Happy ending to tale of stolen dog

Happy ending to tale of stolen dog

Butters, a 2-month-old English bulldog, is back with owner Will Kiser after he was stolen Monday from Kiser's home and then sold.

Read full story from Athens Banner-Herald

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Facebook | Daft Punk Tribute + Immuzikation - Georgia Theatre

Daft Punk Tribute + Immuzikation - Georgia Theatre

Robot ++++++ Human
Event Info
Time and Place
Start Time:
Friday, January 16, 2009 at 10:00pm
End Time:
Saturday, January 17, 2009 at 2:00am
Georgia Theatre
215 North Lumpkin Street
Athens, GA
Contact Info


Very Disco - A Daft Punk Tribute

Georgia Theatre
January 16th, 2009
$10 Advance
$12 Door

Advance tickets available now at http://www.georgiatheatre.com, School Kids, and Wuxtry.


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Conference room needed

I am looking to rent out a conference room on an occasional basis. Please e-mail me if you have a conference room and can help me out. I would want to reserve it a week in advance for the purpose of meeting clients. I am looking for this as a temporary arrangement until I can get my own office.


Best laugh I had all week

Best laugh I had all week
Originally uploaded by Amy Watts
The photographer writes: "Mom and I spotted this family as we were going into Target on Christmas Eve. They went into the store, got a buggy and shopped like it was no big thing."

Christmas tree disposal

From Athens-Clarke County:

In an effort to reduce curbside disposal of Christmas trees, Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful is encouraging citizens to recycle their Christmas tree at the “Bring One for the Chipper” event Saturday, January 3rd between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

As part of a statewide effort to reuse Christmas trees, Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful and the ACC Solid Waste Department are sponsoring seven local drop-off sites where residents can recycle their used Christmas trees. Trees will be chipped into mulch or used as wildlife habitat. Participants that recycle their tree during the January 3rd event will receive a tree seedling while supplies last. Seedling species include: Green Ash, Dogwood, Red Cedar, Catalpa, and Swamp Chestnut Oak.

The Athens-Clarke County drop off locations include Cofer’s Home and Garden Showplace, Sandy Creek Nature Center, Barrow Elementary School, Chase Street Elementary School, Recycling Centers as the Lexington Highway Tag Office, Georgia Square Mall Theater Parking Lot and the Winterville Public Works Building.

How to Serve Raccoon

For some reason, Deputy Fife didn't bark. But I heard the crunching of the driveway rocks. Then the man was talking to Miss Hattie. They were standing under the carport. I moved closer to the kitchen window to eavesdrop. The conversation turned from the usual pleasantries to the reason for the visit: raccoons.

Nothing was said about how cute they were, or how fascinating. To Miss Hattie, who lived to garden, raccoons were a kind of collateral damage -- unlucky guests of traps she had set to catch armadillos. To her visitor, raccoons were a delicacy. These different, but complementary views had brought Miss Hattie and the visitor together previously to do a little business. Miss Hattie had caught one or two raccoons and wanted nothing to do with their removal. Someone referred her to the visitor, who was only too happy to help. He charged nothing for his services, and she charged nothing for the raccoons.

Now the visitor was back, hoping to renew their mutually beneficial association. He asked if he could set some of his own traps on the place. Miss Hattie gave her permission. The visitor needed raccoons, he said -- 18 to 20 of them -- for Superbowl Sunday. On that day each year, in what was a settled local tradition, he and his wife opened their house and sold plates of raccoon and sides to the many folks came over to watch The Game.

Miss Hattie's daughter, visiting from out of state and in the food service business herself, asked the man how he prepared raccoon. Boiled it, he said. Then deep-fried it. Then baked it, surrounded by sweet potatoes.

Some of you, on reading this, will be brought back to another December a few years ago, not in the rural southland of my tableau, but here in Athens. Animal Control responded to a fraternity house to investigate a report of animal cruelty. A story in the Banner-Herald quoted Animal Control as saying that one of the members of the fraternity, on encountering an "erratically-behaving" raccoon near the frat house, had killed it with a construction pylon and a pellet gun. A second fraternity member then had skinned the raccoon in the bed of his pickup truck. And a third fraternity member then had cooked and eaten parts of the animal.

Down the road apiece, the killing, skinning, and eating of a raccoon would be a matter neither for Animal Control nor for a write-up in the local paper. It would mark only the coming around of another Superbowl Sunday. -- Bob Brussack


Need help / the DAWG artists

One of my project ideas that has been on the backburner while I frantically finish up a bunch of freelance work is a very short video on the process/participants of the We Let the Dawgs Out project (you know, those big fiberglass dogs -- but not the souless new ones -- art is subjective, ya know).

If you know anyone who participated (including the schools/art teachers), please please let me know (or pass my info along).

I think the original project was too neat to just disappear undocumented and while the level of art could have been perhaps been higher, it was great that children and schools were able to participate, in addition to professional artists. I tried contacting the official website but I never heard anything. I've also tried googling the various artists and I have a few contacts, but not much luck.

Basically, I'd like to add some of the other artists/groups photos of the inprocess work with mine (I have lots of photos for the jittery joe dawg although I am sad that it has faded so, but UV is evil to art). I know some of the other artists documented their work, too.

thanks much, robin


Happy Holidays!

Best wishes to all of the members of the athensworld family of posters and readers from the Brussacks.


report from campus: a cook's holiday

Decades ago, Pat and her colleagues at UGA Food Services had a problem -- what to do in the interval between the students' departure and the official beginning of the holiday break in December. It seemed a waste of the award-winning staff simply to keep everyone busy scrubbing and polishing. And plenty of folks, eager to get on with the celebrating or to get a respite from the monotony of grading, remained on campus. What Pat and her colleagues came up with has become a wonderful UGA tradition -- A Cook's Holiday. Rather than standing down, the staff would gear up, transforming one of the dining areas from the usual red and black to a festive red and green, sprinkled with tinsel. Chefs would don their dress whites and prepare a cornucopia of holiday delights, from sliced ham to golden yams. And the desserts!

Pat, Ian, and I made our way to the 2008 edition of A Cook's Holiday yesterday at the Summit. We meandered among the crisp linen islands of entrees and vegetables and breads, offering our plates to one chef and then another for a slice of this and a heavenly spoonful of that. We ate to the harmony of the four UGA string students who are the talented B.R.A.H.M.S. Quartet. And we made the obligatory trip to the dessert tables, clustered around a swiftly flowing chocolate fountain.

If I were you, I'd mark my calendar right now. Flip to December 2009. Type in "A Cook's Holiday!"

