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The Daily Whim

The Daily Whim

Buford Highway, Dangerous By Design

This report indicates that in the past decade, 30 have been killed and nearly 250 injured in pedestrian accidents on Buford Highway. This is my neighborhood, and people are dying for a lack of concrete and white paint.

In 2007 they added four pedestrian crossing lights on the northern end of Buford Highway, and claimed similar improvements would be coming to my neighborhood by 2010. In those three years, statistically, 9 people would be killed and nearly 75 injured on Buford Highway.

Now, in 2010, they say construction will happen in 2012. Another six dead, nearly 50 injured.

Maybe if they wait long enough, people will just stop living here because its become so dangerous, and they won’t have to do anything at all. Or they can go back to writing jaywalking tickets to people who are a half mile away from the nearest crossing signal, and perhaps hundreds of yards away from anything resembling a modern sidewalk.

But after watching nothing be done about an obvious problem for a decade, one can’t help but think that county and state government simply don’t care that the working class poor living on Buford Highway (largely Hispanic or African American) are at risk in their daily lives, just trying to get to work. It’s just not a priority, at all.

Wed. Apr 08, 2009

Legislature and Governor Tell MARTA To Take A Train To Hell

The Georgia State Legislature has gone home for the year, and left Atlanta’s mass transit system dead in the water. Addressing this critical issue would not have cost a dime of state funding. MARTA has never taken state funding. All they had to do was pass one measly bill.

Services have already been cutback in many areas, and MARTA has said that a fare hike of 25 cents (total price, $2) is all but guaranteed. But there’s another more complex problem, one the legislature could have easily fixed. More than half of MARTA’s revenue comes from a 1% sales tax levied in Fulton and Dekalb Counties. And across the nation, sales tax revenues have plummeted, leaving MARTA with about a $20 million budget shortage.

... » Full Article, 826 words »

Mon. Nov 03, 2008

The Math Says No Lines In Georgia, And A Long Wait For Results

There are 5.75 million registered voters in Georgia, and 3,000 polling places. I read a prediction of a national turnout of 64% of registered voters, so let’s generously estimate 70% in Georgia. 4,029,900. That’s, on average, 1,343 people per polling place. On average, that’s 112 people per hour the polls are open, at each and every one of those 3,000 precincts.

... » Full Article, 303 words »

Tue. Oct 28, 2008

The Purge

A few weeks ago, I wrote that “in Georgia, there’s going to be a lot of people who haven’t voted since the last presidential election very angry to find they’ve been purged from the voter rolls.” And it appears it is much worse than I had feared. It’s not just people who haven’t voted in the past three years:

... » Full Article, 640 words »

Wed. Feb 06, 2008

The Day After In Georgia

I stayed up too late last night waiting for West Coast election returns, but even today, it’s clear you could have stayed up all night and not gotten any additional real resolution. Though nearly half the country voted yesterday, the Democrats are a virtual tie, and McCain was unable to fully grab a dominating lead, though he did end up positioned a lot better than the other Republicans.

... » Full Article, 1248 words »

Thu. Oct 25, 2007

Southern Water Wars

It’s hard not to have heard about the severe drought affecting parts of the Southeast. You see, CNN is headquartered in Atlanta, and I have long suspected that “local” stories get more air time on this “international” network. It’s my understanding the Piedmont area of the Carolinas has suffered a severe drought for years, but, well, CNN isn’t located in Cary, N.C.

... » Full Article, 498 words »

Mon. Jun 11, 2007

Shame on the Georgia Attorney General

You probably saw the jubilation on CNN today, as Genarlow Wilson’s mother and his lawyer, B.J. Bernstein, celebrated a judge’s ruling that voided his sentence, complete with a release order. It was quite a moment of joy for many.

Until my state stepped in:

... » Full Article, 680 words »

Fri. Mar 30, 2007

Dear Senator David Adelman

I am writing to you as a constituent who hopes you will use your vote to reject House Bill 340, which cuts funding for health care for the children who need it the most.

It is very possible you intend to do so regardless of this email. In fact, that would be my assumption.

... » Full Article, 221 words »

Wed. Jan 03, 2007

DeKalb County Water Follies

We take our federal government to task regularly due to their failure to take necessary steps to protect citizens, whether from acts of terrorism or flood waters held behind government (mis)built levees. But there are times it is your local government that is supposed to protect you from and inform you about more localized problems.

Last week in my county, it was one of those times. And it appears they not only failed pretty completely, they’re now rather defensive and dismissive about it.

» Read the Full Article (858 words) »

Wed. Aug 09, 2006

Voters Deck Officer McKinney

Since months ago when I was Delivered Via Postcard, I’ve been able to watch the developments in the Georgia 4th District Congressional race with something approaching amusement rather than frustration … now that I’m in Georgia District 5.

But I would be lying to you if I said I didn’t take some pleasure in tonight’s runoff results, in which Cynthia McKinney was resoundingly thumped and dumped. Again (in fact, by about the same 58-42 percentage as in 2002). Because, well, Cynthia and I go way back. And I wanted to take a look at the trends over the past six years, before she emits her usual cloud of charges and blame for her loss tonight (oops, too late already…).

