My hospital bag

As many loyal Wisdom readers know, the wife is about to release a new human into the world. Due date is July 28. So I”ve got my hospital bag together and want to make sure I”m not missing anything. So any new dads out there – let me know if I”m lacking something. I have:

- Video camera (I broke down and went HD; my child shall come into the world at 1280 x 720)
- Digital camera (Did not upgrade from 5.1 megapixels)

- Gorillapods for each of the above
- My iPod loaded up with video (first seasons of The Office and The Sopranos, Napoleon Dynamite, Elvis “68 Comeback Special, etc.)
- Accouterments for the above (chargers, batteries, iPod video cable, extra media for the cameras, etc.)
- I”ll have the iPhone and Helio Drift for mobile communications and PowerBook for production.
- Lindy”s, Athlon and Sporting News college football annuals (not to be opened until the hospital).

And things like toiletries and a change of clothes; but those are pretty inconsequential.

For those of you wanting to keep up on developments, I”ll be Twittering updates and posting pics to a Flickr account that”s restricted to friends and family. Write to capnken at gmail if you”d like to be looped into the Flickr thing.

Inman Park Properties update

It has been suggested to me that an update is in order about some of the positive things Jeff Notrica has done in East Atlanta recently. Fair enough. Notrica owns the block (except for the Graveyard Tavern) on Glenwood Avenue between Joseph Avenue and Gresham Avenue and has been active in bringing new business in there. In the past couple of months, two new restaurants – the vegan place Cenci and the great new place The Glenwood – have opened as has a real estate office, Origins.

And Notrica apparently (it”s not showing up in online property records yet) purchased the former Good News Cafe space on the corner specifically to bring the well-known lesbian bar My Sister”s Room to East Atlanta. It opened a little while back as well.

So Inman Park Properties does deserve credit for getting businesses open in what had been a troubled strip. The previous owners had bought it out of bankruptcy, I believe. I would argue, though, that all of these spaces were pretty much ready to go and it”s an easy thing to lease out existing spaces in a desirable commercial district. That”s Notrica just doing business as one would expect. It”s his reputation for letting buildings rot that makes this notable.

In the case of My Sister”s Room, though, it seems the bar”s owners were working directly with Inman Park Properties to find a new space somewhere intown. I suppose the bar could have just approached the previous owners of the Good News space (the same group that owns the Graveyard Tavern space), but for whatever reason it worked out where Notrica purchased the space specifically to lease to My Sister”s Room. And the opening of My Sister”s Room is a very good thing for East Atlanta. The club has an existing customer base, many of whom I imagine don”t live in East Atlanta. So it”s bringing a steady flow of people in, which has to be helping the other businesses here as well.

Just down Flat Shoals, work is progressing at the former Tucker Auto Electric building, which is owned by Inman Park Properties and has sat vacant for years. It”s getting a major renovation to become a pub, and that”s a very welcome turn for a real EAV eyesore. Word is the place will open around September as the Midway Pub.

All good news there. There are still problems with some of Notrica”s properties, most notably the empty lot on Glenwood next to a day care center. It”s become a camp for bums, but attempts are underway to resolve that. We”ll see how serious Inman Park Properties is about fixing that problem.

If the trend is that Notrica realizes East Atlanta is a good place for him to do business (rather than just a good place to own property to maybe develop someday), that”s very welcome. As the biggest property owner in East Atlanta Village, Inman Park Properties has tremendous influence over the neighborhood”s future. And that”s why I watch them closely.

Fox 5 lies in "clarification" about East Atlanta murder story

Now that Fox 5 has run its “clarification” about the Atlanta homicide story during the newscasts that ran the reports I”ve seen, I can confirm that they are lying about what they originally reported, which is pathetic, but not entirely surprising.

In the clarification (this one is from 10 p.m. last night – the script was the same in both newscasts this morning, but read without the smooth skill of Russ Spencer), Fox 5 states:

“We want to clarify a report we aired yesterday. We reported that FBI statistics showed a dramatic increase in homicides in 2006 in Atlanta”s Zone 6 precinct, which includes much of the eastern part of the city. Now during that report, we showed video of locations in East Atlanta Village, and in fact there were no homicides in East Atlanta Village in 2006. We regret the false impression caused by that videotape.”

That is an absolute lie. Fox 5 did not report a dramatic increase in homicides in Zone 6. Fox 5 reported a dramatic increase in homicides in “east Atlanta.”

Specifically, they reported:

“The increase has been seen citywide, but nowhere has the jump been as dramatic as in east Atlanta, where in 2005 they had 6 murders; last year 15, a 150% spike.” – this was in their report that aired at about 5:30 a.m. yesterday. The “as dramatic as east Atlanta” line was accompanied by a shot of the “Welcome to East Atlanta” sign.

And:

“The murder rate is up all over the city, but especially in east Atlanta, which had 6 murders in 2005 and 15 last year, a 150% increase.” – this was in their report that aired at about 6:30 a.m. yesterday, and the report generally was toned down to focus less on East Atlanta.