I've posted some of my photographs from the event. I hope you enjoy them. -- Bob Brussack


cook's holiday: only two hours left

Ian and I are headed over to the Joe Frank Harris Commons at the Summit on East Campus to chow down on the wonderful menu for the annual Cook's Holiday put on by UGA Food Services. Here's a link. Join us if you like. -- Bob Brussack


quiet trails

It's been nearly two years since I made this image of Canada geese squabbling at the Sandy Creek Nature Center's Clay Pit Pond. For awhile, I'd been strolling the network of trails out there nearly every day, camera at the ready. I've drifted away from the habit, but revisiting the image reminded me of my old ways and got me thinking about wandering the trails again. The image is misleading in a way. As I walked the trails, what I experienced mostly was zen quietude, not squabbling. The loudest noise was the crunching of my shoes. (The image is today's Photo of the Day on the photography page over at bobbrussack.com. Drop by if you have a mind to.) -- Bob Brussack


Meaning of life at the University of Georgia

Somewhere in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series it was written that the secret to life, the universe, and everything is 42. At the University of Georgia, building number 0042, Peabody Hall, houses the departments of philosophy and religion, fields in which people try to figure out life, the universe, and everything. Coincidence? I think not.


Holiday Art Sale / Estate Sale

News from the Visionary Growth Arts Center:
We're having a Holiday Art Sale / Estate Sale to raise money for Visionary Growth Art Center Sunday, Dec. 14th, 9am - 3pm. In addition to artwork from artists in our current show, we will have furniture, antiques and other items from the estate of my grandmother and other family, as well as books, photo equipment, folk art, old stuff, newer stuff, cool stuff, and of course no such sale would be complete without just some good old fashioned junk!

Gate opens at 9am, so no early birds will swoop in and beat you to the best stuff!

Sale is at Visionary Growth. Directions are on the website: www.VisionaryGrowth.org

Happy Holidays!

Robert Lowery
Visionary Growth Art Center

wintry southland

The phone rang just after six this morning. My wife's mom was calling from near Baton Rouge. It was just after five in the morning for her. I pushed the "on" button with a sense of foreboding. A call at this hour usually brought bad news. And we've been dreading bad news from Louisiana lately. With her first "hey," though, I could tell that she had something happy to report. It turned out to be snow, tumbling onto South Louisiana. They do get snow down there, but it's rare enough to justify a before-dawn call to the middle child back east. Might be a good day for a bit of slipping and sliding and then back to the house for a pot of gumbo and some of Rob's egg nog.

The call brought to mind our own encounters with wintry weather here in the Classic City. The photograph is of the trees in our back yard in late February, 2004. -- Bob Brussack


Benefit for Burney Harris Library

for those interested/
It looks like they have some pretty fantastic stuff to bid on, including Athens and R.E.M. memorabilia.
Burney-Harris-Lyons is an historic school in the Clarke County School District.
Here's the email from the school librarian:

Please disregard this email if you are not interested, but the BHL Media Center's 4th silent auction began today online and will run till Thursday at 8 PM. Please feel free to forward this to anyone you think would be interested. We are using Google forms for bid submissions.
Instructions on how to bid can be found on the form.

Please let me know via email if you're interested in bidding, and I will send you a link to the online spreadsheet so that you can see where bids currently stand. The spreadsheet is live so will be updated with each bid. Let me know if you have questions. Thank you!




ICE-Vision: Cremaster 2
Wednesday, December 8 at 8 PM
Lamar Dodd School of Art Room S150

ICE-Vision returns with a series of informal screenings on Wednesday nights in the auditorium of the new Lamar Dodd School of Art (first floor, room S150). BFA candidates Ash Sechler, Daniel Osborne, and Eddie Whelan select titles touching upon culture, science, and art. This week's selection is:

Cremaster 2 (Mathew Barney, 1999, 79 min.)
"Larger in scale, darker in tone, and much more lavishly produced than the previous installments, 'Cremaster 2,' is an epic avant-garde western built around classic themes but laced with an intricate (and often whimsical) symbolic framework." (New York Times)

ICE-Vision: Cremaster 2
Wednesday, December 8 at 8 PM
Lamar Dodd School of Art Room S150

ICE-Vision returns with a series of informal screenings on Wednesday nights in the auditorium of the new Lamar Dodd School of Art (first floor, room S150). BFA candidates Ash Sechler, Daniel Osborne, and Eddie Whelan select titles touching upon culture, science, and art. This week's selection is:

Cremaster 2 (Mathew Barney, 1999, 79 min.)
"Larger in scale, darker in tone, and much more lavishly produced than the previous installments, 'Cremaster 2,' is an epic avant-garde western built around classic themes but laced with an intricate (and often whimsical) symbolic framework." (New York Times)


john inverted

I've started a "Photo of the Day" feature over at my site. Many of the images are ones I made here in the Athens area. This one, for example -- "John Inverted" -- captures a BMX rider sailing upside-down over the concrete of the Skatepark of Athens out on Lexington Road near the Wal-Mart. Some amazing things happen out there, and very few of them are announced. When the weather warms up, you owe it to yourself to drop by and have a look. -- Bob Brussack


latest issue of moonshine arts magazine available

Several Athenians are writing for this online arts magazine, so I'm passing it along.

Moonshine Arts Magazine, http://www.moonshine.southerncreativity.com Moonshine includes writings, podcasts, & more.


general shinseki

Some of you might remember that General Shinseki, the President-elect's choice to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, visited us in the spring of 2004, making a speech in the UGA chapel. I made some images that day. Here's one of my favorites. -- Bob Brussack


Georgia Museum of Art Book Sale

Although parts of the Georgia Museum of Art are under renovation (exhibits are closed), the gift shop and other areas are still open! Also, for those of you on facebook, feel free to "friend" GMOA. ;-)

The Museum will be having a book sale from December 11 to 13, 2008 from 10:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m. at the museum building on east campus. We hope to see you there!

Thank You.
The Georgia Museum of Art.

Athens Christmas Parade

Chip has posted photos of the Athens Christmas Parade of Lights from last night.

it's that time of the year

A Facebook friend updated her status early yesterday evening with the confession that she’d decided to skip the Christmas Parade, preferring her cozy fireplace, and maybe a pizza and some writing, to the prospect of standing downtown in the chill and wondering whether she’d need her umbrella on what already had been a rainy December day in the Classic City. (Pleasant December evenings are not entirely unheard-of in Athens, but the Christmas Parade somehow manages to avoid them. Next time we find ourselves parched by drought, maybe we should schedule a series of Christmas Parades.)

Anyway, my friend’s soul-baring status update was something of a Siren song for me. Our plans for the evening didn’t include the Parade. In fact, I’m such a poor keeper-upper with local events sometimes that I hadn’t realized until a few days ago that the Parade was scheduled for last night. But we did have tickets for the UGA Holiday Concert. And I — as my son might say — was just “not feelin’ it.”

(Caution! Cuidado! Any of you subject to vasovagal incidents — and some of you know who you are — might want to skip the remainder of this piece. We went to the concert. It was great. Have a nice day. Bye.)

When I got up yesterday morning, I hadn’t had “anything to eat or drink after midnight.” Yes, yesterday was my annual Labs Day at the doctor’s office. Yippee. I drove over to Prince Avenue, trying to achieve a zen state floating somewhere above the reality of what awaited me. I signed the register and had my choice of waiting room seats as the morning’s first stick-ee. When Pat called my name, I breathed a sigh of relief. Pat’s a very talented sticker. She finds my vein easily, and she’s wonderful at small talk to distract me from the all-too-familiar litany of sounds preceding the inevitable ouchee and the filling of the vials.

