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We shall see if he's correct after the Streetcar goes into service - that's promised in November but it's been promised before.

Not mentioned is that the City Council has agreed to pay $1million/year to support it. That's a tacit admission that ridership will be less than outed.

6 days, 5 hours ago on Atlanta Streetcar exec says year-old audio message, actual transit service will boost business at nearby shops

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@Daraka There is no need to develop at AUC what already exists at Georgia Tech. Excepting Spelman, all of the AUC members are financially stressed and the facilities required for  STEM are expensive. Where would they get the money?

1 week ago on Atlanta University Center a pathway to increase diversity at technology firms

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The author fails to mention that Morehouse, Spelman, and Clark Atlanta (plus other HBCUs) already have a dual-degree arrangement with Georgia Tech. The student attends (for example) Morehouse for three years and Georgia Tech for approximately two more years, and receives both a liberal arts degree from Morehouse and an engineering degree from Georgia Tech. See http://www.coe.gatech.edu/content/dual-degree for details.

1 week, 2 days ago on Atlanta University Center a pathway to increase diversity at technology firms

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@maketransitregional Just what part of what I wrote makes no sense? Please be exact.

This website is a nice gesture but little else. Four hours and $10 per day to get from Dunwoody to the Galleria area and return is no service.

2 weeks, 2 days ago on New regional transit trip-planner website growing slowly, as planned

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This site illustrates the inadequacy of present transit options. I could take MARTA bus, MARTA rail, and CCT bus to my job at a cost of 4 hours and $10 per day. Or I can drive my 2007 Corolla at a cost of 50 minutes and $13 per day.

I will continue to drive since 3 hours of my time is worth more than $3.

2 weeks, 3 days ago on New regional transit trip-planner website growing slowly, as planned

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@ Archie

Jihad Cindy needed no assistance getting herself voted out in a rout in the 2006 primary runoff. Democratic voters tired of her strident craziness and uneven performance.

3 weeks, 3 days ago on Black votes count in “stunning” Mississippi runoff

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@atlman Count the number of similar quasi-governmental units Atlanta City has created, and then add this one to the mix. Regardless of how many units there are, Atlanta City cannot fund them. My earlier post was in error, the latest estimate of the City decayed infrastructure bond issue is only 25% of the backlog.

I am not up to date on Cobb County, and it's off topic anyway. If I were you, I'd worry about Atlanta City before I started pointing fingers at Cobb County. Cobb has 2/3 more population than Atlanta City and can raise a lot more tax money.

3 weeks, 4 days ago on Atlanta to launch new nonprofit group to spur new investment on westside

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Hizzoner the Mayor seems to believe that he can make his government seem larger and more impressive by creating more quasi-governmental units like this one. Regardless how many quasi-governmental units he creates, the limiting factor is the almost empty City treasury and the limited City income. The City has over a $1 billion backlog of decayed infrastructure to replace yet proposes a bond issue to correct only 35% of it. That is because of the poor condition of City finances.

3 weeks, 4 days ago on Atlanta to launch new nonprofit group to spur new investment on westside

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@GeorgeChidi “But it's plainly indifferent to party and race. And it is not the cause of white flight. That's a combination of old-fashioned racism and the market forces associated with a shifting center of wealth.”

Nothing is indifferent to race. The white flight in Detroit began after the 1967 riots and was exacerbated by Mayor Coleman Young’s 20 year campaign of political retribution. A similar program began in DeKalb under Vernon Jones as he vowed to “put a darker face on DeKalb County”, and continued under Burrell Ellis. $ millions have been paid in fines, settlements, and legal fees, with more to come. That is part of the reason why, between the 2000 and 2010 US Censuses, DeKalb’s population grew by 26,000 while the white population dropped by 8,000.

And regarding the market forces associated with a shifting center of wealth, are you saying that white flight is causing the center of wealth to shift, or the center of wealth is shifting, causing white flight?

