Friday, December 30, 2011

Melton's Reopening TODAY [Dec. 30]

As posted in their Facebook page and website, Melton's reopens today.

Their Facebook page features their latest health inspection. It appears the kitchen's definitely ready for food prep, and possibly clean enough for surgery:

Friday, December 23, 2011

Dog Found @ Scott Circle now has new home :)

Thanks to Steiph or Jenna Zargon for hosting this lost doggy, who now has a forever home with Colleen.
 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

DeKalb County Requesting Bids for Public Safety Enhanced Video Surveillance System

From The Champion newspaper:

Request for Proposals: DeKalb County Government requests qualified individuals and firms with experience and certified expertise in designing, installing, and maintaining an integrated enhanced video surveillance system to submit proposals for Public Safety Enhanced Video Surveillance System (RFP No. 11-500211).”

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Approved: Selig's Special Exception to Reduce Parking at Suburban Plaza

From the MANA Board:

Dear neighbors,

Earlier today, the DeKalb County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) approved Selig Enterprises' special exception to reduce parking; this vote clears the way for the next stage in the redevelopment of Suburban Plaza. It was a very contentious meeting as many people felt it was their only venue for stating how they feel about Walmart. As noted elsewhere, Suburban Plaza is already zoned for a big box store with Walmart’s specs and the ZBA could only vote to do one of three things: accept the request, reject it, or defer it for later consideration. The ZBA voted to accept the request with conditions (see below).

MANA feels the negotiation succeeded in reaching concessions that would not have been offered otherwise. MANA was the only organization that was, due to incorporation status, able and willing to sign an agreement. Several other neighborhood groups agreed not oppose or support the special exception if Selig and Walmart continued working with MANA.

The documents that resulted from MANA's negotiations with Selig are available below.
  • The Memo of Understanding (MOU) outlines non-binding agreements between MANA and Selig Enterprises. We believe Selig enters this agreement in good faith. 
  • The Conditions document  lists conditions that Selig agreed to as part of negotiating neighborhood support for their request to the ZBA. 
MANA will be in touch with Selig Enterprises to continue discussions, and will continue to share information with the neighborhood as it becomes available.

- - - - - -

Local News have reported on the ZBA vote as follows:  AJC,  The Champion

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Recent Coyote Sightings

Saturday, 12/3/2011, ~8 a.m.: Single large coyote seen walking down the street, 800th block of Gaylemont Circle

Monday, 12/12/11, 7:35am: "I live on Alberson Court and this morning at 7:35am I saw two large coyotes in the yard across the street. One appeared to have a squirrel in his mouth. The other was trotting along beside. I watched as they crossed three yards on Alberson Ct. and then crossed Woodridge Rd. and then seemed to disappear into a driveway/backyard on Woodridge."

Saturday, December 10, 2011

MANA Statement on Selig's Request for a Parking Special Exception for Suburban Plaza Redevelopment

From the MANA Board:

Opposing Walmart’s presence in our neighborhood was never an option because Suburban Plaza is already zoned for a big box store with Walmart’s specs. The only issue on the table is the parking special exception, the question being: “Will this redevelopment plan work with fewer parking spaces than what the County requires?” Opposing the parking variance only argues for more parking, not against Walmart at Suburban Plaza.

Given this situation, the MANA Board decided to try to get as many concessions as possible for the neighborhood from Selig and Walmart. To that end, we have spent hundreds of volunteer hours
organizing community meetings with neighborhood groups, the developer (Selig, Walmart) and DeKalb County (DOT, Commissioners and staff)

  • identifying concerns of our neighborhood and others
  • making specific requests and recommendations (both general and specific to certain neighborhoods) to the developer and County
  • seeking legal counsel
  • coordinating neighborhood group exchanges and
  • keeping the community informed via our website and e-news

Selig has asked MANA to support their parking variance request. This is not a decision the Board took lightly. After much consideration and discussion, the Board decided that it is in our neighborhood’s best interest to do so. In return, the MANA Board is negotiating an agreement that addresses a number of our concerns. The Boards of surrounding neighborhoods will also support this agreement. These negotiations are ongoing and we will post the contract as soon as it is finalized. Please check this space for updates.

