Archive for the ‘News’ Category

can we kill the run-off? plz?

well, i voted. yet again. it seems like all i do these days is vote. a presidential election last year, then a senate run-off last year, then a mayoral election this year, then a mayoral run-off this year. it’s getting a tiny bit out of control.

at least i can assume that 2010 will not bring any run-offs as both johnny isakson and john lewis are pretty much assured at least 50 percent. that being said, can we do away with the run-off and just elect the person with the plurality after the first ballot?

it’s no secret i voted for mary norwood (although it was one of the least enthusiastic votes i have ever cast), so yes, in this instance, the lack of a run-off would have elected my candidate, and now, it appears, although a recount is imminent, that the run-off will elect her opponent, but look, i would support this either way.

it’s not that i dislike voting, it’s just that i am not sure what the point of the run-off is. it’s not like it’s the exact same electorate. some people vote in the run-off who didn’t in the previous election. a lot of people who voted in the general election never make it out to the run-off. so it isn’t about who most people support, but more about who can get people to go out and vote yet again.

i am all for people’s civic duty, but when we are voting over and over and over, and as ben mentioned for positions most people don’t even know what they do, it’s easy to see why people throw up their hands and don’t vote.

so i say kill the run-off.

i am sure i am wrong about this, so tell me why.

get out and vote!!!

here it is, the obligatory get out and vote post.

as much as i hate run-off elections (probably a topic for another post or maybe i will let ben elaborate) we have them in georgia and today is municipal election run-off day.

they’re going on all over of course (ex. roswell has a run-off for mayor today) but the biggie is the city of atlanta run-off for mayor (atlantans are also voting for other offices today) between mary norwood and kasim reed.

they were <a href="“>monitoring turnout today at blog for democracy and the morning numbers looked solid. still plenty of time.

for poll location, sample ballots and more goodness head to the secretary of state web site.

go vote!!!

wtf, atlanta?

from fox five atlanta’s story on the atlanta mayoral race:

Election officials estimated voter turnout could be at its lowest in recent memory, with far fewer ballots cast than the 35 percent of registered voters who participated in recent mayoral races.


with crime ascendant, the city in fiscal chaos and three very interesting top tier candidates running, how is it that so few of you could be bothered to go vote.

now i am all about not voting for someone if there is no one on the ballot you can in good conscience support, but show up and write someone in (i do this every two years, when one or another of my friends gets one vote against john lewis.)

i really do want to hear from you city residents who couldn’t be bothered to vote for the next mayor yesterday.


it’s election day. go get the sticker.

t’s municipal election day in georgia. these are typically the lowest turnout elections in the world so we here at the metblog are encouraging you to get out and vote. these elections are just as important as any other, and maybe more, since you are electing the people who will run the governments you interact with the most.

in case you haven’t noticed, we have a pretty wild mayoral race going on in the city of atlanta right now, and there are other big elections today across the metro area.

if, as often happens, you forgot where you are registered, or where your polling place is, you can head over to the secretary of state’s web site for some quick info.

and, if you are city of atlanta resident like me, and like me STILL aren’t quite sure who in the world to vote for in the myriad positions that are up for election this blog for democracy post is a great place to get started, with videos and links to the candidates’ web sites.

happy voting.

2 Years, 6 People and 30-40 Rounds of Ammo.

Two years ago I wrote about a robbery that took place on Dekalb Avenue while six people – minding their own business and having a lovely evening with friends – were showered with gunfire.

Two years since I wrote.


Today at 10am the defendants will be entering guilty please in courtroom 4E.

Defendants Tremaine Lovelace and Lanorris Moore will be entering guilty pleas on Monday, August 17, 2009 at 10:00 in court room 4E before Judge Kimberly Esmond Adams.

These two defendants are charged with the August 25, 2007 home invasion and armed robbery at 992 Dekalb Avenue in Inman Park:

Six couples were sitting in the residence when they heard gunshots and realized that the residence was the target of gunfire. The couples then tried to escape by jumping from a second story balcony. Three of the people were seriously injured during the escape. Thirty to forty rounds of ammunition were found in the residence when the police arrived. The two men were apprehended immediately at the Inman Park Marta Station.

Please come and support our victims as they take this important step in seeking justice.

