Friday, July 25, 2014

First Slice 7/25/14: Today's the anniversary of the Moore's Ford Bridge lynching

Posted by on Fri, Jul 25, 2014 at 9:33 AM

Actors re-enact the Moores Ford Bridge Lynching at the scene of the crime
Sixty-eight years ago, two African-American couples were killed on a bridge between Watkinsville and Monroe County. Despite efforts by civil rights activist, lawmakers, and journalists (including CL's Joeff Davis) to raise awareness and find answers, the killings remain unsolved.

A mother of eight children who says she was duped into renting a northwest Atlanta home now has nowhere to go after a man claiming to own the property called the Fulton County sheriff to remove the family and its dog.

Woo hoo! The Center for Disease Control tuberculosis lab that closed after potential anthrax exposure at other facilities has reopened.

Props to the Washington Post for the following headline about the taxpayer-funded European tour that U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and fellow senators (plus their spouses) are enjoying: "Sen. Chambliss proves that lame ducks can still fly."

Keep this in mind the next time that you and your friends want to opine in front of the city's policymaking body: The Atlanta City Council on Monday approved a cap on the amount of time that a delegation can speak during meetings' public comment period.

Let's talk about Congressman Paul Ryan's poverty plan...

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5 things to do: Reigning Sound

Posted by on Fri, Jul 25, 2014 at 7:30 AM

5 things to do in Atlanta today

1. Reigning Sound, Anna Kramer & the Lost Cause, and more at the Earl

2. Wynton Marsalis at Atlanta Symphony Hall

3. The Shape of a Pocket opens at Sandler Hudson Gallery

4. The Boom Bap featuring House Shoes at the Basement

5. DJs Majestik, Fudge, Lord, and BEATnik at MJQ

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Should Atlanta's next civic center be built near Bellwood Quarry?

Posted by on Thu, Jul 24, 2014 at 2:07 PM

When youre on top of the quarry, you can see virtually all of Atlanta from north to south, Atlanta Councilman Michael Julian Bond says. Its absolutely breathtaking and beautiful.
  • Chris Martin
  • "When you're on top of the quarry, you can see virtually all of Atlanta from north to south," Atlanta City Councilman Michael Julian Bond says. "It's absolutely breathtaking and beautiful."
The highly-anticipated plan to turn Bellwood Quarry into Westside Reservoir Park, a proposed 350-acre greenspace in northwest Atlanta, has been in the works for the past eight years. Once it's built - whenever that happens - it's envisioned to include a 45-acre reservoir, fields for activities, and a clear view of Atlanta's skyline. And one city councilman wants to add another amenity to that list: a new civic center.

Earlier this week, Atlanta City Councilman Michael Julian Bond introduced a resolution asking Mayor Kasim Reed to consider replacing the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center, the 47-year-old city-owned arts and entertainment venue in Old Fourth Ward that's likely to be sold and redeveloped, with a new facility adjacent to Bellwood Quarry.

Last month, Council gave Invest Atlanta, the city's economic development arm, approval to start accepting bids from private developers for the 18-acre civic center site. Bond tells CL that Atlanta would be without a major civic facility if Invest Atlanta accepts a bid and unloads the property. His resolution is intended to be a "conversation starter" for potentially building a public large-scale venue near the quarry.

"It's probably likely we'll lose the Civic Center as we know it," Bond says. "Atlanta should be the center of all activities, so we need that type of facility in our city. The quarry is an ideal spot for perhaps a new amphitheater, festival space, or fairgrounds."

Bond says Bellwood Quarry, which the city purchased in 2006 from Vulcan Properties and Fulton County for $40 million, has approximately 45 acres of land that could be developed for such a site. He says a venue would have minimal impact on residents given the lack of nearby neighborhoods. That's a far cry from the struggle that citizens who live near other major parks face when festivals and events take place in their communities, he says.

"There may be some other spots that could work," Bond says. "If we did an outdoor amphitheater or festival space, you could have concerts and other things associated with Chastain or Piedmont [parks]. It would also take the burden off other parks and facilities. There aren't neighbors around to be impacted. You wouldn't have those issues."

Bond says his plan follows efforts by former Mayor Shirley Franklin, who oversaw the quarry's purchase, to finally open the massive greenspace that's approximately twice the size of Piedmont Park.

