“What Just Happened?”

16 11 2007

Ani DiFranco Reading From Her Book of Poetry “Verses” at Wordsmiths

Russ over at Wordsmiths Books writes a great recap of his madcap Tuesday playing host to singer/songwriter Ani DiFranco.

I should have skipped work too…

Is Decatur Becoming a Writer’s Haven?

16 11 2007

Photo courtesy of the NY Times

The “Pioneer Valley” that runs through central Massachusetts could portend the future of Decatur. Aside from sharing certain demographic attributes with our city, this string of towns along the Connecticut River Valley, boasts one of the largest concentrations of authors in the nation.

An article from today’s New York Times profiles this “author-saturated, book-cherishing, literature-celebrating” mecca, where you can’t go a couple miles without tripping over a book reading or festival at a local book shop or venue.

Looking like a matured Decatur, the area is rife with intriguingly-themed book festivals throughout the year and is saturated with independent book shops. (See the NY Times slideshow of local Pioneer Valley shops here)

So the question remains: can/will Decatur become a southern version of this bookish haven? Will authors continue to migrate to our city limits? Will our book festival continue to see its attendance grow and will local authors continue to replenish the line of speakers at our local shops? Only time will tell. Decatur certainly doesn’t have the rustic 18th and 19th century homes that provide part of the charm of these Northern independents, but the relatively recent emergence of book nooks like Little Shop of Stories and Wordsmiths coupled with the increasingly popular Decatur Book Festival, seems to indicate that Decatur could be well on its way to becoming the central hub for local southern writers.

New Plan Keeps More Water In Lake Lanier

16 11 2007

Hours after the feds and the state agreed that we only had 79 days ’til we were left high and dry, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service issued a revised plan that would allow the Army Corps of Engineers to cut water released from Lake Lanier by 5%.

According to 11 Alive, that would extend the water supply to over a year.

Florida is displeased.

UPDATE: Fresh Loaf urges residents to put down their firearms regardless of the new plan. The agreed upon “79 days” reportedly doesn’t count the ominously-named “dead pool” below the dam gates. From other articles I’ve read, the dead pool has many additional months of water in it. But if it is below the dam gates, the “79 days” may instead be a deadline for the arch-nemesis mussels downstream.

Is Decatur’s Wi-Fi Wasteful Spending?

16 11 2007

An article on The Story Atlanta seems to think so.

I’m still a bit up in the air on the whole “should government be involved in spreading the wifi wealth?” question. I’d like to see how well the full service works when it comes out of the beta phase and is extended through the entire city, before issuing my opinion to the blogo-ether.

I do think that many people are inclined to this idea, because they have an Utopian view of people spread out in the sun, enjoying YouTube videos on their Macbooks while sipping frappachinos and playing frisbee. If this view can be achieved by a local government and not a private company is yet to be seen.

Does anyone know how fast Decatur’s Wi-Fi will be? Is it A, B, G, N??

Perhaps I should do a little digging on other cities with wifi. The article references struggling networks in St. Cloud, FL and Portland, OR. Perhaps there are also successful examples?

Hattip: InDecatur

Urban Coyote Conundrum

16 11 2007

Photo Courtesy of 11Alive

inDecatur points to a discussion over at the Decatur Forum about an 11alive article I reported on yesterday regarding the fate of the coyote caught in Oakhurst. The article states that the coyote was to be euthanized yesterday, so the discussion may only be hypothetical at this point.

Why the coyote was euthanized and not released in a more suitable environment is probably a money issue. Much cheaper to just kill the animal than spend the time and money to truck it way outside the perimeter and release it. Other than that, the only other motivation to kill is the fear that the animal could come back and frighten residents and eat weaker animals.

I can certainly comprehend the efficiency argument, even though I may not agree with it. As far as the coyote returning to Oakhurst, I don’t know how far away the animal would have to be taken not to return, so I can’t really judge the validity of that fear.