Author: saba

Afternoon Reads for Wednesday, October 17 -Liberal Media Bias Edition

On the Twitter: @mattklewis :Underplayed story: Romney criticizes Bush for ‘outrageous’ deficits


Here in Georgia:

National / International Stories of Interest:

Now, that’s interesting:

Morning Reads for Wednesday, October 10

Here in Georgia:

National / International Stories of Interest:
Intriguing Reads:

Morning Reads for Wednesday, October 3

@pwgavin :Psyched for Twitter tonight

Here in Georgia:


 National Stories of Interest:

& Other Stuff:


Morning Reads for Wednesday, September 26

@JimKyle : Mitt Romney just sent my wife a fundraising letter, which means he’s either got too many dollars or not enough cents. [Tennessee State Senator Jim Kyle and  Democratic majority leader]


Here in Georgia:

National / International Stories of Interest: 

I didn’t sleep well and I woke up before alarm went off. Therefore, I don’t like any links today. 


Lunchtime Reads for Wednesday, September 12

Here in Georgia:

International  Story of Interest — Libya Edition

Other Stories of Interest:

Atlanta Police Retention Improving

Charles Edwards at WABE has highlighted a recent City of Atlanta audit on the attrition rate of the police department.

Of note,

From 2000 to 2006, the city lost more officers yearly than it hired.

So, why do officers leave?

Some retire, but…

“Most of them check off the block pay as number one,” said Wilkinson.

Starting salary for Atlanta officers is between about $39,000 and $42,000. But, officials say pay isn’t the only problem. Wilkinson says a bigger question might be when do officers leave?

“About 88% of the officers that left the police force left in the first 5 years,” said Wilkinson.

The audit notes that attrition rates have declined from 6.2% in 2008, to 4.2% in 2011. What is missing is how Atlanta stacks up to other major cities in police turnover and how attrition effects public safety.

There is not only an effort to retain our officers but to also move them within the city limits. Recently, the Buckhead Coalition announced it will provide up to 16 officers with a $3,000 bonus to move into select Buckhead apartments and condominiums.


Morning Reads for Wednesday, September 5

Here in Georgia:

National  Stories of Interest:

Links I Like:

Morning Reads for Wednesday, August 29

Pardon me if this is squirrely; I’m having to type this on the WP iPad app rather than my laptop (1st world problems). Also, I’m not including much from last night — this crowd has already been there, done that.

Here in Georgia:

Governor Deal announced the state will reject the expansion of Medicaid under the ACA
Fulton County is seeking a lobbyist, presumably to fight the creation of Milton County
Gwinnett Chamber, Georgia PTA receiving pushback on charter school amendment
Mayor Kasim Reed’s remarks to Ted Cruz on Meet the Press are being widely circulated

National / International Stories of Interest:

Ann Romney: “trust Mitt”
Condi’s back on the national scene with a prime time slot tonight
Freshman U.S. Rep. Ben Quayle (R-AZ) lost last night’s primary
Assad claims Syrian troops are gaining ground, declares talk of buffer zones are off the table
SEAL book discloses more “facts” on bin Laden raid, mentions members of SEAL team were not fans of POTUS or Veep

Links I Like:

What a Romney presidency means for his super donors
Apple wants injunction against 8 Samsung phones
Google’s swanky digs at the GOP convention

Morning Reads for Wednesday, August 22

Here in Georgia: Anti-Incumbency 

National / International Stories of Interest:

Links I Like:

Atlanta BeltLine CEO Ousted

The AJC reports Brian Leary, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. CEO, has been removed from the organization effective the end of the month. The first article highlighting the open record records on ABI expenses was an above-the-fold front page story a couple of Saturday’s before the T-SPLOST vote.  Follow-up headlines further damaged the reputation and trust of Leary and the organization’s repeatedly questionable expenses.

The newspaper’s review found that taxpayers paid the tab for Leary’s parking ticket, his dry cleaning bill and a $106.22 wedding gift from Pottery Barn for his fiancee. It also highlighted other expenses, such as a $2,100 taxpayer-funded bill for food at a Braves game.

The BeltLine also said Leary charged taxpayers for a $71 bottle of champagne he bought as a wedding gift for a staffer while at a South Pacific resort, as well as about $500 in booze charges while on trips in Seattle, Charlotte and Washington.

In recent months, metro Atlanta citizens have made it abundantly clear they are fed up with misuse of taxpayer dollars. It is apparent, the hands of the ABI board were tied and removing Leary was the only option on the table.

Many will ask what does this mean for the future of the BeltLine. Mayor Kasim Reed has made it clear this is a priority project for his administration. He fervently advocated for it during the T-SPLOST election and I suspect he will continue to do so. Regardless of this public embarrassment for the organization, the work of the Atlanta BeltLine is vital for the growth of the city.

