Sweetwater Mission Seeks Aid For Summer Lunches

During the summer break many children from low-income families in Cobb and Douglas Counties won’t have access to meals provided at school. Sweetwater Mission believes there is nothing more important than helping parents provide healthy meals for their children.

During June and July Sweetwater Mission will provide an additional 80,000 pounds of food by offering additional groceries to families with children. The focus will be nutritious foods like fresh bananas, apples, carrots, potatoes; fresh and frozen meats; 100 percent fruit juice; and kids’ favorites like applesauce, mac and cheese, and peanut butter and jelly.

Sweetwater Mission needs your help. Together, we can ensure that more than 3,500 children eat healthy, play hard and are ready for school at the end of summer break. Donations can be mailed to Sweetwater Mission — Summer Food, P. O. Box 802, Austell, GA 30168 or online at www.SweetwaterMission.org.

From the June 2017 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Memorial Day Services set

Powder Springs

American Legion Post 294 of Powder Springs will be honoring our deceased veterans at the annual Memorial Day Ceremony to be held Monday, May 29 at Noon at the Powder Springs Veterans Memorial in front of the library at 4181 Atlanta Street.

The program will include the Post’s 9-member Color Guard, commentary, a guest speaker, patriotic music, and the laying of a Memorial wreath, to be followed by Taps. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will take place inside the George Ford Center community room behind the library.

Our traditional Memorial Day Cookout will begin at 4 p.m. for all Legion family members and guests. The Post will provide the meats, while members are asked to round out the meal by bringing a side dish, salad and/or dessert to share. Donations will be requested in support of the local USO at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.

“Please invite your friends and neighbors to join us at noon for this solemn holiday,” said Ra Barr, Commander Post 294.

Smyrna

Marking the centennial of America’s entry into World War I, The city of Smyrna will hold its annual Memorial Day ceremony on Monday, May 29 beginning at 9:30 a.m.

In addition to the ceremony there will be displays of military equipment which including current and vintage military and security vehicles and weaponry, a US Marine Patrol Boat, H3 Hummer and Rock Wall and other attractions.

The Georgia Army National Guard Band, Campbell High School JROTC, and USAF Honor Guard will all be participating in the ceremony.

This year’s featured speakers will be MG (Select) Jesse Simmons, Jr., commander of the Georgia Air National Guard, and CPT Donna Rowe, Vietnam theater US Army Nurse Corps.

Ceremony sponsors include The City of Smyrna, Smyrna Veterans Committee, Veterans Memorial Association of Smyrna, American Legion Post 160, Northwest Speakers, Smyrna Rotary Club, Jonquil City Kiwanis, Chick-fil-A of South Cobb, and JWC Real Estate.

The event will be at the Smyrna Veterans Memorial at 2800 King St. (between Smyrna City Hall and the Smyrna Library). The event and parking are free. The rain location is the Smyrna Community Center.

World War I created the notion of America as a superpower. Not because the United States hadn’t previously wars. It had. Not because we hadn’t beaten European powers before. We had.

What changed was that in this war the United States fought against a major, world class adversary, alongside others of the world’s best armies, held its own and was the primary force for victory.

World War I started in August 1914, as France, Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, Serbia, the British Empire and others went to war. What was expected to be a quick, decisive war became a long and costly stalemate, where millions died or were wounded.

The United States joined the fight on April 6, 1917. A year passed before the American Expeditionary Forces saw real action. But fight it did: at Seichepry (April 1918), Cantigny (May 1918), Belleau Wood and Chateau Thierry (June and July 1918), St. Mihiel (September 12-15, 1918) and in the large Meuse-Argonne Offensive (September 26 – November 11, 1918) – all in France.

US Air Service (USAS), US Navy (USN) and US Marine Corps (USMC) fought in the skies, while the USN escorted ships and hunted U-boats in the Atlantic. WWI finally ended at 11 a.m.  on November 11, 1918. More than 21 million had died; 11,700 of whom were Americans. Another 21 million from all nations were wounded. Everyone’s life was changed; the world changed.

