Monday, February 8, 2016

The Great Backyard Bird Count [Feb 12-15]

Join the 2016 annual, world-wide Great Backyard Bird Count! Since 1998, over 100,000 people have participated in this citizen-powered science project. The requirements are simple: for the period of February 12-15, set aside 15 minutes to count birds on one or more days. Then, submit your observations to the bird count website.

Those new to the count will need to create an account first.

To get started, go to

Thursday, February 4, 2016

DeKalb schools: AdvancEd/SACS accreditation reinstated

Congratulations to the DeKalb County School System for regaining full accreditation! For additional information and a link to their press release, go to

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Decatur annexation is off the table for 2016

City of Decatur has released a statement indicating that it will not be pursuing annexation during the current legislative session, Decaturish reported this morning.

Because an updated Senate agenda was not released confirming this announcement (and the last available agenda showed the annexation bill being discussed on February 4), MANA and CHCA representatives headed to the state capitol for answers. Senator Butler's assistant (Senator Butler chairs the DeKalb Senate Delegation) was able to confirm that the item was being pulled from the agenda, and Senator Parent followed up by email with an updated agenda that no longer included House Bill 663:
-Homestead Exemptions for Seniors
-City of Decatur & City Schools of Decatur Homestead Exemptions
-DeKalb County Charter Review Commission
-DeKalb County Legislative Agenda
*The Chairwoman reserves the right to change the agenda at her discretion at any time.
DecaturMetro has City of Decatur's press release here, which ends with "It is anticipated that the City Commission and the Board of Education will revisit annexation later in 2016 to determine what options should be pursued in the future."  Decaturish also recently reported that Decatur is updating its comprehensive plan which, per City Manager Peggy Merris, relates to infrastructure and issues like zoning and land use:
Here’s where we think the land use might change in the next 10 years, or here are the big developments we think might happen, or it could be a new road system or a new transit system. It’s really dealing with the physical placement of development and infrastructure.” 
One way or another, it's safe to say we will be hearing about annexation again.

We want to acknowledge our MANA and CHCA neighbors and volunteers and DeKalb County residents everywhere for seeing the bigger picture (impact on DeKalb's public schools), signing this year's anti-annexation petition, and contacting our elected officials.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

a froggy symphony

With the temperature in the low 70's, the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve's spring peepers could not contain their passion...

For 13 seconds of resounding froggy come-hither, click here.

^. .^ "Find The One" @ Lifeline Animal Project ^. .^

ATLANTA (February 2, 2016) – ATLANTA, GA — It’s almost Valentine’s Day!  Feeling lonely?  Forget the internet.  Find your true love and take advantage of LifeLine’s “Find the One” promotion at one of LifeLine Animal Project’s shelters, including DeKalb County Animal Services (DCAS), Fulton County Animal Services (FCAS), LifeLine’s Dog House & Kitty Motel and LifeLine’s Cat Adoption Center.  

Throughout February, LifeLine Animal Project will help you “Find the One” with $14 pet adoptions on all dogs over 25 lbs.  This includes the pet’s spay/neuter, microchip and vaccines (a $250 value).

According to LifeLine Animal Project CEO Rebecca Guinn, everyone wins when a pet is adopted.  “Dogs and cats provide unconditional love which has been shown to have positive effects on their owner’s health,” she says.  “And when you adopt a shelter pet, you’re saving a life, so both human and animal reap the benefits.”

Whatever your needs, likes or limitations, there is a pet (or two) at one of LifeLine’s shelters who is perfect for you.  For adoption hours, locations and pictures of available animals, please visit, or   

About LifeLine Animal Project
Founded in 2002, LifeLine Animal Project is a nonprofit organization providing lifesaving solutions to end the killing of healthy and treatable animals in county shelters, promote animal welfare and prevent pet overpopulation in metro Atlanta. As the managing organization for DeKalb County Animal Services and Fulton County Animal Services, LifeLine has dramatically increased adoption rates and decreased euthanasia rates by more than half at both shelters.  The organization also operates two low-cost spay/neuter clinics, which have performed 80,000 surgeries to date, and its own rehabilitative, no-kill shelter. Other outreach efforts include its Catlanta trap-neuter-return program, the first and largest in metro Atlanta, for stray and feral cats.  For more information, please visit

Monday, February 1, 2016

Sign the petition opposing Decatur's commercial annexation bill

City of Decatur's most recent annexation map, from
During the last legislative session, Representative Karla Drenner and others sponsored House Bill 663 to expand City of Decatur's boundaries via annexation.  That bill is still alive and could pass if enough senators support it.

Please read and sign the petition against Decatur's latest annexation plan, which outlines some of the reasons why this annexation is bad news for DeKalb County and particularly damaging to our public schools.

If you would prefer to contact our DeKalb senators directly, they can be reached as follows:

Wednesday, January 20, 2016