I don't get much mail from artists. Maybe that's because they only see the beauty in the world and not the ugly.
But last week I got an email from a Concerned Artist named Maria who has a problem. A utility pole outside her home and studio on Veterans Parkway is posing a threat, and she can't seem to get anyone to do anything about it.
"About five years ago, a drunk driver hit the pole and it cracked," she wrote. "The crack is about halfway up the pole. I have had handymen tell me that the pole is a danger to my studio."
Maria called the city because that's what people do. But the city told her that they don't do utility poles, which they don't. That's Georgia Power, they told her.
And that's almost always right, but not this time. She called Georgia Power, and they checked into it and explained that it's one of AT&T's poles.
Now she's had no luck getting AT&T to do anything, so she wrote to me.
"As you can see, there is a lot of stuff (wires) on this pole and it would be a major hazard not only to my property but also to the vehicles passing by on Veterans Parkway," she wrote.
I rode out to inspect the problem, and she wasn't kidding. The pole is listing a bit to the north and cracked pretty badly a little more than halfway up. It also appears to be shedding its outer layer of wood, so even without the crack, it might be that it's reached the end of its useful life.
(Call in the Death Panels!)
It also didn't have the telltale little oval metal tag that all Georgia Power poles sport. So I will call Terry Smith, a regional communications manager for AT&T, to see if I can get them to look into it.
If it is indeed one of theirs, and I'm betting it is, I'm sure AT&T will hop right on it.
But I want to warn Maria that it takes a while to get a new pole put up, for all the different utilities to switch the lines over to it and to get the old pole taken down.
At the risk of beating a dead horse (which, come to think of it, shouldn't really bother the horse, being dead, but I digress) I swung by the Third World property at the corner of 15th Avenue and Springer Street. That's the one the city has been after its tenants to clean up since the river was dug.
Two weeks ago, things were worse but looked promising because it appeared the yard was being cleaned up and stuff was being piled on the side of the road, some of it in trash bags.
Last week, the trash bags were hauled away, but there's still a big pile of trash there, along with three old tires and a broken toilet (a yard ornament that rarely implies old money).
Anyway, we'll keep an eye on that one and the cracked pole on Veterans.
Seen anything that needs attention? Contact me at 706-571-8570 or firstname.lastname@example.org.