In all the wars in which America participated, there have been 651,008 battle deaths and about 1.2 million deaths overall. About 42 million of our men and women have served in the military during wartime. About 2 percent (1/50th) of the people serving during a time of war have died.

We are here today for the sole purpose of honoring all who gave their lives in service to America and the defense of freedom.

Police, Fire Set Block Party

A Public Education Block Party will be held May 20 at Cobb Park in Smyrna to bring together first responders and the public for food, fun and music.

Cobb County Police and Smyrna police will be present along with Fire and emergency personnel such as Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Austell Community Task Force, Animal Control, the Neighborhood Safety Commission and Safe Kids Cobb County.

The event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Cobb Park, 2776 Sanford St., Smyrna.

From the May 2017 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Celebrate Mableton Day On May 13

The annual Mableton Day celebration is set for May 13 at the Mable House Amphitheatre complex.

“We are excited to kick off the 12th Annual Mableton Day Celebration,” said Albert McRae III, Chairman of the Mableton Day Coalition. “It’s the time of year we meet exciting non-profits, businesses, and volunteers that serve and believe in the Mableton community the same as we do.”

The day kicks off for the Mableton Day 5K & Kid’s Fun Run at 8 a.m. Following the 5K race is the Mableton Jr. 1-mile Fun Run.

5K entries are limited to 500 runners and the Fun Run is set for 100, so make it a priority to register online now. Online registration though May 6 at www.mabletonday.com/5k-race. Race day registration is $35

The day’s festivities continue through 4 p.m.

Entertainment for Mableton Day is full of experienced professional, local and new entertainment, school performances, and special guests. The schedule includes a Salute to the Armed Forces, local awards, and ends with the Community Spirit Awards and Trophy ceremony. Past Mableton Day crowds have enjoyed live bands, cheerleaders, solo performances, Chinese dancers, cloggers, ballet, and melodies of jazz, contemporary, hip hop, country, blues and much more.

Whether jumping on inflatables, testing fitness through hoops, learning safety tips, playing old fashioned games, creating pieces of art work, or just relaxing, the Kids Corner is a fun place for children to play and learn.

Demonstrations by accomplished artists will be presented throughout the day. You can watch a potter turn clay into a cup or bowl. See a landscape emerge from watercolors or charcoal pencils. The artists are happy to talk about their art with visitors.

The 8th Annual Mableton Day Car Cruise-In features classic cars from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is registration fee. However, registration is still required, either before the event or on Mableton Day, if space is still available. This show is for fun for everyone with an emphasis on exposing our youth to American automotive history.

For more information on any of these events, email admin@mabletonday.com or call Albert at 678-524-9026.

From the May 2017 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Candlelite Concerts Planned

The season is set for the 2017 Candlelite Concerts, presented by the South Cobb Arts Alliance at the Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre. Admission is free with plenty of covered seating and room on the lawn, too. Pack a picnic dinner and enjoy an evening of music in one of the best outdoor venues in the metro area.

Tables that seat six people are now on sale for $216 for the entire season or $60 for a single concert. (Sorry, no refunds.) Parking is free for all attendees. Gates open at 7 p.m.; performances begin at 8 p.m.

The line-up for this summer includes:

  • May 20 – Domino, the Van Morrison tribute band.
  • June 17 – Peter Karp and the Roadshow Band, American blues.
  • Aug. 19 – Soulhound, groove-oriented R&B, soul and greasy funk of the late sixties and seventies.
  • Sept. 16 – Red Head Diamond, smooth California-style 70’s rock, such as Linda Ronstadt’s greatest hits, as well as favorites by Fleetwood Mac.

The Amphitheatre is located at 5239 Floyd Road, Mableton. Call 770-819-3285 with any questions or to reserve a table today!

