Tag Archives: Atlanta

As feds probe workforce program, for alleged fraud by vendors, Mayor Reed reappoints majority of its board

Federal authorities are conducting a criminal investigation into Atlanta’s workforce training program, city records show.

The U.S. Department of Labor is investigating allegations of fraud, by at least 57 vendors, which were unearthed in an audit released in February 2013 by Atlanta City Auditor Leslie Ward, records show.

Although an outside consultant hired by Invest Atlanta recommended July 31 that Atlanta reorganize the board that oversees the training program, Mayor Kasim Reed has recommended that 12 of 21 board members be reappointed. Continue reading

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ARC: Atlanta gains more residents in year than decade; no housing news

The city of Atlanta added more residents in the past year than it did during the entire first decade of the 2000s, according to an unofficial report from the Atlanta Regional Commission.

Atlanta’s gain of 4,100 residents was part of a 10-county population increase of 52,700, calculated from 2013 to 2014. ARC planners said in a statement the increase is a, “sure sign that the economic recovery is continuing.”

ARC’s latest report does not examine the housing supply or construction industry. The city of Atlanta had a glut of housing after the last decade, with more than 37,000 units added to serve a city population that rose by 3,500 residents, according to an ARC report from April 2011.
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Atlanta installing sustainable storm water system near Turner Field

In hard-pressed neighborhoods south of Turner Field, Atlanta is quietly installing a sustainable storm water management system.

The planned system is based on a premise similar to the one that resulted in the water feature at the Old Fourth Ward Park, along the Atlanta BeltLine. As with the park pond fed by Clear Creek, the idea is to detain and filter runoff rather than direct it into the city’s sewage system.

In Peoplestown, one of three neighborhoods in progress, the city’s plan envisions a storm water management system that will use permeable pavers, bio-swales, detention ponds and storage vaults to capture from 10 million to 30 million gallons of storm water.
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Color Runs: The Peachtree Road Race’s millennial offspring

The Peachtree Road Race on July 4 is rooted in a time when running wasn’t popular. Out on the multicolored, millennial fringes of outdoor recreation for young adults, the clenched-teeth grind is passé.

By turning up the party, color runs have become a popular mixing zone for socializing, sweating, and social media. If anything was tailor made for the selfie and the “unique shareable experiences” craved by the millennial generation, it’s a color run.
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Atlanta arcade deviants unite to play the silver (pin)ball

As the world prepared to wage war against Adolf Hitler three-quarters of a century ago, the Atlanta City Council took aim at a homegrown evil. “These machines lead to gambling and stealing and killing and eventually to a rope around the neck for someone,” said then-Atlanta city councilman E.A. Minor.

Minor was, of course, talking about pinball. On June 19, 1939, the council voted to ban the machines that he believed “encourage a moral degeneration among our children.” Minor must be somersaulting under the grass.
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Overcoming skeptics, C.S. Lewis lives again on the Atlanta stage

At age 63, C.S. Lewis had written his last book and was facing the end of his life, already one of the most influential writers of his era. Now 63, just as he has for nearly four decades, Atlanta actor Tom Key will bring the renowned British academic, novelist and theologian to life once again next week.

Key will reprise his one-man show, “C.S. Lewis On Stage,” at the Theatrical Outfit starting June 19. The show will run until June 29. Lewis renounced his Christian faith and then reclaimed it. And through his radio broadcasts, writing and speeches, he inspired others to take a look at what they believed and why.
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With love to Garcia Marquez, one word at a time

On a day that seemed so damp that fish could have come in through the door and floated out the windows, lovers of the writing of Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1927-2014) gathered at Kavarna coffeehouse in Decatur to pay their respects by reading from his timeless stories of families, war, death, and above all, the magic of love.

They came to 100 Readers of Solitude, named in homage to the author’s greatest novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude (Cien Anos de Soledad).” One by one they read vigorously, declaratively, and with humor, like Garcia Marquez wrote.
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Atlanta City Council had delayed action on solar farm; vote expected on May 5

The Atlanta City Council has not approved a solar farm project on city property, as reported here late Tuesday.

The resolution was included in a package of legislation the council was slated to adopt without discussion and by consent. This legislative package, called the “consent agenda,” was approved. However, the council had removed the solar farm resolution shortly before the vote.

Council Finance Committee Chairman Alex Wan said Wednesday he asked the council to delay action on the solar farm resolution, at the request of Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration.
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Atlanta to produce solar energy at five solar farms, including two at airport, sell to Georgia Power

Atlanta intends to generate solar power and sell it to Georgia Power through a planned public-private partnership with a Chicago-based energy firm.

The Atlanta City Council on Monday authorized Mayor Kasim Reed to enter negotiations with New Generation Power, Inc. Terms call for a 20-year ground lease with the solar company, and for the firm to deliver, install and maintain photovoltaic panels and related equipment.

The city intends to lease land for solar farms at three landfills, which are closed, and at two sites at Atlanta’s airport, according to provisions of the legislation. The company is to pay all costs associated with the project, and its website says it has funds available through its shareholders, partners, and lending institutions.
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Luck, hope, and the ‘Book of Mormon’ ticket lottery

The Fox Theatre sometimes releases rush tickets for popular shows. Twenty prime seats for “Book of Mormon” would go for only $25 each to ten lucky winners whose names get drawn from a box two hours before showtime.

The key word here was lucky. I don’t win anything. The ticket lottery could be a test of how truly elusive luck is for me.

I gave myself three chances to test my crappy track record against the destiny of “The Book of Mormon.” This is what happened.

“In setting these dark elements to sunny melodies, ‘The Book of Mormon’ achieves something like a miracle,” the New York Times said in a glowing 2011 review when the play opened on Broadway. The creators had found a sweet spot between ridicule and reverence of religion, and “Mormon” went on to win nine Tonys—including best musical.

I wanted to see what everyone was talking about, and I wanted to be able to tell people that I had seen it too. Continue reading

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