https://www.upandcomingweekly.com/


  • 16 N2107P34005HJane Fonda made the motto “No Pain No Gain” famous in the 1980’s with her exercise videos that became widely used in marketing fitness campaigns. Even though Jane Fonda received the credit, the term “No Pain No Gain” was coined by Benjamin Franklin when he wrote “There are no gains without pain.”

    Over three hundred years ago he might be considered the first fitness guru. He felt that exercise was the reason for continued health and should be done forty minutes a day.

    Pain is not an indication in exercise that you are pushing to the max and achieving your goals. Mild discomfort is acceptable but when pain occurs your body is telling you to stop before an injury occurs.

    As exercise science has progressed many of the ways we approached fitness are now different. Still, some of the beliefs are now myths, here are a few.

    Can you target specific areas for fat reduction? The answer is no. If you do countless sit ups for your abs you will gain muscle in that area, but the fat area remains. Our genetics play a role in how we store fat, and we lose it in the reverse order that it was accumulated. Weight loss and muscle gain result from diet and exercise. You cannot out exercise an improper diet.

    If women lift weights, they will get bulky. Very few women can gain the same bulk as men do because they are smaller and have lower levels of testosterone.

    Weight and resistance training are good for women and have proven effective for many health gains including bone density, strength and risk of injury. In other words, you will not bulk up if you pick up!

    Muscle weighs more than fat. A pound of muscle and a pound of fat weigh the same. A pound of lean muscle however takes up less space in your body than a pound of fat because of density. The way your clothes fit tells you a lot about your weight loss. It is a nice feeling that your clothes are fitting differently!

    The scale can be encouraging and discouraging with weight loss. Try to resist that continual checking of the scales. Weight can fluctuate because of many factors and the scale is not a true picture of your health. Weight loss of one to two pounds per week is a sustainable goal and healthier than rapid weight loss.

    I am too old to exercise. Exercising has many health benefits at any age. People may think they are to out of shape, too old to start or cannot start because of an injury.

    There are people in their seventies, eighties and nineties that run marathons and are body builders. That may seem a lofty goal to a beginner but is not one that could be out of reach. Observing a group fitness class in an exercise facility or on the gym floor with older participants can quickly debunk that myth because many are rock stars pumping out that fitness level that could rival a younger participant!

    Who would have thought the science of exercise would have evolved to the level it is today and we have the pioneers in industry to thank including Benjamin Franklin and Jane Fonda.

    The industry is evolving with new studies and techniques, but exercise is only one component in fitness.

    A healthy lifestyle is followed by diet, sustainability and a balance in life for emotional and spiritual health.

  • 15 Nursing StudentThe U.S. Department of Health Resources and Services Administration has awarded a grant of more than $499,000 to the Nursing Department at Methodist University. The funds target specific training for pre-licensure public health nursing students and faculty to recognize and respond to opioid use and strengthen the professional development of public health nurses across North Carolina.

    The investment in MU by HRSA to equip tomorrow’s nursing health care professionals is a solid investment and a step in the right direction to combat North Carolina’s opioid crisis.

    MU’s was the only program in the Carolinas, public or private, to receive the grant and only 10 other nursing programs in the country received the award (including Ohio State University, Texas A&M, University of Tennessee, Emory University and the University of Cincinnati).

    “During the early days of the pandemic shut-down last spring, everyone became acutely aware of the need for highly qualified public health nurses,” said Shannon Matthews, director of Nursing at MU.

    “In addition to community strain on the public health system due to COVID-19, opioid overdose and substance misuse have reached all-time highs in Cumberland County and surrounding communities," Matthews said.

    The Methodist University Nursing Program graduated its first Bachelor of Science in Nursing class in 2014. Since then, the program has awarded nursing degrees to more than 170 graduates, many of whom have remained in North Carolina and the greater Fayetteville and Cumberland County areas. The program provides future nurses with a hands-on education using state-of-the-art simulation technology — including the MU General Simulation Hospital — as well as simulated patients of all ages. Cameras are equipped throughout the hospital to observe and guide students through their studies.

    “Nursing is one of the jewels in the crown at Methodist University — a university that is becoming rapidly known for its excellent health care programs,” said MU President Dr. Stanley Wearden. “This investment from the U.S. Department of Health Resources and Services Administration will not only help educate our students but prepare them for the hard work ahead in combatting North Carolina’s opioid crisis as health care professionals.”

    Methodist University’s Simulation Education Training-Recovery Now (SET-RN) is led by highly qualified and experienced public health nurse educators and prepares public health nursing students to directly impact objectives in the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

    For the next two-years, the goal of MU’s nursing program is to prepare 75 unique pre-licensure nursing students with enhanced public nursing competencies to recognize and respond to substance and opioid misuse by creating enhanced interprofessional education simulation exercises in their state-of-the-art facilities.

    “Simulation scenarios and clinical experiences reflective of substance misuse will be threaded throughout the nursing curriculum to help our graduates recognize and respond to adult, adolescent, and pediatric clients with substance misuse and overdose in a variety of settings,” said Matthews.

    With this new grant, MU will strengthen statewide support and professional development by delivering workshops for nursing faculty and collaborate with state professional nursing organizations.

    Nursing faculty member and Simulation Director, Mitzi Averette, MSN, RN, CNE, CHSE, is a long-time advocate for recovery and will be the project coordinator. Averette has strong connections in the community and is a champion of increasing public awareness and resources to address substance misuse and developing programs to reduce stigma associated with substance use disorder. Averette has already begun work establishing collegiate recovery groups on local campuses and promoting training for faculty and students in recovery strategies.

    “We are excited to begin this project and the positive impact it will have on public health nursing and the care of those struggling with substance use disorders,” Matthews said.

    Methodist University is an independent, four-year institution of higher education with about 2,000 students from across the U.S. and more than 40 countries. MU offers more than 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs (including doctoral-level options) on campus and online. To learn more about MU visit methodist.edu.

    Pictured: The federal grant Methodist University received targets specific training for pre-licensure public health nursing students and faculty to recognize and respond to opioid use and strengthen the professional development of public health nurses across North Carolina. (Photo courtesy Methodist University)

     

  • 14 99431256 3072861549424143 3731088603145568256 oDr. Larry Keen, President of Fayetteville Technical Community College, is calling on adults across the greater Fayetteville region to visit BetterSkillsBetterJobs.com as a first step to gain the skills they need to secure the jobs they want.

    “After a year of challenges like no other, we know most adults understand it’s time to skill up, retool, and retrain — either to advance in their current careers or to change careers entirely,” Dr. Keen said. “So we are making an extra push this summer to reach out to and inform as many adults as possible about the variety of fast, flexible and affordable programs we offer.

    “From allied health training, to automotive systems technology, to systems security and analysis, and many more programs, our courses are a direct pipeline to many of our region’s top employers,” Dr. Keen said. “That’s why we hope everyone will visit BetterSkillsBetterJobs.com today to quickly connect with us and explore all of the opportunities we offer that can lead to better skills, a better job, a bigger paycheck and an even brighter future.”

    FTCC is a regional source for education and training in Cumberland County, with campuses in Fayetteville and Spring Lake, and an educational training center on Fort Bragg. The college offers more than 200 job-ready programs.

    The Better Skills. Better Jobs. campaign is a pilot project launched in early 2021 across five North Carolina community colleges to proactively reach out to and attract more adults back to college. Other key funders and partners for the initiative include the John M. Belk Endowment and myFutureNC.

    “The John M. Belk Endowment is pleased to partner with Fayetteville Technical Community College and four other outstanding community colleges to catalyze and supercharge their efforts to recruit and support adult students,” said MC Belk Pilon, President and Board Chair of the John M. Belk Endowment. “In a matter of months on a community college campus, adult learners can acquire skills and credentials that can change their families’ economic trajectory.”

