Showing posts with label Atlanta People. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Atlanta People. Show all posts

Monday, March 19, 2012


Many years ago, a fortunate connection provided me the opportunity to work the short-lived Sarazen Open at Chateau Elan. We worked the caddy shack, where I met the gracious, Payne Stewart, to the gruff, Bones McKay.

We also on occasion rotated up to the first tee to help with what ever needed helping. As I stood just inside the ropes on one late fall day, watching professional after professional, including the Golden Bear himself, strike balls down the first fairway, I felt a presence next to me.

I looked around and standing by my side was a small seasoned man whose face was as familiar as opening the paper. Although those who knew him swore of his gentle heart, my only knowledge was his sometimes acerbic writing style laced without what could only be called crankiness.

Screwing up my courage, I turned and said, "It's a great day for golf, Mr. Bisher".

He looked up at me from under his floppy, white hat, stretched a broad smile and replied, "Oh, it's a fine day for golf".


Thursday, October 01, 2009

Wren's Nest In Atlanta Magazine

Yeah. I'm still around. Not much to inspire lately. I've even thought about converting from politics to some sort of southern life theme. Maybe I'll get Grayson to contribute opinings about sweet tea or something.

Anyway, not converting yet, but here is a good ol' fashioned southern story, layered with darkness and love and money. Three essential ingredients to southern mythos whether you're William Faulkner or Flannery O'Connor (or even Joel Chandler Harris).

Atlanta Magazine's Elizabeth Westby has a nice piece about our friends Lain and Amelia over at The Wren's Nest.

Make sure you check it out.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Congrats Local Blogs

The Loafies are out and as Dave at inDecatur points out, Decatur in general won big.

Dave's competitor/cohort in covering the Decatur happenings DecaturMetro won the coveted Local Blog of the Year. To my brother in semi-anonymity, I say, well done, sir, but now with great power comes great responsibility.

Also around town, friend of the Grift, Drive A Faster Car won reader's choice for Best Local Blog/Blogger as well as Best Georgia Based Music Blog .

And foodie Jennifer Zyman won Best Local Blogger for The Blissful Glutton.

There's so much quality out there, I imagine it's getting hard to pick.

I'm happy and proud for my friends. But this time of year always reminds me that I've been a slack-ass. Lately, a burst of activity in my professional and my personal life has led to even greater slackedness. I'm not going to promise this will change, but I don't doubt things will start popping again soon. After all, it's only 3 months until the scoundrels in the Gold Dome once again appear.

But while I'm being lazy, make sure you check out these folks and those over to your right. Good people all.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Deets On The Eagle Raid Rally Tomorrow

They be a rallyin' at city hall tomorrow. Here's the details:

Saturday, September 19, 2009
12:00pm - 3:00pm
City Hall Downtown
68 Mitchell Street
Atlanta, GA

Our intent is to show the City of Atlanta and the APD the vast number of community members who are concerned about what happened & that we want answers to valid questions:

-Is typical protocol for these type of charges normally a citation and not arrest?
-Was this high number of APD officers the best use to address such minimal charges with Atlanta crime concerns skyrocketing?
-Why was intervention by City Council candidates necessary for the release of the staff after 19 hours in jail on no bond?
-Why does APD have an LGBT liaison if that position is not utilized?
-Who is to be held accountable for the formal filed complaints of mistreatment?
-Where has Mayor Franklin been and why hasn't she made a statement?

APD LGBT liaison Officer Dani Harris will be present Saturday and will be speaking to the community. Please keep in mind, she cannot address any specifics regarding the case as it is an on-going investigation. Her position IS to serve as a bridge directly between the LGBT community and the APD.

I'll be there. Lookin' for a story.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

APD Releases Complaints Filed In Eagle Raid

The APD has released the complaints filed against officers involved in the Eagle raid. Southern Voice has excerpts.

Here's the one that jumped out at me.
An employee who lives in an apartment over the Eagle, who said he was not working that night, said someone started pounding on his door. He opened the door to two cops who asked if anyone was having sex there. They asked why there was a bed and he said it was because he lives there. He was made to come downstairs and was arrested with the other employees.
There seems to be many details missing here (apartment attached to a nightclub?), but if true, how will you answer the next time the cops knock on your door and ask if anyone is having sex and why do you have a bed?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Creative Loafing Asks Questions About The Eagle

Creative Loafing attended the Atlanta Police Department's presser on the Eagle raid and left unfulfilled. He has additional questions and they are good ones.

I would add one that was posed by someone else.

If this was about public sex and not drugs (of which none were found), then why was the Red Dog Squad involved?

I've been wrong on many of political predictions but on this one I have confidence I am right. This incident, blowing up in the middle of a hotly contested Mayoral race, will not go away.

One of the reasons it will linger is Kyle Keyser.

