Moderated by Rick Badie
A new farm bill will likely include spending cuts to the federal food stamp program called SNAP — the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Today, two Catholic bishops warn against deep cuts and asks lawmakers to show compassion for the hungry. Meanwhile, a coordinator for a non-profit that advocates limited government opposes the farm bill being used to fund SNAP.
Hear the hungry
By Wilton Gregory and Gregory J. Hartmayer
Legislators in Washington are negotiating the final text for a five-year farm bill, a $500 billion law that sets agricultural policies for the country. At stake are programs that help the hungry at home and abroad.
In the United States, the most important farm bill program helping hungry people is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), known as food stamps. SNAP is one of the most effective programs to combat hunger in our nation. It is also one of the best-run programs that targets seniors, children, persons
Moderated by Rick Badie
The Atlanta Braves have announced plans to build a new stadium in Cobb County and begin play there in 2017. At that point, Turner Field, also known as “The Ted,” is to be demolished. Today, we discuss the economic impact the move may have on the city as well as nearby neighborhoods like the Pittsburgh community.
Braves remain a city brand
By William Pate
As a lifelong Atlanta resident and Braves fan, I share the disappointment of many with the Braves’ decision to move to Cobb County. It is difficult to imagine the team leaving a historic part of town where Hank Aaron surpassed Babe Ruth, where the Braves won their first World Series in Atlanta, and where Atlanta hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the Centennial Olympic Games.
Emotionally, this move is very hard to accept.
But it is equally important to keep this announcement in perspective. Atlanta is not losing its baseball franchise. The team is simply moving ten 10 miles up the road.
Moderated by Tom Sabulis
The Atlanta Braves’ decision to relocate to a new stadium in Cobb County for the 2017 baseball season has prompted a barrage of opinions about fixing transportation to the new site at I-75 and I-285. Today, we hear about possible solutions incorporating mass transit and new roads. We also hear from a former county commission chairman who wonders where we will find the money to fund the projects.
There are three columns today. Commenting is open.
Stadium should put transit in the lineup
By David Emory
Throughout metro Atlanta, the Braves’ announcement that they are moving from Turner Field to a new stadium in Cobb County has generated a wide variety of reactions. But whether you support the move or not, everyone agrees the proposed location, at the traffic-choked intersection of I-75 and I-285, presents a major transportation challenge.
The good news is that the move also presents an opportunity to advance a conversation of critical importance to
By Andre Jackson
Great opportunities carry responsibilities of a commensurate weight. Cobb County officials should recognize that truth, now that they’ve enticed the Atlanta Braves to ditch the downtown Ted for new digs alongside I-285.
Last week’s bombshell announcement of the Braves’ intent to set up shop in Cobb by 2017 left metro Atlantans puzzling over what it all means for our piece of America’s pastime.
Regrettably, questions far outweighed answers last week, even though Cobb County leaders have fast-tracked for Thanksgiving Week approval the $672 million proposed stadium development at a nexus of the Northern Arc.
Regardless of whether Cobb officials agree, the Cobb-Braves announcement brings a large, influential occurrence squarely before our entire region. And it’s now up to metro Atlanta, and likely even the state, to collaboratively determine whether we capitalize on it to mutual gain – or get pummeled by its backwash.
Consider the best of what the
By Mary Rose Taylor
While negotiations for the new Falcons stadium played out in headlines throughout the summer and early fall, an equally important dialogue regarding the Atlanta Braves was conducted behind the scenes at City Hall and without public knowledge or input. As a result, the Falcons’ agreement emerged as a win-win for all sides — team, city, county, state and neighborhoods — and the Braves agreement went up in flames.
That there were almost insurmountable challenges to renegotiating the Braves’ contract should come as no surprise to anyone involved in the stadium negotiations leading up to the 1996 Olympic Games. The trouble spots in that contract that find the city holding the short end of the stick include:
By Kasim Reed
The Atlanta Braves have a 47-year tradition in our city that has endeared many of us to our hometown team, including me.
I still believe the Braves belong in the city of Atlanta.
But it’s become clear to me that our taxpayers are suffering from “stadium fatigue,” weary of public financing of private stadiums, particularly where there is no clearly defined revenue stream to pay for them.
Although these stadiums are positive for business development, I would not saddle Atlanta taxpayers with a burden between $150 million to $250 million that would require the city to backstop the debt.
Those who say I pushed hard to keep the Falcons in the city are correct. But the public financing for the new Falcons stadium is derived from an existing revenue stream of a hotel-motel tax paid for largely by visitors to the city. The hotel/motel tax also contributes $8 million to $10 million a year to the city’s general fund.
Let’s be clear, the Falcons stadium is a
By Tommy Tomlinson
1. The Braves are moving to Cobb County, and if you know Atlanta you know the layers of meaning in that. Coming up I-75 from downtown, you cross into Cobb over the Lester and Virginia Maddox Bridge. Cobb County famously rejected the MARTA rail system, at least in part over worries that “those people” would ride up into Cobb and, I don’t know, steal TVs and haul them back home on the train. Cobb is more diverse now — it’s not much different than the rest of suburban America — but it is 66 percent white, and Fulton County — which the Braves are leaving — is 47 percent white. In a city known as a black mecca — not to mention the city of Hank Aaron — the move carries some symbolic weight.
2. But those people in the northern ‘burbs buy more Braves tickets than anyone else, by far.
3. In Atlanta, many people define their lives by the Perimeter. You hear people talk about Inside the Perimeter or Outside the Perimeter as separate countries. Part
Moderated by Rick Badie
Shortly after being elected, Gov. Nathan Deal and Georgia Chamber of Commerce officials launched the Competitive Initiative to grow the state’s economy. Deal recently asked members who serve on a “competitive panel” to continue its review of state tax legislation, an advisory role he explains in today’s guest column. A business owner writes that the initiative propels Georgia forward. Meanwhile, the executive director of a think tank suggests too much power is being ceded to business leaders.
Business feedback makes sense
By Nathan Deal
I work every day to bring good jobs to Georgia. That goal tops my priority list, and all state government endeavors fall under the umbrella of making Georgia a great place to live and work.
Pardon me if you’ve heard me say this before, but it’s my aim to make Georgia the No. 1 place in the nation in which to do business. A pro-business environment is a prerequisite for a pro-jobs environment. We’ve seen
Moderated by Rick Badie
When it comes to the economy, it’s been said that there are two Georgias: the vibrancy of metro Atlanta, then the rest of the state — specifically, rural counties dependent on agriculture and an occasional factory. Today, a College of Charleston assistant professor highlights socioeconomic factors that plague our state, while an executive for a nonprofit writes about depressed regions across the South.
Rural decline concerns us all
By Tammy Ingram
Atlanta may be the largest city in the Deep South, but every Georgian knows that Atlanta — or ‘lanter, as I thought it was called while growing up in South Georgia — is hardly representative of the state, much less the entire region. The metro area is home to more than half the state’s population and most of its best-paying jobs. But if you want an accurate snapshot of the rest of the state, you’ll have to crop out metro Atlanta.
That snapshot isn’t pretty. Rural counties have the highest