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APRIL 2, 2014 · VOL. 28 · NO. 13 · FREE
Email Trail Shows How the Mayor Thwarts Compiling of Safety Data p. 6
They’re Back with Yet Another Treasure-Trove of VHS Kitsch p. 11
Disquietude Shows a New Sound And Comfortably Familiar Lyrics p. 14
Eat and Run p. 9 · Little Gold p. 16 · Buren Fowler p. 17 · Oklahoma p. 19 · Branford Marsalis p. 19
Thinc. Week 2014 A celebration of entrepreneurial spirit at the
University of Georgia, April 13 -17 Sunday 04.13
Students will use their creativity and expertise to address an important community concern: housing, eldercare, hunger, mental illness, or proper health care. )LYHWHDPVRIĂ€YHVWXGHQWVZLOOEH assigned a topic. They will have 24 hours to craft a solution to the problem. Students will present their ideas on Monday in the Social Entrepreneurship panel. New Media Institute 11:59pm Saturday - 11:59pm Sunday
Social Entrepreneurship, featuring Yusuf Randera-Rees He left a high-paying Wall Street job. Today he is CEO of Awethu Project, with a vision of equipping thousands of young entrepreneurs from under-resourced backgrounds with the skills and resources to lead South Africa to prosperity. Students from the Give Back Hack will present their solutions to important social problems, which they developed the previous day.
2014 Thinc. Prize for Innovation: A Thinc. at UGA event sponsored by the UGA Presidentâ€™s Venture Fund Come cheer for your favorite team! Students from across disciplines will compete in teams to build a Rube Goldberg-like machine to start something. Cash prizes will be awarded by the judges for innovation, function, entrepreneurship and aesthetics. Miller Learning Center 102 6:00-7:30pm
Advancing the Startup to Scaleup Movement: David Butler David Butler,Vice President of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at The Coca-Cola Company, will talk about breakthrough innovation and how Coke is building an entrepreneurial culture and capability â€“ advancing the startup to scaleup movement. Tate Theater 12:30-1:30pm
Miller Learning Center 101 4:30-6:00pm
Scott Gerber: Never Get a â€œRealâ€? Job â€“ My 10 Biggest Mistakes Scott Gerber is a hard-working, self-taught young entrepreneur. His goal is to teach unemployed and underemployed aspiring small business owners, students, and recent college graduates how to quit their 9-to-5 jobs, become their own bosses, and achieve Ă€QDQFLDOLQGHSHQGHQFH Miller Learning Center 102 4:00-5:30pm
Some of UGAâ€™s most innovative women will share their experiences and insights about the role of women in entrepreneurship. This group of students, alumni and faculty will discuss the unique challenges and opportunities facing women and what theyâ€™ve learned during their personal journeys. Audience members are encouraged to ask questions and share their thoughts during an extended Q&A session.
A Thinc. at UGA event in partnership with the Metro Atlanta Chamber A panel of successful entrepreneurs will share stories and lessons learned. Panelists: Tracey Stice, Aruna Biomedical; Drew French,Your Pie; Davis Knox, Fire and Flavor; Steve Hollis, Power Partners. Moderated by Bob Pinckney, Evoshield. Miller Learning Center 101 6:00-8:00pm
Finals This annual campus-wide competition is open to any UGA student with an idea for a start-up. A combination of American Idol and Shark Tank, participants have the opportunity to gain insight, build networks, and acquire capital to launch their businesses. Miller Learning Center 101 8:00-9:30pm
Tate Reception Hall 10:30am-12:00pm
First Annual Local Arts & Culture Business Summit A public forum for local arts and culture business owners will share experiences, best practices and advocate for the best ways to support local arts entrepreneurs in the future.
Do-It-Yourself Publicity for Entrepreneurs: Amy Flurry
ROC: Teaching Entrepreneurship to Musicians and Artistry to Businesses
See full list of panelists online.
Amyâ€™s lecture will educate entrepreneurs RQKRZWRUHĂ€QHWKHLUPHVVDJHHQJDJH media and create relationships with editors and bloggers. She will present powerful examples from across industries and around the country.
