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Time for Georgia to recommit to water conservation and regional plans

By Guest Columnist LAUREN JOY, an associate attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center

In 2011, many Atlantans were relieved by the court determination that water supply was an authorized purpose of Lake Lanier. Despite this “win” for Atlanta in the Tri-State Water Wars, we must continue to treat water supply as an ongoing and important issue for Atlanta and the state.

The “Water Wars” are far from over, and the best step we can take to secure and sustain our state’s water supplies is to improve our statewide water planning efforts.

ARC’s first reorg in a generation aims to meet region’s emerging needs

The Atlanta Regional Commission is embarking on its first reorganization in a generation, in order to meet the demands of the post-recession paradigm that’s emerging from the public and private sectors.

Silos of expertise are to be replaced by collaborative teams. An example of the new approach would be for ARC planners to examine mobility rather than transportation – a shift that frames the issue in a fashion that begs for broader solutions.

“Because we are changing in so many ways as a region, ARC realizes we have to be more adaptable to help local governments solve more problems,” said Doug Hooker, ARC’s executive director.

The Wexel family of Lilburn

Georgia family with 14 children gives back through basketball fundraiser

On Saturday at 7 pm at St. Pius X Catholic High School gymnasium, you can see a team of local lawyers show up on a different court against a squad of Atlanta doctors with a prescription for winning.

The game, billed as “Jawbones vs. Sawbones,” will be played the weekend before the ACC college basketball tournament in Philips Arena. March Madness kicks off with a bit of March Malpractice.

“I hope their cardiologist brings his paddles,” one lawyer joked in an email.

The game benefits Side by Side Clubhouse, a day program for people who have experienced traumatic brain injury – a population that has swelled with returning troops. Brain injuries have also become more publicized through athletic concussions.

Atlanta region standing strong on regional transit governance and changes to MARTA Act

It should be so simple.

Establishing a regional transit governance structure and tweaking the MARTA Act to make the transit system more functional should be no brainers.

But when sound ideas are placed in the hands of some members of the General Assembly they somehow become distorted, convoluted and warped with political baggage.

Then when people and institutions object to proposed bills have been drafted with flawed thinking rather than common sense, those bills often just die on the vine and nothing gets done.

The Atlanta region is adrift without an elected captain

By Guest Columnist JERE WOOD, mayor of the City of Roswell

Metro Atlanta needs more than a one-cent transportation sales tax to recover from the recession and regain its position in a competitive world. We need to work together as a region, not independently, to meet our transportation, water and other regional challenges.

To act as a unified region, we need leaders with the authority to speak for the region.

Who has the authority to speak for metro Atlanta?