Friday, October 24, 2014

Reminder to complete your MANA survey

Dear neighbors,

Doodle says "Read the newsletter and complete the survey. Or you get no kisses!" :)

Just a reminder that the survey closes on Oct 28 and that we will report on preliminary data at the MANA community meeting on Oct 27. If you have questions, email medlockassoc at gmail.

Doodle is a rescued puppy who now has a MANA newsletter delivery route. Photo by Barb.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The way we were, in plaid and stripes

Ruby found a photo in the Medlock Elementary alumni group on Facebook that just has to be shared and saved for the Medlock history books. It's the 3rd Grade class at Medlock, circa February 1953.
Click to enlarge.

1953 fashion favored plaid and stripes and ruffles, and these Medlock kids wore them well. Looks like it was a nice day, with a high in the low 60's.

Now, when we look at the great 1950's aerial views of the neighborhood that Greg Germani shared in the Atlanta Time Machine (Medlock page), we can also picture the kids who lived, played and grew up in our neighborhood... back in the day when our houses were new and our trees were little.

For a list to all our posts on Medlock history, including some fun strolls down memory lane by long-time residents, click here.
Click to enlarge, see full-size image at the Atlanta Time Machine.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Clifton Corridor light rail gets a second wind

h/t Anne

The failed T-SPLOST wounded it, but did not kill it: The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports that MARTA, in conjunction with the Federal Transit Authority, will launch a study to explore the Clifton Corridor light rail project.

Per the statement in the website, the study will review a no-build option (no light rail) and two light-rail scenarios:
"No-Build Alternative: The No-Build Alternative includes all transportation improvement projects within the Clifton Corridor project area that are programmed in the Atlanta Regional Commission's Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) with the exception of the Clifton Corridor LRT project. The No-Build Alternative serves as a comparison baseline for the project build alternatives. 
Build Alternative 1: Build Alternative 1 is a new LRT line that was previously referred to as the LPA following the 2009 AA study and includes segments that are at-grade, tunnel, and on aerial structure. From Lindbergh MARTA station, the alignment for Build Alternative 1 would parallel the existing MARTA heavy rail transit (HRT) line to the CSX railroad corridor, then continues eastward adjacent to the CSX railroad right-of-way, then along Clifton Road, adjacent to and under the CSX railroad corridor and Clairmont Road. The alignment would then proceed along Scott Boulevard, North Decatur Road, DeKalb Industrial Way, and North Arcadia Avenue to Avondale MARTA station. 
Build Alternative 2: Build Alternative 2 is a new LRT line that includes at-grade and aerial segments only. From Lindbergh MARTA station, the alignment would parallel the existing MARTA HRT line to the CSX railroad corridor, then continues adjacent to the CSX railroad right-of-way and then along Clifton Road, N. Decatur Road, DeKalb Industrial Way, and North Arcadia Avenue and finally on to Avondale MARTA station."
Public commentary will be welcomed at two sessions, each to take place from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. as follows:
Thursday, December 4, 2014 at the Westminster Presbyterian Church located at 1438 Sheridan Rd. NE., Atlanta, GA 30324.  
Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at the Emory University Student Activity and Academic Center (SAAC), Room 316, located at 1946 Starvine Way, Decatur, GA 30033.
We have kept an eye on this project, as a potential Suburban Plaza stop could bring light rail service closer to Medlock Park. To see our previous reports on the Clifton Corridor with an emphasis to the light rail option, click here.

POTENTIAL Suburban Plaza Station CONCEPT by MARTA (as proposed in 2012)
As illustrated in this MARTA document with visualizations for the potential Clifton Corridor light rail (pdfcirca 2012), the proposed Suburban Plaza station could deliver folks right to the steps of the gym and coffee shop that are included in the current redevelopment plan for Suburban Plaza (see below).

ACTUAL year 2014 plan for Suburban Plaza redevelopment (corner of North Decatur Road and Church Street corner) showing LA Fitness and the future Starbucks ("Shop J").

Monday, October 20, 2014

Great show @ Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve

Thanks to the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve volunteer crew for organizing another wonderful harvest festival. Great turnout and the perfect weather to walk around the preserve, say hello to neighbors, partake in some s'mores...

... and enjoy great music by The Higher Choir.

Check out The Higher Choir's website here. Photo by Tanya.

Pumpkins with an attitude :)

An even higher choir :) -- these fellas were honking as they headed towards the harvest festival around 5:40 pm. 

