Atlanta Forward Blog 

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

Union blasts MARTA

  • 2:35 pm Monday, October 13th, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Amalgamated Transit Union workers at MARTA are protesting stalled contract negotiations with the transit agency and MARTA’s move to privatize certain operations such as paratransit. Today, the local union president says MARTA is following a faulty road map on its way to ourtsourcing jobs and its well-paid leaders are betraying thousands of middle-class workers who deserve better. In turn, MARTA’s board of directors lay out their plans to achieve financial solvency while insisting that they have no intention of leaving their workers behind.

Commenting is open.

MARTA betraying workers

By Curtis Howard

Early next month, Atlanta may wake up to shocking [More]

Same-sex marriage in Georgia

  • 2:00 pm Thursday, October 9th, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

The Supreme Court’s decision to not deliberate on same-sex marriage was a big victory for gay rights and should allow allow same-sex marriages to move forward in 30 states. But not in Georgia, where it remains legally banned. Today, we hear from an Emory University law professor who writes about the court’s surprising non-decision, and a Baptist pastor who criticizes it. Also, a Georgia State University professor tells why she believes the state’s ban harms children.

Commenting is open.

Court’s surprising no-decision

By Tim Holbrook

On Monday, the Supreme Court did something no one expected: It refused to hear any of [More]

Miracles at the homeless shelter

  • 8:22 am Thursday, October 9th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

On Sept. 26, the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless avoided having water shut off at its homeless shelter by paying a nearly $600,000 city debt. The money was raised through private donations, something the task force director likened to “a miracle.” Today, she invites the community to visit and see various miracles underway at the Peachtree-Pine homeless shelter. In the other essay, a state lawmaker writes about the role of temporary welfare assistance.

Come see our shelter

By Anita Beaty

Full speed ahead, to the future

  • 1:50 pm Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 by rbadie

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 address the area’s growing older adult population; and society’s challenges of dealing with trash.

Savannah port can pass N.Y.

By Curtis Foltz

Driverless cars: What to watch for

  • 1:49 pm Monday, October 6th, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Lawmakers in various states including Georgia are trying to get their heads around the rapidly accelerating technology involving driverless cars. There are a lot of questions: Who will be responsible in case of accidents? How will they interact with standard cars? Today, we offer three columns written by presenters at the first hearing of the Georgia House study committee on autonomous vehicles. They elaborate on their concerns, and enthusiasm, for what could be breakthrough safety technology. The committee meets again later this month.

Note: There are three columns today.

Commenting is open.

Autonomous vehicles on the horizon

By Bob Dallas

Mention autonomous [More]

Georgia’s failing medical health

  • 3:59 pm Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

When it comes to health care, state leadership is failing Georgia citizens, especially those who need help the most, a local health policy expert writes. With trends looking grim, he criticizes politicians for erecting barriers for Georgians to access care through federal programs such as Medicaid. In response, a nonprofit think tank leader suggests a reasonable alternative to Medicaid expansion is a greater buildout of efficient, locally driven charitable clinics.

Commenting is open.

Health trends point down

By Harry J. Heiman

By every measure, Georgia is failing to meet the health and health care needs of its citizens.

Not only are our [More]

Homeless youth: A crisis we choose not to see

  • 8:08 pm Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

They hide in plain view, yet many of us don’t acknowledge their existence: homeless youth. On any given night, hundreds of teens — many turned away by their parents or guardians because they came out of the closet — sleep on Atlanta’s streets and alleys and bunk in abandoned buildings. Today’s guest writers explore a growing problem in the region and solicit your help to serve this sector of our community. (Photo: Tyler Perry visits Young People Matter, an emergency shelter in Atlanta for homeless young people.)

Homeless youth in plain view

By Simone Joye

Kids tweeted him non-stop for [More]

Improving community health, job opportunities

  • 10:29 am Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 by rbadie

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

By Nazeera Dawood

For example, the total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in 2012 was $245 billion, including $176 billion in direct medical costs and $69 billion in decreased productivity. There is [More]

Moving speed limits on I-285

  • 2:00 pm Monday, September 29th, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

On Sunday, north side motorists will discover a higher base speed limit and new variable speed limits on 36 miles of I-285 north of its two interchanges with I-20. The Georgia Department of Transportation says the modifications will help moderate driving speeds in times of tie-ups — slowing everyone down to (hopefully) speed up traffic flow. In our second column, I talk with a Fayette County official about his county’s plans to help test driverless vehicles, a new technology being studied by a state House committee.

Commenting is open.

Adjusting speeds on top end Perimeter

By Russell McMurry

An important new [More]

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