Tuesday, February 28, 2012

'Ultimate Spider-Man' collection introduces biracial hero

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 3:58 PM

No, really, thats Miles Morales in the new black-and-red suit.
  • MARVEL COMICS
  • No, really, that's Miles Morales in the new black-and-red suit.
We’ll be seeing several new takes on Spider-Man in 2012, most prominently with the reboot film, The Amazing Spider-Man, opening July 3 and starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker. A few months earlier, on April 1, Disney offers its take on the web-slinger with a new animated series, “Ultimate Spider-Man,” based on the Marvel Comics title of the same name. For a genuinely intriguing reboot of a pop character, the new movie and show will have difficulty topping Brian Michael Bendis’ current storyline in the Ultimate Spider-Man comic books, which replaces Peter Parker with a new, biracial wall-crawler.

Even if you don’t follow comic book news, you may have heard last summer that a biracial teen named Miles Morales would be taking up the Spider-mantle following the death of Peter Parker. Marvel’s “Ultimates” titles offer a parallel, somewhat streamlined depiction of its major characters, so Peter is alive and well, barring the odd spider-villain attack or loss of his spider-senses, in Marvel’s other titles. Marvel has just released the intriguing, five-issue introduction of Morales in a hardback volume (Marvel, $24.99, 136 pp). Written by Bendis and drawn by Sara Pichelli, Ultimate Spider-Man shows how to take a familiar character and give it an exciting spin.

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Bill banning undocumented students from attending Georgia's colleges passes in committee

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 3:29 PM

UNDOCUMENTED STUDENTS Yovany Diaz, a 2010 graduate of Chattahoochee High School and Julio Quezada, a freshman at Milton High School. Diaz (foreground) has lived in Georgia for 16 years, Not only do I consider myself an American, he said at the rally, but a Georgian!
  • Joeff Davis
  • UNDOCUMENTED STUDENTS Yovany Diaz, a 2010 graduate of Chattahoochee High School and Julio Quezada, a freshman at Milton High School. Diaz (foreground) has lived in Georgia for 16 years, "Not only do I consider myself an American," he said at the rally, "but a Georgian!"

"Fundamentally unjust," was how Azadeh Shahshahani of the ACLU of Georgia described Senate Bill 458 during a rally against the bill this morning at the state capitol. Sponsored by state Sen. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, the bill would ban undocumented students from attending all state colleges, universities and technical colleges in Georgia. A Senate committee gave the bill its blessing today and it awaits a floor vote.

Currently, undocumented students are not permitted to attend Georgia colleges that “for the two most recent academic years, did not admit all academically qualified applicants." Schools which fit that description include the University of Georgia, Georgia State University, and Georgia Tech. If they do attend a state school, he or she must pay out-of-state tuition.

If SB 458 is approved, Georgia will become only the second state in the country to ban undocumented students from higher education. Fourteen states currently have bills that not only allow undocumented students to attend state colleges and universities, but also allow them to pay in-state tuition costs, according to Shahshahani.

"It gives me the worst feeling of discrimination and rejection I have ever experienced," Elizabeth Gariby, an undocumented Georgia high school student who was brought to the United States when she was five by her parents, said during this morning's rally against the legislation. "I broke no laws and I am not a criminal. Please do not treat me like one."

According to the state, fewer than one-tenth of one percent of the university system's 318,000 students are undocumented. They all pay the out-of-state tuition rate, which is roughly three times more than that paid by in-state students. That cash more than covers the cost of education, according to testimony University System Chancellor Hank Huckaby delivered last Wednesday on SB 458. The former state representative, who took the head state job last year, came out against the bill. “No one gets a free benefit,” he said.

Loudermilk argues that the new law is important because the current system takes slots at state colleges away from citizens. “Our colleges and universities are for those that are U.S. citizens and are here legally,” he told the AJC.

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City wants to know how local share of transportation-tax cash should be spent

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Should metro Atlanta voters blow our minds in July and actually approve the regional transportation tax, we won't just generate billions of dollars to build new roads and transit. The city will also receive a cut of that cash — approximately $95 million, or more than $9 million each year — to spend on local projects. Maria Saporta spoke with Tom Weyandt, the city's senior transportation adviser, who provided a good rundown of the process:

The first category (roughly $4 million a year,) would be for “high-profile” projects — major city roadways, such as DeKalb Avenue, Cascade Road, Fairburn Road, Flat Shoals Avenue, Lenox Road, Monroe Dr., West Paces Ferry Road, to name a few possible corridors.

