2007-12-29

Pennysaver Magazine

Let me reface this with the acknowledgement that I sold my first house in three weeks using only a Pennysaver free ad. So I am a fan of this little magazine. For those not familiar with the Pennysaver, its a free publication that has want ads, car lot ads (usually featuring weekly payments) and the like. I always pick one up when the new version comes out. I never fail to find something to amuse me in the ads.
The current edition (Dec 21 -- Jan 11) contains several interesting things. The first thing I noticed was an ad from a wheel-chair bound woman who was seeking a friend, male or female, non-drinker no drugs. I wondered at that one. It was sad. There were several ads from single moms who needed to have a washer dryer donated to them, or help with their christmas plans for their kids. I wondered if those are real situations or someone trolling for yard sale loot? One ad touted mobile home lots out in Madison County. With good credit, Big Wayne would make the down payment and closing costs for you. Big Wayne? I noticed the phone number for Big Wayne and noticed that same number would also line you up with a camper shell, an metal outbuilding, you know the ones that arrive on the back of a flat bed tow truck? Turning the page, right there on page 13, was a full page ad featuring Big Wayne. Big Wayne has on a white suit and white cowboy hat. There with him in the picture were his wife and daughter (I think, it didn't say). They were all grinning at the camera and the wife and daughter had on belly dancing outfits. You can't make this up. In addition to the other enterprises in mobile homes, camper tops, and outbuildings, Big Wayne has a car lot. A true Madison County tycoon in the making.
Previous editions of Pennysaver have had the following gems:

Free to good home, male poodle mix dog. Doesn't like cats and will bite if you mess with his food.

Stratalounger recliner. $85 OBO, Buy this chair or I'll burn it.

Sears stereo, 8 track tape unit and black plastic ball shaped speakers. $50 OBO.

Anyway, pick one up, they are located around Athens and seem to always be good for a laugh.

2007-12-28

Too many numbers in Oconee County

Have you ever noticed that most addresses in Oconee County have four digits starting with a "1"? Four digit addresses are only necessary on long roads, but even a short street like Winthrop Place uses them. That street has ten houses numbered 1010 through 1080; the "10" is unnecessary.

But a real problem is revealed with the way the county has allowed buildings to be identified. Ideally, every building should have a street number, but this was not done for the two new office complexes on Daniell's Bridge Road. Instead, one address for each parcel of land was retained, and both building numbers and suite numbers are used. An address out there looks something like "2500 Daniell's Bridge Road, Building 200, Suite 2B." Besides being hard to remember, even the post office has trouble with this. Depending on what order and formatting you use to enter this information into the postal database it returns different ZIP code extensions and delivery points. No wonder I've had mail lost out there!

I would guess that the convention of using three-digit building numbers developed to accommodate ranges of suite numbers precisely so that three sets of numbers don't have to be used in an address. The second suite on the second floor of the second building could be numbered 222, eliminating the need to insert a building number. I've seen a planning ordinance establishing such a scheme for numbering units in apartment complexes with only one street number, but the same ordinance actually required commercial properties to have a different street number for each building. The planning department in Oconee County should get their addressing system cleaned up a little bit.

2007-12-27

Oral Surgeons for Agnostics

Nope, it's not a new group seeking converts to a cause. It's me, seeking an oral surgeon who won't pray over me while I'm knocked out on anesthesia. Seriously, people. I really don't mind christianity. I have a seriously christian dentist. But my seriously christian dentist is a few shades more respectful of non-christians than the guy they've referred me to for oral surgery. And I just can't support it with my money.

So, please please please provide me with the name of a good localish oral surgeon, preferably the kind who won't ply me with a Chick tract while I'm wonked out on painkillers or pray over me instead of, say, paying attention to ensure I don't die while I'm under. Thanks.

Athens First (AFB&T)


Athens First (AFB&T)
Originally uploaded by Adrian P.
The new building under construction for Athens First has been looming over Hancock Avenue for some time now.

Call for art donations - Donald Keyes Mental Health Benefit (Art Auction)

Many of us knew Donald in some way or another and the Mental Health Benefit has been renamed in his honor. This is a great event, especially for those of you shopping on a budget. I've seen even established artists' work go for way less than the market value.

I'm sort of paraphrasing here; the whole thing was too long to post.

The Donald Keyes Mental Health Benefit for 2008 will be held from Sunday, Jan. 27 to Feb.2. The 18th Annual Art Auction will be held on Feb. 2 at the Georgian Hotel, Athens Georgia. Artwork is being solicited for this event. Beginning Jan.2 donated artwork may be dropped off at

Prince Ave Gallery Works, 553 Prince Ave Athens
Frameworks, 351 E. Clayton St Athens
House of 10,000 Frames, 1285 Cedar Shoals Dr, Athens
Frameworks Oconee, 2061 Experiment Station Rd, Watkinsville

Artwork will be displayed at Cups Cofee (1911 Barnet Shoals Rd, Athens, GA) January 28-Feb.1. An optional 20% rebate of the sale price is available to the artist, if requested. Additionally, work will be displayed on the fightthestigma.com website.

More info here:
http://www.fightthestigma.com/Donald-Keyes-Mental-Health-Benefit-v-20.html

2007-12-20

Response to Professor David Hazinski

Bloggers have bristled at the opinion piece "Unfettered 'citizen journalism' too risky" by University of Georgia professor David Hazinski, but it doesn't amount to much in my opinion, and the resulting controversy is really kind of boring. However, I feel I should respond here since the piece is from a UGA professor and since this blog occasionally ventures into "citizen journalism," but before I explain further here is my bottom line:

The integrity of the news media is always going to be called into question when it depends on corporate advertising. The interests of advertisers affect the decisions by reporters, editors, publishers, and producers, and those interests will always interfere with the objectivity of journalists. Even our own dear Flagpole suffers from this problem.

Before you read my drivel there are some good responses on Drifting Through the Grift and PeachPundit. I became aware of this inconsequential editorial from a blog post by Blake Aued. Now here are my remarks.

Type of regulation: I don't think that Hazinski is calling for something as onerous as it sounds when he talks about "regulation." He does suggest that citizen journalists should get training and certification, but he does not say that the government should get involved and hamper the current work of citizen journalists. The whole point of his piece seems to be that organizations should promulgate more cohesive ethical standards for journalists and get smalltime, independent journalists involved. Although the piece does reek of censorship because it compares the state of journalism to professions that are regulated by government, he does not explicitly call for such regulation. Instead he writes, "The news industry should find some way to monitor and regulate this new trend," referring to the industry's use of amateur contributions through the Internet and persuading the industry (not the contributors themselves) to be more cautious.

Why regulation: Hazinski presents minimal anecdotal evidence for the idea that unregulated journalists are causing harm, and he asserts they pose the danger of "fraud and abuse." Yes, it is a great thing for professional journalists to organize and raise their ethical standards for themselves, but I am unconvinced that amateurs and hobbyists are posing a serious problem. Again, he is addressing the mainstream media's use of contributions and not saying that bloggers should get certificates before writing in their own blogs. He does not address the fact that even unsophisticated readers recognize the difference between reading one thing on cnn.com and something else on blogspot.com signed by a person using a CB radio handle, but this is because he is addressing the problem of outlets like CNN adopting reports they have not verified themselves.

