Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mural Conservation Completed at Adams Park

The City of Atlanta Public Art Program has completed the conservation of the ever popular “Fish Dreams” mural at the fa├žade of the Adams Park Bathhouse. This mural was originally completed in 1992 by treasured Atlanta-based photographer, painter, and writer Lynn Marshall Linnemeier. Through her colorful artworks, she focused on documenting the people and places of the south. This early artwork has a playful illustrative appearance that speaks to the innocence and inquisitive nature of children playing in the natural world.

The Office of Cultural Affairs Public Art Program hired art Conservator, Vivianna Dominguez to bring the mural back to life. The effects of ultra violet rays and acid rain had worn the painted finishes to a dull and hazy finish and many of the pigments had actually disappeared. We made an economical and practical choice by hiring the expert Vivianna Dominguez, who also trained our art maintenance staff to conserve and care for the artwork while they assisted her to accomplish this great achievement. The conservation project was completed in less than 10 days thanks to local conservator Kate Singley who graciously donated specialized chemicals when the team ran out.

The artist, Lynn Linnemeier, is a newly appointed member of the City’s Public Art Advisory Committee and currently teaches photography at Emory University. For more information, contact the Office of Cultural Affairs Project Supervisor, Robert Witherspoon at 404-817-6758 or www.ocaatlanta.com
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

City of Atlanta Department of Public Works FY 2009 Operational Changes

In accordance with the recently implemented citywide furlough plan, the Department of Public Works-Solid Waste Services has adjusted operating hours and service delivery.

Effective Monday, January 5, 2009 Solid Waste Services will implement the following schedule and service changes:

- Weekly garbage collection will continue, but on a four (4) day schedule
- Recycling and Yard Waste collection will change from weekly to every other week, on the customer’s scheduled collection day, per the attached calendar.
- Friday pickups are being absorbed within the four (4) day schedule. There are approximately 20,000 customers who currently receive Friday pick up service. A separate notice will be delivered to these customers indicating their new pick up day.
- There are approximately 5,000 customers who receive back yard pick up service. Their pick up service may or may not change depending upon their address. These customers will receive a separate notice if there are any changes to their scheduled pick up service.

The Customer Service Call Center can be reached Monday - Thursday, 8:15 am - 6:00 pm at (404) 330-6333 or via email to publicworks@atlantaga.gov.

For additional information, please contact Valerie Bell-Smith, Public Relations Manager at (404) 330-6215 or via email at: vbell-smith@atlantaga.gov.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Atlanta Citizen Review Board Considers Complaints

On November 13, 2008, the Atlanta Citizen Review Board held its monthly meeting and considered its first seven complaints. The Board voted unanimously to seek further investigation or information concerning three of the complaints and to refer two of the remaining four complaints to the Atlanta Police Department Office of Professional Standards. The remaining two complaints have already been investigated by the Office of Professional Standards.

The ordinance requires complaints be filed within 180 days after the incident and that the complaints fall into six specific categories of alleged misconduct. The categories include abusive language, false arrest, false imprisonment, harassment, excessive force, and serious bodily injury or death which is alleged to be the result of a sworn employee of the police or corrections departments. The four cases that were dismissed were either untimely or did not fall into the classifications authorized by the Ordinance.

The Atlanta Citizen Review Board was established by the City Council to investigate allegations of misconduct by police and corrections officers and to advise the mayor, the president of council, council members and the chief of police and the chief of corrections on policies and actions of the police and corrections department with the purpose of improving the ability of police personnel to carry out their duties and to improve the relationship between the department, corrections and the community.

The Board meets on the second Thursday of each month and over the past 18 months has become fully functional. It consists of eleven volunteer members who were selected by various stakeholders, including Neighborhood Planning Units, the League of Women Voters, the Atlanta Bar Association, the Gate City Bar Association, the Atlanta Business League and city officials.
Members of the Board and the Executive Director are available to address community groups. For Further Information please contact, Cristina Beamud, Executive Director, Atlanta Citizen Review Board, 404-865-8628.
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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Atlantans Still Facing Aftermath of March Tornados

Eight months after a tornado tore through the heart of Atlanta, volunteers will pick up hammers and nails to repair work one of the last homes damaged in the city’s eastern neighborhood.

Atlanta City Councilmembers Natalyn Archibong and Mary Norwood will join dozens of volunteers in finishing the repairs to 1427 Glenwood Avenue on Saturday, November 15.

A press conference will take place at 10:30 a.m. at the site, during which event organizers will also announce the 2008 Neighborhood Housing Coalition’s Home for the Holiday’s Campaign, which is designed to raise awareness of activities that are taking place in metro Atlanta that are helping people get in their homes, stay in their homes (avoid foreclosure) and impact public safety issues in our neighborhoods and communities.

The community effort is in collaboration with the Fuller Center for Housing, Charitable Connections, Atlanta Christian College Operation Restoration, Inc., The International Campaign for Victory Over Violence, Inc. and the Neighborhood Housing Coalition.

“We are pleased that so many community organizations have come together to help those still struggling to rebuild,” said Councilwoman Norwood. “Although many homeowners have recovered from the tornado, the reality is that there are others who haven’t.”

In the weeks following the March 14th twister, volunteers repaired dozens of houses, removed tons of debris, and hauled away fallen trees in several neighborhoods all across the city. But current economic conditions have made it next to impossible for some homeowners to completely finish and some cases, start repairing damage to their homes and property.

“Although it’s been eight months since the horrific March 14th tornado, there are still families who have not been able to afford to repair their homes,” said Councilwoman Archibong. “Sadly, the Nash family has been displaced since the night of the tornado and this effort will ensure that they will be able to return home soon.”

