more...