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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
  • 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 ...
  • Kids’ Salon and Event Space Opens in Southeast Atlanta By Erin McAlister Relish Salon announces the opening of Relish Jr., a sensory-friendly kids’ salon in southeast Atlanta. Opened on Saturday, November 15, Relish Jr. offers cool cuts and color for kids ages 0 through 12 in a laid-back environment that both kids and grown-ups can enjoy. The new kids’ salon ...
  • Oakland Cemetery Receives ‘Developments of Excellence’ Award By Pamela Henman The city of Atlanta’s Historic Oakland Cemetery was named the 2014 Great Place winner by the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) at their 16th annual Developments of Excellence Awards. The winners were announced on Friday, November 8 at the ARC’s annual state of the region breakfast. “I am thrilled that ...
  • The Friends of East Atlanta Library look forward to 2015 By Gina Root The Friends of East Atlanta Library (FEAL) have already been planning ahead for a busy 2015. The Friends will again be holding four book sales in 2015. The first is scheduled for Saturday, March 7 from 12:00pm until 4:00pm. More book sales are scheduled for mid-June, during the ...
  • Best of Local Holiday Shopping By Kristin Andris The holidays are here. It is time to break out those decorations, tacky sweaters, reindeer antlers, and of course, your pocketbook. According to Gallup, the average American spends nearly $800 on holiday gifts. Keep some of that money local by shopping at nearby businesses. Below are just a few ...
  • New Feature at Clay And Glass Works By Riki Bolster There is a place in Atlanta where art and craft meet community – and the holidays! A nonprofit art studio and gallery, the Cabbagetown Clay and Glass Works (CCGW) will host their 13th Annual Holiday Sale on Friday, December 5 from 5:00pm to 10:00pm. It features the work of ...
  • Atlanta BeltLine Rolls Out New Tour Bus By Jennifer Jezyk With the purchase of a natural gas-powered tour bus, the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership’s tour program will become both more environmentally and economically sustainable and handicapped accessible. “As stewards of precious philanthropic resources, we are pleased to introduce this bus that will enable us to more sustainably and cost ...
Schools and Children
  • 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 ...
  • Science Volunteers Needed Drew Charter School needs volunteers to judge the science projects for grades 3 through 10 during the week of November 17. This is a pre-fair event where students present their projects to their peers and teacher in the classroom. Volunteers will serve as companion judges to recommend quality projects to ...
  • Cakes, Cookies, Pies, Oh My! By Carla Phillips The sophomore class committee at Maynard Jackson High School invites the community to its second annual Dessert War fundraiser. Join us on Saturday, October 4 for a night of decadent desserts, fine wine, and spirits. Sample sweets from cookies, cakes, pies, brownies, bars and everything in between! Bring ...
  • Captain Planet Foundation Supports Burgess-Peterson Academy By Leesa Carter  The Atlanta-based Captain Planet Foundation (CPF) is delighted to continue its support of East Atlanta’s Burgess-Peterson Academy, as we launch into the 2014 school year. In September, a FoodCorps service member training was held in the Burgess-Peterson Learning Garden. The Foundation also hosted Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal, a ...
Rocking Chair Reflections
  • 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 ...
  • 27 Years of Bring One for the Chipper By Henry Bryant On January 5, the wood chipper and hundreds of Christmas trees returned to Grant Park for its 27th year of post-season Christmas tree recycling. The Grant Park Conservancy sponsored the event in the park, where the Atlanta Parks Department chipper ...
  • 755 Hank Aaron Drive By Tracey Long After taking a few days to digest the news of our beloved Atlanta Braves moving 12 miles north to Cobb County, many things have become apparent to me. The biggest one is that things are not always what they seem. I live in Summerhill, the small, forgotten neighborhood ...
  • Restaurant Makeover By Paul Zucca and John Newcomb The El Mexicano restaurant has had a complete makeover and is under new management. Gone are the dusty old serapes draped over every window so nobody could see in or out. The grimy windows are all cleaned up. A completely new paint job has freshened ...
  • Love Locks Inspire Curiosity   By Rene Esler I admit that I am a curious individual. More frequently than not, my curiosity bends toward topics involving science, math, or engineering, and while I wish I could say I am a philosopher, I think I am too dense to understand the depth of most philosophies. Nevertheless, I am ...