Mayor reacts to magazine's poor light on city

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Augusta just can't seem to catch a break.

''The writers obviously did not take the time to fully research what is really going on in Augusta these days.'' - Augusta Mayor  Deke Copenhaver, on the Golf magazine article  Andrew Davis Tucker/Staff
Andrew Davis Tucker/Staff
''The writers obviously did not take the time to fully research what is really going on in Augusta these days.'' - Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver, on the Golf magazine article

First, it was Martha Burk, who four years ago huffed and puffed and blew into town protesting the Augusta National, bringing with her unflattering coverage of our fair city.

Now come the editors of Golf magazine, who in their latest edition have painted Augusta as "largely low rent, a bargain-basement mosaic of strip malls, strip joints and unassuming houses."

The article goes on to point out that "despite being worlds apart, it's still a short walk from Amen Corner to a Bud Light and beef jerky at the corner store."

Our usually unflappable, well-bred mayor is fighting mad after reading the article.

Deke Copenhaver was angry enough to dash off a letter to the article's authors and give them a quick education about Augusta.

"The writers obviously did not take the time to fully research what is really going on in Augusta these days," the mayor wrote. "In just the past six months, we have had major economic development announcements by both Automated Data Processing (1,000 jobs) and T-Mobile (750 jobs). Both companies referenced Augusta's quality of life as a primary factor for locating to our city."

Mr. Copenhaver also listed the city's many cultural resources and extended an invitation to the editors to come and see the city.

"I would be more than happy to take you on a tour of our City that I feel would change your view while filling in the many holes in your story," he wrote.

Reach Amy Allyn Swann (706) 823-3338 or amy.swann@augustachronicle.com.

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iletuknow
8
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iletuknow 03/30/07 - 02:12 am
1
0
"largely low rent, a

"largely low rent, a bargain-basement mosaic of strip malls, strip joints and unassuming houses."
They only seen the nice areas?

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 03/30/07 - 05:07 am
1
0
Unfortunately, if the author

Unfortunately, if the author of the offending article took an unescorted ride around the Augusta National area, they would have seen exactly what they wrote about. Of course, they would have also seen some nice middle income housing and some nice upper income housing, but those houses apparently weren't on the agenda. It sounds like the mayor did a good job of taking the diplomatic route to correct this "hit piece" article.

AugustaVoter
2
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AugustaVoter 03/30/07 - 05:36 am
1
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From what it sounds like in

From what it sounds like in the print and video media, the article seems to say what alot of us residents (not politicians) have said for years. If the members of Augusta National would help this place get organized like they do their businesses then Disgusta may not be as bad. As far as the strip joints and strip malls, where? We have lost most of our shopping to Columbia Co. and the strip joint number is 3 (if not 2 now). Not what I call packed with either. If the mayor gives the editors a tour it sure won't be in Hyde Park or off MLK. It will be the Hill area and the well to do neighborhoods. I am glad someone finally brought this to light. Augusta needs to change its image and not just for one week a year!

bone
23
Points
bone 03/30/07 - 05:39 am
1
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maybe Deke can use his

maybe Deke can use his influence to keep Golf magazine from being able to find a hotel room in our fleabag town. or at least make sure their rooms are stocked with bud light and beef jerky.

kudzo-n-roses
2
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kudzo-n-roses 03/30/07 - 06:12 am
1
0
Can the mayor really be THAT

Can the mayor really be THAT surprised at this article? This is the impression most of the country has of Augusta and sadly most of it is true....for the most part it is a dying city with little or no well backed culture agendas just the same old dump..everytime something comes in to improve it like the riverwalk the powers that be allow them to become run down and just as decaying as everything else in this city. You have a bunch of bumbling clowns playing at running things and nothing gets done..you want to see how to run a city??? Just look across the river at North Augusta the difference is (dare I say it?) Black and white.

areyoukidding
1
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areyoukidding 03/30/07 - 06:29 am
1
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Every city has a Washington

Every city has a Washington Road. A major road full of fast food places and strip malls. Charleston, Savannah, and even North Augusta.

justputtin
1414
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justputtin 03/30/07 - 06:32 am
1
0
Well done Deke, anyone that

Well done Deke, anyone that doesn't like Augusta needs to either try to do something about it (complaining in the paper doesn't count) or move away to a place that's worthy of your residency. Augustans that actually travel come back and appreciate this area. The majority of complainers typically don't get out to compare what they really have. Again, if you don't like it, don't go away mad, just go away...............

