2009-12-29

Memorial plaque in 5 Points


I first saw this plaque on the sidewalk years ago as a child. Its across the street from Jittery Joes coffee, which used to be the only gas station in that area that sold 'white gas'. My father insisted on running only white gas in his lawn mower so I had plenty of occasions to walk up there with a gas can. But back to the plaque. I told my mother about the plaque and she almost immediately got all teary eyed. This puzzled me until she told me that she had a brother who was hit and killed by a car in Asheville many many years ago. I never knew about that until then.
I wonder about who this kid was in Athens back in 1922....


2009-12-16

Colt Ford autograph session, fundraising

On Tuesday, December 22nd, Country Music Star, Colt Ford will be at The Town Center Salon and Spa in Watkinsville to sign autographs. You may receive an autograph by simply donating to ESP (Extra Special People, Inc.). For every $10 donated, a raffle ticket will be submitted for prizes from Colt and the salon. Also on Tuesday, Barberitos and Mirko Pasta also in Watkinsville will be donating all proceeds from food purchased to ESP. This will be an awesome time to support an outstanding program.

For those who are not familiar with ESP, it is a year around program for kids and young adults with different needs. It serves many counties including Clarke, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Madison, Walton and Barrow. ESP helps kids be kids no matter what their strengths or weaknesses are. It helps them do and enjoy the things that most kids, and adults alike, take for granted.

2009-12-08

GMOA Christmas shop

Thursday & Friday, December 10–11, 2009
GMOA Holiday Shop and Book Sale
9:00 a.m.–4 p.m.
Lobby, Visual Arts Building, 285 S. Jackson St.

2009-12-04

More holiday fun

The city of Commerce will have a holiday event "Commerce by Candlelight" on Dec. 4, 5:00-9:00 in the historic downtown area. There will be games, horse-drawn carriage rides, 4-H Llama club, living nativity, caroling, food, etc. The Cold Sassy Players will be out caroling and doing small skits. Most of the events are free, but the carriage rides cost a dollar
per person.

Code Red at Billy Henderson Stadium Tonight!


A CODE RED has been issued for tonight's Georgia State Football Championship semifinal game between Rockdale County (10-3) and Clarke Central High School (11-2) at Billy Henderson Stadium.

All Gladiator fans are asked to wear red to support the Gladiators as take on Rockdale. Kickoff is at 7:30 PM, and admission is $10. So let's get out as a community to support these young men, and let's have the Rockdale Bulldogs seeing red by the end of the night!

2009-12-03

Parade tonight

Streets to close at 5:30 p.m.
The temperature should slide down into the low 50s by the time the parade starts out from Pulaski and West Dougherty streets at 7 p.m., with a light breeze and a rising moon playing tag with scattered clouds.
------------
Motorists should avoid downtown tonight; Athens-Clarke police will begin closing streets at 5:30 p.m., and some streets may not reopen until 9.

2009-12-02

Open house at the Botanical Gardens (Free music!)

Holiday Open House
The State Botanical Garden of Georgia
Sunday, December 6 - 2:00pm to 5:00pm
Visitor Center & Conservatory
Free and Open to the Public

The Holiday Open House at the State Botanical Garden offers free, family entertainment. This year’s decorations celebrate birds in the garden with An Audubon Christmas. If you didn’t know, the State Botanical Garden of Georgia has been designated an Important Bird Area by The Audubon Society.

Musical entertainment includes the following performances:
The Georgia Children’s Chorus (2:15pm-3:00pm)
The Solstice Sisters (3:15pm-3:50pm)
The Classic City Band (4:00pm-5:00pm)
Puppet Shows in the Children’s Classroom (2:30pm, 3:30pm and 4:30pm)

Mark Parsons Photography (phone: 706-769-5959; website: www.markparsonsphotography.com) will be on hand to take photos of children (and adults) with Santa and Mrs. Claus. The cost of photos are $10 each payable to the photographer. The Garden Gift Shop will be open for your shopping pleasure. Holiday treats will be available for purchase in the newly renovated Gardenside Café (706-542-6359).

For more information, please call 706-542-1244 or visit our website at www.uga.edu/botgarden.

2009-12-01

Harvest for the Homeless fundraiser/auction

Just passing along....

http://athensareahomelessshelter.org/harvest.php
Every day in Athens, nearly 500 individuals, including nearly 100 children, are homeless – living in shelters, in cars, and
in tents. As our poverty rate continues to climb, government funding to support our work continues to decline. More than
ever, we will rely on the residents, businesses, and churches of this community to support our work. Your sponsorship of
the 6th Annual Harvest for the Homeless will help us provide these essential services – to provide the opportunity for self-
sufficiency – to the many homeless families in the Athens area.

In order to raise awareness of National Hunger and Homelessness the Athens Area Homeless Shelter will be hosting the 6th Annual Harvest for the Homeless Reception on Thursday, December 3, 2009 at the Rialto Room of the Hotel Indigo beginning at 7:00pm. Community leaders and shelter supporters are invited to this reception to celebrate the success of the Athens Area Homeless Shelter in its efforts to help homeless families and individuals achieve self-sufficiency. Now in its sixth year, Harvest for the Homeless serves to heighten awareness in the community
about homelessness, while raising funds for the operation of our transitional shelter program for homeless families with
children. Harvest for the Homeless raffle tickets will be sold until December 3rd, with the chance of winning 52 gift
certificates to local restaurants--the opportunity to eat out once a week for a year for free! This reception will
feature live performances by the Modern Skirts and Thieves Company, and a silent auction, and will be catered.

2009-11-30

ACC Christmas Parade

Yay!
------------------
Downtown Parade of Lights on Dec. 3: The annual Athens-Clarke County Downtown Parade of Lights is scheduled for Thursday, December 3 starting at 7:00 p.m. This year’s theme is “A gift from the heart.”

Botanical Garden Cafe is now open

This may be old news for some, but the Botanical Garden Cafe is open (again), but the menu looks to have really changed (used to be Lee Epting and more sandwich/soup sort of menu):
----------------
... the newly renovated Gardenside Café at the State Botanical Garden is now open under the management of Countryside Catering. Lunch is served from 11:00am – 2:00pm Tuesday through Sunday (closed on Mondays).
[Menu includes] pulled pork, baked beans, cole slaw, Brunswick stew, bread or a variety of sandwiches and salads.
For detailed information on menu selections, daily specials and pricing, please call the café at 706-542-6359.
Members of the Friends of the Garden receive a nice discount.

2009-11-24

Athens Businesses Being Hurt By UGA Night Games on ESPN

When I set out to write this story, it was not what I anticipated. As one who likes to find silver linings, I thought I would be writing about a positive local economic impact from the new 15-year Southeastern Conference TV deal.

Here is an extract of the story and the link to the full piece.

ESPN, SEC Contract Part of Perfect Storm Killing Athens (GA) Businesses

In a smaller college town like Athens, Georgia, football season is more than a sport played in the late summer and fall. It is the economic engine that keeps many downtown Athens businesses, hotels, and restaurants afloat for much of the rest of the year. It is also a sport that, in theory, provides much needed sales tax revenue for the Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County.

But something has changed this year as the Southeastern Conference (SEC) enters the first year of a 15-year television contract with CBS Sports and ESPN. Businesses in downtown Athens are hurting.

Read more...

Athens Area Merchants Violating Credit Card Agreements (Updated 11/24/09)

There are a number of Athens area merchants, retailers and others who tell customers they have yo pay a surcharge to use their credit card, or pay a minimum amount to use a credit card. This is a direct violation of their merchant agreements with the credit card issuers.

Following the following excerpts from the policies of the major credit card companies is a list of Athens businesses that are in violation of their agreements and unfairly penalizing customers. Although it is "sad" they have to pay fees to take credit cards, it is a cost of doing business.

