Long Lines in Grocery Stores

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At the Greenbriar Kroger and  grocery stores across the nation long, long lines now (and all day) after the federal government released WIC and food stamp payments for February.  Could have  avoided these lines if I had realized this impact.

And since it is late in the day, items as eggs and some produce (including kale) were sold out!  Lots of bare shelves around the store.  Yet another unintended consequence of the federal government shutdown over the past 25 days.

Thanks Kroger for calling in more workers!!

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

 

BeltLine Group, “The Haves” Are Claiming Victory

If the BeltLine Group, “the haves”, that is well-organized wins; that means south and southwest Atlanta loses. That includes transit dependent riders, who do not own or have access to a car, lose.  We are Atlanta!  We are the home of Civil Rights!  How can this be allowed to happen??

Please read the info below and contact MARTA Board members AND all Atlanta City Council members via email, phone, social media AND snail mail. Contact them ASAP, and definitely before September 28 since the MARTA Board is scheduled to vote on October 4.  “The have nots” need a modified plan of the first proposed project list that connects 126 neighborhoods and adds the Fulton Industrial MARTA Station.

Remember:  “It ain’t over until the fat lady sings!!  So we still have time to get what we want, need, and have paid for; yet we still being denied equity…equal distribution of the $2.5 Billion available through the Atlanta half penny sales tax.

 

BeltLine Rail lands front page in the AJC

We’re heartened to see that the public’s views are being heard. The AJC articletoday states the More MARTA project list is being revised in talks between Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the MARTA board. Some remaining funding may go to to the BeltLine as a result of these discussions. BeltLine Rail Now! is optimistic about this development. However, it’s not clear how much funding would remain, or how that funding would be applied. We look forward to learning those details.

We encourage you to keep making your voices heard! Sign our petition and contact your City Council representatives, Mayor Bottoms’ office and MARTA before the board votes on October 4th. Let them know you want transit that connects all 45 neighborhoods along the BeltLine to jobs, destinations and opportunity.

Greenbriar Organic Mobile Market

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Real food that is good for you at great prices. All in Southwest Atlanta, the S.W.A.T!  Green4Life, owned by Lee and Gertrude Muhammad, brings us organic,  locally grown, seasonal produce and herbs.

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Drop by Greenbriar Mall’s north parking lot (beside GA Hwy 166) and stock up or get the delicious teas or herbs. It is worth your time on any Saturday (Except July 7), weather permitting.

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Tropical Storm Irma Pics

In these three pics, we see a huge tree that fell away from the house earlier today. This homeowner on DeLowe Drive must have a guardian angel!

In anticipation of today’s severe weather, a state of emergency was called in Georgia for today and tomorrow.  With that comes the closing of all schools (K-12), colleges and universities, state and local government offices, and most businesses.  Many of which are without power today.

Power has been out in large sections of metro Atlanta, including my home, with few exceptions. The latest report is 1.4 million metro residents are without power until tomorrow. That includes traffic signals being out and those intersections being treated as a four-way stop.

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Continuous heavy rain and high winds make driving conditions extremely dangerous.

While generators are busy keeping Home Depot on Research Drive, near Cascade Road and I-285, they are already out of most battery sizes.  Others areas around Lithonia, Decatur, Greenbriar Mall, Ben Hill, Campbellton Road, and East Point are in the dark. That includes the local 24-hour Kroger at Greenbriar.  😦

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Both the Citco and Valero gas stations at DeLowe Drive and Allison Court were open for business.

To the delight of locals who dared to venture out driving to find batteries, flashlights, candles and food after it was announced that power may not be restored until tomorrow because there are so many trees down on powers lines.  And, some of our power company people may have been sent to the Florida and Georgia (Jekyll Island, Savannah) east coasts before it was known that Irma would turn to cause destruction along the West Florida Coast (Tampa, St. Petersburg, Ft. Myers) and the pan handle.

Then Irma, continued north and died down to a “tropical storm” as it travelled across Georgia today.  It has lowered temperatures to the low 60’s, packed 40-60mph winds blowing torrential rain sideways, saturating tree roots, and loosening the ground around top-heavy trees that easily fell over.  Unfortunately, two people have died from this so far.  One person was in their car while the other was in their home when the trees came crashing down.

Hunker down in place, relax, and stay safe!