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There is no way these trade deals should be passed.  They are NOT about free trade.  They are about forcing a corporate "wish list" that corporations want but cant get through normal channels.  These agreements have chilling IP sections that would criminalize taking content that you legally purchased and changing it so that it would play on another device you own (it would be a felony).  We only know that because that section was leaked.  These agreements have been negotiated in secret.  No consumer advocates have been given access to the process or the draft text.  However, if you are a large corporation like UPS... you get a seat at the table (as long as you dont tell whats in it...you know, state secrets).  This agreement is kept so secret because if people knew what was in it, it would be stopped dead cold in its tracks.  Hint for lawmakers...if something you want written into a treaty  is so bad 90% of people (across the political spectrum amazingly) would be against it...perhaps its a treaty that should not be written.

Then there is the whole thing about corporations being able to override a nations law in arbitration settled by...a panel of corporations...which would gut any kind of consumer safety or environmental laws.  Just Google TPP...there is a wealth of info.  This is NOT an agreement UPS should get behind...because it will end up biting them on the behind when its finally revealed whats in it.

1 week, 2 days ago on Incoming UPS CEO Dave Abney strongly backs new free trade agreements

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@Burroughston Broch @ScottNAtlanta I think we are on the same page then...if they block this going on the ballot, they have to know there is no way they will be re-elected.  Someone has promised to "take care of them" when they lose, or someone is paying them to vote no...the railroad is my best guess...time will tell, and there are many eyes watching (and investigating) these three...

2 weeks, 6 days ago on Clayton County Commission urged to vote for full penny MARTA sales tax

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I still think there is a deep pocketed interest that doesn't want transit in Clayton Co that is paying these 3 off.  There is no reasonable argument as to why this shouldn't be passed easily.  Clayton Co governance has a long history of blatant corruption, and these 3 have to know they wont ever be elected to anything in the county if they block this...so there is strong evidence right there someone has promised to "take care" of them when they are voted out...I have no proof...but pay attention as this all shakes out.

2 weeks, 6 days ago on As Clayton board gets MARTA vote ‘do-over’ on Saturday, spotlight shines on Commissioner Gail Hambrick

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@Burroughston Broch You say that partially in jest, but the no votes and the timing of the RR letter makes me want to see who is "donating" to the campaigns of the 3 no votes...this isnt passing the smell test...at all

3 weeks ago on Clayton County Commission urged to vote for full penny MARTA sales tax

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I'd say that the campaign contributions of the 3 no votes need some EXTRA scrutiny.  Something smells foul...RR all of the sudden coming out with its conflicting cost estimate (being against commuter rail in general) right before the vote...and 3 no votes whose explanations dont make sense...thats called bribery.  Clayton Co is famous for it too.

3 weeks ago on Putting MARTA on Clayton ballot could help Democrats this fall

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The Clayton County Board of Commissioners will hold a Special Called Meeting on Saturday, July 5, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. in the Commissioners’ Boardroom at 112 Smith Street, in Jonesboro, Georgia, to consider matters pertaining to public transportation in the County. All citizens are welcome to attend.

This will be the FINAL meeting that determines whether Clayton County gets a MARTA referendum this November!

(per Friends of Clayton Transit Facebook page)

 https://www.facebook.com/events/1448058735447368/?ref=22

3 weeks ago on MARTA and Clayton County in midst of high drama with uncertain outcome

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As I have said on numerous occasions, never underestimate the blatant stupidity of the Clayton.Co board that screwed the residents to start with.  If there was a legal way to remove these people it should be explored because it seems that the "no" votes are needed to consent to a special meeting.

I think it takes a hell of a lot of gall for these commissioners to think they deserve special treatment with their dedicated 1/2 penny.  Last I checked...it was Clayton that needs MARTA not the other way around.  The no votes are so stupid as to believe that 1 cent on their sales tax will kill more business than no transit?  Hows it been workin out for ya so far you idiots!!!  This is just insane and hopefully the majority of those in Clayton will make their voices heard.  These 3 should be chased out of town...regardless

3 weeks ago on MARTA and Clayton County in midst of high drama with uncertain outcome

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Clayton commissioner  Sonna Singleton says that the full penny sales tax raising Clayton Co to 8% "scares her".  Let me articulate what she should be scared of...not being re-elected (if that does scare her).  Because if she and the other commissioners screw this up they will be ushered out of office so fast their head will spin.  They need to quit thinking of themselves and vote for the wishes of their constituents...which is overwhelming in favor of the 1 cent.

3 weeks, 2 days ago on Clayton County Commission urged to vote for full penny MARTA sales tax

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I'm sure elected officials in Clayton Co are busy trying to find an alternative to MARTA so they can put their friends into positions that are over-paid and require no work while getting a huge salary.  If MARTA provides the transit, they wont be able to do that...that is probably why they keep delaying.

The overwhelming majority of voters want this...but never underestimate the power of Clayton Co officials to screw this up.  I'll believe it when they vote to put it on the ballot.

1 month ago on Vigil precedes transit tax meeting in Clayton County, as vote to extend another sales tax looms in 2015

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@The Last Democrat in Georgia Not going to happen at least in our lifetime.  There is 0 appetite to take hard things like this up under the dome

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

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@atlman @ScottNAtlanta I wasn't making any comparisons...you are.  I was talking only about Cobb.  You even admit (kind of back handedly) that parts of Cobb are urbanizing.  My point is Cobb is taking no actions to address it.  Businesses might be growing now, but that wont continue with bad planning and stick your head in the sand politics.  As traffic worsens...the area becomes less and less desirable.  If you cant get good talent that increasingly wants to live in urbanized environments...you lose.  That talent prefers transit options.  I grew up in suburbia and it was a wonderful childhood...but things change, and the suburban dream is not like it used to be.  We've grown up in the Atlanta Region and its time people realize that and plan for what it means

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

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@maketransitregional

Bad MARTA bad bad bad...I really get tired of seeing it, especially since the facts currently say otherwise.

Fact...the credit agencies just raised MARTA's credit rating...with the caveat that hopefully the State wont screw them up again. This, because they now have a sustainable budget.

Fact...the new MARTA CEO has done a remarkable job of balancing the budget while being able to increase service back to levels before the cuts.  He has made MARTA a sustainable entity with no help from the State.

Fact...speaking of the State...he has created some actual good will with the legislature (which should qualify for sainthood)

You can find an incident thats not positive for anything (and I have no idea if what you said is true), but MARTA is much better than it was...which is making people like you seem a lot more petty. 

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

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@atlman 

You did a lot of writing there but never disproved the statement that you singled out.  If you owned a large corporation, you wouldnt relocate to an area with lots of traffic that is going to get radically worse sooner than later and offers no choices in how their employees can get to work other than a car and with no real public transit solutions available that connect the parts of the metro.  Where on earth you got the Detroit comparison I have no idea.  Atlanta is nothing like Detroit.  As for the "Cobb Lifestyle"...that train left the station (no pun intended) years ago.  Thats the problem with sprawl...what was once the fringe becomes more urbanized whether the leaders want to acknowledge it or not.  I'd say the new Braves stadium is more damaging to that lifestyle than anything else.

Nobody (at least I speak for myself) was "dictating" anything...just pointing out the facts.  Cobb will suffer for its illusion that the "Cobb Lifestyle" as you call it is still attainable in most areas of the county...its not.  You can make it more desirable, or you can do nothing...in which case nobody is happy.  Also, if you got your wallet stolen because you were ITP...sorry...but thats a dog whistle right there which has nothing to do with problems in Cobb other than thats whats kept progress from coming to Cobb.

I personally cant wait till the stadium is complete, if only to watch all these "car only" politicians   squirm under their own hypocrisy when they have to come up with transit solutions they spent so much time railing against


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

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The big problem that Cobb is going to face with the new stadium is TRAFFIC which is bad as is and will be off the scale when the Braves play.  Businesses will not want to be located anywhere near that mess (at least a business of any size).  Call it what you will, but without a dedicated right of way their vision is just a regular old bus like any other bus that will be tied up in the same traffic.  The future is transportation choices...and without them, Cobb will not be the choice of any relocating company.

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

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@The Last Democrat in Georgia @ScottNAtlantafyi...they dont really "print" money for the most part...its done on a computer where they credit the money to the reserve bank.

2 months, 4 weeks ago on ARC to Ga. congressional delegation: Help end impasse over transportation funding, GDOT official concurs

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@The Last Democrat in Georgia @ScottNAtlantaYou will have to ask your congressional rep why...I dont read minds.  If you read my comment you'd have the answers to the questions you asked...as I said people have been taught to think these questions are a valid concern now.  Again...one more time

Low inflation...debt doesn't matter...period.

As long as there is more supply of goods than money available to purchase there isnt inflation.  To have inflation, wages would need to be rising across the board (they are not).

Take some time and do some research (unbiased is preferred).  Google 'Fiat Currency'.  Its sad what the propaganda machine has done to Americans.  In their all consuming wrath against the poor, they are hurting us all in the process.

One more thing to ponder.  Why in the past have we always seemed to have the resources to build things but suddenly not now...we did after WW2...its propaganda that makes sense so people buy into it...

Oh, and tell me how that debt is going to impact anyone in a future generation...it wont.  As the economy improves debt will go down on its own...in fact, its going down too quickly now...it doesnt sound logical but its the truth

...and the debt alarmists...Simpson Bowles said debt crisis in 6 months...3 yrs ago.

Reihart-Rogoff who said debt would hurt growth at 90% totally discredited (seems they need a lesson in excel). Point is they have all been proven wrong in time or by peer review.

Also...Google Pete Peterson.  He is the money behind the debt fetishism, why?  to line his own pocket.  He is the founder of Blackstone.  He wrote the book on the Bain Capitol model.

2 months, 4 weeks ago on ARC to Ga. congressional delegation: Help end impasse over transportation funding, GDOT official concurs

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@writes_of_weigh You know...you can post that comment in every single thread and its just as stupid as the first time you did it...give it a rest, nobody seems to really care about whatever point you think you are making

2 months, 4 weeks ago on ARC to Ga. congressional delegation: Help end impasse over transportation funding, GDOT official concurs

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@The Last Democrat in Georgia The problem has absolutely nothing to do with money.  The problem is that the Republican party has propagandized this false notion that we are going broke in their effort to dismantle all aspects of the New Deal and their war on the poor.  Its that simple.  As a nation that has its own currency, that it and only it can issue, and that owes any debts in that currency, it is impossible to go broke.  In other words, we print money and can continue to do so and spend freely in the absence of inflation.  The pressures now are deflationary not inflationary so the debt doesn't matter...period.  Anyone that says different either doesn't grasp the concept of fiat currency or is lying to you on purpose.  As long as there are more sellers trying to sell goods than money chasing goods to buy, debt is irrelevant.  This debt fetishism is a big lie.  Its easy to hoodwink people into believing this fallacy because it sounds like it should be true.  I cant spend money I dont have why can the government?  Well...if I could print money, I could spend all I wanted.  Now if there aren't enough goods to buy and you keep printing money...you get inflation and the value of currency goes down.

Now the republicans have been so successful with their propaganda, its hard to justify the real spending that needs to happen.  In other words their chickens have come home to roost and they either have to be seen as hypocrites or liars.  I wont even go into the fact that infrastructure spending is a net positive investment...it doesn't really matter if you take the above into consideration...so in other words LDG...your whole premise is wrong.  Georgia does indeed have limited assets (GA doesn't print money)...the feds do
have unlimited resources in today's economy

2 months, 4 weeks ago on ARC to Ga. congressional delegation: Help end impasse over transportation funding, GDOT official concurs

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@atlman  

"The idea that all problems are rooted in economics and can be addressed by government managing and allocating economic resources more equally has been disproven time and time again."

