Tag Archives: Cory Lenz

Veggin’ out in Charlotte

Vegetarians in Charlotte get no love: seemingly every week, there is the
grand opening of yet another hamburger, steak or barbeque joint, while the
options for vegetarian remain consistently anemic.  The benefits
of a vegetarian diet
are well established and its menu includes more than just salads and veggie burgers, yet finding some delicious meatless eats is a chore.  What’s a veggie to do?  Well, stick with me kids, because we’ve canvassed the Queen City and discovered a bunch of tasty vegetarian and vegan eateries, bakeries and recipe blogs.

Sit down dining

Luna’s Living Kitchen is an organic raw food café nestled next to the Atherton Mill Market in SouthEnd serving raw lasagnas (aptly named lunasagnas), kale salads, spicy living burritos wrapped in collard greens and fresh juices. Entrées start at $12 and can be enjoyed on Luna’s outdoor patio, where you might spot a television actor from a locally filmed series.


Fern offers a wildly inventive vegetarian menu that changes with the season. The entrées are a little more expensive than Luna’s, because the tastes are more thoughtful and sophisticated. Try the OM burger or the “chicken” and waffles at their weekend brunch. Wash it all down with a $1 bloody mary.

Bean Vegan Cuisine has a mostly fried menu featuring burgers promising to taste like Big Macs. Crabby patties and fried tofu fingers satisfy the little ones, or even the kids-at-heart. Try the jackfruit tacos and the Kitty Kat cake for dessert-you’ll be amazed how well crackers and peanut butter mousse go together. Now serving brunch all day Sunday!


Woodlands Vegetarian Indian Cuisine is an eastside restaurant dishing out all the savory flavors of India sans meat. Start your meal with some samoas and end it with a cup of rice pudding.

Additionally, Pizza Fusion, Uncle Maddio’s, Brixx, and Mellow Mushroom all offer vegan pizzas.


Berrybrook Farm is a petite health food market in the heart of Dilworth offering heart-healthy wraps, smoothies and other nutritious grab and go snacks.

Zizi’s Vegan Takeout is a “blink and you’ll miss it” University eatery with a menu featuring vegan fish&chips, tempeh steak, “turkey” and gravy and $3.50 smoothies.


Outside of Charlotte

******************Closed as of February 2014**************************

Just across the border in Fort Mill, SC is Eat Well . Their menu is full of tamales, quiche, and chai waffles. Whatever you order, save room for dessert – the raw chocolate cheesecake is worth the trip.


Speaking of dessert, these local bakeries are 100% vegan: Novel Sweets, Your Veganesse, Laullipop&Co., Chelly’s Cakes and Pastries


VegCharlotte and Queen City Vegan are valuable resources for how to enjoy meat-free dining in the QC.

Check out these fun food blogs for meat-free recipes: Thug Kitchen and veganstoner

Need more tips on healthy eating? The Fresh Expo taking place on October 12th at the Sheraton Hotel features samples from health food vendors, cooking demonstrations, lectures on GMOs and other healthy living topics.

                                        ~Cory Lenz & Jamie Sunnycalb~

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From the Closet to the Altar: Courts, Backlash, and the Struggle for Same Sex Marriage – A Book Review


Gay marriage is inevitable, according to Harvard Law School professor Michael J. Klarman in his book From the Closet to the Altar: Courts, Backlash, and the Struggle for Same Sex Marriage.  He makes this claim because young people today, who are more likely to know someone who is gay and to have grown-up in a gay friendly environment, support same-sex marriage by as many as forty percentage points over older adults, who tend to oppose it.  Klarman suggests that having a gay friend or family member correlates to supporting gay rights, so the coming out of every gay and lesbian and every same-sex couple means more votes for gay equality “[b]ecause few people favor discrimination against those whom they know and love” (p.197).  This more welcoming social environment has ushered same-sex marriage into our state and federal courts.  Klarman includes a helpful time line of all major court decisions and legislation relating to same-sex marriage (prior to the 2012 ballot measures and the United States Supreme Court’s granting of certiorari in two same-sex marriage cases[1]).