Minimum Purchase (Visa)
 
Visa merchants are not permitted to establish minimum transaction amounts, even on sale items. They also are not permitted to charge a surcharge fee when you use your Visa card.

Minimum Purchase (MasterCard)

Can a merchant charge me a fee to use my MasterCard card? Can a merchant require a minimum purchase amount to use my MasterCard card?

The answer to the first question is almost never; the answer to the second question is not ever. Merchants must follow certain acceptance rules in order to be granted the privilege of accepting MasterCard cards. One of these rules specifically prohibits the practice of surcharging, that is, charging a customer a fee for using a MasterCard card over and above the sale amount. Under very specific conditions, however, a merchant can charge customers - including those using a MasterCard card - a fee in addition to the transaction amount. As a general rule, such a fee doesn't violate the MasterCard rules provided the fee is charged to all customers engaging in the same transaction, regardless of the form of payment. Keep in mind, however, that it is not a violation of the MasterCard rules for a merchant to offer customers a price discount for payment in cash, provided payment by MasterCard card is on at least as favorable terms as payment by any other means. Another MasterCard acceptance rule prohibits merchants that accept MasterCard cards from establishing any minimum amount below which the merchant won't accept payment via MasterCard card. If a merchant displays a decal with the MasterCard logo to indicate that MasterCard cards are accepted, that merchant can not condition a sale based upon the cardholder disclosing any other information or identification, except under very specific conditions, such as when merchant needs to deliver merchandise to the cardholder's home or business.

It's not always easy to tell whether a merchant is complying with MasterCard acceptance rules. It's important to MasterCard that you are treated fairly and in accordance with those acceptance rules when you shop using your MasterCard card.

American Express

American Express's regulations do not explicitly prohibit minimum charges, but its policy is to discourage any merchant practices that create a "barrier to acceptance." Amex does prohibit "discrimination" against the Amex card, however, so if a merchant has no minimum charge for Visa and MasterCard, the merchant may not discriminate against Amex by imposing a minimum charge.
Athens Area Violators

Here is the list of Athens area violators. If the rescind their policy, the will be removed from the list. If you know of other violators, please add to the comments here so the list can be updated.You can find out other ways to protect yourself and see how backward Georgia is in protecting consumers in this area on this web site.

  • Hodgson's Pharmacy (5 Points)
  • Shell on Tallassee Road 
  • Cup's Coffee (East Side) (added 11//24/2009)


Holiday shopping -- local arts & crafts

Holiday Market @ Green Acres Baptist Church
(across from the eastside Krogers on Barnett Shoals Rd)
UPPER FELLOWSHIP HALL
Sunday, November 29th
2:00- 4:00
Campus Cats will be there with our tea cup and copper bird feeders, catnip cat toys, homemade dog biscuits, and hand painted wine glasses.

(Proceeds from the Campus Cats sale, of course, benefit campus cats)....

Regional/local christmas tree farms

Here is a link to a list of Christmas tree farms by county

2009-11-23

Recycle question

So, I have pretty much replaced all my light bulbs with CFCs over the past year. One of those bulbs went out. So I took it back to Lowes to recycle it. The young lady at the customer service desk told me that they don't recycle those bulbs. I thought there was a state law that mandates that business that sell CFCs must recycle them. Is that not the case? If not, what do I do with the bulb? It contains mercury so putting it in the trash is not an option. Anyone got any ideas on this?

2009-11-19

For the webbies and techies (new Drupal and expression engine groups)

Hola! I'm chairing the ATHDrupal group and for now, I am just "helping" the EEATH group (I hope a Chair rises organically in the group).

ATHDrupal is a new regional Drupal group (forming out of the ashes of UGA's Drupal Group). We would like to invite anyone interested in Drupal to join us. We hope to have some f2f meetings -- perhaps, semesterly (and also, to connect up with DrupalAtlanta at some point).

Drupal is an opensource content management system (CMS). A content management system is a complete website management/design tool (hosted on your domain).
You can join the Drupal group @
http://groups.google.com/group/athdrupal

Additionally a sibling group has formed for the CMS, Expression Engine
http://groups.google.com/group/eeath

If you have questions re: the groups, please just drop me a line. thanks, robin aka georgiawebgurl
georgiawebgurl@gmail.com

2009-11-18

Canned Food and Supply Drive for Critters

A campus organization at the University of Georgia known as Forgotten Friends is collecting food and supplies to help animals get through the winter with the second annual Canned Food and Supply Drive for Critters. There are collection boxes at Daily Co-op, Pet Supplies Plus, the UGA Main Library, Tate Plaza, the Drewry Room inside Grady College, and the Rhodes Animal Science Building. The Red and Black has more information here.

Volunteers and donations needed for Thanksgiving Feast for the Homeless

From a list -- lots of volunteer opportunities coming up............
------------------------------
Please contact Tonya @ tonyal@sports.uga.edu for more info or to volunteer.
-----------------
I just wanted to let everyone know that I am coordinating our annual "Thanksgiving Day Feast for the Homeless and the
Hungry" at Timothy Baptist Church again this year. What we do is we go around Athens to the shelters or where
ever we need to go and pick the people up. We bring them to our church and provide health screenings, we give clothes,
haircuts and hair styles, goody bags with hygiene necessities, we allow them to take showers and of course we feed them a Thanksgiving Meal. Our desire is to make it a special day for them. For example when we feed them, we don't allow them to stand in line. We decorate our dining area and I have our volunteers seat them and serve them.
If you could get the word out and let everyone know that we are accepting donations for these people. Of course if
anyone has any clothes we could use them. We would like them clean, folded or on hangers. We desperately need wash cloths, towels, unopened packaged t-shirts, underwear and socks. This is a major request from the people each year. If anyone is willing to donate any items please contact me. If anyone wants to help volunteer on Thanksgiving Day you are more than welcome and I can forward details. I will be taking items until Friday, November 20th. I will pick them
up if I need to or you can take them to Timothy Baptist Church, 380 Timothy Road. You can mention my name to
the receptionist and she will know what to do. Thank you.
Coach Tonya M. Lee
University of Georgia Track and Field
706.542.7957 / Fax: 706.542.5224

2009-11-17

Angel Program 2009

The Clarke County DFCS Angel Project of 2009 is still in need of sponsors to buy gifts for our children in foster care and children that we are working closely in the community with. If you are interested in sponsoring a child/ren this Holiday season please contact Stephanie Higdon, Angel Project Coordinator, at smhigdon@dhr.state.ga us or 706-621-3657.

Thanks so much to all of you who helped out last year as I know many, many of the faculty and staff at UGA were our biggest supporters. We do know times are tight for everyone right now and really appreciate any help you can offer. If you are unable to purchase gifs, monetary or gift card donations can also be sent to Clarke County DFCS, P.O. Box 1887, Athens, GA 30601 Attn: Angel Project/Rhonda Floyd. Please note on all checks that you are designating that money for the 'Christmas Angel Project'.

Thanks so much!
Stephanie Higdon, MSW
2009 Angel Project Coordinator
Clarke County DFCS
284 N. Avenue
Athens, GA 30601
706-621-3657

2009-11-16

Madison Co. Habitat for Humanity Art Auction

5pm this Saturday is the 7th annual Madison County Habitat for Humanity Art Auction.
This is a great event that benefits a great cause. There will be good food, live music, and over 100 items in the silent and live auctions.

Silent auction, food, and live music from 5 – 7 pm.

Live auction with Phil Piche begins at 7 pm. http://www.picherealtyauction.com/auction_detail.php?id=119018

The location:

Boutier Winery www.boutierwinery.com
4506 Hudson River Church Road
Danielsville, GA
706-789-0059
This is really in Ila, but has a Danielsville mailing address.