All went well. Four vials filled. Needle withdrawn. Gauze and Band-Aid applied. It was then that I happened to remark to Pat, “I’m starting to feel a little weird.” I was tingly. My head was spinning. It was not inconceivable that I might slump forward out of the needle throne and find the linoleum floor within the not-too-distant future. And a little nap on the floor, to be honest, was looking pretty good to me. You know the old line that he or she “had broken out into a cold sweat.” Well, I’ll be darned. It really happens.

So Pat called for help. Animal Crackers and an orange juice were brought. On instructions, I tried to put my head between my knees. But even though I am a second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, it’s something of an honorary title these days, what with the inflexibility and all. So I placed my head within shouting distance of my knees. I sipped the orange juice. I chewed an Animal Cracker. I began to shed my symptoms. Wow, those Animal Crackers work fast. And to think, you can buy them over the counter.

The best thing about my vasovagal incident (No. I’m not going to define that for you. You’ve probably Googled it by now, anyway.) was that three talented, professional, good-looking women focused their attention entirely on me, and in a good way. That was almost as therapeutic as the Animal Crackers.

Next year, I’ve been told, I’ll give my vials while lying down. Fine with me.

The rest of the day went well enough. We did a bit of homeschooling. I spruced up the website here and there. A former student called with a fascinating question about the right of a witness in a civil proceeding to consult her lawyer during her testimony. I took my jazz piano lesson. But upon reading my Facebook friend’s guilty musing about skipping the Parade, I detected a faint whisper from the little devil that sits on my right shoulder that I might prefer the coziness of my study, warmed by the stylish glow of my iMac, to shlepping over to Hodgson Hall for the UGA Holiday Concert.

(Caution! Cuidado! Those of you who haven’t attended a UGA Holiday Concert, but plan to attend one, and want to be surprised, should stop reading now. We went to the concert. It was great. Have a nice day. Bye.)

For one thing, we had seven tickets and would be using only three of them. The folks we had invited to go with us had to cancel. So I wouldn’t have the tacky pleasure of leaning over to one of the guests and saying, “You won’t believe how this thing starts. I’m not going to tell you. It would spoil the surprise. But keep your eyes on the aisles on the sides of the theater! And haven’t you wondered where all the singers are?” Honestly, I don’t think I would have succumbed to the temptation to spill the beans. I hope not. But just having the power to do it, having some inside knowledge about what’s about to go down, is a kick in itself, don’t you think?

Well, we went. And, as is so often the case, a chore in prospect became a joy in the event. Yes, the opening number, even if you’ve seen it, is glorious. And student conductor Thomas Taylor Dickey, entrusted with the baton by maestro Mark Cedel, was for me the highlight of the evening as he somehow managed to meld a stage and gallery nearly overstuffed with talented artists into a single, wondrous instrument for the first few pieces. I’ll never tire of hearing Leroy Anderson’s “A Christmas Festival,” partly because I’m always reminded of the swell of emotion I felt as a trombonist playing “Oh, Come All Ye Faithful” triple-forte with my section mates in an earlier incarnation.

Mr. Cedel, the orchestra, and the ladies in the chorus treated us to a captivating sliver of “The Nutcracker.” The Classic City Jazz, under the capable direction of Mitos Andaya, did their Manhattan Transfer thing with their usual cool hotness, and Allen Crowell, in his next-to-last Holiday Concert before retiring, took us on a trip down Memory Lane with an arrangement, originally crafted for Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians, of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

The holiday season in Athens is now officially underway. -- Bob Brussack


Holiday homes tour at Georgia Club

The Georgia Club Foundation will be hosting its second annual Christmas Tour of Homes this Sunday to benefit local charities and service organizations. Six festively decorated homes from each of the Georgia Club neighborhoods will be shown, and in addition to the holiday decorations some of the homes' special features will be shown, including art collections and a "car lover's dream." Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door, and proceeds will benefit a number of elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as Peace Place, Project Safe, and Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic. Tickets can be purchased at the Georgia Club, North Georgia Bank, the Peoples Bank, and the Barrow and Oconee chambers of commerce. They can be purchased for two timeslots, for arrival between noon and 2:30 p.m. or arrival after 2 p.m., with tours concluding at 5 p.m.

There will be a gift shop at the clubhouse offering gourmet food items, teachers' gifts, and holiday crafts, and these sales will also benefit the groups listed above. There is also a Sunday brunch between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. for which you can make reservations by calling (770) 725-8100.

Athens Christmas Parade -- Thursday!

Don't forget the Athens Christmas Parade is this Thursday, Dec. 4 @ 7 pm.


OCAF Holiday Market

Find the perfect handmade gift for that special someone at the 2008 Annual Holiday Market in Watkinsville.

Saturday & Sunday December 6 & 7 from 10 am to 5 pm. FREE Parking. Come early and avoid the rush for parade parking!
Held in our Rocket Hall & 1902 OCAF Center Facilities
34 School St. Watkinsville GA, 30677 (click here for directions)
Food will be available for sale, so come hungry!

Admission is $3 per person over 16 year of age, Under 16 is FREE. All proceeds benefit the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation, an independant non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. For more information about OCAF visit our web-site at www.ocaf.com


uga holiday concerts

Members of the worldwide staff of bobbrussack.com will be converging on Athens from our bureaus around the world this week to mark the official start of the holiday season by attending the UGA Holiday Concert. We'll be at Hodgson Concert Hall for the Thursday performance at 8 p.m. A second performance is scheduled for Friday evening. On stage will be the UGA Symphony Orchestra, Georgia Brass, Concert Choir, University Chorus, Men's and Women's Glee Clubs, and Classic City Jazz. These are popular concerts. I don't know the current ticket situation. You can give the box office a ring at 706-542-4400. -- Bob Brussack

Shows and Auditions in December

Just updated AthensTheatre with info about some free University Theatre shows tomorrow night, Town and Gown's production of Arcadia, and auditions with both groups.

Short Version? University Theatre's Spring auditions are later this week, while auditions for T&G's Cabaret are next week.

Long version? You'll just have to read the original December Update.


Just FYI

We came across this sign as we headed out of town for Thanksgiving. Thought you'd like to know. -- Bob Brussack


R.E.M.'s Murmur anniversary brings benefit concert

Tonight's Perfect Circle event at the 40 Watt will benefit Community Connection of Northeast Georgia and Family Connection/Communities in Schools. Don Chambers + GOAT, Liz Durrett, Iron Hero, Nate Nelson, Heavy Feather, Packway Handle Band and Spring Tigers will play songs from R.E.M.'s historic 1983 debut LP to mark the 25th anniversary of its release. A deluxe edition of the album will be available for sale, but R.E.M. will not be performing or attending tonight.

The doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance.