As noted before, his is an issues candidacy. His own staff admits he cannot win, but here is a gay man, an activist, a crusader who has spent the past nine months campaigning for better law enforcement resources and better management of those resources, who shockingly raised the qualifying fee in two days after posting his intents on facebook and just a few days after that stunning achievement, the police foolishly waste resources raiding a gay bar. Fate is an interesting mistress.

He's also the odd duck in a field of mealy-mouthed politicians and this makes him the darling of both the traditional media and the new media word jockeys like myself.

No. I don't believe this incident will fade. I believe there's one man who won't let it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ruthless Is Not An Insult

The first city in the nation to build "projects" is now the first city in the nation to tear them all down. And the New York Times has noticed.

I've written previously about my experiences in the welfare and public housing systems. That particular essay should rightly be viewed as the genesis of this blog.

As you can imagine, I'm a fan of Renee Glover.
“We’ve realized that concentrating families in poverty is very destructive,” said RenĂ©e L. Glover, the executive director of the Atlanta Housing Authority. “It’s destructive to the families, the neighborhoods and the city.”
There is simple wisdom in those words. Words that echo the thoughts of that manager so long ago who shared his belief that we were engaging in apartheid.

But of course there will always be doubters and detractors.
“Until you have alternative housing that is affordable, available and appropriate, you have no business going into these communities and destroying them,” said Anita Beaty, the executive director of the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless. “To disperse these people without giving them alternatives is wrong.”
Except they do. The Atlanta Housing Authority has relocated thousands and what Ms. Beaty does not tell you is her own "industry" has not seen a significant increase in business.
“What were they clapping about?” asked Shirley Hightower, a former president of the tenants’ association who picketed the demolition. “Clapping for a demolition? You’ve had generations behind generations behind generations living in this public housing. This is not a time for celebration.”
I've worked at Bowen Homes and I'd clap. Ms. Hightower derails her own protest by pointing out there have been generations after generations living in Bowen and Techwood and Perry and Capitol. Three generations condemned to a walled off, disconnected slum but the next generation will live a future outside those walls of hopelessness. It is most certainly time for celebration.
Ms. Glover...hailed as visionary by supporters and condemned as ruthless by critics.
For someone willing to grasp a Gordian's knot created by decades of govenment morass and incompetence , ruthless is not an insult - it's a job requirement.

Friday, June 19, 2009

My Morning Wooten

As we travel towards the end, I have shirked in my Wooten duties. Reasonable Jim showed up today and I nearly shirked past once again. But there are a couple of morsels today too tasty to resist.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu endorses, in principle, a Palestinian state next door — on the condition that it is demilitarized and that the Palestinians recognize Israel’s right to exist. Fat chance. Wake me when other states in the region accept, without some poision-pill condition, Israel’s right to exist unmolested.
Jim was apparently asleep in 1978 (Egypt) and 1994 (Jordan). Of course, given who was in power at the time of those two peace treaties, is it any wonder Jim's memory is a little fuzzy?
Ever notice how seldom somebody identified as “activist” has a real job, especially a real job in the private sector?
Off the top of my head, I can name a dozen "activists" I know personally who have jobs in the private sector - including two small business owners.

Once upon a time, thoughts of the Atlanta Constitution turned to Henry Grady's "New South" and Ralph McGill's snapping Gene's suspenders. I'm not here to conflate a single sentence blurb in a column of random thoughts with the downfall of a legendary newspaper. But, it is important to remember that there was a time when great men walked those halls and those great men recognized the power of their position and they grasped with fierce determination the unsheathed pen and used the magic of that instrument to promote the betterment of the city and the people they so loved.

It's only a single sentence, but there is more myth spun out of that single sentence than ever emerged from Joel Chandler Harris' house down in West End. Worse, it is a myth designed not to raise up our city - our people - our new south. Instead, it is a mealy mouthed myth of marginalization - of exclusion - of disdain.

You're better that this, Jim. And what's worse is you know it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Congratulations Ginger Flash

Daily, he kicks my ass in the new media world.

More importantly, in a town drowning in traditional media angst, he proves there's still some ass kicking left to be done in those old streets and byways.

Creative Loafing's Thomas Wheatley's "Sober" has been nominated for The Association of Alternative Weekly's award for feature writing.

I've always believed great writing is driven by a deeply internal engine and Thomas plows that earth like few can.

We're lucky to have him.

Also, photographer Joeff Davis is a finalist for the APC's Journalist of the Year in Photography. Joeff and I once spent a few very interesting hours in an effort to capture an image for a certain "Best of" issue. Of course, it was the picture snapped at the end, almost as an afterthought, where I looked like a child molestor that was chosen. And I thought it was funny as hell.

His images capture the funny, the moving and the just plain strange soul of Atlanta.