From the April 2017 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Austell Churches Set Good Friday Service

Want to deepen your Easter Sunday experience this year? Rewind to Good Friday and gather with folks from across our community for the annual Seven Last Words service at Austell Presbyterian Church.

Seven local pastors will share their insights on the last seven words spoken from the cross. This year they include Rev. Michael Martin (Austell First United Methodist), Rev. Clarence Ellerbee (Causey Chapel Baptist Church),Tim Ridgeway (Austell First Baptist), and Rev. Tracy Carter (Bethsaida Baptist Church). Also preaching will be Rev. Debra Stewart (Smith Chapel United Methodist), Rev. Malcom Lewis (Beacon Hill Baptist Church) and Rev. Spencer Haygood (Orange Hill Baptist Church).

It begins at 12 noon and continues until 3 p.m. on April 14. This special service (presented in partnership with Sweetwater Mission), is designed so you may come and go or stay for the entire three hours.

Austell Presbyterian Church is located at 5895 Love St. in Austell. Call 770-948-2822 for more information.

From the April 2017 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Theatre Project Presents ‘Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’

Anderson Rothwell of Roswell plays the part of Joseph in the Theater Project presentation.

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” will be presented by The Theatre Project this spring at the Mable House Amphitheatre.

This high-energy musical, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, is based on the coat of many colors story of Joseph from the Old Testament. The play follows Joseph, the father’s favored son; as he is sold into slavery by his jealous brother and taken to Egypt where he becomes second in command to Pharaoh and eventually reunites his family.

The musical journey is a kaleidoscope of colorful dance numbers and memorable music.
Performances for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” are scheduled for Friday, April 21 at 7 p.m.; Saturday April 22 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Sunday April 23 at 5 p.m. at the Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre, 5239 Floyd Road, Mableton.

Advance tickets are $8 per adult 13 years and older general admission, and $60 per table (6 seat limit). Children 12 and under are Free. Tickets can be purchased from Ticketmaster.com, the Mable House Arts Center or the Amphitheatre Box Office. For more information please call 770-819-3285.

From the April 2017 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

MLB App, Traffic Plan Will Get You To Braves’ Games

Arrive early, buy your parking in advance, use Uber and Waze and have patience as opening day approaches April 14 and a sell-out crowd arrives as SunTrust Park, officials advise.

The third phase of the Cobb County Transportation Management was unveiled just prior to the soft opener preseason game March 30. A portion of the plan calls for uniformed officers to be placed at approximately 30 intersections around the new ballpark to support the flow of traffic to and from the 14 primary points of access to the new stadium and The Battery Atlanta.

The traffic plan includes new technology from Uber, the team’s official ridesharing partner. Also, an updated MLB.com Ballpark app is available, and for offsite parking the Cumberland Circulator is available.

“By working hand in hand with our partners, we have been able to develop a detailed, comprehensive approach to getting to SunTrust Park,” said Mike Plant, president, development for the Braves. “Many elements of this approach are fundamentally different than the fan’s experience at Turner Field. From our partnerships with Uber and Waze to our request that all fans buy their parking in advance, these new tactics deliver a greater suite of choices for our fans. With our exhibition game against the New York Yankees on March 31, it’s important for us to let our fans know how they can access and best utilize these new transportation and parking strategies to provide them with the best experience possible.”

The Braves and their partners – Cobb County Department of Transportation, Cobb County Police Department and Kimley-Horn – are working on a collaborative approach to transportation management. A traffic control center at the stadium is staffed with representatives from each agency and can make adjustments to traffic flow and signage and in real time.

The Braves will offer more than 14,000 parking spaces owned or leased by the organization for game day. This is already 5,000 more spaces than were available at Turner Field, all serving a ballpark that features roughly 8,000 fewer seats. Additionally, Cobb County and the City of Smyrna have issued independent parking permits for several operators in the area, bringing more than 1,200 additional parking spots into play.