    “The vast majority of higher-wage jobs today require more than a high school diploma, but that is something that less than half of North Carolinians in this age range currently have,” said Cecilia Holden, President and CEO of myFutureNC. “We know better skills lead to better jobs and to a stronger and more economically vibrant North Carolina. We are very pleased to be partnering on this important new initiative.”

    The John M. Belk Endowment is a private family foundation committed to transforming postsecondary educational opportunities to meet North Carolina’s evolving workforce needs. Its mission is aligned with the vision of its founder, the late John M. Belk, who served four terms as mayor of Charlotte and was CEO of the department store company Belk, Inc. Now led by Mr. Belk’s daughter, MC Belk Pilon, the John M. Belk Endowment continues to partner with innovative, results-oriented programs in North Carolina to further Mr. Belk’s values, legacy, and focus on the value of education as a means to personal fulfillment and community vitality. For more information, please visit jmbendowment.org.

    myFutureNC is a statewide nonprofit with the goal to create a stronger, more competitive North Carolina. myFutureNC is working across sectors and in communities throughout the state to close gaps in the education pathway, to promote alignment between educational programming and business/industry needs, and to ultimately improve educational opportunities. For more information, please visit myfuturenc.org.

    For more information about FTCC’s Better Skills. Better Jobs. initiative, visit BetterSkillsBetterJobs.com/FTCC/.

    Pictured: The Better Skills.Better Jobs campaign aims to get adults the instruction and job skills that lead to better employment opportunities. (Photo courtesy FTCC)

  • 13 N1809P02001CThe world has changed dramatically over the past year. We have faced unprecedented challenges that affected every single aspect of life.

    We have adapted, overcome and improvised on a daily basis in order to cope with the new normal of life. From wearing masks in public and keeping a safe distance to complete isolation, people have made major adjustments to their lives in order to cope with the pandemic. And, sadly, for many, the situation created by the pandemic has ultimately led to a desperate struggle for survival.

    Fortunately, we live in an era of technology. We are able to do things now that were impossible for past generations.

    We can telework, order food online, Skype, Facetime and teleconference from our homes or even from the palms of our hands. Even during times of isolation, we are able to stay virtually connected and be productive.

    Throughout the pandemic, a good number of people were able to continue working and feed themselves, thanks to the advances of the last century and especially the last few decades.

    We now take things such as cars, computers, smartphones and the internet for granted, but these items have made coping with the pandemic a completely different experience when compared to the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918.

    We still face challenges, however, and it doesn’t look like things are going to go back to what we remember as normal for a while. To face these challenges, we are going to need fresh new minds to invent new ways of doing things. We now have a generation of young people who grew up in a world of technology and have an innate understanding of how to live in a cyber-connected world.

    Unfortunately, technology can be a two-edged sword, and with so many distractions, many are falling short of their true potential.

    The U.S. education system has been pushing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education and careers for years because of the shortage of people in these degree fields.

    Now that we are faced with new challenges stemming from the pandemic, we need STEM-educated individuals now even more than ever. Who will research new cures, invent new ways to work and communicate, or design the next generation of ventilators?

    An old adage (late 1800s) states, “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” But these words are far from the truth. Think of everything that has been invented since the late 1800s. Had this been true back then, we would still be riding horses for primary transportation and reading by candlelight. Without the technological advances of the last century, our current crisis would have been much more difficult to navigate.

    So, here’s a call for individuals to accept the challenge to become the next generation of scientists, inventors and engineers. You may be the one who invents something new that positively changes
    our world.

    FTCC’s Associate Degree Engineering program can help you begin this exciting journey. Fall classes begin Aug. 16. Apply for Fall classes today and allow FTCC to help you find your way forward. For more information visit https://www.faytechcc.edu/.

  • 08 FAP 9463Fort Bragg is calling out to the military community and public to donate boots for the annual boot display in remembrance of those who have lost their lives since 9/11.

    The boot display is traditionally held in May to align with the Memorial Day observance. This year, the observation will coincide with the “Run, Honor, Remember 5K” memorial run on Aug. 28 and the All American Run on Aug. 30 for the 82nd Airborne Division’s All American Week.

    “We are in need of 1,000 pairs of any and all types of military boots in good condition,” said Elvia Kelly, spokeswoman for the Fort Bragg Garrison Public Affairs Office. “We’re asking the community to donate any of their unwanted or unused military boots to help us honor and remember fallen service members.”

    Each boot displayed at Hedrick Stadium represents an active-duty service member who has fallen since 9/11. Volunteers prep the boots by carefully tying each lace and placing an empty bottle of water inside the boot as a foundation to hold its form.

    The boots are lined up in rows across the field, where volunteers attach a personalized tag with a photo of a fallen service member and includes a unit and date
    of death.

    “In addition to attaching personalized tags, volunteers place an American flag in each boot,” said Kelly. “It takes six to eight hours to setup the boot display on the field.”

    Due to extreme weather in the past years such as rain, there has been a breakdown of the boots and about 4,600 boots were discarded due to damage.

    Currently it takes over 7,500 individual boots to complete the memorial display at Hedrick Stadium and Fort Bragg needs 1,000 more boots to reach their goal of representing all the fallen service members.

    The deadline for the boot donation is on or before Aug. 13, which allows Survivor Outreach Services and volunteers to prep the boots for display.

    “The memorial boot display is open to everyone who has a Department of Defense ID card or those who can obtain a visitor’s access pass from the All American Visitor Center,” Kelly mentioned. “The display setup begins Friday, Aug. 27 and the boots will remain on the field until Monday, Aug. 30.”

    “It’s a powerful sight to see the memorial boot display when doing a run around Hedrick Stadium or walking across the field seeing each individual boot after being carefully prepared by volunteers,” said Kelly.

    “The field is lined up with boots in order beginning from 2001 to 2021 with a photo and identification tag.”

    Fort Bragg began setting up boots as a memorial display in May 2014, marking this year as the 7th anniversary for the display that is hosted and coordinated by Survivor Outreach Services in honor of all fallen service members who were on active duty since 9/11 and service members who died in an incident such as a training accident or illness on Fort Bragg and North Carolina.

    “The event is an opportunity for the community to remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice serving our nation by participating in the run or visiting the memorial boot display,” Kelly said.

    The Survivor Outreach Services is part of the Army Casualty Continuum of Care and is designed to provide long-term support to surviving families of fallen soldiers.

    “The program offers assistance such as support coordinators to surviving family members during a time of tremendous grief,” Kelly said. “Our goal is to reassure survivors feel they remain valued members of the Army family.”

    Boots can be donated on Fort Bragg at the following locations:
    -Soldier and Family Readiness Group Center, 236 Interceptor Road, Pope Army Airfield
    -Soldier Support Center Main Lobby in Bldg. 4-2843 on Normandy Drive
    -Survivor Outreach Services, Building 4-2133 on Normandy Drive

    Boots can also be dropped off at the Up & Coming Weekly office located at 208 Rowan St. in Fayetteville no later than Aug. 12.
    For additional information or questions, the community can contact Survivor Outreach Services at 910-396-0384 or visit their website at https://bragg.armymwr.com/programs/sos.

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    Pictured: The annual memorial boot display will be held in August this year and will coincide with the "Run, Honor, Remember 5K" run and the 82nd Airborne Division's All American Week. (Photos courtesy Fort Bragg Garrison PAO)

  • 07 NNO FPD 219293651 4410826818948292 1410943859391408261 nOn Tuesday, Aug. 3, the Fayetteville Police Department will join Community Watch groups throughout the city for National Night Out. It’s an effort to build safer and better neighborhoods through community involvement and provides as opportunity to get to know your neighbors and send a message to criminals that your neighborhood is no place for them.

