Traffic will get a little bit worse starting next week for motorists traveling through Inman Park and Old Fourth Ward.
Krog Street between Edgewood and DeKalb Avenues will be closed from June 17 to August 3 as AT&T conducts some much-needed utility work. City officials planned for this round of repairs to coincide with the rebuilding of the Edgewood Avenue bridge, which was demolished back in April.
"Our goal is to maintain the existing detour route as much as possible in order to have this work completed before the Atlanta Public Schools reopen in August," Valerie Bell-Smith, a Department of Public Works spokeswoman, said in a statement. "Once AT&T has completed their work the original detour route will resume."
Smith says that local business will keep their doors open and that additional detail signs will be placed to promote more foot traffic.
So expect delays throughout the area. We've included several different detours after the jump:
Thanks to 1,000 hours of volunteer work, a CL-hosted online fundraiser, and a $2,500 matching donation from the Home Depot Foundation, the seating areas, headstones, and other memorials are now surrounded by newly planted grass, shrubs, trees, flowers, and marked by tidy walking paths - all in keeping with the original Victorian design of the city park and sanctuary.
Minutes before last weekend's Tunes From the Tombs event started, around two dozen volunteers patted down the last sod patches and hauled off wheelbarrows full of well-worn tools to the cemetery garden shed. Later on Saturday afternoon, when CL met up with the cemetery's landscape manager, Sara Henderson, families and some children were already making good use of the restored space, taking photos of flowers and markers, sitting on donated benches, and running in the grass or sitting in shady spots under trees.
On Sunday, Henderson sent out a thank-you note to all her volunteers, saying in part:
Against Atlanta Horse Drawn Carriages says that Atlanta's laws created to protect horses from cruel living and working conditions aren't currently being enforced. They want the Atlanta Police Department, which is responsible for enforcing the laws, to crack down on carriage operators - or even end the practice altogether if the city's laws aren't followed.
"We ask that you take measures to [ensure] the law in regards to the horses, their living conditions and their working conditions, are enforced," the petition, which has more than 4,000 signatures, says. "If the laws cannot be enforced, then the horse drawn carriages in Atlanta should be shut down."
Kathy Burke, a Gwinnett County activist leading AAHDC's efforts, thinks that two horse-drawn carriage companies, Fantasy Carriages and Nottingham Shire & Carriage for Hire, have failed to properly care for the horses over the years.
Atlanta's codes require that horse-drawn carriage companies must "provide humane care and treatment" and not "impair the good health and physical condition" of carriage horses. The group, however, claims that many horses are not given proper access to water and are occasionally neglected. Burke says that the two companies provide "unacceptable" living conditions and its carriage operators don't properly care for the horses while they're on-the-job. "They're clearly not horse people," she says.
Amanda Araim, owner of Nottingham Shire & Carriage for Hire for the past 13 years, says she has worked with horses her entire life and goes above and beyond what's required for her horses, which includes shorter shifts, stricter stable regulations, and increased attention to their horses' health. She also says she had Burke arrested for "assaulting" her in Downtown, and overall thinks that most protesters aren't willing to hear her side of the issue. They simply want horse carriages removed from the city's streets.
"We have never received a single citation from the city, the county, or the state's agriculture department - all three entities come and inspect our horses and carriages on a regular basis," Araim tells CL. "They come out all the time, and actually more than they're supposed to, because every time those groups come out and file a complaint, they have to come out and inspect."
According to Burke, animal right activists have fought on behalf of Atlanta's carriage-drawn horses as far back as 1988. But the cause hasn't seen much progress. In recent years, similar efforts have gained steam in New York City, where several mayoral candidates are now vowing to ban the practice if elected.
Burke says that Atlanta's horse-drawn carriage operators are allowed to continue operating due to an "astounding" lack of regulation. "There's no oversight or real-time administration of the law," she tells CL.
"The city's not designed to accommodate horse-drawn carriages," adds Burke. "They don't really have the space set aside for carriage stands like they should. They don't have shelter or water for the horses at the carriage stands. If they insist on having horse-drawn carriages in the city, they need to put money into facilities to have the right facilities."
CL also reached out to Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall, who represents much of Downtown, and Fantasy Carriage for this story. If we hear back from either, we'll post an update.
According to Georgia Voice, Inserection owner Michael Morrison is planning to launch a campaign against the councilman who represents much of northeast Atlanta. An official announcement, he says, could come sometime next week.
Morrison admits that have he "may not be electable" because of his past record. In 2005, he spent two-and-a-half years behind bars for tax evasion. He was also forced to pay $1.4 million back to the Internal Revenue Service. But he's already made his campaign message loud and clear: "a vote for me is a vote against Alex Wan."
Former CL staff writer Scott Henry spoke to Morrison as part of a 2003 cover story on Fulton Industrial Boulevard's then-burgeoning red-light district:
The Atlanta City Council voted yesterday against two ordinances proposed by Councilman Alex Wan that would have forced adult video stores, strip clubs, and sex shops to find a new home.
In a statement, Wan said he was disappointed after spending months championing the legislation, which would have required adult businesses to comply with special zoning restrictions or move by 2018. Despite taking his fair share of flak in the process, he said he would "remain committed" to improving Cheshire Bridge Road in other ways.
