Entries by Don Moreland

Solar energy – Three reasons why now is the best time to go solar

By now you have likely heard a lot about solar energy. You may have heard that solar is fast becoming the least expensive, most resilient, and cleanest source of energy for homes and businesses.

But what you may not have heard is that now is the best time to go solar. And that Oct. 31 is the deadline for Atlanta residents to lock in discount pricing and get a free, no-obligation solar and battery storage evaluation.

Planned Chamblee Doraville CID to create sense of place, urgency for improvements

By Guest Columnist DAN REUTER, a longtime advisor on urban planning and community development in metro Atlanta and the founder/CEO of Reuter Strategy

Momentum is building for the creation of a new Community Improvement District in the cities of Chamblee and Doraville. Led by local commercial property owners and encouraged by the leadership of the cities of Chamblee and Doraville, a CID will help the community to leverage the existing assets to provide greater access and amenities.

U.N.-affiliated sustainability network to be recognized at Center for Civil, Human Rights

By Guest Columnist JENNIFER HIRSCH, co-founder of RCE Greater Atlanta, with GARRY HARRIS and SERENA NEWHALL, steering committee members of RCE Greater Atlanta.

Atlanta’s regional sustainability network, RCE Greater Atlanta, will celebrate its recognition by the United Nations University at an event hosted Wednesday by the Center for Civil and Human Rights, an RCE member organization. A program for youth leadership in sustainability is among those to be celebrated.

Record number of women candidates for state office promoted by Georgia’s WIN List

By Guest Columnist MELITA EASTERS, executive director and founding chair of Georgia’s WIN List

On Oct. 1, the 2018 mid-term election is just 37 days away. Nationally and in Georgia, women candidates have won primaries in record-setting numbers, cementing the prediction of 2018 as another “Year of the Woman.”

A wake-up call in effort to strengthen Atlanta’s tree ordinance

By Guest Columnist LINDSAY WILLIAMS BELLASI, who became a tree activist following a clear-cutting incident in her Northwest Atlanta neighborhood

As I drove home one summer night down West Wesley Road, a large dark shadow swooped in front of our car. “Wow!” shrieked my 5- and 6 year-old boys from the backseat. “Did you see that?” It was a huge owl – probably with a wingspan of 6 feet or more. We added it to the animal bingo board game we play, not realizing not realizing that some of the bird’s habitat in our neighborhood was about to be obliterated.

As workers try to make ends meet, onus on employers to enhance financial wellness programs

By Guest Columnist JIM WALLACE, an Atlanta-based managing director of Global Corporate & Institutional Advisory Services for Bank of America Merrill Lynch

A study released in August examines how both employers and employees feel about financial wellness, their expectations of one another and the resources employees want to be made available to them in the workplace.

Findings from the study reveal the growing importance of workplace financial wellness programs, and the findings point to the value of personalized advice and planning as key to improving participation and employees’ financial wellness.

Three landmark events at Atlanta Stadium in the 1960s – Were you there?

By Guest Columnist BO HIERS, who has ‘semi-retired’ from a 35-year career in the reinsurance industry and now volunteers at the Atlanta History Center

It’s difficult to imagine Atlanta without a professional sports stadium, especially when you consider the Braves, Falcons, and Hawks are now proud owners of three of the newest and slickest stadiums and arenas anywhere. But that was the case in 1964. Cue Milwaukee Braves owner William Bartholomay and the National Football League (NFL). Attendance was sagging at County Stadium in Milwaukee, and the NFL was looking to expand its geographic footprint into Southern states. There were plenty of twists and turns along the way, but the Braves and Falcons were on the way.

Greenways such as South Peachtree Creek Trail spur real estate values, revitalize neighborhoods

By Guest Columnist Michael KEATING, a Decatur-based writer who specializes in public policy

No question, trails, greenways and other parks infrastructure stimulate more construction and economic development.

New housing is popping up near the recently opened South Peachtree Creek Trail in my neighborhood in Decatur. Pulte Homes is building mid-rise condos in the $300,000-plus range and townhomes in the $600,000-plus range on a 37-acre site adjacent to the trail. A 1960s-era apartment complex was demolished to make way for the new housing.

Back to school with Killer Mike

By Guest Columnist CHARISSE M. WILLIAMS, a lawyer by training and a non-profit leader

I first learned that Atlanta Grammy Award winning rapper, activist, and entrepreneur Killer Mike owned the barbershop, The Swag Shop, when Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen tweeted that his shop was giving free back-to-school haircuts. I had passed the shop on Edgewood Avenue, with its funky sign and façade, many times.

