Ink & Dagger’s Independence Day Tattoo Fundraiser

30 06 2008

Got your attention?

From Russ Abbott, owner of Ink & Dagger Tattoo (a couple doors down from Wahoo! on College)

Decatur – Come show your true colors this Friday, the Fourth of July, by getting a tattoo and helping to raise money for the families of overseas-troops. Ink & Dagger Tattoo Parlour will host Tribute to Tradition – a charity drive with all proceeds going to Operation Home Front – an organization which works to help the families of the National Guard and Reservists.

The shop will open its doors at 11 AM Friday and hopes to complete more than 30 tattoos by day’s end. To help achieve this monumental task, Russ Abbott – owner and resident artist – has enlisted the help of Christian Ratchford, a regular guest-artist here at Ink & Dagger Tattoo Parlour, who will work alongside Abbott, Jason Kelly, and Michael “Shack” Shackelford. “We thought: what better way to celebrate our Nation’s independence than to honor and support those who help to preserve it!?” – says Abbott. The shop, which specializes in Americana-style tattoos, hopes people will embrace this opportunity to help raise money for the families of soldiers and go home with a piece of American history and tradition.

Attendees will be able to choose from a variety of preselected iconic images and designs, including but not limited to anchors, skulls, flags, and tall-ships. Abbott adds: “Since the Civil War, soldiers have used tattoos as a way to celebrate heroic feats in battle or to commemorate their fallen brothers. Now it’s our turn to pay tribute to the legends of yesterday and heroes of today by carrying on this timeless tradition and indelible part of American History.”

More information and artist portfolios can be seen on the shop’s website:

[photo ripped from Ink and Dagger’s blog]

Atlanta’s Unmatched Gentrification

30 06 2008

Over at CL, Thomas Wheatley recently linked to an interesting article at that cites Brookings Institution data that shows Atlanta’s white population having grown at an unmatched rate since 2000 (from 31% in 2000 to 35% in 2006). According to the article, that’s the fastest white population increase in the nation…only D.C. is competitive.

However, while the city is becoming more white, the collective metro area is becoming less so.

“For if the city itself is growing whiter, the Atlanta region is growing less white. The Atlanta Regional Commission reports that in 2000, the white, non-Hispanic population of the 20-county Atlanta metro region formed 60 percent of the total population; by 2006, that had shrunk to 54 percent, not so much because whites were leaving — although four counties did see absolute declines in white numbers — but because of the arrival in the suburbs of African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Africans and Caribbeans. Of the 10 counties in the nation with the largest declines in white percentage of the population from 2000 to 2006, six are in the suburbs of Atlanta.”

So, what’s the reason? Well, to make a long story short, the article’s author thinks its traffic. And that “Commuting distance has become inversely proportional to class” in Atlanta. He predicts a similar trend the nation over.

Quite coincidently, Atlantic Monthly recently investigated another aspect of this very trend. A July ’08 article entitled “American Murder Mystery” investigates the crime explosion in city suburbs and points the finger at one of the most celebrated antipoverty initiatives in decades: the destruction of the projects and the dispensing of Section 8 rent-subsidy vouchers to its tenants.

It’s an interesting and slightly troubling read, as entire inner city communities are torn apart and sent packing into the unknown ‘burbs. On top of that, these poorer populations are now spread out in the lower-density areas, where walking anywhere is nearly out of the question. So now $4 gas or a bus/train ticket figures into an already difficult financial equation. Coupled that with a loss of community, and the future of the outer suburbs looks very real and very bleak.

For better or worse, cities are being redefined…and Atlanta seems to be on the cutting edge.

Atlanta Police Collide With Critical Mass

30 06 2008

A few more folks became familiar with Critical Mass last month after the AJC did a feature story on the monthly congregation of hundreds of cyclists that clog Atlanta intersections to promote bike awareness. Well, apparently this level of publicity didn’t sit well with the APD, because after months of a peaceful coexistence between the police and bikers, this past Friday the cops descended upon the helmeted en masse. Tickets were handed out for those that ran stop signs and red lights.

Shelbinator has the first hand account which includes a video with lots of flashing lights…

Not surprisingly, this monthly event is somewhat controversial, even within the biking community.

Even though those that participate in CM argue that it has nothing to do with showing how cyclists will willingly break traffic laws, many of those opposed see it that way. However, for anyone that’s ever had a car push you into a ditch, you begin to understand the concept (and admittedly built up animosity) behind CM. You nearly break my arm, I break a traffic law once a month to remind you that I exist.

