Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Trade-deadline limericks

Posted By on Tue, Jul 31, 2007 at 9:48 PM

Now that the MLB's trade deadline has passed, here's an overview of the Braves' moves, in limerick form:

There once was a catcher named Salty

But his defense at first base was faulty

McCann is the future

And our lineup is sutured

By a first baseman whose numbers aren't paltry

There once was a GM named Schuerholz

Whose trade-deadline cred was pure gold(z)

We needed a lefty

And a closer who's not hefty

And now our roster has fewer holes

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What'choo talkin' bout, H. Lamar Willis?

Posted By on Tue, Jul 31, 2007 at 8:54 PM

Atlanta City Councilman H. Lamar Willis has responded to last Friday's AJC story alleging his charitable foundation misrepresented its nonprofit status to donors.

In a statement printed in the AJC and posted on the website of Atlanta crisis consulting firm Alisias, Willis admitted the story's core allegation was correct:

Regrettably, however, parts of the foundation's Web site inaccurately describe our status as 501(c)(3). For this error, I am accountable and take full responsibility.

The story did not allege Willis pocketed any of the money, but just in case you were wondering:

Neither I, nor any member of my family, have ever received a single payment from the proceeds raised by the H. Lamar Willis Foundation.

Read the entire mea sorta culpa here.

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Freedom Park art exhibit canceled

Posted By on Tue, Jul 31, 2007 at 8:14 PM

A public art exhibit that art advocates claimed was responsible for pushing the popular Art in Freedom Park exhibit out of the park is now abandoning the venue.

Embracing Differences, a display of 40 billboard-sized paintings submitted by local artists, will no longer be held in the city's sole "art park," Freedom Park. The exhibit also will be postponed from September 2007 to mid-2008, according to a July 28 letter to Embracing Differences' partners, artists and volunteers.

The letter echoes some of the allegations raised by proponents of Art in Freedom Park, namely that the city created cumbersome guidelines governing art installations in Freedom Park:

You may know that a few weeks ago, the City of Atlanta instituted new permit guidelines for art exhibitions at Freedom Park. After review of these new parameters, and careful consideration, it became apparent that this location was no longer fitting for the scale of the event we wish to produce.

Art in Freedom Park supporters had claimed Embracing Differences was getting preferential support when it came to the city's new guidelines. Now that Embracing Differences is ditching Freedom Park, that doesn't seem to be the case.

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Audit: City computer contract is FUBAR

Posted By on Tue, Jul 31, 2007 at 4:09 PM

It’s only a drop in the fiscal bucket compared to Atlanta’s ongoing $4 billion sewer rehab, but a seriously screwed-up city computer contract could end up costing taxpayers double its original $22 million price tag.

The contract with Oracle was supposed to deliver a custom-made operating system to run all city functions, from accounting to zoning, making data-sharing easier between departments that now run different software.

But with delivery months behind schedule and costs ballooning to $33 million, City Council’s finance committee hired KPMG to perform an audit – and the results weren’t pretty. According to the 64-page audit report, the city has failed to give clear direction to system designers, enforce deadlines or keep track of progress.

“My first question to the auditors was, ‘Is there anything we’ve done right?’” says City Council finance Chairman Howard Shook, who explains that the contract fell victim to “mission creep” as department heads added more wish-list items to the project.

“This process should be about saying ‘no’ to new bells and whistles,” Shook adds.

In the wake of the audit, City Council has appointed a city staffer as project manager, replacing an outside consultant, who was fired. The scheduled delivery date has been pushed back to January and the final cost is likely to be around $41 million, Shook predicts.

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Road Home to New Orleans deadline here

Posted By on Tue, Jul 31, 2007 at 4:05 PM

Although the news has been focused more on the lack of funds distribution, here's an important tidbit for displaced New Orleanians in Atlanta looking to move back home: The deadline for the Road Home program is today, July 31.

Louisiana homeowners who owned and occupied their homes at the time of Hurricane Katrina or Rita and suffered damage as a result of one of the storms may be eligible to receive assistance through The Road Home program. Owners of single-units, double-units, condominiums, town homes and mobile homes are encouraged to apply.

Program officials stressed that this is a deadline to apply, not a deadline for the entire program. The Housing Assistance Centers will still be available to homeowners for initial appointments and advisory service appointments past the July 31 deadline.

Folks can apply at www.roadtola.org or call 888-ROAD-2-LA.

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Georgia murderers among nation's laziest

Posted By on Tue, Jul 31, 2007 at 1:54 PM

According to a study just released by the Violence Policy Center, Georgia had the seventh-highest number of drive-by shootings in the nation during the second half of 2006.

