Category: Commentary

Community Survey: Should we change the school calendar?

Don’t mess with the school calendar. That was the message from respondents to the Reporter Newspapers’ latest community survey when asked about the possibility of year-round school and how best to handle snow days. The survey was conducted by via cellphones to 200 residents in Reporter Newspapers communities. The results are not scientific. Strong responses came from one simple question: Should metro Atlanta students go to school year-round, with shorter breaks spread through the year, rather than employ a school calendar with a long summer break? “No,” a 32-year-old Atlanta man replied. “That is balderdash.” Many agreed with...

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Robin’s Nest: Leafing through memories of a teacher’s lifelong influence

“And tell me what those are, again?” my husband questioned me as we drove. “The ones with the pink flowers?” “Mimosa.” The tree, not the drink. Now, I don’t want to brag, but I do know a thing or two about trees. The mimosa, for instance, is a showy, quick-growing thing with fuzzy, pink cotton-candy-ish flowers. One of my favorite features of the tree is that its leaves will close up if you run your hand along them, just as they also close up at night. This I learned from doing a certain biology project when I was in...

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Commentary: Atlanta United gives soccer a cool factor early teams lacked

How has Atlanta United’s popularity affected high school soccer in metro Atlanta? Reflection on this question could not be done without reflecting on the recent history of professional soccer in Atlanta. While I am a fairly recent transplant to the area, arriving in 1999, I was aware of previous professional teams from having former teammates and friends play or coach for some of Atlanta’s various iterations, as well as playing against their indoor component myself when I played on a similar team, the Chattanooga Express. The Atlanta Chiefs Since Atlanta has emerged as a true international city in recent...

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Around Town: Cheers to the geeks at Battle and Brew

It’s a bar, but it’s no Cheers. Battle and Brew doesn’t look a thing like that cozy neighborhood tavern made famous on TV. Battle and Brew is a place where patrons go to interact with TVs. “In 1983, bars were like Cheers,” Battle and Brew’s general manager Nate Sanders said. “In 2018, a bar can mean a lot of things.” So, how does he describe the place he runs, which is tucked into the Parkside Shops shopping center on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs? “We’re a geek bar,” Sanders said. In other words, it’s designed to attract folks who...

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Community Survey: Reacting to crime fears

With theft on the uptick in some local communities, concerns about crime have convinced some of us to change our ways. Nearly half of the 200 respondents to a survey of residents of Reporter Newspapers communities reported they were doing something different in their daily lives because of their concerns about crime. About an equal number said they haven’t changed their behavior because of fear of crime. Those who said they had made modifications to avoid becoming crime victims listed changes ranging from adding or expanding home security systems to being more careful about locking their cars, to just...

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Robin’s Nest: Following the social media crowd and liking it

I’ve become my own carnival barker. I have a published #book, and now I am on social media, hawking it to anyone who will view a post. I never was interested in social media. I never did Facebook. For me, joining Facebook would be like living in Disney World; I didn’t think I could handle the constant carnival. I dabbled in it just enough to stalk my children, but that’s as far as I allowed myself to go. So instead, for my first foray into social media, I opted for LinkedIn, which is a fairly tame, buttoned-up professional network....

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Around Town: Raising the curtain on a new theater

As Michael Enoch tells it, he got his first taste of big time rock-and-roll at age 14 by sneaking out with an older pal to see Led Zeppelin. Then, in college, he caught the theater bug. Enoch grew up in a small West Virginia town where his family had lived for generations. “I got out as soon as I could,” he said. After high school, he served in the Air Force and trained in electronics. After that, college. One day, Enoch’s roommate asked him to see if he could repair a damaged tape recorder in the theater department. He...

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Commentary: As tariffs hit local business, think North America first

Mexico’s trade with Georgia goes way beyond peaches and tequila. Most of what we trade are intermediate goods, as part of a complex and successful supply chain that has made our region the most efficient manufacturing hub in the world. Since the North American Free Trade Agreement came into force in 1993, Georgia’s exports to Mexico have increased by 781.8 percent, while those to the rest of the world have risen 356.6 percent. This means that Georgia’s export growth rate to Mexico is 2.2 times higher than its export growth rate towards the rest of the world. As of...

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Commentary: In mayors’ meeting, new ideas and shared solutions

Editor’s note: Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst in June attended the 86th Annual United States Conference of Mayors in Boston, along with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and mayors from 250 cities from around the nation. The Reporter Newspapers asked Ernst to share what he learned. Ideas! Problem solving! Solutions! These were my takeaways from the recent U.S. Conference of Mayors in Boston, a city with a legacy for revolutionary concepts and progressive thinking. After sharing issues and suggestions with leaders from America’s top cities, I returned to Brookhaven energized and prepared to put these new notions and solutions into...

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Commentary: Explaining the APS portion of the tax bill

We have all received our property tax assessments for 2018, some reasonable, but most questionable, and many are currently going through the appeal process. Residents that have appealed will be billed at 85 percent of the assessed value until their appeal is heard by the Board of Equalization. Before appeals are finalized, taxing jurisdictions must determine a millage rate, so each entity can begin their July 1 fiscal year with a thoughtful, fair and transparent budget. Atlanta Public Schools (APS) accounts for approximately 50 percent of each tax bill, and that money makes up 73 percent of the APS...

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Letter: Dunwoody Village Overlay changes need more public vetting

Thank you to the thousands of friends and neighbors who sponsored, marched, and cheered the 2018 Dunwoody July Fourth Parade. That event, in its 28th year, is Dunwoody’s common ground to celebrate the community we all love. But even while celebrating, there’s work to be done. On July 1, the Dunwoody Homeowners Association hosted Crim & Associates, who presented their special land use permit application for their Dunwoody Village property and fielded questions and comments from the audience. Richard McLeod and Michael Starling presented their proposal for changing the Dunwoody Village overlay in response to input from developers and...

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Letter: Thanks from a fellow Uber chatter

Thanks for your column “Around Town: An Uber-seat view on Atlanta life” (July 6). I’m also an Uber chatter passenger. Just recently, albeit in Baltimore, I spoke with a newly arrived Nigerian who referred to Baltimore traffic as “child’s play.” We extensively discussed the World Cup. However, he now realizes also that American football is more than big men in Spandex. As for Atlanta, I’ve had a similar mix to you, but luckily can drive, so it’s only every so often. For your newspaper’s benefit, let me mention my mother’s favorite service, GoGoGrandparent. This is Uber with an old-person-friendly...

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