Profession: Hazinski is hoping to professionalize journalism, but journalism is not a profession. He makes comparisons to medicine and law, but those are learned professions which journalism cannot aspire to be. There is not a specialized body of knowledge that journalists apply to render their services in the way that, for example, a physician uses knowledge of anatomy and physiology. Hazinski's analogies about a "citizen surgeon" carrying a scalpel and a "citizen lawyer" reading a law book do not work. Journalism is about conveying information, and anyone can do that, especially in a country with free speech rights. It is useful for professional journalists to organize in order to define their goals and standards, but there is no reason for them to regulate amateur communications. Furthermore, as long as journalists depend on corporate advertisers, they will not be able to exercise independent professional judgment as practitioners of medicine and law are supposed to be able to do.

My conclusions: Hazinski could rewrite his piece in a way less damning of amateur journalists but making the same point, that mainstream media outlets should promote journalism training and prefer the contributions from trained people. This point is not very interesting because mainstream outlets can do whatever they please as long as the advertisers and stockholders are happy. What might be more interesting is the claim by a blog commenter that Hazinski is in the business of training journalists as he makes his appeal.

What does the professor's opinion piece mean for the Athens World blog and the whole blogosphere? Nothing. On this blog we are interested in our community and maintaining our appearance of integrity here. Throughout the blogosphere there is the potential for dialogue to be refined and things to be learned. Citizen journalism is nothing new; it's just evolving. Home movie cameras have been around for decades, and printing has been around even longer. Did anyone ever see the episode of "The Andy Griffith Show" in which Opie started his own newsletter and printed all the gossip he heard? He learned about what to report, how to say it, and the readers he was trying to serve -- but he didn't have to worry about what an advertiser wanted him to do.

2007-12-18

Athens as a business destination

What does it take to entice business and industry to locate in the Athens area? Does Atlanta have to reach capacity first? There is a story today in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution called "Corporate execs wary of traffic in Atlanta" suggesting that businesses are now being discouraged from considering that area. What businesses need to consider is that a significant portion of the labor and talent working in the Atlanta area are actually commuting from Athens-Clarke and its surrounding counties. People want the quality of life provided by this area, but they need the wages and opportunities of Atlanta.

I would be glad for corporate executives to realize that Atlanta's labor pool is not concentrated in Atlanta. They should certainly consider other metro areas. When I lived in Jackson County and worked in Gwinnett County, I had co-workers from Henry, Spalding, and Gordon Counties, and one even commuted from Alabama. Perhaps businesses have contributed to the traffic problem by locating alongside other businesses rather than where the people actually live.

Atlanta's growth presents us with opportunities here. Fortunately, we are smart enough to anticipate transportation and planning challenges. Now the question is how to do we actually bring more businesses to Athens?

(Read the first comment. It gives a lot to think about.)

2007-12-16

Athens Creative Theatre Starts "Peter Pan" Rehearsals


Athens Creative Theatre started rehearsals today for their March 2008 production of "Peter Pan." Of the more than 100 people who auditioned, the 50 selected young actors and actresses hit the ground running with a 2.5 hour script walk through/reading today. ACT has contracted with a theatrical company out of Las Vegas to rig the Morton Theater so that the cast will actually fly in the production. Will post more information as it becomes available.

2007-12-15

Holiday traffic

Avoid Atlanta Highway now.

Seeking "Dawg" artists

I have a few photos from the process of doing the jittery joe's dawg (flower power) for the "We Let the Dawgs Out" thing (you know, those large painted dogs around Athens).

I am wondering if any of the other artists have video or photos of the process, which they would be willing to share. I would love to put together a little video with lots of inprocess stuff. If you are one of the "dawg" artists or know one of the dawg artists, please pass along my plea.

This certainly won't be a for profit kind of thing, but for educational/documentation purposes.
thanks
robin
robinart.com@gmail.com

2007-12-14

Calling all bicycling enthusiasts in Oconee and Clarke counties, Pedal for Police Sunday morning

Friends,

*Please join us at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, December 16th for a bike ride to raise funds for Athens Police Officer Sergeant Courtney Gale.* Sergeant Gale was attacked Tuesday evening in a local grocery store and is in critical condition at St. Mary's Hospital. As is true of every police officer, Sergeant Gale puts her life on the line daily to protect each one of us...now, we rally to support her.

In an effort to help further surround her, and her loved ones, with positive energy and support from the community, we will be conducting a Police Escorted Bike Ride from the downtown Police Station (133 Washington Ave.) to St. Mary's Hospital and back.

We ask a $10 donation to participate, but no one will be turned away. All proceeds will go directly to Sergeant Gale and her family.

This is a completely grassroots effort, so your help in printing and posting the attached flier will be greatly appreciated.

*If you cannot attend the bike ride, please try to focus your encouraging thoughts, alongside ours, in her direction Sunday morning. *Donations may be made directly to any SunTrust bank branch or mail donations to:
SunTrust Bank
Attention: Heidi Spratlin
1022 Prince Ave.
Athens, GA 30606

Yours,
"Pushing Pedals for Police"
Athens, GA

2007-12-13

The legal gun battle

The Athens-Clarke County government is out of ammo in its battle to defend its ordinance on firearms in parks. It still insists on just bringing a knife to a proverbial gunfight, though. Your local tax dollars will go to work on Jan. 4 when the Athens-Clarke County Superior Court is expected to hear arguments from the attorney for Donald A. Walker and Georgiacarry.org on why the county should be enjoined from enforcing the ordinance and from the county on why the case against it should be dismissed. Based on a decision this month from the Court of Appeals, expect the county to ultimately lose.

Walker and Georgiacarry.org, Inc., have sued to the county to prevent enforcement of the county ordinance which prohibits the possession of firearms in county parks. They are relying on a state statute which preempts most local regulation regarding firearms. In fact, the Court of Appeals just issued an opinion interpreting the statute and preventing Coweta County from using a similar ordinance. GeorgiaCarry.org v. Coweta County, 2007 Ga. App. LEXIS 1289, 2007 WL 4235857 (uncorrected and subject to revision). The statute states: "No county or municipal corporation, by zoning or by ordinance, resolution, or other enactment, shall regulate in any manner gun shows; the possession, ownership, transport, carrying, transfer, sale, purchase, licensing, or registration of firearms or components of firearms; firearms dealers; or dealers in firearms components." Ga. Code Ann. sec. 16-11-173(b)(1) (West 2007).

I still see an option under which the county might be able to prohibit firearms in parks, but it would not be through a criminal ordinance, so it is not really relevant here.

Apparently some people are still fearful of the notion of firearms in parks, and I would like to dispel that notion here. First of all, as a general matter, it is against Georgia law to carry a handgun without a license, so there is already regulation addressing the matter of citizens carrying around such a dangerous instrumentality. Second, there is a process of obtaining such a license: an applicant goes to the probate court seeking a license and supplying fingerprints, and the probate court does a background check. The probate judge must issue a license a license to applicants who meet all the requirements. The possible disqualifiers include being convicted of a felony, a drug crime, or a weapon crime, and having been a recent patient in a mental or substance abuse facility. Third, there are restrictions on licensed persons from carrying a gun to a "public gathering," a term that is not well defined.

What does all this mean for guns in parks here in Athens? Well, as is true with all gun regulation, criminals don't obey laws. The laws are followed by the law-abiding, and if we lose this county ordinance, anyone who legally carries a gun in a park is a person who has passed a background check. They also have their license with them and are carrying the gun in some kind of holster. (Yes, the law also addresses how the gun is carried, so all these stories about guys shooting their leg when they stuff their gun in their underpants are basically from the criminal element to begin with.) They also won't be carrying a gun to an organized event at the park because of the "public gathering" restriction.

