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Preview: Independent Weekly: Columns

Indy Week



Progressive news, culture and commentary for Raleigh, Cary, Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina



Published: Thu, 23 Nov 2017 00:00:01 -0500

Last Build Date: Thu, 23 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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The Immigrants Packing Your Butterball Turkey are Under Threat

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 07:00:00 -0500

(image) Trump ended the TPS visa for Haitians, leaving many North Carolina food factory workers in limbo, at risk for deportation. Tomorrow, people throughout the United States will sit down at bountiful Thanksgiving tables to carve turkeys. Many of these turkeys were processed by Haitian laborers in Butterball factories in North Carolina.…



Dickens and His Characters All Come to Life in the Pleasant Holiday Surprise The Man Who Invented Christmas

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 07:00:00 -0500

(image) This heartfelt, clever British import opens Wednesday, Nov. 22. Opening Wednesday, Nov. 22 This pleasant holiday surprise is a heartfelt, clever British import that tells the story of Charles Dickens writing the classic yuletide novella A Christmas Carol.…



The Day of the Dead-Themed Coco Has One of Pixar's Richest Fantasy Worlds and Weakest Stories

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 07:00:00 -0500

(image) This increasingly rare thing, a non-sequel from Disney-owned Pixar, opens Wednesday, Nov. 22. Opening Wednesday, Nov. 22 In its prime, Pixar was impossibly reliable, churning out original family films jammed with creativity, wit, and sophisticated emotional intelligence.…



The Chelsea, Chapel Hill's Last Old School Art Cinema, Might Close at Year's End

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 07:00:00 -0500

(image) “With only a handful of months [left on the lease], we must make some serious choices about the future of the Chelsea Theater.” Though the Chelsea Theater is a Chapel Hill institution, it has never made a big deal about itself. Tucked away in the Timberlyne strip mall, almost literally in the shadow of the Regal multiplex, the little-art-house-that-could has discreetly held its ground in a volatile cinema market for almost thirty years.…



The Tonally Incoherent Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Hasn't a Clue How to Manage Its Weighty Themes and Discordant Plot

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 07:00:00 -0500

(image) The Frances McDormand vehicle opens Wednesday, Nov. 22. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Opening Wednesday, Nov. 22…



Novitiate Is a Quietly Stunning Historical Drama About Nuns Trying to Keep the Faith Against Encroaching Modernity

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 07:00:00 -0500

(image) Writer-director Maggie Betts’s film opens Friday, Nov. 24. Novitiate Opening Friday, Nov. 24…



Christmas Comes Early to Triangle Stages

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 07:00:00 -0500

(image) Anytime after Halloween is fair game for shopping malls to put up Christmas decorations, and this year, several local theaters are following suit, opening Christmas shows the week of Thanksgiving. It's been true for years: anytime after Halloween is fair game for department stores and shopping malls to put up Christmas decorations. By mid-November, WRAL-FM has replaced evergreens by Aerosmith and Justin Timberlake with a steady stream of holiday classics by Burl Ives and Gene Autry.…



Local Poet Michael Chitwood Draws Deeply from the Triangle in a New Anthology of Creative Nonfiction from Our State

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 07:00:00 -0500

(image) Chitwood and selected contributors to Best Creative Nonfiction of the South, Volume II: North Carolina celebrate the release at the Regulator Bookshop on Tuesday, Nov. 28. Any adequate literary accounting of North Carolina would seem to require certain elements. The state's natural beauty, the sound of its spoken language, and the history of its land and people.…



Meet Heather Gordon, the Durham Artist Behind the Obscurely but Deeply Personal And Then the Sun Swallowed Me at CAM Raleigh

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 07:00:00 -0500

(image) Gordon's black tape and video installation is on view at CAM Raleigh now through February. CAM Raleigh installation And Then the Sun Swallowed Me, by Durham artist Heather Gordon, is a visual interpretation of the contraction of the universe after the explosion of the sun. Black tape, geometrically organized on the museum's walls, represents the cataclysmic moment in which we will return to dust.…



Don't Sleep On Those Turkey Leftovers

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 07:00:00 -0500

(image) Tryptophan be damned. We've got four lively recipes for next-day gourmet. The go-to rule for buying turkey is: one pound per person. But this forgets the most important part, right?…



Free Your Brine: Let the Pros Handle Your Thanksgiving Meal Stress

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 07:00:00 -0500

(image) On Thursday, satiate your holiday appetite at local restaurants, hotels, bars, and even a movie theater. For some, Thanksgiving is a time to dust off heirloom recipes and pretend you always set the table with fancy napkin rings and flickering candlelight. For others, the holiday is a headache of shopping and cooking logistics, loads of dishes, and too few chairs.…



Volume, A New Music Store in Hillsborough, Invites You to Sip as You Flip

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 07:00:00 -0500

(image) Orange County's newest record store opened near Hillsborough's Weaver Street Market in October. Tony Lopez would like to hang out and listen to his record collection with you, and match you to a perfect beer while he's at it. A Durham native and longtime d.j. and bartender, he opened Volume in Hillsborough in October with Nathan Andrews, a friend since high school.…



