Thursday thread

July 6 —Marvin S. Arrington Sr., a retired Fulton County judge and former Atlanta City Council president, died Wednesday at age 82. A force in city politics for decades, the recent documentary “Bo Legs” tells the story of the Atlanta native.

🌞 Sunny and 92° today. 

🔥  APD Chief Daren Schierbaum characterized the activists who burned police motorcycles over the weekend as “professional anarchists.”

🍎 The Atlanta Board of Education says it will hire a search firm to help them find the next superintendent for Atlanta Public Schools. 

🚗 West Nancy Creek Bridge in Brookhaven has reopened after a year of repairs.

💰 The MARTA Police Department received a $1.4 million grant from the state to recruit new officers.

⚖️ Lin Wood, the controversial lawyer who represented Richard Jewell and Donald Trump, retired his law license rather than face disciplinary action from the State Bar. 

🎗️The Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Amy Wenk reports that legendary PR executive Bob Cohn died Tuesday. He was 88. His firm, Cohn & Wolfe, was credited with building some of the world’s largest brands including Coca-Cola and Chick-fil-A (subscription required).

🕖 Today’s newsletter is  stories.

• Chattahoochee sewage spill
• European-style social housing
• The art of Aysha Pennerman
• Quick Bites

See you on Threads sooner than later,
Collin & Sammie 

🍅 Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival (#AKTF) returns to Westside Provisions District on Sun., July 30 from 1-4 p.m. for an annual celebration of the juiciest fruit in Georgia: tomatoes. Passes include tastings and beverages featuring tomatoes from restaurants, bars, and other tomato-serving establishments. Tickets are here.

These boaters were able to enjoy the river by the Chattahoochee Nature Center when this photo was taken in May, but the river is closed from just south of this point today. (Bob Pepalis)

1. Chattahoochee Riverkeeper calls sewage spill a major Clean Water Act violation

🚯 The sewage spill from a Fulton County wastewater treatment facility that has closed a 15-mile stretch of the Chattahoochee River is a major violation of the Clean Water Act, according to the river’s advocacy group. 

Chattahoochee Riverkeeper said there should be enforcement action against the county after the spill from the Big Creek reclamation facility. As of this morning, the river remained closed from the Chattahoochee Nature Center to its confluence with Peachtree Creek.

On Wednesday afternoon, Fulton officials said efforts to stop the spill were showing signs of working. 

🏞️ Learn more about the sewage spill here.

Southern rock, country, and faith-filled Zach Williams

🎶 Head to the mountains for an incredible night of the soulful and rocking tunes of Grammy-award winner Zach Williams! 

Through a fusion of Southern rock spirit and country soul, Williams creates music with an exterior that is worn down in the best way, but all heart underneath its rough guitar riffs and gravelly vocals. 

You’ll hear his journey in the music and see it in his unfiltered storytelling—how he went from a tiny town to international stardom. Along the way, he battled addiction, anxiety, and insecurity, coming out on the other side with a whole lot to say. 

🎸Join us on Sat., July 8 as he performs platinum singles like “Chainbreaker,” “Fear is a Liar,” and “There Was Jesus.”

Image via Atlanta Civic Circle.

2. Atlanta plans to embrace ‘European-style social housing’

🏘️ The City of Atlanta is taking a page from Europe’s playbook to confront its housing crisis. Later this month, the mayor’s office will begin to form an “urban development corporation” to eventually produce a type of mixed-income housing never seen here before.

The Atlanta Urban Development Corporation (AUDC) will be “an operationalization of the Affordable Housing Strike Force,” said Mayor Andre Dickens’ Chief Housing Advisor Joshua Humphries. Dickens created the strike force last year to bring various municipal housing efforts under one city hall umbrella. 

In forming the AUDC, the city is essentially launching a development group that will initially be funded by the affordable housing trust fund and eventually be staffed by real estate professionals and supported by City employees. The goal is to consolidate publicly owned property, partner with private developers, and build housing that’s affordable to Atlanta’s middle- and low-income residents.

🏢 You can learn more from Atlanta Civic Circle here.

Aysha Pennerman at the Echo Contemporary. Photographs by Isadora Pennington.

3. Advocacy through art with Aysha Pennerman

🖌️ “I like to see my work as a form of empowerment; I like for my personal work to show the beauty of Black women,” said artist Aysha Pennerman from her desk in the Echo Contemporary artist studios. With a portfolio that includes graphic design, paintings, murals, and mixed media art, Pennerman uses her art to send a message of empowerment, hope, and inspiration.

Pennerman has always loved drawing and painting. She moved frequently due to her father’s Army career, with stints in Texas, New Jersey, and as far away as Germany. The family eventually settled in Savannah after her father retired. 

As a young girl, she would doodle in sketchbooks while her mother did her hair. “Cartoon characters, dogs, random things, and it just exploded from there,” said Pennerman. 

🎨 Read more about Aysha Pennerman here. 


➡ The Atlanta Contemporary announced that Executive Director Veronica Kessenich will step down after a decade in the role.

🍅 Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival (#AKTF) returns to Westside Provisions District on Sun., July 30 from 1-4 p.m. for an annual celebration of the juiciest fruit in Georgia: tomatoes. Passes include tastings and beverages featuring tomatoes from restaurants, bars, and other tomato-serving establishments. Tickets are here.

4. Quick Bites

🍋 A new law will allow Georgia children to operate lemonade stands legally (pictured).

🍝 Superica Chef Kevin Maxey is planning to open an Italian restaurant at Chastain Market.

🥤 A grab-and-go concept called Centennial Juice Bar is eyeing a September opening in Atlanta.

🥙 Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe is looking to open its eighth Georgia outpost in Johns Creek.

📚 On July 11, Lucian Books and Wine will expand its afternoon hours, offering snacks and wine from 2:30-5 p.m.

🏎️ A new Formula One-themed cocktail bar called Dryver Bar is now open inside Yeppa & Co. at Buckhead Village.

🌱 Vegan restaurant Planta is now open at Krog Street Market.

🧑‍🍳 Omakase by Yun, a 20-course omakase restaurant, is looking to open in Dunwoody in August.

🇮🇳 Decatur’s Chai Pani celebrates 10 years on July 11 with a 10th Anniversary Mela on their new, Bollywood-inspired patio.

🌯 A Chipotle restaurant – complete with a walk-up window – opened a new location on June 30 in the Lindbergh/Morosgo neighborhood.

❓ A new food hall called Halidom Eatery is taking suggestions for what type of restaurants locals would like to see.

🍸 Dean Wenzel has been named the new executive chef at Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails. 

🍿 Stay in the picture with Scene by Rough Draft, our weekly newsletter about Georgia’s film industry. Movie reviews, profiles, what’s filming where, plus more. Directed by Sammie Purcell. Subscribe for free.

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

Sammie Purcell is Associate Editor at Rough Draft Atlanta.