    Citizens and Community Watch groups can register their events with the police department by visiting FayPD.com and filling out an electronic form.

    Additionally, an interactive map has been placed on the department’s website to help residents locate events near them. The map is updated as NNO events are registered.

    While one night is certainly not a single answer to crime, drugs and violence, National Night Out represents the spirit, energy and determination to help make neighborhoods safer places year-round.

  • 06 N1804P59001CCumberland County’s public library system has re-opened its locations in keeping with its COVID-19 Recovery and Re-opening Plan.

    Public access and customer safety are foremost, county government said. Hours of operation have been expanded to Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at all locations.

    Patrons can browse stacks, use computers and check out laptops for use in the buildings.

    Curbside service continues by appointment only. Those wishing to continue using curbside pickup may contact the branches to arrange the service.

    With the return to in-person programming each library performs one story-time per week with a maximum of 25 attendees. Attendees, ages 5 and up, are encouraged to wear face masks. Virtual programming will also continue.

    For more information concerning in-person and virtual programs, visit the library’s website at cumberlandcountync.gov/library.

  • 05 child care centerTwo dozen members of Congress have asked leaders of the House and Senate budget committees to provide a $15 billion investment in military childcare facilities. “We face a crisis in the quality and capacity of facilities for childcare for military families and housing for unaccompanied military personnel,” wrote Reps. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., and Veronica Escobar, D-Texas in a letter.

    They’re requesting that the money be included in the upcoming budget reconciliation package, saying the annual appropriations process is not enough to deal with the backlog. Speier is chairperson of the House Armed Services Committee’s panel on military personnel.

    The letter said the military has 135 child development centers in “poor” or “failing” condition. DoD reported nearly 9,000 military children on waiting lists for child care, according to the representatives. “We believe the upcoming reconciliation package is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to do right by our military families,” Spier and Escobar added.

  • 04 DSC 0965The 2021 Field of Honor on Fayetteville’s Airborne and Special Operations Museum parade field will be staged this year from Sept. 11 - Nov. 14.

    The museum foundation is taking orders now. Each flag comes with its own story and displays a tag identifying both the person who sponsored the flag and the flag honoree.

    This living display of heroism flies as a patriotic tribute to the strength and unity of Americans, and honors all who are currently serving, those who have served, and the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation’s security and freedom. The 2021 Field of Honor is sponsored by the Airborne and Special Operations Museum Foundation and the Cool Spring Downtown District.

    The price per flag is $45. After the display, flags can be shipped for an additional $10 charge or donated for use in Vietnam veteran pinning ceremonies. For more information or to order online visit www.asomf.org/.

    Pictured above: The Airborne and Special Operations Museum Field of Honor. (Photo by Dylan Hooker)

  • 03 OTQ Q2 2021 smallEach quarter, Cape Fear Valley Health recognizes members of its medical staff. These winners are later considered for an annual award, which is recognized each year on Doctor’s Day.

    For the second quarter of 2021, the winners are Physician of the Quarter Sree Jadapalle, M.D.; Resident of the Quarter Michael Kingberg, DO, MPH; and Advanced Practice Provider (APP) of the Quarter Machelle Burgess, NP.
    The awards were presented July 7, at a Cape Fear Valley Medical staff meeting.

    Dr. Jadapalle was nominated for her impact on the residency and psychiatry programs. She is in the process of creating the health system’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Program Fellowship and will be the Program Director and lead the Adolescent Psychiatry Unit when it opens. She is described as a leading example of professionalism.

    Jadapalle received her medical degree from Kurnool Medical College in India. She completed her residency at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, and a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center in Cleveland.

    Dr. Kingberg is a third-year Emergency Medicine resident. He was nominated for his inexhaustible passion for emergency medicine, his care to his patients, and his consistent efforts to help others in the department. Kingberg received his medical degree from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Georgia.

    Nurse Practitioner Machelle Burgess was nominated because she is diligent, organized and a prized member of the surgery department. Whether she is rounding on patients, creating work schedules, managing medical students, or scrubbing into the operating room, Burgess is considered a valuable member of the team.

    Burgess is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner and a certified Emergency Nurse Practitioner.

    The quarterly and annual Medical Staff recognitions are made possible by The Caduceus Society of Cape Fear Valley Health Foundation, a leadership association of Cape Fear Valley Health Physicians, Emeritus Physicians and affiliated area physicians with a continuing commitment to the ideals of Cape Fear Valley Health and a common mission to provide the highest quality healthcare to the community.

    Pictured above: Dr. Samuel Fleishman (far left) and Dr. Chuck Chima (far right) present Physician of the Quarter Dr. Sree Jadapalle (second from left) Advanced Practice Provider of the Quarter Nurse Practitioner Machelle Burgess, and Resident of the Quarter Dr. Michael Kingberg with their certificates on July 7. (Photo courtesy Cape Fear Valley Health)

     

  • 02 IMG 9789Cumberland County joined RI International and Alliance Health to celebrate the opening of the Cumberland Recovery Response Center, formerly known as the Roxie Center, with an open house
    July 19.

    The Cumberland Recovery Response Center is a crisis facility for behavioral health including mental health stabilization and substance abuse detoxification. The center opened in May 2020 and has already served more than 1,400 individuals.

    The open house was delayed because of COVID-19 restrictions.

    The Cumberland Recovery Response Center features a 23-hour unit with 10 chairs and is awaiting state approval for a 16-bed crisis unit. The center is staffed by mental health and medical professionals as well as peer support staff who have life experiences with crisis situations.

    The center, located at 1724 Roxie Ave. in Fayetteville, operates 24/7 for individuals 18 years or older who are experiencing a crisis. First responders may drop off patients experiencing a mental health or substance abuse crisis directly at the recovery response center instead of a hospital emergency room.

    RI International has contracted with Alliance Health to operate the center. Alliance Health is the managed care organization for publicly funded behavioral health services for Cumberland, Durham, Johnson and Wake counties.

    “This has been a labor of love and something truly needed for our community,” said Glenn Adams, vice chairman of the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners and a member of Alliance Health Board of Directors. “It is about collaboration and all of us working together to make sure we meet the needs of the underserved and those in our community.”

    Guest speakers included Victor Armstrong, director of the North Carolina Division of Mental Health.

    “As an advocate for individuals living with mental health challenges, developmental disabilities and who struggle with addiction, I am always pleased to see when we create new and better avenues for access to those who need the services that we all strive to provide,” Armstrong said.

    “I want to thank the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners for their ongoing commitment and funding to behavioral health services,” said Alliance Health CEO Rob Robinson. “The funding they provide is critical to provide service individuals who are uninsured or do not have the means to pay.”

    A video of the open house ceremony can be viewed on the County’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzou0LZs3h4.

    For more information about the Cumberland Recovery Response Center, visit https://riinternational.com/listing/cumberland-recovery-response-center-fayetteville/ or call 910-778-5900.

    To learn more about Alliance Health and services for people who are uninsured or insured by Medicaid, visit https://www.alliancehealthplan.org/.

    Pictured above: Cumberland County Board of Commissioners Vice Chairman Glenn Adams speaks at the open house held July 19. (Photo courtesy Cumberland County Commission)

  • 01 N2011P45008HA recent opinion piece by Tina Sacks for CNN left me riveted to my desk chair.

    Sacks, an associate professor at UC Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare, almost lost her 2-year-old son last year to what was ultimately diagnosed as multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children (MSI-C), even though he tested negative for COVID-19. Somehow the boy, who was on heavy doses of opioids and barbiturates, intubated twice, suffered heart failure, placed on a liver transplant list, and hospitalized for 4 weeks, survived.