But that might not jibe with the mayor's plans. Reed has recently focused on selling off city-owned properties including the current Civic Center, Turner Field, and Underground Atlanta to free up cash for the city's forthcoming $250 million bond package. The debt issuance, which voters must first approve next March, would fund road, bridge, and sidewalk repairs.

"This is an idea I've had for a long time," Bond says. "I've spoken with members of the mayor's administration. People are interested to see what's possible. It would hurt me to see [the Civic Center] go away. ... But this is an opportunity to build more greenspace, provide more rec space, something new for citizens to enjoy. And it would be beautiful."

If Council passes the resolution, Bond says he would like to see a committee formed to study whether the project would make financial sense for the city. Reed spokeswoman Melissa Mullinax tells CL that the mayor and his staffers "intend to explore all the options" regarding Bond's idea once the resolution gets approved.

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5 things to do: 'Dr. Strangelove '

Posted by on Thu, Jul 24, 2014 at 11:56 AM

5 things to do in Atlanta today

1. Dr. Strangelove screens at the Fox Theatre

2. New Low with Chris Devoe, Divine Interface, and more at the Sound Table

3. Ravens & Seagulls continues at the West End Performing Arts Center

4. Van's Warped Tour at Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood

5. One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila Pour at Tin Lizzy's

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Weekend Arts Agenda: 'Dearly Departures'

Posted by on Thu, Jul 24, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Dancers (front to back): Alisa Mittin, Anna Bracewell, Claire Molla, Alex Abarca, and Erik Thurmond
  • Chris Carder
  • Dancers (front to back) Alisa Mittin, Anna Bracewell, Claire Molla, Alex Abarca, and Erik Thurmond

Dearly Depatures needs a bit of explaining. The dance show involves five people and a piece of technological metalwork that is officially called a split flap display, but which you should probably picture as a departure board, the kind you'd find in a 20th-century train station.

“To remain in communication is to stay in touch; to make contact is to get a hold of; something close is at hand. Expanding upon this language in our rehearsal process, we used touch as an entry point for exploring a range of emotional states and physical conditions," Choreographer Blake Beckham said in a release.

Beckham later told me it took 60 people and some six weeks to hand-craft the display, which is the central set piece of Departures, itself an expression of expression. She says it was a "privilege" to work with her five performers as they discovered "what this work is or wants to be together." The development process was organic and mutual. Beckham stressed sincerity over performance so that the show could better reveal itself. "So many of the scenes are rooted in physical contact," she says.

Departures runs through Aug. 2, at Georgia Tech's DramaTech Theater. Afterward, Beckham has plans to take the show on the road. (The departure board was built to come apart.) Tickets are $10-$25. More info here.

Continue reading »

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'The Bachelorette': Ashley Hebert tells all, men tell some

Posted by on Thu, Jul 24, 2014 at 9:26 AM

An envelope full of panties.
  • An envelope full of panties.
Oh, there's ever so much for the men to tell, mostly about why and how much they hate Andrew and J.J.

BUT FIRST Ashley Hebert and J.P. Hebertbaum are back because she's pregnant and needs people to see that she has breasts now. But, no, that's not enough. She's going to find out whether she's having a girl or a boy right here in front of all her close friends in Bachelor Nation. Chris Harrison rips a hole in the side of her dress so the doctor can jam his wand in, and, frankly, Ashley's just lucky Harrison didn't tear her stomach open and fly away with the fetus in his beak. "You're part of the Bachelor Family now, baby."
Also, fuck, he keeps saying the "sex" of the baby, which sounds so vulgar coming from a man who is a prolific underpants sniffer.

The doctor inserts his wand beneath Ashley's muumuu - "What if there was no heartbeat - that would be so sad," said one of my darker viewing companions - and searches around until he finds a penis, which is good since J.P. basically reveals that if it was a girl he would have drowned it in a creek because you can't watch football with girls. (He didn't say anything like this.)

Continue reading »

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First Slice 7/24/14: Execution of Arizona inmate takes nearly two hours

Posted by on Thu, Jul 24, 2014 at 9:24 AM

An Arizona inmate took almost two hours to die yesterday in yet another prolonged execution that used lethal injection drugs. The drugs have been under increased scrutiny after several similar incidents across the country in recent months. In a procedure that typically lasts 10 to 15 minutes, inmate Joseph R. Wood III repeatedly appeared to gasp for an extended period of time, according to witnesses.

