Archive for December, 2004

Creative Loafing’s report on Georgia and the Olmstead ruling

ALYSSA ABKOWITZ at Creative Loafing had an interesting article on the Olmstead ruling.
| Article here |

The Olmstead ruling basically states this:

The Supreme Court stated that unnecessary institutional placement perpetuates unfounded assumptions that people with disabilities are incapable or unworthy of participating in society. Secondly, the justices found, institutional confinement severely curtails opportunities for participation in everyday activities, such as family and social activities, work and educational options, economic independence and cultural enrichment.

To remedy this type of discrimination, the court stated that the ADA requires states to serve individuals with disabilities in community settings rather than in segregated institutions, when this is appropriate and reasonable in light of certain factors.

While rendering unnecessary institutionalization presumptively unlawful, the L.C. decision does afford statesóand other potential defendantsóa defense to L.C. claims. A state is not required to transfer an unnecessarily institutionalized person to the community if doing so would fundamentally alter the state’s program. Whether serving particular individuals in a more integrated setting would require a fundamental alteration depends on:

(1) the cost of providing community services to the individuals,

(2) the resources available to the state, and

(3) the state’s need both to maintain a range of facilities and to distribute services in an evenhanded way.

| View information source |

I can remember my days in E.M.S. when I would talk and interact with a number of people who were in this situation. They were institutionalized with some type of mental disorder but, were perfectly capable of living on their own with a little help during the day.

Being in E.M.S., you don’t always get a chance to be with your patient for very long but, I remember stories from some who talked about living in what they described as “the wrong place”. Lacking the credentials of a clinical psychologist, I could not always determine the true nature of their situation. However, many did, indeed, strike me as being perfectly fit to take care of themselves and live on their own.

I bring this to light here because I have no doubt this is an ongoing problem for many people living in Atlanta and Georgia and I would hope the State would take another hard look at the issues. Complex issues, I’m sure but, important issues nonetheless. I would hate to think that I would be living any part of my life in “the wrong place” and not be able to experience all that life has to offer.

Red Light District

Ya think with all the recent police activity in Buckhead…the City might notice the traffic lights at Piedmont and Peachtree have been flashing RED for more than 96 hours!!!

Anyone know the number to City Hall? Where’s Sam Massell when you need him – SAAMMMMMYYYY!

Does Atlanta Have It’s Very Own…

(Um, er, I’m back! Yep – dropped off the metblogs radar there for a bit, in part due to my personal blog’s popularity picking up – one thousand hits in a day never happened until about two weeks ago – and due to some health issues that took the rest of my attention. But I’ve returned, for better or worse…now on with the rest o’ the blog entry.)

Scott Peterson?

It looks more and more each day like Dr. Barton Corbin got some ‘splainin’ to do.
From the AJC article:

“…Dr. Barton Corbin, a Dacula dentist who has been named as a suspect in Corbin’s death.

Barton Corbin attended his wife’s funeral on Friday and was back working at his office on Braselton Highway Monday morning.

A receptionist at his dental office said he was working with a patient Monday morning and would not be available for comment.

He abruptly shut the office at noon, closed the blinds and did not return…”

An interesting aspect of this event, the death of Dr. Corbin’s wife Jennifer on December 4, at first thought to be a suicide, is the fact that another woman close to Dr. Corbin also met her death at the end of a gun barrel, back in the 90’s.

Dolly Hearn was a dental student living in Augusta, Georgia, in 1990 when she died. She died from a single gunshot wound to the head, just like Jennifer Corbin. At the time it was ruled a suicide and her mourning friends and family went on, memorializing her with a scholarship in her name at the Medical College of Georgia.

The usual things were said by friends and family – suicide is a very hard thing to accept, I know this well, and there’s a tendency in some families to search for any other reason, any other cause for death. So many suicides are said to have been ‘fine’, and ‘not the type to get down’, and so many suicides spark dark ponderings on the part of the bereaved. The mind seeks some cause that will remove the responsibility from the shoulders of the loved one, because the irrational nature of self-slaughter is so difficult to accept.

Officers of the law know this well, and they become skilled at deflecting the worries and suspicions if the evidence supports only suicide as an answer.

I get the feeling all of this transpired after Dolly Hearn died in Augusta 14 years ago, and Dr. Barton Corbin may have sighed with relief at some point. If he had anything to do with Dolly’s passing.

