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Welcome to the Porch Press, Neighborhood News for Southeast Atlanta

Miss Maynard Jackson 2014-2015 Crowned

By Dr. Lashundra Hill Marianne Williamson once quoted, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?” One of Maynard Jackson’s own has displayed all of these characteristics of being powerful, an inspiration to others, brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and definitely fabulous. Sydney Long has risen to the top; on Friday, October 24, she was crowned Miss Maynard Jackson for the 2014-2015 school [read more...]

Zoo Atlanta Receives Major Gift from Woodruff Foundation

By Keisha Hines Zoo Atlanta has been awarded a $20 million grant from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation in a dramatic show of support for an unprecedented expansion of Atlanta’s oldest cultural destination. The grant will match other gifts for the project on a 1:1 basis up to and including a commitment of $20 million. The campaign, entitled “A Grand New View for Zoo Atlanta: Elephants, Events & Expansion,” will facilitate the transformation of the 1921 Cyclorama building, entrusted to the Zoo’s stewardship by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed in July 2014, and the property immediately surrounding the historic structure. Both Mayor Reed [read more...]

Historic Oakland Cemetery Tunes Into Atlanta’s History

By Pamela Henman Before Georgia On My Mind, there was simply “Georgia.” Before Music Midtown, Atlantans reveled at the Music Festival of 1883. Amateur historians and musicians alike learned something of note on Sunday, November 30 at historic Oakland Cemetery’s special-topic tour, “Bandmasters, Fifers, Composers, and More: Oakland’s Music Makers.” “Bandmasters, Fifers, Composers, and More: Oakland’s Music Makers” debuted as a one-time special topic tour in September. At this encore performance, tour guide Pat Powers introduced attendees to both famous and lesser-known musicians buried at Oakland Cemetery, tying them into Atlanta and state history. Stops along the hour-long tour included the final resting [read more...]

34th Grant Park Candlelight Tour of Homes

By Sonia Fuller The annual Grant Park Candlelight Tour of Homes, scheduled for Saturday, December 13 and Sunday, December 14 from 6:00pm to 10:00pm, is just weeks away and includes a whole weekend of fun-filled activities. Each year, close to a thousand people from near and far make the trek to share in some of Grant Park’s history and hospitality. The tour organizers hope you’ll help light up the park with your holiday lights, welcoming visitors into Grant Park during this special weekend. Approximately ten of Grant Park’s fabulous homes are included in this year’s tour, along with the more than a [read more...]

Oakland Cemetery’s Halloween Tour Event Broke Records in 2014

By Pam Henman Designed to enlighten, not frighten, Oakland Cemetery’s Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween tours boasted record attendees for two weekends in October. “We had an astounding turnout this year, with tickets selling out faster than ever before,” said Mary Woodlan, director of special events at Historic Oakland Foundation. “It’s a delight to welcome newcomers from around the country as well as groups who make Capturing the Spirit a Halloween tradition.” On October 17 through 19 and October 23 through 25, Atlanta’s oldest cemetery welcomed more than 6,000 visitors for hour-long evening tours held from 5:30pm to 10:30pm. The cemetery saw [read more...]

Student Art Exhibit at the East Atlanta Library

By Melanie Regnier An art exhibit featuring work by students from Maynard Jackson High School and Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School is currently on display at the East Atlanta Library. The Friends of the East Atlanta Library is a volunteer organization that works to support the library and strengthen community ties. It is sponsoring this event. Telia Garner, an 11th grader at Maynard Jackson High School, coordinated communication between the library and the schools. Art teachers Betsy Eppes from Maynard Jackson High School and Shauna DeLong from King Middle School collaborated to showcase their students’ work, inspired by the themes [read more...]