“Zone 6″ was never mentioned.

Fox 5 reported that homicides were up dramatically in East Atlanta. They want to dance around what they reported and pretend this was simply a matter of poorly-placed video. But they clearly associated these murders with the East Atlanta neighborhood (not some vague notion of “the east part of Atlanta”) by never mentioning any area other than “east Atlanta” and showing our “Welcome to East Atlanta” as they said murders were up in “east Atlanta”.

Yet they are unwilling to admit their mistake and fully own up to the damage they inflicted on the neighborhood”s reputation. Instead we get sugar-coated revisionist history intended to make Fox 5 look less at fault than they actually were.

Apparently Fox 5 is more interested in protecting its own reputation than they are in damage they inflict on East Atlanta”s reputation.

LSU + XM = Boo

LSU and the SEC are jumping ship from Sirius to XM for sports broadcasts, with most schools (including LSU) switching over to XM this fall. To that, I say boo. As I”ve said before, XM sucks. They suck because their music channels suck. Sports, talk and other programming is a matter of what deals they have in place (until now, XM”s college sports offerings also sucked).

Of course, Sirius and XM are supposedly merging, so this may be a circumstance I only have to suffer through for one season. And I keep getting offers from Acura for a $77 annual XM subscription, so I can jump on that if I really want to be able to listen in to Jim Hawthorne and Jordy Hultberg on Saturday nights this fall.

Yeah, that”s a lot to pay for that kind of abuse.

Fox 5 Atlanta defames East Atlanta

Oh, this has pissed me off. Last night and today, Fox 5 here in Atlanta has been reporting on the increase in murders in our fair city during 2006. The biggest increase in the number of murders occurred in Atlanta”s Zone 6, of which East Atlanta is a part. In 2006, there were 15 homicides in Zone 6, compared to 6 in 2005.

So Fox 5 decides to focus on this increase in reports by Mark Teichner that aired on their 10 p.m. news last night and during their morning news program today. I”m not sure how long this will remain live on their site, but here”s a version of the report on their horrible myfoxatlanta.com website.

In that report, Fox 5 makes this statement:

“But nowhere has the jump been as dramatic as in East Atlanta, where in 2005 they had 6 murders; last year 15. A 150% spike.”

In case you do not see the video, it was peppered with scenes from East Atlanta, including our big green “Welcome to East Atlanta” sign and shots along Flat Shoals Avenue.

But there”s a little problem here. Their claim that murders were up in East Atlanta is 100%, absolutely, indisputably false. During 2006, there were exactly zero murders in East Atlanta. None. Not any.

Atlanta”s Zone 6 includes eleven separate “beats”, and the APD reports crimes by category, zone and beat. This is accessible through a crime mapping tool on the APD website.

Here”s the rundown of homicides in Zone 6 broken out by the individual beats:

Beat 601 – 0 homicides
Beat 602 – 3 homicides
Beat 603 – 0 homicides

Beat 604 – 1 homicide
Beat 605 – 1 homicide
Beat 606 – 0 homicides
Beat 607 – 1 homicide
Beat 608 – 4 homicides
Beat 609 – 1 homicide

Beat 610 – 0 homicides
Beat 611 – 4 homicides

East Atlanta is Beat 610 – zero homicides. Yet Fox 5 chose to tag East Atlanta with having a 150% increase in murders during 2006. This is likely a result of the typical extremely lazy journalism practiced by local television stations, but the effect is that over their air they have repeatedly painted East Atlanta as an area of the city that has experienced a 150% increase in homicides over the past year, and tangentially suggested East Atlanta has a drug dealing problem, as they have placed the cause of Atlanta”s increased homicide rate on drug activity.

Often times the media refers to “east Atlanta” in the generic sense (there is a big difference between “east Atlanta” and “East Atlanta”), but in this case, Fox 5 specifically came to East Atlanta, broadcast our welcome sign and neighborhood scenes along with the statement that murders in “East Atlanta” have risen 150%. Completely irresponsible and absolutely associating this with “East Atlanta”, not just “east Atlanta”.

I”ve written to a bunch of people at Fox 5 demanding a retraction to this defamatory portrayal of East Atlanta. We”ll see what happens, but I wanted to at least expose the truth here.

That is all.

Update: Apparently Fox 5 leadership doesn”t like to respond to emails, but if you create a blog on their crappy community site calling them out, they”ll give you a response. The guy there is hiding behind the notion that “eastern Atlanta” is what they meant, so I don”t expect much of a meaningful retraction, but we”ll see.

Apple Store Down

No, really. A physical Apple Store “closed for renovations” and – according to the nice gentleman who told us not to take photos – re-opening tomorrow morning [check that: apple.com says June 9].

This is the Apple Store at Lenox Square in Atlanta – today, June 1 around 11:15.

So are they remodeling for some particular reason? Anything interesting going to appear when they re-open the place in a week?