Greg Mize, director of digital, urged to use the new MLB app on their phones for getting to, in and around SunTrust Park.

“We have partnered with Waze to get people directly to the park,” he said. Tickets and parking can be linked to the phone app. An artificial intelligence bot on the app can also answer questions about travel, parking and the stadium itself.

Uber is piloting a new technology that makes the pick-up experience faster and more efficient at SunTrust Park.

Riders leaving SunTrust Park will be directed to the Uber Zone, which is located steps from the ballpark along Windy Ridge Parkway, through in-app messaging and physical signage. At the Uber Zone, fans will open their Uber app, set their destination and request a car as usual. Instead of having to navigate to find a specific car and driver, riders will see a personalized PIN code in their app and can simply give it to the next available driver in the Uber Zone.

“Braves fans across metro Atlanta can count on Uber for a reliable ride to and from SunTrust Park,” said Uber Atlanta General Manager Luke Marklin. “As part of our effort to help fans get home as quickly as possible, we are piloting a technology that makes it easier to find your ride when so many people are leaving a game at the same time.”

Braves officials also spoke to the evolution of the game day travel experience at SunTrust Park, one which encourages fans to make a plan in advance of their trip to the ballpark. That plan can be summarized through three key steps, all of which can be achieved through the updated MLB.com Ballpark app:

  • Buy your ticket in advance: The Braves are the first Major League Baseball team to transition completely to a system of paperless tickets. Whether they are eyeing a game a few months down the road or a few hours beforehand, fans will be able to easily use the MLB.com Ballpark app to buy their tickets. They’ll also be able to secure tickets by visiting Braves.com or calling the Braves ticket office at 404-577-9100.
  • Buy your parking in advance: With more than 14,000 spaces dispersed around the ballpark, fans are strongly encouraged to purchase their parking in advance. Doing so will enable them to save money through a discounted advance purchase, as well as receive customized directions directly to their parking lot. The majority of game day lots will require pre-payment, though some will accept credit card payment on site.
  • Trust Waze to get you to the ballpark: An official partner of the Braves, Waze will be receiving real-time information from Cobb County that will better inform fans traveling to the game than other smartphone map apps. Integrated into the MLB.com Ballpark app, Waze will provide detailed directions to individual parking lots to help spread traffic out across a broader area, while also receiving official updates on traffic conditions around the ballpark.

The Cobb County Transportation Management Plan outlines Cobb County’s strategic approach to managing vehicular and pedestrian access to SunTrust Park. Lt. J.D. Lorens of the Cobb County Police Department focused on how the Operations Center will put that plan into action, coordinating multiple agencies and resources to monitor traffic conditions and using real-time data to respond to any situations that might arise.

“All of the key decision-makers will be working in concert, monitoring what the travel conditions are for fans and commuters,” Lorens said. “This enables us to move quickly, using the most up-to-date data to respond to changing conditions in real-time.”

The Cumberland Circulator, a CObbLink bus service, launched three initial routes on March 31 with a fare of $2.50 and drop-off in front of the park. The Circulator will provide high-frequency service along convenient accessible routes in the Cumberland area, helping to reduce congestion, enhance existing transit service, increase mobility and promote economic activity.

For more information, please visit www.Braves.com/Transportation.

E-SPLOST Vote Is For Schools

On March 21 voters will decide the fate of the renewal of the penny Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education for the Cobb and Marietta school systems. A positive SPLOST vote will allow for an expected $797 million in revenue beginning in 2019 spread over five years. SPLOST is a one-cent tax on all consumer goods that must be approved by voters in a referendum. Education SPLOST (Ed-SPLOST) receipts can be used only for school-related capital improvements. The current Ed-SPLOST expires Dec. 31, 2018.

