Friday, August 29, 2014

MANA's October 11 yard sale: sign up by Sept 26

Click to enlarge. Download pdf.
MANA is hosting a Neighborhood Yard Sale 
Saturday, October 11th, 2014,

Sign-up deadline: September 26th

MANA handles the details so you can focus on your $ales: For a small fee of $10.00, MANA will place all ads, put up all signs, provide a sign or balloon for your mailbox, and design neighborhood maps designating addresses and locations of all of the participating homes. All you have to do is just sign up, set up your items, make some money, have some fun! Sellers must be located within MANA boundaries.

Preparing for the sale: Are you conflicted about signing up because you dread getting ready for the sale? We hear you! Here are several links with great tips about what to do 2-3 weeks prior, the week of, and the day of the sale, from checklists and pricing to how to arrange and price items and how much cash to have on hand.

After the sale: See below for options for donating/recycling items that don't sell. We contacted the American Kidney Fund and Goodwill to ask about scheduling a multi-household collection but it appears each household must schedule separately. The American Kidney Fund did specify that following our yard sale, the earliest pickup dates would be Oct 13, 15, and subsequent Mondays and Wednesdays. Interested individuals can start checking availability on October 1 by calling or using their online form.

DeKalb Electronics Recycling

Area Non-Profit Organizations that Accept Donations (updated: August 2014)

For more info
(asterisk denotes tax-deductible donation)
Will pick up
Drop off info
Closest location to Medlock Area
Picks up 6 days a week
* American Kidney Fund  / American Kidney Services
Yes, call in advance to schedule or use online form
See web for bin locations, & Value Village stores
Bin at Chevron at 1923 Clairmont Rd 
no large appliances or large furniture for pickup

The Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta
Yes, use online form
908 Murphy Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30310

Call ahead
Monday - Friday, 9 am to 3 pm 
763 Trabert Ave NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
Suits, Separates, Handbags, Jewelry & Accessories;

Goodwill Industries
Trailer is staffed during day hours
Trailer permanently in parking lot behind Macy’s at N. DeKalb Mall on Lawrenceville Hwy side

When store is open
2935 N Decatur Rd, Decatur, GA 30033
Open 7 days a week into evening
Call for potential pickup of large appliances or furniture
Can drop off at numerous locations and churches
2050-C Chamblee Tucker Road
Atlanta, GA  30341

more info here and locations
Schedule pick-ups here
before 6 pm
2857 E. College Avenue
Avondale Estates, GA 30030

Mon-Tue: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Wed: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM, Thr-Fri: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Sat: 10:00 AM - 6
Call for potential pickup of large items
Open Wed thru Sunday, check web for hours
1 N. Clarendon Ave near intersection at E. College Ave
Proceeds support homeless animals

See website for other locations, FAQ, & call for hours
see drop-off locations here
Distributes to people in need, regardless of race, religion, class, or any other criteria.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Reminder: City of Briarcliff Initiative Information Meeting [Aug 28]

August 28, at 7:00 p.m.
North Decatur Presbyterian Church (611 Medlock Road)

This meeting is being organized and led by the City of Briarcliff group, whose proposal to the 2014 legislature included the Medlock and Clairmont Heights areas.

The Lakeside Alliance, whose map partially overlaps Briarcliff's while excluding the Medlock and Clairmont Heights, is aware of the meeting but has opted to not participate.

MANA is also in the process of organizing a September meeting(s) to include representatives from City of Atlanta and City of Decatur--details coming soon.

Through these meetings, we hope to obtain credible, practical information to help us evaluate any choices presented to us in the coming months.

To see all our posts on cityhood, click here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

GA House to DeKalb proposed cities: clean up your room!

That's the message from the House Government Affairs Committee. The AJC reports that
"Committee Chairwoman Amy Carter, R-Valdosta, would appoint a panel of five House of Representatives members to draw city boundaries if the City of Briarcliff Initiative, Lakeside Yes and Tucker 2015 can’t agree by Nov. 15. The instructions were developed by Jacobs and Rep. Tom Taylor, R-Dunwoody." Read the rest @ AJC
The last legislative session ended in a mad scramble as the Briarcliff, Tucker and Lakeside cityhood initiatives failed to resolve their overlapping boundaries and nearby DeKalb cities called dibs on unincorporated commercial property they wish to annex before someone else does.