Tate Reception Hall 11:30am-1:00pm
Tate Reception Hall 1:00-2:00pm
ROC is a group of classically-trained musicians that has ventured into rock music. Their concert features their own arrangements of music by Radiohead, Queen, Mumford & Sons and more, zeroing in on the familiar by stepping outside of the box. UGA Chapel 3:30-5:00pm
Jumpstart Your Idea Students, learn how to make an elevator pitch and sell your idea to a busy investor or potential partner in a few minutes time, and then get some practice doing it with real live investors and business professionals. Have some fun in the process and win a prize! Preregister online; space is limited. Check-in opens at 4:45. Business casual attire; please arrive with an idea in mind. New College Lawn 5:00-6:30pm
for more info on these and other Thinc. events snacks
FLAGPOLE.COM âˆ™ APRIL 2, 2014
Behind Closed Doors This yearâ€™s mayoral race is similar in some ways to the 1994 election, when Gwen Oâ€™Looney was opposed for re-election by the kid with no experience, Mike Hamby. The difference there was that the Republicans and the anti-progressives poured money and support into Mikeâ€™s campaign in their losing effort to unseat Oâ€™Looney. This time around, everybody who is anybody is supporting the mayor, and the challengerâ€”the inexperienced kidâ€”is just out there on his own, running a shoe-leather campaign with no money. The incumbent mayor is, of course, running on her record, and the challenger is running on issues. As is usual in such circumstances, it doesnâ€™t matter that the mayor has no record, and issues donâ€™t count. The Athens establishment has decided that weâ€™re just fine with Nancy as mayor. The business community is back in control, and the Athens-Clarke County Commission is reduced to being sort of like a high school student council, with nothing more controversial to do than paint the water tower at Athens Tech and pass proclamations of commendation for various officials and community leaders. When Nancy was elected the first time, there were predictions that the commission would rise up and take charge of the government, but that just hasnâ€™t happened. Some of the commissioners formerly most opposed to Nancy now fawn over her and make it all but impossible to place items on the agenda that donâ€™t have her approval. She rules by assuring that nothing gets done, that nothing even gets discussed publicly. All that fierce controversy surrounding Mayor Gwen Oâ€™Looney came from the fact that before her, we had government behind closed doors, with a powerless city council. Oâ€™Looney kicked open those doors and brought local government out into the sunlight, where the glare made a lot of people uncomfortable. They have now succeeded in closing those doors again, with Nancy as the smiling, grandmotherly doorkeeper, who assures that nothing will come up for discussion that will make people mad. Even though little happens in the commission these days, a lot goes on behind those closed doors. Thatâ€™s how the innovative Blue Heron river district development was smothered before it even had a chance to hatch, opening the way for the Selig retail/student housing development that founderedâ€”now to be replaced by even more student housing. Developments like that are complicated and sometimes hard to follow, but the most recent example of possible Prince Avenue traffic calming is an easier-to-follow example of how our present government works, with the mayor tasked to head off anything her confidants donâ€™t want to happen. Thanks to Blake Auedâ€™s enterprising reporting, on p. 6 of this issue we get a glimpse of how things work behind those closed doors. The problems caused by Prince Avenueâ€™s being both a main traffic artery and a neighborhood thoroughfare are not as significant as our communityâ€™s poverty problem, the inundation of student housing, the downtown master plan, improving our bus system and other larger issues. Prince being a smaller, more geographically confined problem, though, allows us to grasp more easily how the dynamics of political control play out. The emails show us how these discussions about public issues go on without the public able to participate. This is the hallmark of the Nancy Denson era. Keep things away from the public. Discuss them among ourselves and come to a decision. Then prevent the issue from even coming up in the only public forum empowered to act: the Athens-Clarke County Commission. Prince Avenue traffic is fueled by two diametrically opposed principles: speed and safety. This conundrum deserves to be debated and decided in public, but Mayor Denson and her supporters have decided that not only do they not want any debate, they donâ€™t even want to know the facts that might inform that debate. They have effectively cut off fact-finding for now, and the bet here is that those facts will never be found. This is, apparently, how our establishment wants things to work. If you donâ€™t agree, your only recourse is to vote for Tim, the other Densonâ€”the one with no experience and no money but with a proven commitment to forcing government out into the open. Pete McCommons email@example.com
QUALITY BEER & FOOD
from the blogs ď†€ HOMEDRONE: Hear new music from Circulatory System, New Wives and Muuy Biien.
APRIL 16 â€˘ 13 BEERS â€˘ 6 COURSES In front of Kohls on Epps Bridge
ď† HOMEDRONE: Reptar, Kishi Bashi and Drivinâ€™ Nâ€™ Cryinâ€™ will headline this yearâ€™s AthFest. Get the details.
ď‰„ CULTURE BRIEFS: CMT is filming the second season of â€œParty Down Southâ€? in Athens. Just what we need, more drunk kids fighting on Clayton Street.
athens power rankings: MAR. 31â€“APR. 6 1. Nancy Denson 2. Wes Rogers 3. CMT 4. Jill Helme ďˆą 5. The Board of Regents
Serving lunch and dinner daily Monday:
Athens Power Rankings are posted each Monday on the In the Loop blog on flagpole.com.
ďƒŻ facebook feedback ďƒ° â€œThis just infuriates me. Here is an amazing opportunity for a new farmers market or something actually useful to residents. How is there even a need for more apartments? Half the ones built stay empty.â€?