“Some 30 percent of the sales tax will be paid by people who live outside Cobb, who come here to shop and dine,” said Susan Thayer, Smyrna area school board member. “Student population growth is going to be in the South Cobb area,” she said. The school system is expecting nearly a 2,000 student increase at Campbell High School and an additional 1,178 in the Mableton and Austell area. “We’ve got to get seats for these kids. If this does not pass, we will need to go to a bond issue,” she said.

Beginning January 1, 2019, SPLOST benefits to the southern Cobb area include funding for:

  • Construction of new or replacement schools, including Harmony Leland Elementary, King Springs Elementary, and a Smyrna area new middle school to relieve overcrowding at Griffin and Campbell middle schools.
  • Construction of additional classrooms at Campbell High and Pebblebrook High. This includes upgrading the cafeteria and building a new theater at Campbell.
  • Security and technology upgrades at all Cobb County Schools.

The first Ed-SPLOST was approved in 1998 and since that time renewal of SPLOST has provided funding for 28 new schools, 2732 new classrooms, hundreds of maintenance improvements, safety improvements and many more improvements.

For more information go to cobbk12.org/splost/.

SPLOST funds pay for necessary repairs and for construction of new or replacement schools. About 90 percent of the district’s budget goes directly to support the classroom with payment of salaries for teachers, administrators, bus drivers, food service employees, custodians, and other staff. The other 10 percent pays for items such as textbooks and supplies, as well as utilities such as fuel, gas, electricity and water.

State funding and local property taxes do not provide for regular building maintenance or for technology enhancements. Prior to Ed-SPLOST, the district issued bonds that had to be paid back over many years with interest and resulted in a property tax increase.

Through Friday March 17), registered Cobb County voters can go to any advanced voting location. Please note that hours vary by location.

8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Feb 27 – March 17, Monday – Friday: Elections Office at the West Park Government Center, 736 Whitlock Ave., Marietta, 30064-4663

9 a.m. – 5 p.m., March 13 – 17, Monday – Friday at the following locations:

  • East Cobb Government Service Center, 4400 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta
  • South Cobb Community Center, 620 Lions Club Drive, Mableton
  • Boots Ward Recreation Center (Lost Mountain Park), 4845 Dallas Highway, Powder Springs
  • NorthStar Church, 3413 Blue Springs Road NW, Kennesaw

Any voter may apply for a vote-by-mail ballot instead of voting in-person. Applications are available at CobbElections.org. For more information call 770-528-2581.

From the March 2017 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Smyrna, Powder Springs Mark Veterans Day

Smyrna will celebrate Veterans Day Nov. 11, in a ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial at 800 King Street.

Author Alvin Townley is the guest speaker. The event is free to the public.

Townley’s books including Defiant, Fly Navy, Spirit of Adventure and Legacy of Honor, have earned praise from The New York Times, Tom Wolfe, Michael Bloomberg, Robert Gates, Peyton Manning, and many others. He has appeared on CNN, NPR, FOX, USA Today and other local and national media outlets.

A graduate of Washington & Lee University, Townley has worked  in the U.S. Congress and as a global strategist for a top international consulting firm.  He currently serves as a leadership consultant and  director of corporate philanthropy and veterans programs at Atlanta’s Woodruff Arts Center.

Whitefield Academy Concert Band, Campbell Middle School Choir, and the Campbell High School JROTC will be part of the ceremony.
In case of inclement weather, the event will be inside the adjacent Smyrna Community Center.

Free event parking–street parking, City Hall and Community Center parking lots.

The Smyrna Veterans Day Ceremony is organized by the Smyrna Veterans Committee, the Veterans Memorial Association of Smyrna, American Legion Post 160 and the Smyrna Rotary Club.

Powder Springs
Powder Springs invites you to celebrate our veterans with a parade in Downtown Powder Springs on Saturday Nov. 12 beginning at 10 a.m. followed by a program in Town Square at noon.
Bring your lawn chairs and blankets. There will be food vendors and entertainment, and a special presentation by American Legion Post 294.

From the November 2016 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.