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First Slice: 5/20/12: Lazy Sunday 2 Edition - Sales tax, NAACP on gay marriage, and Travolta

The top news stories in Atlanta today.



1. The AJC looks at the July 31 sales tax referendum. The story focuses on what sort of traffic reduction folks in the 'burbs can expect, instead of taking my preferred approach which is to tell them, hey, you're the ones who moved to another city, so suck it. When it finally gets to the mass transit measures — which in my admittedly biased worldview are the elements of the plan most crucial to its long-term impact — the story does a little he-said, she-said expert quoting and then asks some folks whether they'll change their morning commute habits. Look, that's not what's important about the transit portion. There are plenty of good reasons to vote for or against the bill, as Thomas pointed out in his column this week. But the fact is that cities can no longer hope to retain or attract young talent if they don't offer at least the hope of comprehensive urban mass transit. Whether it's this plan or the oh-so-perfect, yet-to-materialize "Plan B," understand that this is not a vote about whether you can shave minutes off your commute, but whether Atlanta will be a first-, second-, or third-tier city 20 years from now.

2. The NAACP voted Saturday to support same-sex marriage as a civil right. We'll have a Last Word column this week that looks at this issue and how it's dealt with in the black community — specifically in black churches.

3. So, tropical storms are a thing in Georgia, I guess? Awesome.

4. If you're already sick of hearing about the John Travolta massage lawsuits, prepare to get sicker. John Doe No. 2 — referred to as "the Atlanta masseur" — has hired pit bull celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred and will probably file new charges against the actor.



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