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Thursday, February 21, 2013

First Slice 2/21/13: ParkAtlanta dismisses tickets for some top city officials

1. A whistle blower investigation by Fox 5 showed that ParkAtlanta, despite having a contracted that bars favoritism, dismissed a number of parking tickets for some top City of Atlanta and ParkAtlanta officials. Look close and you might see commissioner of public works Richard Mendoza fight back a smile (1:17) as he explains that, in fact, the city officials in question were part of a city-wide "secret shopper" program to make sure illegal parkers were actually being ticketed.

2. Former commissioner of Atlanta's Department of Planning and Development, Leon Eplan chimes in on the whole street car thing:

"Streetcars are not new to Atlanta. They remained in use until the end of World War II. But the shift of the public to automobiles made the streetcar business unprofitable, so all streetcars eventually were abandoned."

"The common opinion in Atlanta is that the public is so wedded to their automobiles that nothing we can do will ever cause them to leave their vehicles behind. But that has not been tested because few travel alternatives exist.

In cities where the modern streetcar has been introduced, large numbers of riders have willing switched from their automobiles to transit when given that opportunity."

3. Where do most Craiglist missed connections happen in Georgia? At least it's not Walmart ...

4. The United States Post Office has taken the next logical step in closing a $5.1 billion loss last year by launching a clothing and apparel line.

5. Finally! Your four-year degree is paying off. Now you can get that job running "documents back and forth between the courthouse and the office" you've always dreamed of. Sorry, no word yet if that $10 an hour comes with a 401k match.

6. A Grant Park resident has raised issue about some of the neighborhood's dismal sidewalks and the city's insistence that nearby Ormewood Park residents foot the bill for similar repairs:

"On Feb. 5, I tweeted Mayor Reed and posted pictures of the sidewalk on my street. I asked him why we are funding a new Falcon's stadium when I watch women with babies in strollers walk my street every day to bypass the horrific sidewalk.

His response was that there are separate city funds for this type of repair. I was horrified to read that the city is sending certified letters to residents demanding that they foot the bill."

Still, if you don't want to pay for sidewalk repairs bringing the issue to the attention of the mayor may not be the best move.

7. And one more just for fun: It turns out 42 of the 43 United States presidents are direct descendants of King John of England. King John is probably best known as a villain in the Robin Hood stories, but he also signed this little thing called the Magna Carta back in 1215.

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