North Carolina Newspapers

Taxi service donates to UNC
Owner also giv es
to school system
Chapel Hill Taxi owner Ulugbek
"Bek' Kasimov had just finished
cleaning his trademark Carolina
blue taxi in preparation for one
very special fare.
The local taxi service donated
SSOO dollars to both the Carolina
Covenant and the Public School
Foundation of the Chapel Hill-
Carrboro City Schools on Friday.
James Taylor's "Carolina in My
Mind" played on the taxi radio and
blue and white balloons adorned
its exterior at the check presenta
tion ceremony.
"We decided that we wanted to
be a part of the community and
give back to the community we are
a part of," said Kasimov, who is a
co-owner of the taxi company.
Chapel Hill Taxi donated SI.OO
from every cab fare to the cause,
half to the Covenant and half to the
Public School Foundation.
“Business is not only for profit,
but also for service." said Kasimov,
who said he believes in the idea of
social entrepreneurship.
Kasimov said he chose to donate
to the organizations because he
understands the importance of a
quality education. He earned a mas
ter's degree in English language and
literature in his native Uzbekistan.
1 le came to America eight and a half
years ago at age 23.
1 lis wife is a student at the UNC
School of Social Work and his step
son attends East Chapel Hill High.
Shirley Ort, architect of the
Covenant, attended Friday’s cer
emony to accept the money on
behalf of her organization.
The symbolism of this donation
is really important," said Ort, "for
members of the community to rec
ognize the need of the youth and
act upon it."
Advancing by staying the same
Craig Finn is nothing if not self
On the first track of The Hold
Steady's fourth EP, Stay Positive
released digitally Tuesday, with
a physical release to follow in July
Finn exclaims in his raspy, fire
and-brimstone baritone, "All our
songs are sing-along songs."
That fact has made The Hold
Steady the type of band that inspires
boozy rants of fanfare with each of
its epic tales of youth and despair.
But it seems on Stay Positive
that Finn has grown up, allowing
himself to step back a bit from
the "scene" and take stock of the
incredible trajectory of The Hold
Steady since its debut, .Almost
Killed Me.
“There's gonna come a time
when the scene won’t seem too
sunny/It'll probably get druggy,
and the kids will seem too skinny,”
Finn laments on “Stay Positive,"
perhaps the most hopeful song on
the album because, well, even in
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After receiving a check from Chapel Hill Taxi for the UNC Office of Scholarships and Student Aid, Shirley Ort
sits in the backseat of a Chapel Hill Taxi vehicle, which boasts luxurious massage chairs for its passengers.
Ort said the SSOO donation will
be put into the program’s expend
able fund and will be given to stu
dents in the form of scholarships.
“It could even possibly be used to
meet students’ needs that wouldn't
otherwise be met. such as a simple
trip to the dentist or doctor or even
just out to lunch," Ort said.
According to Ort, the Covenant
typically relies on corporate spon
sorships and donations.
“No small business has ever
made this type of donation to the
Covenant," Ort said. "This is a first.
This is very innovative."
the face of the deteriorating scene,
“We gotta stay positive."
This is a record chock-full of
musical allusion —both to Finn’s
heroes and his own past lyrics, a
m'ove that begins to seem heavy
On almost every song. The
Hold Steady raises its collective
Budweiser to one of his influences.
Sometimes, as on album highlight
“Constructive Summer,” they come
in bunches.
Finn references fellow
Minnesotans Dillinger Four before
offering up praise for punk’s ulti
mate hero.
“Let's raise a toast to Saint Joe
Strummer/I think he might have
been our only decent teacher."
Good luck trying to dispute that
But aside from establishing its
musical pedigree. The Hold Steady
essentially sticks to the script of its
previous albums.
The songs are still about drink
ing, bars, “townies" and girls.
“In bar light she looks alright/
Lynn Lehmann, president of the
Public School Foundation, said the
same is true for her organization.
The portion of the donation for
the Public School Foundation will be
allocated to the Achiever's Fund.
The Achiever’s Fund is a two
year-old program that offers fund
ing to students who otherwise
would not be able to do outside
of-school activities.
“The fund has also given stu
dents money for after-school
programs, band instruments and
tuition," Lehmann said.
The Achiever’s Fund has grown
In daylight she looked desperate,"
is the type of couplet that the band
has become known for.
Musically, there is nothing
groundbreaking on Stay Positive.
The keys, guitar and drums that
make up most of the backing pro
vide a perfect canvas for Finn to
paint his tales.
And it is those stories that are
the real stars.
They are the types of songs that
everyone can get behind. Songs
that will inspire fist pumps from
the punk kids Finn courts with his
hard-con." references and the aging
men who desperately w ant Finn to
reach the neo-Springsteen status
he’s been flirting with for years.
Contact Jamie Williams
rapidly over the past two years due
to donations such as Chapel Hill
Taxi's. The foundation was able to
award 16 grants last month alone.
In the year before May. they had
only managed to distribute 11.
Both Ort and Lehmann agree that
Chapel Hill Taxis show of support for
the educational community means a
lot to them as administrators.
