Thursday, August 14, 2008

Take that, Gwinnett

Posted By on Thu, Aug 14, 2008 at 9:50 PM

The growth of the Atlanta metropolitan area is finally slowing. Not so for Atlanta proper, though. This is coming from the Atlanta Regional Commission.

First the bad news (or, depending on your opinion of sprawl, the good news):

The population of the 10-county region increased by 70,200 people between April 1, 2007 and April 1, 2008, the smallest increase since 2003 and 16 percent lower than the annual average increase of this decade.

Now, the part that really gets Gwinnett's goat:

Despite the slowdown in the rest of the region, growth in the City of Atlanta remains robust with its largest single-year population gain in almost 40 years, up 13,100 people. The City’s annual growth also marks the first time in at least four decades that the City added more new residents than Gwinnett County.

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Georgians fear Russian invasion?

Posted By on Thu, Aug 14, 2008 at 6:26 PM

I have a hunch that someone's trolling for attention: BuzzFeed currently posts to a page on Yahoo Answers, on which one Jessica B. wants to know,

"I live in georegia but I dont see rusia no where not even sound but they says there tanks should I be worrie"

No, Jessica B. -- if that is your real name -- you should not be "worrie" about Russian tanks. Probably not even Russian planes.

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I keep summer hours

Posted By on Thu, Aug 14, 2008 at 4:36 PM


The city in the summer. A concrete inferno reeking with the stench of hot garbage and overripe armpits. Infinite ring around the collar, circling into a downward spiral toward the unpleasant sensation that you’re going to completely lose your mind if you don’t watch out. Which is why I keep Summer Hours.

I get up in the morning – let’s call it “Monday morning.” I shower and get dressed. I grab a Grande Frapp on the way to work and get to the office by 10 a.m. I say hello to co-workers. I answer a few emails. I leave the office at 10:50 a.m. and walk the city with my sports coat tossed over one shoulder. I find an open ice cream shop. I walk inside to enjoy the air conditioning. I order a double scoop of mint chip on a sugar cone, the Official Cone of Summer Hours.

Later, I return to the office, but everyone has gone home. Then I remember: It’s “Monday Afternoon.” Summer Hours. I decide it’s too hot to go home just yet and that I’ll take a nap on my desk.

When my boss wakes me, he says, a bit rudely, “We’re all in the Monday meeting. Get your ass in there, now.” So it turns out everyone didn’t go home.

“Jesus, you’re all here,” I say as I enter the conference room.

Continue reading »

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Morning headlines

Posted By on Thu, Aug 14, 2008 at 2:55 PM

SPY VS. PIE: The AP reports that Julia Child left a career as a WWII-era spy to become a chef; Child is one of several well-known Americans whose previously secret spy career was revealed this morning, as the personnel files of the pre-CIA Office of Strategic Services were declassified.

SHOOTING: The chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party is dead after a recently fired Target employee mysteriously drove more than 30 miles to Little Rock and shot him.

LANIER: Georgia officials asked SCOTUS this morning to overturn a February appeals-court ruling requiring congressional approval for the state to take more water from Lake Lanier to quench Atlanta's growing thirst.

STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE: The NYT reports on the resurgent popularity of streetcars in at least 40 U.S. downtowns such as Cincinnati, New Orleans, Houston and Charlotte. Not mentioned: Atlanta's distant visions for the Beltline and Peachtree Street streetcar.

SACS: The accrediting agency is in Clayton County today, part of its review to determine whether the school system will be the first since 1969 to have its accreditation revoked.

SCRATCH PAPER: Cox Newspapers is selling all but three of its newspapers.

RESCUE 911: The recent death of a Johns Creek woman highlights problems in the Fulton County emergency services, as the 911 operator who sent emergency crews 30 miles in the wrong direction had a long history of such routing mistakes. She also repeatedly was disciplined for sleeping on the job, chronic tardiness and fighting with co-workers, and records show her behavior wasn't uncommon in the department.

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Atlanta blogs today

Posted By on Thu, Aug 14, 2008 at 2:45 PM

 — Most often, Live Apartment Fire looks at the state of local television news with a somewhat cynical eye. But today, he gives major props to WXIA-TV's Brenda Wood for the job she's doing over in China for the Olympic Games.

— At the Daly Briefing, our intrepid correspondent from the war zone shares a meal (standing up, because that's how they do it over there) with some Iraqi friends.

— The Shelbinator makes the case for Joe Biden as Obama's vice-presidential running mate.

— There's a dust-up on the blogosphere that makes you think the world is coming to an end. Gray over at Left On Lanier sums it up beautifully ... and hilariously.

—  Sara rediscovers her inner chef at Going Through The Motions. But why didn't she invite us to the meal?

— And finally, Mostly Muppet puts everything into perspective: It's all about good beer.

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DeKalb PATH trail blocked yet again

Posted By on Thu, Aug 14, 2008 at 1:53 PM

Members of the Three Forks Heritage Alliance, the community group that has fought a PATH trail between Mason Mill and Medlock Parks in DeKalb County, are surely cheerful today. A judge has blocked work on the controversial multi-use trail.


From the AJC:

A DeKalb County Superior Court judge on Wednesday issued a restraining order that bars PATH and its contractor, Lewallen Construction, from working on a mile-long route between Medlock and Mason Mill parks. Work must cease because the pro-ject is "illegal," Judge Gregory A. Adams ruled.

Adams' 30-day stop-work order follows a judgment he issued last week that DeKalb County government, which hired PATH for the $1.7 million project, quickly appealed to the state Supreme Court. Adams ruled on Aug. 6 that the county didn't follow proper procurement procedures. The judge also ruled that DeKalb didn't follow proper permitting procedures and allowed the walkway to stray too close to a stream in violation of its own environmental regulations.

Click here to visit the alliance's website and read the judge's order.

(Photo by Thomas Wheatley)

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Glenn Richardson not planning to tackle property taxes next session?

Posted By on Thu, Aug 14, 2008 at 10:34 AM

Some early-morning speculation on my part, fueled by caffeine and a post from InsiderAdvantage's Dick Pettys. The George Harrison doppelganger tapped his sources who attended a business community fundraiser yesterday for House Speaker Glenn Richardson:

Richardson told the group he intends to focus on transportation, water and the state’s budget problems if re-elected as presiding officer.

Maybe the state's current economic woes convinced Richardson he shouldn't tackle his greatest nemesis, property taxes, as he promised he would during an April press conference he held with Gov. Sonny Perdue and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle?

Speculate! It's just like daydreamin', only it leeches off reality and you're doing it out loud!

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5 things to do today: Thursday

Posted By on Thu, Aug 14, 2008 at 4:55 AM


1) Lost Kingdoms of the Nile: Nubian Treasures continues at the Michael C. Carlos Museum.

2) Newberry Jam, Polemic, Hawkeye Pierce and Requiem perform at Lenny's Bar.

3) Cocktails in the Garden continues at Atlanta Botanical Garden. This month's theme is Rock Roses and Red Rubies.

4) The Faint, Jaguar Love and Shy Child perform at Variety Playhouse.

5) Becoming a Man in 127 Easy Steps opens at 7 Stages.

(Photo by Harvard University-Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition)

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