Front Page News
  • Miss Maynard Jackson 2014-2015 Crowned By Dr. Lashundra Hill Marianne Williamson once quoted, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?’ Actually, ...
  • Zoo Atlanta Receives Major Gift from Woodruff Foundation By Keisha Hines Zoo Atlanta has been awarded a $20 million grant from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation in a dramatic show of support for an unprecedented expansion of Atlanta’s oldest cultural destination. The grant will match other gifts for the project on a 1:1 basis up to and including a ...
  • Historic Oakland Cemetery Tunes Into Atlanta’s History By Pamela Henman Before Georgia On My Mind, there was simply “Georgia.” Before Music Midtown, Atlantans reveled at the Music Festival of 1883. Amateur historians and musicians alike learned something of note on Sunday, November 30 at historic Oakland Cemetery’s special-topic tour, “Bandmasters, Fifers, Composers, and More: Oakland’s Music Makers.” “Bandmasters, Fifers, ...
  • 34th Grant Park Candlelight Tour of Homes By Sonia Fuller The annual Grant Park Candlelight Tour of Homes, scheduled for Saturday, December 13 and Sunday, December 14 from 6:00pm to 10:00pm, is just weeks away and includes a whole weekend of fun-filled activities. Each year, close to a thousand people from near and far make the trek to ...
  • Oakland Cemetery’s Halloween Tour Event Broke Records in 2014 By Pam Henman Designed to enlighten, not frighten, Oakland Cemetery’s Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween tours boasted record attendees for two weekends in October. “We had an astounding turnout this year, with tickets selling out faster than ever before,” said Mary Woodlan, director of special events at Historic Oakland Foundation. “It’s ...
  • Student Art Exhibit at the East Atlanta Library By Melanie Regnier An art exhibit featuring work by students from Maynard Jackson High School and Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School is currently on display at the East Atlanta Library. The Friends of the East Atlanta Library is a volunteer organization that works to support the library and strengthen community ...
  • Lake Abana, Grant Park Grant Park Summer Shade 1946 – This vintage photo by a local resident, Hobson Arnold, courtesy of the Lewis Arnold collection, was taken beside Lake Abana in Grant Park. The photo was a black-and-white shot that has been hand-tinted. An enlargement has hung in the Arnold home in Ormewood Park ...
People and Places
  • Beaty Awarded for Excellence in Teaching Martial Arts By Sam P. Williams East Atlanta resident and 3rd-degree black belt Renard Beaty has been chosen to receive an award for Excellence in Teaching Martial Arts. As an awardee, Kyo Sah Nim Beaty will be inducted as an Ambassador to the Martial Arts, an honor granted by one of the largest ...
  • East Atlanta Strut Wants YOU By Michelle Rice Is the East Atlanta Strut worth saving? The Strut can’t survive without a few more volunteers. Specifically, there are openings for volunteers to work on sponsorship, to help with festival logistics, and to help with public relations and marketing. If you’re interested, please send a note to EAVStrut@gmail.com. If ...
  • Happening at the Zoo By Jennifer Thompson Most issues of The Porch Press include a release from one of our best-known residents, Zoo Atlanta. There are animal births, the upcoming Scaly Slimy Spectacular, The Amphibian and Reptile Experience opening in spring 2015, Wild Encounters with several key species, and the most recent news about the ...
  • Parrish Underwood Named East Lake Family YMCA Director By Kristen Obaranec The YMCA of Metro Atlanta is pleased to announce Parrish Underwood as the new executive director of the East Lake Family YMCA in Atlanta. He brings more than 20 years of successful YMCA leadership and management experience to the position and returns to the community where he began ...
  • Celebrate Chinese New Year at Chien Hong School of Kung Fu By Gary Mitchell and Mike Simpson Each year the Chien Hong School of Kung Fu hosts a Chinese New Year celebration. This year they will ring in the year of the Wood Sheep on February 21 from 11:00am to 12:30pm. They ring in each year as a way to share the ...
  • New Educational Opportunities by Trees Atlanta By Karla Vazquez Trees Atlanta is expanding its youth and adult education programming designed to provide opportunities for everyone to learn proper techniques for planting and caring for trees, while becoming better stewards for the urban forest. Each program stands alone, but all serve a common goal: giving members of the ...
  • Bound To Be Read – New Ownership? By Henry Bryant For three months or more, discussions have been ongoing regarding the future of Bound to Be Read Books in East Atlanta Village. Current owner Jeff McCord let it be known over a year ago that he needed to step back from day to day management and ownership of ...
Schools and Children
