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Author: Jim Garvey

Phinizy Swamp Nature Park

We start with the river and a ditch. In the early days, when Augusta was a country town, the Savannah River provided Augusta with the water it needed to live and washed downstream the sewage and other wastes Augustans needed to get rid of. But the city grew and grew, and by the 1880s, Augusta was gagging on the waste it produced each day. Its solution was to dig a ditch from downtown south into the Phinizy Swamp where the ditch flowed into Butler Creek. For the better part of a century, raw sewage flowed down the ditch into...

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Scott Thorp: Designing the Future

Here are two reactions to downtown Augusta. In 1979, a young candidate for a job in the English department at Augusta College – we’ll call him Jim Garvey – got his first tour of downtown Augusta. On Greene Street he saw a huge Catholic church, empty and abandoned, with a for sale sign out front. All along Broad Street, a handsome cityscape of 19th-century buildings, stood empty storefronts. No people walked the sidewalks, no cars were parked in the lined spaces. Whoa, he thought, this place is dead. n 2015, a candidate for a job in the department of art at Augusta University—Scott...

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A Christmas Carol

Should you be reading this? I mean, it’s December, right? Don’t you have cards to write? Cookies to bake? A party to get ready for? Have you made that hair appointment? Your house isn’t really Christmasy enough yet, is it. You need to buy the tree, get the ornaments out of the attic, untangle the lights. A wreath for the door. Snow globes, nutcrackers, crèche.  What about your Christmas shopping?  The traffic is crazy. Did you see the mall parking lot? Still, better now than later. The stores are only getting more crowded. And some of those people are rude! Salvation Army bell ringers outside the...

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2015 Arts Council Award Winners

Each year, the Greater Augusta Arts Council recognizes outstanding members of the Augusta community for their support and contributions to the arts. Artist Award Wycliffe Gordon OVER A FEW DAYS, a telephone conversation with Wycliffe Gordon might start in Augusta, resume at a Lexington, Ky., band clinic and conclude, perhaps, in Montreal. If you miss him there, you could catch him a week later in the Netherlands or the week after that in Budapest. Or Valencia, Spain.Thank heaven, now that he is artist-in-residence at Georgia Regents University, he’s been slowing down. This past year, in addition to his duties at GRU,...

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Bike, Skate, Play

Parents dream of their child someday competing in the big leagues, as an MLB pitcher, an NFL quarterback or an NBA center. For most kids, the journey begins on fields and courts at the local recreation department, where their skills improve and the level of competition increases as they advance. Youth team-based athletics tend to be the primary focus of recreation departments. Columbia County has well-developed baseball, softball, football and basketball programs, plus rugby and lacrosse, in its mix of offerings.  When Blanchard Woods Park was first conceptualized on paper as a premier soccer complex…park planners envisioned diverse uses for the...

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