At the beginning of the book, Klarman defines the historical context of the gay rights struggle.  Before the mid-1980s, most gays and lesbians were not open about their sexuality for fear of losing their jobs and families and having no legal recourse when such things happened.  Gay rights organizations worked strategically, with little money and few members, to convince some municipalities to adopt gay rights ordinances, only to see them defeated by local referenda.  Klarman points to this historical context to explain the surprise that both gay rights and conservative organizations felt when, in 1993, the Hawaii Supreme Court opened the door to same-sex marriage, holding in Baehr v. Lewin that a law restricting marriage to one man and one woman constituted a sex classification and thus required the strictest judicial review.[2]  Klarman provides only a brief analysis of the constitutional arguments for same-sex marriage: that discrimination against same-sex couples is not rationally related to the objectives that states have proffered thus far (i.e., protecting traditional marriage, promoting optimal environments for childrearing, and encouraging procreation).  He makes an intriguing argument, however, that Baehr became a turning point in gay rights policy only because the AIDS epidemic – which refocused the younger gay community on committed relationships and estate planning issues – had created the social environment that would champion Baehr and the subsequent similar decisions.  This brought more financial resources and allies to the gay community for the fight for same-sex marriage.

The discussion of the backlash after Baehr monopolizes the book’s narrative, but the episodes blur into one another because the political maneuvering of conservative and religious groups after each same-sex marriage win follows the same pattern: same-sex marriage opponents rallied behind defense of marriage laws or constitutional amendment initiatives to ban same-sex marriage after a state supreme court from an outside jurisdiction had found its state constitution gave same-sex couples the right to marry.  The federal Defense of Marriage Act[3] and defense of marriage laws in more than thirty states sprang from the backlash against Baehr.  Constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage and, in most instances, civil unions and domestic partnerships, passed in twenty-seven states after Goodrich v. Department of Public Health.[4]  Klarman might have avoided the rote reporting in this section had he chosen to highlight the lives of plaintiffs, advocates, or opponents in the same-sex marriage struggle.  He does, however, raise the intriguing suggestion that the push for same-sex marriage may have hurt the gay rights movement in conservative states where gays and lesbians have yet to win even “basic legal protections against violence and discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations” (p.179).

With insightful explanations for the legislation against same-sex marriage, Klarman rebounds strongly in the book’s final pages.  He clearly notes that political backlash is more likely “[w]hen public opinion on judicial rulings divides heavily along regional or geographic lines” (p.186).  For instance, Goodrich generated little political opposition in Massachusetts because a majority of residents supported same-sex marriage.  However, in Ohio, Goodrich likely cost John Kerry the presidential election as George W. Bush increased his percentage of the 2004 popular vote in Ohio by double digits among groups who disproportionately oppose gay marriage (the religious, the elderly, the working-class, and African-Americans).

Klarman concludes that same-sex marriage is inevitable, not least because polls measuring shifts in attitudes are tracking similarly to those from the Civil Rights Movement.  A majority of Americans now support same-sex marriage (p.196) and, according to variables measured by statistician Nate Silver, this trend will continue until same-sex marriage is recognized in every state except those in the Deep South by 2016, and in every state but Mississippi by 2024 (p.202).

From the Closet to the Altar fastidiously reports on the litigation and legislative winners and losers in the same-sex marriage struggle.  This work will interest academics and law students alike, particularly those delving deeper into the more intriguing issues that Klarman raises.

~Cory Lenz~

This book review first appeared in 105 Law Libr. J. 233 (2013).

[1] Perry v. Schwarzenegger, 591 F.3d 1147 (9th Cir. 2010), cert. granted sub nom., Hollingsworth v. Perry, 81 U.S.L.W. 3324 (U.S. Dec. 7, 2012) (No. 12-144); Windsor v. U.S., 699 F.3d 169 (2nd Cir. 2012), cert. granted, 81 U.S.L.W. 3324 (U.S. Dec. 7, 2012) (No. 12-307).

[2] Baehr v. Lewin, 852 P.2d 44 (Haw. 1993).

[3] Defense of Marriage Act, Pub. L. No. 104-199, 110 Stat. 2419 (1996) (codified at 7 U.S.C. § 1738C and 1 U.S.C. § 7).

