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Latest from Bill Torpy

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Torpy at Large: Feds target Kasim Reed, but is that all there is?
 One must remember that the DeKalb County corruption scandal a few years ago started with a grease trap. In 2011, a fats, oil and grease inspector fessed up to taking kickbacks from restaurant owners. Prosecutors suspected there was more to it and investigated. They ended up convicting CEO Burrell Ellis on unrelated charges that resulted from...

Posted: a day ago

One must remember that the DeKalb County corruption scandal a few years ago started with a grease trap. In 2011, a fats, oil and grease inspector fessed up to taking kickbacks from restaurant owners. Prosecutors suspected there was more to it and investigated. They ended up convicting CEO Burrell Ellis on unrelated charges that resulted from...
Torpy at Large: Hey, Gov. Deal, don’t allow cities to cannibalize
 Gov. Nathan Deal has not been afraid to use his veto when the Legislature, in all its wisdom, passes a bill that needs to be strangled and quickly buried. Two years ago, he shot down a “religious liberty” bill to avoid a business-sapping controversy. He also stopped the campus carry gun law (although a year later he allowed...

Posted: 3 days ago

Gov. Nathan Deal has not been afraid to use his veto when the Legislature, in all its wisdom, passes a bill that needs to be strangled and quickly buried. Two years ago, he shot down a “religious liberty” bill to avoid a business-sapping controversy. He also stopped the campus carry gun law (although a year later he allowed...
Torpy at Large: Tex McIver is unlikable and dangerous. But a murderer?
 Tex McIver is one flawed, hot mess of a human being. Of that there’s little doubt. The 2016 killing of Tex’s wife shined a light on the life of a man — and on a thought process — that was odious to at least half of Atlanta. Probably even a much bigger fraction. Insular, entitled, suspicious, connected, rich, careless...

Posted: 8 days ago

Tex McIver is one flawed, hot mess of a human being. Of that there’s little doubt. The 2016 killing of Tex’s wife shined a light on the life of a man — and on a thought process — that was odious to at least half of Atlanta. Probably even a much bigger fraction. Insular, entitled, suspicious, connected, rich, careless...
Torpy at Large: Rat-infested corruption and Atlanta’s reputation reboot
 On Monday morning, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms asked more than two dozen top officials at City Hall to hand in their resignations. Bottoms kept in place the existing brain trust when she came to office in January, saying she’d keep the crew she inherited for three months, which would give her time to figure out what was...

Posted: 10 days ago

On Monday morning, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms asked more than two dozen top officials at City Hall to hand in their resignations. Bottoms kept in place the existing brain trust when she came to office in January, saying she’d keep the crew she inherited for three months, which would give her time to figure out what was...
Torpy at Large: Seeing red over Buckhead Pink Palace plan? That’s rich
 For months, a battle has loomed over the fate of Atlanta’s Pink Palace. No, it’s not a raucous nudie bar on Cheshire Bridge Road. It’s a sedate 12,000-square-foot Italian Baroque-style villa on West Paces Ferry Road, a grandiose classic with a long-approach driveway and an expansive front lawn. And that’s the problem...

Posted: 12 days ago

For months, a battle has loomed over the fate of Atlanta’s Pink Palace. No, it’s not a raucous nudie bar on Cheshire Bridge Road. It’s a sedate 12,000-square-foot Italian Baroque-style villa on West Paces Ferry Road, a grandiose classic with a long-approach driveway and an expansive front lawn. And that’s the problem...
Torpy at Large: Mayor Big Spender vs small-minded response to scrutiny
 In June of 2015, former Mayor Kasim Reed was in New York for an event with Hillary Clinton, who was announcing her presidential run. Hizzoner rented a limo (or at least a fancy chauffeured vehicle) from Carey Executive Transportation. The rental was $1,087 and he put it on his city-issued credit card. He repaid it later with money he had...

Posted: 17 days ago

In June of 2015, former Mayor Kasim Reed was in New York for an event with Hillary Clinton, who was announcing her presidential run. Hizzoner rented a limo (or at least a fancy chauffeured vehicle) from Carey Executive Transportation. The rental was $1,087 and he put it on his city-issued credit card. He repaid it later with money he had...
Torpy at Large: Timber! Tree canopy disappears one huge home at a time
 Last June, I wrote about Atlanta’s ongoing Chainsaw Massacre, when builders in a residential Buckhead neighborhood whacked more than 800 trees to plop a couple of developments across from each other. Weeks later, the city announced a six-month moratorium on removal of more than 10 trees on parcels zoned residential and bigger...

