Founded in 1887, the organization boasts some of the city's elite among its membership ranks, including lawyers, CEOs, and other well-heeled movers and shakers. You better have money and connections if you want to see your daughter's debutante ball at the PDC's stately clubhouse near Piedmont Park, or play a round of golf at its 18-hole course along Camp Creek Parkway. This, my friends, is a classy club.
That's why a recent letter to the driving club's president complaining of members' "inappropriate behavior" during a recent golf tournament left us shocked - SHOCKED.
According to the letter by an aggrieved member - which since being leaked has garnered more than 24,000 views and landed on blogs - classy acts of the weekend allegedly included, but were not limited to: at least one club member playing a hole of golf completely naked (the club website says the dress code is "casual at all times" but appropriate attire is "slacks, skirts, or golf shirts and collared shirts which must be tucked in"); several members urinating on the putting greens in front of a caddie and a woman; one member picking up a golf ball with his "naked butt cheeks"; a member slapping his penis against the face of a friend who had passed out in the men's grill; and members mooning guests of a rehearsal dinner.
UPDATE, 5/31/12, 10:30 a.m. A Piedmont Driving Club spokesman says in a statement:
"We have taken disciplinary action based on what we currently know to be true. We take this matter very seriously and are looking into it further. When all of the facts are gathered and verified, we will consider further action."
The full letter follows, in all its glory, after the jump:
Last night's turnout for a public hearing at City Hall on a proposed re-write of Atlanta's alcohol code was modest, but those who spoke were passionate and seemed to represent neighborhood concerns from across the city.
Among the requests and complaints heard from the podium:
• Stop granting temporary liquor licenses to new bars or clubs that have replaced an existing business
• Crack down on convenience stores selling glass pipes and other druggie paraphernalia
• Yank licenses from bars and stores that have high numbers of on-site crimes or violations
• Give the Neighborhood Planning Units more say in approving new licenses
I can tell you now, that last one is unlikely to happen — and that's as it should be. NPUs are given a chance to review license applications and make recommendations, but neither the License Review Board nor the mayor — who ultimately approves all licenses — is required to follow those recommendations. The system is designed that way for a couple of reasons. The official reason is that the LRB has a citywide perspective on the booze landscape and is better equipped to ensure that the alcohol code is applied in a legally responsible and uniform manner. The unofficial reason is that some NPUs are hotbeds of NIMBYism and can't be trusted to fairly consider applications.
That said, the NPUs do represent voters, and so their complaints will likely be listened to by city officials. It's early in the code revision process, but we plan to follow the issue, so stay tuned…
Start the new year the same way you ended 2011: by drinking!
Yes, at 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 1, Atlanta will join the growing list of Georgia cities and counties which allow gas stations, bottle shops, and grocery stores to sell alcohol on Sundays.
Once you've slept off all the boxed wine you guzzled while listening to Kansas at the Peach Drop (?!?), venture to the nearest store and pick up a bottle of... what the hell do y'all drink anyways?
Please celebrate this bold new chapter in Atlanta's history responsibly.
The Georgia Office of Highway Safety developed an app for iPhone and Android that "allows Georgians to have mobile access to organizations around the state providing free rides home for those who are impaired by alcohol" on New Year's Eve and again on Superbowl Sunday. From the looks of the app, you hit free rides and then your city or region, which connects you with one of the "wide variety" of taxi companies and designated driver services.
Of course, if you don't want to download an app that you can only use on two specific nights or you don't have a phone with app downloading capabilities (I didn't until, like, a couple months ago, so no judgment here), you can go to the GOHS's website and print out/write down the applicable phone numbers.
In Atlanta-proper, it looks like Zingo and Designated Driver Alternative are the free-ride options. Anyone utilized these services in the past? Are they reliable? Timely? Regardless, getting home late is better than getting home dead, I suppose.
A creative downtown Atlanta couple sick of seeing their neighborhood littered with teeny tiny Tanqueray bottles decided to collect the plastic containers, wash 'em, and put them to good use. The result: A Christmas wreath, which they've hung on their door. Brilliant.