Citizen committee could help MARTA set priorities for future expansion

Building priorities with construction sequencing was a constantly recurring, difficult and frequently divisive issue throughout MARTA’s history. It was made more complex with limited funding. On several occasions the participating counties and cities disagreed on the priority choices and, as a result, the construction schedules were sometimes adversely impacted.

Raising the next generation of technologists: Closing the technology gap for youth

By Guest Columnist KARA GRADY, a vice president at LexisNexis Risk Solutions

A group of 25 companies presented before the U.S. Committee on Education and the Workforce at a July 25 innovation showcase that recognized outstanding education programs from across the country. During a day that included oral testimony and a question/answer session with members of Congress, staff and the public, one Atlanta company highlighted the need for a nationwide focus on computer science education.

Solving Atlanta’s craft labor shortage: Changing perceptions, continuing education

By Guest Columnist KEVIN KUNTZ, president of the Southeast Division of McCarthy Building Co., Inc. and president of the Associated General Contractors of Georgia

The metro Atlanta landscape is rapidly changing, with a number of new developments on the horizon. The region is one of the United States more active construction markets, with a number of large-scale construction projects….

Harsh local approach to immigrants harms families, taxpayers

By Guest Columnist WESLEY THARPE, research director for the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute

The hot topic of immigration is never far from Georgians’ TV screens and Twitter feeds these days. Stories of migrant children taken from their parents at the border captivate viewers on the nightly news. Candidates for high Georgia offices compete over who can be most threatening to the immigrant family next door. And President Donald Trump repeatedly claims that newcomers from other lands are bad for taxpayers, harm the economy and upend the nation’s social fabric.

A personal account of Nicaragua’s untold civil strife

By Guest Columnist TOM WEYANDT, a longtime urban planner in Atlanta

MANAGUA, Nicarauga – I have been coming to Nicaragua and Granada since 2005, when my son and daughter-in-law were married on Little Corn Island, off the East Coast. The following observations will try to set the scene of Nicaragua today, as the country goes through changes so extreme the State Department advises not to travel there because of violent crime, civil unrest and a health care system so overwhelmed by the victims of violence that not all receive care.

Ga. 400 express lanes and BRT project a potential double-edged sword

By Guest Columnist CARL HOLT, an avid promoter of bicycling who volunteered as project manager for the installation of Atlanta’s first bike corral, in the Kirkwood neighborhood

Gov. Nathan Deal stood at the North Wing stairs of the Georgia State Capitol on June 19 to announce the State of Georgia will issue $100 million bonds for a bus rapid transit project in North Fulton County. Deal was surrounded by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (a candidate for governor), House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge), and a group of elected officials representing the state and Fulton County.

Atlanta well positioned to continue efforts to thrive in an rapidly changing world

By Guest Columnist STEPHANIE STUCKEY, a sustainability expert

In May 2016, Atlanta became the final city to be part of 100 Resilient Cities (“100 RC”), a program pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation to help cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social, and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st Century.

The Rockefeller network enables cities to increase the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses, and systems to survive, adapt, and thrive no matter what chronic stresses or acute shocks they face.

Let’s use technology to better address metro Atlanta’s 21st century traffic ills

By Guest Columnist GEOFF DUNCAN, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor

For anyone who lives in metro Atlanta, there isn’t a day that goes by that their greatest nemesis – traffic congestion – isn’t a topic of conversation.

For far too many of us, just figuring out how we get from Point A to Point B has become the greatest challenge of living and working in this region. INRIX, the transportation analytics firm, ranked Atlanta’s congestion the fourth worst in the nation last year and eighth worst in the world.

Helping Atlanta do what is hard, but right

By Guest Columnist SALLY FLOCKS, president and CEO of PEDS, Pedestrians Educating Drivers on Safety

Wheelchair users recently sued the City of Atlanta for failing to maintain sidewalks that are equally accessible to people with disabilities. The condition of Atlanta’s sidewalks is deplorable, and a class-action lawsuit for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act has been a long time coming.

Congress must resolve immigration issue, return to work for American people

By Guest Columnist MARK NEWMAN, retired partner with Troutman Sanders

Agriculture is big business in Georgia. One in seven Georgians work in agriculture and the industry contributes nearly $74 billion to our state’s economy. So, when the most important piece of legislation impacting Georgia’s farmers fails to pass the U.S. House of Representatives because of an unrelated immigration issue, it is cause for serious concern.