myAJC Voices


Opinion: John Kelly should apologize

(AP) In his attack on U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson Thursday, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly made a number of serious allegations, including the charge that it had been inappropriate and even dishonorable for Wilson to have listened in on a telephone call between President Trump and Myeshia Johnson, the grieving widow of a slain soldier. Kelly was apparently unaware that...


This Life with Gracie: Couple turns spotlight on childhood brain tumors

This Life with Gracie: Couple turns spotlight on childhood brain tumors

Nearly 13 children in the United States are diagnosed with a brain tumor every day. It’s estimated 30,000 children are living with brain tumors, according to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Of those, nearly 1,500 will die. And yet, only about 4 percent of government funding for research is earmarked for pediatric cancers, with less than 1 percent going toward pediatric brain tumor research...
Cobb school video equating honor with standing for pledge of allegiance raises concerns

Cobb school video equating honor with standing for pledge of allegiance raises concerns

At a Cobb County middle school Wednesday, a video designed to illustrate the concept of honor focused on a child who didn’t rise for the pledge of allegiance with her class. Eventually, the student comes to see that standing for the pledge honors the Armed Forces and thus rises with the class. Several people contacted me about the video that was shown at Hightower Trail...
Weekend Predictions: Because it makes no sense, Falcons beat Pats

Weekend Predictions: Because it makes no sense, Falcons beat Pats

Hello and welcome back to Weekend Predictions, where we always stand for the national anthem but we’re big on the First Amendment, which is so important that it’s FIRST(!), and we’re thankful for not living in the Cobb County district of Sheriff Neil Warren and state Rep(rehensible) Earl Earhart, who right about the time of National Free-Thought Day, and...
Opinion: The GOP’s elder statesmen speak up

Opinion: The GOP’s elder statesmen speak up

(AP) In recent days, we’ve seen Republican senators Bob Corker and John McCain and now former President George W. Bush speak out eloquently about the direction in which President Trump is attempting to steer this nation. Yet another prominent Republican, former presidential nominee Mitt Romney, has also spoken passionately against the divisiveness and tolerance of bigotry...
Kempner: How Cobb, Gwinnett and N. Fulton lost 50,000 Amazon jobs

Kempner: How Cobb, Gwinnett and N. Fulton lost 50,000 Amazon jobs

It’s probably too late for most of us in metro Atlanta’s biggest suburbs to get off our fannies and make Amazon love us enough. Too bad: 50,000 jobs would have been wondrous for Cobb, Gwinnett, much of north Fulton and most of the other communities out here. That’s just the latest price of our dithering on creating and paying for serious public transit. Seattle-based Amazon...
Opinion: Trump and Gold Star families

Opinion: Trump and Gold Star families

(AP) Let me offer a few words in defense of President Trump — at least up to a point. The president has argued, strenuously, that he had been respectful, polite and appropriate in a condolence call this week with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, one of four U.S. soldiers killed two weeks ago in Niger. A Democratic congresswoman who overheard the call says that to the...
Advocates: Data reveals signs that poor are being pushed out of Atlanta Beltline neighborhoods

Advocates: Data reveals signs that poor are being pushed out of Atlanta Beltline neighborhoods

Atlanta Beltline Inc. has been under fire for failing to build mandated affordable housing. Credit: Jill Vejnoska jfejnoska@ajc.com A report from grassroots advocates the Housing Justice League shows evidence that the poor are leaving Atlanta Beltline neighborhoods, even as existing residents say they want to stay. The report, released late last week, has its limitations....
Torpy at Large: Mayor’s race heats up as bribery probe keeps cookin’

Torpy at Large: Mayor’s race heats up as bribery probe keeps cookin’

As the election comes to its final weeks, and as the corruption scandal dumps a new load of fertilizer at City Hall, Mayor Kasim Reed has moved to ensure he’ll have as close to a third term in office as possible. Hizzoner is term-limited, but he wants to keep his hand in his pet project — running Atlanta. So last week he made official what has been known for months: He wants...
Pain of son’s suicide became strength to help others

