Property tax increase proposed

From Athens-Clarke County:

The FY10 Mayor’s Recommended Budget has been submitted to the Commission for review as required by law. The Mayor’s Recommended Budget proposes a millage rate of 13.20 for 2009, an increase of 0.25 of a mill. The final decision related to property taxes for 2009 will be included as part of the adoption of the FY10 Budget scheduled for June 2, 2009. Pursuant to the requirements of Georgia Law (OCGA 48-5-32), three public hearings will be held during May to comply with the Taxpayer Bill of Rights:
  • Hearing #1 – Wednesday, May 6 at 5:30 p.m. in the Planning Auditorium at 120 W. Dougherty Street.
  • Hearing #2 – Thursday, May 14 at 5:30 p.m. in the Planning Auditorium at 120 W. Dougherty Street.
  • Hearing #3 – Thursday, May 21 at 6:45 p.m. in the City Hall Commission’s Chambers at 301 College Avenue.
The FY10 Mayor’s Recommended Budget can be reviewed on Athens-Clarke County’s Web site at www.athensclarkecounty.com. Copies of the FY10 Recommended Budget are also available for public inspection during normal office hours at the following locations: Office of the Manager, Room 304, City Hall; Athens Regional Library, 2025 Baxter Street; and the Clerk of Commission’s Office, Room 204, City Hall. For more information on the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, visit the Georgia Department of Revenue’s Web Site at http://www.etax.dor.ga.gov/ptd/adm/taxguide/rights.aspx.


Twilight Jazz: Festival All Stars

I've posted some pix of the Festival All Stars closing the 2009 fest on the Twilight Outdoor Stage.


Jazz Fest Pix Update

I've made my way through all of my images for the Friday sessions. Click here to see the posted images.


Police still looking for shooting suspect

Athens-Clarke County Police have released this photo of shooting suspect George Zinkhan. He is alleged to have killed three people and wounded two others just after noon today on Grady Avenue and still has not been apprehended. Police are asking for anyone knowing his whereabouts or the location of his red 2005 Jeep Liberty (with Georgia tag AIX 1376) to contact them at (706) 613-3345.

Jazz Fest Pix

I've begun editing my images from the UGA/Athens Twilight Jazz Festival. Click here for the latest postings.

News of a multiple homicide

News of a multiple homicide in Athens. More details to come.


Twilight Jazz Underway!

The Twilight Outdoor Stage is on College Ave near City Hall. The free jazz just keeps on swingin'. Come on down! At right: Sax soloist for the Festival's opening act, the University of Alabama Jazz Ensemble.


Horsey Event

Classic South Equine Association's 2nd Annual Horse Fair April 25, 2009
9 AM - Gates Open
10 -11 AM - Kyle McMichen - Natural Horsemanship Demonstration - Arena
11 AM - 12 PM - Dr. Marty Adams, Equine Nutritional Talk - Stage
12-1 PM - Parade of Breeds - Arena -- Over 20 breeds will be showcased
1-2 PM Bert Gates - John Lyon's based Natural Horsemanship Demonstration - Arena
2:30-4 PM (or until it ends) - Horses in Motion - Arena

Other Activities:
Food, Craft, Tack, Equipment Vendors and Informational Booths are open throughout the day. Raffle items and Children's Activities are at the Classic South Equine Association's Booth.

Callaway Plantation, 2160 Lexington Rd, Washington, GA 30673

All fair events are free! All day parking is $8.00

Please contact Elizabeth at elizabethbohler@gmail.com if you have questions about Saturday's events.

Reminder: Twilight Jazz

It's just around the corner. The UGA/Twilight Jazz Festival (with almost everything free!) kicks off at noon tomorrow downtown and goes into the night and all day Saturday. Check out my blog entry.


Athens MC returns to stage at 40 Watt after 2 year hiatus

You've seen the flyer:

Now read the press release:

Athens, Georgia - March 18, 2009 - Exactly two years to the day after setting down his microphone, local rapper and entrepreneur Tommy Valentine has announced his return to the music scene.