49Â˘ WINGS Tuesday: $
2 Chef Tacos & Landshark Wednesday: $
10 Terrapin & Burger Thursday: $
â€” Helayna Bostian Comments are up and running on flagpole.com! Play nice.
2 Bartender Choice TRIVIA Sunday:
7 Bottomless Mimosa with entree purchase
EDITOR & PUBLISHER Pete McCommons ADVERTISING DIRECTOR & PUBLISHER Alicia Nickles PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Larry Tenner ADVERTISING SALES Anita Aubrey, Dede Giddens, Jessica Pritchard Mangum MUSIC EDITOR Gabe Vodicka CITY EDITOR Blake Aued ARTS EDITOR & DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Jessica Smith CLASSIFIEDS & OFFICE MANAGER Sarah Temple Stevenson AD DESIGNER Kelly Hart CARTOONISTS Lee Gatlin, Missy Kulik, David Mack ADOPT ME Special Agent Cindy Jerrell CONTRIBUTORS Rachel Bailey, Hillary Brown, Kevin Craig, Tom Crawford, Chris Hassiotis, Derek Hill, Gordon Lamb, T. Ballard Lesemann, Kristen Morales, Rhonda, Drew Wheeler CIRCULATION Charles Greenleaf, Emily Armond, Will Donaldson, Matt Shirley WEB DESIGNER Kelly Hart ADVERTISING INTERN Maria Stojanovic MUSIC INTERNS Chris Schultz, Nathan Kerce NEWS INTERNS David Schick, Erica Techo PHOTO INTERN Porter McLeod COVER PHOTOGRAPH by Porter McLeod (see feature story on p.â€‰6)
Friday, April 25th
Four Course Italian Wine Dinner Call for Reservations
351 E. Clayton St. â€˘ Downtown
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VOLUME 28 ISSUE NUMBER 13
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APRIL 2, 2014 Âˇ FLAGPOLE.COM
city dope Selig Is Back… Sort of
AthFest Director: The nonprofit AthFest Educates has hired Jill Helme as its new executive director effective Apr. 14, replacing founder Jared Bailey, who resigned in January. Helme moved to Athens in November when her husband took a job as assistant to
FLAGPOLE.COM ∙ APRIL 2, 2014
UGA Vice President for Student Affairs Victor Wilson. The Fort Lauderdale, FL, native got her bachelor’s degree in English and journalism from the University of Florida (please don’t hold it against her) then went to the University of Pennsylvania for a master’s degree in nonprofit development and started a small consulting firm focusing on youth, education and nonprofit board training while living briefly in Chicago. “That combination is exactly what they need right now,” Helme said. Her emphasis will be on making sure AthFest Educates runs efficiently, ensuring the nonprofit’s grants for music and arts make the biggest possible impact, communicating that impact to the community, providing support for grant recipients and developing a longer-range strategic plan. “If AthFest wants to grow, what do they want to accomplish in that three-to-five year timespan?” she said. Don’t expect major changes to AthFest Educates’ two major fundraisers, the annual half-marathon and June music festival. Ultimately, she’s in charge of both events, but Helme said she’ll rely on the nonprofit’s extremely hardworking board to do the heavy lifting of organizing those events so that she can focus on the education and organizational development side of things. “Clearly, they’ve got the music festival and the half-marathon down pat,” she said. Kristen Morales
Hey, remember when everybody was really upset/excited/nauseated over the Selig Enterprises development and the downtown Walmart? Fun times. Let’s do it again! Athens-based student housing developer Landmark Properties is in the process of buying at least part of the former Armstrong & Dobbs property near downtown Athens. The eight-acre property, once a building supply company, near the corner of Oconee and East Broad streets has continued to sit vacant since Selig abandoned controversial plans to develop a massive complex of apartments and retail stores last fall. Selig is a minority partner in the new project, Landmark CEO Wes Rogers said. “We feel like they understand retail well,” he said. Rogers would not reveal any potential commercial tenants, but he did (almost) nix the idea of everyone’s favorite smiley-faced big box coming into the development. “I was born here. I want to be a good steward of the community,” he said. “We currently have no intention of putting a Walmart in the site in spite of [Walmart’s] interest in doing so.” While many folks think downtown needs more student apartments like a hole in the head, Rogers said he believes there there is still demand for luxury living within walking distance of campus and nightlife. The Standard, another Landmark project under construction at the corner of North Avenue and Thomas Street, is already 100 percent preleased for fall, he said. Rogers said the development at Armstrong & Dobbs would be comparable to The Standard, with four or five stories of studentoriented apartments above ground-floor retail with brick and stone architecture wrapped around a hidden parking deck. The new development will be smaller and less dense than what Selig proposed (about 100,000 square feet of commercial space, 375 apartments and 1,400 parking spaces).”We’re still kind of working through those details,” Rogers said. However, another source who has seen the plans—which won’t be filed for a month or two—called them a “stucco nightmare” with the bare minimum of commercial space required by law that will make Athens residents long for Selig. We’ll see. If so, we get what we get. Unlike Selig, Landmark does not intend to seek a variance or a rezoning, so neither the ACC Commission nor citizens would have any say in how it is developed as long as it meets local zoning laws, which allow up to 200 bedrooms per acre downtown. “We intend to develop it according to the existing code,” Rogers said. That decision had more to do with Landmark’s success with developments like The Standard that meet the ACC code than with vocal opposition to Selig, he said. After approving the Selig development in July, several ACC commissioners said they wanted to review downtown zoning and design guidelines in light of many residents’ concerns about the project. They also wanted to study how the glut of student apartments downtown would affect older suburban complexes. Well, guess what? They didn’t do either one. Another opportunity lost.