Admission:
$12 in advance
$15 at the door
For more information:
madisoncountyhabitat@yahoo.com
706-783-4191

For pictures of some of the art available at the auction:
www.madisoncountyhfh.org
Directions to the Art Auction at Boutier Winery:
Travel north from Athens on Hwy 29.
Turn left towards Ila on Hwy 106 at the traffic light just past Ingles.
Turn left on Hwy 98 towards Commerce at the flashing light in Ila.
Drive 0.2 miles on Hwy 98 then turn right on Hudson River Church Road.
Drive 4.5 miles on Hudson River Church Road to Boutier Winery sign on right (before Jot Em Down Road).

Over a hundred items to be auctioned include:
Fine Art - Original framed paintings; reduction linoleum cut prints
Photography -framed and/or matted originals
Woodworking - hand turned exotic woods
Pottery and Ceramics - bowls, vases, platters, plates
Folk Art - pottery, paintings, wreathes
Textiles - tapestry, afgans
.....
more

Gift Certificates for:
Therapeutic massage
Decorating consultation
Kayak/canoe rental
Yoga classes
Personal Chef
and more!

Classic City Christmas performance

Who: Classic City Arts
What: Classic City Christmas
Where: Seney Stovall Chapel Theatre - 201 N. Milledge Avenue
When: December 4th and 5th at 8:00, December 6th at 2:00
Cost: $6.00 - Can be paid by cash or check at the door, or online at www.classiccityarts.com
Info: ClassicCityArts.com, 706-850-1755

Classic City Arts is pleased to present its debut Christmas Concert 'Classic City Christmas' this December 4, 5 & 6 at the Seney Stovall theatre at 201 N. Milledge Avenue. The show features songs from throughout the ages and is sure to please children from one to ninety-nine.

The show includes an eight member cast performing a mix of solos and group numbers. The curtain rises at 8:00pm on Friday and Saturday with a Sunday matinee at 2:00pm. Tickets are $6 and all proceeds support CCA's Classical series of free performances.

Classic City Christmas Features: Amy Wright, Scott Earle, Shanon Hays, Effie Andreu-Hiter, Lila and Lucy Ralston and Andrew Stroer.

Produced by: Will Leamon and Amy Wright.

Directed by: Will Leamon.

2009-11-15

Treating the campus with respect????


I do this every year, so I guess its time to do it again. I read about the concern that the administration has about our campus being trashed during home football games. I hear the new ads on the radio about treating our campus with respect. This is respect?
Its past time for the administration to put a halt to north campus tailgating. This is beyond absurd. Why is this allowed to continue game after game after game?
All the extra trash cans, all the trash bags being handed out prior to the game, and this is the end result. It looks to me like the trash got in their SUVs and cars, flags flapping in the wind, and left this mess for others to clean up.
Its time to put a halt to this now.



2009-11-11

Free movies/discussion

Russell Library hosts lunchtime screening of A Chaplain’s Story and Rhodesia Unafraid

The Russell Library cordially invites you to attend a lunch time screening of two short films recently added to its international collections: Stan Hannan’s A Chaplain’s Story (1976) and Rhodesia Unafraid (1978). The screening will take place in the Russell Library Auditorium from 12:00-1:00PM on Friday, November 13, 2009.

These films, produced during Hannan’s time in the Rhodesian Army’s Chaplain Corps, offer a unique window into the Rhodesian Bush War (1964-79) from the perspective of the chaplains who ministered to the beleaguered Rhodesian Army. Also known as the Zimbabwe War of Liberation or the Second Chimurenga, this conflict ultimately resulted in the overthrow of white governance in Rhodesia and the creation of modern Zimbabwe.

Craig Breaden, Head of Media and Oral History, will provide a brief introduction to both films prior to the screening. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please call (706) 542-5788 or email jlevinso@uga.edu; For directions to the Russell Library, visit http://www.libs.uga.edu/russell/aboutus/visitor.shtml.

2009-11-10

Peanut Fundraiser

The UGA Turf and Agronomy Clubs have begun their Annual Peanut Sale and Fundraiser. Available in handy 2-lb cans, these Georgia grown peanuts come in both skinless and honey-roasted variety. Cans are $6.00, and the proceeds from this sale support club members’ activities throughout the year.

For more information, including order forms, please visit www.ugaturfclub.org, or contact peanuts@uga.edu.

On behalf of the UGA Turf and Agronomy Clubs, thank you for your support!

2009-11-09

Reading by Dorianne Laux

THE GEORGIA REVIEW AND THE GEORGIA POETRY CIRCUIT PROUDLY PRESENT A READING BY DORIANNE LAUX

The Georgia Review, the renowned literary quarterly published from the University of Georgia since 1947, and the Georgia Poetry Circuit, a consortium of colleges and universities across the state that cooperates in bringing nationally-recognized poets to Athens and elsewhere three times a year, are pleased to announce the first of this year’s events: a reading by acclaimed poet Dorianne Laux. The reading will begin at 7pm on Friday, November 13 at Ciné, 234 West Hancock Avenue in downtown Athens. The event is free and open to the public. UGA instructor and poet Heather Cousins will be the opening reader.

Dorianne Laux was born in Augusta, Maine, in 1952. She worked as a sanatorium cook, a gas station manager, a maid, and a donut holer before receiving a B.A. in English from Mills College in 1988. She is the author of Facts About the Moon (W. W. Norton 2005), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her other collections include Smoke (BOA Editions, 2000); What We Carry (1994), also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Awake (1990), which was nominated for the San Francisco Bay Area Book Critics Award for Poetry.

Of Laux's work, poet Tony Hoagland has said, "Her poems are those of a grown American woman, one who looks clearly, passionately, and affectionately at rites of passage, motherhood, the life of work, sisterhood, and especially sexual love, in a celebratory fashion." Among her awards are a Pushcart Prize and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She now lives, with her husband, poet Joseph Millar, in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she serves among the faculty at North Carolina State University's MFA Program.

Heather Cousins lives in Monroe, Georgia. She holds an M.A. from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia's creative writing program. Her first book, Something in the Potato Room, won the 2009 Kore Press First Book Competition. She has poems published or forthcoming in The Yalobusha Review, Alehouse, and The Country Dog Review. One of her poems has recently been nominated for a 2010 Pushcart prize.

DUST

By Dorianne Laux

Someone spoke to me last night,
told me the truth. Just a few words,
but I recognized it.
I knew I should make myself get up,
write it down, but it was late,
and I was exhausted from working
all day in the garden, moving rocks.
Now, I remember only the flavor--
not like food, sweet or sharp.
More like a fine powder, like dust.
And I wasn't elated or frightened,
but simply rapt, aware.
That's how it is sometimes--
God comes to your window,
all bright light and black wings,
and you're just too tired to open it.

2009-11-05

W. Broad St. Bus-Bus stop featured on BoingBoing!

The other day, the bus stop made out of old school buses on W. Broad St. was posted on BoingBoing (the best blog ever... well, it's my favorite all-around blog anyway). Check it out!

Volunteer opportunity -- bookstore & booksale announcement

from a list
----------------
I'm posting a PSA about a new bookstore that's opening up in Winterville. The bookstore will be run by FOWL (Friends of the Winterville Library...best acronym EVER) with all proceeds going to the Winterville Library. Volunteers are needed to staff the store. Shifts are in one hour slots. If you are interested, please email Jan Mazzucco at Fowl1012@yahoo.com or call her at (706) 742-7090. See below for more information.

If you love books, then you cannot afford to miss the Grand Opening of "Front Porch Bookstore" in quaint and historic downtown Winterville, between the old train depot and the Winterville Library @ 102 Marigold Lane.

The "Front Porch Bookstore" is totally 100% non-profit with all proceeds going to purchase books and equipment and to fund literary programs for the Winterville Library. The grand opening will be held in conjunction with Winterville's Christmas in the Park on December 4, 2009. The bookstore will be open that evening from 5pm - 8:30pm.

