Picture of the Atlanta skyline.
Oct 29, 2021

Axios Atlanta

Happy Friday, Atlanta. We made it!

🌧️ Today's weather: Wet and cool with a high of 56.

Situational awareness: 🎃Visit a haunted house, brave the catacombs of Atlanta, check in with some L5P ghosts or just give candy to kids. Happy Halloweekend!

Today's newsletter is 940 words — a 3.5-minute read

1 big thing: 👁🥁 Long live Eyedrum

Photos courtesy of Unisa Asokan and Deisha Oliver

Noise rock. Performance art. Semiprofessional wrestling matches in the middle of a white-wall gallery.

Over its 23-year existence, Eyedrum, the volunteer-run DIY arts space, gallery and venue, has introduced countless Atlantans to countless genres.

  • After leaving its most recent space in South Downtown in 2018 and opting to produce events in established spaces, Eyedrum has a new home near West End, and a packed calendar of events ranging from soul-soothing to eardrum-shattering.

Why it matters: Spaces like Eyedrum are a bridge between experimental arts and the masses, giving sculptors, painters, musicians, writers — everyone — an opportunity to share their work.

  • Located in a mixed-use warehouse, the 3,000 square-foot renovated space can accommodate events like the experimental open mic night Kirkwood Ballers Club and includes opportunities for outdoor performances.

This weekend, Eyedrum is presenting Sensuary, a three-day event that kicks off tonight with an outdoor dance party with DJ Taradactyl and live music by Gage Gilmore and video projection by Alberto Roman. On Saturday night, cellist Deisha Oliver and film composer and music professor Tom Hiel will partner for an improv performance.

  • On Sunday afternoon, the space will host a sound meditation among the video works of Ego Te Absolvo and a "outdoor music experience" produced by Roman.

Read the full story.

2. Don't ignore those down-ballot races!

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Yes, the race for Atlanta mayor and the City Council seats are attracting all the buzz, but the Board of Education election is just as important.

All nine seats are up for re-election Tuesday, which will be the last time all board members are on the ballot at once.

  • Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill last year to stagger school board terms, so moving forward, Atlanta voters will have an election every two years.
  • After Tuesday’s election, members elected to Districts 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 will serve two-year terms that expire Dec. 31, 2023. Board members for Districts 2, 4, 6, 8 will serve four years before their terms end Dec. 31, 2025.

Board members serving in Districts 1 through 6 are elected by voters residing in those areas while seats 7, 8 and 9 are at-large members chosen by all Atlanta voters.

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Data: #VoteATL; Chart: Axios Visuals

Also on the ballot is the renewal of the Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (E-SPLOST) for APS and the Fulton County School System.

  • The current SPLOST cycle expires June 30, 2022, for both districts.
  • If approved, the sales tax would generate $650 million for APS and $1.2 billion for Fulton schools over a five-year period.
  • The revenue will fund school construction and renovation projects, technology improvements and athletic field upgrades.

Know before you go: visit mvp.sos.ga.gov to see where your Election Day polling place is located and to view your sample ballot.

3. Farewell, unwelcome visitor

The Golden Ray in all its glory. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

In case you didn’t catch the news from the coast this week: The final piece of the massive cargo ship that's been squatting in the St. Simons Sound has finally exited stage right.

Flashback: Remember when a car hauler called the Golden Ray carrying more than 4,000 automobiles ran aground in Sept. 2019? Thankfully, all crew members were evacuated safely, but the ship has been stuck in the sound half-submerged for two years.

  • The NTSB found that miscalculations regarding the ship’s stability were to blame.

Yes, but: There are still smaller parts of the ship left behind that teams are continuing to pull out of the water. The whole operation should be complete by the end of the year, per a Coast Guard representative.

And there's more: Despite mitigation efforts from the response teams, the shipwreck has polluted the surrounding waters multiple times, including oiling of beaches and marshes.

Advocates, including Fletcher Sams, the executive director of the Altamaha Riverkeeper, are pushing the state Department of Natural Resources to conduct a Natural Resources Damage Assessment to get a detailed picture of the ecological damage that’s been done.

“Unless the state initiates a natural resources damage assessment we will not know the extent of the damage caused by this thing and the state will be at a disadvantage to hold [shipowner] Hyundai accountable for anything in the future.”
— Fletcher Sams, Altamaha Riverkeeper

The state DNR tells Axios it will take months to determine whether that damage assessment report is necessary.

4. Five-ish points: This snake deserves an Oscar

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

🐍 This Georgia snake's "death performance" drama isn't just for humans. (Georgia Public Broadcasting)

🍺 UGA will test selling alcohol at basketball games. (WSB-TV)

👮Friction emerges between Atlanta police union and mayoral candidate. (Fox 5 Atlanta)

🌊 Exhibit brings Georgia's second-largest river into the forefront. (AJC)

😮 Former staffer impersonated Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan to get info on her divorce, cops say. (AJC)

💰 Art education startup nabs "Shark Tank" deal. (Atlanta Inno)

5. 11th hour Halloween costumes, local-style

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

You promised yourself you’d remember those clever Halloween ideas tied to Atlanta news and characters come October. Well, it’s now October, and you forgot.

  • Halloweekend is here, and you’ve got parties to attend, but have nothing to wear.

It’s OK, we’ve got you covered. We rounded up five easy, low-cost, last-minute locally inspired Halloween costumes for you, free of charge.

  • Find a pair of deer antlers (we can’t help you there) and a suitcase. Boom, you’re the Buckhead cityhood movement.
  • Tape a cardboard car on your chest. Boom, you’re that mystery man who was filmed all over Atlanta riding on the back of buses and the sides of semi trucks.
  • Grab an ice cream scooper from your drawer or your local grocery store. Tie a string around it. Boom, you’re ATL Scoop.
  • Go to an office supply store and buy some poster board. Wrap it around your body, and write “Corey” down the front. Boom, you’re the Corey Tower.
  • Get a pearl necklace. Congrats, you’re Joc Pederson.

Happy Halloween, folks.

Kristal is finally realizing it's time to get a new car.

Emma is taking a visiting German friend to Helen this weekend. Very much looking forward to her thoughts. 🇩🇪

Thomas will try to convince his girlfriend to go kayaking on the chilly waters of the Etowah River. Maybe a hike is a better idea.