Athens Featured on FanFoodie.com

I was invited to write a piece for FanFoodie.com, a web site that

is for the frequent traveler who makes it a point to attend sporting events when on the road, and has a penchant for local cuisine. We tap some of the premiere locally-based sports bloggers on the web to offer their culinary tips and suggestions when rooting for the home team.

So feel free to visit the site, especially the Athens article and offer any suggestions you might have to the comments! I will make sure I add them to the Google map included with the article.


Holiday Memories theatre performance

Rose of Athens Theatre presents…


a heartwarming reader’s theater style play, with live music

Friday, December 5th at 8pm at the Oconee Presbyterian Church

Saturday, December 6th @ 3pm and 7pm at Cine in downtown Athens

A Rose Of Athens Theatre holiday tradition, this is the tale of an enduring friendship between a small boy (Buddy) and his eccentric cousin (Sook). Truman Capote's true story of the happiest time of his childhood is performed with live piano accompaniment composed by Bart King, exclusively for this reader’s theatre style production.

This theatrical staged reading with music is sponsored in part by the Athens Downtown Development Authority and will feature the performances of Lisa Mende, Bart King, Ben Reed, Kathleen Hogan, Lisa Cesnik, Vicky Moody, Tim Harris, Norman Ferguson and more. Truman Capote’s holiday stories are adapted by Russell Vandenbroucke and directed by Joelle Re Arp Dunham.

Holiday Memories is a play with music that encompasses two Capote short stories: A Thanksgiving Visitor and A Christmas Memory. It is wonderfully Southern and a perfect way to enjoy, embrace and celebrate the holidays with family and friends. The heartwarming holiday music, composed and performed by Bart King on piano, both underscores the reading and adds beautiful color to this already delightful play.

New to Rose of Athens Theatre, Tim Harris, who plays the part of the narrator (Truman), is very familiar with this classic Southern story. He performed it at a live radio show at NPR for the 2001 Peabody Awards. His love of the narrative propels him to play the NPR live show every year for his Buford High School students.

Donations of canned food are welcome at each performance. This play is recommended for ages 8 and older, all ages can enjoy it.

At a Glance:
Tickets:. December 5th , @ Oconee Presbyterian Church “Pay What You Will”.
December 6th @ Cine’ - $10 adults and students, $5 for children.
Where: Oconee Presbyterian Church 2601 Hog Mountain Road, Watkinsville www.opcusa.org
Cine 234 West Hancock Ave www.athenscine.com
When: Dec 5th @ OCP @ 8pm
Dec 6th@ Cine @ 3pm and 7pm
Contact: For ticket information call 706-340-9181, E‑mailLisa@roseofathens.org, or visit http://www.roseofathens.org


Seeking writers, artists & more

okay, this is my pet project -- so if you have any questions or suggestions, please drop me a line. I'll probably be pestering adrian for advice at some point as I try to navigate the waters of a startup magazine... ;-)

moonshine arts magazine ( http://www.moonshine.southerncreativity.com ) is seeking creative writing pieces, artist interviews, writings from the studio by artists, music and literature reviews, as well as other art related topics. Writers for moonshine are a diverse bunch from across the southeast (including some local Athenians).

We are graphic artists, music appreciators, painters, poets, photographers, filmmakers, journalists, novelists, essayists, librarians, geeks, art professors and every other label imaginable. We seek authentic and interesting Southern voices to contribute creative writing pieces or writings about the artistic experience -- "from the studio". We are also seeking writers to write about art -- any genre AND medium of art (music, performance, visual arts, etc.), as well as any time period (contemporary to 16th century to everything in between).

The deadline for December's issue is Dec. 1, 2008. To see the latest issue of moonshine (and the archived issues), please visit

We also sponsor a regional arts list hosted @ blogger -- drop me a line if you are interested in contributing.

For more information, please drop me (robin fay) a line at georgiawebgurl@gmail.com



Pat works at Snelling Dining Hall on the South Campus. Some of her customers -- students on the meal plan -- decided to put together a rap video about Snelling. Here it is. -- Bob Brussack


Young Area Skateboarder Gets National Press

The latest issue of Concrete Wave, a national skateboarding magazine, features our own Kaden Campbell, a nine-year-old skateboarding phenom from nearby Bishop, who skates at SPOA, the Skatepark of Athens, at Southeast Clarke Park. Congrats to Kaden, to his family, and to the county leadership for having the vision to put a first-rate skatepark in our town. The growing community of young skaters is looking forward to the next phase of the skatepark, which is on the drawing boards and is planned for the next few years. -- Bob Brussack

Athens Indie Craftstravaganzaa today

Late notice for today's Athens Indie Craftstravaganzaa:

Athens Holiday shoppers can find unique, handmade gifts and stocking stuffers at the 3rd Annual Athens Indie Craftstravaganzaa: Holiday Market - November 22.

This handmade market of artists and crafters has brought together over 50 vendors from around the Southeast. From fine arts to fashion, you'll find an emphasis on recycled materials, local and green production methods, and often an edge to the work that sets it apart from what's at the traditional county fair. There's a variety of wares in a range of prices, so you can enjoy the hassle-free holiday shopping with the satisfaction of knowing that your gifts will be truly unique.

New this year is a Kids Craft area, where we've provided crafting supplies for the little ones to make an ornament that's theirs to keep. Come share some creative time with your kids from noon until 4pm.

We are also hosting a silent auction of donated artwork, items, and services to benefit the liver transplant fund of 12 year old Olivia Grace.

Athen's own DJ KurtWood provides the soundtrack for the day, spinning his renowned collection of 50s and 60s Soul, R&B and Garage 45s.

Come and see us on November 22, 10am until 6 pm. Corner of Pulaski and Clayton Streets, Athens, GA.

another november

If you make the turn off of Main Street in Clarkesville and climb the hill that winds gently to the left, all you'll see today when you reach the crest are the shards of glass still clinging to the window frames of what was, once upon a time, "The Band Room," home of the pride of half of Habersham County, the North Habersham High School Bobcat Band, under the direction of Miss Ann Alford.

The band room and the rest of the building have been diminished by vandals and neglect and nature and, for one middle-aged alumnus, by a life lived, that makes all too ordinary the things that seemed so grand to a youthful eye.

The two parallel hallways of the high school, eternally quiet now, were abustle during class changes in the fall of 1963 when I was a nearly new ninth-grader. An atonal symphony of chatter and clanging lockers accompanied a swirl of movement not unlike a walk down Fifth Avenue.

It was during the change from Fifth Period to Sixth Period, I think, that I heard the news. I can't remember now whether it came to me and to the rest of the school via an announcement from the principal's office or whether it was a rumor that washed over me on its way around the hallways. But it must have been confirmed by our Sixth Period teacher. English, I think. Ms. Allred. President Kennedy had been shot.

