Archive for the ‘academics’ Category

ATL mayoral doings: Arson, water meter lids, and a Facebook video from Andrew Young

Many things doing on the Atlanta mayoral front today:

Councilwoman Mary Norwood has called a 4 p.m. press conference at the Summerville home of Mattie Jackson, destroyed in 2008 by a fire that authorities determined was a matter of arson. Don’t know what the topic will be. A look at AJC archives indicates the response time by firefighters was four minutes.

The Atlanta water department has taken umbrage at a Norwood TV ad, in which the mayoral candidate says the city purchased 150,000 water meter lids that don’t fit. Commissioner Robert Hunter, who oversees the Department of Watershed Management, today declared the charge “absolutely untrue.”

Okay, maybe “absolutely” was the wrong word. This from the a press release:

DWM is replacing and upgrading approximately 150,000 meters. However, the number of meters reported with lids which do not fit properly represents significantly less than 1% of the meters.

Presently there are 994 open work orders to replace meter lids, not 150,000 …

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Your morning jolt: A Georgia GOP split over national service

On Tuesday, the U.S. House gave final approval to a $5.7 billion bill that would encourage volunteers and other forms of public service.

The measure triples the number of positions in the Clinton-era AmeriCorps program, its largest expansion since the agency’s creation in 1993, and establishes a fund to help nonprofit organizations recruit and manage more volunteers.

As mentioned in yesterday’s’ post few conservative groups have condemned it as encouraging “statism.”

U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss voted for the measure last week. But in the House, the Georgia delegation was thoroughly split along party lines.

Democrats John Barrow, Sanford Bishop, Hank Johnson, Jim Marshall, and David Scott all voted yes.

Republicans Paul Broun, Nathan Deal, Phil Gingrey, Jack Kingston, John Linder, and Tom Price voted no. Lynn Westmoreland was absent.

There is an informal rule among Georgia Republicans in Washington. If they disagree on a topic, they ignore the issue and …

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Your morning jolt: Committee chairman says embryonic stem cell bill won’t move out of House

A bill to put restrictions on embryonic stem cell research in Georgia won’t see the light of day this session, the chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee said this morning.

“I’m not going to do anything with that this session in the House,” said state Rep. Amos Amerson (R-Dahlonega). “We’ve gotten 500 e-mails and faxes on it, roughly 50-50. We had to shut off the fax machine — they were using all the toner. I figure anything with that much controversy needs a little more study.”

Amerson also mentioned a May convention of 20,000 biotech experts in Atlanta, which has been eyed by state officials as a chance to recruit cutting-edge industries. “I don’t want to put anything up that might be a stumbling block for economic development,” he said.

S.B. 169 passed the Senate after harsh debate last month. Originally intended to put restrictions on clinics that provide invitro fertilization treatments, the measure currently prohibits one form of …

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The Great Streak of 1974

The month of March can’t be allowed to escape without some celebration of that spring night, 35 years ago, when 1,543 students at the University of Georgia ran naked across the Sanford Stadium bridge.

It was a streaking record that still stands, and may never be matched — not in a world littered with cell phone cameras and Internet connections.

Mass nudity is a strange topic for political discussion, you say. But think about it. A generation ago, more so than today, UGA was home of the gentleman’s “C” and a training ground for the children of Georgia’s ruling elite.

The naked students of 1974 — as well as several thousand more who lined the streets to urge them on — are now well into their 50s. Their bodies may be sagging, their hair may be gray or missing, but some of them are now in command of large slices of your world.

More than three decades later, the act of throwing caution and clothes to the wind remains a sensitive topic. In a phone conversation, one …

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Senate bill would prohibit at least one form of embryonic stem cell research

After nearly backing away from the issue this afternoon, Senate Republicans on Thursday evening passed a bill that would prohibit at least one form of embryonic stem cell research in Georgia.

Somatic cell nuclear transfers, a form of research being used to find a cure for juvenile diabetes, would barred under the legislation, which over the course of six days had morphed several times.

