Last Friday, without fanfare or advanced warning, state officials removed the Thomas Watson statue from the front of the Georgia Capitol, where it's stood for more than 80 years. (In fact, tomorrow would have marked the 81st anniversary of the statue's presence in front of the Gold Dome.)
The announcement of the statue being moved to a fenced-off park across the street was first made public in an executive order by Gov. Nathan Deal on Oct. 4, 2013. The decision was controversial. For some, the statue represented racism and religious bigotry. Others compared its removal to the destruction of 2,000-year-old Buddha statues by the Taliban in Afghanistan. The statue's actual removal date was unannounced and took place Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, with few onlookers. State offices were closed in observance of Robert E. Lee's Birthday.
The scene outside the Capitol 81 years ago, when thousands of people reportedly gathered in front of the Gold Dome to see the statue's unveiling, was much different. Speeches were given by politicians, including Gov.-elect Eugene Talmadge, who declared that "Tom Watson made history in his fight for the people, " and former Alabama Gov. Tom Heflin who called Watson "the greatest apostle of Democracy since Jefferson." It is interesting that nowhere in the lengthy front page Atlanta Journal article about the ceremony, is any mention of Watson's belief's in white supremacy and anti-Semitism which led many, including, former Gov. Roy Barnes and the Anti-Defamation League to cheer when it was announced that the statue would be moved. After the announcement the Anti-Defamation League issued a statement calling Watson a "notorious racist and anti-Semitic." (Full disclosure: I wrote an editorial and stated an online petition last spring calling for the statue's removal).
State Sen. Jason Carter, D-Decatur, calls out Gov. Nathan Deal's for his recent chest-beating following national real estate magazine Site Selection's recent decision to name Georgia as the country's best place to do business. The gubernatorial candidate made the remarks yesterday afternoon during a campaign stop in Athens. (via Athens Banner-Herald)
To save CL time from painstakingly documenting every comment people say, we've created 'Soundbites' to call attention to their remarks.
Left out of the new Atlanta Braves stadium agreement that Cobb County officials approved last week? A proposal to build bus-rapid transit linking Kennesaw State University, the Cumberland area, and Midtown Atlanta.
Wondering who was operating out of that storefront located near Your DeKalb Farmers Market with the Egyptian and ancient symbols? Nuwaubians, my friend!
An autopsy has been scheduled for a northwest Georgia Alzheimer's patient who was reportedly shot and killed after he wandered into a homeowner's yard.
Regionalism! Metro Atlanta still doesn't get it.
What good is state funding doing for Georgia's charter school systems? It's hard to tell, says a state auditor.
Suspended DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis, who has kept quiet since being indicted for allegedly pressuring vendors to make campaign contributions, now claims in legal filings that District Attorney Robert James and interim CEO Lee May did the same thing.
Think the next Atlanta Public Schools board has been decided? Nope! You need to return to the polls on Dec. 3.
Peter Kaplan, the legendary editor who made the New York Observer a must-read publication and helped launch the careers of too many young journalists to count, died on Friday. Here's a good look at some longform pieces by and about Kaplan. And here are reactions from the journalism community, including some writers he mentored.
Another passing: Paul Walker, the star of the "Fast and Furious" film series that recently shot in Atlanta, died after a car crash in Los Angeles.
Is Puerto Rico, the U.S. commonwealth where your humble correspondent just spent four days relaxing with his bride on a honeymoon, the next Detroit?
Atlanta lost a true icon over the weekend. Ria Pell, owner of the 14-year-old Memorial Drive diner Ria's Bluebird, co-founder of the MondoHomo queer music and arts festival, and 2012 winner of Food Network's reality cooking series "Chopped," has died. Continue reading ...
On Tues., Dec. 3, the Bluebird will once again be open for business.
Westview Cemetery is located at 1680 Ralph David Abernathy SW. 404-755-6611.
