Google Calls Georgia Artist

Darvian Chester of Columbus, Georgia decided to jump into action when he saw that Google did not honor Juneteenth on June 19, 2019 with its daily ‘Google Doodle’.  Darvian has given new meaning to be the familiar phase, ‘You can either be part of the problem or  part of the solution’.  See the full AJC article by Maureen Downey by clicking on the link below.

https://www.ajc.com/blog/get-schooled/georgian-who-created-viral-juneteenth-doodle-could-end-working-for-google/vXSZnNj275qTNzcjZ0W3QK/?utm_source=newspaper&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=8849317&ecmp=newspaper_email&

Urban Food Forest, Free Produce by 2021

 

As reported by WSB- TV2.  This is a “must read!

Atlanta creates first food forest in Georgia, largest in U.S.

By: Raisa Habersham, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Updated:

ATLANTA – Atlanta residents will have greater access to fresh food thanks to a public “food forest.”

City Council, on a unanimous vote, approved the transformation of 7.1 acres of property near the Lakewood Fairgrounds and Browns Mill Golf Course into a public park and garden. The food forest is the first in Georgia and the largest in the United States, Councilwoman Carla Smith told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Urban Food Forest at Browns Mill has been in the works since November 2016 when the city accepted an $86,150 grant from the U.S. Forest Service Community Forest and Open Space Program. The federal agency has contributed a total of $164,000 to the project, which has additional support from non-profit groups Trees Atlanta and The Conservation Fund.

The green space, currently vacant property, will feature trees, shrubs and vines that produce fruit along with walking trails, a community garden and restored forest and stream-side areas by 2020, according to the legislation.

Smith said residents will be able to pick their produce from trees in the public park free of charge.

“It’s just like going into a park and picking muscadines from a bush,” she said.

Smith said the land was previously owned by Ruby and Willie Morgan, who later sold the property to a developer intending to build townhomes. The plan fell through and the property had sat in disarray until The Conservation Fund purchased it in 2016, she said.

The food forest is part of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ plan to ensure 85% of Atlanta residents are within one-half mile of accessible fresh food by 2021.

In 2017, 36 percent of Atlanta was classified as a food desert, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A quarter of Atlanta residents must travel more than a half-mile to get fresh fruits and vegetables, the USDA said.

The city will purchase the property from The Conservation Fund for $157,384, according to the legislation. The property will be managed by the city Department of Parks and Recreation.

Trees Atlanta, which is already conducting educational programs at the site, has contributed $121,500 to hire part-time staff, including a food forest ranger and community workforce educator. The city will also create a trust fund for outreach efforts related to the food forest.

This article was written by Raisa Habersham, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

For more WSB TV2 amazing articles, visit:

Illegal Tire Dumping

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The serious issue of illegal tire dumping is continuing to get worse. These pictures are in the wooded area on the north side of Campbellton Road between Sandringham and Wells Drive. Please join me in calling 311. A high volume of calls will get faster action…”the squeaky wheel gets the oil”.

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We need to call, email, and meet with our legislators to let them know they need to pass tougher legislation with severe penalties for this atrocious crime that affects the health and well-being of our residents.

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This is a City, County, and state problem. Please contact all of our elected officials this week AND again in January (State Legislator are pre-filing legislation for the Session that starts in Jan.). We need our elected officials to work collectively to expeditiously solve this problem.

If it is true that tires have unique serial numbers, as mentioned at one NPU meeting, then it should not be difficult to determine what business dumped these tires. In the meantime, perhaps the city can put a locked gate at the entrance (at the orange barriers) to prevent further dumping.

Getting a handle on this problem means resident do not have to worry about mosquitos and the west mile virus next summer.

Thanks in advance for making sure those we elected know about and fix this problem NOW!!

MARTA Releases New Funding Plan

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The MARTA Board of Directors will vote on Thursday, October 4 on how the Atlanta half-penny sales tax will be used over the next 40 years.  See the full plan overview in the 9/27/18 AJC.

