Atlanta Housing Authority’s recent actions need further scrutiny

Recent actions by the Atlanta Housing Authority need to be viewed through a magnifying glass.

Despite owning hundreds of acres of land, AHA is spending millions of dollars to buy more land from the City of Atlanta, another public entity.

AHA couches these land deals as helping fulfill its goal to develop more affordable housing in the City of Atlanta. But over the past eight years, AHA has not developed any new housing units on its significant land holdings.

Enough already: GRTA, SRTA, MARTA, GDOT, ARC…and now….the ATL

Nearly 20 years ago, key business and government leaders heralded the creation of a new transportation authority that would tackle metro Atlanta’s traffic problems by expanding transit.

And so the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority – GRTA – was born.

At the time, there was one naysayer – the late Harry West, the longtime executive director of the Atlanta Regional Commission.

Georgians finally will be able to vote on a dedicated fund for conservation

At long last, Georgia now has a pathway to create a dedicated funding source to conserve our land and water.

The state legislature on Thursday passed the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act calling for a referendum on a constitutional amendment that would dedicate a portion of existing state sales and use tax on outdoor recreation equipment to establish a conservation trust fund.

Still missing Martin Luther King Jr. after all these years

MEMPHIS – For 50 years, I had little desire to travel to Memphis.

The city always triggered one of the most painful memories of my youth – the assassination of an idol who had become a friend – Martin Luther King Jr.

I have often said my life peaked when I was 11. It was September, 1966 when I became close friends with Yolanda King, who had helped integrate my elementary school – Spring Street – along with the children of Juanita and Ralph David Abernathy.

The tree massacre at the Bobby Jones Golf Course a blow to Atlanta

Back during the Civil War, the land that is now known as the Bobby Jones Golf Course was a battlefield that witnessed one of the bloodiest battles of the Atlanta Campaign.

Today, the Bobby Jones Golf Course has become a battlefield once again. But this time, the casualties were more than 800 trees that were cut down to make way for a redeveloped Bobby Jones Golf Course.

Wanted: a strong business leader to run for governor

Top Georgia business leaders expressed “frustration and disappointment” over the current slate of declared Republican candidates running for governor.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was when Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle attacked Delta Air Lines, the largest employer in the state of Georgia. The state was about to vote to rescind a tax on jet fuel when Delta announced it was ending a discount offered to members of the National Rifle Association (only 13 NRA members had taken advantage of the discount according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution).

Roswell’s historic Mimosa Hall could become nation’s oldest ‘net zero’ home

History is being made in Roswell thanks to a cutting edge proposal to preserve the historic Mimosa Hall and Gardens.

The City of Roswell purchased Mimosa Hall, initially built around 1840, as well as its 9 acres of gardens and woods last August for $2.95 million – partly because of a citizen-led effort to save Mimosa Hall and its grounds from being redeveloped.

Proposed project on fragile BeltLine site at Monroe and 10th raises concerns

One of the most complicated intersections in Atlanta – where the BeltLine intersects with 10th Street and Monroe Drive – will face even more challenges with a new proposed development on an adjacent 4-acre site.

The plans for the redevelopment became public in December when the Invest Atlanta board approved a memo-of-understanding to sell a 1.47 acre strip of land along the BeltLine to a joint venture of Jim Kegley and Jeff Fuqua for $2.5 million.

Support for dreamers growing in Georgia

A placard at the Latin American Association on Buford Highway says it all.

“Help us rally support for legislation to protect DACA recipients!”

DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – an American immigration policy that has allowed individuals who entered the country illegally as minors to receive deferred action from deportation and be eligible to work.

Milk home delivery in metro Atlanta is now a thing of the past

It is an end of an era.

This past week marked the end of home delivery of milk products in metro Atlanta.

Preston Born and his partner, Rick Lee, operated the last milk home delivery service in the Atlanta region – serving about 240 customers who had held on to the tradition of yesteryear.

As one of those 240 customers, Born broke the news in a note that was included with my last delivery of milk (and eggs) on Jan. 3.

Civic Center sale to AHA places Southface campus on endangered list

For 40 years, Southface has been leading the way in making Atlanta a more sustainable city.

The environmentally-focused nonprofit has been a pioneer in green building practices – and it deserves much of the credit for Atlanta’s national reputation as a city committed to energy and water conservation.

But now Southface is facing its own challenges – likely having to move from its headquarters, now on a .74-acre site along Pine Street near Piedmont, where it has been since 1995.

An open letter to Mayor-elect Keisha Lance Bottoms

Dear Mayor-elect Keisha Lance Bottoms,

Congratulations on being elected Atlanta’s 60th mayor!

I begin this letter with an outstretched hand to let you know I want you to be a successful mayor.

My hope is you will appreciate the role of the press – to question, to inform, to probe, to be skeptical, and yes, to be critical when necessary.

This hope is not limited to me. Ideally you will embrace people who think differently than you do, that you will treat the press and fellow public servants with respect, and that you will seek mutually-beneficial solutions while governing our city.

Money to build pricey pedestrian bridge over Northside Drive should be spent at street-level

Memo to Atlanta’s next mayor:

Please put a stop to the building of an unnecessary $24 million loopy-loop pedestrian bridge across Northside Drive.

Now let me explain my rationale.

The expensive pedestrian bridge would connect the Vine City MARTA Station with the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The total length of the bridge would be about two blocks to just get pedestrians to cross over a 70-foot crosswalk.