For more information, contact Michelle Uchiyama of Charitable Connections, Inc. at (404) 274-2406.
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Sunday, October 12, 2008

State Graduation Rate Jumps to 75.4 percent

Georgia's graduation rate has jumped to over 75 percent, the highest level ever. The state's final graduation rate for 2008 is 75.4 percent, an increase of more than three points from last year."

Georgia continues to make great progress in getting more students to graduate on time with a meaningful diploma," said State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox. "In 2008, we had more than 83,000 students who graduated on time, which is 27,000 more than we had just five years ago. That's a testament to focus, collaboration and a lot of hard work by our teachers and students."... Click to read: State Graduation Rate Jumps to 75.4 percent

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The BeltLine is Happening: Historic Fourth Ward Park Breaks Ground

Thirty-five acres of blighted industrial lowland across North Avenue from City Hall East will be a step closer to transformation into Historic Fourth Ward Park after a groundbreaking ceremony at 10:30 a.m. next Wednesday, October 15, 2008. Construction of a detention pond as part of the Clear Creek Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Capacity Relief Project will pave the way for the development of the first park in the emerald necklace that will ultimately be Atlanta’s BeltLine. Land for the park was first secured by the Trust for Public Land in 2004.

“The City of Atlanta is thrilled to be part of this exciting development,” Mayor Shirley Franklin said. “This park will provide vital greenspace and improve the quality of life for our neighbors in the Historic Fourth Ward.”

Initially, the City had intended to address CSO overflow problems in the Old Fourth Ward area of the Clear Creek Basin by constructing an extension of the West area CSO tunnel. But with construction of the detention pond, the City is reclaiming what was once a wetland and creating a centerpiece for the future park at a cost that is lower than the cost of the tunnel extension. The park will connect several historic neighborhoods and downtown, which have long been separated by racial, economic and physical barriers.

“This is one of those rare public projects that has captured the imagination of everyone involved,” said Atlanta City Councilmember Kwanza Hall. “The year-long design process brought residents, stormwater engineers, and landscape architects together as equals around a common table. Because the process respected the core values of the Old Fourth Ward – diversity, innovation, and a commitment to social justice – one of the city’s most historic neighborhoods is now home to its most forward-thinking park.”

The collaborating organizations that are making the Historic Fourth Ward Park possible are:

The BeltLine, which will combine greenspace, trails, transit and new development along 22 miles of historic rail segments that encircle Atlanta, is a solution to the challenges that threaten to limit Atlanta’s health and prosperity: traffic; lack of greenspace and recreation opportunities; and uneven economic development.

“Historic Fourth Ward Park is a shining example of how the BeltLine, with Tax Allocation District funding, can facilitate more holistic consideration of our greatest urban infrastructure challenges,” said Atlanta BeltLine Inc. President and CEO Terri Montague. “Beginning with passionate members of the community and continuing through the collaboration with government entities and leveraging of diverse public and private funding, we are delivering urban redevelopment.”

The Department of Watershed Management, which is using the Clear Creek CSO Capacity Relief Project to create an amenity that will be enjoyed by residents in the area, is spending $4 billion to overhaul long-neglected water and sewer infrastructure. The project will help reduce overflows in the low-lying area near City Hall East and provide additional combined sewer capacity for the rapidly growing community.

“This project not only helps eliminate a serious problem, it also provides an attractive and functional amenity,” DWM Commissioner Rob Hunter said. “In 2006, we built a similar retention pond in the Collegetown community of Southwest Atlanta, and residents have been very happy with the results.”

The Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs enhances the lives of City of Atlanta residents and visitors by offering programs, services and activities that encourage participation in recreational activities, leisure services and cultural experiences. The department strives to deliver quality customer service through the development, operation and maintenance of the city's public parks, recreation and cultural affairs facilities to create an environment that is deemed safe, affordable and enriching for all.

Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since its founding in 1972, TPL has helped protect more than 2 million acres of land in 45 states.

The Park Area Coalition is a group of developers, property owners and neighborhood leaders committed to the development of Historic Fourth Ward Park as the centerpiece of a larger, higher density, sustainable urban neighborhood. It was convened as a response to the anticipated significant densification of the Old Fourth Ward and surrounding neighborhoods.

o "The Beltline is the most potentially city-changing project that has ever been undertaken in Atlanta,” said Bob Bridges, Executive Vice President, The Simpson Organization and founding PAC member. “Because of development patterns for intown Atlanta, HFWP is likely to be the most heavily used park that is created as a result of the BeltLine."

The Historic Fourth Ward Park Conservancy was formed in 2008 as the non-profit support arm for the Historic Fourth Ward Park. The Historic Fourth Ward Park Conservancy’s mission includes developing, enhancing, and maintaining the Park to the benefit of the citizens of Atlanta and its many visitors. The Conservancy will provide support beyond that provided by the City of Atlanta, the BeltLine Partnership, Atlanta BeltLine Inc. and other organizations. Funds for adding amenities will be raised through memberships, events and other programs toward making Historic Fourth Ward Park a best-in-class public greenspace.

“Beginning in 2003, the Historic Fourth Ward Park has been a vision that evolved from a singular solution focused on storm water detention to a catalyst for transforming an area to a higher density, higher quality, sustainable urban environment,” said John Perlman of Adams & Co. Real Estate Company, the Acting Chair of the Historic Fourth Ward Park Conservancy. “Our initial efforts focus on planning to enhance the City’s maintenance and security of the park through direct contributions. In addition, we hope to raise funds for adding amenities through memberships and other fundraising programs.”
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