The Georgia World Congress Center Authority on Thursday ended attempts to buy one of two churches that now occupy the preferred location for a new Falcons stadium and started a feasibility study for a second-choice site a half-mile north of the Georgia Dome at the intersection of Northside Drive and Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard.
The secondary site is empty, so there’ll be no need for any negotiations. But it does have its drawbacks, however, such opposition from neighborhood groups; contaminated soil that would necessitate a costly cleanup; and being a lengthy half-mile walk from the nearest MARTA stations, according to a Friday report in the Atlanta newspaper.
SO IF PLAN B falls through too, might that have the Birds looking for a stadium site in the northern suburbs? If so, the Franklin Road corridor likely would have a prominent place on the list of potential sites. Its biggest attraction is its proximity to Interstate 75, both from Delk Road and South Marietta Parkway. Its biggest drawback would be the fact that land for a stadium would have to be purchased and cleared, which usually is a costly, time-consuming process.
On the other hand, Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin already has that ball rolling courtesy of the city council’s plan to ask voters in November to approve a $68 million bond with which to acquire several of the decrepit garden apartments in the corridor. The complexes would be razed and the land conveyed for redevelopment if voters approve the bonds.
A Franklin Road stadium would be a touchdown for the Falcons and for fans. And it would have an “extra point” for team officials too, who would surely find dealing with Cobb and Marietta elected officials less arduous than what they’ve had to endure through the decades in Fulton and Atlanta.
THE SELECTION COMMITTEE of the Marietta Visitors’ Bureau board met Thursday evening and agreed to recommend Katie Peterson to succeed Theresa Jenkins as director. Peterson has worked the past year as the Bureau’s marketing and PR director. Committee members Beverly Kelly, Larry Zenoni and Scott Wright met in executive session (with member Sally Macaulay absent) before settling on Peterson over the other finalist, dk Gallery manager Mary Koronkowski.
The Bureau board will meet at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 19 to finalize the hiring decision and is not bound by the committee’s recommendation.
“(They) are free to make any decision that they wish,” said board Chair Dempsey Kirk.
LOOK for a new tenant soon in the former “Go Fish” space on South Park Square in Marietta, says landlord Philip Goldstein. Retailer Go Fish closed this week after five years or so on the Square.
PEOPLE: Lassiter High/UGA grad Lauren Culbertson, press secretary for U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), was the only Georgian included by Capitol Hill newspaper “The Hill” on its annual “50 Most Beautiful” List of elected officials and Capitol Hill staffers. …
Meanwhile, Zach Hunter, son of former west Cobb Commissioner Louie Hunter, has been hired as communications director by U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.)
MORE PEOPLE: Vocalist Heather Graham, daughter of Marietta’s Glenn and Roxanne Graham, is working with celebrity vocal coach Jan Smith on an upcoming album for release next year and just finished working with Grammy-winning producers Cheryl Rogers and Trammell Starks on her first single, “Superman.”
AS MANY EXPECTED, Atlanta’s Theater of the Stars cancelled its entire 2013-14 season in full Thursday because of financial problems, a move described as “a tragic loss” by GM Brandt Blocker of the Atlanta Lyric Theatre, now based at the Jennie T. Anderson Theatre in Marietta.
“The Lyric will try to fill the void by continuing to produce as Atlanta’s only professional musical theater company — with a concentration on hiring local professional actors,” he told Around Town. “It is critical for our community to show its support of our local theater companies by attending performances and making charitable contributions when possible. These organizations contribute to the well-being and culture of our community. A culture, I feel we must work hard to cherish.”
The Lyric’s production of Mel Brooks’ “The Producers” opens a three-weekend run on Friday.
POLITICS: Last Saturday’s campaign kickoff by Ward 2 Marietta School Board candidate Jason Waters at the Anderson Family Farm drew a crowd of 150 that included such notables as Mayor Steve Tumlin and wife Jean Alice, Councilmen Johnny Sinclair, Andy Morris and Grif Chalfant, and 11th District congressional candidate Tricia Pridemore. Waters is running against incumbent Tony Fazola. …
The latest issue of Atlanta magazine has named Dr. Branko Radulovacki of Vinings, who’s running as a Democrat for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), as one of its “Top Docs” in its annual listing of top local medicos. ...
Tickets are $20 each for next Saturday’s “Grillin’ with the Governor!” BBQ presented by Nathan and Sandra Deal at Lake Lanier. The fundraiser is open to the public.
MORE POLITICS: “Roll Call” newspaper has listed U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-east Cobb, Roswell) as one of 10 Congressmen who could wind up speaker if incumbent John Boehner is overthrown or retires.
Writes Roll Call, “Price has the conservative credentials to attract a lot of support, hails from the vote-rich South and maintains an outsider’s appeal, even if he’s on the inside of most policy discussions. … He opposed the Wall Street bailout and once led the Republican Study Committee. An orthopedic surgeon, he also led the Republican Policy Committee in the 112th and has wonk cred. He now serves as a senior member on Ways and Means.”
AT THE MIC: Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee will host a town hall meeting from 7-8:30 p.m. Aug. 13 at Pebblebrook High in Mableton. … Cobb School Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa will be speaker at Wednesday’s lunch meeting of the South Cobb Business Association at Presbyterian Village. …
Around Town’s Joe Kirby will be speaking on his book, “The Lockheed Plant” to the Friends of the Smyrna Library at 3 p.m. Sunday, and then Tuesday at the Smyrna Golden K meeting at the Smyrna Senior Center.
THE REYNOLDS & WILLIAMS BAND led by Marietta High alum Joel Williams will headline the Friday fundraiser at the Marietta Country Club for the Marietta Schools Foundation. The event will raise money to help the Blue Devils pay for extra high school activities, such as athletics, the prom and The Olympian. Cost of the 7 p.m. event is $45. For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (770) 891-4684.
THE COBB CHAMBER’s First Monday Breakfast two days hence will feature a panel discussion about the jobs market headlined by Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler and Deputy Commissioner for Economic Development Tom Croteau. Moderating will be Mercer University Economics professor Dr. Roger Tutterow.
EVENTS: The City of Smyrna holds its birthday from 6-10 p.m. this evening on the Village Green. There’s be music by Banks & Shane followed by fireworks — assuming it doesn’t rain.