Jim Thompson of the Athens Banner-Herald has made good and bad points. First, it looks like he bought into irrational gun fears with his column "Looking at the world through a gun sight." He argued against finding a justification for being allowed to carry guns in parks and dismissed the right to self-defense there by writing: "What I can't even begin to fathom is how it must be to believe everything, including a trip to the park, carries the potential for gun violence to erupt. But I guess that when you insist on looking at the world through a gun sight, you get a pretty skewed view." We could easily turn this around on Thompson and say that he is the one with a skewed view if he believes that law-abiding citizens present a danger if they carry guns in parks.

Thompson did make a point with which I am willing to accept in his blog post "He's back, but he's ducking." He wrote: "I believe that when I’m out in public, I have a right to expect that anyone carrying a weapon is demonstrably proficient with that weapon, and has that proficiency tested on a regular basis by a competent authority." Florida actually takes this approach by requiring proof of training for firearms license applicants, though Georgia does not. Of course, a common requirement for law enforcement officers anywhere is that their firearm proficiency is regularly retested. I would accept such a requirement in exchange for the privilege of carrying what the law deems to be a dangerous instrumentality because that does seem to be a sensible regulation.

In full disclosure, I've had a Georgia Firearms License for over five years, and I just joined Georgiacarry.org. I occasionally carry a concealed pistol in public places, and I religiously follow gun safety rules.

2007-12-10

Murder-robbery suspect at large

Police are seeking public assistance in identifying the person responsible for the shooting death of Djamal Atroune at Lay's Shell Station on the morning of Dec. 5. The subject is described as a black male between 5'7" and 5'10" in height of a medium to heavyset build. This is the forensic artistic sketch based on this event.
This suspect is also thought to be the same person responsible for the robbery occurring shortly thereafter at the Kangaroo station on Prince Avenue. These are two still images from a security camera.



See these stories from OnlineAthens.com for more information:
Anyone with information should call Det. Chuck Ivey with the Athens-Clarke County Police at (706) 613-3888 ext. 337 or Special Agent Rebecca Shaw with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation at (800) 597-8477. Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of this subject.

2007-12-08

UGA Joins With ESPNU for Student-Run Initiative

ESPNU, in collaboration with the University of Georgia, and 19 other colleges and universities from across the country, has launched a new student-run initiative called “ESPNU Campus Connection.”

Working with students, professors and athletic departments, the new ESPNU initiative incorporates student-generated content across multiple ESPN platforms. Some examples include students announcing games (play-by-play announcer and analyst), sideline reporting and producing televised events on ESPNU involving their schools, as well as contributing special segments and feature stories for other ESPN networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN360.com, etc.) and writing articles for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com.

The full story is available over on "Eye on Sports Media".

Athens Banner-Herald Is looking for a Prep Sports Editor

The Athens Banner-Herald (ABH) is looking for a Prep Sports Editor. Here is what is being advertised:

The Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald seeks an energetic full-time prep sports editor to join its award-winning staff.

In this position, you'll be in charge of coordinating high school coverage for 25 schools. The position also has desk responsibilities, so Quark proficiency is a plus.

Experienced candidates are preferred, but recent graduates are encouraged to apply.

The Athens Banner-Herald is a Morris Communications-owned 32,000 daily newspaper in Athens, Ga., home of the University of Georgia and one of the greatest live music scenes in the country.

Send your resume, six writing clips and two design clips to John Kaltefleiter, Sports Editor, Athens Banner-Herald, One Press Place, Athens, Ga., 30601. E-mail: john.kaltefleiter@onlineathens.com. No phone calls.

No resumes will be accepted after December 20, 2007.

2007-12-07

Go Spartans!

I've always thought that it was funny that the Athens Academy sports team nickname is the Spartans (Athens was often at war with Sparta, no? though I guess they did band together to fend off the Persians). At any rate, the football Spartans are playing in a A semifinal this morning against Wilcox County at the Georgia Dome. Unfortunately, they are currently down 6-0 in the first quarter, but they did just recover a fumble in the red zone. Go Spartans!

Update: 2nd Quarter, Athens Academy takes a 7-6 lead with a touchdown pass after the fumble recovery. By the way, for anyone at home right now, the game is being broadcast on GPB.

Halftime Update: Bad news Tim; the Spartans have fallen behind 20-7 at halftime. There's hope, though; they were behind before coming back and winning last week as well.

Final: Wilcox County 32, Athens Academy 14.

Oh well. Valiant effort and great season nonetheless, Spartans.

2007-12-06

Christmas Song!

Merry Christmas to all my fans on Athensworld.com ans HOT100.7 FM

2007-12-05

Curious about military flights

This is a question I've been wondering about myself. Mike-El writes:
Hi, Adrian. Would you mind putting the word out to see if anyone knows why we've been getting buzzed by fighter jets the past few days? Being next to the airport out here in Winterville, we're used to all the regular military planes but lately we've been getting F-14s roaring overhead almost every afternoon. Sometimes two or three in formation. My kids love it. All we're missing is Maverick, Goose, and some Kenny Loggins.

Murder and armed robbery; hit and run

The Athens-Clarke County police are seeking the public's help in finding a suspect in a murder and armed robbery committed early this morning at Lay's Shell Station on Gaines School Road at Lexington Road. Here is the information with a surveillance video image.

Also, a hit and run driver who struck a pedestrian is being sought:
A serious accident occurred on Morton Road near Martin Farm Lane. This morning around 7 am, while walking his dog, a pedestrian was crossing the roadway from the right-hand side to the left hand side of the road heading Southbound. An unknown vehicle was approaching southbound. This unknown vehicle struck the pedestrian. The vehicle may have a cracked windshield. The vehicle continued southbound on Morton Road without stopping. The victim sustained non-life threatening injuries.
Anyone with information on this vehicle, please contact:
SPO Kenneth Brown
Hit and Run Investigator
706-208-1719 extension 238

Yo-Yo Kings -- Repost

This was on the original athensworld, I wrote it as a part of a series of posts on Athens in the 60s and 70s.
-----------------
The Palace Theater had Saturday afternoon at the movies. Kids got in free with a can of food for the poor folks sometimes. Sometimes it cost a quarter to get in. For that price, you got a newsreel, some previews, at least one cartoon, usually more, and a double feature. The double feature movies were always of a similar genre, like two westerns or two war movies. One Saturday we got two civil war movies. I remember watching the battle scene where the South got beat and the Union was saved. Most of the kids booed, there were several kids from Up North sitting down in front, they cheered and were promptly bombarded with popcorn.

About this time of year, when school had just let out and we had the whole summer in front of us, the Yo-Yo Kings would come through town. These were always Philipino guys who could do the most amazing tricks with their Yo-Yo's. Before the movie, the Yo-Yo Kings would be up on the stage in front of the screen, doing their tricks while music played over the sound system. We were mesmerized with the performance. The Palace Theater made sure we knew at least two weeks in advance of the Yo-Yo Kings arrival. This gave all us kids time to agitate our parents, cut grass, break into our piggy banks, whatever it took to get the money together because after the Yo-Yo Kings performed, they set up a table in the lobby and us kids would line up 50 deep. We'd stand there inside the plush velvet ropes and we'd buy our Duncan Yo-Yo, just knowing that if we got the latest model, we too could perform those same tricks. (Walk The Dog, Around The World, Jacob's Ladder etc etc). Of course, it never really worked out that way, but we bought into the dream every June anyway. We'd return to our seats with our new Yo-Yo in hand. The year the metal-flake model came out, I spent the next three hours admiring the little flashes of light as it picked up the projector light in the darkened theater. I don't think any of the kids there that year saw the movies at all, we were all trying to figure out how that Yo-Yo could sparkle like that. One year, the new model was the Butterfly model. It had edges that pointed out and within one hour of our getting the Butterfly model, all the kids had bruised fingers to show for it.