4 weeks, 1 day ago on Citizen involvement key to DeKalb County government reform

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@GeorgeChidi 

“white people taking capital away from cities actually causes the problems that he then says white people are running away from.”

No DeKalb citizen is under any obligation to remain in DeKalb just so his capital is available to be taxed by DeKalb County.

"leaders put into untenable positions by a loss of talent and wealth."

If a leader is in an untenable position, the honorable path is to resign and let someone else lead. Being a leader in an untenable position is not a carte blanche to justify corrupt activities.

“I'm not looking to give a free pass to corruption and bad governance.”

That is exactly what you’re trying to do in your statement above.

4 weeks, 1 day ago on Citizen involvement key to DeKalb County government reform

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The revolving door between the City of Atlanta and the Metro Chamber turns again. Some fresh blood would improve things at the Chamber, rather than the same crowd of back-scratchers.

1 month ago on Metro Atlanta Chamber names its new economic development chief

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Those providing news coverage of the Clayton County vote should have two cameras - one focused on the Commissioners' faces and lips, and the other on the money moving between hands beneath the table.

1 month ago on Clayton County Commission urged to vote for full penny MARTA sales tax

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This grant is to help DeKalb County School District to increase the number of central office staff who supervise principals. DCSD could have easily funded these positions within its budget by firing some friends & family in the central office who accomplish little. Once the Wallace grant is spent, these new positions will become additional central office overhead.

Little ever changes at DCSD. Rather than fix the problems, just find someone else to pay for them.

1 month ago on DeKalb County school district: Credit rating stable, also wins $3 million grant from Wallace Foundation

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@whatshisface I use MARTA a lot, particularly for traveling from Dunwoody to the airport. MARTA saves me 48 miles on my car for each trip - let's say $24. I would gladly pay more to MARTA, and they are foolish not to charge more.

I am not referring to dynamic pricing at all - what ever gave you that silly idea. I am referring to static pricing, like the London Underground. Look at http://www.london-tubemap.com/images/zoneslayer2.gif


1 month, 1 week ago on MARTA looks to invite developers to build on top of its urban rail stations

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@whatshisface The farther you ride, the more you pay. Distance-based fares are standard for most major transit systems - e.g. BART, DC Metro, London Underground.

Transit is not an entitlement for those with low incomes.

1 month, 1 week ago on MARTA looks to invite developers to build on top of its urban rail stations

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@whatshisface MARTA will have to make great improvements on its collection ratio to make any progress. The City of Atlanta/Fulton/DeKalb politicians have told the populace for decades that cheap transit fares are an entitlement. No progress will be made until MARTA institutes a distance-based fare system.

1 month, 1 week ago on MARTA looks to invite developers to build on top of its urban rail stations

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@John Hutcheson Justify what racial slurs have to do with this topic.

1 month, 1 week ago on A transit tale of two counties – Clayton looks to MARTA; Cobb looks away

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@John Hutcheson I just have a simple question - why can't you stay on topic?

1 month, 1 week ago on A transit tale of two counties – Clayton looks to MARTA; Cobb looks away

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@netdragon MARTA made provisions in the tunnel north of Arts Center Station for a future line to a Brrokwood and Northside Drive stations. http://www.nycsubway.org/wiki/MARTA_Provisions

1 month, 1 week ago on A transit tale of two counties – Clayton looks to MARTA; Cobb looks away

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@whatshisface How do you define sustainable? Please name one sizable transit system that survives without taxpayer subsidy.

1 month, 1 week ago on MARTA looks to invite developers to build on top of its urban rail stations

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@The Last Democrat in Georgia 

We will see whether they develop that sort of expertise, or just continue to bumble.

I would prefer they first develop operational expertise since transportation is supposed to be their core business.

1 month, 1 week ago on MARTA looks to invite developers to build on top of its urban rail stations

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@The Last Democrat in Georgia @matthewdkingsley Perhaps the best thing for MARTA is to focus on real estate development and shut down the transit system. They might make money on realestate, but they do not know how to run a transit system. 