year. Kroger’s store manager told Flagpole the dog is a way to get people to notice the pineapples and therefore help boost the store’s success in the competition. Kroger gets the dog from regional beer distributing company Northeast Sales Distributing; Curtis Burns, sales manager there, said the dog was designed by the distributor’s president, Frank Sinkwich Jr. “We actually loan them out to one or two Krogers for their pineapple displays,” he said. Incidentally, according to Northeast Sales’ website, the company’s founder, Frank Sinkwich Sr., was a Heisman Trophy winner at the University of Georgia. Guess the bulldog spirit runs deep in the family. [Kristen Morales] Media Matters: Athens Banner-Herald Director of Audience Chris White and Community Engagement Editor and Readers’ Advocate Andrea Griffith-Girtz (who made up these titles?) sat down with a few of their readers to talk about the new paywall and the print version of ther paper Wednesday, Mar. 26 at Avid Bookshop. Griffith-Girtz said the ABH was “one of the last ones” in the Morris Publishing Group to charge for online content. She said that their
Red and Black.” Readers said they want more public affairs stories about education, politics and downtown development. They also bemoaned the decision to put school lunch menus in the print paper. White said that was the “most controversial” thing they’ve ever put in the paper, and he’s received 200 phone calls from readers complaining about it. Readers also wanted to know when the ABH is going to beef up its staff and hire more reporters to better cover the school board, community meetings and the University of Georgia. One said he would “love to see the newspaper go back to what it was.” The newsroom has been cut almost in half since its peak a decade ago. Two positions are currently open. Former government and business reporter Nick Coltrain left last month for, uh, greener pastures in Colorado. The other is a “half copy editor, half breaking news” job, White said. Griffith-Girtz said she wishes they had more general assignment reporters, which she doesn’t expect “will happen any time soon.” [David Schick] More Media: After six years of hemorrhaging money, UGA is ceasing to air locally produced content on WUGA-TV and will lay off six employees effective July 1. Under former Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications dean Cully Clark, UGA bought the former Toccoa NBC affiliate for $1.8 million in 2008 and eventually sank $11.5 million into the station. It cost $866,000 to operate last year but brought in just $7,000, according to a report commissioned by UGA President Jere Morehead that was released last month. UGA is not selling the station, which could fetch $2.5 million on the open market, the report said. Instead, the station will air PBS’s World Channel around the clock. The “reorganization,” as UGA called it, is expected to save $565,000 annually. Administrators decided it would take too long and cost too much to ramp up student involvement and local content, according to a news release. Station manager Jimmy Sanders, who makes $100,000 a year, according to Open Georgia, will remain onboard, as will an engineer.