After the grand opening, the store will need volunteers to handle money transactions, stock shelves, and help keep the store clean as follows:
Mon. 3pm to 6:45pm
Tues. 3pm to 6:45pm
Wed. 9am to 11:45am
Thurs. 3pm to 6:45pm
Sat. 10am to 1:45pm

2009-11-04

Oconee residents voice concerns at town hall | Oconee | OnlineAthens.com

It is interesting how some of the same people made repeated queries to the members of the Oconee County Board of Commissioners. I am all for participatory democracy on any level.
Oconee residents voice concerns at town hall | Oconee | OnlineAthens.com

Historic Oconee home to be restored | News | OnlineAthens.com

Historic preservation is something that needs to be supported no matter what you affiliation or beliefs. I strongly support this effort and applaud all those involved.
Historic Oconee home to be restored | News | OnlineAthens.com

Is AT&T defrauding business DSL customers?

My phone at the office has been ringing all month. No, it isn't all new business for me; rather, I have been harassed by several calls from telemarketers hired by AT&T. The callers never asked us if I wanted to upgrade my DSL service. They started telling us that they wanted to confirm an upgrade that had already been ordered. They told us that AT&T was switching from old BellSouth lines to newly installed lines. They told us that everyone was getting an upgrade and they were just calling to let us know. When I protested I was treated rudely. When I asked questions the callers hung up.

It turns out that one of these telemarketers did place a fraudulent order on my account to upgrade my service from 1.5 Mbps to 3.0. I was clued in when one of the telemarketers later insisted she was only letting me know that all customers were automatically being upgraded from 3.0 to 6.0.

AT&T's response to my complaints about the calls was to change some record on my account to prevent future telemarketing, but they said it would take "30 to 60 days" for the calls to stop. And, yes, my phone has been ringing every single day for weeks since I asked for the calls to stop. I suggested that they give me a month of free service for my troubles, and after the involvement of two divisions -- because there is no single office authorized to issue credits on both voice and DSL service -- they agreed. However, after the credits were applied I was still left with a bill for $48.00. So much for a free month, huh?

Has anyone else had this trouble? It is clear to me that AT&T is defrauding its business customers. They choose and hire these unscrupulous telemarketers, and they are responsible for their actions.

2009-11-03

Wienermobile

It has been brought to my attention that Oscar Mayer will be sending its Wienermobile to Athens where it will make the following appearances and giving out swag:

Wednesday November 4th
2 pm - 7 pm: Red Cross Blood Drive for UGA Homecoming Week
Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity House
846 Milledge Avenue
Athens, GA 30605

Thursday November 5th
10 am- 4 pm: Cookout with the Humane Society to Benefit Pet Adoption
1781 Mars Hill Road
Watkinsville, GA 30677

Friday November 6th
3:30 pm - 5:15 pm: Afterschool celebration at the Athens YMCA
915 Hawthorne Avenue
Athens, GA 30606

Reading, Q&A, and Coffee with Author Judson Mitcham

Judith Cofer's graduate writing seminar invites you to a reading and Q & A by poet and novelist Judson Mitcham. Coffee and refreshments will be available. Everyone is welcome.

Location: Park Hall, Room 261 (UGA)
Day: Wednesday, November 4
Time: 10 a.m.

Judson Mitcham's work has appeared in many literary journals, including Georgia Review, Poetry, and Harper's. He has published three collections of poems: Somewhere in Ecclesiastes, which won the Devins Award, This April Day, and A Little Salvation: Poems Old and New. His novels, The Sweet Everlasting and Sabbath Creek, were both awarded the Townsend Prize for Fiction. Mitcham has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Georgia Council for the Arts. He taught psychology at Fort Valley State University for many years, and he currently teaches creative writing at Mercer University.

2009-10-27

Call for artists/writers


Also, remember moonshine arts & literary magazine is always seeking writers and reviewers. We'd love to have some music reviews, too. Podcasts would be excellent. Video, too! Comix and graphix work, yep, we like those, too. (and we're moving to our domain at the beginning of 2010. sorry, couldn't resist a shoutout for my own project)

-------------------------
Dear lovely creative-folk:

Mandala Literary Journal, the student-run multicultural journal for "poets, writers, artists, and thinkers," which is published by the Institute for African American Studies each spring is swinging into high gear and invites you to attend the 2009-2010 kick-off meeting.

What: meet & greet; identify interests, editors, designers, writers, artists, marketers, etc.

When: Thursday, 10/29 from 1:15-2:15

Where: conference room in the Institute for African American Studies 3rd floor of the Holmes/Hunter Academic Building

Why: it's lots of fun to produce something grand; to get your publishing feet wet and/or to go for the full dunk; to be in the loop; to be a force for something near and dear to your heart--voices on the page!

How: show up (prepare to huff and puff up the stairs!); help spread the word; bring ideas; email me to express interest; something of your own devising...

Who: you, yes you, and anyone else you'd like to bring along; opportunities abound for leading, following, and playing in the sandbox!

Here's hoping to see you next week,
Ashley

***

2009-10-26

Volunteer opportunity -- Memorial Park

Memorial Park Ecological Restoration - a special Furlough Day event
There will be a "workday" held from 9:00 - 12:00 a.m. on Friday, October 30th. Join volunteers for a fun and rewarding morning of eradicating invasive plant species (primarily ivy and privet) in a section of Memorial Park.
Meet at the Memorial Park administration building off Gran Ellen Drive (near Five Points) at 9:00, or if after 9:00 a.m., follow signs down the hill along Gran Ellen Drive where the group will be working. Wear long pants, long sleeves, and close-toed shoes. The group will work even in light rain. Bring water. A variety of tools will be provided, but you may wish to bring your favorites. The work is appropriate for all ages, and children are welcome if supervised.
This workday is part of an ongoing effort to clear the park of invasive plants and to return it to a more "native" woodland environment that will attract more birds and wildlife. Workdays in the park are normally held starting at 9:00 a.m. on first and third Saturdays of each month. If you are interested in learning more about the project, or would like to be on an email list to receive workday reminders, please contact Sue Wilde at suewilde@hotmail.com

Vote for the new cover of the Bike Athens Map

http://bikeathens.blogspot.com/2009/10/vote-on-cover-for-new-bike-map-of.html

Okay, I know the person in photo #2. I bet you know some of them, too.
A chance for you to give your opinion. ;-P

2009-10-25

Ride to Support United Way

For those who might be interested...
-----------------------
The 1st Annual University System of Georgia State Charitable Contributions Motorcycle Ride Supporting the United Way Friday, November 6, 2009

The University System of Georgia State Charitable Contributions Committee is inviting all University System of
Georgia Faculty, Staff, and Friends to support the United Way by being part of the USG State Charitable Contributions
Motorcycle Ride. This is a weekday ride that will take place rain or shine!

Biker participants will leave from the Athens Office of Information & Instructional Technology Office (for directions
see http://www.usg.edu/oiit/directions) and ride to Unicoi State Park in Helen, Georgia.

Registration information is as follows:
NOTE: If we do not have the minimum of 30 bikes to register, the event will be canceled.

Registration Fee:
$20.00 per bike and $10.00 per co-rider (bike parking pass is included in the registration fee)

All participants will be required to sign a “Release, Waiver of Liability And Covenant Not To Sue” form the day of the ride
at bike registration check in.