Here are my thoughts on this updated thoughts on MARTA’s updated funding plan:

1)  The Campbellton Rd Light Rail Transit (LRT) & Greenbriar Transit Center can be a win for transit dependent riders and will draw “choice riders” from that corridor, City of South Fulton, Camp Creek and beyond. However, it needs to be the #1 project on that list for implementation and use an accelerated schedule (remember The I-85 bridge?). Since the #83 Campbellton Rd/Greenbriar bus Route is #1, it should be prioritized as #1 in project scheduling and completion. That
would be the start of unprecedented equity in this major project.
2)  Emory will always secure funding for what it wants. Bravo MARTA for realizing they could reallocate some of their originally designated funding. Perhaps this is a move toward equity.
3)  BeltLine. I agree with Councilmen Dickens and Hillis who said in Wednesday’s Transportation Committee meeting that the south end of the Beltline needs to be done before other BeltLine areas to insure it gets done. They discussed how south side projects are always done last and if funding run out, those areas suffer most. That would be a real equity move!  Besides, the folks who live on the BeltLine are mostly choice riders, they won’t suffer any loss other than pride. They will get other funding including from their own financial portfolios, if they choose.
4) I still believe the Fulton Industrial Blvd. (FIB) MARTA Station should be added. The extra funding that went to the BeltLine should go here. This is a key regional job corridor as well as the gateway to Cobb County. Cobb residents overwhelmingly used the H.E.Holmes MARTA station when originally opened (as the Hightower station). Today, on Falcons and other game days, Cobb residents fill that station to capacity.
5) The FIB station would be the gateway to the future Cobb County MARTA connection and take thousands of cars off the I-20 FIB corridor daily as well as help Six Flags employees and visitors; both UPS distribution centers and more. The #73 FIB bus route, out of the Holmes station, ranks #6 in MARTA ridership.  Another reason to add this station.  Cobb County’s Planning and Division Manager, Eric Meyer, said after a recent ARC meeting that he is all for the FIB station and would be happy to work with stakeholders to make it happen.
6) If we can’t get FIB right now, “At least give us the Holmes heavy rail extension to I-285 at MLKing. That way, drivers would exit there and take MARTA into the city” says Councilman Dickens. That extension was supposed to be done about eight years ago. According to MARTA, ‘There was a glitch in funding for that project.’ Yet another prime example of why south and west side projects need to be done first!

7) The state of Georgia needs to step up their game. They benefit from everything that happens in metro Atlanta.  They use all that Metro Atlanta has to offer to sell prospective companies on why they need to expand or relocate here.  Yet, other than $100 million for a transit funding along GA 400, on the north side, no other funding has been allocated.  Shame on you!  Metro Atlantans pay state taxes.  A portion of that should go to MARTA expansion to give is any chance of decreasing our ridiculous traffic woes.

And, perhaps in 2019, our legislators will introduce and pass legislation to allow for a portion of Georgia’s fuel tax to be used for MARTA… something other than expanding our roads by adding more lanes.  We are among very few states who do not fund public transit from the fuel tax because this state was controlled by the auto industry for so long (they wanted people to buy cars, not take public transit.).  With Ford and GM assembly plants long gone, Georgia is still operating as if those plants are still here.  What’s up with that??  Being 18 years into the new millennium, what are our legislators waiting for??

Here is an updated article with thoughts from a GSU researcher, Chris Wyczalkowski on MARTA’s current funding challenges (click on the MARTA article if it does not automatically load.):

https://epaper.ajc.com/html5/reader/production/default.aspx?pubname=Atlanta%20Journal-Constitution&pubid=8e0858ee-1443-484d-9e94-f8b8a1eaaaff

 

Commuter Needed for Proposed ATL Link Board

After meeting with Tyler Adams, Governor Deal’s Transportation Advisor, MARTOC Chairman Tom Taylor and Stand-Up’s Sherry Williams agree it was a good meeting. They are requesting that the proposed 14 member ATL Link Board add two community commuters so that Public transit riders can have a voice during the planning stages of transit expansion to 10 metro ATL counties as outlined in SB 386 and HB 930. Both bills are expected to go to conference committee and be combined.

 

 

 

 

More Irma Photos

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It is still amazing to see all the traces and reminders of how blessed we are that Irma, though terrible Tropical Storm, was polite on Georgia when compared to Florida and many islands.

In the photos above, this huge tree fell “away from” three houses and instead blocked two driveways.  The branches that blocked the street for four days have been removed.  And the half dozen power poles that snapped when caught in the path have been replaced.

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Power crews are still working long shifts to replace poles and lines six days after Irma across metro Atlanta and the state.

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As tree branches above wait for removal, they cover most of the front lawns on this quiet street, Central Villa Road, just off Cascade Road in West Atlanta.