Reality
3
Points
Reality 03/30/07 - 06:32 am
1
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I don't see where the

I don't see where the Magazine was that far off base.If you drive John Calhoun Pkwy. and take an exit there is a good chance you may leave without your wallet or car....

thinktwice
1
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thinktwice 03/30/07 - 07:05 am
1
0
The Magazine is right and its

The Magazine is right and its not the responsibility of the Augusta National to fix the problems of Augusta. The leadership at the Augusta National and its members are examples of what great management and leadership can accomplish. Augusta has selected its leaders and now is paying the price. As far as Charleston and Savannah and North Augusta, they have "washington roads" but no one there like them either. The difference is they have King Streets and River Streets and Georgia Avenues, we have a Broad Street. The reality is Augusta is the host to the greatest golf touriment in the world and has not be able to capitalize and it hurts for someone else to say it.

peonynut
2
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peonynut 03/30/07 - 07:33 am
1
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The truth hurts doesn't it?

The truth hurts doesn't it? Too bad they left out all the crime.

ohhsweetconcord
3
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ohhsweetconcord 03/30/07 - 07:55 am
1
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Well, at least Columbia

Well, at least Columbia County exists. Perhaps Golf Magazine should take a stroll over to that part of the neighborhood sometime.

SnidleyWhiplash
2
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SnidleyWhiplash 03/30/07 - 08:14 am
1
0
Yeah, because in Columbia

Yeah, because in Columbia county, it's just strip malls as far as the eye can see. No strip joints out there! No sir!

Augusta
1
Points
Augusta 03/30/07 - 08:17 am
1
0
Looks to me that Golf

Looks to me that Golf Magazine hit the nail on the head...I kind of doubt that T-Mobile and ADP will wipe out the low rent areas of the city...

OpenMinded
1
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OpenMinded 03/30/07 - 08:18 am
1
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Kudos to Deke for standing up

Kudos to Deke for standing up to this biased stone-casting. Point of fact- ALL cities in the several hundred thousand population range have unsightly places as well as low income housing. If you were considering visiting Orlando, would you focus on the areas where the projects are? Granted, we do have strip malls around the National. But there is more to Augusta than that, just like there is more to Orlando than its projects and its strip malls. The Golf Magazine folks are either too lazy to do a REAL tour of metro Augusta (which is why what Deke said is on target) or they are ONLY badmouthing Augusta. Have they seen the riverwalk? Have they strolled Broad St. and stopped at the Augusta Common OR the greeneway in North Augusta along the riverfront and by the River Club OR the Hammond's Ferry development? I mean North Augusta IS a part of the metro area and what, 0.9 minutes from downtown Augusta? Have they toured the new Evans Town Center area OR the revamped ASU campus and toured the Hill area? Is a town ONLY its strip malls and projects? If so then Orlando, America's favorite destination, is trash too. And you locals who badmouth Augusta KNOW these nicer places exist.

jackfruitpaper833
41
Points
jackfruitpaper833 03/30/07 - 08:28 am
1
0
Well the Mag is right, I have

Well the Mag is right, I have yet to understand why Augusta when they build they TAKE UP Space, why don't they BUILD up, where is our sky line, we are years behind, when people ask me about Augusta, I tell them, one day we'll catch up.

Strip malls Lord yes, all that space, he needs to visit Alexandria, VA and see the sky line here.