» Read the Full Article (1571 words) »

Tue. Jul 18, 2006

The Name Not On The Ballot

Just got back from voting in Georgia’s primary. The highlight was the fact that, for the first time in six years, I didn’t see Cynthia McKinney’s name on my ballot. Yay!!! I’ve never been so happy to check the box next to an unopposed incumbent, my new representative, John Lewis.

... » Full Article, 132 words »

Wed. Jun 21, 2006

State Of My Politics

I’ve only written about a half dozen articles in some way related to politics this year. Oh, I do read about the day-to-day tit-for-tat over the latest perceived political outrage, the kind of stuff that makes the partisan political blogosphere spin and/or wobble. But I find it hard to get very worked up about even the most transgressive acts. That’s what happens when what was once an aberration becomes the norm.

It’s possible I’ll be a little more politically oriented come fall, this being an election year. Right now I think I epitomize the phrase “I used to be disgusted, but now I’m just amused.” Still, I thought I’d take an assessment of the State of My Politics.

» Read the Full Article (2284 words) »

Thu. Mar 30, 2006

McKinney's A Heavyweight

I know I said it might be a while before I posted anything here, especially anything that isn’t family related. But my elected representative, Cynthia McKinney, has made a liar out of me. You may have already heard that she had an “incident” with a Capitol Hill police officer, in which (depending on who you believe) the chest of the police officer was either shoved, punched, or “stabbed” with a cell phone (ouch! ... I think this is most likely) by Ms. McKinney. Apparently, despite the fact Ms. McKinney wore no ID or even the discrete lapel pin given to Congresspeople, she expected the officer to recognize her as one of the “Elite 535.” Well, to my eyes, her appearance has changed pretty radically … and I don’t just mean her hair. She’s become a real heavyweight. A photo comparison follows…

» Read the Full Article (1111 words) »

Sun. Mar 12, 2006

Bill Campbell, Too Slick To be Guilty

Over the past eight weeks, our former Mayor Bill Campbell has been on trial for corruption during his term in office. But, man, was he slick. So slick the jury said they thought he was guilty of the bribery charges, but didn’t think the prosecution gave them the evidence to bring it home. He was too good at being bad. And this whole trial makes a bizarre encounter I had with him during the 1996 Olympics make a bit more sense.

» Read the Full Article (1483 words) »

Sun. Sep 25, 2005

Sonny Steps In It

Georgia has been well removed from hurricane damage this season so far, but Katrina and Rita have still had quite an impact in the state, as they have in many southern states. In addition to tens of thousands who’ve relocated to Georgia, including over 7,000 new school students, people have been worried about fuel fluctuations due to Hurricane Rita.

... » Full Article, 817 words »

Tue. Jul 05, 2005

The Freedom to Handle Fish

I hope you had an enjoyable Fourth of July weekend. In Georgia, it’s the first time we’ve been able to buy “legal” fireworks (though they are so legislatively crippled that calling them “fireworks” is about like calling paintball “war”)..

There’s a quite a few things that recently became newly legal, or illegal, as the fine handicraft of our state legislature’s session (“it will be against the law to obscure license plates with fake body parts”) went into effect on July 1.

... » Full Article, 843 words »

Mon. May 16, 2005

Response from McKinney?

It would appear that somewhere in the US House of Representatives, there’s a staff member spending their time posting comments on weblogs to defend Cynthia McKinney, and condemn the “haters/whiners of racist Georgia,” i.e., those who oppose her. This isn’t exactly the kind of digital communication with the office of my elected representative that I’d envisioned…

... » Full Article, 1021 words »

Thu. May 12, 2005

McKinney MIA in GA

So. For a few days I try to stay away from the political rhetoric, maybe tell a few jokes, but in the words of Michael Corleone, “Just when I thought that I was out … they pull me back in.

... » Full Article, 963 words »

Wed. Feb 09, 2005

Councilman For Life Kurey

We’ve seen the ugliness on a national scale, but here in an Atlanta suburb, city-level political discourse has reached that precious moment when one of those involved moves to the high moral ground of … “Shut up. No, really, shut up or I’ll sue you and take your house.”

... » Full Article, 485 words »

Fri. Nov 12, 2004

Election Lessons Learned, Part 1

I’m pretty late to this particular “party.” I decided to wait until the cops left. I have no real desire to participate in the autopsy of the Democratic Party, nor really offer an opinion on it. I’m also not interested in reviewing the minutia of the Bush campaign’s blitzkrieg, and what it means for the future of the Republican Party. There are hundreds (thousands?) of others who’ve done a superfluously detailed job of those tasks.

All I have to offer is one person’s perspective on an election that had a hundred million perspectives. I can only tell what you this one person learned from the past year or so, a year that left me with no candidate. It’s not very uplifting, and won’t have an iota of impact on whatever happens in 2006 and 2008. The Republican camp currently feels it has nothing to learn, feeling they’ve been the “teachers” in this election, and the Democrats … well, you’ve got to be vested in some way to carve on that turkey. So this one’s mostly for the archives, and maybe some future historian wondering just what the heck happened back there in the Election of 20-Ought-4.

» Read the Full Article (1662 words) »

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