A few of the bolder kids would pair up with their sweethearts and sit together in the double seats that were on the isles of the theater. We called these the Love Seats and it was quite a scandal when one of our number didn't sit with us, but sat with a girl in a Love Seat. I admit to having sat with a girl in a Love Seat once myself. I was ostracized by my crowd for several days after that. The Love Seats were located on each isle, one every 10 rows or so. I found out years after the fact, that these weren't installed by the Palace Theater as Love Seats, but rather, were paid for by a prominent Athens businessman who was named Fats Baker. Fats tipped the scales at better than 400 pounds. I remember seeing him walking along College Square as he was going to lunch at the Mayflower. Anyway, Fats loved the movies, but he couldn't fit in the regular seats, so when the Palace was built, he had those custom seats put in for his use. Fats never went to Saturday Afternoon at the Movies, that was strictly kid terror-tory.

The Palace Theater was located up the hill from College Square, just up the hill from where Wuxtry is now. The whole building was torn down to build the parking deck some years ago. After the movies let out, all the kids would walk down the hill and go to the Varsity for a coke or a shake, it was located at the corner of College Square, where the Chinese place is today. The downtown Varsity is a topic for another post I suppose.

2007-12-04

ACC Library Store Sale - Dec 6 & 7th

There should be some neat things for holiday giving
Mark your calendars!!! The Library Store is having an Inventory Blowout Sale!!!

Sale Dates are as follows:

December 6th from 11am- 7pm in the Athens Library Small Conference Room
December 7th from 11am - 5pm in the Athens Library Small Conference Room

Oh, Tannenbaum

So, guys, this is the post where I whine about my trials and tribulations in seeking that most basic of xmas essentials: the christmas tree. Yeah, they're everywhere, sorta. Leyland cypresses in 6-7' heights are everywhere.

But I want something special -- I want a tree, real or otherwise, from 9-12' in height. Preferably a blue spruce or some such, but I'm not picky. It's just gotta be reasonably priced and tall enough not to make my ceiling look freakishly tall.

Any suggestions? Tried any pick-your-own places that you particularly enjoyed?

Also, I'm really not picky about the fake vs. real question -- can anyone speak to the durability of fake trees? Just how bad is either option for the environment?

2007-12-03

Overheard in Athens

The "Overheard in Athens" blog often makes me laugh out loud ("LOL"), and the reaction by a waiter in this entry struck me as particularly funny. He was overhearing a conversation about someone's intimate affairs, started to make an observation, and then abandoned it. But then I was struck by what wasn't funny at all, the dangerous ignorance of risks in sexual behavior. I usually don't blog about stuff like this, but I guess the relevant point here is that even in this town that is supposedly rather overeducated, there is still a need for greater sex education. A woman in this overheard conversation expressed a possible belief that she is not at risk of sexually transmitted diseases if she is only having anal sex. Unfortunately, this belief is actually all to common, and this is a major way that women (and men) acquire HIV. Many other infections can be passed this way, too.

"Overheard in Athens" captures a lot of embarrassing lapses of intelligence, and that is why I'm addicted to reading it. You never know what kind of crazy things will be overheard next. But sometimes you worry whether a speaker is really as ignorant as he or she sounds.

Saturday Night's Dance Athens Show

For those of you who did not make it to the Dance Athens show Saturday night, you missed a real treat. The girls from the East Athens Educational Center stole the show. Modern dance does nothing for me (I guess I am just intellectually stunted or something), so a lot of the acts turned me off. But these girls were FANTASTIC.

The strangest point of the evening was the speech given by Athens Banner-Herald Marquee editor Julie Phillips. Receiving an award for excellence, she bemoaned the fact that the Marquee section of the ABH has been getting smaller and smaller because of cutbacks at the paper. She said that when there are cutbacks, the arts, of course, suffer first. Is this like writing your own obituary?

Julie seems like a truly nice, person and does love and support the arts. But the reality is that the people who read the Banner-Herald do so for the Sports section mainly. I never read Marquee because I do not pay for the paper (why waste money on a poor publication overall?) and can get better information for free in the Flagpole?

2007-12-01

Water conservation gone amuck

The water conservation tips from Athens-Clarke County have gotten more and more desperate. Now I'd say they're out of hand. Let's take a look at some of them:

To save water and time, consider washing your face or brushing your teeth while in the shower. This one contradicts other tips we've been given. First of all, if we're not supposed to run the water in the sink while brushing our teeth or anything else, how is doing that while running the shower going to save water? Second of all, the thought of brushing teeth in the shower is seriously wacky, and I don't think I'd like to have minty foam running down any sensitive body parts.

Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap for cold drinks. I don't see how that saves any water at all.

Shave your face or legs less frequently to save water. You don't have to tell Athenians twice. Take a stroll on the west side of College Square, and you'll be reminded of how much water our community has been saving for years!

Don’t waste a toilet flush. Drop tissues and other garbage in the trash instead of flushing and save gallons every time. This is the signal of the end of civilization as we know it. I know they're at least suggesting to throw away a snot tissue, and a writer in the Flagpole has dared to suggest putting urine tissues in the trash. But we're not talking about living like the Greeks or Caribbeans and binning our fecal tissues, are we? Are we? Because we're going to need a few more tips to figure out how to do that, like where to get sealed containers for these tissues.

Post your own water conservation tips here.

2007-11-30

Parade photos from Team Brown

If you're like me and didn't go see the Downtown Parade of Lights, then go see the photos that Hillary and Jared posted on Flickr:

Athens Christmas Parade 2007

2007-11-29

Some slices of life this week

  1. Yesterday I went to Office Depot to buy some boring supplies. While I waited in line, a customer ahead of me asked the cashier if the previous customer had bought and left the Diet Mountain Dew that was sitting on the counter. The cashier said yes. After paying, the customer offered to take the soda to the man who had forgotten. She did so, but she came back in to return it to the counter, saying he had left too quickly to be caught.
  2. The power supply to the computer system in the Georgia Square Mall Postal Store cut off and forced the system to reboot this morning. I was at the counter and had to wait about ten minutes before they could do business again. I made small talk with the employee there about things like the annoying and expensive bureaucracy I was mailing stuff to, how I was surprised that you can mail 70 pounds for $8.95, and how changes had been made in the surface and air shipping systems.
  3. On Tuesday the barista at Hot Corner Coffee made me aware how serious our nation's economic problems are. When he told me my total on the cash register he gave an alternate amount in Canadian dollars. I told him I left my Canadian money at home. Then I realized that the Canadian amount was lower and said, wait a minute, aren't Canadian dollars worth less? He said, not anymore! I was aware of the U.S. dollar's devaluation against the British pound and the euro, but things are serious if the Canadian dollar is worth more than ours.
  4. IRL I met Christopher Byrne, the guy who recently starting posting here on Athens World. I recognized him from the photo on his Business Controls Caddy blog, even though my detective skills like that are usually slow.
Yes, my life if very exciting if these are the slices I think to share with you.

