Archive for October, 2011

11/1: More than just a ‘bus driver’

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Buses take a back seat to trains in many of our transportation discussions these days.

Yet they play a crucial role in the lives of many metro Atlantans, who are too economically challenged to own cars or live too far from MARTA rail stations.

Today, two bus drivers — Rodney Poole and Greg Colbert — talk about service, their routes and passengers.

Continue reading 11/1: More than just a ‘bus driver’ »

10/31: Greatness ahead; student binge drinking

Moderated by Maureen Downey

The new DeKalb school chief is in the midst of her 90-day plan to assess the system.

I talk to Cheryl L.H. Atkinson about what she has seen thus far.

In a guest column, a Duke University official reveals the fears that lead students to binge drink.

Comment below.

Continue reading 10/31: Greatness ahead; student binge drinking »

10/30: Road to economic recovery needs some repair

The AJC Editorial Board

The Great Recession may be two years into the rearview mirror, but it doesn’t feel like it. Not with a Georgia jobless rate that crept up to 10.3 percent last month and metro Atlanta holding steady two months running at exactly that same number.

Matters aren’t worsening, but noticeable improvements seem in no hurry to burst onto the scene, either.

Yet, if we keep the faith a little while longer, and act prudently in the meantime, we’ll get back on track over time. There are some hopeful signs scattered amidst the tea leaves that economy-watchers regularly sift through for guidance as to whether we’re drifting toward either recovery, a re-recession — or just merely drifting.

For starters, it’s encouraging that Georgia is expected to show positive, if modest, job growth in coming years. According to IHS Global Insight data, Georgia’s projected to see average annual job growth of about 1.76 percent from 2011 through 2017.

By comparison, anticipated …

Continue reading 10/30: Road to economic recovery needs some repair »

10/28: What is library’s role in age of iPad, Kindle?

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Georgia’s state funding of public libraries ranks eighth in the nation. But local support lags, so systems face big budget cuts.

Gwinnett County has turned to raising private funds.

University libraries, in turn, are moving to make their research more accessible to the masses.

Both make a strong case for the continued viability of libraries in the age of Kindle and the iPad.

Continue reading 10/28: What is library’s role in age of iPad, Kindle? »

10/27: Don’t discount ‘Occupy’ message

Moderated by Rick Badie

It’s been called a leaderless movement that lacks an agenda or playbook. Still, the Occupy movement has caught fire, from New York to Atlanta and beyond.

So don’t pooh-pooh it, writes today’s guest columnist.

Plus an old-school activist paid a visit to Woodruff Park to see for herself what, exactly, was Occupy Atlanta.

What do you think?

Continue reading 10/27: Don’t discount ‘Occupy’ message »

10/26: Job numbers don’t add up

Moderated by Rick Badie

It’s often said when the nation catches a cold, black Americans get the flu. Take the Great Recession. The U.S. black unemployment rate (16 percent) is nearly double the national average (9.1 percent). Last year, metro Atlanta’s black jobless rate for men was 20 percent, nearly double that for white men.

Today’s guest columnist dissects the issue.

I interview an underemployed accountant.

Continue reading 10/26: Job numbers don’t add up »

10/25: T-SPLOST a good idea for Cobb County?

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

The debate over metro Atlanta’s special purpose local option sales tax for transportation has a number of flash points. One is Cobb County, where an early plan for a rail extension was scuttled in favor of more road improvements and bus service if the 1-percent tax is approved next year. Below, two former county leaders have their say on the issue.

William B. Dunaway, former mayor of Marietta, writes that Cobb transit future can’t wait. While Bill Byrne, Cobb County Commission chairman from 1992 to 2002, writes that the tax is a bad idea in tough times.

What do you think?

Continue reading 10/25: T-SPLOST a good idea for Cobb County? »

10/24: Teachers forced to cheat?

Moderated by Maureen Downey

In today’s guest column, two education researchers turn their attention to Georgia’s “good” schools, citing data that suggest even top suburban systems fall short in the global arena.

In my column, I look at the defense that teachers who cheated were forced by circumstance.

Read what we have to say and comment on either topic here.

Continue reading 10/24: Teachers forced to cheat? »

Sunday issue: Transportation sales-tax project list

The AJC Editorial Board writes: The $6.14 billion in regional road and transit projects, while sorely needed, are far from bold. And the one exception, the Beltline, may be ill-advised. Is this really the best metro Atlanta can do?

We would have rather seen the Beltline funding — or at least most of it — go toward a project that would efficiently transport more people longer distances between homes and job centers.

Bob Ross,  co-founder of the Fayette County  Issues Tea Party, writes that the transit money would have been spent better elsewhere.

But Bucky Johnson,  Norcross mayor and chairman of the Atlanta Regional Transportation Roundtable, believes that an historic moment could have a lasting impact.

What do you think about the project list?

Continue reading Sunday issue: Transportation sales-tax project list »

10/20: Should Peachtree Corners become a city?

Moderated by Rick Badie

Cities are popping up across metro Atlanta: Johns Creek, Sandy Springs — where next? A report will help determine whether Brookhaven should pursue cityhood.

Residents of Peachtree Corners go to the polls Nov. 8 to decide whether to become Gwinnett County’s 16th town. Today, we offer two views — one that favors incorporation of that community and one that doesn’t.

What do you think?

Continue reading 10/20: Should Peachtree Corners become a city? »