Thursday, July 31, 2008

Downtown Publix is officially a no-go... for now

Posted By on Thu, Jul 31, 2008 at 3:35 AM

Not necessarily breaking news, but disappointing news nonetheless for anyone like myself who wanted to see a grocery store in downtown Atlanta -- a development that was announced many moons ago.

At today's City Council finance committee meeting, Cheryl Strickland of the Atlanta Development Authority told Councilmember Kwanza Hall that the planned Publix at 24 Allen Plaza -- part of the Westside TAD -- is indeed on hold. Strickland says Barry Real Estate, the developer of the proposed project, has been unable to lure a large enough office occupant for the building that would also house the grocery store. It also banked on more TAD funding to be available for the development. Hall told Strickland he was disappointed but that he was going to pursue the idea.

(The Westside TAD is just one of the 27 across the state that were severely impacted by the February Georgia Supreme Court ruling that school taxes couldn't be used for non-educational purposes.)

But that's a shame about the Publix. A grocery store with fresh food and other assorted sundries would give residents in the booming area another reason to never start their cars.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

IMAX filmmaker D.J. Roller swims with sharks

Posted By on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 9:58 PM

"Live every week as if it were Shark Week!" "30 Rock's" Tracy Jordan offers those words to live by. The Discovery Channel is currently airing its annual "Shark Week" of Jaws-esque programming, which it shows in the middle of summer -- just to mess with swimmers, apparently. By sheer coincidence (no, really), this week I interview Atlanta-based filmmaker D.J. Roller, who specializes in underwater, IMAX or 3-D photography (and frequently all three at the same time). Roller served as director of underwater photography for Wild Ocean, the latest IMAX documentary showing at Fernbank Museum of Natural History. I asked him about working with sharks:

That's one of the questions I get asked the most. In Wild Ocean – that's probably the most sharks I've been with in the water. We know that sharks aren't as dangerous as the media portrays them in movies like Jaws, but they're very capable of biting you. We think of them as an "acceptable risk." Sharks are really sexy, cool creatures, and they were more interested in the sardines than in us. Sometimes the sardines or the dolphins would use us as barriers for the sharks. Sharks have very tough skin compared to dolphins, so if one bumps into you, the friction can almost spin you, and you really have to work to hold the camera steady.

The thing that’s wild about sharks is, if they’re going to check you out, they’re always going to come up behind you. I bought a rear-view mirror at an Atlanta bicycle shop that I mounted on my camera, so I can always check to see if anything's coming up behind me.

I daresay Roller was not involved in the footage of this scene from Shark Attack 3: Megalodon, but in some ways it's my favorite shark-related clip of all time:

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"Mad Men" and bad moms

Posted By on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 8:58 PM

This week I review "Mad Men," the latest "Show You Should Watch" according to The Vulture blog. American Movie Classics' multi-Emmy nominee looks back, with 20/20 hindsight, at the lives of hedonistic ad men and their put-upon women in early 1960s Manhattan.

In my review I wasn't able to dwell on one of my favorite aspects of "Mad Men:" its treatment of parenting from nearly 50 years ago. Occasionally "Mad Men" will offer a glimpse of child-raising styles before our present-day safety consciousness. Arguably we're overly protective today, but scenes like the one below (my favorite moment in any of "Mad Men" episode) show that it's possible to be too cavalier with your kids; the smoking is the least of it. The children make their appearance about 40 seconds into the short clip:

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"Mad Men's" second season airs on Sundays at 10 p.m. on AMC. I've been trying to find out if the new episodes will get rebroadcast on-line, but haven't learned anything yet.

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Andre Walker: APN got money from three candidates

Posted By on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 8:50 PM

The Atlanta blogger who got in hot water this morning for taking money from politicians is accusing his accusers of doing much the same thing.

"This just another case of the pot calling the kettle black," Georgia Politics Unfiltered's Andre Walker said in an e-mail about Atlanta Progressive News.

APN reported early this morning that Walker received payments from U.S. Rep. David Scott's campaign (apparently for designing a website) and also ran favorable coverage of Scott. Decaturguy blogged last year that Walker had set up a website for Vernon Jones and also covered Jones' Senate campaign.

But Walker sent campaign disclosure reports to CL showing that APN received a total of $575 for ads from politicians whom the website endorsed: Angela Moore for Georgia secretary of state in 2006, Able Mable Thomas for the fifth congressional district this year, and Donzella James, who ran against Scott in the 13th congressional district this year.

Continue reading »

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Gun-Ho! How I learned to stop worrying and love carrying my gun

Posted By on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 8:03 PM


Don't miss Andisheh Nouraee's first-person account of packing heat around Atlanta. A law that took effect on July 1 allows gun permit holders to take their weapons into restaurants (including places such as the Earl and Manuel's Tavern) and on MARTA.