1 month, 1 week ago on MARTA looks to invite developers to build on top of its urban rail stations

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The title should be "The business community continues to control the Atlanta Public Schools."

1 month, 1 week ago on Business community steps up to support the Atlanta Public Schools

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The City found a compliant judge to do their bidding. Look for more litigation about the reversionary rights.

Also look for Morris Brown to quietly wither away after the sale.

1 month, 1 week ago on Judge approves sale of Morris Brown land to City of Atlanta, Friendship

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"“I’m just disappointed and puzzled because I’m not quite sure of the reasoning behind their lawsuits and the end game,” 

What nonsense she speaks! It's obvious to all that the reason is money and power.

The King children already ran the King Center into the ground once and were bailed out by the National Park Service. Now they have run it into the ground again. I wonder which arm of the Federal Government will bail them out this time?

1 month, 2 weeks ago on A King-sized family squabble keeps King Center in limbo

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@MatthewCharlesCardinale Expect Hizzoner to shop for a judge who will throw the judgements his way. Given the present price of US judges, that may be a problem.

2 months ago on Objections filed against Morris Brown land sale to Invest Atlanta-Friendship

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@Steve Willis You picked the wrong venue to look for even-handed treatment of this issue. Deepening Savannah Harbor is ballyhooed as an important issue for metro Atlanta, with all its unbridled boosterism. This boosterism has been around for well over a century, as Franklin Garrett reported in "Atlanta and Environs", "If Atlanta could suck as well as it blows, it would be a seaport."

2 months ago on Congress provides funds to deepen ports of Savannah, Jacksonville, Fla., Boston to handle bigger ships

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@Michael Agree 100%. MARTA will cheaply take you to locations where hotel rooms are cheaper and you don't pay the hotel tax. Many do the same in DC, NYC, and other major convention cities.

2 months, 1 week ago on Fireworks and 3-D film part of Atlanta stadium ground-breaking

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Said Princesses Arthur and Kasim, "Let them eat cake."

2 months, 1 week ago on Fireworks and 3-D film part of Atlanta stadium ground-breaking

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@atlman

The City's financial woes have been well publicized in the local media, so don't play coy. Just a couple of weeks ago the Mayor was saying perhaps he could scrape together enough money to finance a $250-$300 million bond issue to make a start on the $1+ billion infrastructure replacement backlog. No mention though about how to pay for the rest of it. Plus the coupon rate mentioned was 5% which puts it in municipal junk bond status.

Regarding the penion funds being underfunded, see http://www.pewtrusts.org/uploadedFiles/wwwpewtrustsorg/Reports/Retirement_security/Pew_city_pensions_report.pdf.

2 months, 1 week ago on Citizen involvement key to DeKalb County government reform

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@atlman The City of Atlanta surplus is a myth created by politicians to encourage their supporters. The City cannot afford to address more than 1/3 of its accumulated $1.1 billion backlog of decayed infrastructure that must be replaced or mended. The City's pension funds are underfunded by over $1 billion.

The City of Atlanta is on the same path as the City of Detroit, not just as far down the path. Hopefully, reason will prevail and the City of Atlanta will correct its financial sins.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Citizen involvement key to DeKalb County government reform

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Let me go on and say a bit more. As long as blacks in DeKalb continue to elect political leadership as they have, the farther DeKalb will sink into the financial and ethical abyss. What has happened in Detroit and Wayne County will happen in DeKalb unless our electorate wakes up.