Well you are wrong on that.  The New Deal would prove otherwise, as would WW2 and government mobilizing of resources for that war.  So, your whole rant is based on a false premise...and I really have no need to read it.  When you make sweeping generalizations like that, you cant possibly come up with a policy thats coherent and works

How can you make an argument that's "rooted in economics" when you're main premise isn't.  Sorry, that dog dont hunt.

4 months, 4 weeks ago on City of Atlanta’s income divide of rich and poor – it didn’t have to be this way

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@atlman @RSGiolito 

Ok...now that you have given your "politically incorrect" diagnosis (which has a lot of problems but for the sake of time we will give you your premise), what is your solution?  Let them rot in substandard housing?  Create a desperate class of people who have no option but to turn to crime because YOUR vision of society has turned their back?

Yes, people make bad choices all the time...and I'm sure you have made a couple as well.  The problem is you cant possibly know who has and for what reason.  Thats the problem with the conservative approach to things these days.  You dont try to target and fix the problem as is...you look for blame and then place it on everyone...so everyone pays for your supposed morality.

4 months, 4 weeks ago on City of Atlanta’s income divide of rich and poor – it didn’t have to be this way

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Thats all fine and dandy, but to improve permitting you need people to process them.  I used to have to pull permits in Dekalb and there were 2...yes TWO people in charge of processing ALL building permits.  Needless to say moral was nonexistent in that office.  Enforcement is nice but you have to have INSPECTORS to check code violations.  The county workforce has been so decimated that there isnt anyone to do the jobs the chairman says will get done.  You can have the best processes in the world but if you dont have people to run them it really is a waste of time, and I didnt hear anything about mass hiring either.

5 months, 3 weeks ago on DeKalb County’s interim CEO outlines plan to restore pride, performance

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In my mind Leithead should not serve on a "regional" board because of his anti-regional involvement in the Braves move to Cobb.  That is not regionalism.  I agree with Steve Brown (you dont hear me say that often) that Dekalb is vastly under represented on this board, and with new fights over cityhood resting squarely in Dekalb Co. we need to be represented!

5 months, 3 weeks ago on Atlanta Regional Commission wrestles with citizen member vote

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...and lets no forget we are near 50th in transit and infrastructure spending.  Makes you wonder how we could be so "business friendly" with healthcare at 38 and infrastructure spending near 50th.  That doesn't sound good for business.  Business needs more than low taxes (or no taxes as is the case for some).

6 months ago on State of the State is between a rock and a hard place

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The best way to deal with these problems is also aesthetically pleasing.  Retention ponds (like in the 4th ward park) serve not only as a focal point for a park, but also aid in runoff which keeps the sewage lines from being overwhelmed during heavy rain events.  It would be nice if this was taken into consideration in the design of new parks being planned.  In fact, I believe Maria has written about this in the past.

6 months, 1 week ago on Atlanta’s sewers releasing rising amounts of hazards into waterways, city says repairs may cost $40 million

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@The Last Democrat in Georgia@ScottNAtlanta The only argument I would have with your assessment is that you have to follow the money.  These "anti-transit" people are getting their message out because in the previous couple of years the Tea Party wing has enjoyed good financial backing (and they are vehemently anti-transit).  That is coming to a remarkable end (remarkable in how quickly).  The anti-transit group can only get messaging out currently by getting more extreme (example would be some of the remarkably stupid comments from Cobb's elected officials and non-elected "civic" groups).  That way they get press coverage, stoke fear which is politically expedient, and more people hear it.  As it gets more extreme, it in turn becomes less believable.  The haters will always hate, and some people will never believe anything positive about MARTA...that has to be understood.  Also, there is a growing backlash by businesses against the "anti" groups...again, follow the money.  You need money to attain political office, and if someone is going to fund your competitor because you show preference for the "anti" groups, your tune is probably going to change.  I'm pretty sure thats somewhat behind Rep. Jacobs new praise.

6 months, 4 weeks ago on MARTA defies the odds — seeks new metro partners as it improves service

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@The Last Democrat in GeorgiaIt seems these days opinions change at light speed.  Just last winter Rep Jacobs was making Jill Chambers look like a softy, now he cant sing MARTA's praises loud enough.  Where as I dont particularly think Cobb will buy in anytime soon since you have ideologues running the show who see MARTA as a way to stoke republican fear (even though I doubt many of them believe what they say...it politically expedient).  Clayton and Gwinnette, however, might be doable soon er than later if the ice under the dome continues to thaw at the same pace as it seems to be now.  You also have to remember how long any expansion not already in the planning stage will take.   It could be 10 years before there is rail to these counties if the planning has not begun.  Also, Rockdale might even be a willing partner for a rail extension (I'm just speculating on that one).  Bottom line is, even if those counties joined MARTA it would be a long time before anything was completed...I dont think it would take as long as you think to prove MARTA's bonofides.  Planning takes time...a lot of time, and it needs to start ASAP

7 months, 1 week ago on MARTA defies the odds — seeks new metro partners as it improves service

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@GuestLast I checked it was 200 million from a dedicated stream (hotel/motel tax) not the general fund, so you should get your stories straight.  You obviously dont remember Bill Campbell if you think Mayor Reed is bad (which he isnt)

7 months, 1 week ago on Mayor Reed in 2014 may try to trigger up to $250 million in public works construction projects across city

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@Reinvent_ED"However, what's missing here is the business side of this transaction.  Turner Field never became the place where people stayed before games or after games.  No economic development happened there.  And that is the fault of the City of Atlanta."

I'm sorry but that is incorrect.  The stadium is controlled by the Fulton Co. Recreational Authority...an entity of Fulton County, NOT COA.  So you cast blame in the wrong direction.  FYI, it would also take an act of the State Legislature to amend that agreement (or for that matter to dissolve the FCRA), so laying any significant blame (at least the way you framed it)with the COA is not correct.

Also, the Braves were demanding complete control of any development adjacent to Turner Field.  Last I checked, they were not elected nor were they too bothered by the adjacent residents needs either.

7 months, 3 weeks ago on A new Braves stadium in Cobb County shows metro Atlanta still doesn’t understand the concept of regionalism

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@The Last Democrat in Georgia Even though it is 10 miles a way, they will still need the hotel rooms in the COA, since the number of hotel rooms in Cobb is grossly inadequate, and in 3 years that is not going to change...so, they will be paying the hotel/motel tax in COA...and ironically helping us build the Falcon Stadium.  This will also be of great benefit to Sandy Springs and Dunwoody.  It shows how flawed the financing deal is on Cobb's end.  Most of the tax revenue they are projecting will end up in either Fulton or COA in the near term.  They wont be able to add enough hotel rooms to meet demand in 3 years in Cobb

7 months, 3 weeks ago on A new Braves stadium in Cobb County shows metro Atlanta still doesn’t understand the concept of regionalism

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@gtalum06 I would argue that the problem is more of a Fulton Co gov. problem than a City of Atlanta problem.  COA has no control over Fulton Rec.  In fact, it would take an act of the State Legislature to make any changes to it or eliminate it.  I dont think there are many people here who would say that Fulton governance is not a hot mess (just follow the track record of Emma Darnell if you want good examples of cronyism and patronage).  The COA while not perfect is miles ahead of Fulton.

7 months, 3 weeks ago on A new Braves stadium in Cobb County shows metro Atlanta still doesn’t understand the concept of regionalism

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@War Eagle '77 It would be nice if just once you had your facts straight.  The falcons stadium is going to be paid for by the hotel/motel tax that is already a funding stream.  There is no such funding stream for Turner Field, and it would come at the expense of many of the other infrastructure projects that Atlanta has to "go it alone" on because of short sighted small minded people.  I love how fiscally conservative everyone is when it come to Atlanta, then WHOOSH it vaporizes when it benefits them (stadium/cobb).

I think we are quite a ways from any kind of regional thinking here...too much "where's mine" around.  Got to get rid of the "mememe" by doing what so many people just dont do in the city...VOTE.  

War Eagles Comment is but a symptom of the lies and mistrust, us vs them..."MARTA is corrupt"...aka we dont want minorities (guess what, they drive too), "political corruption rampant" yeah from the Cobb County board who took 2 years to decide if people could have chickens yet rammed a 300 million project down the throats of their residents in just a couple of weeks, like it or not.  

This might actually be a good thing, the stadium in Cobb.  They are going to learn real fast that they wont be able to go it alone on this.  They will need state funding to expand/improve infrastructure...and it wont be coming all that easily.  They will have to work with Fulton, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, and Atlanta on a traffic plan.  Anyone who has had to cross the river from Cobb to Fulton to get to work over the last several years knows what happens when they dont.

7 months, 3 weeks ago on A new Braves stadium in Cobb County shows metro Atlanta still doesn’t understand the concept of regionalism

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The money quote...

“We spent two years discussing whether we could have chickens in our backyards, and we are spending two weeks on how we’re spending $300 million,” one Cobb County resident told the Commission who called the deal “taxation without representation.”

What a bunch of hypocrites...no transit by God...guess what...black people are still gonna go to the games...better get used to it.

7 months, 3 weeks ago on Cobb Commission welcomes Atlanta Braves stadium in 4 to 1 MOU vote

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The problem is that The Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority ran a 1.5 million deficit last year, and the stadium would be very close to Sandy Springs and Dunwoody which would siphon off quite a few hotel guests, and hotel tax revenue. I would assume until there are more available units in the Cumberland area that might be a big problem.  If they cant cover current expenditures, how will they cover this?

8 months, 1 week ago on Cobb County’s coliseum authority may have capacity to fund Braves stadium within its existing powers

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There is another point to address and it is sort of misleading in the article.  The new managed I-75 lanes will come online about the same time as the stadium is completed.  The problem is during the evening rush these lanes (which originate at 75/285) will be headed north...AWAY from the stadium, so they will be of no use really as far as traffic to the stadium goes

8 months, 1 week ago on Braves in Cobb: Traffic, transit access to stadium near Cumberland Mall may be less a nightmare than some predict

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I personally want to see what the voters of Cobb have to say about spending 600 million on a new stadium (when you account for cost over runs and surface improvements).  Aren't these the same people who screamed that we couldn't spend any money or that we were broke?  Where is the Tea Party now...that sound is crickets...get used to it.

8 months, 2 weeks ago on Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed wishes Atlanta Braves well in Cobb County

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There is another big problem here.  Georgia has very "bank friendly" foreclosure laws, and home owners have few protections from unscrupulous bank practices.  This, to me, looks like it gives banks an incentive to foreclose so they can then flip the house to a hedge fund like Blackstone (which by the way is one of the top spending firms on lobbying in DC).  The other problem not mentioned is upkeep. My guess is they are just sitting on a lot of this property before they do anything with it, and that helps nobody.  If you look at the numbers, very few home sales are to the actual inhabitants of the home, and the rise in property values is not indicative of a recovery in housing...just another bubble.  If people cant buy...many wont be able to rent at a break even rate either.

9 months, 1 week ago on As Wall Street buys houses as investments, local leaders plan response to protect affordability

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You've been advocating for this type of solution for flooding in the urban areas for a long time.  Nice to see a working model prove you were right!  Too bad be had to build all those tunnels first

9 months, 3 weeks ago on Historic Fourth Ward Park – mixing green and blue – parks and storm water – a model for a greater Atlanta

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@moliere Sorry, but you are wrong.  Federal money spent on social programs absolutely causes growth.  The government pays for the majority of these programs so they inject liquidity directly into the economy.  After all, the money that the government spends doesn't go into a vacuum.  It pays providers, hospitals, device makers, etc.  They in turn pay their employees who go buy things.

