A busy store on a busy corner

Our intent this week was to talk about Atlanta and her visitors. Any city that attains any sort of momentum attracts interesting visitors…some famous, some not so much. But with every visitor comes a story and this week we were going to tell a visitor story. A pretty good one too. Kind of a Day the Earth Stood Still thriller, only, not the whole earth, just a little corner in Georgia. Anyway, that was all before we discovered Miss Fluffy Raffles.

Fluffy is not a name one just skips past without pausing to at least express, “What the heck?” And to no one’s surprise, there is a bit of a story attached with Miss Raffles. On the surface, it’s a story of a playful woman who for almost two weeks tweaked the collective noses of an entire city and became front-page news in the process.

Georgia Trust’s tour of Southwest Atlanta helps us appreciate the history in our town

Frances Westbrook of Brookhaven was having lunch Saturday in Adair Park – a southwest Atlanta community that she did not know before signing up for the Georgia Trust’s Southwest Atlanta Expedition.

“I thought it would an excellent opportunity to see this area, which I had never been to before,” said Westbrook, who has also been on the Atlanta BeltLine tour. “It’s really a superb opportunity to get to know another part of Atlanta.”

More than 200 people visited the 20-plus sites on the Southwest Atlanta tour – which included houses, industrial buildings and some of the incredible academic institutions that have anchored the communities for more than 100 years.

Faith community stepping up on climate change

By Guest Columnist SUSAN VARLAMOFF, coauthor of the ‘Laudato Si Action Plan’ and author of ‘Sustainable Gardening for the Southeast’

Nature abhors a vacuum. With the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris climate accord, there is a void in global leadership on climate change that others are willing and able to fill it. Countries like China, Germany and France are stepping up. In the U.S., states, cities, universities, corporations, and even churches are voluntarily reducing greenhouse emissions in the spirit of the Paris climate accord.

Bill Taggart’s death stuns Atlanta’s business and civic community

Friends and associates of respected Atlanta business leader Bill Taggart were shocked Thursday morning by news of his sudden death late Wednesday.

Taggart had just been named the interim president of Morehouse College in April. He apparently died of an aneurysm, according to preliminary reports.

At the time of his death, Taggart also was serving as the board chair of the Atlanta Business League, an organization that fosters opportunities for African-American companies and business leaders.

A first: Georgia Trust shines spotlight on historic treasures in Southwest Atlanta

The most fragile time for a community surfaces when investors and developers begin swarming around looking for inexpensive property they can flip and make some money.

Southwest Atlanta is case-in-point.

For decades, the Westside witnessed populations losses and declines in property values. But in recent years, the neighborhoods have been enjoying attention from philanthropists, civic groups, developers and investors.

APD Chief Erika Shields says policing needs a new paradigm

During her talk to the Rotary Club of Atlanta on Monday, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields did not shy away from the tough issues she faces in leading the police department.

Shields has been in her position for about six months, but she was part of the leadership team of former Police Chief George Turner, who she credited for making solid improvements to the department.

Atlanta joins other cities in grassroots support of Paris climate change agreement

A grassroots movement is rising to support the Paris Agreement on Climate Change – despite the decision by the Donald Trump administration to withdraw U.S. support of the globally historic accord.

One of key power centers of this grassroots response in support of the Paris Agreement is the City of Atlanta.

“Cities have the leadership role especially in the United States,” said Stephanie Stuckey, the Chief Resiliency Officer for the City of Atlanta, which is one of the 100 Resilience Cities Initiatives pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation.

What caused Georgia’s political shift on abortion?

This week, DANIEL K. WILLIAMS, a historian at the University of West Georgia, examines the evolution of Georgia’s — and the South’s — stance on abortion.

By Daniel K. Williams

In the late 1960s, Georgia and other southern states were bastions of social conservatism on almost all issues except one — abortion. In 1968, abortion laws in Georgia and North Carolina were more liberal than those in New York or Massachusetts, and it was easier to get a legal abortion in parts of the South than it was anywhere in New England.

The Stories continue

With the posting of this story…scratch that…with the release of this shameless, self-congratulatory, video attempt at associating the Stories of Atlanta brand with long-cherished American ideals such as freedom of speech and the right to assembly…we’d like to acknowledge the start of the 3rd season of the Stories of Atlanta. Last week marked the end […]

‘Wonder Woman’ – femme-centric action flick ‘a bit dull’

“Wonder Woman” isn’t wonderful.

Okay, there, I said.

While the entire future of women in Hollywood is apparently riding on this femme-centric action flick (Variety-speak) and while the critics have raved and audiences have rallied, I just can’t join the celebration.

“Wonder Woman” is sturdy. It’s expensive. Its star, Gal Gadot (a former Miss Israel; who knew Wonder Woman was a nice Jewish girl?), is winning and hard-working.

Yes, you can bike in Atlanta

By Guest Columnist KEVIN H. POSEY, an advocate for sustainable transportation and urban development practices worldwide

Atlanta is notorious for being a car-dependent city. Whether it’s minor snowstorms that create scenes akin to a bad disaster movie or burning bridges made of steel and concrete – materials not known for their combustibility – Atlanta’s car addiction is now in the same league as that of legendary Los Angeles. But in a revolutionary change of direction, the bike is being elevated as a legitimate way to get around for those of us who wouldn’t be caught dead in Lycra.

Opening of Publix in northwest Atlanta welcomed by residents and politicians

Politics was on the shopping list at the opening of the new Publix on Moores Mill and Bolton roads Wednesday morning.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony provided a stage for people running for office and for those seeking to settle political scores and slights.

But the real stars of the day were the dozens, if not hundreds, of community residents who showed up at the store before 7 a.m. to celebrate the long-awaited amenity in their neighborhood.