Posted: 22 days ago

Last June, I wrote about Atlanta’s ongoing Chainsaw Massacre, when builders in a residential Buckhead neighborhood whacked more than 800 trees to plop a couple of developments across from each other. Weeks later, the city announced a six-month moratorium on removal of more than 10 trees on parcels zoned residential and bigger...
Torpy at Large: Murder trials and Facebook don’t mix in Cobb County
 These days, the public is souring on Facebook because of the company’s oily manner when it comes to processing our information. Now, Cobb County prosecutors are jumping on the anti-Facebook wave to blame the online giant — and a couple of defense lawyers — for short-circuiting an old double-murder case that recently came...

Posted: 24 days ago

These days, the public is souring on Facebook because of the company’s oily manner when it comes to processing our information. Now, Cobb County prosecutors are jumping on the anti-Facebook wave to blame the online giant — and a couple of defense lawyers — for short-circuiting an old double-murder case that recently came...
Torpy at Large: APD turns its back on shoplifting in Buckhead 
 The Atlanta Police Department’s announcement last week that cops would largely stop responding to shoplifting cases in Buckhead was a head-turner. It’s like the fire department saying it will no longer respond to smoldering garbage cans or fetch cats from trees. The once-popular “Broken Windows” strategy of policing...

Posted: 26 days ago

The Atlanta Police Department’s announcement last week that cops would largely stop responding to shoplifting cases in Buckhead was a head-turner. It’s like the fire department saying it will no longer respond to smoldering garbage cans or fetch cats from trees. The once-popular “Broken Windows” strategy of policing...
Torpy at Large: The stench of Atlanta City Hall’s ‘POO’ strategy
 You can call them smoking guns. Or steaming communications. But the text messages from former Mayor Kasim Reed’s press secretary Jenna Garland to a city watershed official sure look damning. And now the GBI is investigating the matter to see how badly Garland (or perhaps others at City Hall) thumbed her or their noses at state...

10:00 AM Wednesday, Mar. 21, 2018

You can call them smoking guns. Or steaming communications. But the text messages from former Mayor Kasim Reed’s press secretary Jenna Garland to a city watershed official sure look damning. And now the GBI is investigating the matter to see how badly Garland (or perhaps others at City Hall) thumbed her or their noses at state...
Torpy at Large: More racial drama at KSU, and it’s staged
 There was a call to “Stop!” during the rehearsal of the Shakespeare play in the making at Kennesaw State University. In the darkened corner of the stage, an old white guy and a black college student huddled together and started gesturing and laughing in a prolonged conversation, seemingly sharing a few private jokes. It was clear...

10:00 AM Friday, Mar. 16, 2018

There was a call to “Stop!” during the rehearsal of the Shakespeare play in the making at Kennesaw State University. In the darkened corner of the stage, an old white guy and a black college student huddled together and started gesturing and laughing in a prolonged conversation, seemingly sharing a few private jokes. It was clear...
Torpy at Large: Swords to plowshares, AR-15 to flowers
 Maybe he simply outgrew the weapon. Or his politics shifted. Perhaps it was “things gotta change and it must start with me.” Whatever the case, an Atlanta man and war veteran named Chris Purdy went on his neighborhood Nextdoor site recently to say he was disposing of his AR-15 and wanted to make a statement doing it. There was...

10:00 AM Wednesday, Mar. 14, 2018

Maybe he simply outgrew the weapon. Or his politics shifted. Perhaps it was “things gotta change and it must start with me.” Whatever the case, an Atlanta man and war veteran named Chris Purdy went on his neighborhood Nextdoor site recently to say he was disposing of his AR-15 and wanted to make a statement doing it. There was...
Torpy at Large: DeKalb’s sodden Bizarro image proves hard to break
 It felt like old times, standing there last week at the chasm near Buford Highway, the epicenter of DeKalb County’s latest water disaster. Looking down into the hole was Alessandro Salvo, a contractor leading the effort to fix a 48-inch water main that had 700,000 residents boiling water to keep dysentery at bay. I first met Salvo...

10:00 AM Monday, Mar. 12, 2018

It felt like old times, standing there last week at the chasm near Buford Highway, the epicenter of DeKalb County’s latest water disaster. Looking down into the hole was Alessandro Salvo, a contractor leading the effort to fix a 48-inch water main that had 700,000 residents boiling water to keep dysentery at bay. I first met Salvo...
Torpy at Large: Cobb’s ATM helps make Braves a cash machine
 The first-year results are in for Cobb County’s publicly subsidized professional baseball team. And the outcome is “astounding,” according to Liberty Media, the Colorado company that owns the Atlanta Braves. Revenue is up 47 percent, from $262 million in 2016, the last year at Turner Field in Atlanta, to $386 million, the...