I don't remember going to school again until after the funeral. Maybe we did. But the assassination came on a Friday afternoon, and the next week was Thanksgiving week. Maybe we went to school on Monday and Tuesday. I remember the continuous coverage from Frank McGee and NBC. I remember rushing from the front yard of our duplex into the living room to watch the immediate aftermath of Jack Ruby's murder of Lee Harvey Oswald. And I remember the muffled cadence of the drums and the black horse of the funeral procession. -- Bob Brussack


heads-up for jazz fans

Rand is my jazz piano teacher. I've heard his trio a number of times now, and I'm impressed. (I had to say that, but Farm 255 didn't have to engage them for the gig!) So they're playing this Sunday night, November 23, at 10 p.m. Maybe I'll see you over there. -- Bob Brussack

goodbye to all that

The downturn or recession or worse that is our lot these days might be a flu that already is taking the lives of some of the older of our town's businesses. Foster's Jewelers is closing after half a century, and the paper reports this morning that the Ryan's Steakhouse on our side of town already is closed after a 29-year run.

As strangers can become acquaintances and then friends and then dear friends, so it can be, for me at least, with businesses. When a business I've come to know well over many years closes, it's not unlike a dear friend leaving town. When I pass the place that was Barnett's when I arrived in Athens forty years ago as a freshman, and was Barnett's still until earlier this year, I can see the Banner-Herald and the Daily News and the Journal and the Constitution and the Times stacked below the storefront window, and smell the newsprint and the tobacco and the oldness of the place, and I feel a bit of guilty nostalgia for the forbidden magazines, sirens calling to freshmen from the back corner on the right.

Charmar, the mini-nursery and flower shop and gift shop and neighborhood post office on Gaines School Road, was as dear to Pat as Barnett's was to me, and it closed this year, too, a victim not of the economy, but of the drought and the attendant watering ban.

Foster's Jewelers was never a close friend of mine, as it must have been for some of you. Occasionally, I made my way past the antiseptic glitter of the jewelry cases, feeling almost that I had entered a foreign country without a visa, to reach the watch repairer at the back. It never occurred to me -- although it should have, being the way of the capitalist world -- that the granite-solid "Foster's corner" downtown ever would be anything other than Foster's.

The destruction inherent in capitalism is, in Schumpeter's apt phrase, a "creative destruction." When I was a freshman, the business on the corner across the street from the Arch was the downtown Varsity. Then it was a game arcade where I played Ms. Pacman with some of my students. More recently, and for many years, it was a Chinese buffet. And now it's a Five Guys hamburger place. I haven't eaten there yet, but friends tell me it's great. I'm looking forward to my first Five Guys burger. But as I bite into it, my thoughts might be elsewhere. -- Bob Brussack


Foster's Jewelers going out of business

Foster's Jewelers, located at Clayton and Jackson streets for over 50 years, is going out of business. Prices will be reduced up to 70% off. The store scheduled private previews of its inventory last week and publicly announced its closing last Friday.

AAHS needs parade help!!!

From the Athens Area Humane Society:

URGENT: Parade Float Items Needed
We are working on our float to be in this year's Parade of Lights on December 4, 2008. Our theme is "The Purr-fect Gift is Love". This is a great outreach to the community.
We are in need of the following items:
  • Large flatbed trailer
  • Lots of Christmas Lights (white and multi-colored)
  • A quiet 5000 watt Generator
  • Lighted Christmas packages (outdoor)
  • Volunteers to march in the parade

Please email me if you are able to donate any of the the above mentioned items. All Christmas lights may be brought to the any of our three locations. Be sure to label with your name if you would like them returned to you. Items are needed by November 22nd!

Visionary Art Growth Exhibit

I think this is @ the Lowery Gallery (or maybe the Lowery Gallery has changed its name)

Sunday marks the inaugural show of Visionary Growth Art Center and we have some incredibly talented artists from a wide range of backgrounds and ages. This exhibit features visionary artists with disabilities Annie Wellborn and Carter Wellborn in addition to Heather Cosgrave, Michael Davenport, Stephanie Grafton, Jonathan Jacquet, Barren McFarlin, Richard McLamore, and Hannah Shoemaker.

The reception with the artists is the afternoon of Sunday, Nov. 23rd, 2-5pm and this email is your invitation! All are welcome!

View the invitation below or here.

We are about 20 minutes outside of Athens. Directions are here or call 706-248-9599. If you have been to Lowery Gallery before, that's where to go!

Please feel free to forward this invitation to anyone who might like to come.

About Visionary Growth: Located just outside Athens, Georgia, Visionary Growth is a studio, gallery and farm serving visionary artists with developmental, mental and physical disabilities with artistic instruction, gallery promotion, self expression, and therapeutic gardening / farming.

Visionary Growth Art Center
2400 Booger Hill Rd.
Danielsville, GA 30633

review: uga jazz ensemble

Opening to "One O'Clock Jump" and featuring, among other tunes, "Sweet Georgia Brown," the UGA Jazz Ensemble, directed by Steve Dancz, played to a nearly full house last night at Ramsey Concert Hall on the East Campus. Solos by Bret Pimentel (on the sax, flute, and clarinet) and by other members of the group were uniformly solid, and at times these young folks demonstrated a maturing command of the jazz vocabulary that took us someplace special. Kudos to Dennis Baraw and Janelle Clinton (bass and drums, respectively), who did a nice job anchoring the ensemble. And congrats, as always, to Steve Dancz for his work as mentor and keyboard virtuoso. -- Bob Brussack


jazz tonight

Back from a China tour, the UGA Jazz Ensemble will be playing for the home folks tonight (Tuesday, November 18) at 8 p.m. in Ramsey Hall on the East Campus. Pat and I will be there, and Ian, too, if we can drag him away from his Xbox. If you've never heard this first-rate ensemble, headlined by Steve Dancz on the piano, swing on by tonight. It's free. You can wear jeans and a hoodie. Hey, if you're just going sit at home and watch TV instead, you're not taking advantage of one of the true perks of living in our town. -- Bob Brussack.


Searching for used office furniture

So I finally became a lawyer two weeks ago, and I'm planning my own practice now. I need to find an office to rent in a few months, and I'll need to fill it with some used furniture. E-mail me if you know anyone trying to get rid of desks, credenzas, bookshelves, and stuff like that. There is a lot of vacant office space, but please also let me know about good deals, especially shared space with other professionals. I am going to start working from home, but hopefully this will be just a temporary arrangement.

You may have seen my earlier post about my search for a mentor. I was very fortunate to find a volunteer just last week, but there are other new lawyers in need of mentors this month, so I will leave the message posted.

Early voting starts today

Early voting for the Dec. 2 runoff election starts today at 2 p.m. at the Board of Elections office at 155 East Washington Street, and it runs 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Nov. 26, not including weekends.

There is a sample ballot and a voter information guide available online from Athens-Clarke County.

Advance voting line

Why not own the bank?

An article today about soaring bank fees is yet another reminder why you should own your own bank rather than helping wealthy bank shareholders make their yacht payments. When you join a credit union, you buy a share by placing $5 to $25 on deposit and then you reap the profits. Credit unions divert the profits to their members by paying higher interest rates on deposits and charging lower interest rates on loans, and their fees are lower. (The interest rate on my credit union Visa card is just 8%, for example, and my savings account earns 2.25% APY.)

