Maria’s Metro

Arthur Blank’s Westside Works offers jobs, gives hope and fulfills promises for 2nd graduating class in community

As he opened the envelope that told him the name of the company where he would be reporting to work the following Monday, Nicholas Holmes took a deep breath.

“This is a life-changing moment,” Holmes told his fellow 12 Westside Works graduates and the people who had come to cheer them on. “Ten months ago, my family gave up on me. I gave up on myself. I made some bad decisions.”

Westside Works is a four-week intensive program aimed at teaching construction skills to people living close to the new Atlanta Falcons stadium. Graduates walk out with seven credentials that are directly applicable to the construction industry.
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Guest Columns

Give Fulton board freedom to decide for itself – just like all Georgia counties

john eaves edited photo

By Guest Columnist JOHN EAVESchairman of Fulton County’s Board of Commissioners since 2007.

Fayette. DeKalb. Cobb. Clayton. Gwinnett.

Each is one of Georgia’s 159 counties, and each one has been charged with making decisions on behalf of its citizens.  As such, each has a board of commissioners that have been asked by voters to provide government services ranging from public safety to libraries.

Each is responsible for managing emergency responses and gauging potential threats to public health.  Each has workers who take these tasks very seriously.
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Jamil’s Georgia

"Accentuate the Positive," lyrics by Johnny Mercer and music by Harold Arlen (1944)

The Georgia roots of one of 20th century’s most successful songwriters

By Laura McCarty, vice president of the Georgia Humanities Council. She is a guest columnist for “Jamil’s Georgia” this week.

Music- and film-making are thriving businesses in Georgia now, but Georgia native Johnny Mercer – writer of such memorable songs as “Glow-Worm” and “Jeepers Creepers,” which were wildly popular in their day — successfully blended both during his long career.

A recent book by New Georgia Encyclopedia author Glenn T. Eskew, Johnny Mercer: Southern Songwriter for the World (published by the University of Georgia Press), explores the life and global legacy of Mercer — one of the most prolific, successful, and popular songwriters of the 20th century.
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Saba Long

WonderRoot weaves a beautiful piece of art as it plans its new APS home

It has been exciting to watch the Atlanta arts scene grow by leaps and bounds. C4Atlanta, Elevate, Flux and glo are just a few of the new projects that have come on line in recent years. And, just this weekend, Living Walls multi-genre arts showcase celebrated its fifth year.

Another player in the Atlanta arts scene is WonderRoot, the Reynoldstown-based, arts nonprofit. Founded in 2004, WonderRoot unites local artists and the community to inspire positive social change. From mixed media works inspired by Civil Rights leader Lonnie King to youth programming with the Boys & Girls Club, WonderRoot’s reach crosses boundaries, like only art can.

Led by Atlanta-native Chris Appleton, the organization has just announced it will expand its services and move to the former Tech High Charter School as the WonderRoot Center for Arts & Social Change.
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Sally Bethea’s Moment led to a career of fighting for the Chattahoochee River and its tributaries

By Chris Schroder

Chattahoochee Riverkeeper Sally Bethea began her work with environmental conservancy groups in the 1970s, but it wasn’t until hearing Robert Kennedy Jr. make a stirring speech that she had a Moment that ignited her deep enthusiasm to focus her efforts on Atlanta’s waterway.

“I was looking for something that would get me involved in giving back and doing environmental advocacy in a more place-based and specific results sort of way,” Sally said.
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