Medical Marijuana: Even though state legislators failed to pass a bill legalizing a form of medical marijuana that, alas, won’t get you high, Gov. Nathan Deal is considering moving forward with clinical trials. Deal told an Athens GOP meeting Saturday, Mar. 29 that he is talking to the state pharmaceutical board, composite medical board and the state medical school, Georgia Regents University in Augusta, about experimenting on volunteers with Fix Your Bike: A flat tire won’t cannabinoid oil, a marijuana-derived strand you on campus anymore. UGA compound that could be effective in has installed bicycle repair stations treating seizures and other medical in Myers Quad and at the Miller conditions. Learning Center, the Main Library Don’t expect Georgia to join the and the Ramsay Center with tire Luckily, this bulldog has a mouthful of pineapple, or it’d tear you limb from ranks of states like California and pumps and other basic tools, plus Colorado, where marijuana is legal or limb. QR codes that allow cyclists to pull all but legal. “This is not something up instructions on their phones. In we want to open the floodgates on,” Deal heavy online users have remained loyal, and addition, staff from UGA Outdoor Recreation said. “It has to be done in a very controlled their decline in print readership subscription will teach bike repair clinics at the stations. manner.” has leveled off. Outdoor Recreation worker and Warnell If the trials were successful, the General “For a while, we were trying to stay afloat, School of Forestry student Joseph Robinson Assembly could take up medical marijuana and now we’re doing well,” Griffith-Girtz said. launched the program with grants from again. “It will lay the foundation for us to do When the ABH sold its building in 2012, it the Office of Sustainability, the Facilities something legislatively in future sessions,” he relieved them of a great financial stressor. Management Division and Recreational Sports. said. White said he believes “the company’s completely out of debt now.” Clarke Central: The high school hosted a Pineapple Dawg: If you’ve felt accosted by a What ABH online readers want is differribbon cutting ceremony Monday, Mar. 31 for menacing bulldog as you enter the Alps Road ent than what ABH print readers want, said a $29 million SPLOST project that will include Kroger, don’t worry—he just wants to sell you Griffith-Girtz, which has led them to change renovating the west wing, the original 1971 some pineapples. the way they cover things in print versus east wing, the administrative and counseling The fiberglass sculpture that teeters on the online. For example, mug shots are no longer wing, front entrance and athletic facilities, line between mascot and hellhound received a in the print edition. They still put them up a new media center and expanding the auto bit of notoriety last week, getting a mention online, but White said that readers felt that shop, lab space and classrooms, as well as on the sports/pop culture website Deadspin. something in print had a “more permanent” an electrical, mechanical and data system It’s been featured in Flagpole before, but we’ve feel to it than online. overhaul. Some students will be relocated to never gotten to the bottom of why, exactly, Only a handful of readers showed up, but portables during the work, which is expected it’s there. they weren’t happy about the ABH’s news covto wrap up in early 2016. It seems that Southeastern grocery stores erage. “I look at Flagpole to get my real news compete in a pineapple-selling contest each in Athens,” one attendee said. “There and The Blake Aued firstname.lastname@example.org
capitol impact Senate Race Shakes Out The Republican Senate primary has looked like a cage match between five politicians biting and gouging to see who can move most sharply to the far right edge of the ring. The national media is fascinated by this campaign and tends to describe it as a freak show staged by a party determined to blow itself up. A typical headline out of Washington was, â€œGOP threatens to push self-destruct button in Georgia Senate race.â€? You can understand how they might get that impression. One of the leading candidates, Rep. Paul Broun, held a raffle for an assault weapon just like the one used in the Sandy Hook school massacre. Another major contender, Rep. Jack Kingston, made the controversial remark that low-income children should be required to perform janitorial work before they can get a free lunch at school. You even had a minor candidate, Derrick Grayson, openly acknowledge his background as a convicted felon. â€œI engaged in criminal activity that resulted in a prison sentence,â€? Grayson said during a campaign appearance. â€œThat was a choice that I made.â€? It has been difficult to predict a winner from such a colorful group of candidates, but there are signs that the race is starting to sort itself out. Some recent polls show businessman David Perdueâ€”the cousin of former Gov. Sonny Perdueâ€”leading the field by a small margin. Kingston and Broun have run close behind Perdue, while Rep. Phil Gingrey is leaking support and former Secretary of State Karen Handel is dropping steadily to the bottom of the pack. Each of these polls also included a large number of undecided voters ranging from 25 percent to 44 percent of those surveyed. Every candidate has room to grow. Handel rolled out an endorsement last week from Sarah Palin, obviously hoping that the former Alaska governor can spark some kind of fire among primary voters. That magic didnâ€™t work very well for Handel in the 2010
governorâ€™s race, and it seems less likely to do her any good in this campaign. Perdue appears to be profiting from positioning himself as the outsider whoâ€™s never run for office before and therefore is in the best position to fix whatâ€™s wrong in Washington. It doesnâ€™t hurt that he also has a personal fortune he can spend to run TV ads reinforcing that point. While he is just as conservative as his four opponents, Perdue has been taking some comparatively moderate stands on hot-button issues. He chided Kingston for making the statement that low-income children should â€œsweep out the cafeteriaâ€? before they get a government-subsidized lunch: â€œWith all the nonsense worth criticizing in Washington right now, Congressman Kingston chose to ridicule children who, through no fault of their own, rely on free school lunches.â€? In a newspaper interview, Perdue said abortion is a decision â€œthat should be left to that familyâ€”that mother and that family.â€? He also said he didnâ€™t think guns should be allowed on college campuses. For some conservative Republicans, those kinds of remarks would make Perdue eligible to be burned at the stake. As the other candidates start reminding primary voters of these comments, it will be interesting to see if he can continue his climb in the polls. Kingston and Perdue still have the money to spend on TV spots, which may keep them up in the polls. Broun has never been very effective at fundraising, but there is always a chance that a conservative PAC will step up and pump some cash into his campaign tank. Gingrey and Handel need to reverse their slide in the polls to have a realistic chance of getting the nomination. It still looks like a runoff involving a tea party candidateâ€”probably Brounâ€”and a candidate amenable to the partyâ€™s Wall Street wing, perhaps Perdue or Kingston.