WW1949
19
Points
WW1949 03/30/07 - 08:31 am
1
0
I don't really care what the

I don't really care what the magazine says. I like it here and I think it is a good town with pleanty of opportunity if people look for it and take it. We have a stable economy, good industry and good houseing. It's not Augusta's responsibility to fix up run down houseing, it's the owners and lots of them have moved away to better areas and let the inner city houseing go. That happens everywhere. The residents left should take pride and clean up what they have instead of waiting for someone else to do it. I happen to enjoy a Coors light in the evening a sometimes eat beef jerkey and I am sure the reporters don't live in as nice a house as I do.

DCFONE
1
Points
DCFONE 03/30/07 - 08:31 am
1
0
Mr. Deke K. , sincerely wants

Mr. Deke K. , sincerely wants Augusta to be the "fair city' and he's brought about big changes, good ones at that. But, the fact remains that Augusta is , and always has been a divided city.There's uptown, downtown and middle ground. ( the south side). The Augusta Co. Comm., has, over the years managed to bring Richmond Co. down to a pit level, and untill there is a majority of forward thinkers and workers on that comm., no mayor or anyone is going to make this co. any different than it is now or ever has been.

WW1949
19
Points
WW1949 03/30/07 - 08:39 am
1
0
To hollygolightely. There is

To hollygolightely. There is pleanty of culture if that's what you want. The Augusta Symphony has performances all year long as well as The Augusta Players, Fort Gordon Dinner Theater and numerous other events. Just look and you will find. They may not be like New York or Atlanta but look at the difference in budgets and size of the cities. We have it good here even though we have the likes of Marion Williams and his wantabe's. If we can ever get business men interested in the commission again and get rid of the preachers and etc. the commission could be run like a business and get somewhere. Give the mayor a vote so he can break ties and do away with abstensions.

suncatcher
1
Points
suncatcher 03/30/07 - 08:45 am
1
0
DCFONE hit the nail on the

DCFONE hit the nail on the head. We go to Columbia for concerts and fly out of their airport. It is cheaper and more reliable than trying to fly out of Augusta. Why can't we have this in Augusta? It upsets me that Augusta has the resources to be a city like Columbia but becasue of the great divide here, it is not happening.

Philo-Publis
1
Points
Philo-Publis 03/30/07 - 08:47 am
1
0
Its a miricle that the

Its a miricle that the golfers aren't being shot at while driving to and from the Airport in South Augusta...

O, wait. Thats right, they were last year ... how soon we forget.

As for the strip malls, It's not like we are getting more of them... the old ones just pack up, move to another location, then leave decaying empty buildings all around (ala Gordon Hwy)

Congrats to the government and people of Richmond County! You made the bed, now the whole golf world has to sleep in it.

I know!! Maybe if we build more low-income housing and give out more free welfare money, the town will get better!

momma mia
2
Points
momma mia 03/30/07 - 08:59 am
1
0
Many years ago when I moved

Many years ago when I moved here, my first impression of the CSRA was the Aiken-Augusta Hwy and the area of Augusta out on Gordon Hwy. I cried when I found out we were going to have to leave Columbia and move here. It wasn't until we'd been here for a few months that I found the nicer parts of this area. I can't imagine living anywhere else now--certainly would not return to Columbia!

thugskin
2
Points
thugskin 03/30/07 - 09:08 am
1
0
Well, the first step is to

Well, the first step is to halt low income housing construction. Sorry, but the number of poor must be controlled. Second in these run down areas the city needs to bring in development at all costs even if it means practically giving land away. Second, augusta needs a mix of new immigrant blood. Maybe some hard
working educated imigrants to revitlize neighborhoods. Augusta also needs to watch the horizon. What will the future be. The future is new energy and stem cell research. Jump on it. Ans as always more police.

wiljames
2
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wiljames 03/30/07 - 09:10 am
1
0
Strip joints? I must have

Strip joints? I must have missed a lot since I moved to St. Petersburg, FL six months ago. Maybe I should come back!

georgiadawg1
1
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georgiadawg1 03/30/07 - 09:10 am
1
0
I'm shocked that the "powers