2nd Annual Avondale Estates Garden Club Tree Walk [Oct 25]

Click to enlarge.
From Nancy Martin
"Mother Nature will reveal the newest colors in her fall collection during the second annual Avondale Tree Walk on Saturday, October 25th from 10:00 am- Noon. Sponsored by the Avondale Estates Garden Club as a conservation project, this year’s walk will include beautiful specimens chosen by the Tree Walk Committee to strut on the catwalk of Avondale Estates. 
Local arborists who will lead the walk include Mark Livingston, Arborguard; Gretchen Musser, Elements of Landscape Design; Neil Norton, ISA Certified Arborist; Gary Peiffer, Dekalb Co. Extension Agent; Steve Sanchez, HGOR; and Joan Scales, U.S. Forestry Commission. 
Tree Walk Guides will point out the enormous benefits trees add to the urban environment, such as: 
• For every ton of new wood that grows, about 1.8 tons of carbon dioxide is removed from the air and 1 .3 tons of oxygen is produced;
• One recent study reported that urban trees could be about 10 times as effective as forest trees for lowering carbon dioxide in cities;
• Trees provide climate control & moderate the “heat island” effect of the urban setting;
• Trees protect soil and water quality. 
To take part in this free event, meet in the parking lot of the Avondale Community Club at 59 Lakeshore Drive at 10:00 am. A new feature of this year’s walk will be the opportunity to ask a panel of experts about any concerns homeowners have with trees in their landscapes. The Avondale Estates Garden Club is a member club of The DeKalb County Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc., The Garden Club of Georgia, Inc., the Redbud District of GCG, and the National Garden Clubs, Inc."

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Annexation Round-Up: DeKalb County Edition

A City of South DeKalb? This week (h/t to Deanne!), our representative Rahn Mayo (D - Decatur. District 84) issued a press release through his email list on his stance on annexation,

"Generally speaking I support a community in pursuit of self determination. My reluctance to supporting additional new cities in DeKalb County is based on the lack of cohesiveness with which new cities are often created. In the past, there has been a tremendous disconnect between DeKalb citizens, and political leaders driving cityhood efforts. In my opinion, cityhood plans have provided very little concern for the impact on the DeKalb County as a whole. 

I have witnessed what appears to be "cherry picking" of valuable commercial assets by newly formed cities and communities sponsoring annexation plans. Furthermore, there are often contentious boundary disputes with maps and exclusion of neighborhoods bordering proposed cities, which often feel neglected and without input regarding their fate. 

Currently, there are several proposals for annexation and incorporation in DeKalb County. I recently requested a feasibility study (on behalf of organizers) from the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, for a proposed City of South DeKalb. My current position is to carefully review the feasibility and equity concerns of each cityhood and annexation plan and consider the overall fiscal impact on DeKalb County as a whole."

Brookhaven favored? The City of Briarcliff, in conjunction with the City of Lakeside leadership, protested a move by North Druid Hills Rd businesses east of I-85 to requested inclusion into Brookhaven. These businesses have been part of the Lakeside Initiative's map and would be important in providing services for a new city in north central DeKalb (aka the expected  Lakeside/Briarcliff combined city proposal).

Briarcliff and Lakeside tango! Briarcliff/Lakeside Briarcliff and Lakeside continue to struggle towards compromise, but Reporter Newspapers says that they are not ready to release a combined map yet.

A Tale of Two Cities? Even after the 2014's messy legislative session, compromise in map-making was stalled.  Late in August, State Representative Mike Jacobs (R-80, Brookhaven/Chamblee), with the blessing of the House Government Affairs Committee, set a November 15 deadline for finalizing new city and annexation maps. The Brookhaven Post reported that State Representative Scott Holcomb (D-81, Northlake/Brookhaven) guesses that when five-member House Government Affairs sub-committee meets, they will propose a two-city solution for North DeKalb: Tucker and the expected combination of the Briarcliff and Lakeside proposals.

Charter helter-skelter.  The Druid Hills Charter Cluster withdrew its petition amid allegations that the DeKalb County School System illegally log-jammed the review and approval process, and stated that the organizers would "step away from our efforts in order to give life to other active processes underway in our communities that affect our constituency, such as annexation and city-hood." Druid Hills residents have been pondering the possibility of annexation into the City of Atlanta; in that eventuality, Druid Hills High School, Briar Vista and Fernbank Elementary schools would join the Atlanta Public School System. Update: WABE/NPR reports on this issue.