To register, complete the form at
http://www.ciclt.net/sn/events/e_signup.aspx?ClientCode=bor&E_ID=500249&RegType=ATT

or
http://tinyurl.com/yhkbreu

Door Prizes:
Each registrant will receive a raffle ticket (at registration check in) that will enter them to win prizes that include
(Zune 8mg, 13.0 oz can of Plexus Cleaner Protectant Polish (bike cleaner), $10.00 Apple iTunes Card, $50.00 Home Depot Gift Card, $25.00 Outback Steak House Gift Card, $25.00 Shell Gas Gift Card). The drawing for prizes will be held at the end of the ride. YOU MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN!

Tee-Shirt:
Registrants can order a commemorative T-shirt for this event for $10.00. Shirts will be distributed the day of the ride at
registration check in. Additional T-shirts will be sold on- site at registration while supplies last.

All fees (for registration and T-shirts) must be paid in advance, by Friday, October 30, 2009, or registration will be
considered void. Please print a copy of the invoice and mail it with a check or money order made out to State Charities
Fund and mail it to the following address:

Board of Regents/OIIT
2500 Daniells Bridge Road
Building #300
Athens, GA 30606
Attn: George Bond, SSC Ride

**** ALL PROCEEDS WILL GO TO THE UNITED WAY OF NORTHEAST GEORGIA ****

Participants may request a receipt for their donation for tax purposes. The United Way will generate and mail these
receipts.

Lunch:
Lunch will be on your own. Unicoi State Lodge serves a daily buffet http://www.usg.edu/charity/events/Unicoi_restaurant_menu.pdf for $11.30 per person. To help them determine a headcount for serving lunch that day, we are asking participants to let us know when they register if they plan to each lunch at the lodge.

Bike Registration Check In:
Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. the morning of November 6th, planned departure at 9:30 a.m.

Bike Route:
LEAVE FROM:
Office of Information & Instructional Technology
2500 Daniells Bridge Road, Building #300
Athens, GA 30606

1: Start out going WEST on DANIELLS BRIDGE RD toward MARS
HILL RD/OCONEE CONN. 0.2 mi
2: Turn RIGHT onto OCONEE CONN. 0.3 mi
3: Turn RIGHT onto US-29 N/US-78 E/GA-316 E/GA-8
E/UNIVERSITY PKWY.
Continue to follow GA-316 E/UNIVERSITY PKWY. 1.0 mi
4: Take the GA-10-LOOP N ramp. 0.1 mi
5: Merge onto PAUL BROUN PKWY. 8.1 mi
6: Take the US-441 N exit, EXIT 12, toward COMMERCE.
0.1 mi
7: Turn LEFT onto US-441 N/COMMERCE RD/GA-15 N. Continue
to follow US-441 N/GA-15 N. 41.8 mi
8: Merge onto US-23 N/US-441 N/TOMMY IRVIN PKWY/GA-15
N/GA-365 N. 1.2 mi
9: Take the US-441-BR HISTORIC/GA-105 exit toward GA-385
N/CLARKESVILLE/DEMOREST/HELEN. 0.4 mi
10: Turn LEFT onto US-441 BR/GA-105. 0.7 mi
11: Turn LEFT onto CANNON BRIDGE RD SW/GA-105. Continue to
follow GA-105. 8.5 mi
12: Turn LEFT onto GA-17/UNICOI TURNPIKE. 8.1 mi
13: Turn RIGHT onto GA-17/GA-75/UNICOI TURNPIKE. 2.9 mi
14: Turn RIGHT onto GA-356. 1.4 mi
15: GA-356. Unicoi State Park: Ga-356GA 30571 0.0 mi

END AT:
Unicoi State Park - The Beach House Area
Helen, GA 30545

Total Travel Estimates: 1 hour 32 minutes/75 miles

Accommodations:
Participants needing overnight accommodations in Athens prior to the 6th, please see the following URL:
http://hotel-guides.us/georgia/athens-ga-hotels.html

Questions:
All questions should be directed to Karen Scoville at Karen.scoville@usg.edu or by phone at 706.583.2017.

Thank you in advance for your participation in this event!

2009-10-24

Volunteers needed -- Toy giveaway

The Sparrow's Nest just sent out a request for some volunteers to help register people for their Toy Giveaway. The Registration will be early November and the Toy Giveaway in early December. You can sign up on their website to volunteer for either the Toy Registration or Giveaway: http://www.sparrowsnestmission.org/

Volunteers are needed for the annual Toy Giveaway registration. Registration is scheduled for Wed., Nov. 4th from 3:45-7:00pm (or until we run out of tickets) at the Sparrow's Nest building. Please contact Laura Ebbert at sparrowsnst@aol.com if you can help. Presently, we have only 5 people that have stepped forward to help. This year's event promises to be as special as those in the past and plans are already underway - come and be a part
of a tremendous blessing to others.

Volunteers are also needed to help prepare 50-100 bags of candy. You can contact Pam Allen - allenp9740@gmail.com

2009-10-23

Haunted tour

Athens’ Haunted History Walking Tour

History, haunts, legends, ghostly apparitions, cold spots, tragic lovers, restless Confederate soldiers and unearthed coffins. Folklore and history come alive beneath the Greek columns and magnolias of the Classic City.

Since being founded in 1801, Athens’ rich history has provided accounts of strange events and ghostly experiences. Follow your guide on a journey of Athens’ darker history. On this two-hour tour of downtown Athens and UGA’s North Campus, you will hear tales of spirits, hauntings, superstitions, mysteries, murders, suicide and other legends of the Classic City.

Tour dates and times:

Tuesday, October 27, 7:00 pm (led by Carol Bishop)

Thursday, October 29, 7:00 (led by Rick Rose)

Thursday, October 29, 7:30 pm (led by Carol Bishop)

Tuesday, November 3, 7:00 pm (led by Carol Bishop)

$12 for ACHF members, $15 for non-members. Tours are limited to 25 people and paid reservations will be accepted on a first come/first serve basis. Please provide an e-mail address in order to receive tour updates, instructions and your order confirmation. No tickets will be mailed. Tours will be held in light rain. In the event of heavy rain, the tour will be cancelled, and payment will be refunded.

To order:

For the October 27 and 29 tours, please drop off your order form and payment at ACHF headquarters in Fire Hall No. 2, located at 489 Prince Avenue prior to the tour. If the office is closed, slide it under the Prince Avenue door. Reservations for the November 3 tour can be mailed if done a week ahead of time.

Questions? E-mail achftours@bellsouth.net

Amy Kissane and Amy Andrews

Miyazaki Film Festival (Free!)

Come to the Lamar Dodd School of Art (Tonight at 7pm) to enjoy the 3rd movie of the Miyazaki Film Festival: Laputa: Castle In The Sky! This will be the final Miyazaki Film Festival screening of Fall Semester, so make sure you attend! It's Free!!!!!!!!!!! (Room S151 Lamar Dodd).

Laputa: Castle In The Sky is a 1986 film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It is the first film created and released by Studio Ghibli, although is considered the second by some since Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind was created by the founding members two years before. Laputa: Castle in the Sky won the Animage Anime Grand Prix in 1986. -Wikipedia

Plot: Pazu, a mining apprentice, finds a young girl wearing a glowing pendant and floating down from the sky.
Together, they discover both are searching for the legendary floating castle, Laputa, and vow to unravel the mystery of the luminous crystal around her neck. Their quest won't be easy, however. There are air pirates, secret agents, and astounding obstacles to keep them from the truth -- and from each other.
-Disney.com

Tonight, 7pm, Lamar Dodd School of Art Room S151 (Free!!!!!)
UGA

Pendergrass festival

just passing along. lots of festivals this time of the year.
------------
Come on out to Pendergrass tomorrow night for some old fashioned fun! Mountain Creek Baptist Church is having its annual fall festival Saturday, October 24, 4-8 pm. There will be booths featuring crafts and collectibles, as well as food and games. 1116 Mountain Creek Church Road, Pendergrass, 30567 (go out Prince Avenue/Jefferson Road/Highway 129N, hang a left on Main St./GA-332, left on Old Gainesville Hwy, and right on Mountain Creek Church Rd.) Festival will be held under the lights on the ball field. See you there!