Intriguing.

Catching up

Sorry for lack of updates … blah, blah …

So Ryan Perrilloux finds himself in a good bit of trouble for trying to get on a casino boat using his older brother”s ID. A big deal in itself? Hardly. We all know underage SEC quarterbacks like to have a little fun in the off-season – right UGA sophomore QB Matthew Stafford?

The problem for Perrilloux, of course, is that the casino incident follows on the heels of his brush with federal counterfeiting charges and his general less-than-sunny reputation as a big talker who”s not proved anything to this point on the field. So Leslie has put him on suspension and is now talking about Jarrett Lee as a No. 2 QB this fall. That”s a good move, as Perrilloux apparently doesn”t realize the special responsibility you take on as a bigtime QB.

It also wouldn”t be a bad idea to drive out to LaPlace and check for pit bulls at his house.

Elsewhere in LSU football, ESPN has picked up the Virginia Tech game – for a 9:15 p.m. Eastern kickoff. Damn that”s late. And CBS hasn”t yet committed to picking up the Florida game, but the possibility exists for it to be on CBS at night. That would be most excellent, but I guess CBS wants to see how LSU and Florida respond to the hype.

Speaking of hype – Lindy”s puts LSU at No. 2 in the country going into the season. We”ll see. As I”ve said before, having four first-round NFL draft picks means a lot of 2006 success came from talent on the field that won”t be there this year. LSU should be good, and expectations are rightfully high with a lot of returning talent and a favorable schedule, but we”ll have to earn it.

And finally, there will be a Mike VI, so PETA should move on to something else. I hear Auburn”s tiger bird is unhappy, so go check that out.

Mike V, R.I.P.

He was a good fella. And could somebody at LSU please come up with a picture from his arrival day in the cage that includes me? Dude on the right sort of almost looks like me, but it ain”t.

The symbolism of Mike V dying as the LSU Baseball team”s season likely gets put to rest in Nashville this weekend is not lost on me. Dark Days, indeed.

Imagination Movers videos on Disney

It”s good to see my buddy Dave and the Imagination Movers getting another step closer to kid rock (not Kid Rock) superstardom with the debut of a new set of videos on Playhouse Disney. The videos are a precursor to the TV show in development with Disney, and the Mouse influence is evident with slicker production values.

Some enthusiastic Movers fan (me) has posted the new videos up at YouTube (note to Disney … it”s for the purpose of promoting your new act, so embrace it, please). Vids and notes:

Imagination Movers Theme

This video gives a glimpse inside the Idea Warehouse set for the TV show and sets the tone for the band and the series.

Mover Music

The mac daddy new Movers video. Choreographed by one Trish Sie, who did a couple of neat little videos for her brother”s band – OK Go. You know, treadmills and all that. Wins herself a Grammy and follows up with doing an Imagination Movers video. Not shabby.

Shakable You

Big David Byrne jackets …

Seven Days A Week

Not an Irish drinking song … but close.

Farm

This one may be my favorite song and video of the bunch. You can”t lose with an ornery pig (what is that, a Razorback??) and “The roosters … the roosters … the roosters are tired!”

An interesting dynamic of the Disney stuff is that they cut what are full-length songs down to 60-second and 90-second video versions (you can check the 60-second versions here). Having had a chance to see some of the full-length videos, it”s too bad that they have to get cut down, since there”s some actual good songwriting and instrumentation going on here. But that”s life in the big media world, I suppose.

In any case, nice to have Disney putting the machine behind the Movers.

Inman Park Properties and unpaid property taxes

I”ve been poking around a bit with some information about Inman Park Properties lately (previous reports), and I noticed an interesting pattern.

The company really doesn”t like to pay its property taxes in East Atlanta. According to DeKalb County online records (which purport to be accurate to within two days on property tax information), Inman Park Properties has only paid its 2006 property tax on six of the 31 parcels it (and LLCs controlled by Inman Park Properties owner Jeff Notrica) owns in the East Atlanta Village.

That”s right – 25 unpaid property tax bills out of 31 total properties totalling $92,116, according to the county site. That”s $92,116 Notrica”s companies owe to DeKalb County and the city of Atlanta in 2006 taxes. And they owe another $6,981 in 2004 and 2005 taxes for the Homeless Hovel property Notrica finally demolished in January.

Hey, that”s $3 short of $100K Notrica has in unpaid taxes just here in our little commercial village.

There are about 100 total parcels in the East Atlanta Village area. Taking out a few government and church properties, there”s about 90 commercial properties on which taxes are levied. Apart from the 25 Inman Park Properties and Notrica parcels on which 2006 taxes are owed, there are only three other properties I found that owe 2006 taxes. Two of those owed a small portion of their total tax bill.

Only Abe Asher – the other bad-reputation property owner in East Atlanta Village – neglected to pay a tax bill completely. He owes taxes on one of his nine parcels (11% of his properties). Notrica owes taxes on 80% of his properties.

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