Archive for November, 2011

12/1: Kids’ safety of concern to us all

Moderated by Rick Badie

First, there was the Penn State child abuse scandal, then similar allegations at Syracuse University. Because of these high-profile cases, Georgia legislators are being asked to enact broader protective measures for children who may have been victims of predators. What responsibility do we have to protect children? Should all adults be mandatory reporters? Today, we explore the issue.

Kids’ safety of concern to us all

Education a better way to protect youth

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11/30: Horse racing good bet for Ga.?

Moderated by Rick Badie

State Rep. Harry Geisinger has proposed a constitutional amendment that would legalize pari-mutuel wagering on horse races. Below, he explains how HR186 would disallow gambling and still generate millions of dollars for our state.

Ray Newman, an executive for the Georgia Baptist Convention, offers a counterpoint.

What do you think?

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11/29: How do we create a regional transit agency?

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

How do we create a regional transit agency? We’re still discussing ways to govern an expanded transportation system if the 1-cent referendum passes next year.

The Atlanta Regional Commission has one proposal, and Roswell’s mayor offers a plan drafted by the mayors in Fulton and DeKalb counties.

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11/28: Reform and how best to do it

Moderated by Maureen Downey

Today’s theme is reform and how best to do it. I discuss the state’s pilot program to better evaluate its teachers, including a controversial proposal to ask even young students to review their teachers.

In the guest column, a school chief says reform will never work if we don’t involve teachers.

Read what we have to say and tell us what you think.

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11/27: Helping hands sorely needed

By the AJC Editorial Board

Thanksgiving is but a warm memory. Most metro Atlantans once again had more than enough food and fixin’s to pass around our holiday tables. That alone is worthy of our ongoing, sincere thanks.

Savoring this season of plenty gains new meaning, though, when we consider — as we should — that not all are fortunate enough to have refrigerator shelves that are sagging today under the weight of so many leftovers.

In this region, across Georgia and this great nation, millions of our neighbors are struggling through the turbulent economy churned up by the Great Recession.

Their woes take vastly differing forms and levels of severity, depending on where you look.

This latest recession was of such power and ferocity that its force was felt much farther up the economic ladder than would be expected. The once-solid middle-class citizenry that filled Atlanta’s expansive subdivisions has been hammered by the downturn. Homes large and small have been …

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11/25: Seeking an end to homelessness

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

The shelter at Peachtree and Pine streets near downtown has been ground zero for a battle between the Task Force for the Homeless, which runs it, and the city of Atlanta, which wants to close it. Today, a former task force chairman condemns the city’s role historically toward the shelter, as a United Way leader highlights the way forward in the fight against homelessness.

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11/23: Where does the housing industry stand?

Moderated by Rick Badie

In three years, metro Atlanta’s average home price dropped to $161,996 — a slide of nearly $55,000. There’s no quick recovery foreseen. Below, our guest columnists give their perspective on the local housing industry.

Realtor Marilyn Meacham says it’s a buyer’s market. Real estate guru Jim Grissett explains how national policy got us here and how it must change.

What do you think about the housing market today and in the future?

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11/22: T-SPLOST project list

Moderated by Tom Sabulis
Some say metro Atlanta’s transportation roundtable didn’t do the region any favors with the project list it devised for next year’s special purpose local option sales tax:

One national expert says these fixes won’t do enough to reduce commute times.

But two respected community leaders insist the T-SPLOST is a necessity and that voters should approve it for our collective future.

What do you think?

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11/21: The value of a degree

Moderated by Maureen Downey

Today is a college page, with an interview I did with the author of a new book about how to be yourself and still get into college. There is also a commentary on the sustaining value of a degree and the pre-eminence of U.S. campuses.

Read the opinions and then comment here or on the Get Schooled blog.

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11/20: Port of Savannah project: Ga., S.C. must float this boat together

The AJC Editorial Board

Six feet. That’s what stands between increased prosperity for Atlanta, Georgia and the Southeast. It is the depth of silt needing to be scraped from the Savannah River’s bed to allow passage of larger container ships expected to begin calling on Eastern Seaboard ports in 2014.

The $600 million project to dredge the 32 miles of river between the ocean and Savannah’s port must move forward quickly. The big ships won’t wait, and neither can Georgia.

As has been the case across four centuries now, oceangoing freighters docking in Savannah tie us into profitable global trading lanes. These days, they float dollars into Georgia’s economy by the billions.

We can’t afford to see that economic force and its jobs travel elsewhere when the bigger boats come calling. Public money spent to keep Savannah’s port globally competitive is a worthwhile investment in this region’s (and nation’s) economic competitiveness. Deepening the port will help create and retain jobs …

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