So I get off work tonight at about 11:50 pm (Iâll explain later) and thereâs all these text messages, phone message and email congratulating me.
-- Buzz Brockway on the reaction to inclusion of one of his questions in last night's CNN/YouTube debate. The question is linked on Buzz's site.
As was the case during the last bit of rain we got, Lake Lanier dropped even further yesterday in spite of the rain. In fact, since this blog started (October 16), the lake has dropped every single day.
-- Atlanta Water Shortage answers the question "Did the rain help?"
What is it about politicians from Hope, Ark.? They sure know how to work a room. Huckabee may be a Bible thumper, but he's clever. And unlike that other Arkansas governor, I think he's genuine. I just don't want him to be president;
-- ATLMalcontent offers conditional props to Huckabee.
By Sam Massell
Much has been written about the âVillageâ in Buckhead, an area of about six blocks on the east side of Peachtree at Paces Ferry. It was the center of commerce for this community before Buckhead was incorporated into the city limits of Atlanta. In the 1980s, it became the cityâs nightclub district, at one time numbering as many as 100 establishments with alcoholic licenses. Problems numbered as many.
After years of effort by the Buckhead Coalition and others, a new local government administration brought about reform with the needed police presence, plus ordinance enforcement by the fire marshal, building director, health inspector and others. We then saw the transformation to seedy vacant properties where rowdy nightspots had operated. These properties are now being demolished to make way for very fancy midrise multifamily and office buildings with high-end retail at street level, plus two to three boutique hotels and appropriate parking decks. It is being called âThe Streets of Buckhead.â
Since this dramatic change, there has evolved the misconception that our nightlife is a thing of the past. Fortunately, what we had in the âEast Villageâ has gone the way of all bad ailments ... before it killed us! Nevertheless, Buckhead indeed does still have ample places of entertainment for those who want a late-night cocktail, dancing and fellowship.
There are two dozen -- yes, 24 -- operations that have alcoholic licenses in our âWest Villageâ at Peachtree and Roswell, diagonally across from the old âEast Village.â In addition, there are three alcoholic package places offering bottled spirits.
Equally important, though, is that this West Village is much more than a nightlife district, as there are an equal number of non-nightclub businesses in those few blocks bound by West Paces Ferry, Roswell and Andrews. Here we have a real hidden treasure unknown to the casual visitor. Itâs a historic and eclectic shopping destination with its array of quaint shops, galleries, restaurants and other businesses.
This district has a real âvillageâ atmosphere artfully combining the beauty and tradition of the Old South with the needs of sophisticated style-seekers, offering something for everyone. Thereâs clothing, accessories, jewelry, lingerie, furnishings, antiques and more.
So Buckhead has bragging rights for yet another dimension -- a âvillageâ with which not many have been familiar. Itâs right in the heart of Buckhead, yet itâs hidden away to be discovered. Itâs the 24-hour part of Atlanta that young and old will enjoy, with delightful âmom and popâ businesses; safe, orderly and sensible nightlife; and convenience of location at the Buckhead Triangle Park. This is where the community came into being about 169 years ago, where the name changed from Irbyville to Buckhead, when a trophy buckâs head became the meeting place of friends.
For those who want to know more about Buckhead and other treasures in its 28 square miles, check out the Buckhead Guidebook (from the Buckhead Coalition or area bookstores). You wonât find much in print about the West Village, however, so now you know one of our best-kept secrets!
Sam Massell is the president of the Buckhead Coalition.
According to a Council on Foreign Relations report, the new prime minister of Australia is Paul Rudd, the actor who, among other roles, played Brian Fantana in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.
The new prime minister of Australia is, in fact, Kevin Rudd.
Sadly, CFR corrected the story shortly after I saved the above screenshot.
A woman said she was carrying her daughter's band instrument (a saxophone) when she stopped to buy some marijuana at a drug dealer's house. She said the next day, she realized she had left the saxophone at the drug dealer's house. So she went back to get it. She said another man answered the door, and he had an "attitude." This man told her that he didn't take the saxophone, and she left with it yesterday. The woman went back home to look for the saxophone, but didn't find it. So she went back to the drug dealer's place again. This time, he was there. She said the dealer called her a "bitch" and said he didn't have the saxophone. She said he pushed her head as she walked away. The woman called police, and a report was filed.
Read more Blotter.