[4] Goodrich v. Dep’t of Public Health, 798 N.E.2d 941 (Mass. 2003) (holding that the prohibition of same-sex marriage violated the Massachusetts Constitution).

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A Competent Lawyer Will Keep Current with Technology

Recently the American Bar Association revised its model rules, specifically addressing the need for an attorney to keep current with advances in technology.  The change in rules was proposed by the ABA’s Commission on Ethics 20/20 and was adopted during the annual meeting, held in Chicago, August 2-7. The affected Model Rule 1.1 speaks to the importance of an attorney understanding the “benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.”   As stated in the Report to the ABA House of Delegates, “[A] lawyer would have difficulty providing competent legal services in today’s environment without knowing how to use email or create an electronic document.”

The impetus behind the changes had everything to do with developing a set of guidances to assist attorneys in not only representing their clients, but in understanding how to maintain the confidentiality which corresponds to competent representation.  The American Bar Association has made practice resources available through its Legal Technology Resource Center.  Its Law Practice Management Section’s eLawyering Task Force has also provided resources.  The amended Model Rules have rounded back and have now imposed a duty on attorneys to embrace technology.

So how has Charlotte School of Law addressed the need to remain knowledgeable regarding technology and the practice of law?  In July, the library staff conducted two student focus groups which addressed how students were accessing legal resources.  Another purpose of the focus groups, moderated by Adjunct Professor and Reference Librarian, Cory Lenz, was to ascertain which legal apps students were accessing through mobile phones and tablet technology.  This evaluation has been continued into the fall semester by the Advanced Legal Research class.  As part of the class, every ALR student is evaluating a specific legal research app and will post the evaluation to the CSL Library blog.  So watch this space!  In the interim, please take a look at the “There’s an App for That”  research guide, created by Metadata & Serials Librarian, Ashley Moye, and available on the Library’s electronic resource page.

~ Susan Catterall ~

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Jess Walter, Quality Literature sans Zombies: Meet Cory Lenz

The Financial Lives of Poets by Jess Walter

He may never squeeze onto a Bestseller List overrun with vampires, wizards, hired guns, and unlucky survivors of an apocalypse, but his narrative and prose unspool beautifully and deserve a larger readership. He places his characters in the wake of a national tragedy – the 9/11 attacks or current financial crisis – drills for humor and discovers everyone’s humanity. He writes fully developed characters and the kind of sentences where, after having read them, you find yourself staring into the distance, shaking your head, marveling at their insight. Luckily, I can recommend other writers like Jess Walter, so that when he’s between novels you can check out the likes of Andrew Miller, Benjamin Kunzel, Mark Costello, ZZ Packer, David Wong Louie, Colson Whitehead, Joshua Ferris, Miranda July, Sam Lipsyte, Andrew Sean Greer, David Ebershoff, Lorrie Moore, and Tim Winton. Among them, there is only one story about zombies.

~Cory Lenz~

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Authentic Listening with My Mom, or the Time I Made My Dad So Mad He Spit Cereal at Me

Author and improvement leader Kevin Cashman believes there is a leader in all of us.  In his book, Leadership from the Inside Out, he posits that the distinction of leaders from non-leaders is the courage to assess and negotiate internal strengths and weaknesses.  Leaders continually apply their strengths and simultaneously push back against the weaknesses and bad behaviors that run counter to their values and undermine the genuineness of their leadership.  This creates the internal environment that is necessary to revitalize external relationships with intimates, family, colleagues, friends, and employees.

Leading from the inside out is hard work.  Pushing back against weaknesses, notably those passed along a family tree, and unlearning bad behaviors take discipline, self-sacrifice, and vulnerability.   And, while it is challenging to recognize that you have to first change in order to see changes in the relationships and social structures around you, implementing this change and practicing it for a lifetime take greater courage.  Mr. Cashman writes that leadership breakthroughs occur along three interrelated pathways: Awareness, Commitment, and Practice.   All must be operating in concert for the leader’s control over her weaknesses and bad behaviors to be truly transformative, mindful, and sustainable.

