Archive for January, 2012

1/20: Tri-state water wars

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

A federal appeals court gave Georgia a victory last year in the tri-state water wars when it ruled that Lake Lanier could be used for metro Atlanta’s drinking water. Alabama and Florida disagree. Alabama plans to petition the U.S. Supreme Court next month to review the case.

Today, an Alabama attorney explains why. And a Georgia district leader suggests a different approach. What do you think?

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1/19: Making Georgia the best for business

Moderated by Rick Badie

Gov. Nathan Deal wants Georgia to be the best place in the nation to conduct business. Any competitive edge helps. He created the Georgia Competitiveness Initiative to devise ways to improve the state’s business climate.

Today, we hear from an economic development expert and a chamber official who oversaw the study.

What do you think?

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1/18: How’s traffic on your street?

By Tom Sabulis

Do you know a major street in your neighborhood where speeding traffic is a danger?

Where traffic-calming devices such as speed bumps and bike paths are not effective?

We’d like to hear about it. Comment here or email Tom Sabulis at tsabulis@ajc.com to make your voice heard. We will print some comments on the transportation opinion page on Jan. 31.

Please mention the name of the street or neighborhood in your response.

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1/18: Atlanta and American Dream

Moderated by Rick Badie

Poverty and economic inequality were cornerstones of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s civil rights campaigns at his demise. As the Occupy protests show, debate on this issue remains unsettled. Two guest columnists compare today’s financial situation with how things were when King was alive. Others say better opportunities today don’t guarantee equal results — and shouldn’t.

Read what Margaret C. Simms, senior fellow and director of the Low-Income Working Families project at the Urban Institute, has to say, along with Michael T. Hill, CEO and president of the Atlanta Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce.

Then tell us what you think.

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1/17: T-SPLOST project list under scrutiny

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Inching closer to the July referendum on the transportation special purpose local option sales tax, the project list to be funded by $6.1 billion in revenue is coming under closer scrutiny, and also receiving vigorous defense.

Today, an intown supporter speaks to the promise of the Lindbergh-Emory rail line, while a tax watchdog criticizes the lack of studies to justify the expense.

What do you think?

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1/15: Ethics legislation: Limit dollar distractions

By the AJC Editorial Board, AJC columnists and guest columnists

It’s an old saying that locked doors do little more than keep honest people honest. That’s still an admirable goal, one that goes to the heart of why Georgia needs more-stringent ethics rules governing lawmakers and other key state officials.

Those carrying out the business of governance should be beyond reasonable reproach or suspicion that their actions are motivated by anything other than the common good. If that sounds naively idealistic, then so be it.

Admittedly, it’s unrealistic to expect that the throngs of red-badged lobbyists who pack Gold Dome hallways will thin out anytime soon. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t hold our state’s top leaders to a higher bar. That requires strengthening current ethics laws. A bill containing a package of ethics reforms was unveiled last week and is expected to be introduced soon in the General Assembly. It deserves prompt consideration and passage without …

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1/13: ‘Mom, why am I fat?’

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Maybe you’ve seen the ads. Overweight kids asking, “Mom, why am I fat?” The media campaign targeting childhood obesity, launched last fall by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, has drawn criticism around the country (a “shock-and-awe strategy,” “very aggressive”).

But backers say sugarcoating the issue won’t work and that the ads serve as a wakeup call.

What do you think? Put down that doughnut and blog.

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1/12: Shoud SBC change its name?

Moderated by Rick Badie

What’s in a name? A great deal if you’re the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. The Southern Baptist Convention is considering a name change, though “Baptist” likely will remain intact.

Today, a northwest Georgia missionary says change isn’t necessary.

But an associate pastor from Tennessee suggests otherwise.

What do you think?

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1/11: Will gas prices go to $4?

Moderated by Rick Badie

Metro Atlantans are wedded to their cars. When gas prices inch up, even a few cents, we take notice. Today, a senior petroleum analyst predicts pain at the pump with regular gas to reach $4 per gallon. Or more, depending on where you live. Also, a AAA spokeswoman advises us to educate ourselves and prepare.

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1/10: How do we pay for walkways?

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Having decent sidewalks — you know, those surfaces used for walking — near transit stations sure seems like a no-brainer. Today, an advocate says they will become even more important as our population ages.

But in an urban area starved for road improvements, how do we pay for expanding and repairing what traffic engineers around here call “auto recovery zones”?

Read what Kwanza Hall, Atlanta city councilman representing District 2, and Sally Flocks,  president and CEO of PEDS, have to say and comment below.

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