    Sack’s opinion piece is entitled, “What antivaxxers sound like to me.” She does not use these words, but others have: Antivaxxers sound selfish and self-centered, all about themselves and their individual rights with little regard for the health and well being of their fellow human beings. They see themselves as very, very special.

    Since the founding of the United States, we have wrestled with the tension inherent between the freedoms guaranteed to us as individual Americans and the collective good of all Americans. This tension manifests itself in countless ways — states’ rights versus federal control, my right to play hard metal rock or use my leaf blower when my entire neighborhood wants to sleep, and on and on. Elections and wars have been fought over these tensions and friendships fractured.

    Vaccination during a worldwide pandemic is neither an academic, legal or political argument nor a mere annoyance. It is literally a matter of health or illness, even life or death. Yes, there are people who cannot take certain vaccines, but most of us can. And, yes, there are people in our nation who are rightly suspicious of the medical establishment that has treated them unfairly, even cruelly, in the past.

    Nearly 190-million Americans are at least partially vaccinated with minimal side effects. Look to your left and look to your right and you will likely see a successfully vaccinated American. The bottom line is that vaccinations, including those for COVID-19, work. People in other nations are literally dying to have what is freely and conveniently available to us.

    The question then becomes why some choose to remain unvaccinated, even though they are clearly putting themselves and others at risk as the highly transmissible Delta variant is spiking COVID cases in all 50 states with attendant hospitalizations and deaths.

    Sacks addresses the question this way.

    “Getting vaccinated against preventable diseases is one way to ensure that all people, especially, BIPOC [Black, Indigenous and People of Color], avoid health care encounters in which implicit and explicit bias lead to worse health outcomes.

    “It doesn’t help that many Republicans have been stoking vaccine skepticism and outright hostility. The Delta variant is already spreading rapidly across the country. Many who choose to forgo the shot may claim they are making a personal decision. But the continued spread of COVID-19 affects us all. And the truth is, the virus doesn’t care about so-called individual liberties. It simply infects whatever host it can find, Republican or Democrat, young or old, disabled, immuno-compromised, and anti-vaxxers alike.

    “If anything, remaining unvaccinated by choice — and not because of lack of access or contraindicated health condition — sounds more to me like shirking an individual responsibility than exercising an individual right.”

    None among us can see the future — where and how long COVID will ultimately exact its toll of human suffering and on how many. We cannot know how history will record the COVID pandemic, but my guess it will involve the usual dichotomy of nations who had access to vaccines and those who did not, those who availed themselves of the medical miracles before them and those who did not.

    The words grief, remorse and shame will also be included.

  • 09 CFRT Untitled design 1Local theaters in Fayetteville are back and ready to entertain the public with their upcoming season schedules full of new and exciting performances. With a mix of comedy, drama, mystery and musicals — there is something for everyone.

    Cape Fear Regional Theatre
    Cape Fear Regional Theatre will kick off their 60th season with six shows, starting with one of the world’s most successful rock ‘n’ roll musicals – “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story” from Oct. 14 until Nov. 7.

    Set in the 1950’s, the show tells the story of a young man from Texas with big glasses and big dreams catapulting to the top of the rock ‘n’ roll charts. The show will feature Holly’s popular songs like “Peggy Sue,” and “That’ll Be The Day,” along with “La Bamba,” and celebrate the man whose music and values were ahead of his time. It will be directed by Suzanne Agins, who also directed CFRT’s productions of “Dreamgirls,” “Memphis” and “Mamma Mia.”

    “We’re super excited about that, it was a part of a previously planned season but we didn’t get to do it until now,” said CFRT Artistic Director Mary Kate Burke.

    Next on their list is the 30th anniversary production of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” BCPE follows a group struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant while faced with casting the Herdman kids who are probably the most inventively awful kids in history. For local theater-goers, this is a traditional holiday fix. CFRT’s Education Director, Marc de la Concha, will direct the show which runs Dec. 3-19.

    The third show in the season will be “The Wizard of Oz,” a must-see for fans of the book, movie or original musical. Audiences will go on the journey with the classic characters of the Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion, Dorothy, and her little dog as well.

    The show will be directed by Tiffany Green, who previously directed “Shrek: The Musical.”

    “Next, a smaller play that’s unfamiliar to a lot of people but is fantastic called ‘Welcome to Arroyo’s,’” said Burke. “It’s like a hip-hop coming of age story that takes place in New York.” Audiences can look forward to DJs/narrators spinning the story in a comic heartfelt piece.

    “Welcome to Arroyo’s” is written by Kristoffer Diaz and runs March 10-27, 2022. The production will be performed with audience seating on stage.

    The fifth show in the line-up is “Clue: On Stage” directed by Burke herself, based on the best-selling board game and movie adaption. Audiences will join Miss Scarlett, Colonel Mustard, Professor Plum, and other colorful guests for this hilarious murder mystery. This show will also be performed with audience seating on stage.

    CFRT will end their season with “The Color Purple,” directed by Brian Harlan Brooks. The show is based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. The musical follows a woman named Celie, her heartbreak and despair, until her friend Shug helps her realize her own self-worth. Celie uses her flair for fashion to build a better future. The show features jazz, gospel, blues and African music.

    The musical, like the book and the film adaptation, is a story of resilience and a testament to the healing power of love. The show is being produced with support from The Junior League of Fayetteville and the National Endowment for the Arts.

    “Other than our Christmas show that happens every year, the rest of the shows depend on what’s happening in the world, what we think the community would love,” Burke said. “Sometimes we cast them based on conversations with the creative team that have done the show before.”

    For more information on shows or to purchase individual or season tickets, visit https://www.cfrt.org

    Gilbert Theater
    The first show of Gilbert’s season will be “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels: The Musical,” which runs Oct. 1-17. The story follows two con men, a beautiful woman and the elite of the French Riviera who will collide in a sexy and irreverent farce.

    “It's about con men and money and the upper crust of society and trying to swindle them out of money,” said Gilbert Theater Artistic Director Lawrence Carlisle.

    Next, “The Carols,” a returning crowd favorite. The Christmas themed musical will play weekends Nov. 26 to Dec. 5 and Dec. 17-19. The show features the Carol sisters struggling to put up their annual production of “A Christmas Carol,” but there is a shortage of men due to WWII.

    “We’re excited to be doing this again, it’s a really good show, it’s funny and not enough people got to see it due to COVID,” Carlisle mentioned.

    The third show of the season will be “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot,” a dark comedy and thought-provoking work by Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis. The play follows Judas in purgatory where he is on trial. This show will run Jan. 28 through Feb. 13, 2022.

    Carlisle said he hopes “Judas Iscariot” will be the show everyone talks about because it’s weird and reflects how the intent of theater is to entertain people.

    Following that, the season will present “Othello,” adapted and directed by Montgomery Sutton. The show will run March 25 through April 10, 2022, and will tell the story of a powerful general of the Venetian army, Othello, whose life and marriage
    are ruined by a conniving, deceitful and envious soldier, Iago.

    Gilbert is currently the recipient of the Lilly Endowment Challenge, a grant that will match all donations up to $50,000 for the theater. Donors can contribute to the Gilbert Theater Endowment by visiting https://cumberlandcf.fcsuite.com/erp/donate/create?funit_id=1389.

    For more information on season tickets and shows, visit https://www.gilberttheater.com.

    Sweet Tea Shakespeare
    “As of spring 2022, we will have been in Fayetteville for 10 years and so with the upcoming season we are looking forward to our 10-year anniversary,” said Jeremy Fiebig, Artistic Director for Sweet Tea Shakespeare.