We believe these agreements are being negotiated in good faith. Individuals, of course, remain free to form their own opinions.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Work day at Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve [Dec. 11]

from Chris Beck, President, Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve

Sunday, December 11
1-3pm

Join us for a volunteer day at the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve. Check out the progress on the new kiosk/pavilion and then help us maintain trails and continue habitat restoration after the privet removal.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

LOST CAT: Liza is elderly, hard of hearing, and under the weather



From Schoel Drive. 18-year-old female orange tabby. Very hard of hearing, but her name is Liza. About 5 pounds, looks too skinny, but has been sick with upper respiratory infection so has a stuffy nose, wheezing, runny eyes. No collar; has been confined to indoors. Accidently got outside around noon - one o'clock Monday. If seen, please call Jeanne or Jane Walsh, 404-633-2698 or 404-232-0309. Thanks!

Let's try to find this kitty and get her back home so she can get well.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

As seen on Medlock Park this weekend...

On the bank of South Peachtree Creek

A young  hawk, sunning itself.

And by a ball field, a mystery, a celebration?



Photos by Russ

Scenes from the One Love, One Heart 5K



Limbering up before the race
And off they went...
Some little ones enjoyed the race in comfort...
... while others ran it the old-fashioned way.
One and all racing for the  Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Foundation.
Photos by Russ

Saturday, December 3, 2011

DeKalb County's proposed franchise agreement renewal with Comcast

From The Champion, Thursday December 1-7, 2011
DeKalb County Wants to Hear From You Regarding the Proposed Franchise Agreement Renewal with Comcast Cable Communications 
Send your comments and/or concerns regarding Comcast's current performance under the current franchise agreement and/or the future cable-related needs and interests of your community to http://www.dekalbcountyga.gov.
The "contact us" link on the website directs to 311chc@co.dekalb.ga.us

Friday, December 2, 2011

One Love, One Heart 5K [Dec. 3]


The One Love, One Heart 5K (run/walk), to benefit the Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Foundation and research facilities, will be working its way through Medlock Park on the morning of Saturday December 3, 2011.

Cones like the one above have been placed around the neighborhood.

Contact:
Ed Williams - 404-327-7738.
Jen or Jim Pomfret - 404-228-3915

Schedule:
Saturday, December 3
8:45 a.m. - Race Day Registration
10:00 a.m. - 5K Run/Walk.

Entry Fees
Pre-registration (by November 26) - $20
After November 26 & Race day registration - $25

See One Love, One Heart 5K for registration form and details.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas Tree Time: Support our High School (North Druid Hills)

From Kaye...
Support our local high school, Druid Hills, with the purchase of your holiday tree this year! Beautiful fresh trees are on sale now, 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, at Suburban Plaza at the corner of N. Decatur Road and Scott Boulevard. Pay by check to DHHS PTA and a portion of the purchase will be directed to the PTA Enrichment Fund to support excellence in academics and arts at DHHS. Only purchases paid by check will benefit Druid Hills High School.

Lost Dogs now FOUND: Chelsea and Grizzle

Great news! Chelsea and Grizzle are back home with their family. Yay!





Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Supporting Melton's at the courthouse and beyond

Several MANA board members were among those who turned up at court today to support Melton's App and Tap's case.
Mr. Aaron Melton and his wife Staci (center).
Photo courtesy of Judy.
UPDATE 3: Per the AJC, Melton's has decided to reopen. As soon as we have additional information, will share!

UPDATE 2: AJC reports.

UPDATE: Pet Supermarket has permission to reopen. The judge admonished them to do a better job at securing food they throw away, and to patch up one remaining hole.

MANA will follow up with the Meltons as to how we may support their business. In the meantime, neighbors and anyone who shops at Medlock Plaza: please keep an eye out to ensure that Pet Supermarket is properly maintaining the surrounding area and dumpsters in a manner that is both lawful and considerate of nearby business and homeowners.