As for the government going broke...its crap and you should quit repeating it.  Fiat currency nations whose debts are valued in their own currency cannot go broke.  If you understood that, you would understand just how bat shyt crazy this debt ceiling fight is...The Fed has as much money as they need to pay our "bills" (most of which are owed to ourselves).    Everything stated above is fact, and if you can prove otherwise go ahead. 

These policies of screw the poor are not just morally wrong but are anti growth.  The poor spend a much higher % of their income than other groups.  A dollar out of their pocket is a dollar out of the economy...plain and simple.  Grasp these facts and you might not be so quick to judge.

As for how the state administers medicaid, I cant speak to that I dont know...but I do know that indigent care in an emergency room is a WHOLE lot more expensive than preventative care...just sayin

10 months ago on What the Savannah River dredging project and the Medicaid expansion say about our priorities

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@SteveBrown I wish that people made smarter decisions when it comes to zoning as is being played out with the Glenwood development.  Sometimes you have to make zoning laws that work with the community, but not even that is being demonized (UN conspiracy...need I say more).  The city needs more density, and in fact, thats what many younger people want.

As for working poor transport.  Steve, thats even a bit much of a generalization dont you think, even for you.  That multi-billion dollar INVESTMENT has paid off multiple times in development and the taxes that development generates.  Do you think Lindbergh, or many of the North line developments would have been possible without MARTA rail?  The fact is, transit by and large returns 1.7  dollars for every dollar spent.  I wish I could get that kind of return on my investments.  Making it poor vs middle class gets us nowhere...especially when this "facts be damned" mentality reins supreme.

10 months, 1 week ago on Poverty grows to Atlanta’s suburbs as researchers show it “taxes the brain”

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@The Last Democrat in Georgia @SteveBrown  I dont see many impoverished riders on the line to North Springs or to Doraville for that matter, and not many impoverished people are taking MARTA to the airport to catch flights.  So, the generalizations dont really work.  Clayton Co.  which has long past Fulton as the most dysfunctional, had transit when these people moved there.  If they were allowed to join MARTA as 70% of the residents voted they wanted to do, they would have transit there now.  I'm sorry to have to continue to drive this point, but if a private solution was there, it would be operating now.  Two years is more than enough time to get it off the ground if it was viable.  We call it PUBLIC transit for a reason...its for the public.  The objective is not to generate a profit.  Its to provide a service to residents.  Private solutions goals are profit, and nothing else.  They are there to make money.  That may conflict with the public good.  What is the point of having transit if the people that need it most are priced out?

10 months, 1 week ago on Poverty grows to Atlanta’s suburbs as researchers show it “taxes the brain”

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I'm not sure why the commissary at Dobbins has not been built.  I thought there was funding already set aside for it.  If the sequestration is the reason it has not been built, there are several extreme hypocrites who signed that letter.  They scream on one side of their mouth "we're going broke" (which by the way is 100% FALSE), then when their projects lose funding the complain about that.  You cant have it both ways people

10 months, 1 week ago on Georgia delegation to military: “Keep … promise” to provide Atlanta vets a commissary at Fort Mac or Dobbins

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Every time I read something about Mr. Parker, it sounds more and more like he's got a handle on whats going on at MARTA and is going to be way more effective in his position than the last manager.  This is good for MARTA and good for Atlanta.

10 months, 3 weeks ago on A new MARTA: Good news highlighted by GM Keith Parker

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I heard this movie was awful.  The people who were around during that time said it was awful.  I'll take their word and skip this one

11 months ago on ‘Jobs’ — a chronicle of Steve Jobs; not a deep look at his complexities

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"The Republican Party has always been the party of small business. Small business has typically been very Republican, and a lot of these Tea Partiers are small business people. They’re a 60-year-old guy who owns a laundry or a grocery store or whatever, who got so afraid of Obama he got up off the couch with his wife and decided they had to do something to save their children.”

He doesn't mention that the reason they got up off the couch was because they were lied to, manipulated, and used by big money interests that had absolutely no interest in their problems or their concerns...just look at NC and Art Pope if you need an example.  At least in NC they are getting up off the couch to protest for their own well being

11 months ago on A Republican-Democratic tag team, on the road for immigration reform

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@PatrickTMalone I am so tired of this generalized "extreme left wing".  Who is it?  What organizations are they?  My guess is you cant name them because "left wing" is just a buzz word for not agreeing with the right.  Zoning and planning (or lack there of) is what got us into this mess in the first place.  We continue to subsidize the exurbs by spending more on "hot lanes" and traffic congestion which in turn incentivizes further sprawl.  The truth is there is no radical left wing comparable to the right wingnuts.  In numbers or political power

11 months ago on With regionalism under attack, metro Atlanta’s prosperity likely to suffer

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Say what you want about Mayor Reed, he knows how to work the back channels to do what needs to be done for Atlanta...as well as the state.  Do any of you think the port deepening would be this far along if it was up to Nathan Deal to get it done, hardly.

11 months, 2 weeks ago on U.S. DOT’s Anthony Foxx: Georgia and North Carolina ‘joined at the hip’

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@James Braque  I'm not saying it is the best method, but it is 100% certainly legal (you even say so in the last sentence of your comment).  Last I looked, in the last several years property values have plummeted in that area, so an appraisal from 20 years ago hardly can be used to justify anything currently

11 months, 2 weeks ago on Reflections on Sunday morning as two black churches ponder their future

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They are by no means over a barrel (the city).  They could just as easily condemn the property under eminent domain and be done with it, giving both churches fair market value.  That the churches are grandstanding for more money after several more than generous offers is not going to be a winner for them.  If the stadium is built on the northside location, then people will blame them for all ills that site brings.  Its also going to be a bigger headache for the Churches as well to exist there due to all the traffic (no marta) and construction.  They will also get no favors from the city for parking that I'm guessing they might need.  It also throws out the window all the plans drawn up so far for the surrounding areas (since these areas will change...as well as plans for the upgrades on Northside Dr that are being contemplated

11 months, 2 weeks ago on Reflections on Sunday morning as two black churches ponder their future

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Now read the "unedited" response from the TFP

Contrary to statements made by former Free Press editor Drew Johnson and national media reports, Johnson was told on multiple prior occasions not to make material changes to editorials or headlines once they were approved by the editor responsible for the page.

On Monday night, Johnson changed the approved headline on his Tuesday editorial from, “Keep your jobs plan to yourself, Mr. President: Your policies have harmed Chattanooga enough already” to “Take your jobs plan and shove it, Mr. President: Your policies have harmed Chattanooga enough.”

However, he waited until his editor had left for the day before changing the headline. That is a violation of our clear editing practice, and our trust. He admitted the following day that he failed to follow the standard set for him.

The language he chose was vulgar and not appropriate for this newspaper. Even Johnson himself admitted that the headline was “harsh and perhaps crass to a fault” in an editorial he wrote for this Sunday, which will not run.

Johnson’s firing was not about yielding to political pressure. He was not fired for writing an editorial criticizing President Barack Obama. The body of the editorial was approved for publication; only the headline was changed.

11 months, 3 weeks ago on ***UPDATED – Times Free Press opinion page editor fired after posting scathing headline aimed at Obama

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@Bob Munger That seems like a good idea...very logical, but for whatever reason, our government doesn't operate on facts or logic.  It operates on ideological purity.  

11 months, 4 weeks ago on We must invest in all transportation modes to compete in today’s economy

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@Joe Frank Harris Atlanta is by far the largest center of employment in the region. If it wasn't there wouldn't be the kind of traffic we see daily.  The benefits of last mile connectivity are enormous for people who commute.  Whether its streetcar, the Beltline, or another mode...getting to where you want to go with the least amount of distance to walk is key.  If you worked 10 blocks from a transit stop...its not very likely that you would use transit.  But if it stopped right outside the door of your office, you might be highly inclined to use it.  So, to call it an amenity for city dwellers is wrong.   If built out properly its good for everyone that lives and WORKS in Atlanta

11 months, 4 weeks ago on We must invest in all transportation modes to compete in today’s economy

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@Wish for MIlton County How is the President driving up fuel prices????  Oil and gas production are at all time highs.  The only way I can see to blame him is that he has been way to soft on the regulatory side and not pushing to eliminate oil subsidies.  If you want someone to blame for high gas prices, refineries holding back supply would be a good start...as well as market forces and Chinese and Indian consumption.  I get so tired of everyone blaming the President for all of their ills when it is totally without merit. 

I think pegging the gas tax to the price is a great idea, although I would differ from Maria's point in that if you want to drive people to use transit...you have to have transit to drive them to.

11 months, 4 weeks ago on We must invest in all transportation modes to compete in today’s economy

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@moliere @Clmiron I tried to follow the logic of that comment but its lost on me.  Yes there is no perfect solution, but I think pumping waste water loaded with carcinogens back into the ground at such volumes as it can cause earthquakes is not the best option.  I am no fan of nuclear, but its a better option than that.  Thats why we need to spend more on research.  Solar panels are 50% more efficient then they were even 10 years ago...in time they will be better still.  If you are concerned about all those trace minerals...you might want to toss your cell phone...its got a lot of the same ones...but this is supposed to be about NC...

1 year ago on North Carolina’s model of consensus is slipping — giving Georgia leaders a chance to unite and move forward

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@moliere @Clmiron problem between gay marriage and abortion is that one (opposition to gay marriage) is trying to discriminate against a class of people...abortion is injecting the government into a private medical decision.  I see no correlation there...just red herring

1 year ago on North Carolina’s model of consensus is slipping — giving Georgia leaders a chance to unite and move forward

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As for the "broadband thing"  They tried to pass it the 2 years prior (once trying to sneak it through on another bill)...and the Democratic controlled legislature defeated it...twice.  When you act as a bully...dont expect people will lay down and take it...thats what discourse is about

1 year ago on North Carolina’s model of consensus is slipping — giving Georgia leaders a chance to unite and move forward

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@moliere @ScottNAtlanta The problem you seem to have is that we are talking about now...not "what ifs" or "they dids".  The bill I identified IN DETAIL in my previous comment was an ALEC pushed bill written by the monopoly/duopoly incumbent.  That bill put the vast majority of constituents at a disadvantage.  It is a clear example of what the NC legislature has become

When the sierra club, NARAL, or NOW start tossing a BILLION dollars at elections to buy the outcome, perhaps I'll be a little more concerned.  They are not in the same league, and you saying so wont make it so.    Oh, and can you name a couple of those "liberal" policies that have so disadvantaged the public...I'd like to know what you consider to be harmful. 

1 year ago on North Carolina’s model of consensus is slipping — giving Georgia leaders a chance to unite and move forward

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@moliere Spare me the rhetoric...there is a big reason why whats happened in NC happened...money.  Money from none other the the Koch brothers themselves.  They have poured millions into races on the local level there.  Through thier "puppet" Mr Pope as budget director these anti-poor, anti-middle class, pro-monopolistic policies have been implemented.  There was no "groundswell" there...just a lot of money poured into an election that was a wave year for republicans.  Do you think for a second that the tea party gets their funding from "grass roots"?  If you do you are horribly naive.

NC has the worst broadband record in the country, but under the republicans they passed a bill effectively prohibiting local communities from providing this service themselves despite the success of several towns in doing so.  The bill M. Avilla (R) submitted was written by TWC, and the same bill (pushed by ALEC) has been rammed through many state legislatures.  Luckily it didn't pass here which at least gives me some hope for common sense at some level in GA.  They (NC) have eliminated ...yes ELIMINATED state unemployment benefits and thus forfeited almost 700 million in matching federal funds.  How does that benefit their economy?? Dear God, people are marching in the streets there and you say its "consensus" ???  Get your head out of the sand and take a look at whats really happening...you might be surprised.