    Their upcoming season starts in August and the first show will be “HamLIT” directed by Traycie Kuhn-Zapata. It will showcase how the prince of Denmark goes off his rocker on the rocks in this “bLITzed” take on Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy, “Hamlet.” “HamLIT” will play Aug. 13 and 27 at Hugger Mugger in Sanford; Aug. 14 and 28 at The Church at Paddy’s in Fayetteville; and Aug. 20 and 21 at the Arts Council in Fayetteville.

    Next in the season will be “Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare,” directed by Fiebig, which will run Aug. 19 through Sept. 5. The late Shakespearean romance brings family, fairytale and forgiveness to the stage. The tale follows King Leontes as he wrongfully accuses his wife of adultery and unleashes a storm of tragedy upon the kingdom of Sicilia.

    “The Winter’s Tale” will be staged and performed in Raleigh, and made available in Fayetteville via streaming later in the season.

    “We do a series of Shakespeare plays... we do at bars and craft breweries called LIT,” Fiebig said. “The biggest news for us other than the anniversary is we are expanding to Raleigh as well and we’ll be streaming it so folks from Fayetteville who can’t make the drive can view it as well.”

    “McLIT” will begin in October. Imagine if the writer, director and actors of “Macbeth” get lost at a frat party on their way to the show. It will be full of Shakespeare, drinking games, improv and lively music. This show is for adults only ages 18 and up. “McLit” plays Oct. 1 and 22 at Hugger Mugger in Sanford; Oct. 16 and 22 at The Church at Paddy’s in Fayetteville. Other shows will be added through April, 2022.

    The classic love story “Romeo and Juliet” will be on the stage in Raleigh from Oct. 21 to Nov. 7, followed by Sweet Tea Shakespeare’s annual Christmas show, “Behold” that will play Dec. 2 through Dec. 11 that returns to Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Fayetteville.

    “Richard II” and “Henry IV, Part 1” which will be performed in rep by a single company of actors, constitutes the first half of Shakespeare’s history tetralogy — an epic tale of fathers and sons, loyalty and leadership, politics and power. It is the story of ordinary people weathering the winds of change in a fledgling nation. And it is a visceral reminder that history isn’t past; it’s not even history at all. The plays will run on alternating days in Raleigh from Jan. 13 to Jan. 30, 2022.

    April brings Jane Austen’s “Emma” adapted by Assistant Artistic Director Claire F. Martin who gives Austen’s rom-com a dazzling update. The show
    will run at multiple locations from April 21 to May 15, 2022.

    Tickets for Sweet Tea Shakespeare performances are $20 general admission and $25 at the door, with discounts for seniors, military and students. Guests can also become a Monthly Sustainer of Sweet Tea Shakespeare for special advance ticket rates and other benefits.

    For more information and show schedules, tickets and performance locations, visit https://sweetteashakespeare.com/tickets/.

    Fayetteville Dinner Theatre
    The Fayetteville Dinner Theatre returned to Gates Four Golf & Country Club with two successful shows this year. They opened in April with two sold-out performances of the musical comedy “A Sinister Cabaret: Love Letter/Sleight of Hand,” written and directed by Dr. Gail Morfesis and produced by Up & Coming Weekly community newspaper.

    The second musical show “Beyond Broadway: Music of Our Time,” was produced and directed by Bill Bowman, the publisher of Up & Coming Weekly, and featured local performers Tim Zimmerman and Linda Flynn.

    “We have an excellent feel of the type of dinner theatre entertainment the community wants,” said Bowman. “Gates Four is the perfect venue, and General Manager Kevin Lavertu has been very instrumental in assisting us in creating a theatrical venue that complements the other great live theater offerings we enjoy here in Fayetteville and Cumberland County.”

    Bowman said the intent is for Gates Four to provide local patrons an entertainment experience that is different and uniquely special to Gates Four.

    “It is an experience that would WOW the audiences and give the Gates Four theatre experience a unique brand,” Bowman said.

    FDT accomplishes this by abandoning the traditional buffet-style dinner and show concept for a more fun, yet elegant theater experience. The evening begins with the directors welcome reception and wine tasting featuring a wide selection of local wines and trays of hors d'oeuvres. The dining room welcomes guests with draped tables, cloth napkins, candlelight, a three-course plated dinner with dual entrees, and an elegant dessert buffet at the intermission. There is pre-show entertainment during the dinner hour, and once the show is underway, there are prizes and surprises.

    “The Fayetteville Dinner Theatre’s mission is to bring quality shows to local area theater-goers and provide local actors a venue to showcase their talents,” Bowman said.

    Gates Four and the FDT donate the money raised from the wine tasting to local children's literacy and education organizations or other community nonprofit organizations like the Care Clinic.

    While there are no shows scheduled for the rest of this calendar year, FDT does plan four shows in 2022.

    In the works is “Miss Congeniality,” a musical comedy written by Bowman and being produced and directed in collaboration with Dr. Gail Morfesis.

    Another planned show is “Mark Twain Himself” staring Richard Garey. This show was scheduled in May of 2020, but was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Garey is a student of history and has performed all over the world, entertaining audiences with the genuine wit and wisdom of Mark Twain.

    For the latest FDT schedule, visit www.fayettevilledinnertheatre.com/.

    11 love letter ladies

    10 JH 09125 12 Midsoummer and Much Ado

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Photos courtesy Cape Fear Regional Theatre, Gilbert Theater, Sweet Tea Shakespeare and Fayetteville Dinner Theatrewith special thanks to Jonathan Hornby Productions and Tony Wooten.

  • 04 wild dust bunnyDust Bunnies. What are they? Where do they come from? What do they want? Where do they go? What if they aren’t stopped? These are the eternal questions that even in our enlightened 21st Century have no definitive answers.

    Today, Mr. Science will attempt to shed some light on our dusty friends. This column was triggered by the energetic efforts of Mrs. Science who recently took on the Herculean Task of cleaning out under our bed. We have a tall bed that has been the home and storage location of many quaint and curious objects of forgotten lore over the last 40 years. Once something was stored under the bed, it tended to remain there per Newton’s First Law of physics which says an object at rest stays at rest unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

    It turned out there was quite a Metaverse of objects under the bed. The most impressive object was Mr. Science’s Father’s World War 2 steel footlocker belonging to Lt. E.H. Dickey. Although the foot locker remains unopened, many people are saying it contains the original lyrics to the song “Louie, Louie”.

    Other subterranean inhabitants included two giant airtight plastic clothes bags containing at least 80 ancient T-shirts carefully sealed against the elements. Surrounding all the objects was a vast civilization of Dust Bunnies.

    According to Mr. Google, Dust Bunnies are "small clumps of dust that form under furniture and in corners that are not cleaned regularly. They are made of hair, lint, dead skin, spider webs, dust, and sometimes light rubbish and debris that are held together by static electricity and felt-like entanglements.”

    Now that we know what Dust Bunnies are and from whence they come, it turns out they are pretty disgusting.

    Next up is the question what do Dust Bunnies want? Dust Bunnies are silent. They do not make verbal demands. They just lie there, quietly proliferating. If left to their own devices, Dust Bunnies will take over the world, one unswept location at a time. They want world domination and must be stopped.

    Pondering the Dust Bunny Kingdom reminded me of the discussion in “Animal House” between Larry Kroger and Professor Jennings after they had smoked marijuana. Larry: “Okay, that means that our whole solar system could be like one tiny atom in the finger nail of some other giant being. This is too much! That means that one tiny atom in my finger nail could be. “Professor Jennings: “Could be one little tiny universe.” Larry: “Could I buy some pot from you?”

    Dust Bunny Metaverses are the inert cousins of Kudzu which also desires to take over the world. Kudzu can only be stopped by freezing weather in February. Dust Bunnies are even more dangerous than Kudzu as they can only be stopped by cleaning forgotten areas.