DecaturMetro shares Selig parking variance request

DecaturMetro has a summary as well as a link to the parking variance request submitted last November 2 by Selig Enterprises, relating to their Suburban Plaza redevelopment plan.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Supporting Melton's App & Tap

You are not here :(
Photo courtesy of Melton's website

As has been reported in local news [AJC, WSBTV, Creative Loafing] and the blogosphere [12, 3Melton's app and tap, our neighborhood pub, has been forced to close its doors due to circumstances beyond its control. Melton's is a Medlock staple: it is a long-time friend and good neighbor, is one of the few restaurants we can walk to, and its staff is known for its friendliness and expertise. At Melton's, we meet friends, family, neighbors and co-workers; we may stop for a quick bite but know we are welcome to linger.

Medlock neighbors and customers from all over stand behind Melton's and hope for a speedy and fair resolution.

Although a "Keep Meltons Open" Facebook group has been created by the faithful, please also contact the property owner, Larry Wilensky, to

  • encourage him to do the right thing
  • expedite Melton's reopening, and 
  • ensure that Melton's is restored in all ways

Please direct your correspondence and comments to:


Larry E Wilensky Property Listings
Owner: Larry E. Wilensky
1801 Peachtree St NE
Suite 340
Atlanta, GA 30309-1895

Phone: 404-351-8803

Other neighborhoods exploring Suburban Plaza redevelopment ramifications

Neighbors around Suburban Plaza have met to discuss their concerns about the Suburban Plaza redevelopment. A summary appears in the Decatur Heights Neighbors website.

MANA is working with neighborhood groups to jointly communicate our various concerns and suggestions to Selig Enterprises and our DeKalb County Commissioners

Saturday, November 12, 2011

REUNITED! Izzy's back home

Izzy is home!!
UPDATE: Izzy is back home with his mom. A neighbor found him and took him to animal control.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Below-Freezing Temperature Warning for Thursday Night / Friday Morning

Time to bring tender plants indoors!

From http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta-weather-light-rain-1218833.html
The real chill comes Friday morning. Intown areas will be just above freezing, but the suburbs will drop into the 20s, said Chandley.
Basil growers, this is it: last call to harvest, dry or freeze the leaves, or make pesto, or pot your plant and bring it indoors to a sunny, well-insulated window before it turns to mush.

Alternative Gift Market @ North Decatur Presbyterian Church [Dec. 3]

Saturday, December 3
10 am – 3 pm
North Decatur Presbyterian Church
611 Medlock Road
@ the intersection of Scott Blvd., N. Decatur Rd. and Medlock Rd.

Click image to enlarge.
Click here to download the flyer.
Featured items are environmentally friendly and from fair-trade sources. Keep for yourself or give as a gift.

Monday, November 7, 2011

National Emergency Alert System Test [Nov. 9]


A nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System will occur on Wednesday, November 9 at
2:00 PM EST via TV and radio stations.
This will be a test, this will only be a test! The test will interrupt radio and television transmission only.

See FEMA's website for details.

E-SPLOST vote [Nov. 8]

On his website, Commissioner Rader reminds us about the polling location change:
MEDLOCK ELEM moved to North Decatur Presbyterian Church (8/11/11)
Relocation of voters from Medlock Elementary School to North Decatur Presbyterian Center for 2011 only due to closing of Medlock Elementary.
You can confirm your polling place via http://www.dekalbvotes.com, or by calling 404-298-4020.

The images below are courtesy of the My Voter Page (Georgia Secretary of State's Office).

Voting location: North Decatur Presbyterian Church, 611 Medlock Rd, Decatur, GA 30033

Sample Ballot.
We are only voting on one measure: the continuation of  a special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST).

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Where are we on the Suburban Plaza redevelopment plan?

Many people are ambivalent about elements of the current Suburban Plaza redevelopment plan. Having been invited to participate in the discussion, MANA volunteers are trying to gather information to negotiate in our neighborhood’s best interest.

Timeline

- Rumors about a Walmart coming to Suburban Plaza started circulating last summer and resurfaced recently.  For examples, see posts to Atlanta-area and Decatur blogs on June 13 (here and here), June 24, June 25, July 11, and October 14 (here and  here). The MANA website reflected most of these reports.

