Saturday, July 23, 2011

Found: black and white kitten

Kelly ( writes

is anyone missing a sweet black and white kitty? We've had one sniffing around our house for a couple of weeks now, off and on. I thought it was a neighbor's cat, but I got close enough to pet it and it's skinny and has no collar. I'm concerned because I just an hour ago saw what was either a coyote or a coyote-look-alike dog run through my backyard, which borders on the nature preserve.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Oct 1: 2nd Annual Medlock Neighborhood Yard Sale

UPDATE: 2011 "registrations" are now closed. See you at the yard sale!

Save the date - SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, from 9AM - 3 PM.

We are gearing up for our second annual Medlock Area Yard Sale. Last year we had a very successful sale with about 17 families participating. This year we are partnering with Clairmont Heights to offer an even bigger sale area which should attract even more shoppers.

Proceeds are yours to keep or you can donate them to MANA or CHCA if you would like.

MANA: will do the advertising (for example, websites such as MANA and CHCA, eNews letters for the neighborhoods, Facebook, Craigslist, Decatur blogs, print media such as the Atlanta Journal Constitution and Decatur Dispatch and the AJC on-line), put out signs around the neighborhood advertising the sale, design and distribute maps for all participating homes, and put balloons at every particpating location so they are easy to find.
You: just sign up, set up your items, make some money, have some fun!

There is a small $10 participation fee per household/location to help cover costs (advertising, printing, maps, balloons, etc.).

Don't have a lot to sell, but would like to participate? Team up with a neighbor or neighbors at one location and split the participation fee.

In addition this year, we will offer another option: instead of having your sale items at your home: a "car trunk sale":
Put your items in your car or truck, and park in the on-street spaces at Medlock School on October 1st. The fee for this is $5 per vehicle.

Questions? Please contact either Deb Elkin (, 404-320-6063), Bev Monroe (, 404-321-9683) or Kris Kane (, 770-715-9496).

If you would like to participate in the yard sale, please fill out the form below and mail it to:

Bev Monroe, 928 Schoel Drive, Decatur, Ga. 30033, with a check made out to MANA.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

MANA/CHCA Neighborhood Yard Sale Sign-up Form - MANA Residents

Name: _________________________ Address: ________________________________________

Phone: _________________________ E-mail Address: ________________________________

Mail a check for $10/home or $5/car trunk, made out to "MANA" to
Bev Monroe, 928 Schoel Drive, Decatur, GA 30033
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Aug. 14: Pool Party--helpers needed

MANA will be providing hamburgers and hot dogs for the annual pool party and potluck on August 14th, but we need several grills and grillers. If you have a grill you could lend us for a few hours and/or you would be willing to oversee our burgers and dogs that night, please contact Amy Valk via Facebook. Hope to see everyone on the 14th!

Finding your lost pet

by Pat Camp

You have probably seen a number of MANA bulletins, postings on the Medlock Park Neighbors page on Facebook and Yahoo group, flyers nailed up around the neighborhood, and postings on the MANA website about lost dogs and cats. Pet owners are understandably worried and anxious to find their four legged family members. Fortunately, many of these pets have been reunited with their very happy owners.

One such recent happening involved Harley—a miniature greyhound—who was lost in our neighborhood the night of one of our particularly bad storms. Harley’s owner Stacy shared some information on what she did to find Harley—information others may find helpful if they are faced with this awful situation:
  • She and a friend put up flyers all around the neighborhood with pictures of Harley and phone numbers people could call if he was spotted. So—be sure you have some recent pictures of your pet.
  • You might want to also include email addresses.
  • Also, she used the services of a lost pet tracker. The tracker's name is Claudia Clifton and her phone number is (770) 460-7910. In this case, Harley was found by a neighbor on Sunnybrook who recognized Harley from the flyers. However, Stacy said the tracker was able to give her a great deal of help, for example, identifying ways to notify neighborhood web and Facebook pages, shelters and veterinary clinics.
  • Have your pet microchipped so that if they are found, a vet clinic or shelter may be able to scan the chip and find you. Make sure your address and phone numbers are up to date with the service that monitors the chip. For example, my dogs’ chips are registered with the AKC Companion Animal Recovery program and they have information on how to locate me.
  • Keep a collar with rabies and ID tags on your pets. Make sure info on ID tag is up to date and the rabies tag is current. If someone finds your pet, they can call animal control in that county, give them the tag number and animal control can trace that tag number to you.
  • Don’t let your pets roam without supervision. In addition to the dangers of our streets, cats are particularly vulnerable to predators such as coyotes. Unsupervised cats also inflict great damage to birds and other wildlife populations.

Hopefully, you will not have to deal with an agonizing lost pet situation but in case you are, I hope the information above will be helpful.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

FOUND Doggie: Willivee

On Wed. evening around 7pm, I found a dog walking along Willivee near the Ball Park, coming from the direction of Hunting Valley/N. Druid Hills.