Christmas parade tonight

It is not even December: Annual Downtown Parade of Lights.

2007-11-28

Bluebell Gallery Holiday Reception Nov. 30 (wine & cheese reception)



Blue Bell Gallery

Holiday Celebration

Wine & Cheese Reception
Historic Downtown Comer (15 minutes from Athens)
89 East North Avenue
NOVEMBER 30TH
FRIDAY @ 7PM

Artwork by local and regional artists
POTTERY
GLASS
JEWELRY
PHOTOGRAPHY
PAINTINGS
ORNAMENTS
Holiday Open House 2007
November 30 – December 22
Gallery Hours:
Thursday – Saturday 9a – 6p

bluebellgallery@windstream.net

706.783.4665
WWW.BLUEBELLGALLERY.NET

2007-11-27

Chance to vote for a local smile

University of Georgia marketing major Karla Dempsey is a finalist in the Smile Bright in the Spotlight Contest sponsored by the corporate likes of Crest and Scope. She is among three with the chance to be chosen to present trophies at the People's Choice Awards hosted by Queen Latifah in January on CBS. She is asking for your support through online voting, and this is your chance to help get Georgia represented on national television. You can vote every day through November 30, so time is short.

Dempsey is excited about the opportunity because she is interested in the business side of the entertainment industry. In an e-mail interview with Athens World, she says that there is a lot about Athens that makes her smile, starting with the people. She writes, "Everyone is so passionate! I love that Athens is a place for all kinds of people to express their creativity." I also asked her if, as a marketing student, she could think of a marketing angle to educate visitors and new residents that the Arch at UGA is not supposed to be called "the arches" in the plural form. She wrote that it would be helpful for people to see the name in print. She suggested there could be confusion with the Golden Arches of McDonald's, which is sad but maybe true because I certainly think of McDonald's restaurants when I hear "the arches."

Again, Dempsey is asking for your vote to send her to Hollywood.

Sporting Youth Magazine: Pat Riley on "Finding Your Path"

Athens, GA (Nov 27, 2007) - I am humbled that I get to share page space with Miami Heat Coach Pat Riley in the December/January 2008 issue of Sporting Youth Magazine. Of course he has never met me, and except for this posting, no one would know that I wrote the sidebar for the cover story he wrote, "Find Your Individual Path to Greatness".

In this article, Riley writes about how complicated the word "greatness" really is, and the importance of teamwork and leadership to accomplish one's goals. Most importantly, he points out that youth will have many opportunities in their lives to achieve greatness, so long as they have the right guide to find their path and reach for the opportunities when presented.

Sporting Youth Magazine was founded by Athens resident and Long Island native Maureen Bevillard (pictured right). She wanted to publish this magazine as a resource to help young people to get involved in physical activities and exercise. The mission statement of the magazine is simple and straightforward: "Get today’s youth moving and provide a positive resource to help them do it!"

Ms. Bevillard has been tireless in using her energy, drive and shy New York personality( ;-) ) to make this magazine a reality. She has engaged many people in the community for this effort, and has had sports personalities such as John Wooden and Herschel Walker write for the magazine. So when she writes in the current issue that "Many people asked, 'How did you get Pat Riley to write for your magazine?'", I know the answer is simple. This woman is driven by her passion and commitment to young people.

Take a look at the Sporting Youth web site, and download the PDF of the current issue to share with your children and friends. You will be glad you did.

2007-11-26

Well Somebody from CBS is Reading This Blog

It seems that some lurker from CBS in New York came to this blog via my CSTV posting, and then on the my Eye on Sports Media Blog. Lurkers like this should at least just say hello if they are going to take the time to visit our fair city!:-)

2007-11-24

Connecting to people in Athens and moving away

Eponymous Dave reflects on making connections with people in Athens and contrasts that to socializing in New York City. Although he finds it easier to make connections here, he thinks the new experience may promote personal growth. Read his post entitled "Friends."

Maybe former Athenians should band together in New York. That's where a lot of us seem to go.

JBS Experimental video

2007-11-22

Water use reduction goal met

From the Athens-Clarke County government, unified and all that:

Athens-Clarke County has met the state-mandated 10% reduction in water consumption as compared to last year’s winter average. Athens-Clarke County is one of the first communities in Georgia to accomplish this before the December 1 deadline.

According to figures from the Public Utilities Department, the current average daily consumption for the month of November is 13.43 million gallons per day (MGD). This rate is below the statewide requirement of 13.5 MGD. November ACC water consumption figures show significant conservation when compared to the mid-October rate of 14.47 MGD.

Happy Thanksgiving

2007-11-21

CSTV's Recent Visit to Athens

This slideshow is of the recent CSTV visit to Athens. The story that goes along with these pictures is available over on "Eye on Sports Media".


Photographs Copyright 2007 by Christopher Byrne. All Rights Reserved.

Its a glorious fall day in Athens

Man, the leaves are dropping like snow and the weather is balmy. The students are gone for TDay, so I decided to take advantage of the lull and have my morning coffee on a bench on the quad. I rolled a few peanut butter crackers at the squirrels and was watching them enjoying the snack when suddenly one squirrel have the 'OMG Its A Hawk' alarm bark. All the squirrels ran to and up the trees. Within seconds, a juvenile red-tailed hawk cruised in and lit on a branch about 15 feet overhead. Under that same branch was one very still squirrel. The hawk shuffled around peering to and fro, trying to see the squirrel. The whole time, the squirrel was within a foot or two of the hawk but was remaining still. After three or four minutes of this the hawk gave up and flew off in search of other prey. These hawks nest and roost down in the cemetery across Jackson Street and they hunt north campus pretty regularly. This time of year with the leaves falling, the hawks are more frequently covering the oaks, hoping to find a careless squirrel. This time, the squirrel wasn't so careless. But that hawk didn't look too emaciated to me.

2007-11-20

Athens Christmas Parade Nov. 29

Or you can just watch the video from last year.



Downtown Athens Christmas Parade of Lights
Thursday, November 29, 2007
(7:00 PM)

Athens' annual downtown Christmas Parade of Lights ushers in the holiday season. Over 60 floats, bands, and other groups parade through downtown streets awash in twinking lights. The parade begins on the corner of Dougherty and Pulaski Streets ending in the front of City Hall for the traditional tree lighting ceremony, hosted by none other than Santa and Mrs. Claus. Come early for the Downtown Open House, with great deals and extended hours by great downtown retailers!

Admission: $0
Parking fee: $0
Event Phone: 706-613-3589

Event Link: http://www.accleisureservices.com

Pedestrian fatality

Athens-Clarke County Police report that a pedestrian was struck and killed by a vehicle at about 6:30 this morning on West Broad Street just west of the Hawthorne-Alps intersection. David M. Green, age 44, of a Berlin Street address, was crossing south when struck by an eastbound vehicle. No charges were made immediately against the driver. The investigation closed all eastbound lanes for some time this morning.

A post about nothing

I don't have any pithy comments or anything like that. I just wanted to post so that when I hit athensworld, that NTAC representative's smug picture isn't on my screen. Wait, was that pithy?

2007-11-15

Who Is HE To Tell Athens What To Do?

An interesting article in the paper this morning says

An Oconee County state representative says the Athens-Clarke Commission should ease its watering restrictions to help landscapers during the drought.