We hear a lot about Detroit in the news, but less about Wayne County. The population in 1960 was 1.67 million in Detroit and 2.67 million in Wayne County, so 1.67 million lived in Detroit and 1 million outside Detroit. The population in 2010 was 0.71 million in Detroit and 1.82 million in Wayne County, so 0.71 million lived in Detroit and 1.1 million outside Detroit. Detroit's population dropped 57.5% while the population outside Detroit increased 10% over a 50 year period. The Wayne County finances are also in a shambles, and the state is pressuring them to cut the budget to eliminate a $175 million accumulated deficit.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Citizen involvement key to DeKalb County government reform

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Acquisition of WRAS by GPB is the latest battle in a war begun in the mid-1990s when Zell Miller was governor. GPB had a hole in its coverage map - metro Atlanta. Acquiring use of WRAS allows them to fill the hole and expand their war with Atlanta Public Schools/WABE-WPBA/Atlanta Educational Telecommunications Collaborative. Now GPB will attempt to subdue their competition by reducing their fundraising income and corporate gifts.

Why must taxpayers be forced to subsidize two competing public broadcasting entities in Atlanta?

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Demolition of Album 88 another sad step toward sameness

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Emory's journalism program was never more than an accommodation for wealthy students who fancied journalism while attending Emory. The serious students attended, and continue to attend, the Grady J school at UGA. Both of my siblings and my son are Grady J school graduates.

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Ashes to ashes – mourning the passing of Emory’s journalism degree

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This proposed bond issue will address less than 1/4 of the City's accumulated infrastructure repair/replacement needs. When will the remaining more than 3/4 of the needs be addressed, and how will the City pay for them?

The 5.20% coupon is very high and is equivalent to municipal junk bonds. Representative coupons for 30 year municipal bonds at this time are: AAA-3.5%, AA-4.05%, A-4.4%. I suppose the City's finances won't permit a higher rating and a lower coupon. If the coupon could be reduced to 3.5%, the $16.5 annual debt service could amortize a larger bond issue of more than $350 million.

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Mayor Reed’s proposed budget aims for voter support of planned $250 million bond referendum

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@tim The City of Philadelphia lost 32,000 residents between 1990 and 2000, and gained 8,500 between 2000 and 2010. Its 2010 population of 1.553 million is 26% less than it was in 1950 (2.071 million). Those are the facts and you can confirm them with the Census Bureau.

If increased population density were the virtue you extol, then Kolkata would be paradise. Its population density is 5.5 times that of the City of Philadelphia and almost 20 times that of the City of Atlanta. Over 1/3 of the Kolkata residents live in slums. Your metric is way off base.

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Atlanta region’s LINK delegation headed to Philadelphia – seeking consensus on economic development

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Not much to learn in Filthydelphia. 

Take the train from the 30th Street Station to Atlantic City and you will see an urban nightmare. Liverpool was heavily bombed in WWII, yet Liverpool in 1964 looked better than Philadelphia does now.

In a way, the City of Philadelphia is similar to the City of Atlanta. Philadelphia's population is 26% less than its peak in 1950, while Atlanta's is 15% less than its peak in 1970.

3 months ago on Atlanta region’s LINK delegation headed to Philadelphia – seeking consensus on economic development

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@The Last Democrat in Georgia @Burroughston Broch "No one is throwing insults and no one is demeaning Speaker Ralston's constituents."

You chose these words:"struggles mightily with poverty and high unemployment", which are certainly not terms of endearment, and then attempted to draw a contrast to Atlanta. Your chosen words were both insults and incorrect. The statistics I quoted are from the US Census Bureau.

3 months, 1 week ago on Technology can improve transit but not replace new network investment

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@The Last Democrat in Georgia Get your facts in order before throwing insults. Ralston's district encompasses parts of Dawson, Fannin, and Gilmer counties. The unemployment rate in each of those counties in February 2014 was lower than in Fulton County; in fact, Dawson County's rate was 2% less than Fulton's. The poverty rate in these three counties is only slightly higher than Fulton County's 16.8%. So you are completely offbase to demean the Speaker's constituents.

The Speaker should not be City of Atlanta-centric because the City of Atlanta is less than 4.5% of Georgia's population.

3 months, 1 week ago on Technology can improve transit but not replace new network investment

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@The Last Democrat in Georgia Surely you jest. You couldn't be writing this from a pot fest in Colorado, could you? Let's check back in 5 years and see whether the big boys on the Northside have done as you predict. My guess is no because of the unrestrained risk to which they would be exposed, with government as a both partner and as a regulator.