Sharla Jackson
Community Prosecutor
Zone 5

My proposal for punishment: maybe we let those six folks who were fired upon share thirty to forty rounds and fire back. I’m just sayin’: if we still lopped hands off for shoplifting…

marta service reductions go into effect tomorrow.


it’s finally here. the consequences of the state legislature’s failure to act to secure additional funding from marta are finally here. i do very much hope this is not the beginning of a death-spiral where decreased service leads to decreased ridership leading to decreased revenue and repeat.

also, i dream of a day when our leaders realize vibrant public transportation is a key component of a truly world class city, and by extension a prosperous georgia, and that is should exist as a public good not a money-making endeavor and fund it appropriately.

sigh, okay /soapbox.

anyway, marta service cuts are scheduled to begin this saturday, tomorrow, including the elmination of a the #23 and #182 bus routes and cuts in frequency to many bus routes and train service. especially hit will be off-peak train service.

you can check here to see what routes are affected and how.

fortunately for me at least, both of my main bus routes have survived intact for now.

truly sad and awful story.

this story recently reported in the ajc absolutely punched me in the gut:

Just 12 days after she and her family moved to Clarkston from Nepal for a “better life,” 6-year-old Sukmaya Mager was dead, run down by an SUV driver illegally passing a stopped MARTA bus, police said.

Six-year-old Sukmaya Mager died Wednesday of her injuries after being struck by a vehicle when she got off a MARTA bus. A Newton County man allegedly passed the bus on the wrong side of the road, hitting the Clarkston girl.

“Today would have been her first day at Indian Creek Elementary,” Clarkston Police Chief Tony Scipio told reporters Wednesday, just hours after Sukmaya died of head and internal injuries.

Her parents and her 10-year-old brother, refugees relocated to the Atlanta suburb, are in “disbelief”, the chief said. They don’t understand U.S. laws and culture, they do not speak English and they have no relatives here, according to Scipio.

so much about it just saddens me. an innocent little girl, leaving a war-torn past behind. starting out here in the land of opportunity and being killed by that most quintessential of american sins; impatience.

maybe it’s because i ride marta almost every day that this affected me so much. i see it too; people who fly around marta buses, because they just can’t be incovneienced to wait an extra three or four minutes while the bus stops to let people off. maybe it’s because i walk a lot to, and have almost been run down in crosswalks by people not looking coming off of stop signs.

i don’t know for sure, but this story really, really affected me.

i found out about it from creative loafing author andy nouraee on his twitter feed, and andy dug up some information on the international rescue committee here in atlanta that was responsible for resettling this family and sent it along to me. i made a donation this morning is sukmaya mager’s honor, hoping that maybe some of that money can be used to help that family in this tragedy.

one thing to note as well, everyone the irc settles is here in this country legally as a refugee. the us accepts thousands of war refugees from all over the world every year.

maybe you could consider doing the same.

here is the link again:

international rescue committee in atlanta

if we had named that panda p-dizzle would they want him back?

hagin by me

hagin' by me

time’s up…..

for zoo atlanta’s pandas that is. the lease on the giant pandas is up next year and zoo atlanta announced today it needs to raise $500,000 to reach the $2.5 million they need in order to renew the lease with the chinese on lun lun, yang yang and xi lan (mei lan is going back to china no matter what.)

it sucks that zoo atlanta doesn’t have the cash on hand to do this, but you know the drill, economy bad, corporate sponsorships are down, etc. etc. so anyway, the zoo is coming to you and asking for a membership or a donation or whatever you can do. they have set up a web site, give so they can stay, and you can check it out for more info.

i realize there are so many worthy causes hurting for money right now, but pandas, pandas are one of the things that make us big-time, in select company. and they are awesome.

you guys know how much i love these pandas. during the winter when i was going through a rough patch one of the things that got me through the day was pausing for a mintue and watching p-dizzle on the panda cam. i even bought a membership to the zoo so i could walk over there any time and see them. those animals are to me citizens of this city and part of us.

i hate this panda lease game with the chinese, but it is what it is. maybe this is the same kind of blackmail professional sports teams play with cities to get new stadiums, but damn does it work.

i think they are worth trying to keep here.

so who would come to a “keep the pandas here” party if we at the atlanta metblog were to throw one. maybe we could raise a few bucks.

who’s with me?

A Personal Reaction

The news is going around. The police have made an arrest in the John Henderson case, and it all turns out to be part of a larger, sprawling story involving gunfights and men in hiding, according to the AJC. It’s a story with a lot of bullets.

With thanks to the Atlantans Together Against Crime (ATAC) blog, here’s a link to Raw Footage Atlanta Police Department May 8, 2009 Press Conference from Grayson Daughters on Vimeo.

Since I wrote a bit about the public reaction to the Standard shooting, I figured I should write something about the public reaction to this news, too. I’ve read comments of relief and comments of revenge. I’ve read lamentations about teenage shooters and I’ve read calls for blood.

Here’s the truth: I don’t know what to say.


John Henderson Assailant In Custody

I was on the road this morning, stopped at a light and catching life updates via Tweetie when I saw Andy’s RT that John Henderson’s assailant was in custody, and that the teen had been linked by ballistics to the crime.

Henderson was shot and fatally injured January 7th while closing up at The Standard in Grant Park.

There will be a press conference at 2p, and ATAC will be tweeting live, if you want to follow the news as it develops. Additional information is being posted as it comes in on the ATAC blog.

The arrest was that of Johnathan Redding, a 17 year old.

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