Weyandt said the corridor improvements could include pavement resurfacing, sidewalk repair and installation, streetscape improvements, lighting, bicycle facilities, pedestrian crossings, on-street parking and transit amenities.

All the projects would be pulled from the “Connect Atlanta Plan,” the “2011 Comprehensive Development Plan and the 2010 State of City’s Transportation Infrastructure & Fleet Inventory Report.

The second category will be to distribute about $3.2 million a year among the city’s individual 12 City Council districts. Each council district would get about $265,000 a year to put in their communities. Again, all the selected projects would come from the city’s already approved transportation plan.

Some of the cash might be put into a reserve account to match federal funding awards (which we hope will still actually exist under President Rick Santorum).

City Hall officials are holding meetings throughout Atlanta this week to determine how to split up that cash according to the city's needs. The first meeting, in the southeast quadrant of the city, was held last night. Southwest Atlanta's session takes place tonight at Cascade United Methodist Church. The Northeast Quadrant meeting will take place on Thursday at the atrium inside MARTA's Lindbergh Center Headquarters. The fourth and final meeting will be held at Atlanta Union Mission's Carpenter's House on Bolton Road on Monday, March 5. All meetings begin at 6 p.m. with a presentation. The presentation will repeat at 7 p.m. Take MARTA if possible.

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Carapace celebrates two year anniversary at Manuel's

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 12:48 PM

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Carapace, the Manuel's Tavern base of Atlanta's burgeoning storytelling scene, celebrates two years of raucous raconteurs tonight. The series began as a regional chapter of The Moth, the NYC based storytelling organization that has spun off events, a radio show, and recently landed a MacArthur Grant. Now a completely independent organization, Carapace has been bringing in crowds to Manuel's Tavern to share "true personal stories told live by ordinary people, without notes, to a new theme every month."

Today, Carapace organizer Randy Osbourne announced that he'll be writing a series called "Faces of Carapace" for Patch, profiling regulars at the event. That kicks off with a profile of Brian Bannon.

The anniversary event tonight, themed around Faults and Flaws, begins at 7:30 pm. More details on Facebook.

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Beacon Dance goes site-specific at Decatur Cemetery

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Dancer Juana Farfan of Beacon Dance warms up for the three free performances of Fire this weekend at Decatur Cemetery.
  • Dancer Juana Farfan of Beacon Dance warms up for the three free performances of "Fire" which will take place this weekend in the historic Decatur Cemetery.
If you're driving past a cemetery this weekend and you see an unusual amount of twirling, leaping and port-de-bras among the tombstones, it's possible that you're witnessing the start of the zombie apocalypse, but it's more likely you're catching a glimpse of Atlanta's recent trend in site-specific dance performance.

Beacon Dance will become the first organization ever to present a performance in the Decatur Cemetery this weekend on March 2, 3, and 4. The performances will be held at 6 p.m. each evening, and all of them are free and open to the public.

The performances are part of an on-going series of site-specific works by Beacon Dance based on the four primal elements: water, earth, fire and air. Water Study took place in October at the stream in the Baker Woodlands on Emory campus; Earth was performed in November on the Beltline not far from Piedmont Park; Fire will take place this weekend at the Decatur Cemetery; and the final installment, Air, will be performed at the arts facility B-Complex in southwest Atlanta in early May.

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Atlanta media, you're on notice: stop stealing our stories

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 10:02 AM


I'll make this short and sweet: I'm a mean, petty, small-minded, vindictive sonofabitch in my personal life. But I'm pretty magnanimous professionally, happy to give credit where credit is due.

Unfortunately, Atlanta media is not proving itself so. Especially TV stations, which have been lifting stories from our paper without so much as a hat tip or a nod. Just in the few months I've been here, I've seen a lot of it, but the recent wholesale stealing of stories we first brought to Atlanta's attention has me pretty irritated. I won't link to them, because that sort of defeats the purpose, but they're as big as Rodney Carmichael's cover story on DIY rap video filmmakers (stolen by a local TV concern) and as short and sweet as Cliff Bostock's post about Grant Central Pizza asking parents to take their screaming kids outside (lifted by the AJC, then HuffPo, then everywhere).

The rules are simple, folks. Just give us a link when you highlight something we were first to discuss. We do the same for you. TV, a quick shot of the paper or mention in the story is all we need. ("It's such a phenomena, it even made the cover of Creative Loafing" is the sort of customary credit-giving gesture we're used to.) So please take note, kind media brethren.

