Category: Commentary

Commentary: MARTA bus smart-signal program drives toward the future of transportation tech

We are currently experiencing a technological transformation of the transportation system on the scale of the transition from the horse-and-buggy to the automobile. The construction, automotive, computer, and telecommunications industries are joining forces, as well as vigorously competing, to create a transportation experience that only a short time ago was the realm of science fiction. For example, the past few years have witnessed a rapidly growing market in connected-vehicle technologies. Connected-vehicle technologies enable a vehicle, cyclist, or pedestrian to communicate with other transportation users or the roadside infrastructure. The earliest applications of these connected technologies focused on safety. For...

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Robin’s Nest: Brush up on grammar as an unusual school year begins

I was young and idealistic, once. I imagined moving to the great western prairies like the homesteaders of yore, living off the land and frequently stepping outside so that the wind could whip romantically through my hair as I gazed wistfully in the distance. I recall once reading a book about homesteading women who literally fought off the wolves from their doors, and I fancied myself being just as strong, had I lived in those times. And then a hornet flew into the house and I freaked out trying to kill it. I also thought I could change the...

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Worth Knowing: Local theater companies hope to stage pandemic comebacks

Like just about everything else we love, live theater is canceled for the foreseeable future — and many of live theater companies are wondering how or if they will survive. Three excellent theatre companies in Dunwoody and Sandy Springs offer a range of experiences for a range of audiences. For semi-professional productions in a black-box theatre, we have Act3 Playhouse in Sandy Springs. For an intimate experience with professional talent, we have Dunwoody’s Stage Door Players, who produce full-scale productions on a small platform stage. And for full-blown Broadway-style musical productions on a full proscenium stage, we have City...

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Around Town: Buckhead resident helps Georgia Audubon spread its wings

When Esther Stokes moved into a new home in Brookwood Hills a couple of years ago, the yard sprouted many familiar flowering plants with roots in foreign places. Now those imports are disappearing. Stokes is replacing her azaleas and camellias with Joe Pye weed, cardinal flowers and other types of greenery that grew up here in the wild. With her new plantings, Stokes, a landscape designer by trade, is going native. Why? Because her garden is for the birds. It’s a bit for the bees, too. Also, the bugs, to tell the truth. But it’s mostly for the birds...

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Commentary: Pandemic underlines challenge of meeting students’ and teachers’ basic needs

“You have to do Maslow before you can do Bloom” is a frequent comment from educators, particularly since social-emotional learning and trauma-informed instruction have been a focus of school systems around the United States. The necessity of these programs has been made especially clear since the onset of the pandemic. Now, more than ever, educators are concerned with ensuring that the basic needs of students are being met so that the deeper learning included in Bloom’s Taxonomy can occur. Created by Benjamin Bloom, a twentieth-century educational psychologist, Bloom’s Taxonomy promotes higher-level thinking (analyzing, evaluating and creating) rather than just...

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Commentary: Brookhaven residents should oppose Dresden Village tax break before chickens come home

On Aug. 11, a Brookhaven Development Authority “Virtual Special Called Meeting” agenda gave notice about incentives for a $43 million “Project X” to be considered the very next day. What could it be, to be so secret — another bid at Amazon, maybe Tesla’s HQ? Not by a long shot. Instead without discussion, a board appointed by the City Council approved $13 million in tax abatement on — wait for it — an apartment/retail project on Dresden Drive! Why the rush? The project was no secret, except for the cost of school system and county taxes that Brookhaven is...

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Letter: To diminish Murphey Candler Park with parking is baffling

I would like to explain why I cannot support the re-opening of the loop road in Murphey Candler Park. (“Murphey Candler Park residents outraged as Brookhaven moves forward with parking expansion,” Aug. 20.) Living in Brookhaven, nestled between so many major arteries and population centers, the traffic, fumes, noise, commotion, etc. can be exhausting. It seems like everywhere you turn it’s always more cars, more pavement, more buildings. One of the great things about Murphey Candler Park is that once you get into it, it is very easy to forget you’re in the middle of all the mess. It’s...

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Letter: In Brookhaven’s Murphey Candler Park road dispute, do nothing for now

Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst, the City Council and the Murphey Candler Neighborhood Association. I was having lunch with a friend on Thursday, Aug. 20, when a “Loop Road” issue came up over the hamburger and nachos. Subsequent study of August 2020 articles in the Reporter Newspaper revealed an upcoming zoning issue where some 25 parking spaces were to be embedded into the wooded picnic area on the eastern shore of Murphey Candler Lake. (“Murphey Candler Park residents outraged as Brookhaven moves forward with parking expansion,” Aug. 20.)  Available information indicates. that...

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Letter: Murphey Candler plans still get public input, won’t please all, Brookhaven councilmember says

Regarding the story “Murphey Candler Park residents outraged as Brookhaven moves forward with parking expansion” (Aug. 20): One of the most rewarding aspects of public service is achieving positive change and improvements in fulfillment of the vision of the Brookhaven community. One of the most daunting challenges is reaching a unanimous consensus of what that vision should be. In 2014, a little more than a year after Brookhaven incorporated, the city began a partnership with the community to define a vision for all its parks, a process driven by public input. The Parks Master Plans for Murphey Candler were...

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Letter: What is the ‘code of systemic racism’?

Ms. Thurman’s letter regarding “the code of systemic racism” leaves me wondering exactly what she is trying to convey. (“Letter: Commentary on Sandy Springs’ founding spoke in the code of systemic racism,” Aug. 13.) If she is proposing the banning of any and all words deemed to have “racist” secret meanings, then how are we to communicate? In most of our country we use the English language and mostly English words or commonly understood words (don’t get me started — I’m from Pittsburgh!). If she has developed or is developing some new language, perhaps she could advise us of...

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Letter: Murphey Candler Park neighbors are rallying against city’s changes

As if 2020 could not be a bigger disappointment, on Aug. 11, Brookhaven City Councilwoman Linley Jones issued her anticipated “Update on Murphey Candler Park” confirming that she has drawn a line in the sand refusing to represent her constituents’ concerns on changes slated for the park. Using phrases like, “I have worked to address these concerns,” “eco-friendly gravel [parking spots],” and “[th]ese improvements will have a … positive impact on the park … and the neighborhood,” Jones asserts that she has done her job. But take a stroll through Murphey Candler and chat with park neighbors, and you...

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Letter: Since state mandates school vaccinations, why not mask-wearing?

I’m just asking… When did public health become an educational decision? Governor Kemp keeps punting the ball on masks. “We’ve given the responsibility to the schools, to the local superintendents,” Kemp said in a recent press conference, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Like most things in education, I’m a firm believer that the local governments know their schools better than the state government does.” But the decision to mandate masks in schools is not an education decision; it is a public health decision. For decades, Georgia has taken a stance on public health by requiring (with minor exceptions) children...

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