    Where do Dust Bunnies go? Everywhere, unless they are swept up and disposed of properly. Mrs. Science saved the Earth by sweeping up 40 years of Dust Bunny Kingdoms. Thanks be to Mrs. Science.

    Having seen the Dust Bunny Civilization swept away, it got Mr. Science thinking about other lost civilizations which fell victim to the silent tragedy of Dust Bunnies. Ponder the fate of the Mayan civilization. It flourished almost 3000 years from 2000 BC until about 900 AD when it collapsed. It is likely the Mayans neglected to sweep out their cities and pyramids leading to Dust Bunnies collapse. There were still Mayans around when Cortez showed up in 1525. However, the Dust Bunnies had already hollowed out their civilization making the Mayans easy pickings for Cortez.

    The Aztecs were a similar lost civilization which allegedly was wiped out by a nasty pestilence called the “cocoliztli” which may have killed up to 17 million people in the 16th century. The Aztecs where more into cutting the hearts out of their enemies than tiding up. It seems likely that Dust Bunnies were the cause of the pestilence.

    The prevailing theory about the extinction of dinosaurs 66 million years ago is that they were wiped out by an asteroid hitting the Earth creating the Chicxulub Crater in Yucatan. Nothing could be further from the truth. Uncontrolled Dust Bunnies conquered the dinosaurs. Have you ever seen the tiny arms of a Tyrannosaurus Rex? No way that a T Rex could have held a broom to sweep out the Dust Bunnies before they reached critical mass. Clearly Dust Bunnies then ruled the Earth.

    A final example of the perfidiousness of Dust Bunnies is the Lost Colony on Roanoke Island. John White’s band of plucky colonists landed on the beach in August 1587. Things got a bit dicey. John headed back to England for supplies which would have included brooms. He wasn’t able to get back to Roanoke until three years later in 1590. On his return, the Lost Colony was gone leaving only the word Croatan carved on a post. No one knows for sure what happened to the Colony.

    However, it turns out that Croatan means Dust Bunnies. The rest is history.

    One final note, Dust Bunnies are responsible for where the lost socks go. Only you can prevent Dust Bunny take over. Sweep under your bed. Be the unbalanced force. The civilization you save may be your own.

     

  • 05 Emergency Rental Assistance Program LogoLocal government’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program is distributing money received through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 to eligible residents who are unable to pay rent and utilities because of economic hardships from the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The program is for current costs or those occurring no earlier than March 13, 2020. A total of $10,119,409 has been allocated to the city and county. The program will operate through the end of this year.

    “COVID-19 changed our lives and people are trying to survive financial struggles brought on by the pandemic,” Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin said.

    Landlords may work with their tenants to complete applications for the funding.

    Renters in Fayetteville and Cumberland County needing assistance to cover past, current, or upcoming rent or utility payments may apply online at fayettevillecumberlandRAP.com or by phone at 888-495-7710.

  • 03 N1809P43007H Twin TowersSome events in American history engrave our minds so deeply that we remember where we were and what we were doing when they occurred. We mark our lives as BE and AE, before the event and after the event.

    November 22, 1963. It was a Friday and I was at school in my after-lunch class when the intercom interrupted to tell both teachers and students that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas.

    July 16, 1969. American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human being to set foot on the moon, calling it “a small step for man but a giant leap for mankind.” I was taking my shift waiting tables at a resort restaurant as my summer job.

    September 11, 2001. I was in the Cannon Office Building next door to the U.S. Capitol with a delegation from the Fayetteville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce awaiting a briefing from the U.S. Secretary of Commence who never showed up because he, like every other American, was torn from his prior life by planes flying into the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers.

    January 6, 2021. The insurrection directed by a losing presidential candidate erupted around and eventually inside the U.S. Capitol, leaving 5 dead and many others wounded, including law enforcement officers. Arrests continue as rioters are identified and charged. I was at home watching an attempted coup unfold on television with tears streaming down my cheeks and my heart hammering.

    It has been just over 6 months since that dreadful day, and Americans are still absorbing an event that saw Americans engaging in military-style hand-to-hand combat with each other. The insurrectionists were mightily upset that their candidate was the clear loser of the 2020 presidential race, with more than 7 million fewer popular votes and 74 electoral votes behind.

    The election was not close, and the rioters failed to force Congress not to certify the election results. The rioters claimed to support democracy at the same time they attempted to overturn a presidential election.

    Six months ago, even the loser’s party officials condemned the mob actions, but memories are apparently short or political courage in short supply or both. Today, the loser’s supporters cry “voter fraud,” with virtually no evidence of it. The idea is to restrict minority voting, a replay of what happened during the Jim Crow era in our nation. Déjà vu of the early 20th century in the early 21st.

    Our country is also closing in on gerrymandering season, the time when legislatures and some independent commissions redraw legislative and Congressional districts to reflect the findings of the most recent U.S. Census. Fierce battles are expected, including in North Carolina, as one party tries to win more seats by gerrymandering even though it has fewer voters. This tactic has been used by both parties since the birth of our nation, and we will see it again later this year. Déjà vu 2011 in 2021.

    The really shocking aspect of the insurrections “after event” reality is that so many Americans have simply moved on, something that did not happen after the Kennedy assassination or 9/11. Maybe it is because life moves so quickly in our technological age or because they no longer want to think about Americans in combat with other Americans or because they want others to forget the deadly rioting. Whatever the motivation, pretending an insurrection did not happen in and around the grounds of the U.S. Capitol is profoundly dangerous, as it the belief that the losing candidate will be reinstated, a sort of political resurrection. As the writer and philosopher George Santayana reportedly said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

    The terrifying reality is that they just might succeed next time.

  • 09 this one N2104P25003HThe Cumberland County School system hosted a Back-to-School Launch Party to show students that with the right support in place, they can get back on track and graduate from high school. The virtual event took place on July 15. Students received incentives for attending.

    Interested students and families can still learn about opportunities for getting back to school by calling the hotline at 910-475-1145 or by visiting the CCS website www.ccs.k12.nc.us/. Registration is required.

    The hotline is operational Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. through July 24.

    “We hope to help students re-engage and get back on track with their education,” said Sheral Raines, dropout prevention supervisor. “We want to be able to cheer them across the graduation stage and into the lives that they’ve always dreamed they could have.”

  • 15 1Boxing is a sport that takes a lot of practice, determination and heart. Amateur boxing is a lot like checkers - you never know who you will be competing against, says local boxing coach Juan Verdejo. Professional boxing is like chess because the boxers have time to plan and strategize for their competitors.

    When he trains young boxers at Burgess Boxing & Fitness in Spring Lake, Verdejo said he focuses on speed and endurance. With growth and experience comes control. Verdejo said that speed and control are important because throwing random punches might not land any hits. But endurance helps carry you through the fight.

    “Throw a combo and get out, don’t stick around for the other guy to learn your moves and get hits in,” Verdejo said.

    This is a training focus Coach Verdejo uses when preparing boxers for bouts, like the upcoming Christy Martin Title Belt Tournament scheduled for July 23-25.

    Burgess Boxing & Fitness owner Tony Burgess said he only likes his fighters to fight twice a month because the sport takes a toll on the body. He wants to make sure that his boxers get plenty of rest and recovery. COVID restricted several boxing tournaments and training schedules in the last year, and some gyms shut down. Burgess and Verdejo are glad to see competitions restarting as more pandemic restrictions are being lifted.

    “My favorite fights to see are little kids and the girls because they really get in there and fight. There isn’t a lot of dancing around,” said Burgess.