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A69F"=@HCBQ(CFA5@HCKB APRIL 2, 2014 Âˇ FLAGPOLE.COM
Pushback on Prince Behind the Scenes with the Mayor and Commission New Crosswalk?
ayor Nancy Denson and Athens-Clarke County Manager Alan Reddish put the brakes on two separate proposals to make Prince Avenue safer for pedestrians last month, according to documents Flagpole obtained At the same time, a separate, smaller project was getting through an open records request. underway. Commissioner Allison Wright submitted a formal A group of concerned citizens called Complete Streets: request Mar. 6 for the ACC Transportation and Public Works Prince Avenue quietly floated a plan in early February to conDepartment to review the crosswalk at The Grit because “the duct a temporary trial in April and find out once and for all current location is problematic.” She noted that a large utilwhether putting the locally owned portion of Prince between ity pole obstructs drivers’ view of pedestrians and proposed Pulaski Street and Milledge Avenue on a road diet—reducing moving the crosswalk toward the Bottleworks, away from the travel lanes to two and adding a center turn lane with pedespotentially hazardous pole and curb cuts. trian islands—would make it safer without snarling traffic. On Mar. 10, Commissioner Jerry NeSmith asked Clerk of Mayor Nancy Denson told a constituent Feb. 9 that she was Commission Jean Spratlin to broaden the request by asking “not opposed to the concept” but would rather do it in the fall TPW to “recommend more effective cross-walk signalization so all stakeholders would have time to discuss it, and because and an estimate of its cost,” because drivers have complained elections are coming up May 20. “The discussion and decithat it is “just not obvious enough.” Wright, however, raised a sion needs to be a thorough, thoughtful community decision, concern that NeSmith’s request could complicate the issue. which is hard to do in the heat of An unnamed TPW employee campaigns.” responded to Wright’s request by “We feel that collision data is saying that the department has Complete Streets: Prince Avenue founder Tony Eubanks underreported and obviously always favored the Bottleworks reported on Mar. 1 that he had location Wright suggested, but doesn’t include near misses.” the commission voted to move it met with ACC Assistant Manager Blaine Williams, Transportation 40 feet southeast to its current and Public Works Director David Clark and commissioners Kelly location in 2003, because the owner of a Curves fitness center Girtz and Jerry NeSmith, and that they had settled on Oct. in the Bottleworks (now closed) didn’t want it in front of that 12–31 to conduct the experiment. In-fighting among commisbusiness. sioners started almost immediately. “I remain perplexed as to how that property owner was Commissioners Mike Hamby and Kathy Hoard objected that able to influence it to be at this location when The Grit busiCommissioner George Maxwell, who represents part of Prince ness owners said they thought this location was problematic,” Avenue along with Girtz and Commissioner Jared Bailey, was Wright wrote. not invited to the meeting. (Maxwell himself did not object.) In addition, the recent change in the one-way direction of In addition, Hamby and Commissioner Andy Herod quesNewton Street to run away from Prince “creates a new conflict tioned the dates chosen for the pilot project, because they fell between pedestrians and left-turning vehicles who often block on a period with no home football games. “If serious considerthe crosswalk. T&PW staff continues to believe that the origiation is to be given to this, then a serious study needs to be nal location would be preferable for the crosswalk.” Moving done when traffic is at its heaviest,” Hamby wrote Mar. 1. it would cost $10,000, and $25,000 is available for crosswalk Herod also questioned whether Prince Avenue really improvements in the county’s current budget, according to deserves so much attention. “Certainly, the folks that live TPW, and a report could have been written for the commission along there are vociferous—which is to be commended—but I to discuss at its Apr. 17 agenda-setting meeting and voted on need to be convinced with traffic data that there are no other May 6. corridors/streets that are more dangerous than Prince before Reddish jumped in Mar. 14, telling NeSmith that he “intermoving ahead with this,” he wrote. (According to data comvened in this latest work request because it seems to me that piled by UGA, Prince has the second-most car-pedestrian colliit goes beyond a routine work request and begins to enter the sions in Athens, behind Lumpkin Street.) area of commissioners giving work directives to staff.” The ACC
FLAGPOLE.COM ∙ APRIL 2, 2014