In 2007, Valentine shocked many when he publicly announced a, "temporary abandonment" of the Athens music scene. At the time one of the more popular performers in the city, Valentine had only recently been voted one of the top three artists (all genres) in the city by the readers of Flagpole Magazine, as well as a top three hip-hop artist and among top three up-and-comers.

Fresh off two high profile album releases at the Georgia Theatre, and a highly publicized show at the 40 Watt, the retirement was sudden and unexpected. In justifying the break, Valentine at the time cited that it was, "time I put my adolescence behind me, and focused on becoming the man I should be."

Following his departure, Valentine returned to school at the University of Georgia, where he is currently studying Political Science. His interest in politics led him to volunteering for the Barack Obama campaign, and eventually to a role as campaign manager for US Congressional Candidate Bobby Saxon. With Valentine's help, the Saxon Campaign was the most successful campaign of its type in the state, and the most regionally successful in more than a decade.

In today's statement, Valentine states that the time working with the campaigns prepared him to return to music by teaching the value of "selfless, hard work", as well as helping him "grow as a person." In addition to the return, Valentine has also announced a partnership with award-winning music producer CollegeBoy, of local production group E.C.S.T.A.C.Y. Music.

Valentine will be returning to the 40 Watt, the same stage that held his last performance more than two years ago. The show has been announced for Friday, April 24, with featured performances by Atlanta artist Stanza and a debut performance by a new local hip-hop group, WildKard, that Valentine has been helping develop alongside CollegeBoy. Special after-party performances are expected by Sprockets Video of Year Winner Elite tha Showstoppa, Son 1 and the Insurgents, and Shawty Slick. The show will be hosted by Athens Hip-Hop Icon Montu Miller.

For tickets and showtimes, please visit http://tommyvalentine.com.
Tickets are also available thorough SchoolKids Records and Junkmans Daughter's Brother

Will the event live up to the hype? There's only one way to find out. This looks to be an interesting show if you like hip hop or anything related to dance and electronic music. You can hear some of his tunes at the site linked above if you aren't sure.

I may not be able to attend due to previous plans but would love it if any of the AthensWorld team members who may go could post a review. Otherwise perhaps some kind reader could forward one to us to post.

Twilight Jazz This Weekend

From noon to way past dark on Friday, and from mid-morning to late afternoon on Saturday, Athens will be swingin' to the annual UGA/Twilight Jazz Festival. I've posted the schedule on my website, and you can check out the official festival website as well. VIP packages are available for Friday night. Call (706) 549-6632 for more info about the VIP packages.

Earth Day @ UGA

I think this is open to everybody:
Kermit the Frog is coming to Athens for this year’s Earth Day celebration to spread the word, “It’s SO Easy Being Green!” The 2009 Earth Day will be hosted by the Go Green Alliance and Physical Plant Division and will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Tate Plaza on Wednesday, April 22nd.

The event will include live music, free food and giveaways and live animals. Display booths with various fun and educational activities will be hosted by many of UGA’s departments and student clubs, as well as participation from various local businesses. Mayor Heidi Davison will also be in attendance.

The goal of this year’s celebration is not only to appreciate the Earth, but to try and teach UGA students how they can do their part to sustain our planet’s health and resources. With the theme, “It’s SO Easy Being Green,” the Go Green Alliance and Physical Plant Division hope to bring not only fun, but education to the day by showing students easy ways to live green. So come on out to Tate and join in the celebration!

To download a .pdf of the announcement poster, please go here: http://gogreen.uga.edu/events/earthday_2009.pdf


Public meeting on corridor studies

From Athens-Clarke County:

A community-wide public meeting regarding the Oak Street/Oconee Street and the Prince Avenue Corridor Studies will take place on Thursday, April 30 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm in the Planning Department Auditorium.

The Mayor and Commission of Athens-Clarke County have requested that the Planning Department evaluate the existing conditions along Prince Avenue and Oak Street/Oconee Street. Based on what is discovered, recommendations will be prepared regarding the future of these corridors. These recommendations can include changes or additions to public policies and development regulations designed to improve, enhance, alter and/or conserve the future quality of these corridors.