2009-10-21

UGA ecologist leads next 'Saturday Stroll' | Oconee | OnlineAthens.com

Come stroll around Watkinsville this Saturday morning and also attend the Oconee Democrats yard sale at Rita Bennett's house at the corner of Second and School Street near the spinning wheel art work at the left field corner of Rocket Field in lovely downtown Watkinsville. UGA ecologist leads next 'Saturday Stroll' | Oconee | OnlineAthens.com

2009-10-20

Choral Group performance

Lyric League, a mixed choral group of twenty singers from the Athens area, will present selections from Broadway shows at the Athens-Clarke County Auditorium Sunday afternoon, Nov. 1 at 3:00 p.m.

The concert, sponsored by Friends of the Athens-Clarke County Library, is free and open to the public. Selections from "Hair," "The Lion King," "Grease," "Wicked," "Mamma Mia" and other familiar shows will feature soloists and duets as well as the ensemble. Lyric League has performed benefit concerts for the past five years. Director Dell Hitchcock promises an afternoon of delightful music. Their motto: "sing for the joy of it." More information can be found on their websites, www.lyricleague.org, or their new website (under construction): www.lyricleague.homestead.com

The Art of Music

Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The Art of: Music
7:00–10:00 p.m.
Stan Mullins Studio, Athens
The Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art are pleased to present Grammy Award–winner Art Rosenbaum in a special performance of old time and bluegrass music with special guests The Around-the-Globe Sea Shanty Singers and Hawk-Proof Rooster, featuring Charlie and Nancy Hartness and Earl Murphy. $15 Friends members, $20 non-members. Call 706-542-0830 to RSVP or you may purchase tickets at the door. Sponsored by Stan Mullins and The Athens Blur Magazine.

This is a benefit for the Georgia Museum of Art, so please come out and support your museum!

2009-10-19

Donate your shoes...

This Fall, the Athens-Clarke County Recycling Division is participating in the Soles4Souls shoe campaign. This campaign seeks to provide shoes for those who need them. Did you know that Americans have over 1.5 billion pairs of shoes in their closets? It's time to take the extra pairs and give them to people who will treasure them for years to come. Soles4Souls, the shoe charity, needs our help to make the Thanks4Giving program a HUGE success in Georgia and across the country. This unique event will touch the lives of thousands of individuals during the fall season, when most of us are enjoying the warmth and safety of our homes, families and friendships. Please consider donating your gently worn men's, women's, or children's shoes to this cause. Tennis shoes to dress shoes are accepted. Please connect the matching pair of shoes together with a rubber band or the laces of the shoes themselves.

There is a drop off location in the lobby of the Science Library on south campus at UGA. The bin will be in place through Monday November 30. Please distribute this message widely so we can gather lots of shoes for people who need them.

To read more about the program, please visit the website:

http://www.soles4souls.org/


2009-10-15

Sack the bag tax idea

The Athens Banner-Herald has reported that two of our county commissioners have expressed the concept of taxing plastic retail bags at ten cents each in order to discourage their use, and an editorial today supports the notion. I guess we can expect such proposals to be discussed on our liberal island in the ocean of a conservative state. But since no one asked me what I thought, I will tell you: It is an awful idea.

We don't need a new tax to interfere with business and promote a policy effort that is already misguided. There is a lot of talk about how bad plastic bags are for the environment, but the arguments are usually a bit of a stretch. Our bags in Athens aren't hurting ocean life when they're going to the landfill or being recycled. I haven't come across evidence that the bags are increasing demand for the petroleum from which they are made since petroleum demand is driven by fuel consumption. If you really want to reduce the volume of garbage going into the landfill, focusing on a product that takes up very little volume shows your priorities are out of order when we don't have reliable or convenient ways of disposing of electronics, batteries, and hazardous waste in Clarke County.

In my household, these plastic bags are reused. They are reused to dispose of animal waste. If my supply of these bags is cut off, then I will be buying plastic garbage bags and putting those in the landfill instead. I recycle the bags that I don't use by taking them to the receptacles at Publix.

Or maybe I'll shop at the Kroger or Publix in Oconee County. Let's not forget that this is yet another regulation that may drive even more business out of Clarke County. This is also a sort of policy area that should be handled at the state level and not at the county level.

Finally, the bag tax idea is disrespectful to the environmentally conscious citizens of Athens. Here we are already making great strides to protect our environment and recycle our waste on a voluntary basis. Many of us are already recycling and reusing these retail bags, yet this is not enough for two of our county commissioners. If this idea ever comes to life, chalk up another point for the nanny state.

2009-10-14

Love and Russia (theatre performance)

Classic City Arts presents:

LOVE AND RUSSIA
The Romantic comedies of Anton Chekhov
Wednesday, October 21st, 8:00pm
Seney Stoval Theatre *201 N. Milledge Ave*
All Tickets $5.

The Proposal: It’s happily ever after for these two if only they can stop bickering long enough to say ‘I do’.
The Bear: They’ve both sworn off love forever but maybe a fight to the death will change their minds?

Second Annual Fall Apple Festival Highlights Local Knowledge

Announcement received:

Fall is finally here, and this time of the year just isn't the same without the Fall Apple Festival. The Fall Apple Festival is hosted by FOLK (Furthering Our Local Knowledge) and PLACE, and will be held on Saturday, October 17th from 1pm until the campfire dies at Grove Creek Farm (formerly known as the Agrarian Connections Farm) in Crawford, GA; about fifteen minutes from the UGA campus. FOLK is an organization who's mission is to ensure that locally-based knowledge, art forms, and lifeways don't perish in the face of a globalizing world. To this end, we bring experts in place-based knowledge and craft to Athens to share their knowledge with the Athens community, students and residents alike.

This year FOLK is bringing Kevin Welch of the Eastern band of Cherokee Indians. As a young man Kevin realized how rapidly Eastern Cherokee traditional crops and agricultural knowledge were being lost when he tried to find his Grandpa's October Beans to plant in his garden. Kevin began to notice the loss of other Cherokee plants and started to ponder why this was. His research included travel to the Native Seed SEARCH in New Mexico and eventually led to the establishment of the Center for Cherokee Plants in Cherokee, North Carolina as a plant nursery, seed bank and educational center. Kevin will be telling stories and sharing his botanical knowledge with us throughout the day at the Apple Festival.

In addition to hearing Kevin speak, festival goers will have a chance to spend the day relaxing on the farm while enjoying live music provided by Hope for Agoldensummer, Marion Montgomery III, High Strung, and many other local musicians. There will booths showcasing the work of some of the finest artists and crafters in the area, kids' activities, a wide selection of different locally-produced foods and drinks provided by PLACE, Slow Food Athens, and the Clamberskull Brew Collective, and of course lots of apples, apple products, and an apple pie contest. Our goal with the Fall Apple festival is to provide an event for Athens community members—families especially—to enjoy themselves and to gain an appreciation for the food, music, crafts, knowledge, and apples that comprise our common identity. If you are a local artist or farmer and would like to have a booth at the festival, or if you are an apple enthusiast that would like to enter the apple pie contest, email folkathens@gmail.com or visit our website folkathens.org
for more information.

Volunteers needed for Halloween Carnival

The Clarke County DFCS Halloween Carnival is scheduled for Monday October 26, 2009 from 500-700 pm, and they are looking for volunteers to set up and run "fun stations" and bring supplies for them - typical to what you'd see at a Halloween Carnival - bobbing for apples, relay races, face painting, a cupcake walk, pumpkin bowling etc. They are also accepting donations of paper goods, sodas / juice boxes, Halloween Decorations (for the haunted house), chips, candy, sweets and large things of condiments (ketchup and mustard). They also need assistance the afternoon of Sunday, October 26th, in setting up the Haunted House. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated by families in the community!

