House Speaker: What’s Your Problem, MARTA?

Here’s a beautiful exchange between WABE’s Dennis O’Hayer and House Speaker David Ralston, courtesy of Political Insider:

O’Hayer: Can MARTA survive another year without a transportation plan that includes some loosening of the restrictions that it faces on how it spends the tax revenue it gets?

Ralston:  I’ve been trying to understand how MARTA got in the problem they’re in. I think that we have to have a better understanding of what brought us to this point before we know how to get out of the problem.

Oh OK.  So let me get this straight.  The House Speaker of the State of Georgia, which itself is dealing with a massive $4 billion+ deficit, doesn’t understand that during what is termed a “recession” that tax revenue declines because people stop buying stuff?  Well, that certainly explains a lot.

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Robert Spano On Music as Philosophy

“You don’t have to hear the Mozart, I’ll just tell you what it meant.”

Good stuff out of Emory….

Atlanta’s Food Cart Frenzy

If you hang out in Atlanta journalistic circles – or just read Twitter obsessively – you’ve probably caught wind of this whole Atlanta food cart campaign.  Urbanites, foodies and food-inclined journalists the city over have worked themselves up into a frothy mess over Atlanta’s “arcane” laws regarding the allowance of chow-carts on city streets.

From Scott Henry’s recent coverage in Creative Loafing

Under state law, “mobile food units” – be they trucks, trailers or pushcarts – can’t roam the streets. Instead, they’re permitted for no more than two specific locations, the better to track them down for surprise health inspections. Also, raw food must be cooked in a licensed, stationary, commercial-grade kitchen before it goes on the truck or cart, where it can only be reheated.

Y’all want anything from the “mobile food unit”?

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Oakhurst Online Auction Now LIVE

Click over to OakhurstAuction.com and type in the password “oakhurst2010” to check out the 34 pages of items up for auction online at Oakhurst Elementary ! There’s everything from local restaurant gift certificates, to tickets to the Atlanta Symphony, to vacation accommodations.  There’s even a Carmelo Anthony autographed shoe!

Bidding continues until 8pm on Friday, April 16th.  All proceeds benefit Oakhurst Elementary Field Experiences.

In Close Vote, Zoning Board Allows Peer Support To Continue Operation

Both InDecatur and the DNO report that Decatur’s Zoning Board of Appeals concurred with the city staff ruling last night that the Peer Support and Wellness Center could continue operation on an R-60 piece of property.

Both outlets reported a 3-2 vote, with Board Chair Mark Burnette, Neil Dobbs, and David Goldberg voting to uphold the zoning administrators decision, and Kyle Williams and Neil Norton voting to overturn it.

According to the DNO’s excellent recap, Burnette summed up the issue at hand by asking “Is this a use that would fundamentally alter the character of an R-60 zoning district?”, noting that there were other allowable public uses where folks came and went “all the time.”  Federal law, permits, and missteps along the way by all parties involved were also discussed.

Those who wish to challenge the board’s ruling now have the option of appealing the case to the State Superior Court.