Friday Facts: July 02, 2021

 It’s Friday! 

Quotes of Note

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” – The Declaration of Independence, ratified July 4, 1776

“Allow me to say, in conclusion, notwithstanding the dark picture I have this day presented, of the state of the nation, I do not despair of this country. There are forces in operation which must inevitably work the downfall of slavery. ‘The arm of the Lord is not shortened,’ and the doom of slavery is certain. I, therefore, leave off where I began, with hope. While drawing encouragement from ‘the Declaration of Independence,’ the great principles it contains, and the genius of American Institutions, my spirit is also cheered by the obvious tendencies of the age.” – Frederick Douglass, What to the Slave is the 4th of July

On Our Desks

Big Win
Yesterday, the Supreme Court struck down a ruling threatening to force nonprofits to disclose their donors. Last week, Donor Relations Manager Kennedy Atkins wrote a commentary defending donors’ right to privacy. Read it here.

Partisan Fireworks
In his weekly column, Kyle Wingfield marks Independence Day amid partisan bickering for, what, the second year in a row? The tenth? The fiftieth? Try the two hundred forty-fifth.

In case you missed it
Have you had problems with your garbage pickup? Our investigative journalist digs through the rubbish to find out why.

Around the State

Four New Georgia Laws That Went Into Effect Thursday: Here are four of the new laws that went onto the books yesterday: 

  1. A new law prohibits cities and counties from reducing their law enforcement budgets by more than 5% in one year
  2. State leaders can begin setting up “leadership committees” that can raise campaign money during the legislative session
  3. Seventeen-year-olds will no longer be exempt from the 30 hours of classroom instruction and six hours of on-the-road training required of younger drivers
  4. Most short-term lodging rentals in Georgia will charge their guests a nightly $5 hotel fee.

Make room for the boom! Georgia’s beaches and mountains are expecting big crowds for this weekend’s 4th of July celebrations.

RIP Alice: Alice, the Georgia Aquarium’s longest-resident whale shark, died over the weekend. She had lived at the Aquarium since being rescued from Taiwan in 2006. Some of the Foundation staff were lucky enough to see her a few days earlier while at the Aquarium preparing for our 30th Anniversary Celebration on September 16.


Toll lane revenues show Georgia traffic getting back to normal: The State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) expects to generate $39.5 million from tolls during the fiscal year starting July 1. That’s more than double the $19.5 million SRTA has brought in during the current fiscal year, when travel was impacted by COVID-19. Interstates 75 and 85 are operating at 77% of their volume from before the coronavirus pandemic forced businesses to either close and lay off their employees or work from home.

Atlanta traffic is bad, but not as bad as you think: As commute times begin to ramp up post-COVID, you might think Atlanta has the worst traffic in the nation but some other cities are even worse, according to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.

Criminal Justice

As COVID recedes in prisons, will any of the lessons learned stick? The Associated Press and Marshall Project examine the effects of COVID-19 in prisons and what, if any, lessons learned can be carried over to help weather the next pandemic.

Not so fast, very furious: Over the weekend, Atlanta police made more than 300 traffic stops in the latest effort to stop drag racing. Police said they made 127 traffic stops, issued 176 citations, arrested 10 people and impounded 10 cars.


Atlanta Public Schools plans for $201 million in federal pandemic aid: Atlanta Public Schools is seeking public input on how to spend more than $201 million in federal stimulus funding.

Georgia State’s incoming president to get $950,000 starting salary: According to state records reviewed by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, incoming Georgia State president M. Brian Blake’s total initial compensation tallies up to $950,000. This includes a base salary of $706,700, plus $200,000 of deferred compensation and a $125,000 hiring incentive.

Energy and Environment

City of Atlanta and Georgia Power team up to bring 10,000 streetlights to the city: Georgia Power announced on Tuesday that they will be teaming up with the city of Atlanta to add 10,000 streetlights to the city. The primary focus will be bringing additional illumination in the form of energy-efficient LEDs to areas of the city that have high rates of crime or traffic accidents.


Hospitals delay surgeries as blood supply dwindles: As a result of a blood shortage, some hospitals are being forced to slow the pace of elective surgeries until the blood supply stabilizes, delaying crucial patient care. Donors of all blood types – especially type O – are urged to make an appointment to give now and help ensure hospital shelves are stocked with blood products over the Fourth of July holiday and beyond.

COVID-19 update: The Georgia Department of Public Health reports COVID-19 cases, deaths and vaccination rates on its website here.

Visit to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “Our 50 State Flag: How One Ohio Teen’s Quest to Change His Grade Became Our National Symbol” by External Affairs Manager Hayley McCloud.

Have a great weekend.

Kyle Wingfield and Benita Dodd

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