Michael Jackson has mounted a quiet campaign against southwest Atlanta rep Joyce Sheperd.
When we met up with Michael Jackson last week to make a video about his bid to represent parts of southwest Atlanta, we thought he was on the ballot as an Atlanta City Council candidate in District 12. We met up with him at his request at a Texaco station off of Cleveland Avenue, where he performed a quick impersonation of the late King of Pop before taking us to a homeless encampment next to a graveyard and pitching his candidacy to several men.
Well, after seeing this year's sample ballot and not seeing Jackson's name on the list of candidates, we contacted Atlanta Municipal Clerk and Election Superintendent Rhonda Dauphin Johnson. She explained that Jackson had unsuccessfully tried to qualify as a "pauper" candidate (note to city: might be time to update that word). Johnson explained that a pauper candidate doesn't have to pay the filing fee, which can be upwards of $1,100. But he or she must present a sworn affidavit, which includes a financial statement, and collect signatures from 1 percent of the district's registered voters who are supporting your candidacy. According to Johnson, Jackson failed to collect the required amount of signatures and thus does not appear on the ballot. In this year's city election only one candidate, Johnson says, District 3 challenger Patricia Harris Crayton landed on the ballot under this classification.
We called Mr Jackson for comment but he has not replied to our inquiry.
Designer and "lifelong Hulkamaniac" J.P. Michalik wants to combat crime throughout Edgewood, Cabbagetown, East Atlanta, and other parts of his district. CL caught up with 37-year-old Georgia Tech graduate as he persuaded voters, waved the nation's flag, and was politely told to leave the Edgewood Kroger's premises. But not before he showcased his belief in truth, justice, and the American way. Oh, and term limits.
Last Friday night at Compound, the 2013 edition of Gentleman Jack's Art Beats + Lyrics took Atlanta's urban creative set tripping down memory lane. The ninth installment of the annual art and music showcase featured performances from '90s mainstays DJ Quik and New Jack Swing producer Teddy Riley. But the real blasts from the pasts were featured in displays of the automated animal band Rock-afire Explosion from Showbiz Pizza in the '80s and the original sign from Club 559, the legendary Atlanta club that had the whole city Bankhead Bouncing in the mid-'90s.
In hindsight, it's almost impossible to remember what stood out the most. Surprise guest Teddy Riley turned a heap of thirty-somethings into tweenagers when he zoomed through a set of his '90s hits for Bobby Brown, Guy, Michael Jackson, and Wreckx-N-Effect. The nostalgia trip reached further back with a display of the automated Rock-afire Explosion band from Showbiz Pizza in the '80s. One booth even displayed the original sign from Club 559 - the mid-'90s West End hot spot that put the P in parking-lot pimpin' (amongst other things). And in a headlining set, DJ Quik reminded us why going the route of rhythm-al-ism has given him more to fall back on than gangsterism.
But among the many exhibits that made up the arts side of AB+L, one offered a challenge to the way we perceive contemporary pop's most uncomprimising personalities.
Even in name, The Happy Rapper defies convention. The exhibit by photographer Diwang Valdez, one-third of Atlanta-based music video directing team Motion Family, puts many of his frequent rap subjects in a rare light. That is, showcasing ear-to-ear grins.
In this week's CL cover story, Rodney Carmichael and WABE's Jim Burress profile the Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition, an English Avenue nonprofit that operates free HIV/AIDS testing, counseling, and an illegal needle exchange. The project was the third installment in a partnership between CL and the radio station looking at metro Atlanta's nonprofit community. The audio slideshow above includes interviews from conducted by Burress and photographs taken over the course of two days spent at AHRC's headquarters and aboard its outreach RV. The two journalists also sat down to discuss their experience while reporting the story; you can hear that conversation on WABE's website.
In Conyers, 18 bulls that weighed as much as 1700 pounds were released and ran around a quarter-mile track into crowds of as many as 600 people. Participants paid up to $75 for the experience.
What seemed on paper to be madness was actually much quicker and more orderly than expected. Once the bulls start rushing into the crowd, people had a choice: either stay and jump in front of the bull or get the hell out of the way. Virtually everybody chose the latter.