The total outdoor watering ban in Athens is too severe and will lead to a loss of jobs, said state Rep. Bob Smith, R-Watkinsville. The commission should allow watering by hand at least once a week, he told commissioners Tuesday night."


Now call me over simplistic, but who in the heck does HE think he is telling the Athens-Clarke County Government what is should do for its residents?

This is a perfect example of why the proposed repeal of local property taxes should NOT be allowed to move forward.

The Board of Regents and Casket Logos

Some of you may have heard that the Board of Regents is considering a policy change. This would allow casket companies to market caskets with the UGA Logo as part of it. So not surprisingly, I found this video on YouTube today...

2007-11-14

Another Athens Phone Book?

Yesterday, I got back from the ER with my son. As I was pulling in my driveway, I seen a plastic bag thrown in from of my driveway. I was thinking, "WTF? Who littered trash in my driveway?" So I stopped my car and picked the bag up. It happened to be the another new phonebook. To me, this was the biggest violation of unwanted wasted paper sense the States McCarter propaganda in my mailbox.

When I want a phone number, I use a page called theultimates.com. If it's an unlisted number I use zabasearch. I also only read online additions of the Flagpole and onlineathens, because it makes a mess and waste paper. I did find it's better to get Athens news on Topix Athens GA because onlineathens.com uses pop ups on the front page, and it looks sloppy.

I guess my point is, I like using the internet better than wasting paper. This new phone directory is heading for the recycle been. People don't have the right to little in my yard. It's just like finding a dog turn in my yard.

Daily list of crime on UGA campus

I wasn't sure if this has been posted before, but here is a link to the daily crime log from UGA PD:
http://www.police.uga.edu/dailylog/DailyLog.htm

2007-11-13

Gordon Lamb on Ted Hafer

Gordon Lamb wrote a nice piece on Ted Hafer. It is full of memories and reflections as well as links to MP3s of Porn Orchard songs.

2007-11-12

Motivational Minutes with Jon Bird

Tailgating on north campus

Here is the scene on north campus prior to the Georgia-Auburn game. See all the nice fans who love our University and its football team? This is how they show their appreciation for our campus and University.





2007-11-11

Anyone ever heard of MLU or the Ulms before?

This is an article from the Savannah newspaper about corrupt politics emanating out of Lake Oconee to try and take over the rest of the South and the country with G.O.P. good ol' boy network keeping the status quo entrenched to take more out of the public coffers to line the pockets of their donation givers, such as the mysterious Athens based business called MLU and the Ulms and their unlimited wealthy donations to Republican governors. Wondered how much money they made off Katrina?

2007-11-09

Launch of a New Athens-based Blog

I have spun off a new blog, entitled "eye on sports media", from my existing one today, and it will focus on sports broadcasting. As we are in Athens, a lot of the content will take place around or include UGA. Stories already posted include a piece today about ESPN Radio's Colin Cowherd's visit to UGA for a live broadcast, and a piece on Larry Munson's semi retirement.

For a city of Athens size, we get a lot of media attention from the Sports World the BBC was hear earlier this week do do a story on the drought).

So please offer any suggestions, comments, etc., and have a great weekend!


More Friday musings

The chatter today at the Mayflower was that a middle aged man was pushed/jumped/fell off the top of the downtown parking deck. He hit the sidewalk feet first and somehow that didn't kill him. At least, not right away. No one seemed to know exactly what happened, just that he hit the sidewalk.

I noticed signs up again, reserving part of the quad in front of the Law School. The signs warn off tailgaters, telling them not to set up in that area, as it is reserved for a Law School function, which I assume is related to the football game. I guess they would know, but is it legal to reserve state property like that? I guess it is, the Athletic Association has done it for years, confiscating parking lots and decks on game days for football fans, even to the point of not 'allowing' those of us who pay for parking there to have access to what we have paid for.

The Grounds Department cut the dirt again on the north campus quads. They have also replaced the pine straw around the trees with shredded wood and bark. It stinks like hell, I think its oak remnants. The squirrels don't seem to like it either, I don't see as many squirrels on the ground since that was done.

There is a construction company in Oconee County called SFB Construction. I saw one of their trucks the other day and it reminded me where that name came from. It seems the owner told his father that he was going to form his own company and go into business for himself. His father didn't think much of the idea and told his son 'You must have shit for brains'. The son's response was to name his company SFB Construction. I like that. I'll give him some business when the need arises.

2007-11-08

Night of Poetry

The Institute for African American Studies and the Mandala Journal are pleased to announce our first Bi-annual night of Poetry:

Thursday, November 15, 2007
Adinkra Hall (4th Floor, Memorial Hall Ballroom)
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Featuring work from: UGA Creative Writing and English graduate students: Elizabeth Fields, Aghigh Ebrahimi, and Kamille Bostick.

Special Guests: Community poet LIFE from the Dreaded Mindz Collective
& SAPPHIRE* Award-winning poet and author of the novel Push

We will have an Open Mic session after the scheduled reading. For those of you interested in sharing your poems there will be a sign up sheet at the door.

REFRESHMENTS WILL BE SERVED

*Sapphire will also participate in the Willson Center Roundtable Discussion: Exploring Memoir Across Genre and Media Formats
Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2007 at 4 PM
Student Learning Center, Rm 248

2007-11-07

Risky fire conditions

This letter today at Online Athens is a perfect reminder of the current risk our area is at for fire danger. It reports that carelessly discarded charcoal ignited a bed of wood chips near UGA's Plant Sciences building Saturday. The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning today, the highest level of risk for forest fires. See the Georgia Forestry Commission's Fire Weather System website for more information and forecasts.

2007-11-02

North Avenue suspect arrested

Joseph Taylor Mills, 24, of Colbert was charged today with stalking and simple battery for an Oct. 18 incident on North Avenue. This is the suspect depicted in a sketch from information reported by the victim named as "20-year-old Natalie" in an earlier news story. Speculation in that story and subsequent stories was that he could have been the same man who abducted other women in a white van. He has not been charged with any other crimes at this time. In the North Avenue incident he was reported to have stopped in a burgundy sedan and asked a group of four women if they wanted a ride. Police say he later went to the apartment of one of the women where he tried to talk his way in. He allegedly touched her hair and grabbed her hip before her roommate appeared and he left.

Mills has been identified as the suspect in this sketch. Anyone having information on the abduction incidents involving the white van should call the Athens-Clarke County Police at (706) 613-3888 and ask for Detective Dickerson at extension 793 or Detective Ivey at 337.

2007-10-31

Honk If You Sacked Tebow

Some misplaced Georgia fans in Tennessee sent this in to me on my Georgia Law Blog. They are selling "Honk! If You Sacked Tebow" bumper stickers on EBay. I would have put a picture up with the post, but Blogger is being persnickety. You can see it and if you want buy some here.

2007-10-29

Jackson Street cemetery

So, having been stood up by a vendor who was going to take me to Bissett's for lunch, I found myself standing in line for the hot dog man on the sidewalk next to the cemetery. I looked into the cemetery and discovered that every grave I could see had a single red rose, even the brick vault had one on top. My disappointment in the changed lunch plans was replaced with curiosity, although not entirely, I still had visions of blackened some-kind-of-fish with crawfish etoufee on top and the hot dog fell far short of that. But I do wonder at the roses.
Anyone got a clue?