Record Review: On His Solo Debut, Mike VM Is The Happiest Man on Earth

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 07:00:00 -0500

(image) The former Everymen frontman marinates in contemplation and complex emotions on his latest LP. For the past several years, New Jersey-born Chapel Hill transplant Michael Venutolo-Mantovani has served as frontman for the raggedly lovable Everymen, a commendably unhinged garage and blue-eyed soul outfit. The band's take-no-prisoners live sets and general sense of abandon narrowly obscured an attention to cerebral songcraft and a latent sentimental streak.…



Record Review: Fitness Womxn's Macho City Is a Roaring Catharsis

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 07:00:00 -0500

(image) The Carrboro trio's debut record offers affirmation and relief through its take-no-prisoners songs. The world has always been hostile toward women and non-binary people, but the recent weeks of publicly relived tales of abuse and harassment at the hands of men have compounded this perpetual pain. But this means that Carrboro trio Fitness Womxn couldn't have picked a better time to release Macho City, its debut LP and an essential, affirming force for these times.…



Record Review: After More Than a Decade, Erie Choir Finally Releases Its Second Record

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 07:00:00 -0500

(image) Old Rigs, out now on PotLuck, is the result of several years' rumination. Ten years is an eternity in rock 'n' roll, where waiting too long to release new product can lose a band its audience. But in the case of Erie Choir, which has just released its first LP in a decade, the struggles and life changes that occurred between releases have informed Old Rigs, the proudly unprolific band's long-awaited second album.…



How Raleigh’s John Pavlovitz Went from Fired Megachurch Pastor to Rising Star of the Religious Left

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 07:00:00 -0500

(image) “One day you’re unemployed; the next day CNN calls” Little by little, John Pavlovitz is becoming a familiar name among progressives, particularly progressive Christians. And he has Donald Trump to thank for it.…



Thomas Farr May Have Known More About Jesse Helms’s Voter-Suppression Tactics Than He Let On. Should That Cost Him a Federal Judgeship?

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 07:00:00 -0500

(image) Farr claims to not have known about intimidating postcards the Helms campaign sent to black voters in 1990. A former DOJ lawyer says he most certainly did. President Trump and North Carolina senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr proudly stand behind Raleigh attorney Thomas Farr's decades-long legal practice, which includes defending the General Assembly's controversial voter ID and redistricting laws, defending corporations against workers, and serving as the lawyer for two racially charged campaigns by Senator Jesse Helms. After all, Trump nominated Farr, sixty-three, to a lifetime appointment as a federal district court judge in eastern North Carolina.…



Alamance County’s Notorious Sheriff Hurt His Shin, and He Wants an Anti-Confederate Protester from Durham to Pay for It

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 07:00:00 -0500

(image) Terry Johnson says Rann Bar-on struck his leg with a flagpole. Can Bar-on get a fair trial on Johnson’s turf? Can a protester charged with assaulting a popular sheriff get a fair trial on the lawman's home turf? That question is being raised by a court case in Alamance County, where Sheriff Terry Johnson says he was assaulted by a Durham man counterprotesting a Confederate Memorial Day rally in Graham earlier this year.…



Last week, Raleigh unveiled a new logo. This week, it’s Durham’s turn.

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 07:00:00 -0500

(image) This one is cheaper—and more of an update than an overhaul Earlier this month, the city of Raleigh unveiled a new city logo, which came with a $226,000 price tag and some heated internet reactions. Some thought the green, digitized tree was fresh and conveyed an eco-friendly message.…



Duke Energy Wants You to Pay for Its Coal Ash Mess

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 07:00:00 -0500

(image) If the state’s utilities commission goes along, customers would pay an additional $200-plus a year Get out your wallets: Duke Energy, a behemoth with a market capitalization of more than $62 billion, wants you—not its shareholders—to pay for its coal ash mess. Coal ash dominated local headlines between 2014, when thirty-nine thousand tons of toxic coal ash contaminated seventy miles of the Dan River, and 2016, when a state toxicologist testified that McCrory administration officials "knowingly told people that their water was safe when we knew it wasn't." Along the way, the Department of Environmental Quality fined Duke $25 million, though after private negotiations that penalty was reduced to just $6.6 million.…



Man-Haters

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 07:00:00 -0500

We begin this week with Terry Duff, who writes in response to our story last week on Jose Chicas, a Raleigh pastor who has been in a Durham religious facility for the past five months evading Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and who really craves a McDonald's pancake. "I checked," Duff writes.…



November 22 Sudoku Solution

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 07:00:00 -0500

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November 22 Crossword Solution

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 07:00:00 -0500

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November 22 Crossword

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 07:00:00 -0500

(image) Download a larger pdf here



One of Three North Carolina Regions Could Land Amazon's HQ2, CNBC Analysis Says

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 19:23:00 -0500

(image) A study by the cable network CNBC gives one of three locations in the geographically broad area of "Charlotte/Raleigh-Durham/Greensboro-High Point" a decent chance at landing the much-sought-after second headquarters for Amazon, known as HQ2.

However the region's incomplete transit system and hangover from the HB2 "bathroom bill" could hurt the Tar Heel State's chances, according to the analysis, which uses the network's 2017 America's Top States for Business study as well as census data.

Other areas with solid chances of landing the $5 billion, 50,000-job total project include Washington, D.C., and Austin, Texas, the network said.…