Pain of son’s suicide became strength to help others

Iris Bolton knows a lot about grief, and so she has come here to deliver a message. You really can survive brokenness and trauma. That’s true even if you’ve had to face the suicide of a child. That isn’t something someone told Bolton. She has lived with that reality now for more than 40 years. But unlike the vast majority of people who experience the loss of a loved one to suicide...
Cherokee teacher in Trump T-shirt incident resigns after threats on life, attacks on character

Cherokee teacher in Trump T-shirt incident resigns after threats on life, attacks on character

Cherokee County math teacher Lyn Orletsky announced today she is resigning after her request to two boys to turn their Trump Make America Great Again T-shirts inside out exploded into a social media maelstrom and led to her suspension. She made the request only after students in her pre-algebra class voiced concerns about the message on the shirts worn that morning by...
Fallout from KSU cheerleader protest casts shadow over Sam Olens’ investiture tomorrow

Fallout from KSU cheerleader protest casts shadow over Sam Olens’ investiture tomorrow

Several updates occurred today in the story about the five Kennesaw State University cheerleaders who kneeled during the national anthem in silent protest of police misconduct and racial inequality. Following their actions on Sept. 30, KSU kept the cheerleaders off the field during the anthem, a decision that President Sam Olens attributed to the university’s athletic...
Atlanta-based Alternative apparel acquired by Hanes

Atlanta-based Alternative apparel acquired by Hanes

Alternative Apparel, the Atlanta-based company founded in 1995, has been purchased by Hanes in a deal valued at $60 million. CEO Evan Toporek will continue to lead the company out of Norcross. Alternative is expected to have full-year 2017 net sales of approximately $70 million, according to Hanes. In 2016 the company consolidated its operations moving 150 employees three offices...
So here we go again: What’s the deal with Matt Ryan?

So here we go again: What’s the deal with Matt Ryan?

“We lost to Miami. How is that possible?” (Curtis Compton/AJC) Today we offer the 10th annual installment in that Atlanta-based series, “What’s Wrong with Matt Ryan?” Most every year, the answer has been: Nothing much. It might well be the same this time, meaning that in six days or six weeks we’ll feel, yet again, silly for having said anything...
Georgia residents among the most vulnerable to identity theft and fraud

Georgia residents among the most vulnerable to identity theft and fraud

The Equifax data breach which surfaced last month, has everyone on edge , but it is just one of 1080 data breaches in 2017 which exposed the records of 171,114,261 Americans, according to data from the Identity Theft Resource Center. The ITRC defined a data breach as an event which puts a name and social security number, driver&rsquo...
Opinion: Take from the sick and old, give to the rich

Opinion: Take from the sick and old, give to the rich

David Koch (AP) The Republican budget resolution that the Senate is expected to approve this week cuts $475 billion out of Medicare for seniors over the next decade and cuts another $1 trillion out of Medicaid.¹ Both steps are highly unpopular with voters, which is why you don’t hear Republicans bragging about their actions. In a poll taken by the Kaiser Family Foundation...
Evander Holyfield to be honored with statue in Atlanta

Evander Holyfield to be honored with statue in Atlanta

Evander Holyfield, here giving his speech at the International Boxing Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony in Canastota, N.Y., on June 11, will soon have a statue in his honor in Atlanta. (Kyle Mennig/Oneida Daily Dispatch) Atlanta’s history of championship parades is brief. So is the city’s list of sport heroes, and it follows that few have been iconic enough...
Baseball’s playoffs have been fun. But they … take … so … long

Baseball’s playoffs have been fun. But they … take … so … long

Here comes the Judge. But should we sequester the jury? (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) On Oct. 11, 1972, the baseball playoffs – in their fourth year of existence, nobody yet referred to them as ALCS or NLCS – grew up. As someone who watched the end of that Wednesday’s first game (having just gotten home from high school) and the entirety of the second, I&rsquo...
Opinion: Bipartisan health deal won’t cure what ails Obamacare

Opinion: Bipartisan health deal won’t cure what ails Obamacare

Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) confer during a Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 6. (Pete Marovich / The New York Times) We still need to see more details, but there’s a pretty good chance the bipartisan health deal announced Tuesday by Sens. Lamar Alexander...