If you live in Athens-Clarke County, you are fortunate to have at least three credit unions available to you, Georgia Federal Credit Union, Clarke Community Federal Credit Union, and Robins Federal Credit Union. You are also eligible to join Georgia FCU by virtue of working or studying at the University of Georgia. (Credit unions require an affinity such as a common employer or county of residence.)

It's a mystery to me why anyone would open an account at a place like Bank of America and pay for all their crazy fees. Credit unions have multiple branches, and their share their ATMs with members of other credit unions for no fees. Joining a credit union is the best banking decision you'll ever make.


Downtown food comes to campus

I have been alerted to a delivery service called ClunchTime serving central and south campuses at the University of Georgia. If you place an order two hours in advance, you can order food from Barberitos or Which Wich and have it delivered to the Student Learning Castle or the Science Library. There is a delivery charge, but a free beverage is included. Customers can select among a number of delivery times between lunchtime and later into the evening.

Business student Michael Peloquin launched the business this semester and has plans for expansion and heavier promotion next semester. The service will include more restaurants and reduce the lead time for placing orders. Peloquin explains that a different sort of delivery service is needed for people who need to stay on campus but can plan ahead for lunch, so ClunchTime can fill that need.


DanceATHENS 2008

I forgot to post anything about this since I've had a busy week, so here is part of the press release:

Dancefx and Dancestyle Dancewear have teamed up to host the 8th annual DanceATHENS Dance Festival. Created in 2001 by Danielle Mason Hosker, DanceATHENS sets out to highlight and promote Athens dance groups while providing a platform to educate and entertain the Athens community.

This year’s dance festival takes place November 16-22 and features workshops, classes, demonstrations and performances in jazz, Latin, tap, lyrical, hip hop, modern, ballroom, Middle Eastern, ballet, break dance and other cutting-edge styles from Athens area dance companies and guest performers. Highlighted events throughout town include an 80’s Prom at Tasty World on Friday, November 21, Ballroom Workshops on Sunday, November 16, Tap Dawgs Technique class on Thursday, November 20. The festival culminates with the DanceATHENS Dance Concert on Saturday, November 22 at 7:30pm.

The DanceATHENS Dance Concert provides an opportunity for the Athens community to see a professional-level show and to fall in love with a style of dance that they may have known nothing about. The concert will feature performances by UGA Ballroom Performance Group, UGA Tap Dawgs, UGA Ballet Ensemble, CORE, Dancefx, Contact Ballroom Company, Charleston Dance Project, and Atlanta’s Project Seven. Tickets are available at the Morton Theatre Box Office. Call (706) 613-3771. Adults $18; Students $14.


Looking for witnesses

Looking for witnesses
Originally uploaded by Amy Watts
This flier announces the search for the witnesses who saw a car hit a bicyclist at Hancock Avenue and Pulaski Street on Oct. 16.


Telephone scam

From the Athens-Clarke County Police:

Residents of Athens-Clarke County have reported receiving phone calls from a person identifying themselves as law enforcement. The residents are told that the officer is investigating money laundering and that they hold a warrant for the residents arrest. The caller will not identify the agency that they are with or the agency that holds the warrant. They also refuse to communicate with the resident's attorney. Eventually the caller attempts to get the resident to confirm their current address , social security number and other identifying information. This is a scam to steal or confirm stolen identity information. The calls are coming from a number off of a company that provides voice over internet (phone calls over the internet). Thus the number appears to come out of California, but they can be calling from anywhere in the world. The Athens-Clarke County Police Department reminds you that if the caller is legitimate they can provide you with the agency they are calling from and a publically published phone number that you can confirm and call back. NEVER provide identity information or confirm identity information over the phone or internet unless you are sure of the person 's identity with whom you are talking to.

Upcoming events -- film, music, dance, etc - many free!

The annual Freedom Breakfast honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be held Friday, January 16, 2009 at the Georgia Center. Nominations are now being taken for the Fulfilling the Dream Awards ... nomination information and guidelines may be obtained by emailing diverse@uga.edu. Deadline for nominations is November 20.

November 14
Film Shorts Screening. Sponsored by Invisible Children. Representatives from the Invisible Children International Body will be present to further discuss the issues people in northern Uganda are facing and address how students can get involved in ending the longest running war in Africa. 4:00 P.M. and 7:00 P.M. Cine. Contact: caitlinn@uga.edu.

November 14 Coffee Hour. Sponsored by the International Student Life Office. Experience new cultures and meet new people while sampling food from around the world. This week's Coffee Hour is co-hosted by ASHA for Education and the UGA Office of International Education in celebration of Children's day in India. Awards will be presented for OIE's 2008 International Photo Competition. Come between 11:30 A.M. and 12:30 P.M. to view all this year's photo submissions and cast your vote for the People's Choice Award. Winners for all categories will be announced at 12:45 P.M.11:30 A.M. - 1:30 P.M. Memorial Hall Ballroom. Contact: 706-542-5867.

November 14 IWS Friday Speaker Series. Sponsored by the Institute for Women's Studies. Nik Heynen, associate professor of geography, discusses Agitating Political Ecology in the Apps: Anarcho-Feminist Traditions for thinking about Squashing Spatial Hierarchies in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. 12:20 P.M. - 1:10 P.M. Miller Learning Center Room 250. Contact: momolly@uga.edu.

November 14 Ballet Flamenco José Porcel. Sponsored by The UGA Performing Arts Center. Flamenco dance troupe. $24/$29, half price for UGA students with valid ID. There are discounts for groups. 8:00 P.M. Hodgson Concert Hall. Contact: 706-542-4400, www.uga.edu/pac.

November 14 Dance Performance. Sponsored by Bethlehem Ministry. The event supports a new medical clinic in Terrier Rouge, Haiti.. Music by Moyuba! drum ensemble and One L., an Afro-Cuban inspired band. Speakers will begin the program, followed by Moyuba! drum ensemble and dance performances by Danbala Afro-Haitian dance ensemble and Shakti Project. The evening will end with music from One L. Some snacks will be provided. Please come and enjoy a great evening of folk music/dance from Haiti/Cuba and to meet other members of our community who are commited to fullfilling the dream of healthy, sustainable living in Terrier Rouge. Donation is $5-$10. 8:30 P.M. Little Kings. Contact: Tara Faragoza at 706 614 6331, tarafara37@hotmail.com, www.BethlehemMinstry.org.

November 14 3rd Annual Mr. and Miss Latin UGA. Sponsored by Delta Alpha Chapter of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority Inc. This pageant aims to create awareness of the Latino culture at the University of Georgia. The participants, all University of Georgia’s students, will model their native attire and represent their country of origin. There will also be a talent and interview section related to the Latino culture. 7:00 P.M. Georgia Center Mahler Auditorium. Contact: Zuhai Marie Rivera: 912 856-4107, zuhaiirivera@gmail.com, www.uga.edu/lta

November 15 5th Annual Night In Saigon. Sponsored by the Vietnamese Students Association. A showcase of the beautiful Vietnamese culture with a fusion of traditional and modern highlights of Vietnamese life. There will be entertaining show featuring a diverse variety of performers including dancers, singers, skit actors, and tons of delicious food. For natives and those wishing to introduce themselves to the culture. Tickets $9 at the door or by phone at 706-542-8074. 7:00 P.M. – 10:00 P.M. Oconee County Civic Center, Watkinsville. Contact: vsa@uga.edu.

