9:33 am Oct. 21, 2015

Moderated by Rick Badie

The former General Motors plant in Doraville is slated to become the home of a major movie studio, part of a massive commercial, business and residential project known as The Assembly. Doraville’s mayor couldn’t be happier about the development and touts its economic benefits in today’s lead column. The companion piece addresses the state’s booming film industry and what private property owners should weigh when approached by

How to address school shootings, violence

8:36 am Oct. 15, 2015

Moderated by Rick Badie

Today’s topic focuses on mass shootings in America — which occur frequently and under similar circumstances — and ways society should address them. An Atlanta educator suggests that, since many shooters are school-age students, society should rethink its approach by becoming a community that embraces, listens and show support for those who feel unheard. The companion essay calls for a public health approach to the issue.

Stop hiding

Reforming Georgia’s tax code

3:05 pm Oct. 14, 2015

Moderated by Rick Badie

Georgians of varied economic stripes might benefit from state tax reform, but in what form? Earlier this year, a state representative presented a bill that would shift the tax burden toward more consumption taxes and lower personal income and corporate taxes. He writes about misconceptions around that proposal. Meanwhile, a policy analyst suggests alternatives to such a tax shift and champions creation of a state Earned Income

Building unified communities: Gwinnett and DeKalb

10:08 am Oct. 8, 2015

Moderated by Rick Badie

They covet the same thing — more peace, understanding, civic engagement and equal footing for all residents in their respective communities. One is a nonprofit that serves the immigrant and refugee population; the other, a newly formed alliance of Gwinnett County residents whose name says it all. The writer of the first essay invites us to participate in Saturday’s 11th annual TEA (Together Empowering All) Walk along

Reauthorize the Export-Import Bank?

6:10 pm Oct. 6, 2015

Moderated by Rick Badie

The Export-Import Bank closed its doors to new business this summer, but congressional attempts are afoot to reauthorize the government agency that finances some exports of U.S. companies. Supporters of the bank, including the writer of today’s lead column, say it’s necessary for firms in Georgia and elsewhere to compete globally. The author of the companion column, however, calls the bank “corporate welfare” and rebuffs its reauthorization.

Georgia leads prison reform efforts

11:09 pm Sep. 30, 2015

Moderated by Rick Badie

Georgia has become a national leader when it comes to criminal justice reform. Last month, a blue-ribbon panel, set up by Congress to address needed changes in the federal prison system, visited Atlanta to tour facilities and talk with area leaders about comprehensive justice reform. Our lead column highlights that visit. A companion essay encourages Georgia lawmakers to support the state’s criminal justice reform effort. The third

Putting Atlanta’s homeless, vets to work

9:31 am Sep. 30, 2015

Moderated by Rick Badie

Georgia Works!, a nonprofit that works to get chronically homeless men off our city streets, recently held commencement exercises for graduates who now enjoy permanent housing and a full-time job. Read about the Class of 2015 in our lead column. The companion piece focuses on military veterans, their struggles to find sustainable employment and to fit in the civilian workforce.

A graduation that celebrates skills, self-sufficiency

By Phillip Hunter


Acworth Police: Matters of life and death

8:08 am Sep. 24, 2015

Moderated by Rick Badie

The Acworth Police Department has added a new tool to its traditional training program — a firearms simulator. It offers more than 500 scenarios of what sworn officers or detention personnel might encounter when responding to a varied number of incidents. I write about my experience trying out the “use-of-force” simulator, while Acworth’s police chief explains the importance of implementing the technology.

Matters of life and death


Teach teens about money

6:03 pm Sep. 22, 2015

Moderated by Rick Badie

No doubt, many adults would benefit from a brush-up on finances — bank accounts, credit cards, savings, expenditures and such. It’s no different for teens, many of whom already handle money. For today’s topic on financial literacy, we highlight an initiative by Junior Achievement of Georgia and some area public schools designed to educate middle schoolers on dollars and sense. The companion piece continues the theme with

Water Conservation

8:41 am Sep. 17, 2015

Moderated by Rick Badie

Apparently, our region’s water conservation efforts are paying off. The Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District’s long-range water demand forecast for 15 counties predicts we’ll use 25 percent less water in 2050 than was projected in 2009. In today’s lead column, the chairman of the water district governing board takes note of the potential decline. Elsewhere, a medical officer writes about the importance of quality time between