For more information or to volunteer or donate, contact Audrey Brannen, at adbrannen@dhr.state.ga.us or cell at 706-621-1490.

2009-10-09

Athens Folk Festival

Come One, Come All! to the 25th annual North Georgia Folk Festival, this Saturday at Sandy Creek Park. AND come on down to the big acoustic jam and dance at Memorial Park tonight.
Tommy Jordan and Art Rosenbaum play music to bring awareness to the festival on the It's Friday Radio Show on 91.7 at 4pm.

Visit www.athensfolk.org for more information

Festival Admission: Adults: $10; Students: $5; Children under 12: Free
Park Admission: $2 per person ages 4 - 64

Web page here: http://athensfolk.org/html/index.php?cat=3

Music Performances

12:00 Pam Blanchard and the Sunny Side Up Band (Kid's Program)
12:45 Earl Murphy and Hawk Proof Rooster (Old Time Fiddle)
1:15 Jean-Paul and Dominique Carton (French Canadian Traditions)
2:00 Mary Lomax and Bonnie Loggins (Traditional North Georgia Ballads)
2:30 Blue Ridge Rounders (Award-winning South Carolina String Band)
3:15 Darien Geechee Shouters (African-American Traditional Ring Shout)
4:00 Art Rosenbaum (Old Time Banjo and Traditional Songs)
4:45 Young Goodman Brown (Original folk songs)
5:15 Normaltown Flyers (Athens Country and Folk Favorites)
6:15 Tony Bryant (Traditional Atlanta Blues)
7:00 Georgia Mudcats (North Georgia Old Time Band)
8:00 John McCutcheon (Nationally Renowned Folk Musician)

Music Workshops

1:00 Chip Arnold (North Georgia Two Finger Banjo)
2:00 Moira Nelligan (Irish Fiddle)
3:00 Hawkproof Rooster with Earl Murphy (Old Time Singing and Band)
4:00 Bob Buckingham (Old Time Fiddle)

Art and Craft Demonstrators

Cotton Patch Quilters (Quilts)
Rebecca Gilliard (Sweet Grass Baskets)
Rosa Hall (Brooms)
Peter Loose (Folk Art and Storytelling)
Brenda McCaig (Spinning and Weaving)
Jim Richardson (Silversmithing)

Art and Craft Vendors

Jamie Calkin (Watercolors)
Classic City Carvers (Wood Carving)
John Davis (Walking Canes)
Kim Dean (Knitting)
Will Langford (Pottery)
Kari Lentini (Jewelry)
Cheryl Martinez (Soap)
Alice and Tim Mills (Grits, Corn Meal)
Bill and Lisa Owens (Honey)
Charlie Rakestraw (Metal Sculpture and Knives)
Susan Staley (Glass Jewelery)

2009-10-08

Ruminations: The Jittery Joe's Parking Issue


In his column this week, Flagpole editor Pete McCommons, who is a dedicated customer of the coffee shop at the Jittery Joe’s Roasting Co., nonetheless lays out the case for denying the coffee shop its parking space in order to preserve our overall commitment to a downtown not blighted by unsightly little unpaved lots. ACC zoning folks apparently fear that granting Jittery Joe’s special permission to operate their lot will trigger a flood of applications from others that the county will be hard-pressed to deny. Nice job on the column, Pete. It provides a perspective that’s been missing in the public discourse about the issue.

I’m not prepared just yet to buy ACC’s case. I concede readily that I haven’t read the relevant provisions of the land use law. And I don’t intend to read them. If they need to be changed to conform to what common sense requires, then let’s do that.

If I understand correctly what we’re doing as a community, we’re drawing a distinction between downtown and other areas, and we’re saying that we don’t want myriad little parking lots downtown, but we’re okay with little parking lots in areas of the county beyond downtown. Do I have that right?

If that’s right, then I a have problem describing the roasting company coffee shop as a “downtown” business. Have you been there? It’s down a hill, quite steep in places, between the railroad tracks and the river on what’s called East Broad Street, but easily might be called “Broad Street Extension.” If you parked at the last metered space on Broad Street and walked to the roasting company coffee shop, you’d need to shift to a lower walking gear to negotiate the grade, your walk back would be decidedly uphill, and you’d walk a substantially greater distance than you would, say, from a metered space to Five Star Day or Trappeze or O.K. Coffee. Morever, the businesses and other uses neighboring the coffee shop are not within the core common-sense definition of downtown uses. The area might be described most accurately as mixed.

Here’s another thing. If what we’re worried about is unsightliness, then is it more unsightly to have customers parked in the space next to the coffee shop, or is it more unsightly to have that lot remain empty? Unsightliness, of course, is in the eye of the beholder, but I personally like the look of the lot filled with cars.

I personally find distinguishable allowing a lot at the roasting company coffee shop and allowing one, say, in the space now occupied by the remains of the Georgia Theatre.

JIttery Joe’s is not some ad hoc operation just out to make a killing selling parking spaces to football fans a few weekends a year with no regard for the community in which it operates. Jittery Joe’s is a solid citizen of ACC.

If our zoning provisions and/or zoning administrators are not flexible enough to take all of these factors into account in deciding the coffee shop parking issue, then maybe we need to consider some changes.
Good morning, everybody! Over at my tumblr blog for athensjazz411.com today, I’ll be featuring shots (one every 30 minutes) from last night’s dress rehearsal for the jazz event of the season here in Athens. Tony McCutchen will be on vibes, Steve Dancz on the keys, and Athens’ premier big band — the UGA Jazz Ensemble — will fill the stage at Hugh Hodgson Concert Hall tonight at 8 p.m. for “Flying Home: A Tribute to the Music of Lionel Hampton.” Tickets are still available. 706 542 4400.

2009-10-06

Athens Tree Fair

The 5th annual Athens-Clarke County Tree Fair is going to be held at the Sandy Creek Nature Center from 10:00 to 1:00 on Saturday, November 7. The event will include a tree sale, educational exhibits (planting, pruning, mulching, climbing, composting, etc), vendors offering wood carvings and shrubs, a kid's booth, and free food. There is no charge to attend the
event.

The Community Tree Council is currently offering a presale of discounted trees. Proceeds will benefit the Athens Clarke County Tree Council (a nonprofit dedicated to the conservation of trees in Athens). Oaks, maples, blackgum, magnolia redbud, tulip poplar, and many other species are available for $15-$25. They are in 3-gallon containers. More information can be found at www.athenstrees.com.

2009-10-04

Here's To October

There’s something to be said for each of the months. Even February. But October! Athens is glorious in October. Chilly morning air makes the simple act of breathing seem new again. Black labs jump and swirl and, if they take a notion, gallop across the yard. Acorns crackle under foot. A few trees, and then more and more, take up their palettes. Pumpkins congregate near the doors of supermarkets, clamoring mutely for the attention of young carvers and their moms. Candy corn and creepy costumes reappear to attend the sweetly scary rituals of the season. And the holidays shimmer on the horizon, still far enough away to be relished in the abstract. Shall we raise our mugs of hot chocolate in a toast to October?

2009-10-03

Farewell and a Bit of Advice

I know I speak for the entire worldwide staff of Athens World in wishing our LSU Tiger friends a safe trip home and the best of luck against the Gators. Please devote some practice time this week to the Vulcan drill: When you score a huge TD in the fourth quarter, just cock one eyebrow and say, “Fascinating,” lest you be penalized 15 yards for excessive human joy.

2009-10-01










This afternoon (before my day melted down at Parking "Services") I had the privilege of attending a rehearsal for the UGA Jazz Ensemble's October 8 tribute to Lionel Hampton at Hugh Hodgson Concert Hall. Folks, this performance is going to SWING big time. You really should give the box office a call at 542-4400 and snap up some tix!