- A survey team was spotted at Suburban Plaza on June 27.  MANA placed calls to Selig Enterprises (owners of Suburban Plaza) but as you may recall, our volunteers' attention was elsewhere fighting the cell tower proposed for Medlock Elementary.

- Selig contacted MANA less than 4 weeks ago (early October) to notify us that they'd be filing for a parking variance, that they already had a contingent contract with Walmart and had shown their plans to the Commissioners.

- MANA quickly formed a committee to meet with Selig; this was just over 2 weeks ago. Planning for a special community meeting began immediately. Information, as was available at the time, was shared at the Oct. 24 MANA community meeting, during which we announced a special “Suburban Plaza / Walmart” meeting on November 2. This information was not yet available when the MANA newsletter went to press. Announcements about the Nov. 2 meeting were sent through MANA's email list and posted around the neighborhood and surrounding areas. Meeting notes, a schematic provided by Selig, and the Nov. 2 special meeting announcement were posted on the MANA website on Oct. 25 and picked up by several local blogs.

- The special November 2 community meeting was live-blogged by the North Druid Hills PatchCHCA has links to other meeting summaries. MANA posted concept photos from the meeting on November 3. Notes from that meeting are now available (pdf reader software available here).

Understanding Selig Enterprise's Variance Request to DeKalb County

(1) Suburban Plaza is already zoned for a “big box” development. Selig is only asking for County approval on a variance (change) to existing parking requirements.

(2) Selig’s parking variance requests permission to develop fewer parking spots than the County currently allows. Parking spot allocation is proportional to shopping area square footage.

Number of parking spots per 1,000 square feet of floor space
DeKalb County Requirement
Suburban Plaza, 
Current
Suburban Plaza, Proposed
5.5
3.9
3.91

(3) Opposing the variance does not equal eliminating Walmart from the proposal. Selig did not discuss a “Plan B” should the variance request fail. We can, however, speculate that without the variance, Selig could simply choose to abide the 5.5 parking spot/1000 sq. ft. requirement. Meeting the county’s requirement could lead to less green space, more paving, and/or decked above-ground parking.

(4) Because the proposed project is in compliance with Suburban Plaza’s C-2 zoning ("A district for general business and limited manufacturing activities, including retail sales and personal services"), Selig is not required to solicit or incorporate community feedback. MANA appreciates the opportunity to be part of the discussion and has been helping identify other stakeholders.

Next steps

(1) MANA volunteers have been collecting and summarizing feedback. This document includes a transcript of questions and comments left by attendees at the end of the Nov. 2 meeting. We have also received a number of emails (from MANA residents and others).

Concerns about Suburban Plaza redevelopment cluster around:

- traffic impact (congestion around Suburban Plaza; cut-through traffic through MANA and nearby residential areas; pedestrian safety and accessibility at Medlock/Scott/North Decatur Road intersection)
- safety / crime prevention (at current and redeveloped Suburban Plaza)
- aesthetics (desire for cohesiveness of proposed Walmart store fa├žade with Selig remodeling concept)
- merchandising (what would / would not be sold at Walmart; reserving space for smaller/local shops)
- noise & store operation hours (impact on nearby residents)

(2) When the Selig traffic study (mentioned in Oct. 24 meeting summary) is made available, MANA will relay it to the community through this website.

This is an ongoing process. Please send feedback to medlockassoc@gmail.com and your DeKalb County officials. Your continued patience and participation in this process is greatly appreciated.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve Volunteer Day [Nov 12]

November 12 at 1pm
2580 Pine Bluff Dr.
Decatur, GA 30033

A group of volunteers from Emory will help with trail maintenance, English ivy removal, and other tasks.

For additional information on the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve, see http://www.cshepherdpreserve.org/

Thursday, November 3, 2011

MANA Halloween Bash was Spooktacular!

from the Halloween Planning Committee...


The annual MANA Halloween bash was a HUGE success!!!  This year we had the largest attendance with close to 150 neighbors participating in crafts, games, and trick-or-treating.  There was a lot to do including a Candy Corn Relay, Pin the nose on the Pumpkin, Fear Factor (a favorite with the boys), and crafts such as pipe-cleaner pumpkins and BOOkmarks.  Children and adults alike were into the Halloween spirit dressing up in some amazing costumes.  Everyone was there, from tractors and Thomas the tank engine, princesses, dolphin and trainer, pig and farmer, and even a scary Jason from Friday the 13th!



