Call for Art -- Hauntings (comer)

The jurying/application fee is 10$.
Drop-off September 10th-15th
On display Month of October until around Thanksgiving

Call To Artists!
“HAUNTINGS: The Dark Side of the Artist”
Upcoming Exhibition:
Blue Bell Gallery Presents our 2nd Annual: “HAUNTINGS” Exhibition - Dark Works by Local Georgia Artists. Exhibiting Dark Side Explorations during the month of October with a reception on the eve of Saturday, October 18th @ 7pm.

Please submit your work and/or ideas by September 5th (you may email jpeg images to bluebellgallery@windstream.net or mail photos to Blue Bell Gallery, PO Box 246, Comer, GA 30629 - please be sure to include your Artist Statement, dimensions, medium and prices).

September concerts, most free!

9/4: UGA Arts Festival, Chamber Music, Ramsey Concert Hall, 8pm, FREE!
Featuring performances by the Georgia Woodwind Quintet, Kenneth Fisher (saxophone), Michael Heald (violin), Martha Thomas (piano), Levon Ambartsumian (violin) and Evgeny Rivkin (piano).

9/5: Martha Thomas, John Lynch, Music for a Summer Afternoon, Ramsey Concert hall, 4pm, FREE!

9/11: 2nd Thursday Concert, UGA Symphony Orchestra, Hugh Hodgson Concert Hall, 8pm, $15 (public), 7$ (student)

9/16: UGA Wind Ensemble, Hugh Hodgson Concert Hall, 8pm, FREE!

9/30: Milton Masciadri, doublebass, Ramsey Concert Hall, 8pm, FREE!

Both locations are at UGA, S Campus, Directions:


Open discussion on hospitals, take two

Let's try this again. Please post your observations and comments about Athens Regional Medical Center and St. Mary's Health Care in order to help the community compare the two hospitals. ARMC has recently advertised they will be available through more insurance plans, so many Athenians will now have a choice of two hospitals.


Brown qualifies as independent for sheriff

From Athens-Clarke County:

The Board of Elections staff has completed the examination and verification of the nomination petition from Kenneth Brown, an Independent candidate for the office of Sheriff to be filled at the November 4, 2008 General Election in Athens-Clarke County. The petition has been deemed to meet all the legal requirements and was approved by the Board of Elections on July 21, 2008.

The petition includes 2,452 valid signatures of registered Athens-Clarke County voters, all of whom are eligible to vote in the upcoming General Election. The required number of valid signatures for this petition was 2,378. The number of signatures required is based on 5% of the number of active registered voters who were eligible to vote in the last election for the office of Sheriff. The last election held for this position was November 2, 2004, when 47,545 citizens were registered to vote.

Kenneth Brown will appear on the November 4, 2008 General Election ballot as an Independent candidate. Absentee ballots will be available beginning September 22, 2008, 45 days prior to the election, and Advance Voting will take place October 27-31, 2008 in the Classic Center Firehall.


EPA construction project

Does anyone know what the EPA construction project is about on College Station Road? Someone has reported seeing the construction of a wall followed by its demolition.


The Big Read -- community read

In case you haven't heard from somewhere else, the UGA Libraries in conjunction with the Georgia Museum of Art, the Athens-Clarke County Public Library, and the Lyndon House Arts Center have received a grant for the NEA-funded Big Read program. This program is designed to get as many people in the community reading the same book during the program dates. We have chosen the coming of age novel Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya. Our program kicks off on September 13 with a Fiesta at the Lyndon House. Stay tuned for more details!
Here's the official NEA press release for more information: http://www.arts.gov/national/bigread/press/bigread2009.html

Somebodies extras

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5 Points Waffle House

I drove by the 5 Points Waffle house this morning and noticed that it is completely gutted. All thats left is the shell of the building. I had seen a handwritten sign in the window talking about renovation work last week or the week before but I had no idea they planned to basically rebuild it. I wonder if they plan to demolish whats left and start over or rebuild it to the existing shell? I remember when it first opened in 5 Points years ago. I thought we were really moving up in the world, having a Waffle House right there in 5 Points.


Water main break on Tallassee Road

From Athens-Clarke County:

A water main break has occurred on Tallassee Road near Whitehead Road. Crews are on site and are working to isolate the line so repairs can be made. The Police Department has temporarily closed a section of Tallassee Road due to the large volume of water being sprayed onto the roadway. Some area customers will see a disruption in their water service. There also may be discolored water as a result of the system disruption. Information and updates will be posted on ACTV and on athensclarkecounty.com as we're alerted to them by the Public Utilities Department.


Topography of Athens

Topography of Athens
Originally uploaded by Adrian P.
When I saw this view from the sidewalk on South Lumpkin Street, I had the strong impression that Athens was some kind of alpine wonderland. From this angle, it looks like the Bank of America building and University Tower are perched on a mountain. Downtown is built on a hill, and looking across this valley and Tanyard Branch really shows some of the topographical dimensions.