Our own Andisheh happens to have a gun permit and volunteered to wear his gun on his hip for several excursions around town, including a MARTA train and a trip to Target to buy deodorant. Just to see what would happen. He even went to dinner with about 50 gun supporters, all of whom were openly carrying,

(Photo by Joeff Davis)

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Atlanta blogs today

Posted By on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 5:14 PM

— It's the end of the world as we know it, and I don't know how I feel. GriftDrift has posted another installment of "My Morning Wooten" and ... he says Wooten makes sense. WTF? Thankfully, by the end he's poking at Wooten for pulling out the usual canard about the liberal media. There. All's right with the world again.

— Over at Good Will Hinton, there's a podcast interview with S.E. Cupp, co-author of the book Why You're Wrong About The Right: Behind The Myths. The stereotypes Cupp hopes to debunk? "Republicans are racist, we're humorless, we hate the planet, we're stupid, we're religious fanatics, we aren't cool," Cupp tells Hinton.

— Do we need to create a code of ethics for the blogosphere? at My Urban Reporter discusses the news reports that Atlanta political blogger Andre Walker (Peach Pundit, Georgia Politics Unfiltered) is on the payroll of U.S. Rep. David Scott (D-Atlanta), yet wrote multiple posts about Scott without disclosing their relationship. points out, and I second, that's an ethical no, no. See also CL editor Ken Edelstein's post on the issue.

Tondee's Tavern has a report from Ed, who is in China for the Olympic Games and laments the censorship he's already faced with Internet access.

—  Amy Smart received an invitation from Gov. Sonny Perdue to attend his annual fish fry and, as she writes on Georgia Women Vote!, she's not really amused since Sonny's "Go Fish Georgia" program is fully funded while schools are facing budget cuts.

— Things have been a little quiet on the Dora-Blog. But now Bubba Rich laments that the bad times have come back to Doraville, that touch of country in the city.

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View from the Couch: The Counterfeiters and more

Posted By on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 5:00 PM


Check out this week's View from the Couch DVD-review column by Matt Brunson of Charlotte's Creative Loafing. This week Matt takes a look at The Counterfeiters, Doomsday, The Inglorious Bastards and Vampyr (which I unfairly chastised Matt last week for not having reviewed).

We're grateful that Matt got around to Vampyr; he likey!

There are images here that are staggering in their artistry: the shadow of a one-legged servant separating from its owner and taking off on its own; a ferryman wielding a scythe next to a fog-encrusted lake; the ultimate fate of the doctor, undone by (spirit-assisted) machinery even more imposing than the wheels and cogs encountered by Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times; and, most famously, the POV shots that find a prematurely boxed Gray witnessing the activities occurring just above the glass window on his coffin.

Continue reading »

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State representative, romance writer -- same thing

Posted By on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 4:23 PM

God, I love our Legislature.

State Rep. Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta, moonlights as a romantic suspense writer who scribes under the nom de plume of Selena Montgomery. (She's also a deserved winner of our illustrious Arnie Awards.) Her new novel, Reckless, recently hit stores.

Here's the plot:

Atlanta attorney Kell Jameson has just won yet another acquittal for a famous, if guilty, client. Then one frantic phone call wrenches her back Hallden, Georgia, a place she's spent years trying to escape. The head of her childhood orphanage has been accused of murder, and Kell is her only hope for freedom. Unfortunately for Kell, she is forced to work with Sheriff Luke Calder to prove her client’s innocence – but perhaps at the cost of revealing a secret Kell has worked a lifetime to keep hidden. And a secret a murderer will kill to protect.

The book's garnered rave reviews and is sure to include thinly veiled references to xenophobic, money-hungry and asphalt-lovin' state lawmakers.

To read excerpts or purchase the novel, click here.

(Photo by Joeff Davis)

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Air Loaf: Gun-ho!

Posted By on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 4:00 PM

Today’s Air Loaf features CL’s Chanté LaGon and Andisheh Nouraee chatting about this week's cover story Gun-Ho!, which discusses the new state gun law that allows the Georgia Firearms Licensed to pack heat on public transportation, in city and state parks, and restaurants that serve alcohol.

Air Loaf is broadcast weekdays on 1690 WMLB-AM at approximately 8:10 a.m., 12:20 p.m. and 6:20 p.m.


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Political blogger Andre Walker's conflict of interest?

Posted By on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 3:36 PM


A leading Georgia political blogger is being accused of conflicts of interest for doing work for politicians and failing to disclose it. The issue raises a couple of broader questions about ethical standards for political bloggers.

Atlanta Progressive News released an investigative article early this morning that details work done by Georgia Politics Unfiltered's Andre Walker for U.S. Senate candidate Vernon Jones and incumbent Congressman David Scott, as well as a long list of favorable posts on Scott.

Continue reading »

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