Atlanta Forward Blog 

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

New felony assault

  • 2:31 pm Thursday, September 4th, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Many times we focus on what the Georgia General Assembly hasn’t done. What it missed. Or what it needs to do. In some cases, little attention is given to what has been achieved. That looks like the case with House Bill 911. Passed during the most recent legislative session, it adds teeth to existing law by creating a new felony classification that will help in the prosecution of abusers who assault people, often women, through choking and strangulation. Here’s an inside look.

Commenting is open.

Choking crime with new law

By Greg Loughlin

On July 1, strangulation assault became a felony [More]

Georgia arts, culture and bees

  • 5:14 pm Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Today, we highlight Georgia’s dynamic cultural community. The head of the Georgia Council for the Arts explains that organization’s mission to enhance and promote the region’s “creative industries,” a growing sector of the state’s economy. The companion essay, written by the executive director of the Atlanta mayor’s office of cultural affairs, notes the importance of arts education and the city’s Cultural Experience Project. Finally, read about a pesticide ban at Emory University.

The arts are a vital state cornerstone

By Karen L. Paty

Karen L. Paty is executive director of the Georgia Council for the Arts.

Art changes young [More]

Fight for $15

  • 9:48 am Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

A recent federal ruling regarding the franchiser-franchisee relationship may lead to higher minimum wages and a unionized workforce if allowed to stand. Today, an organizer for a nonprofit that advocates a fast-food wage increase trumpets the ruling, while the head of the Georgia Restaurant Association warns the decision would put a “chilling effect” on regional job growth.

Fight for $15

By Neil Sardana

Last month, the National Labor Relations Board general counsel found McDonald’s Corp. to be a “joint-employer” alongside its franchisees. This legal decision could allow the corporation to be held responsible for the treatment and conditions of its [More]

How to start fixing transportation

  • 2:00 pm Monday, September 1st, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

When will we finally get realistic about our transportation needs on the federal and state levels? Today, two local experts take a crack at putting the diminished Federal Highway Trust Fund and gas tax into perspective. The transit leader says its time to fix the balance between road and transit funding, while Libertarian policy analysts bang the drum for that old favorite — user fees charged to motorists: The more miles you drive, the more tax you pay.

Commenting is open.

Put transit back in mix

By Lee Biola

America’s long detour away from walkable communities may soon end. The Federal [More]

Poverty threatens college pipeline

  • 2:00 pm Friday, August 29th, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Our opinion columns today include a local college president examining the crushing influence of poverty on  students, and an English professor sharing insight on his syllabus and his students’ engagement.

Commenting is open.

Sponsoring college students in need

By Beverly Daniel Tatum

When people ask me what my favorite moments have been as president of Spelman College, “graduation” is always my reply. It is a great feeling to watch young Spelman women graduate, knowing the obstacles they have surmounted and the talent they represent. They are the return on my investment as president, and I cannot think of a better way [More]

Happy Labor (Union?) Day

  • 2:30 pm Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Monday is Labor Day. What does that mean to you? Do you reflect on your job, give thanks for your employment and celebrate your output? Do you honor the American working men and women who helped build our country? Or are you too busy wondering when your next raise might come, and whether it will beat the pink slip to your inbox? Today we hear about the progress — and plight — of the American worker, from both sides of the political argument.

Commenting is open.

Labor Day is not Union Day

By Mark Mix

Most Americans realize that Labor Day [More]

Stop militarization of local police

  • 11:16 am Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Armored vehicles. Sniper rifles. Combat gear. Such military-style equipment was mobilized to quell unrest in Ferguson, Mo., and, in the process, fueled debate about what some call the militarization of law enforcement agencies nationwide. Today, a Georgia congressman writes about the need to curb and audit free military surplus police obtain via the federal government, while a law enforcement advocate says the equipment is necessary to serve and protect.

When police behave like an army

By Hank Johnson

The overwhelming militarized response of St. Louis-area police forces to protests over the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager is an [More]

Who’s to say what’s fair pay for work?

  • 1:14 pm Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Recently, Atlanta was one of five cities U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez visited on a pre-Labor Day tour to promote collaboration between business and labor. Today, he reiterates that message and calls for a minimum wage increase that he says would benefit all aspects of the economy. The Georgia director of a small business advocacy group begs to differ, however, and calls a wage hike — as well as a recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board — attempts to bolster unions. The third column deals with the importance of hiring and training young talent.

Higher [More]

Clayton’s march to MARTA

  • 2:01 pm Monday, August 25th, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Clayton County’s chairman remains steadfast in his optimism that voters in November will approve a sales-tax increase to bring MARTA service south, in what would be a historic expansion for the transit agency. I talked with him about the opposition he still anticipates as we get closer to election day. In our second column, a conservative commentator writes about the “expensive and generally useless over-regulation of transit” that federal and state authorities apply.

Moderating is open.

Chairman confident MARTA coming

By Tom Sabulis

Jeffrey Turner expects opposition to MARTA’s expansion into Clayton County to surface in the months before November’s sales-tax [More]

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