January 23, 2023
Happy Monday. We're glad you're here.
🥶 Today's weather: Mostly sunny and a high of 48. But a low of 30 tonight.
Situational awareness: Six protesters were arrested Saturday night after a peaceful downtown demonstration against the public safety training complex turned violent. No one was injured, according to Police Chief Darin Schierbaum.
Today's newsletter is 905 words — a 3.5-minute read.
1 big thing: Vine City Walmart's future unclear
It's been nearly a month since Walmart temporarily closed two stores in Atlanta, one of which serves as a key access point for residents who otherwise have to travel miles for fresh produce.
- Facebook pages for the stores list them as temporarily closed, but Walmart has given no indication of when — or if — they might reopen.
Catch up quick: The stores at 1801 Howell Mill Road in Berkeley Park and 835 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive NW in Vine City have been closed since mid-December after fires were set inside of them.
Why it matters: While shoppers of the Howell Mill store have options such as Publix and Kroger within a half-mile radius, Vine City residents are now left without a large grocery store that offers fresh food and produce.
- The closest large grocery stores are all more than two miles away.
Context: The USDA classifies low access to healthy and affordable food — commonly referred to as food deserts — as, among other things, census tracts with at least 500 people who live more than one mile in urban areas or 10 miles in rural communities from the "nearest supermarket, supercenter, or large grocery store."
What they're saying: Walmart has not returned repeated emails requesting comment. The big box retailer's Vine City location is boarded up and there are no signs of work being done. A sign on the door asks customers to visit its nearest location at 1105 Research Center Drive in southwest Atlanta.
Makeda Johnson, Vine City resident, told Axios the closure is a "great tragedy for the community."
- "It's going to be devastating, especially for seniors who don't have a vehicle and can't drive," she said.
What we're watching: City Council member Byron Amos, who lives in and represents Vine City, told Axios he and Mayor Andre Dickens' office are in talks with Walmart's leadership, which is still in the decision-making process about the Vine City location.
- To help ease the burden, he has asked Walmart if it can at least set up its "Big Blue" mobile pharmacy operation so residents can get their prescriptions.
- He said his constituents realize they need the store and "are really feeling anxious waiting for Walmart's decision to reopen or not."
- "I feel good about the decision-making process," he said. “I just need them to go ahead and make the right decision."
2. 🥁 Atlanta's best music venue
We've used bracket-style tournaments to crown champions for the best Atlanta movie filmed or set in Atlanta.
🕺Now, we're asking you to help name Atlanta's best music venue.
Why it matters: Live music is a powerful and memorable experience, fuels the city’s nightlife, and offers us a chance to enjoy special moments with friends and strangers.
Methodology: We compiled a list of 16 venues, focusing more on smaller- to medium-sized stages based in neighborhoods.
- We've omitted the big stadiums, performance centers and outdoor amphitheaters.
Complaints? Take 'em up with the bouncer. Favorite memories? Let us know by replying to this email.
3. Cherokee delegate dispute
Two more Cherokee tribes say they are entitled to a non-voting member of Congress, countering claims by the Cherokee Nation that they are the only ones promised a seat, Axios' Russell Contreras reports.
Why it matters: The dispute over a congressional delegate, outlined in a treaty that forcibly removed Cherokees from ancestral homelands, shows how complicated matters evolve when promises aren't kept to Indigenous people for nearly two centuries.
Details: The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians of North Carolina challenge the notion that the 1835 Treaty of New Echota applies exclusively to the Cherokee Nation, one of the largest tribal nations in the U.S.
- The treaty promised a nonvoting House delegate to represent the Cherokees.
Sara Hill, Cherokee Nation Attorney General, said the other Cherokee tribes have no evidence to support their claims to the treaty and falsely argue that the original Cherokee Nation died.
What to watch: Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. named Kim Teehee, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, as the tribe's first delegate to the U.S. House in 2019 after he took office, but she hasn't yet been seated.
- Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has not indicated if he plans to explore seating her.
4. Your Atlantan "Bachelor" contestant
The show that some of us love, others of us hate, and some of us love to hate kicks back into gear today.
Driving the news: The 27th season of "The Bachelor" starts tonight, and Atlanta has a contestant in the mix: Aly Jacobs, a 26-year-old healthcare strategist.
How to watch: Bachelor Zach Shallcross from Anaheim, Ca. may or may not find love starting at 8pm on ABC and Hulu.
Zoom in: Aly reportedly has a goldendoodle named Texas, collects porcelain dolls and loves broccolini but hates broccoli.
💭 Our thought bubble: Hear, hear Aly. We also hate broccoli.
On the job hunt?
5. Five-ish Points: Death and granite
🪦 90 percent of the granite from Elberton’s quarries is made into cemetery memorials. In a way, death keeps the city alive. (Atlanta)
⛏ Public comment for a proposed mine near the Okefenokee Swamp is open. (Savannah Morning News)
Wataru Nagata, the founder of the Ru San's Japanese restaurant chain that once dominated Atlanta, has died at 82. (Legacy)
📫 The price of postage stamps increased yesterday. But your forever stamps are still good! (Axios)
😟 Kristal realizes she may have to chop and prop her prized Philodendron Pink Princess since it's no longer thriving.
🏡 Thomas visited Graceland in Memphis and was touched by tributes from around the world to Lisa Marie Presley, who was buried there yesterday.
This newsletter was edited by Jen Ashley and copy edited by Alex Perry.