Main Street

Main Street USA

It’s hard to find anyone in the South who hasn’t watched — or at least heard of — The Andy Griffith Show. We all know that when somebody says, “That town was just like Mayberry,” they mean it was charming and filled with nice, hardworking folks and safe. While the Georgia Main Street program doesn’t aim to bring back the past, it does aim to bring more charm to our small towns, give our hardworking folks better places to work and make our downtowns safe — and fun — to visit. This year, the spotlight will be on Georgia’s Main

Georgia Museum of Art

Southern Culture

After months of hibernation it feels good to get out and partake in some local culture — whether indoors or out, art is best seen in natural light. A number of new shows happen to feature this writer’s favorite style: abstract painting. Chaos and Metamorphosis pretty much sums up this genre, so it’s fitting that it’s the title of a show of works by Italian artist Piero Lerda. Weaving weird symbols and recurring images into his colorful mixed-media collages, he strikes a tone at once funny and intriguing. His works are on view at the Georgia Museum of Art at


40 Under 40 Nominations Now Open

Each year Georgia Trend honors 40 of the state’s best and brightest under the age of 40. Whether you know someone who’s making a difference on the national stage or is a mover and shaker in his or her corner of the state, if they are under 40 years old as of Oct. 1, 2015, we want to hear about them. The ideal candidate is someone who is successful in his or her profession and is passionate about community service. There are a few cases in which a day job alone is enough of a qualification, but the state is


Capitol Events

The Garden Club of Georgia and the Georgia Water Coalition joined several other environmental groups in Atlanta on Feb. 18, for Capitol Conservation Day. Some 150 gathered at the Capitol after a breakfast briefing on environmental issues at Central Presbyterian Church, across the street from the Statehouse. The current legislative session includes a mixed bag of environmental policy in the works. Senate Bill 101 would clarify and sustain Georgia’s buffer rules for rivers and streams, but some groups are concerned the bill has too many loopholes in its current state. Clarification of Georgia’s buffer rules have been sorely needed for


Growing Businesses

As the economy continues to grow and Georgia remains the No. 1 state to do business, entrepreneurs are increasingly seeking out business incubators to help get their fledgling companies soaring. From mentoring to funding to managerial support to regulatory navigation, Georgia’s business incubators in universities and technical colleges or those run by economic development entities and private individuals have a successful track record with companies as diverse as biotech enterprises, a creamery, a home healthcare business and high-tech startups. While most incubators find a niche and generally stick with it, sometimes an evolution takes place. At the University of Georgia,

Georgia Solar Energy Association Solar Summit

Water and power – not just hydropower but how power generation uses water – was discussed recently at the Georgia Solar Energy Association Solar Summit at Georgia Tech Research Institute in Atlanta.

“The drought has reduced our amount of hydroelectric power being collected at dams on the Chattahoochee River,” according to panelist Jesse Roach of Sandia National Laboratories of Albequerque, NM. Georgia also uses a lot of water without “consuming it” for coal fired power plants, much more than cooling towers for nuclear reactors, which also withdraw less. “It is possible to retrofit plants using solar to switch from fresh water use to dry cooling using municipal waste water and brackish ground water, representing a 10 percent increase in costs. A chunk yes, but this is a reality.”

“The old argument has always been that solar would cause massive upward pressure on water rates, but 10 percent isn’t that bad,” says John L. Gornall Jr., Partner of Economic Development Practice for Arnall Golden Gregory. “There wouldn’t be the necessity of so much retrofit if renewables are increased. Utilities might argue that it’s what’s consumed that’s important, but I disagree, from a permitting perspective, if I’m down stream I have to throttle back.

“We have the technology, but not the policy, and not the infrastructure. But in terms of creating a water supply program using solar, we are getting there,” says Gornall noting that Georgia Power is in the process of closing 15 coal fired power plants.

Joy Hinkle of Southface added that the nonprofit’s Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge, as well as Living Buildings Challenge and Architecture 2030, are pushing the zero carbon footprint movement and making retrofits a priority. “We have the most stringent plumbing code of any state in the country,” she says.

“Water authorities are pushing solar – whether through redesign for capital costs, or storage overnight and treating by day, the numbers are making sense,” says Gornall.

Image Credit: Ben Young