My biggest disappointment though is the Governor.  He did some great things for Charlotte as a moderate republican, but it is now clear he hasn't got what it takes to stand up to the money and the wack jobs they are funding.  Hopefully those in GA will take a good hard look and realize this is not the way.

As for fracking...Koch money...energy business...not a big leap there.  Why the hell do you think the TP wing that they fund was so against solar power in GA???  At least some of the local TP factions showed they are not bought off.  Maybe because its funded by oil and gas money.  People need to wake up and realize we are in a world much different from even as recently as the 90s.

1 year ago on North Carolina’s model of consensus is slipping — giving Georgia leaders a chance to unite and move forward

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@Wish for MIlton County Ok...just for arguments sake...you say the Beltline serves "intowners" and you dont want to pay for it...fine.  I live in town, and why should I care if you have to spend an additional 45 minutes in traffic?  Thats your choice.  You chose to live there and I'm not paying you for your poor choice.

Now, lets hope you see the flaw in your argument now.  That fact is you cant always get what you want.  You have to give some to get some.  That is the problem with discourse here and in our country for that matter.  I call it the "where's mine " problem.  People only are concerned about themselves and dont see the forest for the trees.  We all would like our lives to be easier, our commutes shorter, our jobs pay better, our taxes lower.  Thats a perfect world and we dont live in it.  The problem is that you have wildly different ideologies that claim they can get you there...and they fight, and they fight, and they beat each other down with lies, hyperbole, and whatever else they think might stick...and what do you get?  Nothing...nobody gets anything.

If I want the Beltline, I have to contribute my tax money to your roads, but you in turn must contribute to the beltline.  Its like having a child who wont clean his room unless he gets candy 3 times a day and only will clean his room "when he feels like it".  No parent I know would put up with that, but a parent might say clean your room now and you might get an allowance.  Both make reasonable contribution and everyone gets something they want.  Parents get a clean house with not having to spend time picking up after everyone.  Child gets allowance with which he can buy candy if he so chooses (my experience is they usually try to save it for a better goal)...so bottom line is we need less petulant children and more adults!

1 year ago on Nearly a year later, we are still confused about why we lost regional transportation sales tax referendum

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also, what was the sample size of this "poll"?  It seems rather skewed in a certain direction.  I looked to see where there was a link and found none.  I can release a poll that says 95% of Georgians want me to be governor...but unless I release crosstabs/sample size...mine is every bit as credible (GOD forbid....who'd want me as governor...I might get things done...lol)

1 year ago on Poll shows most Georgians — blacks and whites —hold conservative values

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@The Last Democrat in Georgia  

It depends on how you see transportation.  If you see it as a public good, or if you see it as a product.  The private sector doesn't care much for public goods, because the private sector values money above all things.  They prefer products they can sell and maximize their profit.  Thats why government has traditionally taken on this type work.  Private/public "partnerships" are nothing more than allowing private firms to collect taxes at a profit with interest.  Think about it...everyone pays a tax for a 1000.00 road (price added just to make easier to follow).  Because your elected official has so diminished tax collection by giving everyone and their brother special tax breaks...they dont have the money to build it.  If they had, they would have hired a private company that had the best bribe...meant BID for the work which should end up costing 1000.00.  Since they dont have the money...private company, Acme Roads, says we will front the money and build the road, but in return you gotta give us something...tolls for 100 years, non-compete clauses so you cant put a train anywhere near this new road, and by the way...you still have to maintain it (I kid you not...these are in several of these agreements elsewhere).  So this 1000.00 road MIGHT get built in the same time frame, and politicians will scream from the mountain top about how wisely they saved our tax dollars Private sector=good  government (ironically themselves)=BAD ...but wait...they saved nothing.  They just deferred it to a later date with an enormously higher price tag...you see, Acme doesn't care about transportation.  They care about making money, and thats not a bad thing, thats what they are supposed to do, but people need to call it what it is and not believe its some panacea.  That road that cost 1000.00 will probably end up costing 100,0000.00 just over a longer period of time (paid for by same tax payers)...classic bait and switch you see now in retirement accounts where the fees end up eating away hundreds of thousands of dollars people believe they will have when they retire.  Capitalism is fueled by greed only.  You have to have limits or it doesn't work for anyone.

1 year ago on As transportation sales taxes roll in elsewhere, metro Atlanta ponders how to provide traffic relief

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@The Last Democrat in Georgia @Native Atlanta Boy  

The only problem I have with these agreements is "non-compete" clauses that say the state cannot build out any new transit alternatives that might be seen as competing  with the tollway in question.  I know this has become an issue in Indiana, but not sure about CHI.  It was a major reason for delay on the I-75 toll lanes.  Gov Deal rightly refused due to such a clause being added by developers

1 year ago on Nearly a year later, we are still confused about why we lost regional transportation sales tax referendum

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@Native Atlanta Boy  

First of the plethora of misinformation you spew is that projects would not start for 20 years.  As I recall, the tax only lasted for 10 years so that is blatantly false.  The CID contribution to the 400/285 interchange is less than 1%.  Also, as I recall, the tolls are coming down on GA400 quite soon so it would be hard to see it funding 285/400 unless you are saying the tolls should continue, and the 85/400 interchange money was allocated previous to the vote and was not included in the list of projects.  You advocate for Tax Allocation Districts (TADS) , and then malign the Beltline for doing just that.  Just screaming "no new taxes" isnt going to cut it if a reasonable plan is put forward.  Also, because you say/hear it...doesnt make it true

1 year ago on Nearly a year later, we are still confused about why we lost regional transportation sales tax referendum

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I'm really surprised that no one has picked up on the root of why this failed.  The legislature designed it to fail.  No one can persuade me that Gov. Perdue  ever wanted this to pass.  He acted because he was forced to by the business interests.  All you have to do is look at his record on transit to see that he was anti-transit.  He quickly dismantled every good thing Roy Barnes had done for the areas transportation needs in his first year.  There are several things that point to this being designed to fail.  First as mentioned in the article was the date of the vote.  Having it on a primary voting date in and of itself doomed it to failure.  You had several very competitive races on the republican side and almost none for democrats.  Republicans were much more hostile to the idea of a transportation sales tax, and that was known when this passed out of the legislature.  Two, the way the region was cobbled together was totally wrong.  Fayette Co's needs are not the same as DeKalb's.  This should have been a core county region with Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb, Clayton, Gwinette.  The additional counties being added enabled the amount of "mistrust", because these counties dont see themselves (whether correctly or not) as having anything to do with Atlanta, and wondering whether their tax money would simply be going to Atlanta.

I also think that not giving more focus on the S. DeKalb MARTA line was a mistake.  I think ridership on such a line would be high enough to justify it and would have settled the NAACP's problems.  They have been fighting for (and been promised) this line for an awfully long time (back to the days of Cynthia McKinney prior to her going bonkers).  There was interest in the Lindbergh line from Emory...but not much else.  Dont forget that that line had to negotiate the neighborhood of Druid Hills and similar powerful associations and I bet there were no votes stemming from this line.

Also, as has been stated. they just took the transit community for granted.  I remember several articles of The Saporta Report where Maria was questioning this strategy.  In my opinion...these were the major reasons it failed with the date being #1

1 year ago on Nearly a year later, we are still confused about why we lost regional transportation sales tax referendum

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There is one phrase in this whole thing that is important that people understand..."with Koch money".  They have specifically targeted NC and spent huge amounts to influence policy at the local level.  Pope is simply a Koch puppet.  Also, dont think for a moment that this group is representative of the people of NC.  I think 2014 will be very interesting in so far as how far people can be pushed before they are motivated to vote in mass.  Looks like these guys should be very afraid if these people stay motivated through election day

1 year ago on Moral Mondays become a focal point for region’s political tensions

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@mariasaporta @ScottNAtlanta You sure did...and now I remember having read it.  The positive here is that Mr Parker has brought his A game here.  He wasted no time in taking care of this.  It looks as if none of the original players are involved anymore...a good thing as I see it.

1 year, 1 month ago on MARTA places chief information officer on administrative leave

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Then I think the question should be why in the heck was he hired back and by whom.  That person or persons should be fired as well as Graham...not "paid leave".  Well at least Parker is doing something to clean up the messes left for him...he'll be busy for sure

1 year, 1 month ago on MARTA places chief information officer on administrative leave

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@The Last Democrat in Georgia 

If you remove the outlying counties it still failed by 41%-59% which is 4% closer.  My point was that it could have been sold in a better way if it was a smaller region and would have had less of a pushback from the outer counties which in turn influenced messaging in Cobb...which was what caused it to fail.  I agree it was pretty much the state shirking its responsibility in favor of ideological purity.  The money for the 400/85 ramps was already available before the tolls came off GA 400 (roughly 45 million in the bank...so to speak) so that was already paid for.  The state was stupid for not taking into account the massive growth this would spur.  Trust me when I tell you the amount of times I cursed whoever designed that road without completing the 85 exit ramps when it would take 20mins to get from the 400 Sidney Marcus exit to turn right on to Cheshire Bridge Rd...something I gladly dont have to do at rush hour anymore.  I am of the opinion that all those that screamed about the tolls coming down should be forced to just deal with it as is...you get what you pay for and the sooner some of these people learn that lesson the better we will all be...there aint no free lunch...even if you live in Cobb 

1 year, 1 month ago on Metro Atlanta leaders — in a state of recalibration — seek a way forward

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@Native Atlanta Boy If the T-SPLOST had passed, the BELTLINE would have knocked 5 years off construction, They wouldn't have to "look" for funding for the GA 400 interchange...in fact they would be well on their way towards construction.  The reason it failed is more because of the way the region was put together.  The needs of Fayette Co. have very little in common with those of DeKalb.  If it had been Atlanta, Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb, Clayton, Gwinnette ...it might have had more of a chance of passing.  Also, the business community was extremely flat footed in getting their message out, while the Tea Party machine proved very effective (if not very truthful).  In this information age, unfortunately, the message that gets out first (whether truthful or not) seems to stick...and the vote took place in one of the most dishonest times I can recall (locally and nationally).  When you have former flight attendants pushing policy...thats what you get

1 year, 1 month ago on Metro Atlanta leaders — in a state of recalibration — seek a way forward

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Well...I'd say Rawlings speaks for a very vocal MINORITY of residents (of which I am one of those residents).  Would I like it to be some wonderful upscale shopping district?  That would be cool, but its not realistic, and the market is not there yet to support it.  What you would end up with is a bunch of empty buildings which would be far worse.  I knew what Cheshire Bridge Rd was like when I moved into the corridor area in '98.  My guess is many of the pro-zoning change residents did too.  If it was that big of a problem for them...they should have gone elsewhere...period.  You should not impose you will on something that was already in existence just because you made a poor choice in where you live...you have the ability to go elsewhere, and probably should.

1 year, 2 months ago on Cheshire Bridge Road to remain an “adult” district, if Atlanta City Council upholds ruling by its zoning board

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@The Last Democrat in Georgia  

Would it really be that hard to contain all of this in 1 post...maybe 2???  It gets very hard to follow and dilutes any points you are making to have 7 posts (I've even noticed you have 5 min to edit if you forget something

1 year, 2 months ago on Other states invest in transportation while Georgia mostly stands still

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I've said it before...let MARTA shut down for a couple of days.  Then people will realize whats at stake.  Rep Jacobs would be whistling a different tune if that happened

1 year, 4 months ago on New report challenges MARTA’s management study that’s fueling Legislature’s call for change

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Skipping the union question for a second...privatization is not the end all that its made out to be.  Memories sure are short around here.  Many of these services were privatized in the past to horrible ends in service and financially.  Look at the citys attempt to privatize the waterworks if you need a good example.