2007-10-24

Rippin' Slinky Solo a la KITE TO THE MOON

Urinetown, the musical


A story about a town experiencing a drought where everyone sings a lot is going to be performed in Athens, a town experiencing a drought where everyone sings a lot. University Theatre at the University of Georgia will present the musical "Urinetown" on November 8-9 and 14-16 at 8 p.m. and November 11 and 18 at 2:30 p.m.

Director Marla Criste says: "If people are looking for an evening out watching and listening to a freakishly talented cast of performers dancing around on a spectacular set, wearing fabulous costumes, and poking fun at wealthy corporations, corrupt politicians, the lemming-like bourgeois and just about every musical that has ever been produced on Broadway, then this little award-winning show with the terrible name is exactly what the doctor ordered. And for those who hanker for a little substance with their entertainment, our 'Urinetown' is Brechtian political opera at its comic and tuneful best."

The show pokes fun at various musical styles and even specific shows. There is the suggestion that it does not have a happy ending. The ticket will set you back $15 at the regular price or $12 for students. Call (706) 542-2838 for reservations.

2007-10-23

Hauntings exhibit through Oct. 27

Hauntings exhibit through Oct. 27, Bluebell Gallery, Comer, featuring works from 30+ artists. Blue Bell Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and by appointment. For more information on "Hauntings," call (706) 783-4665 or visit www.bluebellgallery.net.

2007-10-21

Athens Drought meeting

just passing along info...

The special A-CC Commission work session, Thursday, Oct. 25, Dougherty St. Building auditorium @ 5:30, will be open to the public. Topic: "Level F" drought management.
No public comment will be allowed at the meeting.

2007-10-12

A few Friday observations

Some people, when talking on their cell phone, will pace around like a tiger in a cage. I
see this on a daily basis on north campus. A person will be talking, hand against head,
looking down, pacing back a forth. Today I watched a student pace over to the post on the
edge of the sidewalk, gently kick it, turn and pace back to center of the natural area,
the turn and pace back to the post, gently kick it, etc etc. This went on for 4 complete
circuits. This type of behavior is known as stereotopy and is seen in caged animals, the
severely retarded, and adult pyschoses and schizophrenia. Maybe we need a new term related
to cell phone usage.

The Grounds Department cut the dirt on north campus this morning. The dirt looks a lot
better for it. I saw the big mowers emerging from their dust clouds as they rode back
and forth. The operators had on paper dust masks and they needed them.

Squirrels, it seems, have to practice. I watched two young squirrels in the big oak in
front of the law school. They were up on a main limb, walking around, testing moves
and small jumps. They'd climb up a little limb off the main limb, slip around, then move
back to the main limb. I watched for 10 minutes or so, fully expecting one to fall to the
ground, but despite several near misses, neither one fell.

I don't go to the clubs downtown. I am too old I suppose and am frequently asleep by 9 PM.
And thats Saturday night. But if I did go to clubs downtown, I wouldn't go to Caledonia.
They have their flyers taped to the benches on north campus. The flyers get torn and end up
on the ground and the tape leaves a mess on the benches. Thats tacky. Stop it.

Beer bottle twist off tops are non-biodegradable, at least for the short term. Look
at the number of beer bottle tops in the dirt where the grass used to be before the
tailgaters and drought killed it. You'll see them next to all the cigarette butts that
were casually dropped on the ground, they're still there too. Go Dawgs.

Philosophical musings can still be read on the bench in front of the Library, but its
fading fast. So here it is: "If we want to cultivate a true spirit of democracy, we
cannot afford to be intolerant. Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause.” Ghandi
said that. He also said "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so
unlike Christ". Indeed.

2007-10-09

Water crisis requires education and communication

This article by Christopher Byrne covers the difficulties in responding to our water shortage caused by communication hurdles and the difficulties of changing water use habits. It says that a message about the outdoor watering ban is now going out on pizza boxes.

2007-10-08

Water main break on East Campus

An announcement from the University of Georgia:
As of approximately 1 p.m. today (Monday, Oct. 8), a water main break has affected water service to much of East Campus. Because of the inability to operate without water service, the UGA Health Center and the Recreational Sports portions of the Ramsey Student Center are closing effective immediately. Physical Plant crews are assessing what further areas of East Campus may be affected by this break and further announcements will be made as information becomes available.

2007-10-04

Household hazardous waste day, Oct. 20

According to the state of Georgia Pollution Prevention Assistance Division, 84% of Georgia residents use at least one lawn and garden chemical, 38% have left over paint stored in their home or garage, 51% have old household cleaners, and 38% have automotive fluids from servicing their own vehicles. This event will help divert some of these hazardous wastes from entering our local landfill, being illegally dumped on the ground, or poured down the drain. All of which can contaminate community water.

Need an environmentally friendly way to dispose of old paint, pesticides, automotive fluids, and household chemicals?

On Saturday, October 20, 2007 the Athens-Clarke County (ACC) Recycling Division will hold a one-day only collection event for residential quantities of household hazardous waste. This event is free and open to Athens-Clarke County residents ONLY. ID WILL BE REQUIRED. Registration is not required.

Items accepted: deodorizers, cleaners, bleaches, aerosol cans, thermometers, spot removers, drain cleaners, thermostats, latex and oil paints, motor oil, anti-freeze, pesticides, fluorescent light bulbs, weed killers, paint thinner, fertilizers, batteries (auto, alkaline and rechargeable), gasoline, garden chemicals, pool chlorine, auto fluids, televisions and other electronics.

Items NOT accepted: no business waste, no medical waste, no tires, no radioactive material, no smoke detectors, no appliances, no explosives, no ammunition.

Household hazardous wastes collected will be recycled or properly disposed of by Clean Harbors Environmental.

For more information please call the Athens-Clarke County Recycling Division at (706) 613-3512 or visit www.acc-recycle.org.

Bird Walk at Sandy Creek - Oct. 6

------------------

The Oconee Rivers Audubon Society will host a birdwalk this Saturday, October 6th, at 8:00AM at the Sandy Creek Park in Athens-Clarke County.

Sandy Creek Park will be waiving the $2.00 admission fee Saturday morning for those attending the birdwalk. If you stay to use the park afterwards you should pay the fee.

We will be meeting in the farthest parking lot on Campsite Drive across the dam. Please use the farthest parking lot as parking right near the camp sites is limited.

You can find a map of Sandy Creek Park at:

http://www.sandycreeknaturecenter.com/uploads/SCP_map.pdf

Sandy Creek Nature Center is located at 400 Bob Holman Rd Athens, GA 30607 which is about 4 miles north of the Athens Bypass on US441.

No experience is necessary. FREE. Birders of all skill levels are welcome. Walks typically last 3-4 hours though participants may leave at any time. The walk will be 2 to 3 miles of moderate to easy walking. You should wear practical shoes and dress for the weather. If you have binoculars you should bring them. Insect repellent is strongly encouraged.

For more information contact Ed Maioriello at fieldtrip@oconeeriversaudubon.org or at 706-208-8504.

2007-10-02

Oleanna

The Town and Gown Players’ 2007-2008 Second Stage season begins with Oleanna, David Mamet’s exploration of the teacher/student relationship, sexual harassment, power, and the tragedy of miscommunication.

Oleanna runs October 5-7, at 8:00 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 2pm Sunday at the Town and Gown Players’ Athens Community Theatre on Grady Avenue off Prince. All seats are $5, and tickets are available at the door. For more information about Town and Gown Players, who have provided quality local theatre for over fifty years, visit www.townandgownplayers.org.

