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Green Power

Almost 80 percent of female business owners, 70 percent of female legislators, and all female astronauts used to be Girl Scouts. That’s fairly compelling evidence that scouting teaches young women to dream big. Want more? Consider Morgan Coffey, a junior at Oglethorpe University.

Q&A with Allen Ault

In the hours leading up to the September execution of Troy Davis, protests and pleas for clemency could be heard from hundreds of voices across the nation. But none was more impassioned or surprising than a letter issued from six retired corrections officials, led by former commissioner of the Georgia Department of Corrections, Allen Ault, who personally oversaw the executions of five Georgia men before resigning in 1995. Here, Ault, now dean of the College of Justice and Safety at Eastern Kentucky University, describes the true cost of capital punishment and why, after sixteen years, he decided to speak up now.

Raising Herman Cain

It started in 2009 with a tentative, polite email. “I asked his secretary if Herman Cain would be embarrassed if I launched a draft effort on Facebook for him to run for president,” says Maurice Atkinson, a forty-nine-year-old insurance agent in Macon. “Herman called me back immediately and started chuckling. People accused me of having a man crush on Herman, but I said, ‘No, I’m on a mission to get something going for our country.’”Atkinson is not alone in his zeal, according to more than 25,000 followers on the site he established. Cain, the Atlanta entrepreneur and radio talk show host who resuscitated Godfather’s Pizza, has made the talking heads swivel with his unexpected rankings—just out of the gate, he polled at 10 percent, ahead of even Michele Bachmann, despite a lack of name recognition among two-thirds of Republican voters—and the spark plug fervor of his adherents, who call themselves “Hermanators” and “Cainiacs.”“People who have never been interested in politics before will gladly walk through the fires of hell for him,” marvels Atkinson.Cain claims a war chest of barely $2 million, relying mostly on small, online donations, but his business associates from Whirlpool and Hallmark have bolstered his “Friends of Herman Cain” PAC.The business-centered campaign, which calls for abolishing the IRS, has won over some Independents and Democrats, but his most reliable base is the Tea Party, which seems in the giddy throes of a collective man crush notable for crossing traditional demographic boundaries. Cain—an African American conservative who speaks in ministerial cadences, jokes that he is the “dark horse,” and denounces “playing the race card”—has endeared himself even to the movement’s most splenetic and unreconstructed Obama-haters, the so-called “crackers for Cain.”“Herman is a real brother, though,” says Rufus Montgomery, an African American founding member of the board of directors of the Conservative Policy Leadership Institute. He promptly wrote a check for $2,500 to Cain’s campaign after hearing the candidate speak.The appeal of Cain, whose slogan is “Let’s Get Real,” transcends all of the “too easy story lines,” says Atkinson, a white Republican who has never attended a Tea Party rally. “Herman does not focus on race; he focuses on issues,” says Atkinson, “and he is genuinely engaged with people. Of course, when you work without a script, you’re more likely to stick your foot in your mouth with an off-the-cuff remark that becomes part of the endless news cycle.” (Cain said communities have a right to ban mosques.)Another campaign donor, Atlanta attorney Blake Halberg, adds, “Herman is the black Ronald Reagan. His message is easy to understand.”Cain, who lives in Stockbridge, grew up on Albert Street, with his father holding down three jobs as a janitor, barber, and chauffeur while his mother worked as a domestic maid. Cain was a Morehouse Man, graduating with a degree in mathematics in 1967. Before entering the restaurant business, he worked as a computer systems analyst for the Coca-Cola Company, and more recently he honed his message on WSB’s The Herman Cain Show.Atkinson discovered him in 1997 when Cain galvanized a meeting of Walmart managers. “He was explaining practical approaches for a successful life, for believing in yourself with the knowledge that, if you work hard without whining, you can beat the odds. I think that’s the core of his popularity. People

Growing Up Muslim in College Park

Sarah Kajani had just started her freshman year of high school when the terrorist-hijacked planes struck the Twin Towers. As if adolescence were not agonizing enough for a Muslim girl in Peachtree City. “Suddenly all eyes were on us, so for a couple of years, my Indian family and I kept the outward signs of our religion—our prayers, our customary dress, henna tattoos—low-key,” she says. “There was this feeling in the air that we all should apologize. My cousin

Gwinnett’s Briscoe Field

A bold plan to privatize general aviation at Gwinnett’s Briscoe Field, enabling flights by commercial airlines, has sparked hot debate. The county board of commissioners is deciding whether to proceed. Here, two opposing factions sound off.  

The Thrashers Leave for Winnipeg

Dear Winnipeggers,   Congrats! You got yourselves a hockey team—again. Kind of wish it wasn’t ours. But here we are.   While there are many good and devoted fans who are distraught we’re losing the Thrashers, for most of us their departure is like se

Turtle Activist

Steve Santhuff adopted his first turtle when he was five years old. It had taken up residence in his yard, in a dollhouse that his grandfather had made. As a child, Santhuff collected richly patterned common map turtles, and he grew obsessed with the beautiful, exotic species and their kin. More than thirty years later, his day job is management at a transportation company, but Santhuff’s passion is still turtles. At one point, he had more than 500, kept in some thirty five-foot-wide

Comstock Home and Hearth Fireplaces

We want to extend our thanks to the people who allow us into their homes every year.  We appreciate your trust and your business.  To those of you who are looking for quality merchandise...

The Atlanta Science Tavern

It’s eight o’clock on a Saturday night, and the back room of Manuel’s Tavern is packed. No, there’s not an election, and the World Series is months away. These patrons are waiting to hear about breakthroughs in synthetic biology. The crowd ranges from tattooed hipsters wearing Converse sneakers, planning a night

Big Brothers Shortage

A year ago, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta launched its fiftieth year while facing a major dilemma. The organization, which serves about 3,100 children, had a list of 1,100 boys waiting for Big Brothers. There was no such backlog for Sisters; in fact, an excess of women wer

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