Second, its called PUBLIC transit for a reason...not "public only for who uses it"  not "public minority" "public poor" transit...but public transit...which means everyone contributes.  Trying to make MARTA pay for itself with fares is disproportionally unfair to the poor who depend on the system.  FYI...no "PUBLIC" transit system pays for itself.  It depends on (wait for it) PUBLIC funds through taxation of some sort as do roads, bridges, and all sorts of other government services we want, and thus pay for.  Do I use all the services my tax dollars pay for, no...should we be able to pick and chose...no.  We pick representation...and we've done a bang up job on that now, haven't we

1 year, 4 months ago on Organized opposition emerges to MARTA’s proposed restructuring, privatization of some jobs

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This is such a nobrainer. You get 3 years of 100% funding...all the jobs created by that funding in the medical services field which are higher paying jobs and people are healthier...sounds just horrible doesn't it.  Deal is incompetent and it is showing more every day.  Listening to tea party boosters like Debbie Dooley and Jenny Beth Martin who have no clue about any of the policy they advocate is just plain dumb.  Nathan Deal needs to learn to count as well...600,000 is a lot of votes to energize against you and your party

1 year, 4 months ago on The slow, or fast, train to 2014

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 @The Last Democrat in Georgia It makes you wonder where all the money goes and to whom.  I think if our leaders could focus on one thing at a time and see it through we would be ahead of where we are now.  By the time they are ready to act on something the parameters have changed so much they have to start over with another study, or worse they try to go ahead with something that is well past its time of being useful

1 year, 5 months ago on Chattanooga: Eating our lunch in liveability

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 @The Last Democrat in Georgia  @ScottNAtlanta 

Then shouldn't we have 10x the revenue to help mitigate the difference?  Just sayin'...lots of studies...little in the way of execution is the problem

1 year, 5 months ago on Chattanooga: Eating our lunch in liveability

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I have to say my thoughts are conflicted on this.  Fulton Co is dysfunctional as it gets, and it needs fixing, but the approach being taken is just as blatantly partisan.  They are always screaming about cities in Fulton being represented, but you never hear the city of East Point being included in those discussions.  I am no fan of any of the commissioners.  They act in their own self interests and play the race card WAY too many times to the point people are dismissive of the charge of racisim.  They also did themselves no favors increasing their own budgets while cutting everything else.

1 year, 5 months ago on Fulton County Republicans propose legislation to fix dysfunctional county

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 @Burroughston Broch  @mariasaporta most renewable energy uses steam turbines...solar heats water to steam that moves the turbines. Wind uses kinetic energy, I believe not steam...and the technology for both is moving ahead in leaps and bounds

1 year, 5 months ago on Chattanooga: Eating our lunch in liveability

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 @JWK Thats ALEC and they have introduced a new bill this year, HB282.  It is a shining example of legislative capture.  There is nothing in this bill that benefits constituents.  It only benefits AT&T and Windtream preserving their monopoly.  It guarantees high prices, no competition and slow speeds.  Like it or not, broadband is a utility.  You cant even fill out a job application without broadband.  The 1.5mb/s limit in this bill is laughable.  BB is defined by the FCC as 4mb/s (laughable in its own right.  Susan Crawford is an expert on this subject.  I included a link to an interview with her too.

 

http://www.muninetworks.org/content/roundup-coverage-georgia-bill-slow-telecom-investment

http://www.muninetworks.org/content/susan-crawford-and-bill-moyers-discuss-internet-access-america

1 year, 5 months ago on Chattanooga: Eating our lunch in liveability

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Since I am originally from Chattanooga I feel like I can comment on this.  I remember when I was in high school, at 5:30pm you could shoot a gun down market street and nobody would even know...it was a ghost town (1983...fyi).  To see it now (my parents still live there), its like night and day.  To say Atlanta is an apples/orange comparison is  wrong.  There are a lot of things Atlanta can learn.  The TN legislature isnt exactly thrilled with the progressiveness of CHA.  They passed a law after CHA broke ground on their fibre network that effectively keeps it from expanding to adjacent areas that really want it, and it limits any new muni networks from being built. I am green with envy when I go to visit and use their internet.  Its BLAZING fast, costs half what I pay and the customer service they get is wonderful and provided LOCALLY.  The jobs stay there and dont go to an out of state company that doesnt have local ties.  The difference is CHA's leaders have been on the same page throughout.  They have the same racial problems (in many ways worse than ATL), but they all made the decision to do what they had to do to make the city better, and they had a plan to do it which they executed.  Atlanta has had more plans and studies then could be listed.  The problem here is a big lack of execution.  I think ATL's leaders have realized that they will be on their own now if they want things to be done.  There are, however, many more limits placed on the local areas in GA imposed by the state

1 year, 5 months ago on Chattanooga: Eating our lunch in liveability

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Lets see...Politifact has 2 rated statements for Mr. Brown. False and Half True. He is one of the worst kinds of people in office...self serving. As fas as I and a lot of other people are concerned he can leave and take Fayette Co with him. Why does anyone care what he thinks.

1 year, 5 months ago on Fayette Chairman Steve Brown — who has criticized the Atlanta Regional Commission — joins its board

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 @Burroughston Broch  @Marta25 

Can you please give us some examples of the rampant corruption?  It should be quite easy if its that bad.

1 year, 6 months ago on MARTA and MARTOC — relationship may be thawing, but gulf remains

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 @Burroughston Broch my point was that he is going to have many more headaches than his peers in other cities...many more...unnecessary but none the less there.  I hope he can produce a miracle.  Atlanta needs one

1 year, 9 months ago on New MARTA CEO Keith Parker will be a daily rider and have an open door

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 @Burroughston Broch I do...because the Commonwealth of MA usually pays it.  They did last year.  One of these days people will realize that public transit is supposed to be subsidized...thats why they call it PUBLIC...supported by fares and taxes.  Unfortunately, Atlanta's was not funded properly from the start.  Allowing Cobb and Gwinnette to benefit without paying in is not a formula for success...just take a look at the park/ride lots and check the plates on the cars if you doubt me.  I will say that zone fares would also help.  The point is, in Boston they have the full state backing, here, we have none.  In fact just the opposite.  I'm surprised Deal and Company haven't just taken it over...he seems to be the final word on everything else

1 year, 9 months ago on New MARTA CEO Keith Parker will be a daily rider and have an open door

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 @Burroughston Broch I'd say for what he is about to step in...thats barely adequate.  The job in Boston will be a breeze compared to Atlanta.  They actually support transit there

1 year, 9 months ago on New MARTA CEO Keith Parker will be a daily rider and have an open door

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 @YellowJacketsFan PP said it was 10,000.  That doesn't mean its true.  I also have no interest in people such as yourself throwing hyperbole (Maria apologist, idiot, needing civics 101) my way when you have no idea who I am or what I do.  You will not bait me again...you are not worthy of my time.  When you grow up...perhaps we can have a civilized discussion about these issues without trying to make a game of it

1 year, 9 months ago on About MARTA, SaportaReport and building a new journalism model

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 @inatl no, he is simply trolling...and I will no longer be feeding that troll

1 year, 9 months ago on About MARTA, SaportaReport and building a new journalism model

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 @Burroughston Broch as I said above...if you dont like it...there is a vast internet waiting.  If you think its biased, or dont like whats here, feel free to never come back...its a free country we live in...the choice is yours. 

1 year, 9 months ago on About MARTA, SaportaReport and building a new journalism model

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 @SpaceyG Mike's piece on PP was probably the most juvenile smart_ass piece I've ever read there (and I'm there often).  He should get no props for that piece of writing

1 year, 9 months ago on About MARTA, SaportaReport and building a new journalism model

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 @YellowJacketsFan Some people have a life other than commenting on blogs...grow up.  I have read Maria's work for many years and I find it informative and discussion provoking.  If you dont like it...there is a vast internet for you to enjoy

1 year, 9 months ago on About MARTA, SaportaReport and building a new journalism model

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 @YellowJacketsFan but then you were dealing with Jill Chambers who most can agree had it out for MARTA and made things much worse than they needed to be...fyi, here is the link to MARTA's financials should anyone care to read it:

 

http://www.itsmarta.com/uploadedFiles/About_MARTA/Reports/2011%20CAFR%20Final%28web%29.pdf

1 year, 9 months ago on State Rep. Mike Jacobs acts inappropriately during MARTA’s search for new general manager

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 @YellowJacketsFan those qualifiers are important though.  Since MARTA has been restricted by the 50/50 rule, those qualifiers are even more pertinent. 

1 year, 9 months ago on State Rep. Mike Jacobs acts inappropriately during MARTA’s search for new general manager

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 @YellowJacketsFan I checked and I stand corrected.  They have received capitol funds over the years...not any for operations.  I need to say dedicated funding.  That would be correct.  The amount they have received is less than .5% of their annual budget.  Of course what we haven't mentioned is that if the 50/50 rule was abolished a lot of this mess would be nonexistent

1 year, 9 months ago on State Rep. Mike Jacobs acts inappropriately during MARTA’s search for new general manager

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Then by your process, MARTA should be in Gwinnette and Cobb...its a state agency, so why cant it go to the places it needs to go to be prosperous.  I'd watch the ignorant label...hyperbole is a sign of a losing argument.  I've already called out a couple of loose facts on your part.  If you cant have a respectful discussion perhaps you should refrain

1 year, 9 months ago on State Rep. Mike Jacobs acts inappropriately during MARTA’s search for new general manager

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 @YellowJacketsFan from politifact:

 

"But the data didn't back up MARTA's claim. Instead, the federal data it sent show that MARTA is a very large agency that receives no operating funds from the state. That, however, is not the same thing as being the only major transit system that receives no dedicated state funding, as Tyler said."

 

I dont know about you, but thats simply politifact playing on exact words of the statement which is not what you are claiming. They say right there that MARTA gets no operating funds from the state

1 year, 9 months ago on State Rep. Mike Jacobs acts inappropriately during MARTA’s search for new general manager

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Maria...have you noticed that whenever you write about transportation, those pieces get the most comments?  Must mean people care about that issue.

1 year, 9 months ago on State Rep. Mike Jacobs acts inappropriately during MARTA’s search for new general manager

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oh please...spare us the red herring of being denied the right to vote.  MARTA gets no funding from the state, is micromanaged and threatened by MARTOC, which has been ambivalent at best.  Yes, I think the interests of the people funding the system should be taken into account...they are not.  Yes those outside the MARTA counties pay part of the tax, but they did not vote to include themselves.  The state also makes it increasingly harder for those counties to be part of the solution (TSPLOST...designed to fail).  Then there is Jan Jones who held MARTA hostage in the last session to twist the arms of the Fulton delegation to bring Milton county to a vote (thats why there was no solution to the 50/50 rule).  How does that promote the interests of the region.  It doesn't.  So spare me the ignorant rant about your grandfather voting...it has nothing to do with anything other than you not having a better argument.  The only ignorance is of the facts

1 year, 9 months ago on State Rep. Mike Jacobs acts inappropriately during MARTA’s search for new general manager

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Fyi...thats a dead link.  Also, the 800 million (450 million over your original remark) was ALL federal...no state.  Lets make that point clear without the change of subject and red herrings about the dreaded unions

1 year, 9 months ago on State Rep. Mike Jacobs acts inappropriately during MARTA’s search for new general manager

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I dont understand this "Simpson Bowles" religion.  This is a horrible plan, and Mr Bowles confirmed it in his healthcare comment.  What drives the debt is healthcare spending, be it Medicare, Medicaid, or insured and uninsured costs.  We spend 2 to 3 times as much and have worse outcomes.  Thats why we need single payer like almost every other industrialized country.  We've tried private sector solutions here.  They have failed...miserably.