The CDC confirms that Michael Farrell has resigned. Farrell was in charge of the lab where more than 80 workers were potentially exposed to anthrax last month.

At a recent meeting of the Henry County Board of Commissioners, several citizens raised the issue of creating a multi-use trail simulate to the Beltline. Bikers, runners, and pedestrians are currently forced to use roads and sidewalks when outdoors. Increasing the risks for Henry County citizens, many of the sidewalks in the area are in a serious state of disrepair and have the been the source of several recent injuries.

The unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent in June in Metro Atlanta. It was 7.2 percent in May. The slight increase is largely credited to summer layoffs of school employees as well as students and recent graduates entering the workforce.

A Clayton County home was visited by the local bomb squad this morning after area residents reported multiple blasts that shook their homes. Police say a 17-year-old young man was responsible for the incident after he set off several homemade explosives at his own home. Police have not decided if the teen will be charged.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cyclorama to be relocated to Atlanta History Center, Zoo Atlanta to turn facility into event space

Posted by on Wed, Jul 23, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Cyclorama, the historic panorama painting that depicts the Battle of Atlanta, is leaving its longtime home in Grant Park and heading to Buckhead. In the process, Zoo Atlanta has revealed plans to turn the circa 1921 marble and granite building, located in the middle of the 131-acre greenspace, into a community and event space.

Mayor Kasim Reed today announced a deal that would send the rare and extremely valuable oil painting, which city officials say is valued at $25 million, to the Atlanta History Center. As part of the agreement, the Buckhead museum plans to restore the artwork and move the painting into a new facility on its campus.

“These changes will both preserve and enhance our history,” Reed said at a press conference this morning. “But what really makes me excited is that there is no loser in this transaction. West Paces Ferry and the Atlanta History Center will be stronger. And Grant Park will be stronger.”

Reed said that the Cyclorama’s relocation will encourage more visitors to see the historic painting. He said the city would also retain ownership of the Cyclorama painting and is currently finalizing a long-term license agreement with the Center.

Sheffield Hale, the Center’s president and CEO, said that the artwork would be moved with the help of more than $32 million in private contributions. The city would shed between $500,000 and $1 million in annual salary and maintenance expenses from its books, Reed added.

“This plan is the best long-term solution for the Cyclorama,” Hale said. “If approved [by Atlanta City Council], the Atlanta History Center would serve as a long-term custodian of this important community asset for the people of Atlanta.”

The Center, which plans to construct a 23,000-square-foot wing to house the painting, expects that the move will take approximately two years to complete. Construction crews are expected to break ground sometime next summer. (We've included some renderings of the Center's proposed new facility after the jump.)

While building the addition, Center preservationists will begin to restore the artwork, which current Cyclorama officials consider to be among the world’s largest oil paintings at 358-feet-by 42-feet. But TLC is sorely needed for the historic artwork. Preservationists are expecting to focus their work on restoring approximately 20 percent of the oil painting.

Continue reading »

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Reed: Perdue 'looks a lot like Mitt Romney,' thinks Nunn will beat him in U.S. Senate race

Posted by on Wed, Jul 23, 2014 at 12:18 PM

"I think Michelle Nunn can beat him. I like the campaign that David Perdue ran. To me, he looks a lot like Mitt Romney. I think she can beat him. But I think he ran a very good campaign and I wasn't surprised at all."

Mayor Kasim Reed said that he liked Democratic candidate Michell Nunn, a veteran nonprofit exec and daughter of former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn, over her Republican opponent David Perdue in the U.S. Senate. The longtime businessman defeated Savannah Congressman Jack Kingston in last night's GOP runoff.

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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HBO releases second Falcons 'Hard Knocks' trailer

Posted by on Wed, Jul 23, 2014 at 12:17 PM

HBO just released their second promotional trailer for "Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Atlanta Falcons." Fifteen seconds shorter than its predecessor, the clip features Matt Ryan and text that reads, "The time to rise up is now." Whether or not appearing on HBO's popular sports series is a good thing for the Atlanta Falcons is a topic of debate, but, doubts aside, with a mix of personalities like Roddy White and D-Block there's sure to be plenty of entertainment. Oh, and some sports.

"Hard Knocks" premieres Tues., Aug. 5, at 10 p.m.

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