See our post last winter for a recap of where things were at the end of the last legislative session; alas, there's little progress form then to now.

City of Briarcliff Initiative representatives will discuss where Medlock stands as they look ahead to the consideration by the 2015 state Legislature of proposed new cities in DeKalb County. The meeting is Thursday, August 28, at 7:00 at North Decatur Presbyterian Church. This is the time to ask your questions about one of the possible choices facing us in the near future.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

ATL Tomorrow's News Today reports on Suburban Plaza

Read it here:

Starbucks: in progress
The main update seems to be that Cozy Burger will be closed Aug 25 - Sept 1. and open again on Sept. 2.  Their site is marked as the future location of Starbucks (drive-through permitting is progressing).

As to the question of other retailers, in the comments, the blog author notes that "New information obtained today indicates that deals are "done" for LA Fitness, HomeGoods and Starbucks and "close" for ROSS."

See all our Suburban Plaza posts here.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Medlock Park Yard Sale [Oct 11]

Save the date: Saturday, October 11th (8am-3pm)

For a small fee of $10.00, MANA will place all ads, put up all signs, provide a sign/balloon for your mailbox of the participating location, and design neighborhood maps designating addresses and locations of all of the participating homes. More details to be posted this week. Please spread the word!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Annexation into Atlanta: emerging facts

via Lynn Ganim, acting MANA President

MANA will hold an informational meeting on this topic as soon as it can be arranged.  In the meantime, don’t forget the City of Briarcliff meeting on Thursday, August 28, at 7:00 at North Decatur Presbyterian Church. We still don’t know where our area stands with the proposals for new cities.

Annexation into Atlanta: More Information

Blue area shows neighborhoods represented at a meeting to explore
the idea of annexation to City of Atlanta. Atlanta is highlighted in green,
Brookhaven in grey and Decatur in pink. For entertainment purposes only.
 This map does not pretend to be comprehensive, final or pretty. 

Map via Google. Click to enlarge.
Last week MANA representatives, along with representatives of 15-20 other civic associations, attended a meeting hosted by the Druid Hills Civic Association to discuss the issues and questions surrounding possible annexation into the City of Atlanta. Except for a brief mention, the question of what happens to schools was not explored at this meeting.  What follows is a summary from notes of a very detailed discussion.

• Atlanta’s annexation stance. Alex Wan, Atlanta city councilman, stated that within the Atlanta City Council there is considerable interest in the possibility of annexing the represented areas.  He stated that Atlanta will not recruit, but it “welcomes any community.” He later explained that Atlanta wants to grow because having a larger population gives it more visibility and clout, as well as, of course, additional tax revenues. (Incidentally, he indicated that Atlanta does not need to annex additional businesses.)

• Public safety.  Atlanta, with a population of approximately 440,000, has 2000 police, while DeKalb County, with a population of approximately 700,000, has approximately 1200.

• Representation. Most likely the newly-annexed areas would be represented by existing council people.  Councilman Wan say that he now represents 33,000 people, which is a smaller number than that represented by DeKalb County Commissioner Jeff Rader.

• Taxes. Studies have been done to show that, for houses valued at $200,000 or less, taxes are lower for those in Atlanta than in unincorporated DeKalb. For more expensive houses the rates are higher in Atlanta but not significantly. See spread sheet at  Many variables go into computing tax rates, so comparisons are not absolute. Some rates are higher in Atlanta than in DeKalb, but apparently the difference is not as large as many fear in most cases .

If an area is annexed into a city in the future, it remains in its current county; taxes are adjusted, depending on which services the city takes over from the county.

In addition, the HOST tax credit (a partial offset to a percentage of sales tax, enacted in the 1980’s), which has kept DeKalb County taxes lower than those in some other areas, has been adversely affected by the creation of new cities and will have to be recalculated at some point by the state legislature. When that happens, it will mean higher taxes for those left in unincorporated DeKalb. (See for link to an article discussing the impact of incorporations on the HOST credit and other issues involving taxation).

• Infrastructure.  Councilman Wan stated that city boundary moves will not change the provider of infrastructure, although that could be negotiated.  This means that water and sewer would continue to be provided to the annexed areas by DeKalb County.  That could be negotiated, but, according to Mr. Wan, is not likely. (This is an area about which we’re not completely clear.)