Mad as Hell

I’m just back from UGA. The visit cost me $40. Here’s the deal.

I drive into the parking lot for the music school, hoping to use one of the visitor spaces I remember seeing the last time we attended a concert at Hugh Hodgson. Yep. There they are. Spaces marked with the word “Visitors” framed in light green paint. Excellent!

Then I see the box. It’s low-tech. There’s a slot near the top, and there’s a repository for envelopes near the bottom. I walk up to the box. A sign informs me that there’s a flat fee of $5.00 to park. I’m to put my money into one of the provided envelopes, then put the envelope into the slot. So I reach into my pocket for some cash. I have four ones, two quarters, and some twenties. That’s it. So I reluctantly say adieu to the visitor spaces and head for my old standby, the pay lot near the Ramsey Center.

I drive into the lot, being careful to note my space number: 161. Then I walk over the machine where you pay for time. Hmmm. There’s a big black cover over the machine. And there’s a sign that says “If this machine is not working, call Parking Services.” I figure the machine is broken. But I have no time to call parking services and make arrangements. I’m going to be late for my appointment. (I’m taking pictures of the UGA jazz band to help promote the upcoming Lionel Hampton tribute.) So I head up to the music school, making the assumption that if the machine is broken, I can park in the lot without being penalized. Wrong!

There’s a $40 ticket on my windshield when I get back to the car. Figuring this is some kind of mistake, I drive over to parking services. The lady at the service desk asks what she can do for me. I explain that there was a black cover over the machine and a sign suggesting to me that the machine must be broken. Then she says no, the lot’s been converted to a permit-only lot, and there’s a sign at the entrance to the lot making this clear. Then I say I had no reason to look at the sign at the entrance to the lot, because I’ve been parking here for years and the spaces have numbers on them and the machine is there, but covered up with a sign suggesting it’s status is “broken,” not “irrelevant.” She stands her ground. So I mumble something about this being the thanks I get for trying to help the university, and I flip my Visa card onto her counter to show my dissatisfaction with the state of affairs.

She then accuses me of throwing the card at her, and she refuses to talk to me. She won’t take my money. We sit there silently for a minute or two or three, and then I demand to see the manager.

So out comes the manager, I guess. I didn’t catch his name. I try to be civil, and I pull it off for a moment or two. I tell him why I think I shouldn’t have to pay the ticket. He says it’s a valid ticket. He suggests that I appeal it if I think there are extenuating circumstances.

Right. I’m supposed to go through some appellate process when it ought to be obvious to these people that they’ve neglected their responsibility to long-time users of the lot to make very clear that its status has changed from pay lot to permit lot.

Then he tells me that I could have parked in the deck. It’s a pay lot. (I was still operating under the assumption that IT was the permit lot and the pay lot was the pay lot.)

So I insist on paying. Then I insist again. And again. And he slowly processes my Visa card. As soon as I have my receipt, I’m out the door.

For the past few years, I’ve been in the habit of writing a check to the university for music school scholarships. This year that check will be at least $40 dollars less. The parking services enforcers have effected a transfer from music scholarships to their operating budget. Good for them.

bulldog 100.1

I don't listen to commercial radio too much, but I noticed that when I scanned by last night (mp3 player dead) bulldog (100.1) was playing ladies night by kool and the gang... which seems a little odd for what I thought was a rock station.

Athens Blur Magazine posted that the station was being reformatted
http://athensblur.blogspot.com/2009/09/source-bulldog-1001-fm-to-shut-down-re.html

but then there is this little blurb calling it a temporary stunt....

Recycling Day

Athens Coca-Cola is hosting a “Recycling Day” in partnership with the ACC Recycling Division! On Friday, October 2, 2009, batteries, shoes and electronics (even TV's) will be accepted at the Athens Coca-Cola Sales Center at 650 Athena Drive from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. The Electronics, Batteries, and Shoe Recycling Day is part of CRS in Action Week, a time when our 72,000 global Coca-Cola Enterprises employees will participate in local events to demonstrate a commitment to our communities and Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability. For additional information, please contact 706-613-3512.

2009-09-28

Alpharetta Bound

Gertrude, my van's GPS system, sometimes takes a notion that we should move along roads less traveled -- or at least less traveled by me. So it was on Saturday. My destination was Alpharetta (Boy, it's been a long time since I've uttered the word "Alpharetta," much less gone there!). Jazz vocalists Audrey Shakir and Jane Blackstone were putting on a pair of workshops and a concert at the Steinway Piano Galleries, so I thought, hey, maybe they can teach me to find the right pitch, and if not, at least I can play with the Steinways without having to fork over enough money to buy two more vans. Anyway, my assumption was that Gertrude and I would hit 316, then 85, then 285, then Roswell Road. Something like that. But no. Gertrude had me exit 316 onto 120 (well before 85 and just past what has been for the past several years the traffic choke point from hell during construction of the taj-ma-intersection at 316 and 85). I might have said no. Gertrude usually can take no for an answer. But I said to myself, what the heck. 120. Go for it. So we wound this way and that, making our way north and west through the vast sandyspringsness of the metro ATL. Until we hit Duluth. On the outskirts of Duluth, a member of the local constabulary stood before a barricade and refused us passage, directing us to the right. Of course, Gertrude has no clue about these matters. So when I turned off onto the detour (Something festive having to do, I think, with bicycles, was happening in Duluth. Whatever it was, a lot of people thought it worth their while to pack the downtown streets to see it.), Gertrude went into her "make a u-turn, if possible" thing. Right. She's going to insist. And there's no way. So I'm on my own somewhere in the not-Athens. All I can do is drive on, hoping she'll relent. She does, finally, and we make our way by what I'm sure is a route neither she nor I ever would think of taking, to Alpharetta. All of which is prologue to what I wanted to say. I have some cool shots of the workshops and concerts over at my tumblr blog for athensjazz411.com. Please drop by and browse through the posts.

2009-09-24

Taking back the campus from game day trashers

From the University of Georgia:

"If you bring it in, please take it out." That’s the mantra the University of Georgia is asking its football fans to adopt in an effort to control the amount of trash littering campus on a football Saturday. And if they can’t take it out, at least bag it and place it in a trash receptacle or dumpster.

"I believe the students, alumni and fans who attend UGA football games do love and respect this beautiful campus," said UGA President Michael F. Adams. "And I fully expect that they will do their part to clean up after themselves and to ensure that others around them do the same."

The university plans to distribute 12,000 trash bags in parking lots and around campus this Saturday before the Georgia Bulldogs play host to the Arizona State Sun Devils in a 7 p.m. kickoff. Volunteers from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes will walk through tailgating areas distributing trash bags and encouraging tailgaters to bag their trash and deposit it in an appropriate receptacle. The number of disposable trash boxes on North Campus will be increased to 400 from the previous 250, and over the entire campus to 1,500 from the previous 1,200. Several large roll-off dumpsters will be placed strategically around campus for tailgaters to dispose of their bagged trash.

Additionally, the firm that contracts to clean the campus on Sundays following a football game – American Stadiums – will send crews on an initial sweep through North Campus during the first quarter of remaining games this season to pick up trash already collected and set aside by tailgaters.

The number of Port-a-Johns available on campus also will be increased, particularly in the North Campus area which has been problematic.

"Before people head to the game for kickoff, we hope they’ll pick up around their tailgate area, bag the trash, and either place it in their vehicle to carry home or place it in one of our trash receptacles or dumpsters," said George Stafford, associate vice president for auxiliary and administrative services, who oversees game day operations outside Sanford Stadium itself. Fans should encourage those around them to do the same, he added. "It will take the community working together to accomplish this," he said. "People who profess to care about UGA should help take care of UGA."