  • Jaguar Engineers By Shelley Carter Maynard Jackson High School (MJHS) Engineering Program needs help from the community, specifically individuals or companies who work or are retired from engineering, technology, construction, or design fields. Volunteers from the community could support the program through participation on an advisory board. The program at the new high school ...
  • Jackson High School to Hold Art Extravaganza in East Atlanta By Henry Bryant On Friday, March 27 an arts extravaganza from Maynard Jackson High School will be coming to the East Atlanta Library. Students will present visual arts and performances at a special evening reception that will take over the library. The event will begin at 6:00pm and include refreshments. Everyone ...
  • Annual ANCS Auction at the Georgia Freight Depot By Carrie Teegardin The Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School’s annual auction—always one of the best neighborhood parties of the year—returns to the Georgia Freight Depot this year. The party will be held Saturday, March 7 from 5-11 pm at the historic Depot, which is near the state Capitol building and Underground Atlanta. The ...
  • Jackson High School Siblings Recognized By Kimberly Willis Green Maynard Jackson High School siblings Askari Flewellen and Uwezo Flewellen II recently spoke with more than 90 youth ministers at Princeton University about inspiring their peers to give back to their community. The two brothers were members of GivingPoint’s leadership program at the GivingPoint Institute (GPI) held ...
  • Maynard Jackson High School Hosts German Exchange Students By Melanie Regnier A partnership between Maynard Jackson High School and the Sigmund-Schuckert-Gymnasium in Nuremburg resulted in the arrival of 13 German high school students at Hartsfield-Jackson airport in October. Their 10-day visit was made possible with the support and collaboration of the Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation, the National Center for ...
  • Holiday Faire and Artisan Market Return to The Children’s Garden Preschool By Sally Hansen The Children’s Garden Preschool in Grant Park is holding its annual Holiday Faire and Artisan Market on Saturday, December 13 from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. This year marks the third year that the preschool has hosted this special community event which focuses on sharing the magic and wonder of ...
  • Shop at Barnes & Noble at Edgewood and Support the Jaguars By Sonia Fuller This year’s best after-Thanksgiving shopping is happening on Saturday, November 29 at the local Barnes & Noble bookstore at the Edgewood Retail District, where all purchases will benefit the Maynard Jackson High School (MJHS) Parent, Teacher, and Student Association (PTSA). Barnes & Noble will donate a percentage of ...
Rocking Chair Reflections
  • Ruminations About Teacher Pay Duke Bradley, III, Ph.D. As Executive Director of Atlanta’s Wesley International Academy, I am often asked about our school’s approach to teacher pay. Although a casual redirection to our salary scale would probably answer the question that most people want to know, “How much will I make?,” spreadsheets full of numbers ...
  • The Flu Poem By Bob Titus If you’ve got a cold And fever too Then you know What you must do Don’t go to work Don’t go to school For if you do, you are a fool Get snuggled up in your bed And take something strong for your head The flu makes doctors and others rich And you can make others really sick So ...
  • Want to Make a Difference? By CJ Clark Do you want to give back to your neediest neighbors? Would you like to serve your community without opening your wallet? Yes? Me too! The idea is to find the neediest and the most at-risk home owners and perform basic repairs or tasks that they are not able ...
  • An Open Letter from Maynard Jackson High School’s Principal By Stephanie Johnson It is with pride that I want our community to share the celebrations, accomplishments and goals for 2015 and beyond as we work to create a school community that provides multiple opportunities for student achievement through globally competitive academics, athletics, extracurricular activities, and service. I want to begin ...
  • EAV Prison Farm  By Rich McKay Atlanta environmentalist Scott Petersen says that dangers lurk about 1.3 miles from East Atlanta Village on property that he says should be a park. About a half dozen run-down buildings on the old Atlanta Prison Farm off the Moreland Avenue corridor, are attractive nuisances attracting so called “urban explorers” ...
  • Yoga, Friendship, and Mental Illness By Danny Szemple   When I first began my internship at Holy Comforter’s Friendship Center I had only ever done yoga twice in my life, both times with the gentle “prompting” of a girlfriend in college. While I would probably never admit this to her at the time, the truth is I ...
  • 2014 Legislative Session Update  by Senator Nan Orrock, District 36 I am honored to serve my neighborhood of Ormewood Park, Grant Park, Benteen Park, Glenwood Park, and all of District 36, a vast sweep of Atlanta, since my 2006 election to the Georgia Senate. As your voice in the Senate, I urge you to contact ...