November 16 Concert Bella Italia. Sponsored by the Hugh Hodgson School of Music. The fall concert by Collegium Musicum, an early music vocal ensemble, features early vocal and instrumental music from Italy. 6:00 P.M. Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 598 Prince Avenue. Contact: 706-542-3737, www.music.uga.edu.

November 16 Weaving the Threads of Justice. Sponsored by Russell Library and Partners. An afternoon of film, lecture, & music. The program features a screening of the documentary film, The Telling Takes Me Home, a commentary from Guy, Candie, and Heather Carawan and performance with Professor Art Rosenbaum. Guy, a folk musician and the center’s music director in the late 1950s and early 1960s, introduced, “We Shall Overcome” during a training camp for SNCC workers in 1960, after which it quickly emerged as the anthem of the Civil Rights Movement. Reception and gallery tours after the program. 2:00 P.M.
Russell Library, Main Library. Contact: 706-542-5788, www.libs.uga.edu/russell.

November 17 Thanksgiving Feast. Sponsored by International Student Life. A traditional American Thanksgiving feast will be provided for international students and their families. Reservations required. 6:30 P.M. Contact: 706-542-5867, ugaisl@uga.edu.

November 19 Brown Bag Lecture. Sponsored by the Institute for African American Studies, the African Studies Institute, and the African American Cultural Center. Bring a bagged lunch and hear Dr. Lesley Feracho, professor of Romance Languages and African American Studies give the lecture Womanism and Rock: Music, Black Female Artists, and the Politics of Race and Gender. 12:15 P.M. - 1:15 P.M. Memorial Hall Room 407

November 19 Safe Space Training. Sponsored by the LGBT Resource Center and the Lambda Alliance. An orientation to raise awareness and knowledge of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender issues and to suggest ways to serve as an ally to LGBT individuals. Following the orientation, participants receive a Safe Space decal. To register, visit www.uga.edu/safespace 8:30 A.M. - 1:00 P.M. Contact: 706-542-4160, jmiracle@uga.edu.

November 19 World Fest. Sponsored by the World Ambassadors. Various student organizations will join together to feature displays and performances in a universal cultural celebration. 10:00 A.M. - 2:00 P.M. Tate Student Center Plaza. Contact: 706-542-5867, edarren1@uga.edu.

November 19 Fall Teaching Academy Workshop. Sponsored by the Office of Institutional Diversity and the Teaching Academy. Observations and the recommendations from the Workshop, titled A Conversation on UGA's Cultural Climate, will be forwarded to the University's Diversity Advisory Committee and the Office of Institutional Diversity. The workshop is open to Teaching Academy members, UGA faculty, and students. Please RSVP. 3:30 P.M. CAES Student Activities Center, Four Towers Building. Contact: shilley@uga.edu.

November 19 Lecture. Sponsored by Institute of Native American Studies. Speaker Dr. Roger Maaka, professor of indigenous studies at the University of Saskatchewan, is a Maori scholar and a figure in both Native American and Indigenous Studies internationally. 4:00 P.M. Miller Learning Center Room 248. Contact: 706-542-3716, jweaver@uga.edu.

November 20 International Education Week Reception. Sponsored by International Student Life. Desserts and refreshments will be available to celebrate International Education Week, a nationally recognized week started by the Department of State and Department of Education. 5:00 P.M. - 6:30 P.M. Memorial Hall Ballroom. Contact: 706)542-5867, ugaisl@uga.edu.

November 21 Coffee Hour. Sponsored by the International Student Life Office. Experience new cultures and meet new people while sampling food from around the world. 11:30 A.M. - 1:30 P.M. Memorial Hall Ballroom. Contact: 706-542-5867.

November 21 IWS Friday Speaker Series. Sponsored by the Institute for Women's Studies. Amanda Gailey, assistant professor of English, discusses Representations of Race and Gender in Children’s Literature of the Gilded Age. 12:20 P.M. - 1:10 P.M. Miller Learning Center Room 250. Contact: momolly@uga.edu.

November 21 Conversation Hour. Sponsored by Research & Engagement in Diversity (RED) on Teaching Diversity.

Ongoing Exhibit and Program Series. Sponsored by the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies and Partners. The Highlander Center- Weaving the Threads of Justice begins with a short film about the Highlander Center, followed by a series of black and white images coupled with text panels about modern southern activism, film footage documenting the Highlander Folk School’s twenty-fifth anniversary celebration, and a sound station where visitors can hear recorded samples of the protest songs that played a crucial role in rallying participants in the labor and civil rights movements. 8:30 A.M. - 4:30 P.M. Through Sunday, November 30, 2008. Russell Library, UGA Main Library. Contact: 706-542-5766, jsevern@uga.edu, http://www.libs.uga.edu/russell/exhibits/highlander/index.shtml


Review of "Our Town"

Just posted a review of Our Town on the AthensTheatre website. (The show continues to run this weekend.)

Also, not yet posted to AthensTheatre, there are auditions for the UGA Baptist Collegiate Ministries production of Seussical the Musical through the 14th (by appointment). The show will run in February. Check out the UGA BCM Drama page for more info.

Finally, Canopy Studio will have a fundraiser performance at 7 30pm and 9pm on November 21st. Admission is $5 and the details will be posted to AthensTheatre.com within the next week.

See you at the theatre!

Dave H

Bloodsugars at Tasty World

The Bloodsugars are performing tomorrow night, Nov. 13, at Tasty World. Their label, Engine Room Recordings, describes them as "indie dance rockers" set apart by their "intelligent songwriting and arrangements." My perusal of their MySpace playlist does reveal some very engaging melodies and a lot of creativity. While you can count on brisk tempos throughout their music, the songs have different moods and varied instrumentation.

The Bloodsugars are also touring with The Lisps, a band with some more folksy and acoustic sounds. Local band Part Bear is also playing, and considering their rock style is a little harder, this will be quite a balanced and enjoyable show.


Drum and dance benefit for Haiti

From the e-mail:

*The event will be held Friday Nov. 14 @ Little Kings and begins at 8:30pm. Donation is $5-$10 (or more if you like!) at the door.

*Dance performances by Danbala Afro-Haitian dance ensemble and Shakti Project. Music by Moyuba! drum ensemble and One L., an Afro-Cuban inspired band. Speakers will begin the program, followed by Moyuba and dance performances, the evening will end with music from One L. Some snacks will be provided as well!

The event supports a NEW medical clinic, Clinique Esperance et Vie, in Terrier Rouge, Haiti. Money will go to Bethlehem Ministry, an organization dedicated to improving education, health and environment in Terrier Rouge. Visit www.BethlehemMinstry.org for more details. Also visit www.peopleandplace.org to see some cool environmental changes happening in Terrier Rouge.

