The state of Georgia’s environment 2009

In 1948, a visitor to the southern Appalachian mountains in north Georgia could see an average of 93 miles. By 1990, due to air pollution, that distance had dropped to an average of 22 miles.”

Visibility levels at Cohutta, GA.

The above quote comes from page seventy-four of a report titled The State of Georgia’s Environment 2009. It is accompanied on that same page by the image you see here. The left half of this image represents a baseline visibility from the combined years of 2000 to 2004. The right half of this image represents the projected visibility in 2016 of the same scene (presuming the beneficial effects of state and federal efforts to reduce pollution). These images were created by a computer simulation of air pollution levels and included in the report of the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

The Georgia Government Publications (GGP) site provides users access to a staggering amount of current information about the Peach State, information that will be findable long after it has disappeared from a government web page. I was actually searching the GGP for documents related to “oil” when I came across this series of environmental reports. It felt serendipitous, and a bit startling as the images reminded me that there are people literally “looking out” for us.

Even a quick scan of the report left me feeling smarter about the state in which I live. Think what an hour with this information could do for you?

Visibility level at Cohutta, GA.

I’ll leave you with a final image: the same scene as projected in 2064 (distant, but hopeful).


The DLG has been busy, part 2

In May, the Digital Library of Georgia and the Cuba Archives of the Breman Museum announced the expansion of the Southern Israelite Archive:

Rabbi H. Cerf Straus in 1945

The Southern Israelite Archive now includes issues from 1959-1983, and spans the years 1929-1986, including over 48,000 images. Rabbi H. Cerf Straus established the Southern Israelite as a temple bulletin in Augusta in 1925. The publication was so popular, he expanded it into a monthly newspaper. Later in the decade, Straus sold the paper to Herman Dessauer and Sara B. Simmons, who moved the paper to Atlanta, where it began circulating state-wide and eventually throughout the South. In 1930, M. Stephen Schiffer, a former employee of the Atlanta Georgian, took over as sole owner of the Southern Israelite. Even in these earliest years, the paper not only covered the news of the southern Jewry, but also the issues that involved Jewish populations throughout the nation and world, including the Holocaust and later the creation of the Jewish state of Israel.

In October of 1934, the Southern Israelite began publishing a four page weekly edition, supplemented by its established monthly magazine edition. Ownership of the paper was turned over to a corporation headed by Israelite editor Adolph Rosenberg in 1951, while the paper continued its mission as the voice of the Jewish community in Atlanta. In October of 1958, the paper was at the forefront of the coverage of the Temple bombing in Atlanta, giving its readers a unique first hand perspective. The monthly edition of the paper was discontinued in 1973 in favor of its increasingly growing weekly edition. In 1987, the paper changed its name from the Southern Israelite to the Atlanta Jewish Times and guaranteed at least thirty-two page issues moving forward. The paper is today owned by Jewish Renaissance Media and continues as a weekly publication with a readership of over 25,000.

The Southern Israelite database is a project of the Digital Library of Georgia, a GALILEO initiative that shares Georgia’s history and culture online. Digitization is made possible by the Cuba Archives of the Breman Museum and the generosity of the Srochi family of Atlanta.

Other newspaper archives available through the Digital Library of Georgia include the Atlanta Historic Newspapers Archive (1847-1922), the Macon Telegraph Archive (1826-1908), the Columbus Enquirer Archive (1828-1890), the Milledgeville Historic Newspaper Archive (1808-1920), and the Red and Black Archive (1893-2006). These archives can be accessed at