Kasimov, however, simply hopes
that he will set a trend for other
local companies to'follow.
Chapel Hill Taxi also expects to
continue making similar donations
for as long as the company remains
in business.
“The more business we get, the
more money we can give," Kasimov
Contact the University Editor
at udesk@
Bringing it back to the center
Jenks Miller is the type of musi
cian who inspires anticipation.
A pure artist with such versa
tile creativity and talent that each
of his releases is met with curios
ity, immediately followed by awe
upon first listen.
On his latest, and the first under
his own name. Approaching the
Invisible Mountain, Miller grabs
his electric guitar, builds it up and
tears it back down, stretching it
further than most would consider,
drawing tones from across the
sonic map.
And while a record made up
entirely of electric guitar improvi
sation seems as though it could be
a bit too much to swallow. Miller
never forsakes listen-ability and
always keeps melody at the fore
It would not be a stretch to call
Miller one of the area’s most talent
ed musicians. And those versatile
talents are on display in all of his
musical endeavors. He drums with
Un Deux Trois, a pop band, records
drone-based noise as Horseback
and now improvises guitar under
his own name.
And although these three efforts
seem incredibly different. Miller
uses his melodic sensibilities to
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Moore’s lawyers
allege bribery
by complainant
The lawsuit alleging that State
i Treasurer Richard Moore has with
held public records is now embroiled
in a different controversy.
Moore's lawyers have accused
the State Employees Association of
\ North Carolina of trying to bribe
| Moore.
Kieran Shanahan. Moore's chief
counsel, said the organization
offered to settle the lawsuit if Moore
pledged to support a bill in the N.C.
General Assembly that the organi
zation is striving to get passed.
“We were basically in disbelief,
we thought that maybe we misun
derstood." he said.
Shanahan said he was so sur
prised he asked the employees
association to put the offer in writ
SEANC Executive Director
Dana Cope admits an offer to settle
was made.
Cope said they sent an e-mail
stating, “The only way that we
would be willing to settle this case
is if the treasurer would come out
and support the retirement system
reform bill."
Cope claimed that Shanahan is
twisting the issue.
“It’s ludicrous, it’s absolutely
funny. His lawyer is kind of a
; showman who likes to get his name
in the newspaper," he said.
Cope added that he thinks
Shanahan is trying to draw atten
tion away from the real issue of the
“I think it’s kind of Shanahan
shenanigans." he said. "To make
some doubts to take the public eye
off’the real issue."
For his part, Shanahan says he
felt an ethical obligation to report
j the offer.
“It was unethical and possibly
illegal." he said.
“We were duty bound by ethics
to advise the court."
He said the employees associa-
make each approachable and
appealing to music fans of all per
Therein lies his greatest strength
as a musician, the ability to draw
from across the board without
forsaking the accessibility of his
Granted, it sometimes takes
an open mind and a willingness
to experiment, but listeners able
to leave their comfort zones will
immediately find that buried under
sounds that might first be classified
as experimental and unknown,
there is an abundance of melody
and beauty.
Approaching the Invisible
Mountain is no different. The
seemingly avant-garde is drawn
back toward the center on the
type of record that features such
distinct and different sounds that
each of its six tracks could serve
as the soundtrack to all of your
Seriously, close your eyes when
you listen.
It is the type of immediately
meditative music that will draw
thoughts and images from cor
ners of your imagination that you
previously had no concept of.
You get lost inside of the
record, it is impossible not to, as
Miller shapes epics made entirely
ehr flailij ear Hrrl
Moore, state
is now the
subject of a
dispute over
alleged bribery.
tion argues the offer was not prob
"The employees association has
defended themselves by saying
the offer has a long precedent," he
"They’re trying to say this is
business as usual. They’re not try
ing to deny that they did it.
“They're just saying that’s hard
ball politics."
Shanahan also alleges that the
lawsuit itself was foul play.
Cope said the employees asso
ciation was seeking documents to
determine if Moore had been giving
out-of-state contracts in exchange
for political support.
The employees association was
also looking to see if he had used
his state office to conduct cam
paign business.
Shanahan said the lawsuit mere
ly was intended to smear Moore
during the Democratic guberna
torial campaign, because SEANC
supported Bev Perdue.
“In context, the SEANC filed a
lawsuit, allegedly seeking docu
ments," he said.
“The treasurer had in fact pro
duced some 2000 plus documents
in response to the request."
Shanahan said that the law
suit should be dropped because
the employees association cannot
prove that documents were with
“There were no documents that
were not produced and they cannot
point to a single document that has
not been produced," he said.
Contact the State E 2 National
Editor at stntdesk@
★ ★★★☆
of guitarcraft.
The true strength of the record,
though, is easily its cohesion.
All six tracks fit together per
fectly. One does not exist with
out the others, and, as they build
throughout the record, it becomes
impossible to skip around. As it
continues to the end, the six
tracks function as one extended
piece of beautiful music.
Approaching the Invisible
Mountain is to be appreciated
as a whole, as a cohesive piece of
incredibly creative art.
Contact Jamie Williams
at jam esur (a
irk FAIR
kirk good
★★★★ excellent

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