Items in the Blotter are taken from actual Atlanta police reports. The Blotter Diva compiles them and puts them into her own words.
One of my favorite moments from the inaugural AJC Decatur Book Festival last year was an appearance by public-TV journalist Ray Suarez, who was pushing his latest work, The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America (Rayo).
But then, Suarez is a hero of mine. In his best moments, as the host of NPR's "Talk of the Nation," he seemed like the best-prepared, most even-keeled and fair-minded of moderators, gliding conversations from multiple subjects to callers and back. As much as I enjoy his equally balanced segments as a senior correspondent for "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," it feels like so much less compared to his NPR work â by about 50 minutes daily, in fact. But hey, Ray's a rising star; he deserves the promotion onward and upward.
Suarez will be in town Thursday (Nov. 29), at the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum for a little schmooze-down from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Save your pennies; the tickets range from $50-$75.
I haven't yet had a chance to read The Holy Vote, but loved watching Suarez do his thing at the DBF, making a compelling case for how religion has become indelibly woven into the fabric of modern-day politics and wondering very critically whether it's a good thing.
Check out this clip from a Suarez book appearance ...
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/gFmpv3oVuP0" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /].
A proposed ordinance requiring homes in DeKalb County to be retrofitted with water-saving plumbing fixtures before they are resold is in jeopardy of being quashed unless it gains more public support. That's the take of DeKalb County Commissioner Jeff Rader, who earlier this morning sent out an impassioned e-mail to various environmentalists and members of the community seeking to direct attention to the measure. The commission decided last week to postpone a vote on the ordinance until the next meeting on Dec. 5.
Retrofitting pre-1993 plumbing in metro homes has been a frequent suggestion offered by city and regional officials to Atlanta residents as a way to conserve water. Antiquated plumbing fixtures waste more water than their modern, more efficient counterparts. According to Rader, low-flow toilets and shower heads could reduce demand by an estimated 3.5 million gallons of water per day in the county. The cost -- $450 is listed as a high-end estimate -- would be recouped in the form of lower water bills in three years, he said.
"This is essential because we're in a drought crisis and this is the single most cost-effective thing we can do to conserve water," Rader said in a phone interview. "We're not asking people to tear up their lawns or anything like that. This is a win-win situation for everybody. It's a very effective thing we can do to reduce structural water consumption."
According to a press release from the Atlanta Board of Realtors, the lobbying group inundated commissioners with phone calls opposing the DeKalb ordinance. It's another battle in a familiar war -- previous attempts at similar legislation have been met with opposition by the same industry. Realtors say ordinances such as the one proposed in DeKalb would negatively impact the market and place home buyers and sellers at risk of being fined. ABR's offices were closed for the day when CL tried to reach them for comment.
In his e-mail, Rader urged the recipients to contact the other DeKalb commissioners and to attend the commission's upcoming meeting, where they will vote on the ordinance. The commission will meet in the Maloof Auditorium Wed., Dec. 5, at 6:30 p.m. to vote on the ordinance.
To send your views to the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners, click here to visit their website and access their e-mail addresses.
By Emma Darnell
Fulton County residents have been faithful to Grady Memorial Hospital against tremendous odds â including poverty, indifference and neglect â for many years. Unless Gov. Sonny Perdue and other state leaders act now to release Gradyâs fair share of payments from the state of Georgiaâs Indigent Care Trust Fund and Disproportionate Share programs, however, the quality of health care services to Fulton Countyâs indigent sick will be compromised.
One of the most significant factors contributing to operating losses in 2006 and 2007 was state cuts to ICTF/DSH funding. According to a comprehensive audit of Gradyâs operations released in March 2007, of the $91 million in ICTF funds for 2006 that Grady had anticipated (the same amount it received in 2005), it received approximately $69 million.
Other resources are also available to the state which are not available to Fulton County or DeKalb County. Members of the Fulton County delegation have indicated state leaders could convene a meeting of the Joint House Senate Fiscal Affairs Committee TODAY and request funds from Georgiaâs Tobacco Settlement program or from a $600 million state surplus to fund Gradyâs Level 1 Trauma Unit â a state operation with an anticipated $40 million deficit.
In September, the Grady board issued an urgent call for help to its major stakeholders: the state of Georgia, Fulton County, DeKalb County and âprivate, philanthropic and corporate sources.â Only Fulton County and DeKalb County responded to Gradyâs request for âbridge funding to stabilize internal operations.â Fulton County added $15 million to the $82 million we had already appropriated for the Grady Hospital System.