3 months, 1 week ago on A MARTA story: Why the state never contributed funding – from day one

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@The Last Democrat in Georgia "land which will likely be taken through Eminent Domain if necessary"

You propose taking private land by eminent domain and then selling the land off to private investors to build and operate the transit system and adjacent residential and commercial developments. When Hell freezes over! We have enough cases of eminent domain abuse for a dozen lifetimes.

And how would you propose to control the private, for-profit transit system? Georgia Power never figured it out, which is part of the reason we now have MARTA.

Let me predict you believe that, given enough urban planners and lawyers with unlimited powers, all things are possible.

3 months, 1 week ago on A MARTA story: Why the state never contributed funding – from day one

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@The Last Democrat in Georgia You're avoiding the point a bit. A large capital investment is required to construct transit. This investment is required long before user fees, value capture taxes, CIDs, TADS, advertising, and fares generate any income. How do you propose to pay for the initial construction without bonds?

Speaking of CIDs and TADs, have you seen any capable of paying for a MARTA extension?

3 months, 1 week ago on A MARTA story: Why the state never contributed funding – from day one

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@The Last Democrat in Georgia Bonds are not income, they are financing vehicles like mortgages. They are used to finance assets that cannot be paid in full out of current income. Are you telling me you've never had a mortgage?

How do you propose to pay for transit improvements? 

3 months, 1 week ago on A MARTA story: Why the state never contributed funding – from day one

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@The Last Democrat in Georgia Please explain why long term, low interest, tax exempt bonds are an unsustainable form of funding for state and local governments. At the end of the day the taxpayers pay for the roads, regardless of the accounting path the money takes and whether it came from fuel taxes or income taxes.

3 months, 1 week ago on A MARTA story: Why the state never contributed funding – from day one

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@Rees Cramer "Actually it (MARTA) does just fine, for a half built system that is taken advantage of and used by the suburban critic as the example of urban decay."

So show us the plans for the fully built system. A connection to the International Terminal was planned as a start for a branch but, in typical MARTA clarity of thought, never built.

"You are not going to like it much when you really start paying the true cost of the road you use."

As a taxpayer I pay the full cost of public roads, unless you can prove otherwise.

3 months, 1 week ago on A MARTA story: Why the state never contributed funding – from day one

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@PeggyPowellDobbins  You obviously haven't tried to hail a cab on Peachtree. Hailing a cab in Atlanta is like watching grass grow.

3 months, 2 weeks ago on Atlanta BeltLine buries Peachtree Streetcar to favor other streetcar lines

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@atlman

Here is the Atlanta Regional Commission's 2009 estimate of 480,700 in the City: http://atlantaregional.com/File%20Library/Info%20Center/Newsletters/Regional%20Snapshots/Population/RS_PopNHousing_Feb2010.pdf.

Here's an AJC article from 2011 stating the Census Bureau's own 2009 estimate (no longer available on line) was 540,000: http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/census-shock-result-of-flawed-estimates/nQszH/.

4 months, 2 weeks ago on Atlanta’s income gap problem rooted in poverty, not in a lack of middle-class

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@Rees Cramer The City of Atlanta is 7% or less of the metro area population, and that percentage falls with every census. At its 1970 population peak of 497,000 (18% more than in 2010) the City of Atlanta was 27% of the metro area's population.

The "city's best high schools" are mediocre when compared with the state's best high schools. Please explain the educational benefit of having the Beltline near a high school.

3 months, 2 weeks ago on Chris Leinberger: Atlanta region ‘absolutely needs rail transit;’ question is will you lead or be a laggard?

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@Rees Cramer  Then MARTA will go even further in the financial hole. It already has a very low farebox collection rate.

Regarding a congestion charge, it's a game two can play and could as easily be levied on those who drive out of the city.

3 months, 2 weeks ago on A MARTA story: Why the state never contributed funding – from day one

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