MANA also sponsored a neighborhood-wide house decorating contest.  Many neighbors rose to the challenge, and though the decisions were tough, it was finally narrowed down to two.  First place- House on Desmond at the corner of Scott Circle.  This year they really outdid themselves with not just creepy figures, but lots of smoke and sound effects as well.  Definitely spooky and creative.

Second place- On Scott Circle, at the corner of Desmond.  Very creative set-up with a unifying skeleton theme, and little kid friendly. 

Thanks to all the houses that entered the contest.  We look forward to seeing your houses again next year!

We would like to thank all the volunteers that made the Halloween bash successful.   And a very special thank you to those who did so in costume!  Carla, Kathryn, Adrianne, Barbara, Bev, Judy, Stephen, Theresa, Pat, Michelle, Jean, Kerri, Sherri, Tom, and Marla all volunteered their time and effort to bring us such a wonderful event.  And thanks to Barbara for the images below.

Little trick o' treaters
Grown-ups also joined the fun
Fun at the activities table
Little tykes prepare to maraud...

Suburban Plaza / Walmart Meeting

Re: our November 2 meeting, we are typing up our notes about the meeting and will share those in the very near future.

Thank you all for a great meeting!

If you have questions or comments, please email medlockassoc@gmail.com

Below are a few images shared by the Selig and Walmart representatives who attended the meeting. Click to enlarge. Please note that these are concepts and not finalized versions. Your feedback is welcome.

Suburban Plaza concept: view from N. Decatur Rd.
Walmart concept: entrance

Walmart concept: frontage
Walmart concept: grocery section
Suburban Plaza concept: refacing
Suburban Plaza concept: remodeled walkway (this represents the area currently near BigLots), with added skylights. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Trick Or Treat! [Oct 31]

MANA-ical fun awaits...


This is but a sampling of what's out there. Be afraid, be veeery afraid.

See the flyer for details.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Laurel Ridge Elementary Fall Festival [Nov. 5]


Laurel Ridge Elementary's Fall Festival is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 5.
11am - 3pm
1215 Balsam Drive, Decatur GA 300033

This link has information as well as a registration form for vendors.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Firework alert (Diwali) [Oct 28]

A neighbor has alerted us that there will be fireworks at Patel Plaza on Friday night. These are part of the celebration of Diwali ("festival of lights").

Those with sound-sensitive pets may want to take note.

Transportation SPLOST meeting [Nov 14]

November 14, 2011  6:45 pm
North Decatur Presbyterian Church

This meeting will inform the community about the Transportation SPLOST (special purpose local option sales tax) to be voted on in July 2012.

Click to enlarge, or download the flyer (pdf format)
If you have questions,  please contact Rebecca Watts-Hull at rebecca@mocleanair.org

As usual, please refrain from parking across the street (Natural Buzz, Relish Salon) so as to not interfere with their client parking.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Clifton Corridor Transit Initiative

These are exciting times for our neighborhoods... In addition to recent Suburban Plaza news, we are also hearing about The Clifton Corridor Transit Initiative proposals to improve public transportation.

For more info on this initiative, see Facebook as well as the MARTA.

If you'd like to talk to representatives, you may attend their final meeting today:

Tuesday, October 25 · 5:30pm - 8:30pm

Silverbell Pavilion at Emory University Conference Center
1615 Clifton Road, NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30329

Suburban Plaza Development: Info Meeting [Nov. 2]

click to enlarge
One of the items discussed at our community meeting this week was the redevelopment of Suburban Plaza.