Lets not forget these are POLITICIANS not ECONOMISTS.  As per Nobel Laureate Krugman:

 

So, a public service reminder: Simpson-Bowles is terrible. It mucks around with taxes, but is obsessed with lowering marginal rates despite a complete absence of evidence that this is important. It offers nothing on Medicare that isn’t already in the Affordable Care Act. And it raises the Social Security retirement age because life expectancy has risen — completely ignoring the fact that life expectancy has only gone up for the well-off and well-educated, while stagnating or even declining among the people who need the program most.

 

So lets not look at SB as some wonderful "very serious" proposal.  Its not on both counts.  Economists (that are not on the payrolls of interested parties) have solutions, but they dont jive with the monied interests...just remember that

1 year, 9 months ago on Wise men (part two): Erskine Bowles and Sam Nunn discuss the dangers of the growing national deficit

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 @Burroughston Broch I agree with BB to a degree.  The unions are going to have to take a haircut next go around.  Their compensation, while low on the pay scale is WAY higher on the benefits side.  I try, however, to dispense with the hyperbole above in BB's comments.  MARTA isn't a union jobs program...thats just silly and adds nothing to the conversation.  Your points are good, so why add on the hyperbole.  I think some NON-CORE MARTA services (payroll, cleaning, Accounts payable/receivable) should explore private options, but bus service, paratransit services, and rail should not.  In fact, there are many instances of failed private sector transit such as ATS which was the service bought to create MARTA, Clayton Co Transit which was eventually taken over by MARTA Mgmt due to failure of a private company (as described in the original post).

 Yes, you want to take the original with a grain of salt since the writer is from the union, but I find very little in the way of factual errors.  Rep Jacobs wants to privatize the whole thing as that is part of the new right wing religion, but there are certain services that should be provided by government with the intent of providing service to everyone, not private entities that put profit above service...thats the crux of the argument here. Rep Jacobs needs to remember what happened to Jill Chambers since he wants to bark up that tree it seems

1 year, 9 months ago on Metro Atlantans must organize to prevent privatization of MARTA

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 @writes_of_weigh which brings up the most glaring point.  A person with no transportation planning experience is trying to bully those with that experience to do something they know is wrong...hows that good for the region???

1 year, 9 months ago on State Rep. Mike Jacobs acts inappropriately during MARTA’s search for new general manager

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Not sure where your figure comes from, but MARTA was formed by taking over Atlanta Transit Company a FAILED private sector transit company that had been providing bus service to Atlanta. Purchase price 13 million.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolitan_Atlanta_Rapid_Transit_Authority

 

"Through the 1970s, MARTA received grants of more than $800 million from the federal government for planning, design, land acquisition and construction of a rapid rail system. The effort bore its first fruit on June 30, 1979 when MARTA’s first train, the East Line, began operating between Avondale and Georgia State Station. It also marked the start of MARTA’s combined bus and rail service."

 

http://www.itsmarta.com/marta-past-and-future.aspx

 

If you are going to throw $$ amounts around...you need to be able to back it up.  Your numbers are wildly wrong and if you notice...there is very little in funding from the state even at conception...only a failed private sector solution

1 year, 9 months ago on State Rep. Mike Jacobs acts inappropriately during MARTA’s search for new general manager

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 @Marta25 Well, todays AJC seems to back up what you are saying.  Seems all was not so great in the upper management/employee relationship

1 year, 9 months ago on State Rep. Mike Jacobs acts inappropriately during MARTA’s search for new general manager

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 @Chris Koch 

Your first statement might be TP, but the modern version doesn't subscribe to the second part.  They dont want to contribute...just the opposite.  They call that socialism.  I call it selfish

1 year, 9 months ago on State Rep. Mike Jacobs acts inappropriately during MARTA’s search for new general manager

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We cant have nice things in ATL because our legislature is bought and sold by the ones with the most cash, and has gone so far to the right to be laughable.  Example you say...take a look at the rant by Rep Broun (not state...but so extreme needs mentioning) all over youtube...and people vote for him, and there is Chip Rogers R-Woodstock who thinks broadband should be classified at 200kbps (thats bits not bytes) because...wait for it...AT&T gave his campaign several thousand dollars, and the bill was pushed by ALEC were he serves on the board (AT&T is a huge supporter of ALEC)...Know this got off topic, but its hard to defend anyone in the state legislature IMO

1 year, 9 months ago on State Rep. Mike Jacobs acts inappropriately during MARTA’s search for new general manager

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I dont think the state should have authority over local taxes or their rates.  Thats my opinion.  Also, since state oversight is so important, where is the oversight committee for Augusta, Savannah, and Columbus.  There aren't any.  Mike Jacobs sent a clear msg that if he didn't get his way he was going to make the game harder to play...sounds like Jill Chambers...how'd that work out for her?  He is acting in a way that is inconsistent with his district's needs.  Maria is to be commended for calling him out as the bully he is trying to be.  He might be unopposed now...but 2 years isn't long for a moderate district's memory

1 year, 9 months ago on State Rep. Mike Jacobs acts inappropriately during MARTA’s search for new general manager

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There should be no MARTOC until the state wants to contribute.  As a citizen of Dekalb I find this oversight committee to be an attempt to micromanage something they dont even pay for...in fact, I'd say they been a net negative for MARTA.  Its not talking out of both side s of your mouth.

FACT...currently no money from the state

FACT...Jacobs commented in a way that was divisive and far from constructive.

FACT...those that PAY for MARTA have little say on MARTOC (you ever heard of local control)

FACT...Gov Deal has stated his ambivalence towards transit.

Abolish MARTOC so the state cant use MARTA as a pawn a la Jan Jones/Milton Co...surely you remember that.

This is about here now...and I'm more concerned about Butler/Jacobs than any supposed violation of sunshine laws

1 year, 9 months ago on State Rep. Mike Jacobs acts inappropriately during MARTA’s search for new general manager

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I think the parking for this development should be more limited WAY more.  The idea of a 20 story tower doesn't bother me as much as the traffic on Lindbergh which is way past capacity now.  If developed it needs to be transit oriented...way transit oriented.  3 acres of parking doesn't say transit to me

1 year, 9 months ago on Why not build dense residential at Walmart site in Buckhead, veteran development lawyer wonders

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This is a disappointing piece.  As for the "looming crisis" you would have done better not to ask a group that is funded by industry.  I bet they dont mention that AT&T and Verizon are sitting on vast amounts of spectrum with no plans in implementing them.  They hold them only so others cant use them...that doesnt sound like a shortage.  It sounds like a serious lack of regulation.  How about "you buy it, you use it, or you lose it".  Better yet, further explore the spectrum sharing technology that the major carriers are loathe to explore.  The spectrum is a public owned commodity...the carriers dont "own" it.  That they should cut vast swaths out of use and sit on them is almost as shameful as you making no mention of it in this fluff piece.

1 year, 10 months ago on Have an app for that? Make certain Atlanta has enough air waves to serve mobile wireless users, group says

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 @Henry Batten I totally agree.  What I dont understand though, is what small retailers are going to rent there.  The existing space in the Best Buy/Target/Home Depot isnt even full.  It would be reasonable to think that if all the smaller retail there isnt full that there wont be much need for small retail space in any new development.  Traffic is already a nightmare on Lindbergh and this would make it much worse.  7 acres of parking is not transit oriented.  Looks like Fuqua is trying to make a quick buck and couldn't care less the consequences

1 year, 10 months ago on Imbroglio in Buckhead: Fate of proposed Walmart, 600 jobs, about 250 apartments on the block Monday

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First thing...it would be a huge mistake to pick a candidate from within the current structure.  This would do nothing to help MARTA's image with the rest of the metro.  This is also going to have to be someone who can deal with the legislature, yet maintain the trust of current MARTA supporters...tuff call

1 year, 10 months ago on MARTA is down to four finalists in its search for a new general manager

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 @Jim Durrett  @Question Man 

Anyone remember Concept 3...found something interesting about it...have not read the whole thing yet

http://smartech.gatech.edu/jspui/bitstream/1853/40883/1/DerethBush_Can%20Concept%203%20Be%20Funded.pdf

1 year, 10 months ago on Challenging transportation myths after the failed regional TIA vote

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 @The Last Democrat in Georgia

You are still missing the point I'm making.  The vast majority of voters had no idea about the 30% match increase for state funding.  Steve Brown did.  He knew that they were going to be at a disadvantage because of it.  To me, that is irresponsible leadership of the worst kind.  Ideology over the needs of the people you represent.  Opponents used anti-tax fervor and several less than truthful statements to sway the vote.  Thats not saying the pro-TIA  didn't screw up royally...they did.  But for Steve Brown to be suddenly discovering that the 30% match will halt all repairs to infrastructure in Fayette Co is not believable. In fact, it was pointed out by several posters in comments on Saporta Reports articles that this penalty would kick in.  Voters having this knowledge might not have changed the outcome...but I say Steve Brown won this battle and in turn screwed the people of Fayette Co and he now wants the legislature to fix it...and knowing the dysfunction there...he might convince them to do so.  This isn't about whether the penalty was right, fair, or whatever...it was passed into law, but most voters did not know what many of the consequences were...thats all I am saying.

(side note to LDIG...can you keep it to one post...its hard to follow when you break up posts like you do...just a friendly suggestion)

1 year, 10 months ago on Challenging transportation myths after the failed regional TIA vote

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 @The Last Democrat in Georgia

You miss the point.  Steve Brown knew about the penalty...whether it is right or wrong is irrelevant.  If people were informed by officials like Brown that there would be no road repair whatsoever, I dont think as many people would have voted no.  He acted in a highly irresponsible way and now wants to get a get of jail free card so to speak.  Sometimes hiding the truth is just as bad as a lie...and now he is trying this whining to the legislature.  The law is the law...and it has a penalty...and now the voters he represents will no have to deal with it like the rest of us

1 year, 10 months ago on Challenging transportation myths after the failed regional TIA vote

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 @WolfandRhys There's a lot of blame to go around...just today in the AJC Steve Brown, who led the charge against the TIA is whining about how they now have to pay 30% matching funds to get any state money (a penalty written into the TIA...something he was well aware of before the vote but failed to tell his constituents), and they dont have it because they had to buy "bullet proof vests" so they cant match 30%.  Well, to the regions that voted yes...forgiving the penalty is a dog that wont hunt and it wont get through the legislature.  They will not be able to fix any of their infrastructure now and he knew that was going to happen.  He let anti tax ideology come before the needs of Fayette Co...and if they are smart they will vote him out next time HE comes up for a vote

1 year, 11 months ago on Challenging transportation myths after the failed regional TIA vote

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 @Burroughston Broch and what is your interest...you obviously have an agenda...what is it?

1 year, 11 months ago on Challenging transportation myths after the failed regional TIA vote

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 @Burroughston Broch 

You know...I'm so sick of hearing what you wont pay for like you have a choice.  Other people live here.  Every time you post on this issue you state how you aren't paying for one thing or another...here's one for ya...Most people just dont care what you are going to pay for.  The TIA was botched for lots of reasons ...but need was not one.  Also, what the hell are your credentials to criticize someone who actually has training and education in this area...where's yours?  I think you should apologize for the slanderous comment you made...and it was slanderous because you have no clue...never have

1 year, 11 months ago on Challenging transportation myths after the failed regional TIA vote

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Its good to know that Isaac is on their radar (no pun intended) as this is looking more and more like a threat...and a big one, to some part of Florida.  Some of the modeling has this as a major hurricane coming up the FL peninsula next week.  Tampa is one of the worst cities you'd want to be stuck in as a major hurricane approaches as it is very susceptible to storm surge.  If fact, the convention center is a level one evacuation zone (first to be evacuated...cat 1 storm).  This could be a nightmare for local officials

1 year, 11 months ago on For Tampa and Charlotte, a turn under a sometimes uncomfortable spotlight

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"Also, Young said the opponents miscalculated. They thought that if the tax failed, then they could try to renegotiate a better plan. But there seems to be little hope of that happening any time soon."