On the other hand, the state of Georgia cut DSH payments for the second consecutive year Nov. 8. With respect to âcorporate sources,â some members of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce have expressed a strong interest in the âstructureâ and governance of the Grady board. Commitments to fund a $200 million capital campaign have not materialized into donors or dollars, however.
Fulton County researchers have recently advised the Board of Commissioners that without significant PUBLIC financing, âsafety-net hospitalsâ like Grady will find it difficult to remain viable in a period when health care costs are rising across the nation â along with increasing numbers of the uninsured seeking health care in the emergency rooms of public hospitals.
Savannahâs Memorial, a 501 (c)(3) safety-net hospital, recently announced a projected $30 million dollar deficit this year. By comparison, Miami-Dade Countyâs (Florida) Jackson Memorial and Dallas Countyâs (Texas) Parkland have avoided the financial crises facing Georgiaâs hospitals for the poor. Both hospitals, Jackson and Parkland, receive significant local and STATE support. Both hospitals also are governed by boards appointed by county commissioners who are accountable to the taxpayers at the polls â rather than special interests.
Emma Darnell is a Fulton County Commissioner.
Ponce Park Team is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person(s) responsible for robbing the Empty Stocking Fund, or the recovery of the stolen items -- toys valued at $50,000 and intended for poor children. Ponce Park Team is redeveloping City Hall East, which houses not only the Empty Stocking Fund charity, but also the headquarters of the Atlanta Police Department.
Anyone with information about the burglary is asked to call the Atlanta police's tip line at 404-577-TIPS.
Let's hope someone doesn't break into police headquarters and steal their phones.
If the reward isn't claimed, Ponce Park Team says it will donate $5,000 to the Empty Stocking Fund.
Gov. Sonny Perdue raised a glass today in honor of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, those we-don't-exist-till-you-need-us folks who ride, driving water tankers, into the very depths of hell to bring us aid in times of woe. Like if the taps ran out because of that historic drought we're going through.
The agency received a five-year accreditation from the Emergency Management Accreditation Program for its ability to "coordinate preparedness and response activities for natural and man-made disasters ranging from tornadoes to terrorism."
What say you, Gov. Perdue?
âGEMAâs accreditation places Georgia in an elite group,â said Governor Sonny Perdue. âBy meeting the stringent national emergency management program standards, Georgia has demonstrated its national leadership in emergency preparedness efforts.â
Word. Let's just hope we don't have to put them to use.
By Heather Gray
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, I was in Washington D.C. after arriving from Atlanta, Ga., the evening of Sept. 10. I was there for an agriculture meeting. On that fateful day I met colleagues from Arkansas and South Carolina for a breakfast meeting at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill. It was to be the start of a daylong session on sustainable agriculture with agriculture advocates and members of Congress. As we walked into Rayburn on the morning of 9/11, our world was transformed. It was a time when the best and worst in America rose to the surface.
Coming into Rayburn, we passed guards whose eyes were transfixed on the television. We asked what was happening. "A plane flew into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York," they said. We thought it was a fluke--an error of some sort by a misguided plane. We looked briefly at the television and then continued to the cafeteria in the basement where we met two of our friends. There were not a lot of people in the cafeteria at the time, but those who were there already seemed rather bleak. People were on their cell phones and not looking directly at anyone. Then we heard that the second World Trade tower had been struck, and we knew that something orchestrated and sinister was at play.
Suddenly, there was an announcement in the cafeteria that Rayburn was being evacuated. We joined the throng of employees who rushed out of Rayburn and the surrounding buildings. A few hundred yards from Rayburn we heard what sounded like a bomb -- everyone around me bolted and then ran faster from the scene. I looked back to see that the sound was likely from military jets that were already flying over the city and breaking the sound barrier as they flew close to the buildings.
Let's hope AG Olens presses criminal charges. Slapping Fulton County with consent orders, administrative hearings,…
Just read this on the Saporta Report in the article "MARTA defies the odds —…
While the kids who have money don't have to do a fucking thing. But hasn't…
How can HongKong rank so high given that it is often blanketed with China's notorious…
Neither will anyone else, since there reasoning is entirely opaque.
The writer of this article should be ashamed of herself. It's bad enough that the…