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Theatre in the Square owes back rent, sets deadlines

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Donna Biscoe and Joy Brunson in Flyin West
Cash-strapped Theatre in the Square, which recently saw the resignation of Managing Director Raye Varney, must raise $60,000 by March 16 to keep its doors open in the short term, and $400,000 by the end of its fiscal year, June 30, according to Mike Russell, chairman of playhouse's board of directors.

Russell made his remarks during a special City Council meeting called by Mayor Steve Tumlin to hear from the various cultural groups in the downtown area and brainstorm on ways to help them survive.

“We will decide whether we keep the doors open or whether we raise the money either in cash or pledges going forward for the rest of this year,” Russell said.

Russell said he asked his board on Feb. 18 to raise $60,000 in 30 days. “That is what we have to have to keep our key vendors from shutting us down,” he said.

The theater owes its landlord, Councilman Philip Goldstein, more than $125,000 in back rent. On Feb. 8, Goldstein sent the theater staff a letter giving the organization three days to pay the full debt, something it has yet to do, Russell said. “It’s your basic lawyer letter that says you have three days to cure your default, and I’m assuming from reading the letter his ability to lock the doors on us if needed,” Russell said.

Before paying Goldstein rent, the board is committed to making its payroll, Russell said. “We’re right now struggling to operate on a day-to-day basis,” Russell said. “We literally cannot pay a seamstress $100 to do a costume for us for our play. … We’re about $28,000 short of payroll for this next run, so we’re making payroll, then we’ll pay any money that comes in after that” to the vendors, he said.

In all, the theater needs $400,000 to survive through June 30. Come June 30, it can then take the revenue from the season ticket sales of 2013 and use those funds to continue operations, Russell said.

Theatre in the Square's next main stage production, Pearl Cleage's Flyin' West, opens March 7, and the playhouse finishes its 2011-2012 season with Tuna Goes Vegas, April 25-May 27. One can only hope the company's 30th season is not its last.

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#ATL333: A collaborative Time & Place project with you, dear readers

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 9:37 AM

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We were doing some brainstorming, like we do, for our annual Neighborhood Guide issue, and we decided we wanted some sort of social media/crowdsourcing involvement with you, sweet sweet readers. So this was our idea: This Saturday, on March 3 (3/3), all over Atlanta, our readers will take a picture at 3:33 pm of whatever they're doing at that moment. An attempt to paint a mosaic of the city, as it were.

And that's all you have to do. The deets are here on our Facebook event page, where we'd love you to sign up if you plan on participating. We just put it up yesterday and we've already got a hundred folks saying they'll participate, so we're pretty jazzed about the photos we might get. (Hey, giggling frat guy, no, we don't want your filth. Not at that address, anyway. Contact me privately.) As it says, all you have to do is then email the photo to photos@creativeloafing.com, or hashtag it on Twitter or Instagram as #ATL333, and we'll find it. We'll even publish the best ones in the dead-tree version of the paper.

Don't worry, we'll remind you about it all week, because if you're like us, you need that, you slacker.

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First Slice 2/28/12: UE plane from Atlanta makes emergency landing

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 9:07 AM

1. I used to have a saying: you fly, you die. I was a wee bit terrified of flying, and didn't take an airplane for transport for five years in my 30s. I've since gotten past that, even done some travel writing. That said, with news that a United Express flight from Atlanta to New Jersey had to make an emergency belly-landing because the LANDING GEAR COLLAPSED ... well, I'm just imagining my attempt to hold it together had I been on the flight would have sounded like GAAAHHHHHHHHHH!

2. According to the AJC, "the charge to drive in the 16-mile stretch of I-85 in the express lane climbed to $4.75 at 7:18 a.m." So suck it, car-drivers.

3. A great first-half Hawks review by Peachtree Hoops is up. Living here now, I really feel for Hawks fans. You've got a team just good enough to taunt, and an ownership group not quite bold enough to get you over the hump. Tough. Meanwhile, I know I'll be spending the NBA Finals re-watching last year's Mavs run on DVR, but ... I've got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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5 things today: Better than Something, Carapace

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 7:00 AM

1. Better than Something, a documentary about Jay Reatard, screens at the Earl
2. Carapace celebrates their two year anniversary at Manuel's
3. Maylene and the Sons of Disaster play Masquerade
4. Ree De La Vega and Speakerfoxxx dj at Star Bar
5. Alejandro Aguilera About the Modern Spirit continues at the High

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