A federal judge has ordered Fulton's sheriff and commission chairman to explain why they shouldn't be found in contempt for their failure to improve the facility's conditions eight years after a consent order was reached.
A Georgia Tech student last weekend broke into the Fox Theatre and found himself locked inside the historic building. He then tried to vandalize portions of the theatre, but was thwarted by Joe Patten, the Fox's longtime resident.
Retired FBI agent Robert Levinson is now the longest-held hostage in U.S. history. After nearly seven years, his family is still looking for him.
Investigators have released their report on Adam Lanza, the lone gunman in last December's Sandy Hook Elementary massacre. "He was undoubtedly afflicted with mental health problems," the report said. "Yet, despite a fascination with mass shootings and firearms, he displayed no aggressive or threatening tendencies."
Multiple news outlets have reported that acclaimed Atlanta chef Ria Pell, owner of Ria's Bluebird and former "Chopped" winner, died yesterday. We'll have a separate story up this morning with more details.
Former Georgia Tech student Melissa McCoy was named a 2014 Rhodes Scholar and will head to Oxford University next year to get her master's degree in science. While studying at Tech, she started an organization that helped bring water to disaster stricken areas, which the Red Cross later used during its earthquake recovery efforts in Chile.
Longtime Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann will be headed up to New York next season after signing a five-year, $85 million deal with the Yankees.
After months of secret meetings, Iran has struck a major deal with the United States and five other nations to halt parts of its nuclear program. But not everyone's thrilled about the agreement: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the decision a historic mistake." Back in Georgia, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss criticized the deal because it "let them out of the trap."
Pell was a pillar for Atlanta's food and punk music scenes, and gay rights activism, who after three years had recently closed down her Inman Park restaurant Sauced to focus her attention on Ria's Bluebird.
Pell had recently misplaced her cell phone. On Sunday afternoon (Nov. 24), Ria's Bluebird manager Julie Pender went to Pell's Grant Park home to ask her a question, when she discovered that Pell had passed away. The cause of death is yet to be determined. Pell was 45 years old.
Since word of her death has spread, Pell's Facebook has been flooded with comments from friends and those who knew her. Longtime friend Nilan "Speakerfoxxx" Christen spoke of Pell's selflessness and of her influence: "She was mom to some people, a girlfriend to some people, a DJ, a chef, a brother," Christen says. "She was a matriarch and a patriarch of food, music, punk, gay rights, love, and family - she let people know that they mattered."
Funeral arrangements and details regarding a celebration of Pell's life are still coming together, but they will be posted here as soon as they become available.
The Omni Hotel will be giving Joel Hartman, a 36-year-old homeless man, a generous reward after he returned a guest's stolen wallet. That'll include $500, a free night's stay at the hotel on Thanksgiving, dinner, and some room service.
As we reported last week, Atlanta City Councilwoman Cleta Winslow used city funds to shuttle seniors to a campaign event. The city's ethics board fined her $2,000 following a hearing this week. "My former staff member," Winslow wrote to the ethics board, "who incorrectly submitted the invoice is no longer in my employment. ... I would certainly not have had the city pay for a campaign activity." She was fined for a similar infraction four years ago.
Mayor Kasim Reed thinks cash for future transit along the Atlanta Beltline should come from both the public and private sectors. "I believe that is the right way to go because I'd like to ride the light rail while I'm alive," he said.
Atlanta Police officers forcibly removed a troubled male passenger from a plane at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport after he starting screaming that a bomb was on the plane. Another passenger filmed the scene on his smartphone.
How much did Georgia's film industry reel in throughout 2013? $3.3 billion.
Sadly I fear Vox does not - which speaks volumes. Or perhaps he is running…
But you do see the difference in the word "shithole", which is simply prejorative and…
Yea Vox, read and understand what MikeInATL said. Hopefully you just didn't think that through…
@Mike I haven't done a formal survey or anything but I'm guessing most of my…
Then read the rest, "shall not be infringed." Free people have the right, by virtue…