The primary focus of this project is on land use and design outside of the right-of-way, with a secondary focus on right-of-way improvements as they relate to the land use and design goals.

Planning Staff will give a short presentation at the beginning of the meeting and then again at 6:30. Public comment on the future of these corridors will be welcomed and is encouraged.

The Oak/Oconee Street study area boundary includes an area on either side of the corridor from the intersection with Broad Street, east to the intersection with the Athens Perimeter. The Prince Avenue study area includes an area on either side of the corridor from the intersection of West Dougherty Street with North Hull Street, west to the intersection of Prince Avenue with the Athens Perimeter.

For more information, contact the Planning Department at 706-613-3515, or visit our website www.accplanning.com.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution Sports Reassignments Defy Common Sense

Note: This was also published on Eye on Sports Media.

There was never any doubt that big changes were afoot at the Atlanta-Journal Constitution when they offered buyouts to members of the sports department. A bunch of big names at the AJC did take them, including columnist Terence Moore and Atlanta Thrashers beat writer Mike Knobler.

Knobler will be heading to law school in the fall, so this buyout works for him. Ronnie Ramos, who had previously been reorganized out of the sports department, is leaving the AJC to become managing director of new media strategies and content development for the NCAA (is their some irony here or what?).

But more shocking are the moves that editor
Julia Wallace is making with those who did not accept the buyouts. The best way to describe it is "let's make life so miserable for everyone who refused the buyout that they will want to quit."

The best example of this is what they have done to former columnist Tim Tucker and University of Georgia beat writer Chip Towers.

The University of Georgia is located in Athens, Georgia. During peak traffic times, it can take anything from 2-3 hours to get from downtown Atlanta to Athens. Tim Tucker lives and works from Atlanta. Chip Towers lives and works from Bogart, GA, which is just outside of Athens. He has been covering the Georgia beat for 12 years or so (I forget exactly when he left the Athens Banner-Herald to head to the AJC).

In Chippier Times: Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal Constitution
Sports Department gives an enthusiastic press-box thumbs up
before the Oklahoma State - University of Georgia football
game in September 2007.
Photograph Copyright 2007-2009 byEye on Sports Media/
The Cayuga Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

So what does Ms. Wallace do? Among other head scratching reassignments, she moves Tim Tucker to the UGA beat and moves Chip to "General Assignment Online."

This means if a big story breaks in Atlanta, Towers will have to haul arse down to Atlanta to cover it even though Tim Tucker lives and works there. And when news breaks out at the University of Georgia Athletic Association (which happens a lot), Tucker will have at haul arse over to Athens to cover that. This, of course, is in addition to having to drive both ways to cover Georgia football and basketball games, even though Chip is "write" here.

So here is a short thought for Ms. Wallace:

Where is the common sense in these moves? Of course, all of the factors that fed into this decisions are not public. But on their face, they border on stupidity at best. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has become a joke of a newspaper in the 15 years I have lived in Georgia, and the only saving grace for the newspaper is the sports section.

Morale at the AJC, and other newspapers, is at an all-time low. Why make assignment decisions to make it even worse. Tim and Chip are excellent writers who know their stuff and know their audience. With all of the commotion down on Marietta street, why through even more discontinuity and confusion into the mix?

If the underlying desire is to make your writers so miserable that they quit, why not just cut through the charade (or perhaps crap would be a better word here), and issue their termination notices now? Or is the management of the AJC too spineless to do the right thing?

If you agree, why not email Ms. Wallace at
jdwallace@ajc.com and let her know what you think?

