Atlanta Forward Blog 

Discussion on Atlanta's economy, schools, transportation, leadership, quality of life
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Parole board needs scrutiny

  • 4:18 pm Thursday, September 11th, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

AJC reporter Alan Judd recently examined how the state Board of Pardons and Paroles lacks oversight and keeps its decision-making details secret, even when restoring gun rights to violent offenders once they are released. Today, a First Amendment expert writes that the board needs greater scrutiny to meet its mission of operating in the public’s interest, while a gun rights’ advocate argues that those who have served their time should recover the right to own firearms.

Commenting is open.

Open up the parole board

By Hollie Manheimer

This newspaper’s recent reporting revealed Georgia’s Board of Pardons and Paroles dramatically increased the [More]

Being proactive about drugs, driving

  • 9:01 am Thursday, September 11th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Today, Holly Springs’ top lawman writes about his Cherokee County agency being the first in Georgia to train and equip officers to use an anti-overdose medicine. A Georgia State University professor who lost two adult children to substance abuse shares his story and encourages parents struggling with addiction to speak up — and seek help — to address the disease’s toll on families. A third column deals with teenage driver safety.

Equip police with anti-overdose meds

By Ken Ball

As a 40-year law enforcement professional, I can say there is nothing I haven’t seen or done that could shock me. [More]

Women-owned businesses fuel Georgia’s growth

  • 10:01 am Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Three essays, three subjects. First, a female entrepreneur writes about the growth of women business owners in Georgia, a sector leader. In the second essay, a corporate executive notes a rise in “global engagement” — the region’s growth in international trade, investment and collaboration. Finally, a nonprofit founder trumpets the importance of building relationships with local hospitals, research institutions and various organizations devoted to health care.

Ga. female-owned businesses lead nation

By Jill Peck

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]

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