    His gym offers training to all interested in learning the sport of boxing. Participating in tournaments in not required, but many do. Verdejo said he enjoys helping young boxers learn and participate. For many, boxing is an outlet that gives them purpose and a positive outlet.

    The Christy Martin Title Belt Tournament will take place July 23-25 at Freedom Courts Sportsplex located at 3126 Gillespie St. in Fayetteville. Local boxers will have the opportunity to compete against other amateur boxers from across the state.

    The public is invited to attend the tournament. For more information call 910-890-5534.

    The tournament is named for Christy Martin, a worldwide sensation in the boxing ring. Martin is often credited with legitimizing women’s boxing. Martin had 49 wins (31 by knockout) when her then-husband and trainer, Jim, put her in the fight of her life. In 2010, he attacked Christy in their home when she tried to leave him. Jim stabbed Christy several times and shot her. Christy was able to get out of the house and flag down a passing motorist who took her to the hospital. Christy survived and was able to testify against Jim, helping to convict him. Jim remains in prison in Florida.

    Christy Martin will be in Fayetteville this week and is scheduled to speak at Rape Crisis of Cumberland County. The public is invited to hear her story of survival at 6 p.m. on July 22. Rape Crisis of Cumberland County is located at 519 Ramsey St.

    Pictured above: (Left) Gym owner Tony Burgess, far right, poses with a fighter and training team after a bout.

    Pictured Below: (Right) Coach Juan Verdejo, on right, trains boxers of all ages to compete in the ring.

     

    16 8

  • 06 FAST Coach 2Federal grants totaling more than $4.6 million will be used to purchase five new electric buses for the Fayetteville Area System of Transit.

    The buses are expected to arrive in Fayetteville in the summer of 2023. The projected date reflects a manufacturing backlog.

    “We want to replace all of our diesel buses with electric vehicles,” said Transit Director Randy Hume. “I believe that can happen over the next 15 years.”

    The grant awards also cover costs of bus charging equipment which will be used overnight during off-peak hours.

    The federal funds will also cover costs of workforce training to help FAST staff members transition from diesel to electric buses.

    Fayetteville’s Public Works Commission will assist FAST in the selection of bus charging equipment and development of strategies to reduce electricity costs.

    Hume said he believes the new buses will reduce emissions, improve air quality, upgrade the quality of life and reduce FAST operating expenses.

  • 01 pub penThere are countless numbers of people, businesses and organizations in Fayetteville and Cumberland County that we could celebrate, showcase and write about. All of them are engaged in doing things that make this community a great place to live.

    In every case these benefactors of humanity work tirelessly and silently throughout the community seeking no compensation or recognition with their satisfaction coming only from knowing they are lifting a burden from someone's troubled shoulders or easing the pain of an ailing heart caused by a terminal diagnosis, a personal tragedy, a sudden loss of a loved one or an unfortunate turn of ill fate.

    The world would be a kinder and gentler place if it were inhabited with more people like Holly Whitley of Legends Pub and her like-minded supporters affectionately known as the Gypsy Women.

    Together from the quaint confines of one of Fayetteville's and Bragg Boulevard’s oldest and most renown and respected "biker bars" comes an outpouring of charity and compassion that has identified both as paragons of humanity.

    My affinity toward Holly and her bar came naturally exactly 25 years ago in 1996, the year we both started our businesses.

    Incidentally, I have yet to put aside my penchant for fast motorcycles, pool playing and wine-drinking (all traits of my ill-spent childhood).

    Since then, we both have set our sights on building successful local businesses that contribute value to the community.

    Well, after a quarter-century, hundreds of charitable events and over a million dollars in charitable donations and contributions, Holly, and her band of Gypsy Women, have truly become legendary.

    In celebration, Up & Coming Weekly, Jay Dowdy, Gates Four Country Club and Piedmont Natural Gas recently had a '80s music concert where Holly hosted a party for the Gypsy Women and friends of Legends Pub.

    Holly, we salute you and thank you for 25 years of unconditional love and service to the Fayetteville community. You are the standard-bearer of generosity and compassion. Few will accomplish in a lifetime what you have done in 25 years. Congratulations!

    My 25 years, my achievements? I'm now the oldest paperboy in Fayetteville, and I’m still working on it. Thanks for reading Up & Coming Weekly.

    02 UAC06022101

  • 10 Wading In the Water Alvin AileyThe possibilities of painting and mixed media is the underlying theme of the new exhibit opening at the Arts Council of Fayetteville and Cumberland County during 4th Friday on July 23.
    Revelation: 50 Years of Painting: Works by Dwight Smith is the Art Council’s first 50-year retrospect exhibition by a living artist, working in an abstract style.

    The public is invited to attend the opening or visit the Arts Council during the last week in July and through September 11.

    Visitors to the gallery will have the chance to see the progression of Smith’s work and experience the joyfulness he brings to an abstract style of painting and working in mixed media.

    To see Smith’s work is to become more familiar with a different way of looking at the possibilities of image making. Visitors will hopefully leave the gallery having greater insight in “how” the work of Smith conveys meaning in his style and ways he works with materials.

    To understand the “how” everyone visiting the exhibit should allow themselves to experience the art “as it is.” If you are an individual who prefers figurative or narrative works of art, take the time to see or try to see what the artist has been exploring for the last 50 years to express meaning in his work.

    Not required to enjoy Smith’s work, but understanding he comes from the tenets of the modernist school of abstract expressionism, is a doorway you should enter and immerse yourself in the style of abstraction.
    Smith has been always driven by the early abstract expressionist’s principles in painting: the sensation of immediacy, a painting is not a picture, but an object that has the same capabilities as sculpture to occupy space, possess thickness, density, and weight.

    In lieu of descriptive subject matter in a painting to evoke meaning, Smith focuses on form to conjure meaning. Although he started off predominantly in watercolors, he later moved to oil and acrylic.

    In the latter mediums, he does not use layers of transparent colors to create the immaterial; instead, the opacity of the ever-present paint surface, or the collage surface, leads us to materiality — the physicality of the work.

    The opacity of Smith’s color palette is not an elusive approach to painting; it invites us to know the physical sensation of touch. Combined with texture, we can begin to understand his painting is not about arrested or metaphorical touch, but the immediacy of touch.

    Being open to abstraction as a style, visitors will be able to study and experience how this artist embeds meaning in materials. For Smith, the sources of his lifetime pursuit in painting are combining iconic symbols with the exploration of surface quality and the power of abstraction to communicate an idea or a feeling, and collage as a significant 20th century method.

    This search stayed with him after his graduation from Wayne State with a Bachelor of Fine Art in Painting in 1976, during his return to Wayne State to earn a Master of Art in Painting in 1992, and the highest studio degree, a Master of Fine Art in

    Painting at the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2012.

    Knowing the artist’s statement, we can follow the timeline of his pursuit of “integrating opposites into a state of harmony and balance. Each work is a commitment to intimate concerns about painting and the language of abstraction. Research and investigations into contemporary painting involve mixed media painting and drawings that are influenced by material surfaces, textures and scale.”

    Seeing the timeline of the paintings in the exhibit, it is easy to identify when the use of symbols emerged and the significance of the symbol. Smith’s artists statement explains the purpose of symbolism in his work: “Elements of design referenced in African, African American, or multi-cultural imagery create a catalyst to begin a visual language that informs the work. Through the work, I am responding to the tension generated by a resounding past and an insistent present.”

    The artist’s commitment to the abstract form and the use of specific symbols guides us to understanding personal meaning in his most recent work. Smith explains: “The works celebrate life, family histories and tributes to artists. I express certain social realities concerning the world while exploring aesthetic qualities of being black in America and addressing the literal symbology of contemporary blackness within the legacy of Abstract Expressionism, creating a pliable structure for intuition, improvisation, and chance.”

