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First Friday gets new spin

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 2:09 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Aug 7, 2012 1:51 AM
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The inaugural Get Down Downtown adds a new spin to First Friday in August.

GET DOWN DOWNTOWN

For more information, visit the event's Facebook page.

Local non-profits, business owners, and downtown residents organized two new events for the Aug. 3 festival to encourage people to come downtown and support First Friday. A shooting following July’s event wounded six and prompted speculation as to whether First Friday should or would continue.

Get Down Downtown begins with a free, family-friendly event at the Augusta Common at 5 p.m. Tara Scheyer & the Mud Puppy Band will perform, along with Folly & the JAMP Masters from the James Brown Academy of Music Pupils. It will also include inflatables for children, a petting zoo and food trucks.

Music on the River begins at 8 p.m. at the Jessye Norman Amphitheater on the Riverwalk. Bloodkin, Stewart & Winfield and Funk You will perform. Craft beer and food from a variety of food trucks will be available. Advance tickets for Music on the River are $12 and available online.

The Westobou Festival will also launch ticket sales in conjunction with Get Down Downtown. Buy tickets for the fifth annual festival at the ticket box office at 965 Broad St., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday or see westoboufestival.com.

To learn more or purchase tickets, see the Get Down Downtown page on Facebook.

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KSL
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KSL 07/25/12 - 10:03 am
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Yep, CM, I would agree.

Yep, CM, I would agree. Sarcasm.

Brad Owens
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Brad Owens 07/25/12 - 11:05 am
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Thanks guys.

No folks, my absence has been self imposed. Cobalt, I will be back in the States, posted out of Augusta with short trips out instead of long ones. So I am effectively back for good next week.

I have been very busy with work and when the AC started removing postings that were factual because they didn't like the content I gave it a break and have not really missed it. But as many of you will know, the downtown issues are close to my heart and I have seen so much spin and misinformation being put out by the DDA and Fred Russell that I felt I needed to speak out.

The issue on the businesses paying for additional security also irks me due to all the funds earmarked for FF and security that is already being paid for but misdirected by the DDA and the CADI company.

The DDA gets $25,000 a year as a "management" fee from the BID tax money which means they are the giverment organ that the $350K passes through to get to the CADI company.

The DDA already GETS all the money they need to provide extra security. The CADI company is also suppose to provide added security on weekends and events with the BID tax funds.

The First Friday art event was over when the shootings happened that is true but the event of the First Friday "after" crowds was not over and there is NO difference on the security side.

When Main Street sponsored and organized the event the extra duty officers stayed till 1a.m. (01:00hrs for you military types) The funding for this was sent by the county from general funds to Main Street through the DDA. Main Street was dissolved by the DDA and the DDA kept the funding and never passed it to the Greater Augusta Arts Council for the event.

So, in comes the CADI company that also gets tax money from the BID Tax through the DDA to provide security on weekends and events, yet they also do not. CADI is a private company and it also is partially at fault for the shootings too because they have ignored the promised mandate to provide security with the tax money they receive form the BID to do so.

No one at the DDA and CADI company can say they didn't know about the after crowds or the security concerns of business owners and residents on First Fridays. It is well known and has been a problem since at least 2004.

I wonder what all the money was spent on all these years, over $4,000,000.00 t the DDA alone since 1995, if not on the NEEDS of the downtown?

I mean they claim that the "perception" of downtown being unsafe is the major obstacle to growth right? Yet their spending priorities are not focused on eliminating the actual security threats and the perception that insecurity creates in the public's mind about downtown, WHY?

Want to know where a person or groups priorities are? Look where they put their dollars. I guess it is safe to say that the DDA cares more about parking and trolleys studies than security and safety, if not, how can they explain their spending?

De-fund the DDA,

Brad

CobaltGeorge
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CobaltGeorge 07/25/12 - 01:20 pm
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I Missed

Respects post. I stand apologetically corrected.

David Parker
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David Parker 07/25/12 - 01:31 pm
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WB Brad! Good digging there.

WB Brad! Good digging there.

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