On what planet were these guys living the last couple of years.  How on earth did they think this was even remotely possible...that they could get a better deal...

1 year, 11 months ago on Former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young reflects on failed T-SPLOST vote

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Is it just me or do NONE of these people have any background in transit...THATS the problem we have around here...lots of politics and nobody that knows anything about transportation making decisions...

1 year, 11 months ago on Gov. Deal appoints three county chairmen to GRTA, which faces funding shortfall after sales tax vote

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I have a problem with the complaint that only 2.4 percent of DOT business.  How many minority businesses applied?  Of those, how many produced the lowest bid?  If those bids were passed over, there is a problem that needs to be addressed.  The other problem with minority contracts is that if you want to do business with the city (as an example) there are more than enough minority "shell companies" that have nothing to do with the bid that can get the business and sub it in turn to you.  This is neither fair nor efficient.  They basically play middle man and rake in a profit just to get you a place at the table.  I'd like to see this addressed in those minority contracts (that end up benefiting a couple of people that are actually minorities).

1 year, 11 months ago on Fairness and equity must be central to any regional transportation plan

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 @Burroughston Broch 

hows about some links to those numbers you consistently misrepresent

1 year, 11 months ago on It’s time for Atlanta, Fulton and DeKalb to retake control of their own destinies

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 @Burroughston Broch The gulch was not included in the TIA...and your anti-Atlanta tone is getting old...how about contributing some good ideas...since we know you wont be contributing anything else (not any of my damn tax money)

1 year, 11 months ago on It’s time for Atlanta, Fulton and DeKalb to retake control of their own destinies

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 @Burroughston Broch Here's an idea...let MARTA use the money it has and remove this stupid 50/50 rule that makes no sense.  Also, extend the MARTA sales tax in the current area to at least 30 years so MARTA can issue long term bonds to finance construction of new routes...that would be a good start.  Also, the constant demonizing of MARTA for reasons that are far from accurate would also be a nice change

1 year, 11 months ago on It’s time for Atlanta, Fulton and DeKalb to retake control of their own destinies

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 @Burroughston Broch Problem there is that he will not need any voter approval...until his reelection attempt...so any meaningful transportation planning is screwed...anyone remember Concept 3?  That was a comprehensive plan undertaken by the whole region...so I dont buy this "no vision"...there has been plenty of vision just no implementation

1 year, 11 months ago on Gov. Deal’s choice — lead in helping make metro Atlanta a global city or let it regress into a small Southern town

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I think Gov NO Deal has delivered his answer...Its all MARTA's fault and MARTA should be punished.  This is total crap.  It should be treated as such.  As for why MARTA has not expanded since the North Point station...I found this on Wikipedia:

 

The current 1% sales tax was set to be reduced to 0.5% in 2032. In early 2007 MARTA made a request to the City of Atlanta, DeKalb County, and Fulton County to seek a 15 year extension of the 1% sales tax from 2032 to 2047, with a 0.5% sales tax from 2047 to 2057.[29] This is the fourth time in its history that MARTA sought the extension, the most recent in 1990.[30] MARTA said the commitment to the tax is needed for the agency to secure long-term financing in the form of bonds to pay for any future expansions to the system.[29] The resolution called for four new routes: bus rapid transit from H.E. Holmes station to Fulton Industrial Boulevard, bus rapid transit from Garnett station to Stonecrest Mall, transit for the BeltLine, and a direct transit link from Lindbergh Center to Emory University (formerly called the "C-Loop").[31] To approve the tax extension, two of the three government agencies needed to agree to the extension. In March 2007 the City of Atlanta voted 12-1 to approve the extension.[29] In April 2007 the DeKalb County Commission also approved the sales tax extension.[32] Some Fulton county officials opposed the sales tax extension on the basis that the proposed service expansions did not include previously proposed expansion of the North Rail line to Roswell and Alpharetta in North Fulton County.[

 

So, as you see...once again...MARTA is unable to obtain long term bonds because the tax's sunset date is within 30 yrs...problem#1

The state in its moronic fervor will once again hold MARTA hostage with the 50/50 rule...making it privatize essential services in order to bust unions...even when this makes no sense (PARKAtlanta anyone?) Problem #2

In blaming MARTA for the failure of the T-Splost Gov NO Deal has shown that he is not a leader but a panderer...trying to deflect blame from himself.  The only problem with that line of thought is that the city overwhelmingly voted for the T-SPLOST ,and it is obvious that most of Dekalb who voted against it  was for reasons not having to do with MARTA governance but with getting access.  No Deal has to know this...if not he is the failure we hoped he would not be

1 year, 11 months ago on Gov. Deal’s choice — lead in helping make metro Atlanta a global city or let it regress into a small Southern town

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I think Beverly Scott is one of the best assets MARTA has had...you have to deal with a delusionally hostile State (remember Jill Chambers anyone), The recession, and lets not forget the 50/50 rule.  Given what she has to work with...I'd say she deserves some praise

1 year, 11 months ago on The White House honors MARTA’s Beverly Scott as transit champion

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 @The Last Democrat in Georgia  @Burroughston Broch 

You keep saying death spiral which is so far from the truth...the only think hurting MARTA is the State and its obnoxious restrictions which have nothing to do with anything but busting the unions at MARTA...thats what most of it is about.  Problem with that line of thinking is that to get the federal funds which keep MARTA going the workforce has to be allowed to be unionized.  I think the states micromanaging has been what is ailing MARTA but its nowhere close to "death spiral"

1 year, 11 months ago on It’s time for Atlanta, Fulton and DeKalb to retake control of their own destinies

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 @Burroughston Broch  @The Last Democrat in Georgia 

 

Here is where you are completely wrong.  A lot of the traffic in Atlanta originates in Atlanta.  Short trips that could be provided by the beltline (which I might add also has lines that feed E/W across downtown).  The streetcar project is more than tourist transit.  It is a beginning of a more intricate system that actually provides a way for people to get closer to their DESTINATIONS, thus making transit more usable.  I'm really tired of all these people who scream about "I'm not paying Atlanta's way" who also bitch about no MARTA connection to Turner field, fill the park/ride lots paying the same rate as those of us who actually contribute, and a state government that is going to hold MARTA hostage until they privatize every part of it (which will destroy it).  I'm also sick of these new "cities" (not counting Sandy Springs which doesn't apply to this comment) who cherry pick the best tax producing areas leaving the poor areas to the county and taking a good part of the tax revenue with it...just take a good look at "Brookhaven" if you are not clear about it.  This region is not coming together anytime in the near future...its just becoming more balkanized...which will help no one long run...but we live in a time of short term gain...not long term

1 year, 11 months ago on It’s time for Atlanta, Fulton and DeKalb to retake control of their own destinies

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"Jim Hannan, CEO of Georgia-Pacific who is also chairman of the Atlanta Committee for Progress, said that there is broad support in business community for the regional transportation sales tax."

Is anyone else missing the irony here???  GP is owned by KOCH INDUSTRIES...which funds many of the Tea Party affiliates, who are all vehemently anti-TIA.

2 years, 1 month ago on Regional transportation sales tax campaign still trying to raise money

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 @Burroughston Broch Ok then everyone affected by the change should vote on it...I agree that the Fulton Co. commission is scum, but thats why you VOTE and have representation, and the State has the power to downsize the Fulton County Commission which would be too easy wouldn't it. Then you cant take the money and run.  As I recall the city subsidized the northern parts of the county for quite some time.  The wealth in the north is a fairly recent thing (as in last 20-30yrs).  As for vendetta...proof is in the legislation.  She wrecked the whole MARTA deal 2 yrs ago with "poison pill" additions so spare me the Jan Jones is lovely crap.  She is more to blame because she is in a leadership position.  Leaders lead...and there is responsibility to ALL of the citizens when you place yourself in that role  Sometimes you have to consider the State and health of the region...and thats exactly the problem and whats missing with things now...A bunch of people whining "where's mine" at the expense of what is needed to make everyone prosper...its called vision

2 years, 2 months ago on Remembering when Atlanta stood for something — hoping we will again

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 @inatl well...in all fairness, there was a little mishandling of MARTA funds decades ago which will be used to eternity against it (in the Bill Campbell years go figure).  As far as association with poverty, you dont see the same thing in Charlotte, or Denver, or Dallas.  Sure there are people against it, but there is also a sense of accomplishment in those places.  To some extent there is some pride here when big projects get completed...but you have to get them built first and there is no appetite for that unfortunately

2 years, 2 months ago on Big decisions ahead for northwest corridor to Cobb — namely bus or rail

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Maria, I dont think Atlanta is lacking for vision or great leaders.  What we are lacking are partners at the the State house who feel the need to micromanage every detail they can.  When you have people like Jan Jones pushing to split Fulton so the wealth in the north is siphoned off from the rest of Fulton/Atlanta, when you have Chip Rogers trying to define broadband as basically dial up and removing local control because ALEC handed him a piece of legislation with a 5,000 check, when you have a Lt. Governor is is more interested in petty intra-party score settling than removing the 50/50 barrier to MARTA funding use...what can you do???  These people are not elected by Atlanta, yet they control most of what we can achieve.  They even screw us when we try to go it alone by meddling.  Something needs to change or all the vision in the world wont matter if its killed by the state over ideology and faux facts

2 years, 2 months ago on Remembering when Atlanta stood for something — hoping we will again

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 @The Last Democrat in Georgia The biggest problem here (and I've never seen this anywhere else) is that people associate MARTA with poverty and want nothing to do with it.  There is no regional pride in the MARTA system only contempt for this very reason

2 years, 2 months ago on Big decisions ahead for northwest corridor to Cobb — namely bus or rail

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 The Sierra Club is undermining the best chance of getting ANY transit financing. Sometimes you have to compromise. Trust me, I would love for there to be 100% transit funding for this tax. I would LOVE to make people outside of Fulton and Dekalb pay us for the use of all the infrastructure that we have spent the last 40 years shouldering ourselves, but the simple truth is with the crooks we all so willingly re-elect at the state house…these things are not going to happen. This is NOT Seattle and facts never seem to matter to anyone these days. If you think that if this goes down that the state legislature is going to magically come up with a solution when they’ve basically punted for the last five years only to absolve themselves by making the voters (who are mostly ill informed) pass their own funding is fantasy. Unfortunately we cant rely on facts and the Sierra Club should know better. 11.43% of commuters use transit and pushing even 5% of that back onto roads would be catastrophic to traffic here…and if this fails and the 50/50 MARTA penalty persists, MARTA will once again face draconian cutbacks at a time when they should be massively increasing service. MARTA is one of the most efficiently run systems in the county…and the Sierra Club wants to kill it just to make a point. Unfortunately, that point is they are utterly detached from the reality that is Georgia

2 years, 2 months ago on Pro-transportation tax folks express dismay at Sierra Club’s opposition

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 @The Last Democrat in Georgia which is more evidence that this 5% number that keeps getting regurgitated is completely false and made up, which is why when pressed those that use it never answer.  The 12% is in line with the other post (with link) which puts the percentage at 11.43%.  Of course, now the Republicans in congress are trying to defund this additional census data which gives us these numbers...why? I dont even have a clue, nor do they

2 years, 2 months ago on Big decisions ahead for northwest corridor to Cobb — namely bus or rail

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Also... 470,000 people use transit in ATL (avg weekday 2011 data). Its about time people who want to be free with spouting numbers without backing them up need to be called on it.  Its way to easy to find the correct information if you want to.

http://www.apta.com/resources/statistics/Documents/Ridership/2011-q3-ridership-APTA.pdf

2 years, 2 months ago on Big decisions ahead for northwest corridor to Cobb — namely bus or rail

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...as for this 5% of commuters use transit.  Its wrong.  It comes from a "free market" anti-transit "think tank.  The real number is close to 11.43%.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._cities_with_high_transit_ridership

(notice how I backed up my post with a link...)

