Archive for May, 2012

5/18: Support for the arts

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Commenting is closed on this blog entry

How should we consider the case for and against government support of theaters and museums? It’s election season, so the topic has come up, with folks citing Mitt Romney’s threat to defund Big Bird. Locally, we’ve seen the closing of Marietta’s fine Theatre in the Square (not that another grant or two could have saved it). Today, we offer three opinions, as writers make their case for reframing the arts debate, which they say shouldn’t be reduced to a pro/con wrestling match over public money.

Opinion 1

Opinion 2

Opinion 3

Continue reading 5/18: Support for the arts »

5/16: A homecoming initiative

Moderated by Rick Badie

Commenting is closed on this blog entry

Soldiers who return home from war often face a second battle at home. They return as fathers, mothers and breadwinners, expected to pick up where they left off. Transition can prove tough. Enter the Callaway Gardens Homecoming Initiative, which helps military families reconnect. An Iraq veteran credits it with strengthening his marriage.

Continue reading 5/16: A homecoming initiative »

5/16: Bipartisan housing policy

Moderated by Rick Badie

Commenting is closed on this blog entry

Homeowners who owe more than their homes are worth yet make timely payments can refinance at low-interest rates, thanks to the Helping Responsible Homeowners Act of 2011. Sen. Johnny Isakson, 
R-Ga., touts the bipartisan housing policy. But he takes to task the Obama administration for not adopting a provision for more access to affordable home loans. Regional HUD director Ed Jennings Jr. writes about the Obama administration’s commitment to homeowners in hard-hit states such as Georgia.

Continue reading 5/16: Bipartisan housing policy »

5/15: Transportation seeks a path

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Commenting is closed on this blog entry

Author Taras Grescoe writes about the great public transit systems of the world in his new book “Straphanger,” a bullet-train of a read that looks at how the timely integration of subways, buses and rail has put cities on the path to success.

Also, a former Fayette County official adopts the great railroad song “The City of New Orleans” for an anti-T-SPLOST argument: Forget about your father’s magic carpets made of steel; trains don’t pay for themselves and won’t untie Atlanta’s traffic knots, he says.

Continue reading 5/15: Transportation seeks a path »

5/14: The homework trap

Moderated by Maureen Downey

Today’s page offers a provocative lineup, starting with a discussion with Erroll B. Davis, who, upon retiring from the job of running Georgia’s colleges, took on the task of revitalizing Atlanta Public Schools. A guest columnist attacks the notion that children who do not complete their homework are lazy, urging a rethinking of how much homework is assigned.

Continue reading 5/14: The homework trap »

5/13: Transportation referendum

By the AJC Editorial Board

There’s a still-foggy notion wafting around that a “Plan B” will somehow arise from somewhere if voters send the penny transportation sales tax down to defeat on July 31. That belief, in our view, is too freighted with risk to our economy and quality of life to warrant serious consideration as public debate continues over how best to begin detangling this region’s traffic mess.

Read the rest  of what the AJC Editorial Board has to say and commentaries by the director of the Georgia Chapter, Sierra Club and the campaign manager for Citizens for Transportation Mobility.

Then tell us what you think.

Continue reading 5/13: Transportation referendum »

5/11: Ethical reform in Ga.

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Georgia lawmakers are taking heat about the lack of ethical reform statewide — as reflected in the column below by a Sandy Springs resident. He says he feels that legislators work more for special interests than the citizens they’re elected to represent.

In response, a longtime lobbyist discusses the benefits and knowledge lobbyists bring to the political arena.

What do you think?

Continue reading 5/11: Ethical reform in Ga. »

5/10: Prepaid benefits cards?

Moderated by Rick Badie

Paper checks and direct deposit are the only way Georgians receive unemployment benefits. Today, a guest writer suggests the state could cut costs and reduce inefficiencies by issuing prepaid cards for the distribution of benefits. The other essay deals with new efforts to serve the “unbanked” and the “underbanked” — a substantial population in this state due in part to our immigrant communities and the current economy.

Continue reading 5/10: Prepaid benefits cards? »

5/9: Delta buys a refinery

Moderated by Rick Badie

Delta has bought an oil refinery in suburban Philadelphia to cut fuel costs. The world’s second-biggest airline estimates the in-house oil provider will save it $300 million on its annual fuel bill, which hit $12 billion last year.

Today, Delta CEO Richard Anderson explains the purchase while an airlines analyst deems it an interesting experiment. Also, the president of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers writes about  how refiners are being squeezed

Continue reading 5/9: Delta buys a refinery »

5/8: Georgia transportation projects

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

It’s a busy time for transportation projects in Georgia, leading up to a historic July 31 vote on a 1-cent sales tax in regions around the state. The latest venture trying to get off the ground, after decades of talk, is a passenger terminal for downtown Atlanta that would link various mobility options.

I talked with Georgia officials about those plans. Below that, a local transportation blogger writes that the T-SPLOST vote is doomed and how the project list can be improved next time.

Tell us what you think.

Continue reading 5/8: Georgia transportation projects »