City of Atlanta moves to improve greenspaces

   Atlanta receives Federal Grants to Improve parks

By Jannah Bolds

 BEN Network Freelance writer 

 By Fall 2016, the City of Atlanta will have worked over 12 months to expand and improve a special area in West Atlanta, Proctor Creek Watershed, and has received over half a million in federal funds to complete it.

A total of $590 thousand has been contributed by three major organizations to construct and make this watershed area more of a greenspace. The National Park Service contributed $280 thousand, which was matched by the Emerald Corridor Foundation. The Trust for Public Land was also able to contribute $30 thousand.

“It is city property that has been laying dormant for decades and the foundation owned a bit also and decided that it was a really natural place near a MARTA station and there was space to create an accessible feature that could have educational value in addition to the trail and exercise spaces that were the subject of the grant,” said Debra Edelson, Executive Director for the Emerald Corridor Foundation. 

The goal of this project is to benefit the community by creating a “greenspace” and to protect the watershed at Proctor Creek. The watershed covers approximately 16 square miles and Proctor Creek runs about nine miles.

Protecting watersheds are necessary for providing clean drinking water, habitats for wildlife, and recreational areas.

“This covers a nine-mile corridor that is currently being underutilized. There are are about 60,000 residents tat live in the neighborhood that have no real access to a greenspace within walking distance, so the goal is to focus on this area,” said Aaron Baspan, Mayors Office of Sustainability Community and Project Manager. 

This project will create indirect jobs initially and will also require specific maintenance in order to keep the greenspace running.

“We will need suppliers that will supply equipment and installation services. This will also create long-term jobs in our Department of Parks and Recreation in order to maintain it,” said Baspan.

Specific features that this new greenspace will include a 1,400-foot pedestrian and bike trail, three adult fitness stations, three children’s pay stations, benches, and spaces for picnic activity and play.

“A key point to make here is that instead of us coming to the table with a perscribed plan, we have a ‘wish list’ that will allow us to take the time to work with the community and hear what their wish list of items would be since it is in their backyard,” said Baspan.

It is the City’s vision to have the park open next summer with 12-14 months of construction. Baspan believes that this project fits into an overall sustainability priority and that if the city can successfully get residents out of their houses into parks, they’re more likely to reinvest their money back into the neighborhood.

He said it will draw businesses, people will want to live there and eventually reshape the city.

 

The Bold Opinion on Orange Room Radio

Expanding and building my brand

I’m mot certain if I explained where the name “The Bold Opinion” originated, so I’ll go ahead and put that out there. The title was discovered while I was writing for the student newspaper in college, The George-Anne. A few members from the news staff and I all brainstormed on a title for my first sports column, thus The Bold Opinion was born. BAM, that was it. lol

Now years later, I’ve started my own blog AND scored my own internet radio show on Orange Room Radio!

*pats self on the back

Well, I’d honestly say that the radio show was not all my effort, it sort of fell into my arms. My mom has an old coworker who also has a show there also, and he pitched my love of sports to the CEO…and BOOM!

The show started off as a strictly a sports show, covering a little bit of everything sports related. But a few weeks in, I came to realize that trying to talk about sports for two whole hours can get a bit…boring..let’s just be honest. lol So, now I revamped it to make it more like The Bold Opinion blog site. We discuss current events, politics, love & relationships, and of course, sports!

So far, everything with the show is going great. I never did radio prior to this and I was a bit nervous at first, but now I’m definitely warmed up to it and I love every minute of it!

Check out my show! Tune in each and every Saturday 12:00 pm- 2:00 pm
OrangeRoomRadio.com
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Download the app and stream live

New Orleans puts voodoo on Falcons

The streak is overBy Jannah Bolds

I don’t even want to hear anything about “Who dat?” You know why? Because that was simply a terrible terrible performance by the Atlanta Falcons. So many things went wrong for Matt Ryan’s team; and hot damn, what a match-up for things to go sour.

The injury to New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was not even evident that night against Atlanta. Brees found the weak spot in the Falcon’s defense, and ran with it all the way till the clock hit 0:00. The weak spot you ask? Atlanta’s secondary of course. Brees and the offense made a point that they were taking advantage of Atlanta’s off night.

Lets not single out just one group on Atlanta’s team that performed horribly; it was a group effort, with the exception of a few. Offensively, Atlanta struggled, with three turnovers and a couple sacks. The offensive line missed a few assignments last night which lead to those mess-ups.

The Atlanta defense were effective in stopping New Orleans’ running game, but when Brees put the ball in the air, it was all she wrote. That made it had for the Falcons offense to catch up in the end.  