Inherent weaknesses and learned bad behaviors are unique in range and depth to each person.  One may lack motivation and has learned to let small situations spin wildly out-of-control, while another may struggle to feel optimistic and has a habit of avoiding conflict.  As an illustration of Awareness, Commitment and Practice, I have a story about one of my own leadership breakthroughs that I work to put into practice every day.  This one has to do with authentic listening, which Mr. Cashman writes,

Is about being generous – listening with a giving attitude that seeks to bring forth the contribution in someone vs. listening without limiting assessments, opinions, and judgments (Cashman, 97).

As is often the case, you never know a behavior is bad and undermining your leadership potential until someone tells you.  My Dad let me know in my case, on a Saturday morning when I was 10-years-old, a time for Tom & Jerry cartoons, and certainly not for an awareness that I stunk at authentic listening.

That Saturday, I sat down to cereal with Mom and Dad.  Dad sat eating a bowl of cereal, too; I remember thinking how neat that we both liked Cocoa Puffs.  This, at the time, was the size of my analytical thoughts – were it possible to have stood up, after having had fallen out of my head and into my cereal bowl, they surely would have drowned in the milk.  What I was unable to notice about my Dad, however, was the way he ate.  He bowed his head over his bowl while my Mom talked.  He seemed to be studying her words, as though he could see them rearrange in the milk and spell out everything she was saying.

339/365 - April 8, 2009
(photo by meddygarnet)

I blame my gargantuan consumption of corn syrup for not seeing how my Dad, clinging to my Mom’s every word, encouraged her words.  Colas, Entenmann’s crumb cakes, and Friendly’s ice-cream clogged my 10-year-old head.  Authentic listening was no match.  It dipped below the quicksand of my synapses, doomed without the spirit – and bullwhip – of Indiana Jones, and laid victim to the mustache-twirling deceit of my inner Egomaniac, which tiptoed across the quicksand on the sinking head of my Authentic Self.  I was a punk kid, for sure.  I routinely interrupted my Mom and pushed aside her every expression as though it was merely a swinging door to another conversation about me.  Seeing my Mom as a real person was impossible.  But, how could I, doped up on such toxic levels of corn syrup?  However long I justified my bad behavior with this Corn Syrup Defense came to an end that Saturday morning.  I interrupted my Mom and hijacked her conversation for the last time.  I don’t remember what I said.  I’m certain that, were the words to have been weighed for substance, they wouldn’t have registered.  But their effect on my Mom reached my Dad deeply, like a cancer, because every cell in his body rallied against me.

“You are not the center of the universe!  She was talking!  About something important to her,” he screamed, Cocoa Puffs firing from his mouth like exploding shrapnel, “Your job is to listen!  To understand it!  And to make it important to you!”

My Dad cut into his cereal, as though it had been heated with his anger to the consistency of oatmeal.

“You don’t know how lucky you are to call her your Mother.  No idea.  But, Cory,” my Dad stormed, his temper rolling back, “you’re going to learn.”

This moment always projects onto the backdrop of my unconscious whenever a situation requires me to authentically listen.  Through hard language and tough love, my Dad let me know that if I continued to dismiss my Mom’s contributions, the downside consequence of this behavior was a cracked relationship, both of us acting civilly to each other to keep it from completely breaking, until we grow weary and distant and it does break without anyone even noticing.  I didn’t want this, not for any of my relationships, but particularly not the one with my Mom.  So, once my Dad Indiana-Jones-ed my Authentic Self from the quicksand, I committed to getting to know my Mom.  I read what she read – Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, Carol Burnett’s One More Time – just to hear my Mom talk about them.  Then, I watched what she watched – Victor Victoria on film, Knot’s Landing on TV – to keep hearing her opinions on things.  Eventually, I learned to fit into a dialogue with my Mom so that my contributions did not stifle hers, but rather encouraged them, and we began to have real, substantive conversations.

Decades later, I continue to build this practice.  I make a point of spending time with my Mom, just the two of us, going for a long walk for instance, where I quietly and authentically listen to what’s important in her life.  I yearn to hear from her always, and am grateful daily for my Dad raging at me – it made all the difference, for so many of my relationships.

~Cory Lenz~

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