Future farmers look to the sky

12:52 pm Nov. 19, 2014

Moderated by Rick Badie

Some day, Georgia farmers will use aerial drones as routinely as tractors and mechanical cotton harvesters. Likewise for other industries in our region. Today a state official outlines how Georgia is preparing itself to capitalize on drone use, a practice expected to add jobs and have an economic impact across multiple sectors. Another guest writer deals with an emerging investment concept: crowdfunding. And a third writer talks

Re-imagine Memorial Drive

12:17 pm Nov. 12, 2014

Moderated by Rick Badie

Today, an Atlanta city councilwoman writes about efforts to retool a state road that links downtown Atlanta with Stone Mountain. Georgia Tech students studying urban design are working with residents, business owners and others to “imagine a new Memorial Drive.” Another guest writer highlights an emerging sliver of southwest Gwinnett County as a new regional hub of the entertainment industry. Finally, a veterans advocate sees employment opportunities

Seeking more diversity in technology

8:43 am Nov. 5, 2014

Moderated by Rick Badie

Today, an entrepreneur/software architect addresses the race and gender disparity in the tech world; a recent Atlanta conference focused on the under-representation of minorities in the innovation economy. The other column highlights an “empowerment conference” for black youth that addressed police interaction and domestic violence, among other topics.

Few minorities in tech industry

By Hank Williams

Recently, Morehouse College and Georgia Tech hosted Platform Summit 2014 to explore diversity in

Domestic oil drilling: Time to open the spigot?

10:41 am Oct. 29, 2014

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

New clean water rules: Clarity or hardship?

10:04 am Oct. 22, 2014

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

Will photo IDs for food stamps prevent fraud?

5:10 pm Oct. 15, 2014

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


Full speed ahead, to the future

1:50 pm Oct. 8, 2014

Moderated by Rick Badie

Georgia’s maritime leader says the Port of Savannah is poised to surpass New York as the busiest seaport on the East Coast. Today, our top port executive outlines what’s being done to ensure the port — which is experiencing record-setting growth in container movement — does just that in the coming years. In the other essays, read about a series of regional “Community Conversations” taking place to

Improving community health, job opportunities

10:29 am Oct. 1, 2014

Moderated by Rick Badie

Too often, health and wellness issues fall below the radar as they relate to metro Atlanta’s burgeoning South Asian communities. One of today’s writers advocates for the creation of holistic health programs that can combat illnesses as well as treatment costs. Elsewhere, an official with the Rainbow PUSH Coalition previews a local economic summit to feature U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx.

South Asian health dialogue needed


How to keep a kid in school: Give him a job

11:42 am Sep. 24, 2014

Moderated by Rick Badie

We devote today’s discussion to a Carroll County cable manufacturer that has opened a factory for troubled teens. The youths spend eight hours a day in company classrooms and work four hours a day, earning above minimum wage. Read how this novel concept produces high school graduates with workforce skills, and how it’s spread statewide.

Help profits by helping others

By Stu Thorn

DeKalb works through a rough spot

9:46 am Sep. 17, 2014

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