2 years, 2 months ago on Big decisions ahead for northwest corridor to Cobb — namely bus or rail

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 @The Last Democrat in Georgia BRT would definitely work on the Buford Hwy corridor.  You could rework the lanes to have a lane with its own ROW.  There is also a highly transit dependent population along that corridor...not sure about how you'd work that on the Cheshire/Lenox segment

2 years, 2 months ago on Big decisions ahead for northwest corridor to Cobb — namely bus or rail

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 @inatl not only do they confuse the names, but they confuse everyone else.  You can construct BRT to be exactly like rail...just on wheels.  Its like a rail half way point because you've aquired the ROW thus have a dedicated lane that is separate from traffic (vastly decreasing trip times), which is at least half the cost...and later if traffic verifies you can spend the other cost of the rails...it spreads out your cost, verifies need, and provides a real transit alternative.  The problem is, you mention bus and people think of a bus thats stuck in traffic just like everyone else

2 years, 2 months ago on Big decisions ahead for northwest corridor to Cobb — namely bus or rail

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It makes me wonder...if Bogota and Medellin in Colombia can build these systems...why cant we?  We are becoming a 3rd world country in terms of transportation. ..and if I hear one more person push this moronic we cant pay for it argument...aka "austerity" I am going to scream (though nobody will hear it...like nobody understands econ 101 it seems these days).  China, Columbia, and other developing countries are weathering this crisis so much better because...they are investing in their infrastructure which is creating jobs and wealth while we argue about a 1 cent tax...its pathetic when you really think about it

2 years, 2 months ago on Big decisions ahead for northwest corridor to Cobb — namely bus or rail

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 @inatl It was meant only as informative since I have heard many people call the I-20 service BRT.  BRT is a good way to spend less and verify ridership before replacing it with more expensive rail.  It also allows the resources to be moved to other locations when rail is constructed

2 years, 2 months ago on Big decisions ahead for northwest corridor to Cobb — namely bus or rail

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 @The Last Democrat in Georgia 

The problem with CSX corridors is that you have to get CSX to agree to share them, and on most active lines they have shown very little willingness to do that, and when they do the price is usually to high

2 years, 2 months ago on Big decisions ahead for northwest corridor to Cobb — namely bus or rail

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I've asked for proof of the numbers Steve throws out here and usually only get "crickets" (nothing if you dont get the metaphor)

2 years, 2 months ago on Big decisions ahead for northwest corridor to Cobb — namely bus or rail

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@David W

Like the 5000 counties we have in GA working on their own has worked so well up to now?  That is the problem that has to be solved.  There aren't the resources in 1 county no matter how large to go it alone.  Then also, say Cobb widens a road up to the Fulton Co line, but Fulton doesn't see fit to follow suit...sound familiar?

2 years, 2 months ago on Big decisions ahead for northwest corridor to Cobb — namely bus or rail

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whatever is done...if it is not something with dedicated ROW that makes somewhat frequent stops...it wont be successful.  You need to be able to attract riders.  Five stops wont do that.  This is about getting people to leave the cars at home

2 years, 2 months ago on Big decisions ahead for northwest corridor to Cobb — namely bus or rail

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My guess is that most people posting here dont really know what BRT actually is.  Here is a link that really explains it well.

http://vimeo.com/19806003

2 years, 2 months ago on Big decisions ahead for northwest corridor to Cobb — namely bus or rail

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Lets look at senate bill 313 that Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) tried to sneak through that would have killed municipal broadband projects in GA, and would have defined broadband as 200kbps...barely higher than dial-up.  The bill was one of those "templates" delivered by ALEC for AT&T.  Luckily...it saw a little sunlight as well and didn't pass.  NC wasn't so lucky, and they will be a broadband backwater for years to come because of it.  I wouldn't mind ALEC having a seat at the table...but they are the only ones at the table and the table is behind a closed door.  As for Rogers...he thumbs his nose at his constituents and they still reelect him

2 years, 3 months ago on War on ALEC looks more like corporate reshuffling

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 @inatl  I think it was the idea that BUSINESS would suffer (lack of employees able to get to work) that would be heard loud and clear.  Then again with Chip Rogers and the like being on the take (he is on the board of ALEX which supplies prefab horrible laws to state legislators)...maybe they just need to be bribed to do whats right

2 years, 3 months ago on State legislators fail to give MARTA the needed flexibility on how it spends local funds

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I have an idea.  Next legislative session, MARTA should suspend service for 1 day...no trains, no buses, NOTHING...lets see the morons under the dome deal with THAT fallout.  It would certainly get the message out as to the value MARTA brings to the table

2 years, 3 months ago on State legislators fail to give MARTA the needed flexibility on how it spends local funds

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@burroughston Brock

I can tell you with 100% confidence that wont happen because, 1. they would never get away with doing it due to public scrutiny, and 2. there has never been any hesitation for punishing MARTA to extreme measures for past and assumed past wrong doing from our legislators, and surely they would act in such a case.  Calling it a jobs program isn't very constructive

2 years, 4 months ago on Atlanta region standing strong on regional transit governance and changes to MARTA Act

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Having read the article at the link you provided, I have to say that's a really bad comparison for several reason. If you had taken time to read all the comments, you'd understand why. The author has some good suggestions, but he cherry pics his facts to suit his premise...which is wrong. He never mentions "park and ride" lots, which are usually full on the north end. Mass transit will never be "door to door" for most people, but by building the infrastructure out you come closer to getting people close enough to make it an option. I wish that people understood not just the benefits of passing this, but the horrid consequences if it does not pass:

"(d) In the event a special district sales and use tax election is held and the voters in a special district do not approve the levy of the special district transportation sales and use tax, the local governments in such special district shall be required to provide a 30 percent match for any local maintenance and improvement grants by the Department of Transportation for transportation projects and programs for at least 24 months and until such time as a special district sales and use tax is approved. In the event the voters in a special district approve the levy of the special district transportation sales and use tax, the local governments in such special district shall be required to provide a 10 percent match for any local maintenance and improvement grants by the Department of Transportation for transportation projects and programs for the duration of the levy of the special district transportation sales and use tax."

So in essence, if we dont pass this TSPLOST then each location that wants any transportation dollars from the state has to come up with 30% matching funds as opposed to 10%

2 years, 5 months ago on Transportation referendum a defining moment for Atlanta

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Whose askin for your "help"? Last time I checked...most of the tax revenue comes from the Atlanta region, not Hall Co. Perhaps if you gave up the Kool-aide long enough to go over the numbers and facts...you might be surprised (or horrified). This isn't a time for ideological purity

2 years, 5 months ago on Georgia needs a statewide vision to create an economic foundation for the future

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@Burroughston Broch

The State should not subsidize broadband...SB313 takes that control away from localities, so whereas a community might agree that they want to do this and agree to sell bonds to do it, this bill makes it virtually impossible. That would be the state telling localities that they know better. As for laws that screw Atlanta...lets see...first lets take all the bills in which governance is formed by "committees within the region" where Atlanta (and by that I mean Atlanta, Fulton, and Dekalb) have the same number of representatives as say, Rockdale Co. Its happening now with this new "regional transportation committee. I think you misread my comment. They were 2 separate statements...perhaps should have been 2 separate comments

2 years, 5 months ago on Georgia needs a statewide vision to create an economic foundation for the future

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The biggest problem is that the Republican controlled legislature sees mostly Democratic urban areas as the enemy. We live in a time (unfortunately) that is not driven by facts, but instead by strict ideology. Right now as we speak, senate bill 313 is progressing that will harm the southern rural counties who have no access to broadband. A bill, btw, written, bought and paid for by the incumbent ISP's. Chip Rogers seems to think 200kb/s (thats BITS not bytes) qualifies as such. thats not even 4 times faster than dial up. How are these areas supposed to generate new business and raise incomes when you have a state legislature that for the most part serves the highest bidder and not the people in their districts, and one could argue, hurts their constituents. People need to know who they are voting for regardless of party...more often then not, these people dont care about anything but furthering an agenda

2 years, 5 months ago on Georgia needs a statewide vision to create an economic foundation for the future

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I think Social Media is becoming a game changer in lots of ways. With SOPA the mainstream media all but ignored what was going on. It was a truly grass roots effort that was neither right nor left, but if you were to read tech blogs even months before people were getting organized to fight the legislation. It ended up snowballing and buried Hollywood who still does not get that you cant spin legislation with a press release or back room lobbying. They lost the battle before they knew there was one. As for Komen, I think they entirely misjudged the will of their contributors...the vast majority did not support the decision and Social Media once again won the battle before Komen even knew there was one

2 years, 5 months ago on Komen story bespeaks a cultural change of pace

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@The Last Democrat in Georgia

I was trying to be nice...if there is blame to be laid anywhere its at the feet of the former Gov Sonny Perdue whose ignorance and incompetence led us here. It just makes my blood boil when I hear about money he diverted to line his own pocket...he should be in jail

2 years, 5 months ago on Roswell Mayor Jere Wood calls for one regional transit agency for metro Atlanta

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@SteveBrown

In that vein of argument...I pay a big chunk of my property taxes to the school system. I dont have children and will never utilize that money. Under your rationale I should be allowed to just not pay it. Problem with that argument is that we all eventually benefit from a strong school system as we all would benefit from a strong regional public transit system...saying I dont use it so I dont want to contribute is short sighted at best. Fayette Co might be far from Atlanta, but my guess is so goes Atlanta...so goes Fayette Co and the rest of the state. We need to think of these things as investments, and as such they should be held to a very high standard. I dont think MARTA could possibly have more scrutiny than its already had

2 years, 5 months ago on Flawed transit governance proposal unfair to MARTA counties and Atlanta region

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@SteveBrown

I couldn't agree more. Fayette county has 106,567residents according to the 2010 census, but if you add Dekalb, Fulton, Cobb, Gwinnette, and Clayton you're talking 3,365,297. We have a desperate need for alternatives. I dont see anyone dictating that Fayette Co. should implement public transit. It would be silly. You need density for that. MARTA needs to be able to go where the need is, and to do that it needs funding. Investment in infrastructure like MARTA pays back in ways other than fares. It pays back by expanding the tax base in areas around train stations (and a Cumberland to Perimeter Center, or the Lindbergh Avondale thats slated to be funded) which will spur development. People in urban areas want to live near transit if given the choice

2 years, 5 months ago on Roswell Mayor Jere Wood calls for one regional transit agency for metro Atlanta

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This might sound simplistic, but why cant these municipalities get together on their own and make this happen without the State having to be involved? They contribute very little money, so why should they dictate the terms. There seems to be broad consensus among the parties involved that this needs to happen, and to a surprising degree, how it needs to happen. An appointed "governance committee" would be disastrous. The State has shown time and again they just dont "get" transit. They should leave it to those that need it, as stated in the Mayor's letter, limiting the conversation to the 5 immediate counties that have (including Clayton) transit. Someone in Fayette Co. should not have any input in dictating terms of regional transit since they neither want it or need it (so they say)

2 years, 5 months ago on Roswell Mayor Jere Wood calls for one regional transit agency for metro Atlanta

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