2007-09-27

Crime Stoppers offers reward for kidnapping suspect

From the Athens-Clarke County Police Department:
On the Sunday 09-09-07 at approximately 1:00 a.m., a female victim from out of town became separated from her friends while visiting the downtown area of Athens following the UGA/USC football game. The female was approached by a white male in a white passenger van. The suspect offered the female a ride to her friend’s apartment complex in Athens. The female willingly entered the vehicle and the suspect proceeded to drive her to an isolated area outside the city and in another jurisdiction. The female exited the vehicle and fled. The victim then ran to the nearest residence and called 911. We believe that this was an attempted sexual assault based on the suspect’s actions.

The subject was described as a white male, 20-30 years old, 5’8”-5’11”, 150-190 lbs, medium build with short brown hair. He was wearing a baseball cap and a light blue or white polo type shirt. The van was described as a new model GMC or Chevrolet passenger van, white in color, possibly a taxi or work van. The van had a gray interior. Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $1000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible.

Anyone having information on this subject or who may have seen this van or even been provided a ride in a van matching this description should contact Det Ben Dickerson (ext. 793) or Det Ivey (ext. 337) at the Athens-Clarke County Police Department at (706)613-3888. If you wish to remain anonymous you may call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at (706)613-3342.

Sordid Lives

The buzz is circulating about "Sordid Lives" from University Theatre. You still have another weekend to see it at the University of Georgia's Fine Arts Building. It's called a "black comedy about white trash" that covers themes of coming of age and growing up in Texas. The story involves a family reunion on the occasion of the passing of the family's matriarch -- brought about by some kind of accident while committing adultery in a motel. The singing role of Bitsie Mae Darling is played by Winterville's Wilma. The remaining shows are at 8 p.m. each night through Saturday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Visit the official website for more information.

2007-09-26

Bags for Bears (Bear Hollow/Zoo)

Bear Hollow Wildlife Trail and ACC Recycling Division are introducing a new community-wide program: Bags for Bears!

Starting October 1, community residents can recycle their plastic grocery bags and wraps at several locations, including the Athens-Clarke County Recycling Center on Hancock Industrial
Way, the Athens-Clarke County Solid Waste Department on College Avenue, Bishop Park, Bear Hollow and Memorial Park as well as Sandy Creek Nature Center.

The materials will be collected, recycled and made into composite, plastic lumber. The goal is 405,000 bags or 6,500 pounds by December 31 st . If the goal is met, Trex, Inc. will donate
their composite, plastic lumber to Bear Hollow for building, playscapes for the bears, bobcats, and otters to play on and enjoy. This is part of an on-going effort to provide physical and
mental stimulation for the resident animals. In addition, it keeps these materials from littering our roadsides and out of our local landfill.

Area schools can get involved and the top five producing schools will
receive special prizes from ACC recycling Division and Bear Hollow. This is a Green School Activity!

Bags for Bears is a unique partnership between Bear Hollow, ACC Leisure Services, ACC Recycling Division and Trex, Inc, a Virginia company that makes lumber from recycled plastic bags from
both home and industrial sources. This is truly an innovative application of their excellent product. Please call Bear Hollow at 706-613-3616 or ACC Recycling Division at 705-613-3512 for
additional information.

Please bring in those bags and participate in this unique event!

2007-09-21

1960s Athens and drugs

As you drive down Lumpkin near the track, notice the cement block wall that surrounds the football practice fields. This brick wall was built way back in the day to protect the sanctity and secrecy of the UGA football team practices. Coaches and scouts from other teams would spy on upcoming opponents practices to try and figure out the game plan in advance. So the wall was built.

In its first form, it was a plain cement block (we called it cinder block) wall. As such, the wall was pretty porous. You've no doubt seen a cement block up close, there are little holes, fissures, and the like throughout the block. Well, the wall was no different as it was unpainted.

In a previous post, I had mentioned the drug culture that flourished in Athens back then. Yeah, I know, it still does, but in the 60s that culture was...different. I guess it was more innocent. Most of the drugs other than weed were acid, mescaline, psilocybin, hallucinogenics in other words. College kids in the 60s really thought that this was a mind expanding thing, nothing insidious. It was widely viewed as a part of the educational process I suppose, but more importantly, drug use was counter-culture, another form of protest. And Athens/UGA was all about protest as I had mentioned. So kids dropped green-dot LSD and went to class. Or maybe did a little blotter and hit Legion Field for some tunes. Or maybe the Arch for an anti-Vietnam rally. The Arch has always, as long as I can remember, been a focal point for protest and it gives me a sense of well being that it still is.

There were frequent rallies on campus at various locations. Most of the Vietnam protests tended to be up near the Army ROTC building for obvious reasons. It is still at the same location, so the rallies would be there on Baldwin. The rallies started out being completely peaceful and even respectful. Just a bunch of engaged college kids who felt compelled to voice their disapproval of the war in Vietnam. As such, the campus police stood by and mainly watched. The Athens City Police would be around too, just in case. I attended more than several of these rallies/protests just to see what was happening, to try and understand what was up with this Vietnam thing.

Then Kent State happened. The hippy movement was in full swing before then on a national and a local level, but after Kent State, things changed in tone. The Students for a Democratic Society had gained some momentum during this time, and after Kent State, the SDS took a more activist roll in their protests. In fact, they became violent.

Now, this is just my opinion, and I would be glad to hear other's opinions on this, but here is what I think happened at UGA. The SDS folks and their rhetoric, their anarchistic elements, tended to alienate the true hippies. The real hippies were into peace, drugs, music, and all the other stuff that you are no doubt aware of. So here at UGA, there was a split on campus between the hippies and the freaks, the SDS types. I won't mention the south campus, and usually south Georgia, kids. They were ag types, country boys who looked down their noses at the whole thing going on on north campus. I know, that’s a huge generalization, but I make it to illustrate the divisions on campus. The frat boys and girls didn't count one way or the other in all of this for what that’s worth.

So we have the hippies and the freaks. The freaks got somewhat violent here on campus, I had mentioned the 'firebombing' of the ROTC building, which didn't really amount to much at all. I remember when the thing was thrown, I got on my bike and left quick. Everyone else was headed out too, and I don't even know if the police knew that the place had been 'fire-bombed'. So there was the violent element that was really the polar opposite to what the hippies were about. So they withdrew from the protests and rallies. The real hippies just quit showing up, but they didn't quit their drugs. Not at all. In fact, I think maybe it intensified. More kids were tripping more often, which brings us back to the wall around the football practice field.

Word got around about all those little holes and fissures in the wall. The hippies were drawn to the wall like moths to a light in the summer night. The holes and cracks were thought to contain little worlds, miniature societies. I'd ride my bike down Lumpkin and turn right on Smith Street, it runs parallel to the wall and behind the Hoke Smith Annex building. And there they'd be, sometimes as many as 10 or 12 kids, tripping their heads off, standing with their faces about 2 inches from the wall. Some of them would just stand there in silence. Some would be muttering, some would share what they were 'seeing' in the wall. They saw little creatures, humanoid or otherwise. They would see interactions between these little creations, one group invading another. I know that sounds like so much hyperbole and may be unbelievable, but I saw it on a weekly basis for several months as I recall. It got so bad that the Athletic Association finally painted the damn wall with several thick coats of acrylic paint, dooming, I suppose, all those miniature worlds. And dooming the hippies to go somewhere else to trip.