Wednesday, April 16, 2014

One Day In Atlanta wants to see your vision of the city

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 2:34 PM

The day when metro Atlantans can come together on one accord may not be as far off as it seems. In fact, how's next week sound?

On Sat., April 26, 2014, the ambitious One Day in Atlanta campaign intends to harness a range of citizens, nonprofits, hometown celebrities and civic leaders in a metro-wide effort to document Atlanta and help shape the city's future.

"I'm trying to get as many people as I can engaged to go out and film something important to them about their city," says Jacob Marmer, the producer of the Atlanta arm of the project, which will also involve simultaneous 24-hour campaigns in 11 cities across the country. It's a U.S.-focused spinoff of the global filming events sponsored by the nonprofit, One Day on Earth, for three years in a row (10.10.10, 11.11.11, 12.12.12).

The national trailer (above) opens with a voiceover from Douglas Dean, the former state representative and longtime Summerhill community activist who's earned both kudos and condemnation over the years. "I have decided that my mission on this earth, from now on, is to revitalize this neighborhood," Dean says as visuals highlight the dilapidated state of the nearby Pittsburgh neighborhood. (More footage of his interview is embedded below.)

The purpose of the trailer is to solicit people to pick up cameras and submit videos that will ultimately spur broader civic engagement. In particular, One Day in Atlanta is looking for footage that answers 10 questions:

1. Why are you in Atlanta?
2. What do you love about Atlanta?
3. What is the best thing happening in Atlanta today?
4. What are Atlanta's biggest challenges?
5. Who is your Atlanta not serving?
6. What is the worst thing that could happen to Atlanta?
7. What are the solutions that Atlanta needs to implement?
8. How are people changing the future of Atlanta?
9. What do you hope for Atlanta in the next 20 years?
10. Ask your own question about your city.

Continue reading »

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David Pennington: 'What Watergate was to Richard Nixon is what Copart records are to Nathan Deal'

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 2:07 PM

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  • Courtesy David Pennington
"What Watergate was to Richard Nixon is what Copart records are to Nathan Deal."

At a press conference, GOP gubernatorial candidate and former Dalton Mayor David Pennington criticized Gov. Nathan Deal for numerous things including his controversial salvage yard sale and his refusal to take part in an Atlanta Press Club debate. Randy Evans, Deal's attorney, then proceeded to hijack the media event to defend the governor and go after his challenger. (via the AJC)

To save CL time from painstakingly documenting every comment people say, we've created 'Soundbites' to call attention to their remarks.

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Recycle your electronic waste, cooking grease, expired meds at Turner Field this weekend

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 11:45 AM

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  • EVEY WILSON/CL FILE
It's that time of year again! Atlanta's largest recycling event is taking place this weekend to collect electronic waste and a variety of other disposable items.

EcoDepot, Atlanta City Councilwoman Carla Smith's annual recycling affair, is set to take place on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Turner Field's Blue Lot. The effort, she says, should help raise awareness about the recovery, reuse, and recycling of old electronic devices and promote environmentally-friendly practices throughout the city.

"Everyone's waste needs to be properly disposed," Smith tells CL. "Electronic waste, mixed in with household garbage that goes to the landfill, creates hazardous liquid that filters down through the landfill and could affect our groundwater. All of that needs to be properly discarded or reused."

Last year, 530 residents ended up dropping off more than 25,000 pounds of electronics, 15 gallons of cooking grease, and 75 pounds of expired medicine. A full list of the items being collected this year can be found after the jump:

Continue reading »

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#DoGoodATL: Spring project goals reached!

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 11:17 AM

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With 13 days left on the campaign trail, both of Creative Loafing's spring Do Good projects surpassed their $2,500 goals. Donations for Sopo Bicycle Cooperative's collaboration with the Gateway Center to provide low-cost transit options for the homeless, reached $2,750. Over on the Westside, S.E.E.D.S. Global's hopes of turning a gutted apartment building into hydroponic greenhouses also exceeded expectations, with $2,640 raised and just under two weeks left before the fundraising officially ends. For each project, the Home Depot Foundation will match funds raised dollar for dollar up to $2,500.

Thanks to everyone who came out to our pub crawl, helped spread the good word, and a special shout out to those who made a contribution to the projects. We'll continue to follow all the the projects' progress here at Fresh Loaf. In the meantime, you can nominate an idea for your neighborhood as a future Do Good project.

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A Critic's Notebook: "Terminus" opens

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Terminus, the new production from Atlanta-based theater company Saiah, opens today at the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve in Decatur. The work is an immersive theatrical experience set during the Civil War that allows viewers to choose one of three paths through the story.

Continue reading »

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First Slice 4/16/14: Georgia's private probation bill could be vetoed due to transparency concerns

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 9:14 AM

Gov. Nathan Deal may veto a bill that would protect government-contracted private probation companies by allowing them to keep their records secret. "Part of the bill that concerns me is the clause that was added in, sorta late in the session, about the secrecy of the records...of not making those available for inspection," Deal told WABE. "I have asked some people to look at the language to see exactly what it does but we have not made a final call on that yet."

