Entries by David Suitts

Clean Air Campaign continues mission to reduce traffic despite losing key contract

By Guest Columnist CHET TISDALE, a board member of the Clean Air Campaign who also serves as counsel for the organization

What characteristic does the Clean Air Campaign share with the Atlanta BeltLine, Grady Health Foundation, the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, Research Atlanta, the Action Forum, the Metropolitan Atlanta Crime Commission and the Sibley Commission?

Southern Co. inching forward on many climate solutions – without admitting there’s a problem

By Guest Columnist COLLEEN KIERNAN, director of the Sierra Club Georgia Chapter

It’s the fourth Wednesday in May. That means I’m on my way to the 2015 Annual Southern Company Stockholders Meeting in Callaway Gardens.

A lot of corporations annual shareholder meetings are beyond dull, often lasting less than 10 minutes. Other times, when shareholder activists engage, they become a venue for street theater and other lively actions, lasting late into the evening.

Let’s adopt a new grand bargain for Atlanta: ‘equitable’ transit oriented development

Guest Columnist BRUCE GUNTER, president of Progressive Redevelopment Inc., an affordable housing developer

Competing statistics support a contradictory narrative of encouraging progress and a dispiriting decline about metropolitan Atlanta by vividly illustrating a widening gap between those who have and those who do not, paralleling nationwide trends.

Counterbalancing those numbers are increases in population, jobs and property prices.

The lasting value of a liberal arts education in today’s world

By Guest Columnist HARMON CALDWELL, managing partner of Caldwell & Watson law firm

Several months ago, I had lunch with Charles Knapp, the former president of the University of Georgia. We discussed the declining revenue state governments provide for public universities, and that in these times, to be successful, those universities would now have to create their own funding. Administrators would be looking to deans at various schools to raise funds.

Dr. Knapp wasn’t arguing for any position, just telling it like it is.

Georgia Works! Project Interconnections – two nonprofits seeking to end cycle of homelessness

By Guest Columnist JIM DURRETT, executive director of the Buckhead CID and campaign chair of the Phoenix House capital campaign

Where I work – Buckhead – is a prosperous and growing part of the city of Atlanta. We have been making a lot of improvements over the years, and work hard to keep up with maintaining what we have built.

Architectural bookends – 1975 and 2015 – Atlanta’s skyline is looking up

By Guest Columnist JACK PORTMAN, vice chairman of the John Portman & Associates architectural firm

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is holding their 2015 national convention here in Atlanta later this month (May 13-16).

The first time the organization brought their convention to Atlanta was in 1975—40 years ago, at which time a gallon of gas cost 54 cents and suburban sprawl was emptying out the city.

Atlanta’s changing weather turning us into Not-So-Hotlanta

By Guest Columnist JEANNE BONNER, a freelance writer, radio reporter and producer who serves on the board of the Atlanta Press Club

The best part of the year in Atlanta is upon us, but I’m not fully enjoying it.

That’s because I can’t trust the weather in Atlanta anymore. I can’t trust that it will be warm, almost heady, in these early spring weeks before the heat of summer rolls in. I can’t trust that it won’t rain more than it should, that dozens of festivals and other ritual spring outings won’t be washed away.

The BeltLine as a resource for redressing Atlanta’s inequity

By Guest Columnist MICHAEL DOBBINS, professor of the practice at Georgia Tech’s School of City and Regional Planning, and former Atlanta planning commissioner

Atlanta has the opportunity and the means to begin to attack the most shameful and enduring blemish on its record among U.S. cities: Greatest wealth disparity (the GINI index) and least chance for low wealth families to climb out of poverty (Harvard-Berkeley study).

What a strange session it’s been when it comes to education

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

The 2015 Georgia legislative session came to an end at midnight (or closely thereafter) on Thursday, April 2. For 40 legislative days our elected senators and representatives toiled over which bills to consider, amend, ignore, combine, kill or pass.

The arts improve our quality of life far beyond their economic impact

By Guest Columnist PATTY POULTER, dean of the College of Arts at Kennesaw State University

Were you among the hundreds of millions of viewers who watched the Oscars or the Grammys recently? Have you seen some of the top-rated movies or listened to the hottest chart-busters in music?

On the local scene, perhaps you enjoyed Broadway star Jason Alexander of TV’s Seinfeld fame when he performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in early March – or you attended Wicked at the fabulous Fox Theatre.

Holding out for magic: hoping Glenridge Hall will be preserved

By Guest Columnist DIANNA EDWARDS, a citizen advocate for historic preservation

The gavel rang on the afternoon of March 15 – closing the auction on the art and furnishings of Thomas K. Glenn’s 1929 Tudor Revival estate, Glenridge Hall.

Mercifully for those who cherish the mansion, the auction was held out of state. So we didn’t have to watch.

Georgia’s marshes are at risk if state bill requiring 25-foot buffer isn’t passed

By Guest Columnist ROBERT RAMSAY, president of the Georgia Conservancy

When Sidney Lanier penned his famous poem – “The Marshes of Glynn” – in 1875, he extolled the beauty and wild scenery of Georgia’s salt marsh.

Though he feared this incredible landscape would be spoiled, Georgia’s coast has remained largely intact and even flourished at a time when many of the East Coast’s dynamic salt marshes have been lost or critically impaired.

Involve community in design of Underground Atlanta’s redevelopment

By Guest Columnist NATHAN KOSKOVICH, a registered architect in Georgia who is chairman of the Architecture and Design Center

The redevelopment of Underground Atlanta appears to be underway. WRS, the South Carolina-based firm, is in the process of purchasing the property from the City of Atlanta, and it has begun planning for its redevelopment.

Because Underground Atlanta is so important to our city’s future, the Architecture and Design Center believes that a broad range of voices must be included in its redevelopment.

Metro Atlanta must strive to design great buildings – large and small

By Guest Columnist MELODY L. HARCLERODE, a local architect and 2015 president of the Atlanta chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA)

Since I assumed the position of president, I have been asked, “Why doesn’t Atlanta have more great architecture?” I would like the question to be re-phrased as “How can we foster more great architecture in metro Atlanta?”

Leadership: the fourth piece of Georgia’s education puzzle

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

Have you ever tried to drink water from a garden hose turned on high? You know you are thirsty. You know you need the water, and it will cure what ails you. However, trying to cure your thirst by drinking from a hose never feels like the most efficient way to solve the problem of thirst.

Georgia has transportation needs as well as education and healthcare

By Guest Columnist ALAN ESSIG, executive director of the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute

Rumblings from the Georgia capitol indicate state lawmakers are considering raising money to address transportation problems. That’s certainly an area in dire need of attention in metro Atlanta as well as the rest of the state.

As much as the business community and many in the general public seem to be in accord that Georgia can’t wait any longer to fix transportation, it’s important to keep in mind that the economic health of the state depends on other important public investments, including quality schools and a viable health care system.

Cristo Rey is bringing successful high school educational model to Atlanta

By Guest Columnist BILL GARRETT, president of the Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School

On July 14th, a Cristo Rey high school opened its doors in the heart of Midtown – bringing a successful national model to Atlanta.

Sometimes we only hear about the problems of schools— high costs, lack of measurable results, questions of competence, conflicts of linking incentives to test scores, and the layers of politics.