on second thought

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August 16 marks the death of Coca-Cola founder and inventor John Pemberton. It has been over 130 years since he first brought the beverage to Atlanta. We took a trip to the Coca-Cola Freestyle Innovation Lab and learned the story behind the drink’s first pour.

In the Breakroom this week we’ll talk about microchips, atheists, and disgruntled Google employees. Plus, we’ll discuss the ethics of getting an A for effort. Joining us this week: Kathy Lohr, Christian Zsilavetz, Amy Condon, and Steve Brown.

Sportsgrid

The Savannah Bananas are back in the playoffs this week. This comes after Savannah’s collegiate team broke the league record for attendance, again. We talk with team president, Jared Orton. Then, we hear from some number one fans. 

Access Atlanta

Ice Cream. Two little words that can attract a lot of people, especially when it’s hot outside. A festival in Atlanta recently celebrated summer’s quintessential dessert with family events and vendors offering more flavors than we can name. G-P-B intern Candace Spates sends us a postcard from the Atlanta Ice Cream Festival at Piedmont Park.

Wikimedia Commons

Blue Cross Blue Shield is currently the only insurer on Georgia’s statewide exchange, and its premiums are set to go up as much as 40 percent by 2018. The insurer just announced a new policy limiting consumer coverage when it comes to emergency room visits. We talk with Andy Miller, editor of Georgia Health News, and Beth Stephens, Senior Director of Public Policy, Georgia Watch.

In the Breakroom this week we talk about tuna salad, blocking people on Twitter, and the science of manspreading. Plus, we say our goodbyes to The Mooch. Joining us this week: Tomika DePriest, Greg Williams, Hector Fernandez, and Soumaya Khalifa.

Sweetwater Mission

Sweetwater Mission is Atlanta’s largest food pantry, and it focuses on the city’s undocumented workers. Managers at the mission say they recently turned down $35,000 of funding because it came with the stipulation that it should only be used to serve people who are in the country legally. Joining us is the Director of Operations for Sweetwater Mission, Mark Zangari.

Ryan McFadin

Savannah’s First African Baptist Church was recently honored by the Georgia Historical Society for its role in the civil rights movement -- from housing escaped slaves under their floorboards, to being the place where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his first public speech. GPB’s Ryan McFadin recently went to the church service and brought back this audio postcard.

Amazon

"Atlanta Noir," a new collection of short stories comes out today. The book depicts neighborhoods in the city using grim and moody devices typical of the noir genre. Joining us to talk about the dark sides of Atlanta is Tayari Jones, editor and contributing author of the new book.

Yeshiva

50,000 Fulton County voters received letters saying they may be declared inactive, because they didn’t update the address on their voter registration cards. The Georgia ACLU is filing legal action against the state, claiming it’s actions are in violation of the Voter Registration Act of 1993. But is this simple housekeeping for an elections system, or part of an effort to make it harder for some people to vote? Joining us is Andra Gillespie, Emory University Political Science Professor.

Wabe

A debate is going on over the operation of immigration detention centers. Georgia’s Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin is one of the largest in the country. It is run by a private company. There are many like it. Critics say those private facilities are problematic. Last year, a Homeland Security Advisory Council said they should be phased out. However, a separate subcommittee wants to continue using private immigrant detention facilities, but that committee wants greater oversight. We talk more about this with Azadeh Shahshahani, the legal and advocacy director with Project South.

Pixabay

A recent report puts Georgia 41st in the nation for its quality of senior health. According to America’s Health Rankings Senior Report, that’s two slots lower than last year. We talk about senior health in the state with Kathy Floyd of the Georgia Council on Aging and Glenn Osster of the Institute of Gerontology at the University of Georgia.

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control shows that 30 million Americans -- nearly 10 percent of the population -- have diabetes. The study also shows nearly a quarter of them -- more than seven million -- are undiagnosed. And the South, Georgia included, has the highest concentration of people with the disease. We talk with Sarah Piper, Senior Program Associate for the Diabetes Training and Technical Assistance Center at Emory University and Andy Miller, President of Georgia Health News.

Wikimedia Commons

The Atlanta City Council, along with the United Way, has committed $50 million  to help combat homelessness. This comes after news that the city’s largest shelter, Peachtree-Pine, will close by the end of August. Joining us is Rick Westbrook, Executive Director for Lost N Found, and Deirdre Oakley, Professor of Sociology for Georgia State University. 