Atlanta officials could soon annex the unincorporated South Fulton community of Sandtown. And the potential move has divided residents living in the area. "If it is their desire to annex into the city then we welcome them with open arms," Atlanta City Councilmember Keisha Lance Bottoms said.

Georgia's Board of Regents has OK'd an increase in undergraduate tuition costs at most of the state's public universities. The hike is expected to take place starting this fall.

Atlanta Police are looking for four men who allegedly robbed an Uber driver at gunpoint near the Westside last night.

Atlanta firefighters and policemen yesterday afternoon shut down part of Marietta Street in Downtown after strong winds shattered a highrise building's glass window. APD reported that no one was injured.

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5 things to do: Pompeya

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 7:30 AM

5 things to do in Atlanta today

1. Pompeya, Leverage Models, and more at 529

2. Blackberry Winter at Horizon Theatre

3. Mannie Fresh, KLC, and more at Terminal West

4. Gina and Pat Neely at the Atlanta History Center

5. Trust and Mozart's Sister at the Drunken Unicorn

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Beltline officials: construction of Eastside Trail extension through Reynoldstown could start in July

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Kevin Burke of Atlanta Beltline Inc. points out how Eastside Trail expansion would interact with DeKalb Avenue
  • Thomas Wheatley
  • Kevin Burke of Atlanta Beltline Inc. points out how Eastside Trail expansion would interact with DeKalb Avenue
Ever since Atlanta Beltline officials announced that the Eastside Trail's expansion would be postponed until one of the city's most dilapidated bridges was rebuilt, residents of Cabbagetown and Reynoldstown residents have patiently waited for construction crews to start work on the segment.

Their dreams of enjoying the simple pleasures of biking and jogging on a 15-foot-wide concrete path - and being better connected to the Old Fourth Ward, Inman Park, and other neighborhoods along the wildly popular trail - were put on hold.

That progress is moving along. Last night, Kevin Burke of Atlanta Beltline Inc., the nonprofit tasked with planning and developing the project, told residents and business owners that construction could begin in July or early fall - and, once started, take 18 to 24 months to complete. He presented the project design, which is halfway done, to more than 30 people.

After the jump, some highlights from the meeting and fuzzy smartphone photos of the proposed design. Note that some proposals might be subject to change; if you've got ideas for planners, send them a line.

Continue reading »

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5 things to do: Abelardo Morell

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 10:46 AM

5 things to do in Atlanta today

1. Abelardo Morell's The Universe Next Door continues at the High Museum

2. Frances Mayes at the Margaret Mitchell House

3. Stacy Braukman, Richard Rhodes and Randy Gue at the Woodruff Library

4. Bobby Bare Jr. Don't Follow Me (I'm Lost) film screening at the Earl

5. Tax Day discount at Park 75

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Atlanta Public Schools hires Meria Carstarphen as next superintendent (Update)

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 10:41 AM

FRESH START: Dr. Meria Carstarphen will take the reins as Atlanta Public Schools' next superintendent.
  • Max Blau
  • FRESH START: Dr. Meria Carstarphen will take the reins as Atlanta Public Schools' next superintendent.
After a yearlong search for a new superintendent, the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education unanimously approved the hiring of Dr. Meria Carstarphen as the next leader of the embattled school system.

Three weeks ago, APS school board members announced Carstarphen as the lone finalist to replace Interim Superintendent Erroll Davis, who joined APS three years ago in the wake of a massive cheating scandal that shattered the public's trust in the school system. Carstarphen comes to Atlanta from Austin, Texas, where over the past five years she has improved high school graduation rates, test scores, and college application rates.

Carstarphen, who will start her new job on July 7, said her first orders of business would come in "operational, academic, and leadership" areas. She emphasized the importance of investing in early childhood education and said that students impacted by the cheating scandal would need to be given special attention.

"At the heart of it, you'll have to individually find those students and, where necessary, create individual plans for them to make those past wrongs right," she told reporters.

APS Board Chairman Courtney English said the hiring marked the "end of trying times" for the troubled school system. More than 450 candidates threw their names into the hat for the leadership position, he said.

But not everyone is convinced that she's the right person for the job - or that the process was handled fairly. Several local school advocates have raised concerns the school board's lack of community input with the new superintendent's hiring. Georgia Federation of Teachers President Verdallia Turner thinks people should have "red flags in their heads" over the board's "opaque" decision to select Carstarphen.

"The process doesn't represent what normal democratic-minded person would expect," added Ed Johnson, a local public education advocate and former school board candidate. "They would expect public engagement, transparency, and not just coming forward with just one candidate."

When asked if APS moved too quickly through the process, Davis said that he felt most top candidates were unlikely to compete for this kind of a leadership position.

"When you're dealing with these superstars that they were dealing with, I believe, then they're not going to hang around [through the process]," he told reporters. "There's always only going to be one finalist."

As part of a three-year contract, the incoming superintendent will receive a base annual salary of $375,000, plus $2,000 per month in expense allowances.

NOTE: This story has been updated to include more information.

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