When it finally passed, S.B. 169 was stripped of all penalties, criminal and civil, and faces an unlikely future in the House. Even so, Christian conservatives claimed victory and predicted it would send a message to biotech companies thinking of doing business in Georgia.

“We’ve established a beachhead in the 21st century. We know we’ve got major battles coming up,” said Dan Becker, president of Georgia Right to Life, as he stood outside chamber, thanking senators as they left for the evening.

The bill was originally intended to restrict multiple births through invitro fertilization — …

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UGA researcher on embyronic stem cell bill: ‘I never said I could live with it’

In Monday’s Senate committee debate over S.B. 169, which would would restrict embryonic stem cell research, bill sponsor Ralph Hudgens (R-Hull) told of a conversation he had with Steve Stice, a University of Georgia researcher who specializes in stem cells.

Through lectures and regular visits to the state Capitol, Stice has become a respected voice on the topic — not in part because of the millions of dollars in research funds he’s attracted to UGA.

On Sunday night, Stice called Hudgens to discuss the measure.

Hudgens gave his version of the conversation the next morning. “We talked about it, and Dr. Stice told me — he said, ‘I don’t particularly like the bill, but I can live with it.’ That’s his direct quote,” Hudgens told his Senate colleagues.

The senator said the researcher expressed one concern that research on something called induced pluripotent stem cells — defined in the bill as “human cell reprogramming, other than a gamete, by the addition …

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Your morning jolt

This morning on ajc.com:

Elsewhere in Georgia:

  • IA: Perdue may address House Republican caucus on transportation.
  • SMN: Savannah Democrat confesses to owing IRS $15.78.
  • And the nation:

  • WSJ: An opinion piece on credit cards as the next thing to crunch.
  • WP: Who will decide what on stem cell policy.
  • WP: Howie Kurtz on Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart.
  • NYT: David Brooks on the misguided GOP response to the recession.
  • For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

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    Georgia ‘octuplet’ bill morphs into a first reaction to Obama’s lifting of federal ban on stem cell research

    The state Legislature will likely greet President Barack Obama’s Monday decision to lift federal ban on embryonic stem cell research with an attempt to impose restrictions of its own in Georgia.

    State Sen. Preston Smith (R-Rome) said Friday that he has performed some radical surgery on S.B. 169, which was originally drafted as a reaction to the California “octuplet mom” and would have limited the number of fertilized eggs created by clinics.

    My AJC colleague Mary Lou Pickel posted the details last night:

    Smith said he has removed from the bill everything to do with fertility clinics and how many embryos can be transferred into a woman, but he has left language that deals with cloning and embryos used for scientific research.

    The bill as amended would prohibit cloning and chimera experimentation — crossing human genetic material with that of animals — which Smith called “creepy.” It would prohibit creating a human embryo for the purposes of scientific …

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    Your morning jolt

    This morning on ajc.com:

  • One in eight Georgia homeowners delinquent or in foreclosure.
  • Governor, state officials may preside over weddings. But not divorces.
  • GSU-UGA study says Milton County would be viable.
  • Sunday sales stalled in House too, for now.
  • UGA ordered to clear ex-journalism dean of sexual harassment charges.
  • By a single vote, Senate approves Perdue’s transportation plan.
  • Man with hostered gun sues MARTA after being detained.
  • CNN’s Gupta out of running for U.S. surgeon general.
  • And elsewhere:

  • LAT: CBS may have to borrow to pay off maturing debt.
  • Politico: New RNC chairman pushes back against criticism.
  • NYT: Republicans look for a reliever in Kentucky.
  • NYT: Clinton wants to include Iran in Afghan talks.
  • WSJ: IMF urges global regulation of big hedge funds, private-equity firms.
  • For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

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    Your morning jolt

    This morning on ajc.com:

    And elsewhere:

    For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

    Continue reading Your morning jolt »