I'm shocked that the "powers that be" at "The National" allowed this story to go to print if they knew about it. While most of the membership at "The National" is not from Augusta, I would still think that they would not like the city that hosts there "crown jewel" to be portrayed in such a skewed light. The members have tons of connections with Golf Magazine and I am astounded that they let this fly. You can bet that the editors/writers of Golf Magazine have caught some real heat on this one. Granted, I know that Augusta, GA has many low income, crime-ridden, eyesore spots. But what larger Georgia city does not? Savannah does, Atlanta sure as heck does, Macon, the list goes on. For all the bad areas around this town there are many nice attractive areas, programs, cultural activities, etc. that were completely ommitted from this article. But this shouldn't suprise anyone at all really. They wanted to portray Augusta in a "lesser-light" because it helps to sell magazines and stir controversy. They wouldn't have run an article showing a few old mansions in Summerville, the gardens at ASU, the Riverwalk, etc. because it's not what people want to read. Kudos to Deke!

EdithPiaf
2
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EdithPiaf 03/30/07 - 09:25 am
1
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The writer of that article

The writer of that article spent too much time eating beef jerky and shelling out dollar bills to the strippers to have seen all of Augusta.

Queen4842
3
Points
Queen4842 03/30/07 - 09:35 am
1
0
Truthfully the mag is right.

Truthfully the mag is right. If the visitors only see that area immediately surrounding the course then that is exactly what they see. Maybe instead of moaning about it the voters should make their leaders address it and clean up the area and make it look like a place that would hold the biggest golf tournament. I would also recommend that some of you proof read before you hit submit. If a visitor were reading this section some of you come off as ignorant.

Riverman1
84011
Points
Riverman1 03/30/07 - 09:43 am
1
0
The fact is that we have lots

The fact is that we have lots of high rollers coming to the CSRA for fun and games. They fly in for golf, tennis, horses, woods and the water. The low rent writer should drive his Ford on down to Disney World and mingle with the unwashed masses.

Jen2803
1
Points
Jen2803 03/30/07 - 09:48 am
1
0
The article was correct. All

The article was correct. All that's in Augusta is trashy run down buildings. People talk on here about what about the Riverwalk well what about it. Someone fixes it and the residents destroy everything that was done. What about all the gangs and there tags all over the underpasses of bridges. That doesn't look trashy to any of you? The crime is out of control and the only thing holding Augusta up right now is the Masters and Fort Gordon.

worriedboutdafuture
5
Points
worriedboutdafuture 03/30/07 - 10:23 am
1
0
THAT ARTICLE WAS RIGHT ON THE

THAT ARTICLE WAS RIGHT ON THE MONEY! Augusta at this time of the year PIMPS itself out to the MASTERS without fail . And when it's all over WHAT has GOTTEN BETTER? OTHER THAN THOSE FAT POCKETS of those who rented out THEIR HOMES AND APTS at 5,000.00 to 6,000.00 dollars a week. Those establishments that refuse to cater to their long time (Loyal) customers for this event and CHANGE the PRICES(MUCH HIGHER!) on their MENUES. Ft GORDON TRAINEES, YA"LL GONNA BE IN "TROUBLE" when trying to get a hotel or motel on WASHINGTON ROAD, for your week-end pass. "MASTERS RATES" WILL BE IN EFFECT!! That $39.95 room just got bumped to $339.95 and higher!. We ain't even hit the real "CRIME" on the head yet. "Didn't one of those Golfers get "Shot" at last year? Augusta is as BACKWARD of a town as they come. And it is supposed to be the 2nd "LARGEST CITY IN GEORGIA!" No advertising on the buses (THAT BRINGS REVENUE!! THINK ABOUT IT?) or Mass transit that stops running at 9PM ( It might be earlier! ) Everthing that is or was AUGUSTA HAS MOVED to COLUMBIA COUNTY! Whats going on?

a2
1
Points
a2 03/30/07 - 10:39 am
1
0
Augusta=MayberryRFD

Augusta=MayberryRFD

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