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Transit legislation: Rebrand MARTA, 50-cent tax on taxies, transit line to Braves stadium

Metro Atlanta residents are likely to see three changes fairly soon if state lawmakers vote for a hybrid of the two transit bills pending at the Capitol: MARTA vehicles and property may be rebranded; a new 50-cent tax could be applied to each trip in cab, limo or shared ride; and there may be a push for a sales tax in South Cobb County to provide a train, trolley or dedicated bus line to the Braves ballpark and nearby destinations.

WIN list

Female candidates offer chance to end ‘toxic testosterone’ of patriarchal power structure

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

Record numbers of progressive Georgia women candidates, backed by hundreds who have volunteered to support them, are part of a headline-grabbing and magazine-cover-inspiring national wave of newly emboldened activists who plan to qualify for elected office over the coming weeks.

Courts take another look at the cold science of gerrymandering

Gerrymandering was once a kind of artisanal branch of politics. The late U.S. Rep. Phil Burton was said to have single-handedly redrawn the 1970 congressional map of California armed with nothing more than a stack of telephone books and his encyclopedic knowledge of the political landscape of his state. But computerization has turned it into a cold science. This year, the U.S. Supreme Court will try again to decide when gerrymandering goes too far.

California lawsuit, scotus

Georgia joins states, religious groups in opposing abortion-notification law pending before U.S. Supreme Court

Georgia has joined 21 other states in filing a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court to oppose a California law that requires pro-life pregnancy centers to display information about the availability of state-funded abortions. Other entities taking similar positions are the Southern Baptist Convention, Conference of Catholic Bishops and Jews for Religious Freedom.

Greensferry sewer tunnel

Atlanta’s state agenda not approved by city council, including planned sales tax extension for water, sewer

Atlanta doesn’t have a state legislative agenda that’s been approved by the Atlanta City Council. That’s because then Mayor Kasim Reed didn’t present a proposed agenda to the council last autumn amid the buzz over the general and run-off elections, according to two members of the administration who spoke at Wednesday’s meeting of the city council’s Finance/Executive Committee.

hatian monument, close up

Trump’s Haiti comments don’t resonate with Georgia’s history, modern aid programs

Whatever President Trump actually said about Haiti, the spirit of the comments doesn’t square in Georgia. Haitian soldiers sailed to defend Savannah during the Revolutionary War. On Monday, an Atlanta human rights leader who’s active in Haiti observed that Haiti’s modern woes stem from lingering resentment, and resulting poverty, over the outcome of Haiti’s revolution that overthrew the French in 1804.

The new year dawns with the first salvos of Culture War Two

For a few crystalline moments in Atlanta Monday night, opposite poles of our tightly stretched American culture, the tweeter Donald Trump and the rapper Kendrick Lamar, came into rare convergence, for a game that under other circumstances you figure neither would have understood or cared about. The verbal stabs of rapping and tweeting, Trump style, have a lot in common, but they speak to opposite sides of the divide which has absorbed so much political energy over the past few decades.

cyber, raytheon

Georgia expanding cyber facility near Augusta as part of build-up by military, industry

Georgia’s role in enhancing the nation’s cyber security was underscored by the groundbreaking last week for the state’s second cyber range in Augusta. The expansion of the state’s footprint is underway as the U.S. Army is developing the Cyber Center of Excellence at nearby Fort Gordon and at least one industrial partner has built a cyber facility.