Atlanta Forward Blog 

Discussion on Atlanta's economy, schools, transportation, leadership, quality of life
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Georgian voted for progress

  • 4:00 pm Friday, September 19th, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

When Weltner stood alone

By Nathaniel Meyersohn

In November 1860, Thomas R.R. Cobb, author of an influential legal defense of slavery, called for the immediate and unconditional secession of Georgia. Cobb would go on to serve in the Confederate Congress and later became a general for the Confederacy. He was killed in 1862 during the Battle of Fredericksburg.

Fifty years ago this summer, Cobb’s great-grandson, Charles L. Weltner, issued another decisive call on an equally pressing issue in the South: the 1964 civil rights bill. Weltner’s words would echo through the red hills of Georgia and beyond.

Weltner, a first-term congressman from Georgia’s Fifth [More]

Music Midtown and the neighbors

  • 4:34 pm Thursday, September 18th, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

I’ve covered and attended Music Midtown since it started at a site where the Federal Reserve Bank now sits on 10th Street. Midtown was a different place in 1994, with more open space and fewer residents for big rock concerts to disturb. Now a denser, more attractive residential neighborhood surrounds the festival’s new home, Piedmont Park, and some wonder whether such an event is even suitable here. As the festival kicks off today, a neighborhood group details its complaints. A city official responds.

Commenting is open.

Festival plan hurts the ‘hood

By Terry Bond

The Midtown Neighbors’ Association does not support [More]

Time to talk race in Atlanta

  • 10:28 am Thursday, September 18th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Can we talk? About race, that is. Given the Hawks’ controversy, now just might be a good time for racial dialogue. Today, a guest writer invites us to partake in “It’s Time to Talk: A Forum on Race,” an inaugural event Tuesday at the Delta Flight Museum. Two other essays also delve into racial matters; one suggests racial justice begins at the ballot box, while the other confronts an “attitude that kills young black men.”

Now’s time to have dialogue

By Laura Turner Sydel

Now is the time for Atlantans to come together to reflect on how we can enhance [More]

DeKalb works through a rough spot

  • 9:46 am Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Recent woes in DeKalb County government compel us to ask: What’s the business climate like in the state’s third-largest county? And where does it go from here as it relates to better governance and economic progress? Today’s guest writers dissect the issue.

Money plays central role in scandal

By William Perry

Is Georgia serious about rail?

  • 2:36 pm Monday, September 15th, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

The Georgia Department of Transportation has been updating citizens on the state rail plan, a federally mandated blueprint for passenger and freight. Though the state has little passenger rail service to speak of — two Amtrak lines — Georgia has to be current and prepared should opportunities arise, and to capitalize on federal dollars for projects. Today, a GDOT director outlines the strategy, while a transportation policy veteran refers to it as just so much lip service.

Commenting is open.

Freight rules rails, for now

By Carol Comer

The Georgia Department of Transportation is updating the state’s rail plan — the [More]

Sunday Issue: DeKalb County government

  • 2:58 pm Saturday, September 13th, 2014 by andrejacksonajc

Working toward better governance

Even the wildest of free falls eventually stops, suddenly or otherwise. We hope that’s the case for the woes bedeviling DeKalb County government.
A county of DeKalb’s size and economic influence deserves better. What residents have gotten instead are too many leaders who could’ve landed starring roles in those bad ’70s fast-car-and-moonshine movies. The ones that lampooned the South and its public officials as being backward — and corrupt. That must change.
To be fair, DeKalb’s far from alone. The last decade’s unearthed a rogue’s gallery of corrupt public officials outside of DeKalb. Combined, their sorry behavior has shoved [More]

Parole board needs scrutiny

  • 4:18 pm Thursday, September 11th, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

AJC reporter Alan Judd recently examined how the state Board of Pardons and Paroles lacks oversight and keeps its decision-making details secret, even when restoring gun rights to violent offenders once they are released. Today, a First Amendment expert writes that the board needs greater scrutiny to meet its mission of operating in the public’s interest, while a gun rights’ advocate argues that those who have served their time should recover the right to own firearms.

Commenting is open.

Open up the parole board

By Hollie Manheimer

This newspaper’s recent reporting revealed Georgia’s Board of Pardons and Paroles dramatically increased the [More]

Being proactive about drugs, driving

  • 9:01 am Thursday, September 11th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Today, Holly Springs’ top lawman writes about his Cherokee County agency being the first in Georgia to train and equip officers to use an anti-overdose medicine. A Georgia State University professor who lost two adult children to substance abuse shares his story and encourages parents struggling with addiction to speak up — and seek help — to address the disease’s toll on families. A third column deals with teenage driver safety.

Equip police with anti-overdose meds

By Ken Ball

As a 40-year law enforcement professional, I can say there is nothing I haven’t seen or done that could shock me. [More]

Women-owned businesses fuel Georgia’s growth

  • 10:01 am Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Three essays, three subjects. First, a female entrepreneur writes about the growth of women business owners in Georgia, a sector leader. In the second essay, a corporate executive notes a rise in “global engagement” — the region’s growth in international trade, investment and collaboration. Finally, a nonprofit founder trumpets the importance of building relationships with local hospitals, research institutions and various organizations devoted to health care.

Ga. female-owned businesses lead nation

By Jill Peck

Reclining seats, annoying passengers

  • 2:27 pm Monday, September 8th, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

I’m not an airline seat recliner. I rarely tilt my seat back on an airplane, mostly because I know how much I dislike it when the person in front of me pushes their seat back — and into my lap. But many fliers do, and recent disruptions on flights due to flagrant reclining have prompted unscheduled landings, and much debate. Today, representatives of two groups write about this contentious trend, while an Atlanta pastor writes personally, about the virtue of patience.

Note: There are three columns today. Commenting is open.

Flying the unruly skies

By Michael Cintron

Incidents of unruly behavior [More]

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