Because so many people stand to be affected, an information meeting has been set for November 2. This meeting is open to all. We expect representatives from Suburban Plaza, Walmart, and local government. We ask that folks refrain from parking in the lot across the street from the N. Decatur Presbyterian Church (i.e., Relish Salon, Natural Buzz, etc.) as this interferes with their business. Thank you in advance for being neighborly :)

MANA representatives (as well as other stakeholders in the area) have met with Suburban Plaza representatives. Here are the highlights of what we know so far:

- that the developer is very interested in working with the community: they want this project to be a success for everyone involved. They have requested and accepted feedback about the appearance of the site, also, about the community being extremely concerned about "look" of the site fitting into our neighborhood. They are aware that we are interested in a walkable intersection and in making the area around the Plaza safe for pedestrian, cyclists and drivers. They have shared this concept for the site:
Suburban concept: click to enlarge

- Selig (Suburban Plaza's owner) has ordered a traffic study (on its own dime). The intersection is problematic (as we all know!) and the county has expressed interest in improving it. But note that this intersection involves county and state roads, which complicates the process somewhat. MANA volunteers concerned about cut-through traffic and congestion were already conducting an online survey and if you are a MANA resident, we encourage you to fill that out as we ponder the future of the Medlock/Scott/N. Decatur Road intersection and traffic in our neighborhood.

- As you can see, the footprint would change. The Walmart would occupy the space (and much of the parking area) currently occupied by the thrift store and the discount mattress store. The Walmart would feature 500 underground parking spots; Walmart would pay for this. The store would boast 147,000 sq. ft. of space; approximately 40,000 sq. ft. would be dedicated to groceries. Because groceries are a big part of the plan, other groceries would be excluded from the Plaza in the foreseeable future. 

-  In addition to adding Walmart, Selig would also reface all other buildings in the plaza, for an updated and unified look.

- Selig has spent the last 6 years trying to develop Suburban Plaza. Other plans have not borne fruit. Trade Joe's was NOT interested in this site. Walmart has been the only vendor with the desire and funds necessary for this redevelopment.

- There is concern about some of the businesses already at Suburban Plaza and nearby. Will they be able to stay? How will Walmart's presence affect them? We do not have full information on this. Some stores have leases in place. Others are doing very poorly financially and are not paying rent but rather, a percentage of their profits. MANA representatives have voiced these community impact concerns and Walmart has responded positively. For example, the store would not feature a garden center (this was a concern for Ace Hardware fans) but will offer some hardware (not a big concern--we know that the shopping experience, advice and help offered by Ace Hardware staff is beyond comparison and will continue to bring costumers in). The Walmart would not feature an auto center. The developer is also interested in attracting "junior anchors" i.e., smaller stores. There is no information as to who these stores might be; MANA has argued for restaurant space and outdoor seating if possible, and also for smaller rental space to attract local businesses. Your feedback is welcome!

- {Edit to original post} Suburban Plaza is already zoned C2 which allows for big box stores. Selig will be requesting a variance for parking.  They plan to file this request in late November and could be approved before the end of the year.  The earliest this project would start would be spring of 2012.  Selig estimates that the contrstruction will take 18-24 months to complete.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact medlockassoc@gmail.com

MANA Community Meeting (Oct. 24) summary

We had a fantastic meeting last night, with a packed agenda.

The South Fork Conservancy presented its plan for a 31-mile trail connecting our area creeks.

We heard about DeKalb County's CERT program that trains citizens to safely respond to emergencies and disasters.

We also heard about the Atlanta Gas Light (AGL) and its project to replace aging pipelines in our neighborhood. This project replaces their transmission lines (the ones that move gas from one area to another), not our distribution lines (the ones that bring gas to our homes). Those living near affected areas have been contacted. As we get closer to the start of the actual project, AGL representatives have offered to visit us again to share information and answer questions. If the previous gas replacement projects (a few years back) left your curbside in an unsatisfactory state, contact medlockassoc@gmail.com and share your name and address and we'll relay that information to AGL.

We had an update from the Neighborhood Watch. To join the neighborhood watch e-list, email manawatch@gmail.com.

The MANA treasurer reported on finances and membership. 104 individuals paid membership dues since last June (that is both new members and renewals)!

We had a reminder that Halloween is coming next week!

We had a brief discussion about Medlock School building. Nothing new to report--ICS and DCSS are ironing out the final details.

We elected new officers. Kathryn and Pat have stepped down and Sharon and Lynn have stepped in. A hearty thank you to Kathryn, Pat, and all the board members who give so much of their time and energy to keep our neighborhood wonderful.