Oh well, such as life. The two southern rivals will meet once more at the end of the season, this time in the Georgia Dome, to settle things once and for all. Meanwhile, the Falcons are still under the Carolina Panthers in the NCF South, but that may change once the Panthers face the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday at 4:00pm.

Photo credentials: ESPN.go.com

Falcons topple Texans 48-21

By Jannah Bolds

Rolling on momentum from last week’s come-from-behind win over Dallas, the Atlanta Falcons collect another “W” over the Houston Texans today in the Dome.  

Week four brought an astounding performance for Atlanta and nothing but confusion for Houston as they struggled to find a rhythm through the game’s entirety. The strong performance lead the Falcons to 243 passing yards and 135 rushing yardage. The Texans on the other hand, recorded more passing yards, 374 to be exact, but, were able to rush for only 54 yards.

Let me tell you what went wrong for the Texans, but leaned in favor of the Falcons at the end of the day; the inconsistency in Houston’s offense. Point. Blank. Period. That team was not in sync with each other the entire game. If it wasn’t one thing, it was another. 

Although Houston’s passing yardage exceeded Atlanta’s, I think that’s it’s safe to say that the Texans need to straighten out their offensive issues ASAP and iron out their inconsistencies quarterback wise. Their starting QB, Ryan Mallett clearly struggled offensively and couldn’t seem to click with receivers the first three quarters on the field; completing with only 12 completions and one interception.

However, when the Texans made a QB switch with Brian Hoyer, the game changed. Well, let’s say this, either putting Hoyer in at QB was a key factor for the Texans’ offense, or the Falcons switched out to their second string defense. Either way, this resulted in the Texans putting points on the board and eliminating the possibility of a shut-out.

But nothing will top the highlight of the day, talk about the icing on the cake in the final seconds of the game, the Falcons’ defense come up with an 80-yard fumble return to tack on another six. The Atlanta offense didn’t bother with the extra point attempt, since the game had already concluded. That, to me, was one of those small signs of sportsmanship; good job Falcons. 

Although it seemed like this was an easy win for Matt Ryan and his team, I’m sure the Atlanta coaches still found some assignments that were not met. So, the team will have a week to stay pumped before they meet the 2-2 Redskins October 11th at 1:00 pm in the Dome. 

Photo credentials: http://www.atlantafalcons.com

Week 3 brings victory for Falcons

By Jannah Bolds

A somewhat challenging week three for the Atlanta Falcons as they lassoed the Dallas Cowboys 39-28 in a come-from-behind victory  in Arlington, Texas today.

Falcons quarterback Matt “Matty Ice” Ryan, along with his most talented backs and receivers pulled off a come-back in the second half to upset the Dallas crowd. This win goes down in the record books as the first team to score its third consecutive come-from-behind win.

The Falcons struggled a bit in the first half, letting the Cowboys score first and not capitalizing on their next couple of snaps. However, the team did get the chance to squeeze in a field goal in the final seconds of the first half to cut their defecit to 11 points.

“Obviously the second half was huge, but I thought getting three points up before half time was big. That was a huge momentum changer for us offensively,” said Ryan. 

After the second half buzzer rang, the Falcons seemed to have turned on the heat as they went on score three more touchdowns and keep their opponents scoreless the entire half. The Atlanta defense did some pretty good things for the team’s overall performance. If it wasnt for Justin Durant and the defense keeping their opponents scoreless, Ryan and the offense would have had a more difficult time overcoming the deficit. 

The star for Atlanta’s offense today was running back Dovonta Freeman who rushed for 141 yards with 30 carries. Teammate receiver Julio Jones finished the game with 12 recpetions for 164 yards.

Offensively and defensively, the Falcons were well balanced and were able to persevere when necessary to  top the 2-0 (now 2-1) Cowboys.

Next Sunday, the Falcons are set to take on the Houston Texans (1-2) at 1:00pm EST. 

photo credentials: espn.go.com

To jinx, or not to jinx

 By Jannah BoldsOpinion Column

As sports fans, we know that the game is all about statistics; especially if you’re big on fantacy football. A player’s stats can make or break them when it comes to their athletic career. But, how do fans get access to their favorite player or team stats when watching an event at home or on the go? Commentators. Oh, those voices, those perfectly tuned, know-it-all, “anti biased” voices. Those voices were hired to give their audience the perfect picture of what’s going on when fans aren’t there to see for themselves. 