During some of the runs, the bulls simply ran past the crowd in a stampede, passing screaming Americans armed with GoPro cameras and cell phones who were taking pictures of the animals and themselves. Some people fell during the runs, though it seemed their falls had more to do with packs of rushing people rather than actual contact with the bulls.
No participants were sent to the hospital, according to Bull Run Chief Operating Officer Rob Dickens. And while many people were satisfied with the brief adrenalin rush, some were hoping for a little more.
"I was a little disappointed," said Greg, a Marietta man who paid $68 for the experience. "It was about five seconds long. I was hoping for 10 or 15 seconds."
"We increased the number of bulls in each run from 12 to 18 to address runners' complaints that our first event in Virginia wasn't dangerous enough," Dickens said in an email. "We still heard the same complaint in Atlanta, so [at future events] we're going to increase the number of bulls to 24 per run."
After the jump, a photo of the massive tomato fight that followed the running of the bulls. Here is a gallery of photos from the Bull Run and Tomato Royale in Conyers
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama visited Atlanta from October 8-10 in his role as Presidential Distinguished Professor at Emory University.
The Dalai Lama gave a public talk at Gwinnett Arena along with talks and panels on the Emory Campus and a Buddhist Teaching held in conjunction with Drepung Loseling Monastery.
In addition to the Dalai Lama's visit, the monks of Depung Loseling Monastery and Grammy nominated Tibetan musician Nawang Khechog performed Sacred Music Sacred Dance at The Schwartz Center for Performing Arts on Wednesday night.
As part of Atlanta Celebrates Photography, Everybody Street will screen at the Plaza Theatre tomorrow Wed., Oct. 2. The documentary, which hasn't had a wide release in the United States yet, follows iconic street photographers like Elliott Erwitt, Bruce Davidson, Jill Freedman, Martha Cooper, and others as they work in New York and explain how the city influenced their careers. The slightly NSFW clip above largely draws from the days of pre-Giuliani New York, a place almost unrecognizable from the city today. Photographer Ricky Powell and producer Cheryl Dunn will be on hand for the screening. Get more info at ACP.
The sun is always setting somewhere and, like anyone under Instagram's crushing grip, you know that the Internet gets saturated with photos of pretty skies, in time zones across the world. There are currently 13,372,352 photos hashtagged "sunset" on the photo-sharing site, beating out photos hashtagged with "cat" by more than 400,000 images. This is huge.
Because of this, along with the sad natural decline of my childlike wonder, I'm desensitized by the molten array of colors the sky offers us on daily basis. And I'm rarely motivated to make a photo of it. It's just not original, it's unoriginal to at least the 13,372,352nd degree.
But there was something about this one that took my breath away. This cloud transcended its ho-hum cloudiness into something heart-poundingly beautiful. It's refreshing to be surprised nowadays.
Call me crazy, but there's something medieval about auctioning a person's house on the steps of the county courthouse because they can't pay their bills. Nevertheless this is what happens once a month on the steps of the Fulton County Courthouse in Downtown Atlanta. CL has covered this extensively along with the foreclosure crisis and protests which sometimes happen during the auctions. Last Tuesday, while running to City Hall to cover Mayor Kasim Reed's press conference about reaching a deal with Friendship Baptist Church, I saw something I had never seen before - a woman protesting the sale of her house while the auction was going on.
Latonia Wilson spent all day on the courthouse steps, shouting "Don't buy this house, it comes with a fight," and "It's off limits unless you want a fight." She held a handmade sign with a photo of her family that pleaded for people not to buy the northwest Atlanta house, "the only home [her] kids have ever known." In between shouts, she told me while fighting back tears that her eight children live in the house.
"No one has done anything for me," Wilson said. "I have done upgrades and repairs and they're trying to take it from me and now they are not responding to me."
She says she got behind in her payments and suddenly received a letter saying her house would be put up for auction.
Wilson later told me that her house was not sold at the auction. She said no one bid on the property when it came up for sale. She believes it did not sell because she and her supporters were there protesting and because "people had compassion for me and my children."
"I feel this is the first step but I know it's a long road ahead," she said.
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