People are in such a hurry these days. When I was coming up, you made time to park the car, get out, and shoot people after a pointless argument.

Ahh, the good old days.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Dear Janelle Monae

Posted By on Mon, Jul 30, 2007 at 8:42 PM

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JANELLE MONAE AT FUNKJAZZ KAFÉ: "This singer and CL's music editor, sitting in a tree . . ."

(Photo by Lauren Grundhoefer)

I’m in love.

Not with you, per se, but with the way you release. You tore the Tabernacle up Saturday night at FunkJazz Kafé. And when your bobbie pin popped out and that crazy little afro bun of yours started waving at me all the way in the back by the bar where I was tossing back Long Island Iced Teas, I felt like we were connected as one. Did you feel it, too? I used to have a crush on Dawn from EnVogue, but I forgot all about her performance when you came back out for an encore.

Next to you, Bone Crusher’s belly was only the second biggest thing in the house that night. Keep banging.

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Atlanta blogs today: Deerhunter robbed

Posted By on Mon, Jul 30, 2007 at 7:29 PM

We got a friendly homecoming suprise [sic] last night in Atlanta when Lockett and I got robbed at gunpoint after our show at Lenny's last night.

-Bradford Cox, of Atlanta rock band Deerhunter, was robbed outside Lenny's early Sunday along with bandmate Lockett Pundt.

What is the message here? If you live in a poor or immigrant community and are a victim of a crime, you'd better not call the police, or you will probably spend the day down at the jail while they run a background check on you, regardless of whether you are here legally or not.

-DecaturGuy at Atlanta Public Affairs on local police policies that may discourage Latinos from reporting crimes. (Note, I think the arrest DecaturGuy mentions was in Carrollton, not Cobb County.)

Pimp implies in the Ozone interview that R&B singer Ne-Yo is gay, claims that Atlanta is not in the south because “Atlanta is on East Coast time” and accuses certain unnamed rappers (fans are guessing Young Jeezy) of turning his back on powerhouse label BMF after drug charges.

-The HipHop Cosign on Houston rapper Pimp C's in-print dissing of Atlanta

That settles it. If Pimp C doesn't like it here, I'm moving.

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Gospel according to Lenny

Posted By on Mon, Jul 30, 2007 at 6:49 PM

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PRO-LOVE MARCH: Hater of hate

(Photo by Lauren Grundhoefer)

On Saturday morning, approximately 200 Christians, Muslims, Jews, atheists, homosexuals and none-of-the-aboves marched from Peachtree Center to the Capitol.

They called it the Pro-Love March and, according to organizers, it was intended to promote peace through mutual understanding and tolerance among groups of people who do not always get along.

The event’s emotional climax came when Pastor D.E. Paulk, quoting noted philosopher and ladies’ man Lenny Kravitz, demanded of attendees that they “let love rule.”

Kravitz is apparently a favorite of the event's organizers. He's quoted on the event's website, alongside MLK Jr. and Gandhi.

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Vick co-defendant pleads guilty

Posted By on Mon, Jul 30, 2007 at 3:00 PM

The biggest concern for Michael Vick supporters was that one of his co-defendants would flip and turn prosecution witness. That has now happened. Tony Taylor, 34, entered a plea of guilty this morning in federal court in Virginia and will cooperate with the prosecution. This has major ramifications for Vick's defense.

ESPN.com's Lester Munson explains:

As the scheme grew, according to the indictment, Taylor played a central role. When it was time to build three large sheds to stage fights and to house dogs and equipment, Taylor obtained the necessary permits from the authorities in Surry County. He applied for the building permit for the sheds on May 2, 2003, according to records maintained by Wallace Mavin, the Surry County Building Official, and he paid the necessary fees even though Vick's name was listed as the owner and the applicant. Taylor described himself as Vick's "agent," in the documents. The house and shed, according to applications filed in May 2003, cost $362,000.

Prosecutors claim Taylor also allegedly helped purchase pit bulls and killed at least two dogs that fared poorly in test fights.

It will be powerful evidence against Vick, putting Vick and his money squarely in the middle of the scheme and its growth and development.

The charges in the indictment also show that Taylor can describe Vick as personally present at fights and at executions of dogs who did not perform well enough for Vick and his cohorts.

Taylor becomes the fifth prosecution witness, and possibly the most damning, who will finger Vick as a major figure in the dog fighting underworld.

Vick also faces a "superseding indictment," which usually means additional witnesses and additional charges on top of what he's already been charged with.

With each new revelation, it appears more and more likely that Vick is in serious jeopardy of spending what should be the prime of his career behind bars. And if that happens, he will become one of the most tragic figures in NFL history, brought down by his own stupidity and arrogance.

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