Noise ordinance case going to Supreme Court

University of Georgia students Robert Manlove and William Hoffman are taking their challenge to Athens-Clarke County's noise ordinance to the Georgia Supreme Court. Their attorney Charles A. Jones Jr. reports that they are appealing the case following a dismissal granted for the county in Superior Court by Judge David R. Sweat. Assistant county attorney Amy Gellins argued on April 14 that the case should be dismissed because neither Manlove nor Hoffman were actually facing potential prosecution under the ordinance and therefore had no standing to bring the case. Jones responded that the ordinance inhibits their right to free speech under the threat of prosecution, saying that county police have the discretion to cite violations on their first occurrence.

Judge Sweat dismissed the case on July 11, and the plaintiffs filed the notice of appeal three days later. Jones said in a statement: "After reading Judge Sweat’s opinion, I respectfully disagree with his legal conclusions, though I do appreciate the time and thought he put into this matter. Men of intelligence and good will disagree about the law all the time. I do believe that the majority of case law is decidedly on our side in this case, and I look forward to presenting that case law to the Justices of the Georgia Supreme Court."

Manlove and Hoffman filed their constitutional challenge in January. In the complaint Jones essentially argued that the noise ordinance which applies the same standard to different neighborhoods of different character is unconstitutional because it inhibits speech that may actually be appropriate for the character of certain areas such as downtown.


Countdown to Kickoff

Former Georgia Bulldogs players Matt Stinchcomb, Jon Stinchcomb, and David Greene will be hosting the charity event Countdown to Kickoff to benefit the Georgia Transplant Foundation, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, The Children's Tumor Foundation, and UGA's Pediatric Exercise Motor Development Clinic.

It starts with a golf tournament on Friday, July 18 at the University of Georgia golf course. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. followed by the "shotgun start" at 11:00. The annual Awards Party and Auction night will be held at 7 p.m. at the Classic Center.

Saturday, July 19 is Fan Day at the UGA practice fields with players, cheerleaders, and the Redcoat band. Fan Day is a time for photos and autographs, and lunch will be provided by Chick-Fil-A and Coca-Cola. Tickets are $30 each or $100 for a "family pack" of four.

You can learn more at ugakickoff.com. The event is presented by Synovus.


Roadside Ritual/Service On Cherokee?

Early this evening (Saturday, the 12th, around 6:00 PM or so), the wife and I were coming home to Winterville when we spotted a robed man conducting what looked like some kind of ritual or service by the side of Cherokee Road. It was about a quarter-mile past the skating rink and just before the Beaver Dam Road intersection. The man was clad head-to-toe in heavy black robes (including a hood) and there was an ornate crucifix-like design embroidered on the back. He was doing his thing just off to the side of the road with his back to the traffic that was zipping by only a few feet away. Even more interestingly, he was flanked by two Georgia State Troopers who were presumably standing watch for his protection.

Anybody else see this scene and/or know what was up?

UPDATE: Driving past the site this morning (Sunday), I noticed that there are now a half-dozen crude, spindly crucifixes by the side of the road. They start in front of the cemetery and extend to the old day care center location. The fragile crosses are 75 or so feet apart and appear to be made from snow-white twigs/branches.


Fuel savings by the ACCPD

The Athens-Clarke County Police Department has purchased a Vertrix T3 electric scooter and has begun phasing in Toyota Prius sedans for administrative and investigative functions. The Prius is expected to achieve 48 miles per gallon of gasoline as compared to the 15 to 16 miles per gallon of its older vehicles under city driving conditions. The department considers its use of bicycles and motorcycles as part of its strategy to save fuel as well. Bicycles were deployed downtown nearly 20 years ago, and traffic patrol began transitioning from sedans to motorcyles in 1999.

This photo from the police department shows the T3 scooter and a Prius. Appearing in the photo (from left to right) are Chris Stratton, Lt. Gary Epps, Mayor Heidi Davison, and Chief Joseph Lumpkin.


AAHS Wish list (newspaper & cat food)

Featured Wishlist Item from the Athens Humane Society:

Canned Cat Food, Pate' Style, any brand but must be wet and not chunky

For more wishlist items click here.

Newspaper Needed
We are in constant need of newspaper at our shelter and spay & neuter center. If you recieve a paper and would like to recycle it, we would gladly except them at either the shelter or spay & neuter center.

Volunteers are also needed to pick up unused newspaper from the Athens Banner Herald. If you are willing to pick up paper once a month, please email AAHS


Stormwater utility all over the web

It has come to my attention that the Athens-Clarke County stormwater utility service has two websites, accstormwater.com and accwatersheds.com. This second one has an interactive map that lets you pinpoint and report flooding or illegal dumping. In fact, I already entered a report of what looks like evidence of someone pouring paint into the drain that sends water across my property. There is also a cartoonish homepage that directs you to this map, the weblog, or audio and video material. I'm not sure why the utility divides its material into two websites, but here they are.