But…

What happens when it just seems like the commentators are commentating just a bit too much? Too much to the point where statistics precede a series of unfortunate events; AKA jinxing. For a semi-supersticious person like myself, this can become extremely irritating, especially in those stressfull, nailbiting situations. 

It never fails! 

“Falcon’s QB, Matt Ryan has yet to throw an interception this season.” BOOM! There goes an interception. 

-or-

“Atlanta wide receiver, Julio Jones, 0-7 in receptions today from Ryan.” WOOP! That’s a fumble.

There are plenty of irritating things out there, and this may qualify as one of them. I’m sure there are plenty of others who can testify. 

Dont get me wrong, I’m not complaing about how these guys are doing their jobs, but maybe we (the commentators) can come up with an alternative way to broadcast those stats without the possible compromise of the game. 

How about this, instead of talking about passing percentages and quarterback sacks in the midst of an offensive drive. I mean, I get it… talking about whats going on right then and there is more impactful, but damn. Why not wait until the offensive drive is over to talk about all the technical stuff. Just do it for fans like myself who believe in the jinx.

That is all.

Georgia’s Military gets Solar

  Georgia Power sparks up new projects with Georgia Military bases

By Jannah Bolds

 Members from the Georgia Power Company, General Services Administration, and the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives have collaborated on an electrifying project scheduled for completion at the end of 2016; solar energy panels.  

West Georgia military base, Fort Benning, is the first of three solar panel projects coming into effect this year. These solar projects will each total 30 megawatts in size and will create energy for Georgia’s electrical grid by utilizing photovoltaic panels.

“Georgia Power has long pursued a diversified energy supply. We use nuclear, coal, natural gas, hydropower and solar power which gives us reliable and affordable source of power for our customers,” said Georgia Power Spokesman, John Kraft. 

Because each solar project may cover more than 200 acres, Georgia military bases have large enough pieces of land to house such an enormous project.

Construction at Fort Benning, near Columbus, Georgia, began in April while Fort Gordon and Fort Stewart began last week, Georgia Power claims.

A construction team will be required to piece the project together, but not much maintenance is needed to keep these plants up and running. This ensures that energy costs will stay consistent, for Georgia Power and its customers.

“This project is required to cost no more than our other generation sources. It has to come in at, or below, what it would take to generate power from other sources. By setting that limit, it means that it will not cost customers more than it would have otherwise,” said Kraft.

The plan for this solar project is to place 30 megawatts on each military compound and have the energy that’s collected funnel into Georgia Power’s main electrical grid so that it may reach its customers.

“These bases will be more sustainable, equally and perhaps more important by giving them greater access to the power they are producing. These arrays will make these bases more secure and self reliant as well,” said Kevin Kampschroer from the U.S. General Services Administration.

“All panels must be working and online by the end of 2016 and we are very excited to be working with the Army and looking forward to getting these panels online as our balanced generation portfolio,” said Kraft.

Dirty Birds get a new nest

  

New Stadium to generate $400 million for state-wide economics

By Jannah Bolds

With the nation’s economy in recovery, Atlanta Georgia plans to boost state-wide economics with construction of its newest rendition of The Georgia Dome. 
The Peach State’s new $1.4 billion investment is projected to create over 4,500 employment opportunities, have a state-wide impact of more than $400 million, and will take nearly three years to complete.

“Invest Atlanta, along with the Arthur Blank Foundation will both commit $15 million to benefit surrounding areas including Vine City, English Avenue, Castleberry Hill, and other adjacent areas,” said Courtney Knight Invest Atlanta’s Managing Director of Redevelopment.

“Invest Atlanta’s contribution will come from the Westside Tax Allocation District (TAD),” Knight added.

Along with currently staffed employees, the new stadium will require more staff members due to its size, newer facilities, and state-of-the-art technologies backed by IBM.

Outside of the facility while construction is still brewing, the new stadium currently has 4,500 construction employees working to complete their task.

“We have joined with the Arthur Blank Foundation to create ‘Westside Works’. It is an organization that provides job training for individuals in surrounding communities,” said Knight.

Thus far, the organization has trained and employed over 4,000 local individuals and provided them with enough training for employment outside their current project.

“What we are trying to do is put a stake in the ground for the active development of the most challenging part of the city of Atlanta,” said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed after an ACP meeting.  

The city of Atlanta will not only have a new home for their National Football League team, the Atlanta Falcons, but will also have room for S.E.C. football, larger concerts, and Atlanta’s new Major League Soccer team. The dome will also feature large floor-to-ceiling windows facing the city skyline and a retractable roof to accommodate weather conditions.