We're lucky to have him, too.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Twittering 911

I'm not sure about this.
Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall said it’s worth exploring. On Friday he used the social-media tool Twitter to obtain assistance for a woman who suffered a seizure at the intersection of John Wesley Dobbs Avenue and Jackson Street...Hall said Sunday night he planned to register @911Atl on Twitter, though the city’s emergency operators won’t be responding to “tweets” anytime soon. A phone call remains the only way to directly contact 911 in Atlanta. “Let’s see how we can embrace this new technology and maybe save some lives,” Hall said.
Points for thinking outside the box, but one of the safeguards of the 911 system is when you call, authorities know where you are. If some fool decides to get his jollies off by punking the emergency system, he will get a visit from Johnny Law who will promptly throw his butt in the pokey.

How in the world would you prevent these types of resource soaking distractions on Twitter?

Georgia Gang Howler Of The Week

Being a (some would say past the legal age) high school basketball referee does not make one an expert on basketball. Dick Williams -
The playoffs ended when Josh Smith tried that dunk through his legs - that showboating, hotdogging baloney...there's no room for guys like Josh Smith in basketball.
So here's the obvious question.

Would Dick have said the same thing about Bob Cousy?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

This Just In...

Two years.

That's how long I've heard the rumor that Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Land Of A Thousand Rants) will drop out of the Senate to run for Atlanta City Council President.

Maybe this year the rumor will finally prove true. If not, I'm going to start talking about Generalissimo Francisco Franco.

Those over 40 will get the reference. The rest of you young'uns should use the Google.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Atlanta Unfiltered

Another journalist stumbles into our little world.

Atlanta Unfiltered is former AJC Editor Jim Walls baby. He's going to focus on investigate stories with a bent towards public records. And he's already uncovered 13 legislators with delinquent taxes.

Good stuff. But Jim, a word of advice - feeds. If you don't get a feed going, many will forget you the minute they click away. No one wants that.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Decatur Blogs Speak

Nick of DecaturMetro and Dave of inDecatur (featured as my #5 Blog Story of 2008) talk to Georgia Podcast Network about their origins, methods and the future - including thoughts on why Dekalb has become an ersatz incubator for local blogs. Fascinating stuff.

80s soundtrack courtesy of Java Monkey

Friday, February 27, 2009

atlgas On Nightline

atlgas, the brainchild of our own Tessa and my #3 blog story of 2008, received a brief mention by the founders of Twitter on last night's Nightline.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fired Police Chief Blames The Blog

Recently fired Dekalb Police chief Terrell Bolton was interviewed by the Dallas, Tx CBS affiliate and blames the blog, Dekalb Officers Speak, for contributing to his termination.

Watch the video here.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Half Ass City

We are a half ass city.

Like a teenager with self-esteem issues, Atlanta tends to half ass its way through everything.

We built and built and built while half-assing infrastructure until the sewers told us to pony up $4 billion or they would spew sludge into the streets.

We half-assed on transportation and ended up with the most incomplete, dysfunctional transit system of any major city in the country.

But most glaringly, in 1996, exposed to the world, we half-assed the Olympics and when something went wrong, the press handed our half-ass back to us on an ink-stained platter.

And we're about to do it again.

For years people of many stripes, myself included, have promoted the idea of a casino at Underground. Despite the whines of the moralists, it would solve many problems. It would give the ubiquitous conventioneers a place to wander. It would bring god knows how much revenue to a city strapped for cash. Most importantly, it would finally lance the boil of a city subsidized entertainment district that only entertains as a frightening freak show.

But instead of changing the state law which prevents casino gambling, Atlanta is exploring using a loophole in the lottery law which allows video gambling machines -and not even those poor pitiful video poker machines, but some half-ass lottery spewing chimera.

Left on Lanier correctly notes, "If Atlanta is going to pursue gambling as a correction to budget issues, then it’s best to make it hardcore. Attract big money gamblers by providing live poker with live dealers, pit bosses, additional security, the whole works. Over time, we could add the fountains and lighting and attractions, and become a mini-Las Vegas- complete with police presence and a general sense of well-being in the city center".

But I doubt we will. We won't because we don't understand the concept of all-in. We'd rather cautiously play a little here and a little there - never making that breath gasping push. And every poker player of any skill knows the inevitable result of this strategy - no money left and out of the game.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Caption Of The Day

Goofus creeps his Rascal across a confusing intersection between DeKalb Avenue and Moreland where the sidewalks are not handicap accessible and people drive like rage-filled maniacs. ~pecannelog

That's gold. Good job, gals.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dine Out

Tonight is Dine Out - an event to raise money for the reward to nab John Henderson's murderers. Participating restaurants will donate 20% of profits to Crimestoppers.

Yours truly will be cohosting trivia at Moes & Joes. Stop by and have a PBR for a good cause.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

ATAC Rally Video

ATAC Rally #1 - Little Five Points, Atlanta, GA. 1-26-09 from Grayson Daughters on Vimeo.

Grayson had camera rolling. I was there as well and may share some thoughts later.