"The two rezoning papers I introduced would have made it easier for the residents, businesses and other stakeholders along Cheshire Bridge Road to further revitalize the business corridor," Wan said in a statement. "The changes would have allowed for businesses more compatible with the needs of the community, and restrict those that are incompatible with the surrounding neighborhoods."
Wan had received support from several neighborhood associations, the area's Neighborhood Planning Unit, the city's law department, and the city's planning department. But he couldn't overcome growing concerns over the bad precedent the legislation would possibly set.
During yesterday's packed Council meeting, Wan boiled all the arguments down to his fellow councilmembers and asked:
At the end of the day, the question before you is simple: are we community people who support the efforts a community takes to improve our city through planning and visioning? The business owners and neighborhoods have done exactly what we've asked them to. They did a study, created a plan, enacted zoning, they looked for tools to realize that vision...They have done their part. The question is: will we?
Nevertheless, his pleas fell short in a 6 to 9 vote. Those who voted against the Cheshire Bridge ordinances were Councilmembers Kwanza Hall, Ivory Lee Young, Jr., Cleta Winslow, Natalyn Archibong, Howard Shook, Yolanda Adrean, Felicia Moore, C.T. Martin and Joyce Sheperd. Project Q Atlanta nicely explained the rationale behind Martin and Moore's votes:
Family members, friends, civic and business leaders, and elected officials placed votive candles in paper bags decorated with messages to the 33-year-old video game programmer and the community. Some attendees donned yellow, a nod to the color of the game piece that Cotrona often picked when he played board games.
According to an APD spokeswoman, witnesses and victims described the suspect as a young African-American male between the age of 16 and 18, 5'8 to 5'10 in height, with a thin build, medium-brown complexion and little to no facial hair.
"The suspect was wearing a dark-colored hat with a red POLO emblem on it, a red-and-blue vertical stripped/checkered short sleeve button up shirt with a collar, khaki shorts and white high top shoes," an APD spokeswoman says.
Police also released video of a possible robbery suspect fleeing the scene and jumping into a four-door dark charcoal Grey Dodge Stratus or Intrepid with a sun roof.
Got any tips? Call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS (8477).
The condominium association that owns the building behind the stately home designed by noted Atlanta architect P. Thornton Marye offered to give the house, free of charge, to anyone who could haul it off. Doing so would cost at least $350,000.
Yesterday afternoon, someone took them up on the offer.
This summer, preservationists plan to move the house to a vacant lot in Ansley Park, where it will become a home to Christopher Jones and Roger Smith, the founders of NewTown Partners, an economic development consulting firm that focuses on distressed historic properties.
The firm started working with the condo association, the Buckhead Heritage Society, and the city on the project in January. Jones and Smith closed on the Ansley Park lot on Thursday.
Moving the house won't be an easy task. Project supporters and city and state officials have spent the last four months coordinating the logistics of the move - a process which is expected to continue until June. Talks with utility companies "regarding the temporary relocation of aerial utility lines along the route as the house moves south on Peachtree Road" are in the works, a spokesman says in a statement. Then comes the hard part of jacking up the house, placing it on a rig, and rolling it down Peachtree Road (and Street) and then lugging it across a vacant lot to its future home.
Once the house has been moved, Jones and Smith plan to "sensitively rehabilitate the home according to historic preservation standards." In addition, they'll donate a preservation façade easement to the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, guaranteeing the building's longevity.
"This is a watershed moment for historic preservation in Atlanta," Wright Mitchell, president of the Buckhead Heritage Society, said in a statement, "The Randolph-Lucas House project proves that groups with sometimes divergent interests can truly come together to support a creative solution to a difficult historic preservation problem. That has not always been the case in our great city."
Despite a negative recommendation from Atlanta's Zoning Review Board, City Council's zoning committee voted 3 to 2 in favor of two proposals that would boot adult video stores, strip clubs, and sex shops from the commercial district. As we've reported on over the past few months, nearby residents, business owners, and developers have tussled over Cheshire Bridge's future.
Councilmembers Alex Wan, Keisha Lance Bottoms, and Carla Smith voted for the ordinances; while Howard Shook and Ivory Young went against the measures. Joyce Sheperd abstained.
Wan, who's taken plenty of flak over the ordinances, called the measures "the most significant" legislation he's championed and reiterated that his constituents backed his efforts.
"If we allow fear of litigation to guide our decisions in what we vote for, our city would grind to a halt," Councilman Alex Wan told Project Q. "The only people who oppose it are the adult businesses and the developers."
The two ordinances now will head to a full City Council meeting on June 3 in what could be a decisive meeting for the area. Stay tuned.
The developers did manage to preserve the Starbucks. The Atlanta Business Chronicle says the coffee chain's location on the intersection will temporarily move and relocate into the new building's ground floor once construction of the 23-unit condo building is complete.
One upside: The building won't come with a brand new surface parking lot. A spokesman tells us that a bridge will connect the building to the adjacent Viewpoint parking deck, which Loudermilk owns.
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