Archive for October, 2011

10/19: Small business in Georgia’s economy

Moderated by Rick Badie

Georgia’s small businesses are hurting. One group says poor sales are the No. 1 problem, followed by taxes. Confidence in the economy and the government’s ability to aid recovery are low. Business owners don’t expect a turnaround anytime soon.

Today’s guest columnist addresses the issue, and I profile owners of a months-old hair salon. Read what we have to say and comment.

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10/18: More thoughts on HOT, HOV lanes

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

The high-occupancy toll lanes on I-85 need time to prove their worth and become effective tools in managing traffic congestion.

But there’s no shortage of drivers who claim that they are unfair and confusing.

In fact, the old high occupancy vehicle lanes still have their detractors, who claim police write too many tickets to unsuspecting drivers.

Read what two guest columnists have to say and comment.

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10/17: What makes an effective teacher?

Moderated by Maureen Downey

What makes an effective teacher? Is it strong colleges of education or talented principals? How do we judge effectiveness?

I look at those questions today in my column, while a Suwanee mother of three argues that lessons about other religions have a place in our schools.

Read what we have to say and comment.

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10/16: A HOT flash in the pan?

The AJC Editorial Board

Are HOT lanes a flash in the pan? Let’s hope not. While it’s understandable that metro Atlantans resent a no-gridlock toll on a road they’ve already paid for, HOT lanes have proved their worth in other states. Georgia shouldn’t exit, Andre Jackson writes for The AJC Editorial Board.

Gov. Nathan Deal writes that “while I share the frustration of commuters regarding our early experience with HOT lanes, we are all frustrated when we miss a business appointment or a child’s baseball game because roads are jammed. I am focused on reducing congestion in order to get Georgians moving.”

And the Rome News-Tribune weighs in on the HOT lanes, too.

Read the full accounts of what they have to say and comment.

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10/14: Coexisting in Buckhead

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

It can be a tricky dance, the way residential neighborhoods manage the peace with nearby nightclubs.

After years of enduring a rowdy enclave of bars, Buckhead settled down in 2007, when many offending clubs were bought and razed.

Now a resurgence of nightlife has leaders concerned, while a lawyer for clubs criticizes their approach, past and present.

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10/13: Each of us plays a part in HIV fight

Moderated by Rick Badie

AIDS remains an epidemic, especially in the black community. Silence is death. Churches have a wide audience. Some pastors speak up and speak out about the disease.

The Rev. Raphael G. Warnock, senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, took an AIDS test during a service.

Dr. Kevin Fenton of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention writes on why silence isn’t the answer.

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10/12: Georgia business goes global

Moderated by Rick Badie

Think globally. Georgia businesses, big and small, are being encouraged to tap into the growing international market.

Today, former Gov. Sonny Perdue — who launched a trading company to market and move goods internationally — writes about opportunities overseas and a world hungry to consume.

And I profile a Stockbridge company that’s built a successful export operation.

Tell us what you think about Georgia business going global.

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10/11: Should local business, government support Amtrak?

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Amtrak is on the comeback trail. Amtrak is a subsidized mess.

Whatever your view, a few major cities in the Southeast are wrestling with how to spruce up the national rail service and connect it to local transportation alternatives. Amtrak’s search for a new terminal in Atlanta is in the early stages, but it’s certain to fuel debate.

Read the  commentary saying Atlanta shouldn’t be left behind, and then an opposing opinion that Amtrak is a waste of money.

Should local government and business support it?

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10/10: Should schools teach math, not empathy?

Moderated by Maureen Downey

If there are hot buttons in education, we press them today with a guest column on whether schools are shills for liberal causes and whether school bullying programs teach children to be victims. In her column, Mary Grabar says schools should teach math and reading, not empathy.

And a bullying expert says school interventions may worsen bullying, not stop it. Read what they have to say and then comment below.

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10/9: Mental illness is not a crime

By the AJC Editorial Board

Jails do a much better job of housing the criminal element than they can ever be expected to do in treating the mentally ill, who are routinely marched into cellblocks in the Atlanta region and across the state.

Sweeping mentally challenged people off our streets and into jails, often for minor nuisance offenses, does little more than conceal what remains a serious problem in Georgia, even as the state works to improve care. We’re not alone; other states are struggling with the same issue. We must fix it.

Frequent incarceration of the mentally ill conveniently removes them from public view. What it does not do — despite good intentions by jailers — is effectively address the illnesses that drew law enforcement attention in the first place. That’s a tragedy for the mentally fragile among us and also for the taxpayers whose dollars would be more effectively spent on community-based treatment, not haphazard detention.

Read what The …

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