In the Breakroom this week we talk about snortable chocolate, horrible wedding playlists, and the inadequacies of Tyrannosaurus Rex. Plus, we’ll discuss the nixing of this year’s tax holiday and Ann Coulter’s latest twitter tirade. Joining us this week: Ruel Joyner, Amber Scott, Kathy Lohr, and Jessica Szilagyi.

Pixabay

Travel journalist Arthur Levine joins us to discuss roller coaster history, and the appeal of getting your kicks on a ride.  

Flickr

Six Flags just announced its historic wooden rollercoaster, The Georgia Cyclone, will be closed by the end of July. The park turned 50 this year, and a lot has changed since it opened. GPB producers Ryan McFadin and Sean Powers bring us an audio postcard from Six Flags.

Tastes Like Summer

Tomato season is just starting. Chuck Reece, the editor of The Bitter Southerner, shares his thoughts on the prescription for the perfect tomato sandwich.

Instructions for making a tomato sandwich the right way should always begin with this couplet from the late, great songwriter Guy Clark:

 

Up in the mornin’, out in the garden

Get you a ripe ’un, don’t get a hard ’un

 

www.killertomatofest.com

The Killer Tomato is coming this weekend. The Killer Tomato Festival, that is. Atlanta restaurateur and chef Ford Fry and Georgia Organics Director Alice Rolls join us to talk about southern cooking with juicy, ripe tomatoes.

Other Press

On this day in 1773, the first Jewish settlers arrived in Savannah. They founded what has become the oldest Jewish congregation in the South. Nearly two centuries later, Savannah again became a refuge for Jewish immigrants. Author Jonathan Rabb explores this difficult transition in his novel, "Among The Living.” We talk to him about the book, and researching Jewish communities in Georgia. 

Wikipedia

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case against the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, alleging the company discriminates against older workers by not hiring them in the first place. This leaves in place a ruling from Atlanta’s 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. We discuss the implications with Paul Chichester, an Atlanta-based employment attorney. And Peter Gosselin, contributing reporter for ProPublica.

Flickr

President Trump has created a commission to investigate voter fraud. Most states are refusing to hand over their registration records. But Georgia’s leadership has agreed to release extensive personal information about voters here. Blogger Sam Burnham takes issue with this. He brings us this commentary.

Max Pixel

Georgia still calls itself the Peach State. But California ships about 680,000 tons more peaches than we do. Might it be time to rebrand the Peach State? AJC columnist George Mathis III brings us this commentary.

Flickr

Sucheta Rawal is a children’s book author on a mission. She created Beato, a world traveling cat, who’s part of a broader plan to raise cultural awareness in both kids and adults.  Her latest book is “Beato Goes to Indonesia,” which just hit the shelves. The author joins us in the studio.

Pixabay

President Trump recently unveiled new trade restrictions with Cuba. We look at how this will impact Georgia’s poultry industry. Joining us is James Sumner, President of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council and Marisa Anne Pagnattaro, Associate Dean for UGA’s Terry College of Business.

Wikimedia Commons

A recent survey by the University of Georgia finds that 16 percent of Georgians don’t have access to a high-speed internet connection. The vast majority of those effected live in the state’s rural regions. We talk about broadband deserts with UGA’s Associate Director of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government Eric McRae.

Finally, broadband deserts are a political issue as well. Kyle Wingfield, a conservative columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, brings us a commentary.

John Englart (Takver)/ Foter

Climate change is a problem for everyone. But climate change disproportionately harms communities of color. An Atlanta-based organization recently received $1 million from the MacArthur Foundation to help combat this. Nathaniel Smith is a founder of that organization, the Partnership for Southern Equity. He joins us with Felicia Davis, Director of the Building Green Initiative at Clark Atlanta University.

The Breakroom gang is back to discuss the potential for Georgia to have its first African-American female governor, a debate over espionage vs. whistleblowing, and examining the feminism of Wonder Woman. Then we talk about Cumberland Island, why men refuse to seek medical help, and our favorite BBQ sauces. Our guests are Kalena Boller, Kathy Lohr, Stefan Turkheimer, and Jessica Szilagyi. 

Who Should Be Watching Our Elected Officials?

Jun 7, 2017
Discover DeKalb

Bad behavior by government officials is investigated by ethics boards. In Georgia the members of such boards are usually chosen by private organizations. But a DeKalb County judge recently ruled against that practice, saying it’s unconstitutional for people who weren’t elected to choose local government watchdogs.

Viking Economics

Jun 6, 2017
Melville House Books

In his new book, “Viking Economics,” author George Lakey examines why countries like Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark have some of the happiest and most highly-paid workers and how we can apply their policies to our own economy. We spoke with George Lakey from the WNCU studios in Durham, NC.

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