(Courtesy of downtowner, the couple's neighbor, and friend of CL @wcdarling)
It's a lovely day to visit Avondale Estates. Or College Park. Or maybe even Alpharetta, Jonesboro or Villa Rica. They're just a few of the metro Atlanta municipalities where stores, starting today, are now allowed to sell booze on Sundays. (Atlantans can start purchasing alcohol on Sundays on Jan. 1 — the very day many people swear they'll never drink again.)
If you headed outside Atlanta to pick up a six pack on the Lord's Day, let us know how things went. Make new friends during your visit to these quirky cities? Notice any lightning bolts? Smell sulfur when you opened the fridge at the gas station?
OK, this is kind of hilarious.
Last night, Forest Park — along with Palmetto in south Fulton — rejected an overwhelmingly popular ballot measure that would allow stores to sell alcohol on Sundays. It was a strange move, but not entirely unexpected in a city that's recently tried to crack down on strip clubs.
Well, Forest Park officials reviewed the votes this morning and discovered that, whattaya know, voters might have actually approved the Sunday alcohol sales measure. Reports the AJC:
Elections Superintendent David Painter said an accumulator programmed to tally votes cast on touch-screen machines spat out grossly erroneous results. A recount will be conducted at City Hall on Thursday, but the new, unofficial count has Sunday sales passing 369 to 331.
"We had to revert to using a calculator," the superintendent said.
Painter said he realized something had gone wrong when he got home Tuesday night and saw that the results would mean nearly 1,500 ballots had been cast, when the true number was closer to 700.
David Painter is a hero. All hail David Painter!
Though a handful of precincts have yet to report, we think it's safe to call this one: Atlanta voters have approved — by a very wide margin — a measure that will allow retail stores to sell alcohol on Sundays. Roughly 82 percent of voters gave their blessing to the proposal.
Now, from what we understand, the new law won't take effect until the first Sunday of next year — which is, appropriately enough, Jan. 1. So keep following former Gov. Sonny Perdue's advice and "planning ahead" until then. But still... it finally happened, eh?
Expect details about other local elections in a bit.
Yep, today's the day. Voters in many Georgia cities and counties — including Atlanta and Decatur — will visit the polls to decide whether stores should be allowed to sell alcohol on Sundays.
Other elections and ballot initiatives will be decided, including whether a 1-cent sales tax benefitting Atlanta Public Schools should be extended. Voters will also choose a new board member for the school system's 2nd district.
But c'mon, we know you're interested in the booze. And if you want that freedom, you need to exercise your civic duty and cast a ballot. Here's Scott Henry's two-part take on the sales-tax extension and how it factors into upcoming ballot initiatives, including the sewer-tax extension and T-SPLOST. Here's a rundown on the school board candidates.
Polls opened at 7 a.m. and will close at 7 p.m. Locate your local polling place and view a sample ballot here. And don't forget to bring one of these six forms of identification to the polls. Notice any shenanigans at your polling place? Send us a line or leave details — or any other interesting observations — in the comments.
We'll keep a close eye on the results so check back for updates.
Just today, at an unrelated press conference, Mayor Kasim Reed was asked more than once about his position on the Atlanta school SPLOST. He declined to answer. Now, I haven't talked to him about it lately, but from much earlier conversations, I know he hoped that penny in sales tax would go to the regional transportation tax that he had backed as a state senator.
But the politics are somewhat more complicated. If it were just Atlanta schools up for the tax renewal, I'd say it's a no-brainer: They had their seat at the table for 12 fraud-besmirched years; give someone else a chance. But, unfortunately, you can't vote against Atlanta without also voting against Fulton County schools. Similarly, you can't vote against the corruption-plagued DeKalb school system without also punishing the top-ranked Decatur city schools. Under what must be described as an outdated state law, school SPLOST votes are countywide only.
So, if you live in Alpharetta or College Park and your kid goes to Fulton County schools, I can't fault you for voting in favor of the SPLOST. In fact, even if everyone in Atlanta voted against the SPLOST and the rest of the county voted for it, the APS would still get the penny sales tax because a majority of Fulton residents live outside the Atlanta city limits. I realize this is an uphill battle.
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