We had a zoning report by Teresa, focusing on the redevelopment of Suburban Plaza.

Sharon reminded us that there are pros/cons to voting yes on the education SPLOST this coming November 8. And that MANA residents will vote at the North Decatur Presbyterian Church (but check your voter registration cards!). This is different from the transportation SPLOST coming up in the summer of 2012.

Friday, October 21, 2011

PATH update

Update: Oct. 24, from the Path Foundation website:
The last section of trail between Mason Mill Tennis Center and Medlock Park is installed. PATH crews are finishing up grading, landscaping and site amenities. You can use the trail on weekends and afer hours; be careful in areas where work is still in progress.
DeKalb County is planning a grand opening later this fall. Watch this post for details.
We are almost there: today (Oct. 21), the work crew is pouring the last segment of the path connecting to the Mason Mill park. Walker, joggers and cyclists be advised that in order to go that way, you will need to go all-terrain, along the just-poured sections, and it's pretty muddy and uneven.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

MANA Halloween 2011 [Oct. 31]

The MANA Halloween route began many years ago as a way for Trick-or-Treaters and their families to easily identify homes participating in this tradition. To serve those who felt disappointment that Trick-or-Treaters never visited their streets, or who were not on the route (i.e., to protect dear neighbors from the dangerous task of gobbling down pounds of unclaimed candy), the organizers decided to set up a trick-or-treat station at the elementary school. And so the MANA trick-or-treat route tradition was born, enhancing safety, neighborly interaction, and health for all.

This year, based on volunteer input, the route changed to include additional streets. The Medlock gathering has remained popular, offering adults and pets a chance to dress up in their spookiest best.

MANA also sponsors a neighborhood-wide home decorating contest. Judging will take place on the 30th, and winners will be announced on the 31st via Facebook and our e-newsletter. Make sure to include those homes in your fright maps!

Click here for trick-or-treating maps and Halloween home decor contest and Medlock bash information.

We would like to thank Adrianne, Carla, Ruby, and Kathryn for answering MANA's calls for volunteers, organizing the routes (3 this year!), and creating maps. If you would like to volunteer for next year's Halloween activities, or any other MANA activity, please email medlockassoc@gmail.com.

Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve Harvest Festival [Oct 22]

Saturday, Oct. 22
4 - 8pm

The Annual Harvest Festival will include craft stations for kids, nature walks around the Preserve's volunteer-maintaned paths, live music, a campfire, and smores! Bring your own chairs and blankets.

A $5 donation is kindly recommended. This is also a perfect time to bring over any tools you'd like to donate, as the Preserve rebuilds its tool supply following the lightning strike that destroyed the shed.

A gentle reminder on... doggy poop

A MANA resident writes:
Hi - not sure if this is happening to anyone else in the neighborhood, but twice now I have had bags of dog poop left in my yard by the front curb. This last time, the person actually took pine straw to try and cover the TWO bags of poop they left in my yard. 
Although I don't have a dog, I love having dogs in the neighborhood and seeing neighbors out walking their dogs, but this is just disgusting. Maybe we could send a gentle reminder...
Ah, yes... with the many joys of dog ownership also comes the issue of responsibly disposing of an awesome amount of poop (hereafter referred to as "it").  Many dog owners struggle with the odoriferous paradox of grabbing a biodegradable object, wrapping it in plastic, walking with it for half a mile or more, and sending it to the landfill. But there are good reasons to do so, and many alternatives.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Suburban Plaza Update

At a county community council meeting earlier this week, Scott Selig, the owner of Suburban Plaza, presented to the neighborhood representatives a redevelopment plan. ...
See the CHCA site for a full update.

Coyote sighting @ Gaylemont

A neighbor reports
I was walking along Gaylemont Circle around 6:25am and saw two coyotes standing under the streetlamp. Seems to me one was darker and the other one lighter in color. They were facing my way and not moving when I noticed them. I slowed down and stomped my feet loudly and they turned into the small trail on the side of the school and disappeared into the woods.
Another reminder to all to keep small pets safely indoors. See this AJC article for more information on urban coyotes.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

PATH update

Tim at CHCA alerts us that
The cement sections are finished from the old stone bridge to the dirt road at the end of McConnell Drive.
Check the CHCA site for recent photos!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Electronics recycling [Oct 29]

In case you still have some old electronics sitting around after the yard sale, here's two ways to send them to a better place:

Keep DeKalb Beautiful's electronics recycling program has two year-round drop-off locations. Visit their website for details.