Performances and workshops at Canopy Studio

It looks like a lot is going on this summer at Canopy Studio, the community arts center that focuses on flying dance trapeze. This Saturday at 8 p.m. the Canopy Studio Repertory Company presents "Flying Local," an aerial dance show set to recorded performances of Athens musicians. Admission is $5 and tickets are available at the door 30 minutes before showtime.

The "Colorful Hat" comes to Canopy Studio on Monday, July 21 at 7:30 p.m. This show features former acrobats from Cirque de Soleil -- identical twins Elsie Smith and Serenity Smith Forchion (pictured below) plus Serenity's husband Bill Forchion. The twins will present a new award-winning double trapeze act called "Dos Chicas," and the Forchions will present a partner acrobatics act illustrating the ups and downs of love. This show also features comedian Connie Freeman Prince, known for appearances in "Get Serious" and "Finding Graceland." Regular admission is $15, students are $10, and kids are $6, and tickets should become available for purchase online.

Canopy Studio is also holding beginner trapeze workshops on July 26 and August 9 from 2:00 until 3:30 p.m. The cost for either is $25 and no experience is necessary. You can register 15 minutes before the workshop or preregister by providing your contact information and the date you're attending by e-mail to info@canopystudio.com or by calling (706) 549-8501.

Canopy Studio is located at 160 Tracy Street, between Barber Street and Wynburn Avenue.


Charities See Rival in OneAthens...when it's more competitive for funding

I am very, very disappointed in the Banner-Herald for running this article today.

For starters, it's a bad article. It makes bad arguments with very little factual information, and a lot of people reading it are going to assume that the unquoted source is in fact Jonathan McGinty, whether or not it is.

Second, though, I'm really sick of this argument, because it places the focus in the wrong place and it unfairly casts OneAthens in a negative light based on questionable logic.

Why is the focus on a largely unquantifiable commodity, and a potential competition? The reason OneAthens exists is because we have a holistic problem and there is no existing charity that addresses our problems holistically. That's where the focus should be, and it's factually verifiable. Kudos to Delene Porter for even bothering to respond.

Second, OneAthens will hurt fundraising if people speak up? What a joke that is -- if OneAthens hurts anyone's fundraising, it will be because OneAthens is better qualified (because it's collaborative, and can marshall multiple nonprofits to address specific problems in a natural facilitation role) to receive funds. Not because OneAthens is a jackbooted thug endowed with a massive (ha) $50,000 in seed money, presumably to compensate the secret police for their coercive activities. Also, Athens has 500-700 nonprofits registered within the county* -- I find it laughable that one more is going to send the remainder into poverty.

Finally, the whole concept behind OneAthens is that we as a community come together to address poverty -- but it appears that some of the very people who address poverty are desperately opposed to doing it in collaboration with others if it has any likelihood of impacting their own funding. And if there's any negative focus, it should be on them.

*I have served on the boards of, worked for, or volunteered for about two dozen personally. The 500-700 figure comes from guidestar.org -- it shows 776, but presumably some portion of those are donors to Athens charities.


Overseen near Athens

Call this number and you might get served with a subpoena.

"Attention: Searching for anyone who witnessed a female being violently restrained by Walmart Security on Epps Bridge Pky. June 18, 2008."

Epps Bridge Parkway, Oconee County, GA


snap! crackle! pop! 4th activities

For those of you who haven't been to the colbert canna festival & parade (!!) really, you are missing out! Unfortunately, I've had to miss it the last couple of years, but every Colbert festival I've attended has been a unique experience -- between the Little Misses (the baby pageant queens) and the line of John Deere tractors in the parade...and of course, the cloggers, the arts & crafts, bbq, and well, all of the rest of it.

Other things to do: Rack of Spam is playing at Ashford Manor in Watkinsville on the 4th. Oconee County is also doing their thing, the "eighth annual Fourth of July Heritage Celebration" (starts at 10:30 a.m.)

..and of course, the ACC fireworks have been saved (I'll leave discussions of the political wranglings over these, to the rest of you. )

From the ACC newsletter: Oh Say Can You See... The Star Spangled Classic is scheduled for Friday, July 4 at Bishop Park!

Activities begin at 6:00 p.m. and culminate with the firworks display at approximatley 9:30 p.m. Enjoy patriotic music from the Classic City Band and the community birthday cake donated by Publix.

For more information, please call (706) 613-3589 or visit www.accleisureservices.com/starspangled.shtml


seeking sunflower field

Well, this is only tangentially related to athens, but I don't know who else to ask.
I'm looking for a sunflower field to photograph -- preferably one visible from a public property (road, park, parking lot, etc.)

I will gladly share my pix/digital images with the owner, but if I can find a field that I can just shoot without bothering anyone, that would be lovely.

Also would prefer someplace where I won't get shot at for being a trepasser ;-)

any suggestions?

thnx robin ( my photos @ flickr, if you're curious)