11:00 AM Wednesday, Mar. 07, 2018

The first-year results are in for Cobb County’s publicly subsidized professional baseball team. And the outcome is “astounding,” according to Liberty Media, the Colorado company that owns the Atlanta Braves. Revenue is up 47 percent, from $262 million in 2016, the last year at Turner Field in Atlanta, to $386 million, the...
Torpy at Large: DeKalb commissioners’ chutzpah exceeds their 60% raise
 Let’s start out by saying lots of public officials are underpaid. State legislators, for instance, barely make $17,000, which is chump change. You get what you pay for. If remuneration is pathetic, then you limit the number of working stiffs willing to step up, so you end up with the retired, the rich, some thoughtful do-gooders and...

11:00 AM Friday, Mar. 02, 2018

Let’s start out by saying lots of public officials are underpaid. State legislators, for instance, barely make $17,000, which is chump change. You get what you pay for. If remuneration is pathetic, then you limit the number of working stiffs willing to step up, so you end up with the retired, the rich, some thoughtful do-gooders and...
Torpy at Large: In Ga. fight, Delta’s muscle no match for NRA’s big guns
 Lt. Gov. Crazy Eyes (aka Casey Cagle) was stuck. Delta Air Lines, his friend and benefactor, whom he had dutifully supported through the years, had gone and done something that left him in a pickle: The airline dissed the NRA. In the wake of the latest school slaughter, Delta was getting pressured to end its marketing arrangement with...

11:00 AM Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018

Lt. Gov. Crazy Eyes (aka Casey Cagle) was stuck. Delta Air Lines, his friend and benefactor, whom he had dutifully supported through the years, had gone and done something that left him in a pickle: The airline dissed the NRA. In the wake of the latest school slaughter, Delta was getting pressured to end its marketing arrangement with...
Torpy at Large: A driver-cellphone crackdown shouldn't be a tough call
 This cellphone legislation may hit a lot of us hard. Many days after work, I return calls during my half-hour drive home. I grab my iPhone, tell it to “Call Mom!” (or whomever), tap the speaker button, put the phone on my lap and yack. It’s a good way fill what one might consider to be dead time. Now, a bill sponsored...

11:00 AM Monday, Feb. 26, 2018

This cellphone legislation may hit a lot of us hard. Many days after work, I return calls during my half-hour drive home. I grab my iPhone, tell it to “Call Mom!” (or whomever), tap the speaker button, put the phone on my lap and yack. It’s a good way fill what one might consider to be dead time. Now, a bill sponsored...
Torpy at Large: If lobbyists win, Hidden Predator Act will stay hidden
 It’s hard to come out — at least publicly — against measures meant to clamp down on child molesters. A bill in the state House called the Hidden Predator Act would expand the age (to 38) that past victims of child sexual assault could sue for damages. Moreso, it would hold accountable organizations, businesses and even...

11:22 PM Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018

It’s hard to come out — at least publicly — against measures meant to clamp down on child molesters. A bill in the state House called the Hidden Predator Act would expand the age (to 38) that past victims of child sexual assault could sue for damages. Moreso, it would hold accountable organizations, businesses and even...
Torpy at Large: Propping up the boonies, Atlanta’s thankless burden
 A bill proposed in the state House would require city dwellers like myself to pony up extra when watching movies on Netflix so they can run high-speed internet out to the boonies. It turns out that it’s not worth it for companies to deliver broadband out to these far-flung localities. The free market system, the cornerstone of...

11:00 AM Friday, Feb. 16, 2018

A bill proposed in the state House would require city dwellers like myself to pony up extra when watching movies on Netflix so they can run high-speed internet out to the boonies. It turns out that it’s not worth it for companies to deliver broadband out to these far-flung localities. The free market system, the cornerstone of...
Torpy at Large: A push to rebrand MARTA as ‘The ATL’ has me SMH
 Ever since it was envisioned half a century ago, MARTA has always felt hemmed in. Sure, the transit agency has tried to venture out to places such as Cobb and Gwinnett counties. But voters there have summarily smacked the agency back to its Atlanta home, including an ugly racially tinged referendum in 1990. Time has — somewhat &mdash...

11:00 AM Monday, Feb. 12, 2018

Ever since it was envisioned half a century ago, MARTA has always felt hemmed in. Sure, the transit agency has tried to venture out to places such as Cobb and Gwinnett counties. But voters there have summarily smacked the agency back to its Atlanta home, including an ugly racially tinged referendum in 1990. Time has — somewhat &mdash...
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