Atlanta Forward Blog 

Discussion on Atlanta's economy, schools, transportation, leadership, quality of life

Georgians generous to world

  • 11:14 am Thursday, October 30th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Georgians, apparently, know charity begins at home. How else to explain Atlanta’s ranking as the fourth most-generous among large metropolitan areas? Our guest writers focus on philanthropy at home and abroad: A Spelman College administrator writes about the school’s growing philanthropic endeavors, from students to alumni and beyond. A business executive and a nonprofit official note the importance of Georgia’s engagement in global matters. In the third column, a writer shares his experience as a participant in the recent Atlanta Gay Pride parade.

Generosity, a Georgia trait

By David Abney and Jonathan Reckford

Kassandra Jolley is vice president for [More]

Domestic oil drilling: Time to open the spigot?

  • 10:41 am Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Today’s topic: domestic oil drilling. A policy analyst suggests that domestic drilling could lower consumer gasoline prices and advocates for its expansion. Meanwhile, a Georgia environmentalist says offshore development would endanger our coasts and sensitive protected areas. The third column deals with anonymous spending in political campaigns.

Protect nature, fill gas tanks

By Anastasia Swearingen

For decades, a key argument against the energy industry was that domestic drilling doesn’t affect gas prices. Oil is sold on a world market, the logic went, and the U.S. doesn’t produce enough to move the needle.

Anastasia Swearingen is a senior research analyst at [More]

DeKalb corruption

  • 4:50 pm Monday, October 27th, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Suspended DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis’ fate is still not known. A jury could not reach unanimous verdicts on any counts in Ellis’ recent corruption trial. The mistrial has spawned a fury of opinions. Today, an Emory University-based ethicist criticizes jury members for considering personal feelings about Ellis and condemns Georgia governments for their corrupt legacy. The jury’s forewoman writes about the difficulties of attaining unanimous verdicts, and a retired federal prosecutor urges Ellis to step down and let DeKalb begin healing.

Note: There are three columns today.

A loathsome iceberg of corruption

By Edward L. Queen

In a democracy, people [More]

Beltline as social engine

  • 3:00 pm Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Still in its early stages, the Atlanta Beltline is already a success as a recreational destination. But its real power may be as a vehicle for social connection. Today, my column focuses on a lecture delivered by Beltline CEO Paul Morris at the Georgia State University School of Public Health, in which he detailed the impact of the Beltline on environmental rehabilitation, business and society. A GSU dean also writes about the project’s influence on Atlanta’s social capital.

Commenting is open.

Beltline’s public health benefits

By Tom Sabulis

At a recent lecture, Atlanta Beltline CEO Paul Morris took no small glee [More]

Redefine DeKalb

  • 9:39 pm Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

DeKalb County residents are sick of a government seemingly ripe with accusations of malfeasance and poor oversight. We turn today’s page over to two groups that want to spark change. Blueprint DeKalb leaders outline their suggestions for government transparency and reform that include creation of an internal auditor to watch over taxpayer money. Also, the founder of the South DeKalb Improvement Association explains an “Economic Bill of Standards” drafted for that part of the county. The third column continues last week’s discussion of our “do-nothing” Congress.

Redefine DeKalb

By Patricia Killingsworth and Gil Turman

New clean water rules: Clarity or hardship?

  • 10:04 am Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Today, we offer polar views of the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule the government says clarifies which streams and waterways are shielded from development under the Clean Water Act. A Georgia environmentalist says the rule defines what bodies of water already are under federal jurisdiction in the Clean Water Act without restricting farmers and others. Our state agriculture commissioner, meanwhile, worries about the potential impact to Georgia’s leading industry.

EPA rule key to quality of life

By David Kyler

Effective enforcement of environmental laws that protect the public depends on clear, well-understood rules. In the absence of coherent standards, legal controversies [More]

MARTA’s impending expansion

  • 4:00 pm Monday, October 20th, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

My column today deals with the ramifications of a “yes” vote to increase the sales tax in Clayton County by one penny to join MARTA. At a recent meeting, Clayton and MARTA leaders predicted a big majority in favor of MARTA on election day, and what that could mean for metro Atlanta. In our second column, a former director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety writes about the new varying speed limits on the north end of I-285, which some motorists are criticizing.

Commenting is open.

Will others follow Clayton?

By Tom Sabulis

You could have loaded the optimism on [More]

Cobb County government missteps

  • 12:42 pm Saturday, October 18th, 2014 by andrejacksonajc

Open the blinds

The Editorial Board’s Opinion
When it comes to Cobb County’s tarnished governance machine, the plot continues to thicken. Unnecessarily so, in our opinion.
For about all it would take to begin dialing back the destructiveness, evasiveness, chicanery, squabbling and sleuthing about in Cobb would be for County Commission Chairman Tim Lee to begin acting like he actually respects the concept of elected, representative government. Act like he works for the people and their best interest, in other words.
That’s not what we’ve seen in recent months. And Cobb, once viewed as a model of competent, lean government, is the worse for [More]

Georgia hospitals and Ebola

  • 4:00 pm Thursday, October 16th, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Another Ebola patient arrived for treatment this week at Emory University Hospital. Today, the Georgia Hospital Association writes about how other hospitals are preparing for any possible outbreaks. Local and National nurse organizations also weigh in with their concerns about treating the disease, and one urges the CDC to “fully share” the findings around the care of Thomas Eric Duncan, the patient who came from Liberia with Ebola and died in a Dallas hospital. Finally, an Atlanta nonprofit leader writes about the desperate need for medical supplies in West Africa where Ebola has killed thousands.

Commenting is open.

Preparing [More]

Will photo IDs for food stamps prevent fraud?

  • 5:10 pm Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Georgia officials say it will cost nearly $8 million to create food stamp cards that include recipients’ photographs. A state lawmaker who co-sponsored legislation to allow the IDs says it would be well spent money to curb the resell of benefits meant to help feed families. But a policy analyst contends such fraud is minuscule and calls food stamp photos an “untested hypothesis.”

IDs fight food stamp fraud

By Don Balfour