Here are the people who accepted the buyouts at the AJC, as reported in Creative Loafing. If online is the future of journalism, a few of the buyouts definitely raise some eyebrows:

Rich Addicks – photographer
Nancy Albritton – city editor
Jim Auchmutey – news feature reporter
Kevin Austin – ajc.com editor
Moni Basu – news feature reporter
Wendell Brock – theater critic
Tasgola Bruner – online producer
Celine Bufkin – photo editor
Mary Civille
Brenda Coglianese
Larry Conley – DeKalb bureau chief
Holly Crenshaw – obit writer
Michael Dabrowa – graphics
David Deckert – archives manager
Lea Donosky – strategic manager, ajc.com
Kevin Duffy – business reporter
Gerdeen Dyer - copy editor
Joe Earle – editor
Sandy Eckstein – feature writer
Ginny Everett – director of news research
Louis Favorite – photographer
Ron Feinberg – Sunday features editor
Vivian Flagg
Cathy Fox – visual art critic
Clark Freeman – copy editor
Phil Gast – news manager, ajc.com
Steve Harvey – digital ajc.com
Robin Henry – managing editor, ajc.com
John Hollis – Southside reporter
Joey Ivansco – photographer
Drew Jubera – features reporter
Phil Kloer – features reporter
Mike Knobler – Thrashers reporter
Montse Knowlton – feature writer
Pat Koester
Connie Lawson – circulation librarian
George Leite
Donna Lewis – news reporter
Rachel Lister – copy editor
Derrick Mahone – news reporter
Andy Miller – healthcare reporter
Terence Moore – sports columnist
Sonia Murray – hip-hop reporter
Doug Nurse – North Fulton reporter
Thomas Oliver – business columnist
Evelyn Ortega – features design desk manager
Michael Pearson – Gwinnett business reporter
Kay Powell – Cobb communities reporter
John Reiter – calendar editor
Susan Reu
Frank Rizzo – comics editor
Holly Roseberry – ajc.com editor
Pierre Ruhe – arts critic
Jennifer Ryan – news researcher
Chip Saye – sports writer
Paul Shea – metro news manager, ajc.com
Stacy Shelton – environmental reporter
David Simpson – DeKalb reporter
Ben Smith – news reporter
Jim Smith
Kim Smith – photographer
Lewis Sturm – systems editor
Ron Taylor – Channel Manager, AccessAtlanta
Jerome Thompson – graphics reporter
David Tulis – photo manager, ajc.com
Chuck Turlington – editor, Gwinnett
Melissa Turner – senior editor, Sunday
Steve Valk – Sunday metro editor
Omar Vega – art director
Reagan Walker – Sunday editor
Harold Weaver – producer, ajc.com
Gayle White – higher education reporter
Janine Williams
Schauna Wright – blog coordinator


Public transportation meetings

Announcement from MACORTS:

The Madison Athens-Clarke Oconee Regional Transportation Study (MACORTS) has contracted with Street Smarts to assess the need and evaluate the options available to provide public transportation service within the MACORTS region.

A public meeting will be conducted in both Madison County and in Oconee County to obtain public input on various service concepts for meeting public transportation needs in the community. The meetings will be held as follows:

Oconee County
Thursday, April 23rd
4:00 to 7:00 PM
at the
Oconee Veterans Park Community Center
3500A Hog Mountain Road
Watkinsville, GA 30677

Madison County
Tuesday, April 28th
4:00 to 7:00 PM
at the
Madison County Government Complex
91 Albany Avenue
Danielsville, GA 30633


Weather Adjusts Sunday Schedule at Athens Regional Foundation Classic

A threat of rain on Sunday afternoon will push tee times up for tomorrow's final round of the Athens Regional Foundation Classic. Players will go off between 7:30 - 9:20 a.m. on the first and tenth tees. Players will play in threesomes instead of twosomes.

Expected completion time is around 2:15.

For exact tee times, please visit http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/h090/ after the completion of Saturday's round.


Todd Does it Again at Athens Regional Foundation Classic

Brendon Todd has done it again. For the second straight day, he has aced the par three 17th hole! A very rare feat indeed.


Former Bulldog Golfer Has Hole-In-One at Athens Regional Foundation Classic

Bogart, GA (Apr 16, 2009) - Last year, former University of Georgia golfer Brendon Todd fired up the Athens faithful when he made it into the final pairing on Sunday in the 2008 Athens Regional Foundation Classic. Unfortunately, he ballooned to an 80 and finished in a tie for 25th place.

