Guest Columns

Guest Columns

DeKalb’s ‘Clash of the Titans’ – Robert James versus Burrell Ellis – must end

By Guest Columnist ALLEN MOYE, a lifelong resident of DeKalb County who recently retired as a prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s office and the Fulton County District Attorney’s office

District Attorney Robert James has to make a difficult decision about what to do with a case that seemed so promising during the investigation, but, in court, against talented opposition, did not live up to the promise.
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Measuring great teachers – the third piece of our education puzzle

By Guest Columnist DANA RICKMAN, director of policy and research for the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education 

All families want their children to be taught by a great teacher. They intuitively understand what an entire body of academic research tells us: a child’s education depends largely on the quality of his or her teacher. Families know who those teachers are.
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Cultivating and managing a global diverse workforce for AGCO

By Guest Columnist LUCINDA B. SMITH, senior vice president of global business services for AGCO

U.S. businesses and their global reach have grown tremendously over the past 30 years creating a need for an expanded global workforce.

Today many global companies are focused, not just on their day-to-day business operations, they are also focused on finding the best ways to manage their global workforce.
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ELEVATE Arts Festival seeks to revitalize downtown Atlanta with art

By Guest Columnist CAMILLE RUSSELL LOVE, executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and producer of the annual ELEVATE Arts Festival

A great city offers not only excellent services and resources, but it also serves as a cultural hub. Arts and culture play vital roles in helping define and enhance the social fabric and the quality of life of its citizens and visitors.

With the various programs and events that the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs coordinates and produces, we continually work to inspire and educate people through the arts.
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Investing 15 percent of bond package on bikeways a good way to make Atlanta a top 10 city for cycling

By Guest Columnist REBECCA SERNA, executive director of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition

More than 100,000 people flocked to Atlanta Streets Alive, a car-free initiative of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, this Sunday, Sept. 28.

Last year, Atlanta Streets Alive attracted 83,000 participants. That’s greater than the capacity of the Georgia Dome! And half of these participants arrived by bike.
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Creating an Atlanta art of civic play with the BeltLine’s Lantern Parade

By Guest Columnist CHANTELLE RYTTER, community parade artist and captain of the Krewe of the Grateful Gluttons (founder of the BeltLine’s Lantern Parade)

In 2010, Art on the BeltLine gave a call for proposals for visual and performing art projects to happen on the interim trails of the Atlanta BeltLine. This was when the Eastside Trail was that dark creepy place behind the dumpsters. Pricilla Smith, executive director of Eyedrum and one of the Art on the BeltLine founders, called me and suggested I propose a parade.

Priscilla knew the Krewe of the Grateful Gluttons from our participation in the Little Five Points Halloween Parade and Inman Park Festival Parade. More importantly, she knew that the idea of civic play — making people active participants in the culture of their city — was the fuel that drove me.
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Atlanta’s Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Vine City provide new opportunity for Black businesses to shine

By Guest Columnist JOSEPH R. HUDSON, author and unabashed Black business and inner-city commerce advocate

We live in a region where African-American mayors, local and national elected officials, the success of Black businesses, and Black leaders of corporate organizations and municipalities are recognized nationally. This recognition includes media moguls, pop stars, real-estate kingpins, social justice pioneers, doctors, lawyers, engineers, ministers, TV stars and educational institutions that reign supreme.

Atlanta is also recognized for a multitude of historical sites and events. This includes: the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Non-Violent Social Change, the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, the Carter Center, the National Black Arts Festival, Paschal’s Restaurant, East Lake Golf Club, numerous conventions and home of some of the world’s most famous Black people including Presidential Medal winners.
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Making parking scarce and expensive is the best way to encourage people to walk, take transit and ride bicycles

By Guest Columnist MATTHEW GARBETT, a community activist who lives in Atlanta’s Adair Park

As I talk to Atlantans about transit, walkability, and parking – especially parking – I am often confronted with what I have come to call the “Tipping Point Theory of Transit.”

The theory, often summarized with a simple “We’re not there yet”, goes like this:

MARTA is a bare bones system that doesn’t go anywhere, and where it does go, it goes slowly. If we keep building the BeltLine, expanding the Streetcar, and growing MARTA, one day there will come a Tipping Point, when people will begin abandoning their cars for our finally completed system. Until we get there, however, we need to recognize reality and continue to build for cars, especially via parking.
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When dealing with addiction disorders on college campuses, we all benefit

By Guest Columnist TERESA WREN JOHNSTON, director of the Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery at Kennesaw State University and founding president of the Association of Recovery in Higher Education

In a world where mental health and substance use disorders get top billing only when a tragedy occurs to a celebrity, a famous athlete or a music superstar, it is easy to overlook the millions of people suffering unnoticed.

When the headlines read heroin overdose, death by suicide or famous entertainer enters treatment, we stand up and take notice; in fact, we can’t get enough.
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Habitat homes in historic West End should follow designated guidelines

By Guest Columnist KATHI WOODCOCKa resident of the West End Historic District for five years and member of the West End Preservation Committee

The Atlanta Urban Design Commission’s website states: “It is the mission of the City’s Historic Preservation Ordinance that any changes which occur to a designated property be in keeping with the historic character of the building or district.”

The West End Historic District, once known as White Hall, was established in 1835, and predates the City of Atlanta. West End is a vibrant community that takes pride in its 100-plus-year-old homes and designation on the National Register of Historic Places.
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