I was sad to learn that El Azteca closed. My family has gone there for years to eat. Service was awesome. The food came out quickly. It was family friendly. That location has gone through a string of restaurants. El Azteca seemed so stable. I was caught off guard. The business cycle has not been kind.
Then there is the Ryan’s out at Eisenhower Crosssing. My goodness. Every time I drive past that place the parking lot is jampacked. In fact, I’ve never been to that Ryan’s because it has always appeared so crowded. I was shocked to learn it would be closing. It makes you wonder what is wrong with the business model when a restaurant can be that packed and still not make money.
One place that does make sense to close is the Blockbusters Video on Zebulon Road. It is the video store I use, but when I thought about it, I haven’t been there in probably two years. I don’t even have a DVD player any more. I stream from Netflix or iTunes.
Given the demographic of that area, as opposed to the Pierce Avenue area where Blockbusters will remain open, I suspect most people around the Zebulon Road store also stream movies now more than rent.
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The socio-economic growth of certain classes of people will soon start taking another toll in our economy. A report in Newsweek’s Daily Beast the other day reported an increasing number of upper income, highly educated, secularist, left-leaning families are pulling their children out of schools to home-school them. Maybe that is why Superintendent Romain Dallemand is rumored to have joined the Gingrich traveling roadshow, telling people he will become Gingrich’s secretary of education -- there’s a reason Democrats should support Gingrich right there. He was in South Carolina with the candidate and I hear Florida, too.
As public schools see upper income residents leave, the schools become poorer and less diverse. But with current education trends focusing on trends instead of basics, the poorer, less diverse students are also ill-served with a lack of a core education.
The most striking thing about the Daily Beast article is how so many people see this as a new trend. This is a just a regression to the days of old when the rich raised their children at home with nannies and tutors away from the masses. For those who believe diversity gives our children a more well rounded education, this is a setback.
The answer is not to do as some reactionaries would have us -- clamp down on home schooling -- but rather to get education back to the basics. Make sure our kids can read and write English before pursuing Mandarin. But then maybe, just maybe, do as Superintendent Dallemand suggests -- let students go to schools based on interests not distances from home.
By the way, I’ve put this off for a while, but what the heck was Robert Reichert thinking? He let City Council choose members of the SPLOST oversight board thingy (a technical term) and they chose Jack Ellis, David Lucas and Lindsey Holliday. I get Doc, but the others? I’m sure the mayor wanted to play nice with a new council but every single time Reichert tries to be a reconciler it bites him on the butt.
Mayors must make enemies. Reconcilers cannot afford them. Every once in a while, Council unintentionally reminds Mayor Reichert of his proper role and that he should not abdicate it to council.
Erick Erickson is a CNN contributor and radio talk show host in Atlanta.