“This will be a world-class entertainment center that can be used year around since it’s a closed facility,” said Knight.

Atlanta’s new dome is scheduled for completion in Spring 2017 and be ready for its first NFL kickoff that fall.  

Movie Review: Straight Outta Compton

Explicit language and constant snippets of legendary hip hop music filled theaters this weekend as one of the most anticipated films of the year finally hit the big screen this weekend.

Not only does the public get a chance to look back into the life of the notorious hip hop group N.W.A., but the film tells a story, a unique emotional story of a group of friends who had a vision. Mix that vision with talent and ambition, and you’ve got a story that helped put the city of Compton, California on the map.

Disclaimer: I’ll just go ahead and say that the purpose of this review is not to reveal part of the movie and spoil it for those who have not seen it. Instead, I aim to critique the overall experience.

Characters

The character choice for the film was spot on! The most impressive character match was O’Shea “Ice Cube” Jackson, who was played by his son, O’Shea Jackson Jr. The match for this role could not have been any more perfect, for his voice, demeanor and looks proved nearly identical to that of his father’s. According to other sources, ‘Baby Cube’ supposedly had to audition for the role just like anyone else — with all fairness. He also could have gotten tips and advice from his father on how to portray his character, which puts viewers as close as it can get to the real thing. With all said, great job O’Shea Jr.

Approaching the movie premier date, some actors had the chance to interview with other sources and give their take on the characters they played in the film. Recalling a radio broadcast interview with Corey Hawkins, actor for Andre ‘Dr Dre’ Young, Hawkins was questioned about acting out one of the toughest scenes in the film and in Dr. Dre’s life. The interview hyped up this particular scene; the amount of emotion put into it was supposed to be an A+. The scene failed to deliver the emotional pull that its potential.

Timeline 

Based on the knowledge of West coast Hip Hop history, the film was spot on with the timeline of all the events and happenings. This was a characteristic that solidified the film’s credibility and put viewers back in time just like they knew it happened in the ’80s. One thing that could have added another twist into the film was to show a small piece of what the group became after the death of Eric Wright.

Straight Outa Compton Movie advertisement Source: imdb.com
Straight Outa Compton Movie advertisement
Source: imdb.com

Other than the timeline, producers did a great job with portraying all scenes from the time period; wardrobe, city life etc.

Overall, the film gave the world a peek at how greatness was created; with determination, ambition, and love. Of course there is more to the story of these characters, but this film will go down in the books as capturing the essence of how these young men became who they are now. This film is a must see and definitely one to own.

Choose College

Hey Everyone!

I am not here to convince you to attend college, as you should already know that’s a necessity for life’s successes, but I am here to argue for going “away” for college.  When I say “away”, I mean AWAY, pack your things, move out, and don’t look back! Well, not looking back may be just a bit extreme because you will most likely need your parents sooner than you think.

Why argue to go away to college? From experience I can testify that going away to college is the best experience you’ll ever have in your young-adult life. It’s not just about partying every night, or not having to hear your mom’s mouth about coming in after curfew, or eating pizza and beer for breakfast, it’s about so much more.

College is about recognizing life’s challenges and using them from day one all the way through graduation day. Sounds boring right? It kinda is but it’s something you’ll look back on and nod your head in agreement.

Also while away at college, you get to meet new people and build social skills, learn all about time management, figure out that you can make more than chicken flavored Ramen noodles, and most importantly, learn yourself; what you like to do, are you a morning person, can you share a bathroom with two other people and a cat. Some things may make or break your college career, but hey, you have to learn how to roll with the punches.

All of the above are reasons why going away to college is well worth it, and a must for all young adult minds to mold themselves into college educated adults.

 

Here are a few tips for surviving and getting the most out of your college experience.

  • Register for classes early. As early as you can, to make sure you get the classes your adviser gives you.
  • Take at least 15 hours of courses each semester, this is the key to graduating in exactly four years. Or register for the 12-hour minimum and take a 3-hour course in the summer.
  • Manage your time wisely, showing up late for class and turning in late assignments WILL effect your grades. Also, don’t over book yourself with campus activities, it’s ok to miss a few.
  • The Library is your friend! Go straight here after a day of class to get your work done, that way, you’ll have time to catch that $1 beer happy hour special.
  • Get involved with campus activities, especially the ones you can put on your resume!
  • Invest in a bike. Yes, a bike! It saves you time and get you out of the heat. But, where there’s a bike, there must be a bike lock!
  • Get a job. You’ll be balling at minimum wage, but it helps with your independence. — You’re Welcome 🙂

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