charter doesn’t allow individual commissioners to give orders to county employees. Reddish went on to write that Prince Avenue is signaled according to state standards, with additional flashing beacons added in July 2011 that exceed those standards. He advocated for a consistent approach at the three mid-block crossings on Prince—near The Grit, Daily Groceries and Piedmont College—because studies show that drivers are more likely to stop when crosswalks all look alike. “Therefore, I would caution against constructing radically different control devices at certain crosswalk locations and not others unless there are clearly demonstrated needs for such special control devices,” he wrote. Prince doesn’t seem to meet those criteria, with four pedestrian accidents over the past five years, according to Reddish. Eubanks, though, noted in his Mar. 1 email that such statistics may be misleading. “Apparently, we have a perception problem; there are those who don’t see pedestrian and bike safety as an issue,” he wrote. “We feel that collision data is underreported and obviously doesn’t include near misses.” Reddish listed additional options for crosswalks, including an overhead flashing beacon, a high-intensity beacon, a traffic light and grade separation like a pedestrian bridge. Those options range from a few thousand dollars for the first two to more than $100,000 for the latter two. Reddish also wrote that changing the crosswalk location in front of The Grit would require a commission vote, since the commission chose the location in the first place, and no funding for moving the crosswalk has been budgeted. “In light of the fact that accident reports do not indicate that staff should unilaterally begin a project to increase safety and due to recent discussions concerning the future of Prince Avenue, I will not be directing staff to begin work on this project without approval of the [mayor and commission],” he wrote. Girtz officially asked Denson on Mar. 16 to put both the crosswalk and the demonstration project on the agenda for a July 1 vote. After asking Reddish to review her response, Denson denied Girtz’s request two days later. “Given our established policy that reconfiguring streets to three lanes be done when a street is repaved, I do not see urgency here related to a demonstration project,” Denson wrote. “The expected repaving schedule for Prince Ave. is four to five years off.” Saying she “enthusiastically supports” pedestrian safety, though, Denson wrote that she had asked Reddish to schedule a work session June 10. The work session will include
information and discussion on traffic in and around Prince, the possibility of making feeder streets one-way, crosswalks, signalization options, left-turn prohibitions, accident reports, future traffic estimates, the eventual redevelopment of St. Josephâ€™s Catholic Church, the budget and timeline for any changes, the possibility of a bottleneck with three lanes and the possible negative impact on downtown. Girtz wrote back that he supported the June work session but was â€œdisappointed that you have retreated from your earlier interest in an autumn timeframe for a demonstration project. As far as the movement of the crosswalk, that was a staff recommendation that remains pertinent. â€œResidents have waited over a decade for substantive improvements to the streetâ€™s safety and continue to look for action. It is important to note that GDOT is providing an analysis of the state-controlled segment of Prince this spring, to be followed by a set of recommendations. The last thing anyone would ultimately hope to see is a configuration of the local segment of the road that is less safe than the state segment due to our failure to act.â€? [Editorâ€™s Note: The GDOT analysis has since been moved to the fall.] At the time, Denson did not know about the GDOT study of the state-owned portion of Prince northwest of Milledge Avenue. â€œIs this something I overlooked?â€? she asked Reddish Mar. 19. â€œFirst I have heard about this.â€? The GDOT road safety audit was requested by the alternative transportation group Georgia Bikes and will take place sometime after UGAâ€™s fall semester starts, according to department spokeswoman Teri Pope. Engineering, enforcement, education and emergency services officials will â€œwalk the roadway and assess its conditions, then make recommendations on improvements,â€? Pope said. According to Georgia Bikes Executive Director Brent Buice, Denson called Jamie Boswell, a real estate agent whom she appointed to a Prince Avenue study committee in 2012 and who is also Athensâ€™ representative on the GDOT board. Then Boswell called Buice wanting to know the name of the GDOT employee in charge of what Boswell called the â€œbike study,â€? Buice said. Boswell told Flagpole that he supports the audit, although the GDOT board is not directly involved with it. â€œIf thereâ€™s a safety problem, we certainly need to know about it,â€? he said. He personally has never had a problem crossing Prince (where his office is located) at a light, but he has heard others talk about how dangerous it is, he said.