Ga. Sheriff in massive drug search faces new trouble: his own son

The teenage son of the southwest Georgia sheriff indicted for ordering a massive school-wide drug search has now run afoul with the law on a drug-related charge. The drug arrest of Zachary Lewis Hobby last week has renewed speculation that Worth County Sheriff Jeff Hobby’s decision to search the entire local high school last April was somehow linked to his son’s...
In response to KSU cheerleaders, Olens shows students their fears were justified

In response to KSU cheerleaders, Olens shows students their fears were justified

When news broke a year ago that the Board of Regents intended to name Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens to the presidency of Kennesaw State University, faculty and students expressed concern about a politician leading an institution of higher education. Olens had also been a former two-term chairman of Cobb County’s board of commissioners. Turns out those fears were...
Budenholzer on changes: ‘Coaching is most important thing I’ve done’

Budenholzer on changes: ‘Coaching is most important thing I’ve done’

Mike Budenholzer returned this as only the Hawks’ coach after stepping down as team president. (Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) This was not the typical summer for Mike Budenholzer. His job description changed. His power was reduced. The final remnants of a veteran roster that he helped create were excised, giving his team a new level of obscurity. But the Hawks let him keep his stapler...
Opinion: When the right to choose is stripped away ….

Opinion: When the right to choose is stripped away ….

(AP) If you want to know where this is headed, if you want a glimpse of what the future may hold if things aren’t turned around politically, take a look at what is happening to pregnant, undocumented teenagers being held in government-funded refugee shelters down in Texas. According to Politico, several of the pregnant girls have decided against bringing a child into...
Kempner: Which of these startups will be a billion-dollar business?

Kempner: Which of these startups will be a billion-dollar business?

If you know anyone who’s started a business, you know being an entrepreneur trying to market something cool and new can be brutally hard. And mighty expensive. Which is why the last couple weeks have been big ones for owners of some Georgia startups. Dozens exhibited and pitched their businesses to investors or potential customers at several area events, from a Techstars Atlanta demo day...
Macy’s expected to open early again on Thanksgiving Day

Macy’s expected to open early again on Thanksgiving Day

Black Friday is coming early again this year, at least at Macy’s. At least one website, BestBlackFriday.com is already reporting that Macy’s is planning to open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day this year. Last year, Macy’s started what now appears to be a new tradition of opening on Thanksgiving Day from 5 p.m. – 2 a.m., then ...
New stadiums won’t be complete until home-field advantage is installed

New stadiums won’t be complete until home-field advantage is installed

Atlanta United is the exception – a team enjoying a home-field advantage in its fancy new digs. (Branden Camp/Special) When you plow many hundreds of millions of dollars into building new stadiums – whether they were needed or not – you envision fabulous returns. After all, when you move into a new house, the mortgage comes with a dream. Happiness, success, the making...
College daze: Georgia Tech honors grad shares secrets to maintaining grades & sanity

College daze: Georgia Tech honors grad shares secrets to maintaining grades & sanity

William Konop began tutoring teens for the ACT and SAT while he was still an undergraduate at Georgia Tech. A recent graduate, Konop co-founded of the Seneca Education Group, a tutoring company based out of Alpharetta. A highly requested tutor who began writing math curriculum while still in college, Konop graduated Tech with highest honors in pure mathematics...
Opinion: The sheer nothingness that is ‘Trumpcare’

Opinion: The sheer nothingness that is ‘Trumpcare’

(AP) “Obamacare is finished. It’s dead. It’s gone,” President Trump announced during a Monday Cabinet meeting. “You shouldn’t even mention it; it’s gone. There is no such thing as Obamacare anymore.” Hmmm. Apparently, all that talk of “repeal and replace” from our GOP-run Congress turned out to be unnecessary. With a few ...
The Hawks are upset with Schroder. They’ll penalize him … eventually

The Hawks are upset with Schroder. They’ll penalize him … eventually

Dennis Schroder in last season’s playoffs. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) The Atlanta Hawks — you remember them, right? NBA team? Plays in this town? — issued a statement Monday that was, even by Hawks standards, fascinating. (Read: bewildering.) Seventeen days after Dennis Schroder was arrested in DeKalb County for misdemeanor battery, Hawks general manager...
This Life with Gracie: Can a fat girl be fit, too?