Twelve days ago in a pleasant suburb in Sugar Hill, in Gwinnett county Georgia, a popping sound ruptured the night, which in that bucolic place was surely otherwise very quiet. Not long after that, Jennifer Corbin’s 7-year-old son was racing towards a neighbor’s house, and telling them once he got there that Daddy did it.

Atlanta has often placed 3rd and 4th behind cities like Detroit in national crime statistics; we all know bad things happen here on a rather regular basis. But just outside of Atlanta, generally in a region folks who live inside the boundaries of I-285 just call “OTP” (Outside The Perimeter), usually with a touch of derision, the existence seems more idyllic. Sugar Hill, Flowery Branch, the Buford area is home to monied Atlanta Falcons players, there are fine golf courses up that way and the largest, most squeaky-clean mall in the state is in Buford, Georgia. It would appear to be the place to go if you like the ‘red-state’ aspect of living in Georgia – conservative christianity, good schools with timid school boards, lots of money to make, too. It feels very far from downtown Atlanta, from the openly liberal lifestyles of those in Midtown and the poor in the South Side. The Corbins even attended the Sugar Hill United Methodist Church, and Jennifer was a preschool teacher there. An exterior shot on the local news of Dr. Corbin’s office showed a neat, low brick building, identical to every other medical office I’ve seen in the upper-middle class neighborhoods outside and north of the Perimeter. They were living, it seems, a peculiarly Georgia version of The Dream, whatever the hell that is.

It’s trite at this point for someone who has felt the outsider for the better part of his life to enjoy the vacant soul of suburbia being laid bare. And indeed, enjoy would be the wrong word. Two young boys have lost a mother in a terrible way, and another family may very well have lost a daughter to an allegedly deadly dentist.

If anything there is some grim affirmation for me when such stories break – I look back on the family I’m from, the lower-class rural neighborhood where I was raised, and am reminded that money buys nothing but a bigger house and better clothes.

Evil will out, like it did when Scott Peterson told his bland lies to his paramour in the cell phone conversations heard over and over again on Court TV. Perhaps like it has now that a particular Dentist in Sugar Hill, Georgia has allegedly decided there is always a quicker way than the complex tortures of divorce to end a marriage.

(Since I first posted this blog entry here – you are reading an edited and updated version – it has come to light that Jennifer Corbin may have met another man in Missouri via the Internet, and that this may have had something to do with her demise. So, one way or the other, the evil ol’ web has struck again as well.)

MARTA is Certainly Smarter …

… but one should get out of their own car before attempting to hop on board.

Singer Whitney Houston rear-ended a city bus with her sports car, but no one was hurt, police said.*

Thanks, Whitney. Thank you so much for returning suburban Atlanta to national prominence one more time. And once we track down just which intersection this was, we’ll all start referring to it as “That spot where Whitney smacked a MARTA bus” — much like how Atlantic Seafood Company on Mansell has become “That place where Bobby and Whitney got arrested.”

Chemical Leak

I saw this on the news last night and was a little worried

A commercial tank leaking a mixture of flammable chemicals has forced the evacuation of downtown East Point, closing area schools and roads and disrupting MARTA rail service.
About 40 streets in a 1.4-mile radius of downtown were closed after the leak was reported about 8:20 p.m. Wednesday.
East Point officials estimated thousands of people were evacuated from their homes, with some heading out in the cold to stay with family or friends and others going to temporary shelters set up by the city.

It seemed like it was all going fairly orderly (which was nice to hear), but does anyone know any personal detail on this? I’d love to hear them.

Who is… the Ghost?

Sorry about the bad pic, I was taking it from my car. I love these things! Whoever’s putting them up all around Atlanta, I want to thank you. I get cheered up every time I see one of your critters.

A post to friends

I’m a notoriously infrequent poster here on the ATL metroblog, but I’m still kicking. One item that’s been diverting my attention away from this blog is my personal blog, which has undergone a transformation of late. With all that energy flowing from one blog and away from the other, it’s nice to know that my fellow Atlanta bloggers still love and acknowledge me. Three guys in particular, Alex Vernon, Dave Stahl and our own Billy Mack, have commented on the new site and on some of the posts and I’m pleased as punch that they’re supportive of other Atlantans.