Please come and enjoy a great evening of folk music/dance from Haiti/Cuba and to meet other members of our community who are commited to fullfilling the dream of healthy, sustainable living in Terrier Rouge, Haiti. Please pass along this email this to your friends!


Solar energy saves money in Athens

By Tony Purcell

Gov. Sonny Purdue signed a bill (HB670) which allows a 35% State tax credit for Georgia Residents who install solar on their homes. With the 30% Federal tax credit already in place, a total of 65% of the cost of installing a solar system is covered. This makes solar quite appealing for homeowners.

There are two types of solar available in the market today. One is Photovoltaic, or PV. PV solar panels generate electricity for your home with light from the sun. The other product is solar thermal. Solar thermal panels heat water the same as your existing water heater for domestic and space heating uses. Both qualify for the State and Federal tax credits.

Solar thermal is an affordable way to start saving money using the sun. Georgia has an ideal climate for solar systems with an abundance of sunlight to naturally heat water for your home. “On average, if you install a solar water heater, your water heating bills should drop 50% - 80%. Also, because the sun is free, you’re protected from future fuel shortages and price hikes,” says the U.S. Dept. Of Energy EERE Consumer’s Guide.

Solar thermal panels are easily adaptable to most existing residential applications. The systems can be installed most anywhere; however, homes with a south-facing roof and an unobstructed view of the sun for at least six hours per day notice the greatest savings. Take this example:

A typical four-person household with two teens uses a lot of hot water. For this household, a system with 60 square feet of solar collectors and an 80-gallon solar heat exchange tank would be used. The average installed cost for this system is $6,520. After tax credits this system's cost would be $2,967. This household should see savings on their water heating cost averaged over the year of $20 per month.

A solar thermal water heating system works. We get plenty of sun here in Georgia, so why pay for hot water if you don’t have to? My solar thermal customers have been noticing an immediate savings on their energy bills. I work closely with Power Partners Solar, a local manufacturer of solar thermal water heating systems, to sell, install and service their product. I have also developed a class for do-it-yourselfers and professionals to learn how to install these systems.

The U.S. Dept of Energy website www.doe.gov has a lot of in depth information available (see this page for solar thermal data), and www.dsireusa.org can tell you more about the State and Federal tax credits.

Tony Purcell is a green builder and the owner of Complete Resources Building & Repair, Inc.


Why I Voted For Barack Obama

I do not often talk or write about politics. Part of the reason is because it can be and has been a most divisive issue. But today is different. For the first time in my adult life I am concerned and scared about what the future will bring for this country. Not for myself, but for the two most precious gifts in my life, my daughters. Never in my voting history have I ever voted for a Democrat I would rather have walked across hot burning coals or chewed glass than vote for John Kerry or Bill Clinton. As trivial as it may seem to some, I could never bring myself to vote for a man, John Kerry, who threw his medals away. To me, this was not only disrespectful to his country, but to his fellow soldiers and sailors who sacrificed much more than he did.

I voted for Reagan and Perot. I voted for Dole. I voted for Bush Senior. I voted for W in 2000, and again in 2004. The remorse I have felt ever since my 2004 vote only deepened as I watched my retirement savings disappear in this financial crisis we are in. I cringed as we had to cut back on normal things we did with and for our children a gasoline spiked over $4 a gallon. Granted, all problems a country faces cannot be tied to a single presidency. And the current financial crisis is as much the fault of Clinton and the Democrats as it is of Bush and the Republicans.

After the primary season and the conventions, I was really open to either candidate. I have much respect for John McCain, the sacrifices he has made for the country, and the years he has given to public service. But watching Sarah Palin over these past few months, I could not ignore the fact that she would be one heartbeat away from the Presidency. To me, her far-right evangelical views are as much a problem for me as a voter as are the far-left liberals. The anger, hatred, vitriol that was coming out of her mouth made me feel sorry for her and McCain, sorry that they had to stoop to that level. The very fact that McCain could not control her or the message being put out by the Republican Party (and his campaign) was very much a concern for me.

There is fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) in every campaign, and how I hate FUD. There was enough being spread by both parties that the grass should be growing in the fields for years to come. In the Georgia Senate race, Democrat Jim Martin is running ads saying that Saxby Chambliss wants to implement a 23% federal sales tax. No, Chambliss is supporting the "Fair Tax", a plan that would eliminate the federal income tax and the IRS. This is a plan worth at least examining and debating. Chambliss attacked Martin for being fired from his job by the Governor and voting to raise his expense account as a member of of the Georgia General Assembly by 27%. 27%??!!! Wow. The reality is was that the General assembly has not increased the per diem in over 10 years at that point.

All of the accusations against Obama have been troubling to say the least. "He is a Muslim.", cried republican supporters. In the words of General Colin Powell, "So what if he is?".

I am in no way a fan of Barrack Obama's views on abortion and his stated desire to pass a "Freedom of Choice" bill. The thought of the Democrats having control of the House and Senate, with hypocrite Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, is truly frightening. The though that Democrats might try and bring "imputed income" into the calculation of federal Income taxes, as they tried in the early 1990's, gives me pause for concern.

But W has done more to destroy the fabric of this country over the past eight years than anyone could imagine. A woman who thinks she has foreign policy experience because Alaska is next to Russia and Canada is naive at best, ignorant at worst. The thought of putting her into a position to be a post-McCain leader of the Republican Party and possibly president is, to me, unconscionable at best.

Four years ago, when friend and colleague Richard Schwartz said that Obama could very well be a presidential candidate, I scoffed at the notion. In the end though, I had to vote with my head and my heart. On October 20, 2008, I went to the Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections and voted. I Voted for Obama. I voted for Jim Martin for the Senate. I voted for Bobby Saxon over incumbent evangelical Christian Paul Broun for Congress. I voted for openness to discussion and against the hatred and closed mindedness of the Georgia delegation to Congress.

Hell surely must hath frozen over! Either that or I am a traitor and a Muslim sympathizer. Sorry, not even close.


Urban Meyer's Poor Sportsmanship and Mark Richt's Brain Spasm

Extract from On Mark Richt's Brain Spasm, Urban Meyer's Poor Sportsmanship over on Eye on Sports Media:

"There were two things that struck me during the game. First, Mark Richt must have had the biggest brain spasm to call for that on-side kick after scoring their first (and only) field goal... Then there is Urban Meyer calling those timeouts in the last minute of the game...What Meyer did on Saturday was a cold, deliberate action. It was not about celebrating the joy of something positive. It was about rubbing an already painful loss further into the faces of the Georgia players, coaches and fans...It was just poor sportsmanship."

Remember to vote tomorrow!



Please join us for Cats on Campus' first annual Meow-o-Ween Costume Party and Fundraiser. Entertainment begins at 8pm at Herty Field and will include a dress-as-your-favorite-cat costume contest, live music by Charles Huff, Halloween oldies karaoke, a pumpkin carving contest, face painting, and a raffle. Refreshments, appetizers, and desserts will be served. $5 donation suggested.