Religious liberty or freedom to discriminate?

1:14 pm Mar. 12, 2015

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Passion and opinions continue to spark around Georgia’s proposed “religious liberty” bill being considered in the General Assembly. Senate Bill 129 passed that chamber last week. Today, pop superstar and philanthropist Elton John, a part-time Atlantan for decades now, voices his concerns with a bill critics call a license to discriminate. On the opposing side, an Atlanta attorney says a state version of the federal Religious Freedom

Cityhood: There’s got to be a better way

9:15 am Mar. 12, 2015

Cityhood – its appeal and potential harm

Moderated by Rick Badie

The creation of new cities in our region’s unincorporated areas continues at a rapid pace. Cityhood is en vogue; numerous communities are pursuing incorporation this legislative session. Our lead columnist outlines the negative financial consequences of cityhood and calls the state process for birthing new governments “flawed.” The other writer asks what, exactly, can taxpayers who reside in the county or

Soaring rent rates

8:36 am Mar. 11, 2015

Moderated by Rick Badie

Today’s renters are paying higher rates to keep a roof over their heads. Renters in metro Atlanta paid an average $77 more in January than a year earlier. A real estate executive analyzes the local rent-supply market and whether increases will continue to climb or stabilize. Elsewhere, an economist explains his firm’s recent analysis of our region’s home loan data, which showed a lag of black and

Expand Medicaid or better alternative?

12:05 pm Mar. 10, 2015

Medicaid Pro/Con

We’ve heard a lot about Georgia’s refusal to expand Medicaid and uncork the millions of federal dollars that would go with it. Today, a guest columnist writes about other possible solutions, including vouchers and refundable tax credits, a flexible system not bound by what he calls micromanaged regulation. Our second columnist wonders if Georgia is turning its back on its religious values, and failing to tap a ready-made job

The new Civil Rights movement

7:20 pm Mar. 4, 2015

Moderated by Rick Badie

Protests, demonstrations and sporadic violence spewed across the nation after the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. A spotlight was cast on civil rights leaders. The Old Guard, in some arenas, shared stages with younger voices, a contingent often edgier and eager to join the conversation. Today, an Atlanta reverend outlines efforts to merge the two groups into a “civil and human rights” endeavor that addresses

Beverly Hall’s uncertain legacy

8:14 am Mar. 4, 2015

Moderated by Maureen Downey

Former Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Beverly Hall’s death Monday from breast cancer leaves many unresolved questions about the APS cheating scandal and her role in it. I discuss some of those questions today. Readers give their view of Dr. Hall’s legacy and the APS cheating scandal, and we share the conclusions of the sweeping 2010 state probe ordered by then Gov. Sonny Perdue.

An uncertain troubled legacy

By Maureen

Medical marijuana’s first big step

3:41 pm Feb. 26, 2015

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

In today’s column, State Rep. Allen Peake, the House sponsor of Georgia’s medical marijuana bill, pushes for its passage in the Senate and says he feels Gov. Nathan Deal will sign the bill into law. On Wednesday, the chamber voted 158-2 to decriminalize the possession of cannabis oil with no more than 5 percent of the chemical that produces the highs associated with pot. Today, Peake

Toward a bright future in Cobb, South Metro

9:47 am Feb. 26, 2015

Moderated by Rick Badie

What’s good for Cobb County? Well, for starters, the Atlanta Braves move , according to the newly formed “Good for Cobb.” Its co-founders say the group was formed to identify and publicly express support for initiatives deemed good for the county. Elsewhere, a former Fulton County commissioner writes about “smart growth” for the South Metro area, while the other guest writer advocates for a Bosnian-American Day in

Opinion: End chronic homelessness

7:41 am Feb. 25, 2015

Moderated by RICK BADIE

Today we highlight a nonprofit whose founder says it’s a moral and fiscal imperative to end chronic homelessness on the streets of downtown Atlanta. Read his perspective and the mission of his organization, Georgia Works! A companion essay stresses the need for additional state money to help adults with developmental disabilities get into the workplace.

 Georgia Works!

By BILL MCGAHAN, founder and chairman of Georgia Works!