In other, strictly city-related news, does anyone else encounter the RetroTechs silly branded PT Cruiser at every turn? Working in Midtown, I bet I see that thing 3 or 4 times a week. Is anyone else similarly cursed?

In any event, this is a post about friendship – the tangible kind that we celebrate over the holidays, and the digital kind that we come to know and love online. Thanks for being such a wonderful community (and I mean that) of bloggers and individuals. I hope we continue our successes in 2005.

Falcons win the division

For only the thrid time in history, our Atlanta Falcons have won their division! (click to see a picture of Arthur Blank on his hands and knees)

I’d like to say that I think they’ll stand a chance to make it to the Super Bowl (and I will definitely be rooting hard for that), but realistically, I’m pretty impressed that they’ve done this. They’re wildly inconsistent (they won a couple games they should’ve lost – 6-3 against Arizona? C’mon), and still very young. Still, the mark of a good team is that they find ways to win. And our Falcon’s have done that. So keep, uh, flying Falcons!

So…

It’s a little cold outside today, no?

In Search of …. Guacamole

Since I’ve recently given up sex, I figured Guacamole would satisfy my craving for something creamy and high in protein. Within walking distance of my apartment in Va/HI there are numerous guacamole options, and I tried 7 of them in two weekends:

I was looking for guacamole that what was as good as my friend Witchy Woman’s guacamole. It had to have a chunky texture, it had to taste fresh, and if it had some tomatoes, onions and lime and was served to me on a salty fresh tortilla chip then I’d be in Guacamole Heaven.

I wanted to hate the corporate brands – Chipotle, Moe’s,Qdoba Mexican Grill – simply because theyíre corporate, but Chipotle had a fresh flavor, a good texture and was cheap. If they had better chips it would have been the winner. And at $1.75, Iíll walk down there anytime Iím missing that ëole creamy protein fix (Sorry ìDr. Love Bastardî). Qdoba Mexican Grill was decent, but not good enough to make me walk the 2 miles to get it again. Moe’s – home of the best chips ñ had a great texture, but didnít taste all that fresh. By the time I finished it, my craving for guacamole was also done.

I didn’t quite get to Guacamole heaven at La Fonda Latina but it was at least guacamole purgatory. I was satisfied after eating it, but was still waiting for some heavenly guacamole. And when you get charged an extra dollar for stale chips ñ I say fogaddebatit. Iíd rather walk down to Chipotle, and get twice as much for the same price.

Whole Foods Market Brand had the texture of baby food and when guacamole already has the color of hurl, do you really want it to have that runny texture as well? Surprisingly, it lacks depth of flavor. I expected that since it was from Whole Foods that it would at least have some spices thrown in. Yeah, no.

And speaking of runny guacamoleÖ thereís a reason why I like my guacamole to be chunky: When surly servers bring me runny guacamole, my first thought is: “Did they put something in it? And if they did, Iíll never be able to tell.”

Thatís how I felt as I got my order of guacamole from El Azteca. The server gave me a smile that said “I put a little something extra in ya guac.” Though it didnít scare me from eating the guacamole I still at it (with unsalted chips – what up wit dat?), but with fear. Guacamole should be shoveled down with gustoÖ

Closest to that tart, creamy, texture of my friend Witchy Woman’s Guacamole was The Righteous Room‘s version. I know, guac from a bar. But let me tell you – wow. I think I ate the entire serving on about 5 chips. Not because there weren’t enough chips, but because I ate some of it without chips. It’s that good. And to think I thought they only made good burgers.

After trying all the rest, I’ll provide you with the recipe for the best:

BEWITCHING GUACOMOLE… IT’LL PUT A SPELL ON YOU

…depending on how much you want use one to two avocados (try to get one really ripe and one slightly harder that way to add some good texture) and then add one squeezed lime to start with but have another so that after you mix in all the other ingredients you can slowly add more until you think it has enough citrus. Use half to a whole tomato depending on how big, some diced red onions, lots of salt and pepper with a healthy amount of garlic. Just stir this all together and then let sit for an hour or so to let it marinate all the spices (but lets be honest, no one is really going to wait an hour). If for some reason you want the texture to be creamier, or if you put in to much lime or salt and you need to tone down the flavor just mix in a spoonful of Sour-cream.

– Recipe courtesy of Witchy Woman

Next time: In Search of… Fresh Brewed Coffee

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