Category: Commentary

Robin’s Nest: Little What’s-Her-Name

I choke at introductions. It doesn’t matter if you have lived next door to me for eight years, if we chaired the school auction together, if you have the same name as my first-born child, if you ARE my first-born child. If I have to introduce you to someone else, I will forget your name. It’s not that I’m uncouth. It’s just, as I admitted, that I choke at introductions. It’s like a mini-stage fright. Now, I recognize that the statutory grace period for forgetting someone’s name is 28 days or three meetings, whichever comes first. After that time,...

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Around Town: An Olympics champion finds a home at the MJCCA

When gymnast Liliyah Podkopayeva came to America more than two decades ago, she was just a teenager and the United States seemed “far, far, far, far away” from her home country, Ukraine. “The United States,” she said, “was like a different planet.” Here, everyone spoke English, a language Podkopayeva didn’t then understand. Everyone needed a car to get around. They had new computers. All sorts of things just seemed strange. Plus, she was a gifted young athlete at the top of international competition. She had taken top honors in the all-around competition at the 1995 World Championships. Then, in...

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Community Survey: Are toll lanes worth taking homes?

Are separate toll lanes alongside Ga. 400 and I-285 a good idea, especially if they require razing houses to make way for the new roads? Reactions to the proposal appeared sharply split in our most recent 1Q survey. Although more than four in 10 of the 200 respondents said they would use the proposed toll lanes if they were built, about a third of the respondents said they wouldn’t use the lanes and fully a quarter said they weren’t sure whether they would or not. The survey was conducted by 1Q.com via cellphones used by residents of Reporter Newspapers...

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In State of Buckhead address, Massell offers calming words on taxes, scooters, crime

Editor’s Note: Buckhead Coalition President Sam Massell gave his annual “State of the Community” address Feb. 28 at a meeting of the Buckhead Business Association. The former Atlanta mayor praised Buckhead as supported by the “triangle” of “influence, leadership and power,” and offered some calming words on subjects that have roiled the neighborhood, including property taxes, electric scooters and crime rates. The following is the written version of his speech as provided by the Coalition. I’m a native Atlantan, born in Piedmont Hospital (when it was Downtown, about where the Atlanta-Fulton [County] Stadium was built), and spent my childhood...

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Reporter/1Q Survey: LGBTQ laws and religious freedom bills

A new LGBTQ anti-discrimination law coming out of Doraville should be copied by other cities, while new religious freedom laws should not emerge from the Gold Dome. Those were takeaways from a majority of the 200 local residents in a Reporter/1Q.com survey about the ongoing debate of LGBTQ rights and religious liberty. The survey was conducted by 1Q.com via cellphones used by residents of Reporter Newspapers communities. The results are not scientific. Of the 200 survey respondents, 69 percent said other cities should have an anti-discrimination law like Doraville’s, with 18 percent saying no; another 13 percent were unsure....

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Robin’s Nest: Dad jokes do not leave us all laughing

Last month was a joyful one in my household as kids trickled in and out for visits during their winter breaks. It was only marred by one thing. Not laundry. Not empty gas tanks. Not crushed cans and crumpled napkins strewn around the den. No, it was marred by dad jokes. Since my husband’s audience has moved out of the house in pursuit of higher education and left him alone with his corny jokes and unappreciative wife, the constant volleying of dad jokes has practically ceased. This has turned out to be (for me) an unexpected perk of the...

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Letter: Hammond Drive plan should avoid commuter traffic boost

Recently it was reported that two new parcels were bought by the city of Sandy Springs along Hammond Drive. There are published plans to expand the two lane “bottleneck” on Hammond Drive from Glenridge Drive to Boylston Drive. However, the current narrowing of those lanes serves a useful purpose. Traffic should not be encouraged to transit through the residential neighborhoods of Sandy Springs. By expanding the capacity of Hammond and also Mount Vernon Highway, the city plan will dump more traffic through the heart of Sandy Springs and into the western neighborhoods, such as Riverside, River Chase, etc. The...

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Around Town: Local player goes from Brookhaven’s soccer fields to the Women’s World Cup

Giselle Washington can’t remember a time in her life without soccer. The soft-spoken 17-year-old said she’s been playing the game since she “was about 3.” She’s tried other sports, but always came back to soccer. She felt a special connection to the game. “I love it,” Giselle said as she sat in her Brookhaven home one recent afternoon. “I just like everything about it. Honestly. I love team sports, just competing …” She paused for beat. “… and winning.” She learned her sport playing on Y teams and while working her way up through the ranks of Concorde Fire...

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Around Town: His life changed, retiree finds new focus in helping kids

Two moments changed Steve Wadley. Taken together, they convinced him to spend part of his retirement devoting his time, talents and experience to raising money for local organizations that support education in Atlanta’s inner-city schools. The first moment came when Wadley was a boy. He played football then on a team based in Buckhead. His team played in a citywide league and when he and his teammates played away games in poorer Atlanta neighborhoods, he saw that those players had nowhere near the level of support — the new equipment, the uniforms, the practices — that benefited him and...

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Robin’s Nest: I am not a cook

A friend had — as women do — made dinner for our family when we were in a time of need, and her chicken cacciatore was so darn delicious that I asked her for the recipe. She graciously complied. I started reading it enthusiastically but stopped as soon as I saw “pound the chicken breasts.” There are lines in the kitchen that I will not cross, and pounding chicken breasts is one of them. Websites and cooking shows try to entice me into crossing my culinary line by presenting dishes that use just five ingredients, but I am not...

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Robin’s Nest: Canned or classic, Christmas tunes give a jolt of brotherhood

For one season a year, whether we like it or not, we’re all living to the same soundtrack. There might be a million and one different versions of “Deck the Halls” and every conceivable male-female duo trying a hand at “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” but we’re all hearing essentially the same 20 tunes, played over and over again. Stores everywhere have been hammering us with canned carols for months in an attempt to ramp us all up into the holiday gift-buying spirit. But after a few weeks of the pounding, it backfires. After all, there are only so many...

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Around Town: Being a Santa for everyone is more than a job

As Santa Rick sees it, putting on the red suit and the white beard and ho-ho-ho-ing your way through the holidays isn’t just a job. It’s much more than that. “It’s the most amazing thing you’ll ever experience,” Santa Rick said, “And it makes you a better person. … It changes you, and it’s the biggest responsibility you’ll ever have because it touches everybody. It’s not a job.” Santa Rick — the name Rick Rosenthal puts on his business cards and website (SantaRick.com) and the name people called him as the north DeKalb resident chatted over lunch of matzo...

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