Kudos to Mayor Reed and the ABI board for doing the right thing and sending a clear message –we don’t take your trust lightly– to the supporters and critics of the BeltLine. I sincerely wish Leary all the best. His graduate thesis began the process for making Atlantic Station  a reality and he gave credibility to the Atlanta BeltLine for many in the business community.

With Leary gone, COO Lisa Gordon will step in as interim CEO. I expect the ABI board, Invest Atlanta and Mayor Reed to have a hands-on approach for the next 12 months.

Morning Reads for Wednesday, August 15

Here in Georgia:

National / International Stories of Interest:

Links I Like:

Will Public Transit Return to Clayton County?

Thomas Wheatley over at Creative Loafing just reported that an effort is underway to put a binding referendum on the ballot by November for Clayton County to join MARTA.

Excerpts from the story:

“My primary goal and concern is to bring back public transit yesterday,” says state Rep. Roberta Abdul-Salaam, D-Riverdale, who’s working with Friends of Clayton Transit, a coalition of several groups, including residents, business owners, environmentalists, bus and rail advocates, civil rights groups and clergy, to bring back public transportation.

C-Tran, Clayton County’s local bus system, ceased operations in 2010 after commissioners voted against funding the service during a budget crunch, leaving thousands of straphangers — many of whom lacked access to a car — with few options.

This is the last opportunity to bring public transit back to the county without having to go back to the General Assembly. Let’s hope the Clayton County Commissioners are willing to put add this to the ballot on or before the November elections.

I’d also like to point out that while I am certainly critical of the Sierra Club’s stance on T-SPLOST, I do applaud their efforts in making this binding referendum a reality for the citizens of Clayton County.

AG Olens Named Speaker at GOP Convention

Georgia Republicans should be proud that Attorney General Sam Olens was selected as one of the five headline speakers at the 2012 convention in Tampa. Other speakers include Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Florida AG Pam Bondi, Texas Republican U.S. Senate nominee Ted Cruz and Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuño.

Olens remarked, “We can do better as a country. We must empower Americans to make their own choices across the board. The jobs-killing, unconstitutional policies coming out of Washington, D.C. must be undone. Elections do have consequences and we will start to put our country back on track at the Republican National Convention when we nominate Mitt Romney.”

Who were you expecting to have a major speaking role?

Morning Reads for Wednesday, August 8

Here in Georgia:

National / International Stories of Interest:

Links I Like:

Atlanta Magazine: Views from the Brain Trust

Some aspects of the August 2012 issue of Atlanta Magazine may scream “Agenda 21” for some PP readers. However, there are some excellent points about the future of metro Atlanta — particularly on transportation, water and education.

Experts interviewed for the issue, titled “Big Ideas”, include Emory professor Michael Leo Owens, Doug Shipman of the Center for Civil and Human Rights and Christopher Leinberger of the Brookings Institute.

Read excerpts below and check out the extended interviews and big ideas online.

Atlanta Magazine: Metro Atlanta’s population is projected to top 8 million by 2040. How do we prevent growth from making traffic congestion even worse than what it already is?

 Leinberger: Provide options and choice rather than the current situation where nearly everyone is forced to drive to every single destination. Like your personal finances, it is wisest to have a diversified portfolio. Atlanta has taken steps in this direction, such as Downtown’s tentative redevelopment, Decatur’s revitalization, Atlantic Station, and the impressive redevelopment of Buckhead and Midtown. The market wants much more. For example, walkable urban Grant Park, Virginia-Highland, and East Lake were the only neighborhoods in the region over the past decade to show real dollar increases in housing value, compared to an average metropolitan decline of 29 percent.

Atlanta Magazine: When you think about Atlanta’s future, what worries you most?

Owens: All of us who live in metro Atlanta should worry about our collective unwillingness or inability to see, think, and act regionally. Generally, metro Atlantans lack what an urban economist once called a “regional perspective,” or a strong view that cross-community sharing of resources benefits the entire region. Our dearth of this perspective perpetuates a hoarding of resources — rooted in myths of scarcity, individualism, and otherness. This contributes to much our problems as a region, especially our traffic congestion, failing schools, fragmentation of government and duplication of services, and the secession of resources via the incorporation of new cities and maybe counties. In sum, our hoarding weakens our region.

Atlanta Magazine: What are you most optimist about?

Shipman: The talent of Atlantans under forty. The diversity of backgrounds and experiences, combined with a high degree of educational achievement, makes me optimistic about Atlanta’s future. I believe that creative talent, if supported, will develop new institutions, businesses, and opportunities to allow Atlanta to reinvent itself again. The changing demographics of Atlanta, combined with our civil rights legacy, provide a unique opportunity for the region to lead the country in thinking about living in a highly diverse world. Atlanta has always found ways to bring more people to the table; we have the opportunity to redefine how a community operates across all aspects of identity. Atlanta was known for the way it created the template for a post-segregation city; we can do it again for a majority-minority country that is inclusive of LGBTQ folks, honors all religious traditions, and has power shared equally by men and women.