    Building on 20th century modernism, contemporary art is even more varied and complex. Personal expression can include beauty, but most often works can be highly political, globalization has influenced styles, the digital age continues to impact everyone, and themes of identity and social unrest is prevalent. Yet, Smith has remained focused on the formal problems of painting and the expressive power of material.

    His style is a way to express his personal narrative about states of being — specifically his experiences of being an African American male in America. Even though growing up Black in America continues to have serious challenges and obstacles in American culture, we leave Revelation: 50 Years of Painting understanding how joyfulness, spirituality, love of music, love of dance, and love of life are the core of Dwight Smith’s beingness: and it is this feeling, or state of being, which is communicated throughout his work.

    It is important to understand why an artist has the impulse to create, but it is also important to know what choices an artist’s makes that encourage or support their efforts to remain an artist.

    For Smith, a key influence was an African American art organization which was established in the 1950s, the National Conference of Artists, Michigan Chapter.

    While galleries and the “artworld” were not promoting African American artists up until the 1990s, the NCA was an important meeting place for artists to work together, encourage each other, have exhibits, travel to other countries, and network.

    As a very young and emerging artist, Smith was able to interface with a network of seasoned African American artists, many historically important in American Art. Mentored by John A. Lockart, knowing David Driskell, Howandena Pindell, Romare Bearden, Shirley Woodson and Al Loving had the greatest influence on his personal development of style.

    After retiring from a career as the advertising and display coordinator for the Automobile Club of Michigan in 2007 (and remaining an exhibiting artist), Smith, and his immediate family (partner Calvin Mims and Shirley Mims) moved to Fayetteville.

    Besides being an artist, the move to North Carolina began a new chapter in his life when he became an educator. Currently Smith is a tenured Associate Professor of Art at Fayetteville State University in the Department of Performing and Fine Art.

    While teaching at Fayetteville State University with a master’s degree, another important influence on Smith was when he decided to go back to graduate school to earn a Master of Fine Art at the Art Institute of Boston.

    He stated, “Everyone needs something or someone to solidify the legitimacy of your work during different phases. While earning my MFA the comments from the visiting artists helped to do that. As well, it was a period when I could revisit and analyze my work up to that point.”

    Smith’s accomplishments as an artist are way too extensive to start listing in this editorial. It suffices to say he is an artist who continues to show regionally, nationally and internationally, his works continues to be purchased by collectors, his paintings are in many private and public collections, including museums, and he has received many national honors and awards.

    Dwight Smith (and his partner Calvin Mims) have had a significant impact on the arts in Fayetteville by owning and operating Ellington White Contemporary Gallery on Gillespie Street.

    In addition, Smith has significantly contributed to the cultural landscape of Fayetteville and nationally by exhibiting, his continued participation in NCA, scholarly presentations, curating significant exhibits, and his community/professional service.

    Revelation: 50 Years of Painting at the Art Council is well worth the time to visit. But it is not an exhibit to rush through. One will have to spend quiet time with the work to see how a consummate artist gives evidence to a well-known statement:

    By knowing your craft, you spend less time in thinking about the process and can focus on the “why” of painting.”

    The exhibition opens during 4th Friday on July 23. The public is invited to the free event, and the exhibition will remain up until September 11.

    For information on the exhibition call the Arts Council at 910-323-1776 or visit www.theartscouncil.com/.

    The Arts Council is located at 301 Hay St. in Fayetteville. Hours of operation are Monday – Thursday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. until noon.

    Pictured above: "Wading in the Water Alvin Ailey" by Dwight Smith

    Pictured Below:

    (Left) "Homage to Al Loving" by Dwight Smith

    (Middle) "A Conversation with Norman Lewis" by Dwight Smith

    (Right) "Girl in the Yellow Raincoat" by Dwight Smith

    11 11

    12 5 13 Girl in the Yellow Raincoat

     

     

  • 07 USE this Fowler picTwo area restauranteurs have been honored by inclusion in USA Today’s top 10 central North Carolina barbecue spots.

    Former Fayetteville City Councilman Wade Fowler who now serves as chairman of the Public Works Commission has been involved in many walks of life since retiring as an Air force jet fighter pilot. He owns Fowlers’ Southern Gourmet on W. Rowan Street near downtown. It opened in February 2018, and has already gained a reputation for delicious ribs, pork barbecue and smoked brisket.

    Whole hog barbecue is something of a dying art, but Fayetteville native Wyatt Dickson didn't get the memo. He and co-owner Ryan Butler opened Picnic in Durham five years ago.

    Dickson is one of the sons of Up & Coming Weekly columnist Margaret Dickson. His barbecue mixes old-school technique with a new-school mindset.

  • 14 PXL 20210626 152041971Fayetteville fencers at the All-American Fencing Academy earned national competitor ratings and national referee ratings during the Academy’s one and only sanctioned event during the 2020-2021 season.

    During most of the 2020-2021 season, sanctioned fencing tournaments had been cancelled. Recent policy changes with USA Fencing has now allowed national and local sanctioned tournaments.

    In June, Fayetteville hosted fencers from Greensboro, Charlotte, Apex, Greenville, Wilmington and the state of Alabama.

    In the men’s events Holden Moorefield was after his first national rating and came out of pools undefeated and seeded number 1. He defeated top seed teammate Bruce McRae, dropping Bruce down to 5th seed in the elimination rounds.

    In the elimination rounds, All-American Fencing Academy’s oldest fencer, Steve Cage, at age 65, upset the 4th seed to place in the top 8.

    Moorefield and McRae once again met in the semi-final round where McRae had trailed for most of the bout, but was able to squeeze in a victory winning against Moorefield 15-13. McRae and Moorefield will both be attending UNC-Chapel Hill where they will also be roommates.

    McRae continued on to win the men’s event against Leo Hinds from Greensboro. McRae re-earns his national E rating for Men’s Foil.

    Women’s foil saw a stronger pool of fencers with 5 already nationally rated fencers in the tournament.

    Megan Patterson seeded 1st coming out of the pools, followed by Isabelle Guevarra in 5th, Sabrina Krupenko in 7th, and Elinor Morkos in 12th.

    Unfortuantely, teammates Guevarra and Morkos faced each other in the first elimination round where Guevarra won 15-3 to advance. Patterson and Krupenko also advanced into the second round.

    Guevarra aged up in 2020 and was hoping to earn her first rating last fall, but had not had the opportunity to fence in any sanctioned events since the pandemic. This was her first tournament in the age 13+ (Seniors) category. A close victory against Greenville’s Lynn Harris put her in the semi-final rounds against teammate Patterson, guaranteeing Guevarra her first national E rating.

    Patterson defeated Guevarra but was defeated in the finals by Apex Fencing Academy’s Datla Medha. Patterson also renews her E rating.

    The sport of fencing is growing world-wide. In a historically European dominated sport, U.S. teams have consistently been in the top places on the world stage for several years. In the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, fencing, for the first time, will have a full medal count. There will be 6 individual medals and 6 team medals in this next Olympics.

    The All-American Fencing Academy also hosts a Walk-In Class for fencers that want to give it a try without making a full month commitment. The Walk-In Classes occur during Downtown Fayetteville’s Fourth Friday events.

    The All-American Fencing Academy is located in Downtown Fayetteville at 207 B Donaldson St. It instructs and trains recreational and competitive fencers starting at age 7, teens, adults and veterans ages 40+. Its fencers compete regionally and nationally. Their coaches include former World Cup and NCAA fencers.

    For more information about the All-American Fencing Academy and its classes, please call 910-644-0137, e-mail info@allamericanfencing.com or visit www.allamericanfencing.com.

    Pictured above: Two fencers in a recent bout. (Photo courtesy All-American Fencing Academy).

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