This Life with Gracie: Can a fat girl be fit, too?

Sometime around 4:30 this morning, Mirna Valerio slid out of bed, did a few squats to warm up her back and legs and headed to kitchen for a strong cup of black joe. An hour later, she donned her headlamp and headed to a nearby track, where each day she runs, oh, 2 to 3 miles before returning home for a quick breakfast and work at the Rabun Gap Nacoochee School, about 117 miles northeast of Atlanta...
Falcons dispute ‘choker’ label but late-game fizzles are concerning

Falcons dispute ‘choker’ label but late-game fizzles are concerning

Falcons coach Dan Quinn has seen his team lose consecutive home games that it was expected to win, including Sunday’s 20-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) FLOWERY BRANCH – Welcome to electro-shock therapy week. The days leading up to the Falcons’ game against New England was going to be difficult regardless of how their first five ...
To get more girls in math, should we get more men in the classroom?

To get more girls in math, should we get more men in the classroom?

My husband attended his Harvard University reunion this weekend where he was one of the few grads who wasn’t a hedge fund manager or titan of industry. (He’s a journalist, too.) He told me about a fascinating discussion with a fellow alum who is a mathematician and computer scientist with a radical notion about how to interest more girls in math. The woman&rsquo...
Georgia certificate of need law upheld by Supreme Court

Georgia certificate of need law upheld by Supreme Court

The Georgia Supreme Court upheld the state’s “Certificate of Need” law in an opinion issued Monday that said a surgical center could not expand without state approval. Two doctors who own The Georgia Advanced Surgery Center for Women in Cartersville had challenged the state law that governs health care facilities. Dr. Hugo D. Ribot, Jr. and Dr. Malcolm...
Opinion: The difficult realities of outlawing partisan gerrymandering

Opinion: The difficult realities of outlawing partisan gerrymandering

DeKalb County voters go to the polls in Scottdale, May 24, 2016. (AJC Photo / Hyosub Shin) Gerrymandering is ugly business; there’s no getting around that. The question pending at the U.S. Supreme Court, and in two federal lawsuits filed in Georgia , is whether judges can impose a remedy that, to borrow from James...
6 reasons the Falcons should be glad – yes! – they’re playing the Patriots

6 reasons the Falcons should be glad – yes! – they’re playing the Patriots

The moment it all went wrong. (Hyosub Shin/AJC) Having just blown a 17-point lead to Jay Freakin’ Cutler , the Atlanta Falcons are bound for New England, where insufferable New Englanders are still chortling over another lost lead. No team had ever thought to etch a partial score showing a 25-point deficit in its championship rings &ndash...
Atlanta mom, blogger stars in web series created by actress Roma Downey

Atlanta mom, blogger stars in web series created by actress Roma Downey

Actress Roma Downey (“Touched By An Angel”) and her husband, Mark Burnett, producer of reality shows including “The Voice,” “Shark Tank” and “Survivor” have launched a new online destination featuring inspirational content. LightWorkers.com offers uplifting stories designed to...
Overreaction Monday: Book therapy for ‘Brotherhood,’ parade for Dogs

Overreaction Monday: Book therapy for ‘Brotherhood,’ parade for Dogs

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan appears stunned on the sidelines after throwing a interception in the final minute of the game against Miami. The Falcons blew a 17-0 lead and lost 20-17. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com) The Falcons like to talk about their, “Brotherhood.” The “Brotherhood” needs group therapy. No team, let alone a very good team, should blow a...
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: The Falcons just blew a big lead

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: The Falcons just blew a big lead

The Falcons’ final fling proves futile. (Curtis Compton/AJC) That offseason happy talk has been revealed as just talk. The Falcons’ raging offense has indeed regressed under Steve Sarkisian. Their fast ‘n’ furious defense remains a mediocrity. They’re 3-2 after five games, and that record flatters them. If not for a dropped pass in Chicago and...
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