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Choosing Sides NeSmith weighed in on Girtzâ€™s side in his exchange with Denson. â€œIt is well past time that Athens-Clarke County made solid plans for improving the safety and commerce of Prince Avenue,â€? NeSmith wrote. â€œI will collaborate and cooperate with Commissioner Girtz in seeking meaningful action sooner, rather than kicking the can down the road as this government has done so far.â€? Bailey and Maxwell also wrote that they wanted moving the crosswalk put on the agenda. In addition, Bailey urged Denson not to delay the trial road diet. â€œOur citizens have been asking us to address pedestrian and bicycle safety on Prince for years now, and frankly, we should be listening to them and taking action,â€? he wrote. The batch of emails Flagpole obtained included 10 letters of support for the road diet demonstration project, including one from June Ball on behalf of the Historic Cobbham Foundation, one from Avid Bookshop owner Janet Geddis and another from mayoral candidate Tim Denson. Virginia Kilmer Veale wrote that she recently came to Athens to take her daughter to a band clinic and visit her son, a UGA freshman. â€œWhat dawned on my husband and me the most about Athens is how many hundreds of young people walk and/or ride bikes to get around,â€? Veale wrote. â€œWhile this, I am certain, helps alleviate the overflow of traffic, we also witnessed road rage and crowding on streets during daylight hours. Many cars were unwilling to stop and let pedestrians pass, and we were frightened more than a few times by the rate of speed cars travel in Athens.â€? The only email opposing it came from Normaltown property owner Jimmy Wilfong, who simply forwarded a link to the Complete Streets: Prince Avenue website with the subject line, â€œthis will totally screw up vehicles trying to go down prince [sic], huge bottleneck.â€? NeSmith warned Denson Mar. 20 to expect some blowback for not scheduling votes on the crosswalk and demonstration project in July: â€œIt seems that you have changed your mind since meeting with Tony and Kelly a few weeks ago. At least that will be the perception. So be prepared for quite a stir as word of your most recent decision spreads.â€? Blake Aued firstname.lastname@example.org
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Eating on the Run
How to Fuel Up for a Half-Marathon
he night before a half-marathon, Kelly Pritchettâ€™s magic meal is pizza. Sometimes she drops by the grocery store for a crust and tosses on veggies and cheese at home. Or if sheâ€™s going out, the University of Georgia sports nutrition professor might opt to grab a pie at one of Athensâ€™ many pizza parlors. With running comes eating traditions, and runners prepping for spring races like the Chick-fil-A Connect one-mile fun run, 5k and half-marathon this weekend have different takes on the best fuel for their feet. Pritchett says that runners preparing for a longer race, such as a half-marathon, may benefit from slightly increasing the carbohydrates in their meals during the two or three days prior to a race. Carbohydrates are an important source of energy, so eating foods like rice or potatoes as a part of these meals can be helpful. Some runners prefer to devote more of their diet to carbohydrates earlier in the week and have a lighter meal the night before a race. Sara Howe, an Athens native who has been running for 15 years, says she likes to eat grilled chicken with sweet potato fries the night before a marathon or half-marathon. Getting enough carbohydrates is less important for shorter races like 5ks and 10ks, but eating healthy foods is still key to a good race. The day before a race, Athens Road Runners President Julie Thompson typically drinks lots of water and eats foods like veggie pizza, oatmeal or a spinach salad. A busy Valentineâ€™s Day found Thompson eating candy and skimping on water the day before Community Connectionâ€™s Taste 10k. Partway through the race, her legs begin cramping. Though she finished the event, Thompson says, â€œIt was a huge reminder of how important nutrition and hydration are.â€? Race day nutrition is also important. Many runners like to eat two hours before they race to avoid a full stomach, a feat that may require getting up as early as 4 a.m. for a morning race. A bowl of oatmeal or quinoa with fresh fruit is the perfect half-marathon breakfast for Ross Wise, a physical therapy assistant. Breakfast can be smaller for a 5k. â€œI like to eat about half a banana,â€? says Russell Lawless, a UGA student who has been running competitively since high school. Lawless says he might also eat a granola bar when he first wakes up. Coffee is another pre-race must for many runners. â€œIf you normally drink coffee, than itâ€™s totally fine to include it,â€? Pritchett says.
While breakfast can provide plenty of energy to finish a 5k, mid-race fuel can be helpful for longer races. Some runners, like Katie Billings, carry energy gels, which are carbohydrates in the form of small gel packets. â€œTypically around mile 7 or 8, Iâ€™ll have a gel, and after that, like every five or six miles, Iâ€™ll have another gel,â€? says Billings. Athens Road Runners Secretary Tyra Byers prefers to carry pocket-size whole foods, like dried cherries, Fig Newtons or small cooked potatoes. Gels or potatoes may get a runner through a race, but the body will need something more after crossing the finish line. Pritchett suggests runners try to get in a small snack within 30 minutes after a race or run, even if they arenâ€™t hungry. While food is important for race-day energy, using running as an excuse to eat anything and everything can be detrimental, especially to the person who is using running to maintain a healthy weight. â€œFrom a weight loss or maintenance perspective, using food as a reward is a bad idea,â€? says Pritchett, who is a member of UGAâ€™s Obesity Initiative, an effort to improve Georgiansâ€™ health through diet and exercise. â€œOften runners with this mentality end up eating more calories than they used in their run.â€? WoW! Boot Camp founder April Williams, who started the exercise program after losing 40 pounds with the help of running, encourages runners to â€œin the simplest terms, eat healthyâ€Ś Choose fruits and vegetables and whole grains.â€? While Athens runners have their own nutrition traditions, they share one race philosophy: Stick to what you know. You donâ€™t want to shock your body with something new, Williams says. â€œJust like you donâ€™t want to wear a brand new pair of socks on race day, you donâ€™t want to eat something before a race youâ€™ve never eaten before a long training run,â€? she says.
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