Items NOT accepted by DeKalb include: televisions, vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, washers, dryers, freezers, de-humidifiers or humidifiers, and gas-powered equipment
If you prefer a more festive "recycling day!" atmosphere, try the City of Decatur's Electronics Recyling Day on October 29. Decatur advises that
Almost anything with an electrical cord can be recycled at the event EXCEPT microwave ovens, furniture, light fixtures, household appliances, lamps, vacuum cleaners. ... We will recycle television sets for $10 exact change.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

DeKalb Co. Animal Services Task Force Survey

The DeKalb Co. Animal Services Task Force is reviewing its practices and seeking community input. Although they already held a meeting in August to announce preliminary findings, the survey is still open and they continue to collect feedback, so please visit their website and complete their brief survey.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Medlock Elementary update

The DeKalb County School System and the International Community Schools (ICS) are in talks over a lease that would bring ICS to our neighborhood. ICS is a chartered elementary school that offers an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program.

Per this report on the AJC

Nicole Knighton, the DeKalb district’s director of government relations and special projects, said after a letter of intent is signed, lease negotiations will begin to allow the International Community School to move into the old Medlock Elementary School facility.


The board will vote on the letter of intent next week and will vote to approve the lease in November.
MANA continues to monitor the situation and will post updates as information becomes available!

DeKalb Neighborhood Summit and Green Expo [Oct. 29]

WHO:
Residents of DeKalb County, Neighborhood Organizations, Homewoner Associations, Businesses, Faith and Civic Groups

WHAT:
An exciting community gathering that brings together DeKalb neighborhoods to share ideas, participate in workshops, connect with resources, and engage with their government.
*Back by popular demand!! - DeKalb County Services Showcase

WHEN:
Saturday, October 29, 2011
9:00 am - 1:00 pm

WHERE:
Decatur High School Performing Arts and Sports Center
310 N. McDonough Street
Decatur, GA 30030

The summit is held in conjunction with the Green Commission's Green Expo, which features local green businesses demonstrating eco-friendly products and services. Attendance is free, but due to limited space, registration is encouraged.

CLICK HERE FOR REGISTRATION

MANA / CHCA yard sale = a great success

Kris (one of the yard sale organizers) writes:
It seems like the Yard Sale was again a big success, with the emphasis on "big". I don't think we expected this many participants. Another first this year was that Clairmont Heights, Tuxworth Springs condominimums, and the North Decatur Presbyterian Church were involved or interested and this allowed more dialog between MANA and those groups. In many areas, lots of neighbors were walking around from place to place. One area I saw where there were several participating homes near each other it seemed like those neighbors were meeting each other and talking.
I was able to to go to 16 homes that participated. Had hoped to go to more, but got in good conversations along the way. Introduced myself and asked how things had gone. (OK, yes, I also bought stuff.)...
The yards sale team is putting together a feedback form to hear how the yard sale went for sellers and neighbors. Look for that link here in the near future!

Trunk sale @ Medlock, early birds

More trunk sales @ North Decatur Presbyterian church
More loot!
Catfish mailbox, anyone? 
Get a bag... then fill 'er up.
Photos courtesy of Bev.
A hearty THANK YOU to our tireless organizers and all those who participated!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

MANA / CHCA Yard Sale: Upgraded to EPIC [Oct 1]

9am - 3pm

68 potential stops to thoroughly satisfy your browsing and shopping needs! That's right, folks, the MANA / CHCA Yard sale features 67 households and a trunk sale too (at the North Decatur Presbyterian Church at the corner of Medlock and Lawrenceville Hwy.).

You may download the two files below as a 2-page pdf file.

List of sale locations (click to enlarge and print page; right-click to download)

Shopping Map (click to enlarge and print page; right-click to download)