Talking Golf: Brendon Todd (pictured left) talks with
Chris Brame (center)
and Jeff Dantzler of 960 the Ref
immediately following his Thursday round.

That did not stop him from returning to Jennings Mill for this year's tournament. And did he do it in style. On the par-3 17th hole, he pulled out a 7-iron and hit it right at the flag. It landed about 3 feet in front of the hole and rolled in for an ace.

"This was the first hole-in-one that I have had in competition," Todd said after the round.

An Ace But No BMW: Former University of Georgia Golfer
Brendon Todd laments that He Did not win the BMW
sitting next to the 17th tee when he scored his
hole-in-one that moved him to 5 under par.

The ace put him at 5 under par, one shot in back of the leaders. Unfortunately, he bogeyed 18 to finish 4 under in a tie for 5th place.

Todd tees of from Number 10 at 7:40 AM tomorrow morning. Come on out and support your Bulldogs!

Photographs Copyright 2009 by Eye on Sports Media/The Cayuga Group, LLC.
All Rights Reserved

Ken Will Morton "Oh My Lord"


Little Bulldog, Big Dreams

Local artist and teacher Amanda Rochwick has written and illustrated a children's book about the University of Georgia. In "Little Bulldog, Big Dreams," a baby bulldog visits popular Athens landmarks and shows his devotion to the university and college football. Sample pages are available on the book's website. Rochwick is a "double dawg" who hopes her book can inspire both the young and old to pursue their dreams.


Athens Regional Foundation Classic Tees Off On Tuesday

The Athens Regional Foundation Classic tees off next week. This is the 4th year the Nationwide Tour event has taken place at Jennings Mill Country Club, and there are some interesting names in the field. PGA Tour winners Bobby Clampett, Tom Byrum, Andrew Magee, and Len Mattiace are in the field, as well as a number of up and coming stars on the Nationwide Tour.

The admission price is very reasonable, so come on out and enjoy some time in the outdoors.

Photograph Copyright 2009 by Eye on Sports Media/The Cayuga Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

There are chicks for sale

There are chicks for sale today at Tractor Supply Company.


Carlton Junction Function

At least it has a fun name....

Time for some fun in Carlton The Carlton Junction Function, an annual festival in Carlton, will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 25 in a large field off Georgia Highway 72
near the U.S. Post Office. This year the festival will feature seven barbecue booths and five bluegrass and blues bands. Anyone who wants to provide food or be a craft vendor is asked to contact Karen Hedgelon at (706) 797-3743. "This is one of the best of the small-town fair events in Northeast Georgia, with a growing number of vendors and attendees," said Dena Chandler,
one of the festival organizers. The festival's name is derived from its history with the railroad, which still runs through the small town in Southeastern Madison County.


Hodgsons Pharmacy

So, it appears Hodgsons Pharmacy is moving. They had a moving sale sign on the front door. I asked the ice cream counter man about that and he said they were moving into a smaller space next door in the building that they built several years ago.  I asked, and it appears the current location will be up for lease. That would make a great location for a restaurant, or maybe a bar. Athens needs more bars.


AthensTheatre Quickie

Hello Athens,

Over at AthensTheatre.com we've got a quick post about the Classic City Arts presentation of The Bourgeois Gentleman that runs Friday and Saturday of this week at 8pm. Tickets are only $8! For more info, you could start with our post or their main page.

See ya at the theatre,
Dave H

Vet Medicine Open House @ UGA

The Annual College of Veterinary Medicine Open House is tomorrow.



Layoffs at Athens World

Due to the difficult economic environment, the Athens World blog is being forced lay off 40% of its electrons that do the work of delivering our stories through the series of tubes that make up the Internet. The remaining electrons will have to pick up the slack by working at higher energy levels, though some responsibilities will be outsourced to lower-paid neutrinos overseas. We are committed to delivering the same level of service to our loyal readers who accidentally find our blog by searching Google for "teacup bird feeders" or "room raiders georgia."