• Zoning.  Atlanta has Neighborhood Planning Units with actual power to affect zoning decisions, with much more power than our Community Council, which can only recommend.  The City also has a design unity structure which functions to maintain consistency in architecture and historic preservation.

• Process.  There are three paths to annexation in Georgia.  A single property owner may ask to be annexed into an adjacent city.  This clearly doesn’t apply here.  Second, 60% of landowners must petition the city and then 60% of registered voters must vote for annexation, which is virtually impossible to achieve in an area the size of which we’re discussing. Third, and most likely in this case, the state legislature would approve a referendum in a specific area, which would pass if 50%, plus one, of those who show up vote for annexation.

• How we would get to a referendum. Councilman Wan suggested that this most likely would happen if the legislature (as people expect) approves what is essentially Lakeside, then has this large swath of unincorporated DeKalb in the “borderlands” of incorporated cities.  In order to  “clean things up,” the legislature could then approve annexation of these left-out areas into Atlanta, since Decatur wants nothing to do with us, except to annex our businesses. Of course, none of this is definite.

• Schools. Representative Mary Margaret Oliver stated that much of what happens with the schools depends on what the Druid Hills Charter Cluster does next (litigation or some other approach).  This concern was only mentioned, not discussed in detail.  Also, Councilman Wan said it is likely that Atlanta could contract with DeKalb County for the County to continue educating the students who would then be ATL students. There obviously will be substantive discussions on this topic as time goes on.

As long and complex as this “summary” is, there are many additional details and unanswered questions, which is why we need to begin to educate ourselves now. It’s important that we take the time to study these options to understand the potential effects of different proposals on us individually and as a neighborhood.

The attendees at last week’s meeting emphasized the need to inform their neighborhoods in detail of the possibilities and then conduct surveys on preferences of residents.  This needs to be done quickly, with education and survey results completed by Thanksgiving, if at all possible.

MANA continues to research as much as we can about this and other vital cityhood/annexation issues affecting the Medlock area and will continue to report to you as we learn more. There is much to be done .  If you have questions or brief comments, please contact

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hawk homecoming

In mid-June, neighbors spotted and eventually helped corral a wounded female red-tailed hawk. Luckily, neighbor Kathryn Dudek is the Wildlife Director at the Chattahoochee Nature Center and was able to transport the hawk to the wildlife center for evaluation and rehabilitation. Today, some 70 days later, lady hawk came home.
Last june: all patched up. Photo via the Chattahoochee 
Nature Center's Facebook page
Last june: wing wound. Photo via the 
Chattahoochee Nature Center's Facebook page

The hawk was released at Medlock Park to the delight of a large group of neighborhood well-wishers. And what a show it was: the hawk launched without hesitation and with strong wingbeats took herself to a high perch on a pine tree. On the ground, the crowd cheered. Kathryn watched and waited for the bird to stick the landing and then she too was off the ground, jumping for joy.

Magic trick: Months ago, in went a wounded hawk...  
This particular hawk had a "fracture to its right radius and ulna, as well as punctures to the right thigh" likely from a dog or squirrel bite, and there were also maggots in the wound. Once the wounds healed and the bandages were removed, the bird received physical therapy to recover full range of motion.

Kathryn shared some additional tidbits. The hawk now sports a namesake red tail which means she is a mature two-year-old. A hawk like this has a grip strength of around 250 pounds per square inch (for comparison, a man's grip is in the 100 psi range). Kathryn said she could feel the squeeze and a talon did pierce the kevlar gloves she was wearing for protection, leaving a tiny pin prick.  Because lady hawk was gone for a while, we may hear some arguments overhead as she reclaims her home turf from other resident hawks.

And today, out came this beauty!
Rodents despair: big mama's home. 
Our thanks to Kathryn for her education and rescue efforts in the neighborhood and beyond, and for bringing this hawk home. The Chattahoochee Nature Center is a community-supported non-profit organization that focuses on educating about the natural environment with an emphasis on the wildlife communities that make a home along the Chattahoochee River. Visit the Center's Wildlife Rehabilitation Facebook Page for many examples of critters that have been hurt but are now on their way to recovery thanks to wildlife rehabilitators. To make a donation earmarked towards wildlife rehab, click here.