Just another nasty symptom of our car-based infrastructure that treats the bicyclist as an afterthought.

Thanks to David O. for the heads up!

Java Monkey Benefit to Help the Two Ladies Hit On Vespa

30 06 2008

Announcement by Java Monkey’s Owner, Jess, thru Random Oenophile

Help Amy and Leah!
Amy Sarrell, longtime JAVAMONKEY employee, and Leah Helfen were riding Leah’s scooter when they were hit by an SUV on Jun 7th. At present, both of these wonderful ladies are still at Grady.

On July 3rd, JAVAMONKEY is holding a fund raising event to help cover Amy and Leah’s medical and living expenses while they recover. Gently (formerly My Siamese Self), The Bangers, and It’s Elephants will be playing, from 8pm-11pm. We will have $3.00 beers and $5.00 glasses of wine until they run out. Also there will be a silent auction with art donated by Pandra Williams, Bill Mayer, Laura Hull, and others, and goods, and gift certificates from JAVAMONKEY, Brickstore, Twain’s, Mingei, Taste, Squash Blossom, Decatur School of Ballet, Little Shop of Stories, and more!

Community MATTERS.

AJC Dishes Out Transportation Data

29 06 2008

In case you missed the front page of the Metro Section this morning, the AJC has compiled data for all of the alternative commutes in a single article.

The gist? With ever rising gas prices, most alternative forms of transportation, with the exception of one bus service, have seen impressive increases in ridership vs. last year. And while MARTA ridership is among the gainers, it registered the smallest increase of the gainers; perhaps a reflection of its limited reach to the outer-suburbs. This also could be changing. Gwinnett residents will vote next month on allowing MARTA into the county.

Enough of my babbling…here’s the data!

MARTA: Train ridership is up 15% in April and May vs. same period year-ago. However, Bus AND Train ridership is up only 7%. (Which explains the discrepancy Thomas and I encountered earlier this month)

Carpooling: Up 221% vs. year-ago according to RideSmart

GRTA Express Bus: Up 67% May ’08 to May ’07

Douglas County Van Pool: Up 160% May ’08 to May ’07

Telecommuting Clean Air Commuter Reward Registrations: Up 23% vs. last year.

The only service down is Gwinnett County Transit. It’s ridership has declined 20% vs. last-year.

I wonder if the Clean Air Campaign also has a biking-to-work number. Would be a bit more reflective of the changes made by some intown commuters.

See the full article for all the details.

Upcoming Book and Song Events

28 06 2008

Both of these events revolve around libraries in some way.

Decatur library

Nick Edelstein
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Nick’s handiwork on lead guitar is impeccably precise, as each song spills with fervent balance…dazzling, mesmerizing guitar-driven Blues-Rock. Edelstein also shows his intimate side with soft-spoken material on endearing originals. His voice suits the blues man, with performances of “liquid gold.” Dealing with spiritual growth and metamorphosis, his songs yield raw, fiery blends and sinuous lines tempered by a melodic, structured approach that keeps your feet tapping and the house rocking.Mingei World Arts — bringing books to people of La Union Tejalapan, in Oaxaca state, Mexico

Mingei World Arts

Carmen Deedy and John McCutcheon will perform an evening of Latin Story and Song at the Decatur Library on July 29, 2008.

The performance, sponsored by Mingei World Arts and the Georgia Center for the Book, will benefit Libros Para Pueblos, an organzation buidling libraries in the rural state of Oaxaca, Mexico. Mingei World Arts, a unique import store in downtown Decatur, is partnering with Libros Para Pueblos to create a library for the people of La Union Tejalapan in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico.

For more information on the Georgia Center for the Book, please vist their website at

This event is free and open to the public, but we ask that you please consider
making a donation to help the Mexican Library.

Decatur Gets Props on CNN

26 06 2008

Scott points out that Decatur was featured on CNN’s Issue #1 this afternoon in a segment about the real costs associated with living farther outside of a metropolitan area. In it, Decatur residents’ transportation costs are compared to those of distant Dacula.

Unfortunately, we don’t have the video, just the transcript. And its a little long, so I’ll post it in full in the continuation. Scott found the video!

Good press for our little city! Plus it continues to show that Decatur is on the right side of a long term trend in sustainable living.

Thanks Scott! Read the rest of this entry »