She has no collar, and was very thirsty. After a little coaxing, she got in my backseat.
I know she's someone's pet.

No luck looking for her owners, but she seems to be used to people, easily found the back door to my house, and made herself at home.

I will post some flyers, but thought the community 'bulletinboard' might be a bit faster.
She looks healthy, she's friendly, didn't mind a bath, and likes my 2 dogs.
Part Chow, maybe Shepherd. Fluffy thick coat, black with brown head, front and back quarters.

If you have any info on this sweet doggie, contact

Monday, July 11, 2011

:) No Cell Tower at Medlock!

Success! The DCSS Board of Education voted to approve a motion by Mr. McChesney to remove several schools from the T-Mobile cell tower proposal. The schools he listed were Medlock, Brockett and Meadowview. When asked for a reason, he replied that he believed in allowing people to decide on what they want in their neighborhoods (paraphrased). Here is Mr. McChesney making the motion:

Some board members objected to the motion, stating that they had heard that individuals in those same areas wanted the proposal to be approved. Ms. Edler tried to remove all schools from the proposal, but this motion was defeated.

Ms. Jester addressed Mr. Donahue (DCSS, Executive Director, Plant Services), who was presenting the proposal, to say she was disappointed that the vote was taking place when they had had so little time to review the contracts financial details, which she had hoped would be posted online. She also said she favored an opt-in approach so that schools could choose to join the proposal, vs. an automatic inclusion with the option to opt out.

A rather useless photo showing an almost-unanimous vote to remove
the three schools from the proposal. Ms. Edler voted against as she was
trying to propose another motion to eliminate all schools from the proposal list,
effectively rejecting the proposal in its totality. 
Following a vote, Medlock, Brockett and Meadowview are no longer being considered as cell tower sites.

Had the proposal been approved, that would have signaled an agreement from DCSS to proceed with cell tower construction. T-Mobile would have had 6 months to sort out the legal side (zoning, permits), and a 6 month grace period to complete said paperwork. At that point, if legalities had not been handled, the contract would have been void.

A big thank you to the Board of Education for listening to its citizens. And a big thank you also to the five MANA members who stood up to address the BoE.

We look forward to collaborating with DCSS soon to discuss lease options for Medlock Elementary.

Cute AND Feisty! Go MANA!

MANA VP Pat Camp addressing the news for the second time today...
this time to say how important it is for citizens to follow up with
their elected officials and not give in to cynicism.
The Dekalb County School Watch blog has detailed notes of the meeting; scroll down to the updated section of the post.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

July 11: DCSS Board of Education Meeting Agenda includes Cell Tower Proposal Vote

Dear Elected Officials of the DCSS,

Dear Medlock neighbors,

Per the agenda posted at the DCSS website, July 11 may be the day when the cell tower proposal is voted on. See item 31 for specifics.

Several documents are linked to the above page and include additional details about the proposal being considered. For instance, the lease on the property, as stated, would run 30 years. This impacts our neighborhood in the very long run and may constrain future usage of the school lot.

Note that on July 11, the board will first vote to approve the agenda (i.e., there is a possibility they will vote to delay specific items in the agenda). The meeting will also include a period where citizens may ask to address the board. As suggested by Commissioner Gannon, we should make a strong show and attend this meeting, ideally decked out in MANA t-shirts.

The DCSS BOE policy cited below explains how citizens may sign up to address the BOE. If you opt to address the board, note there is a 3-minute limit. Please practice your statement in advance, bring notes, and emphasize the following talking points:

1 - As the property in question is no longer being used as a school, this property does not qualify for the zoning exemption allowed for schools and churches.

2 - The timing of this project is premature, if not poorly thought out. The School Board has not announced its complete plans for the school system - the 2020 plan - which would give us a long-term idea of what will happen on this property, and AT&T's pursuit of T-Mobile could mean that the tower is completely unnecessary given AT&T has adequate coverage in this area.

3 - The potential combined damage to our neighborhood (school closing + an unwanted cell tower) is much larger than the sum of its parts. A cell tower entails environmental hazard--a possible danger to wildlife, especially birds, which have sanctuaries nearby.

4 - The tower itself is a huge eyesore looming over the tops of all the nearby trees, and the centrality of its location means it impacts neighbors many streets away from the site.

5 - Real estate value is damaged by the placement of a piece of industrial equipment in a residential area. The perception of health risk from cell towers, whether substantiated or not, can influence potential buyers and renters and thwart sellers.

DCSS Meeting Location:

Administrative and Instructional Complex
J. David Williamson Board Room
1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd
Stone Mountain, GA  30083

Meeting Time: 6:00 PM

- - - - 

DCSS Board Policy: Public Participation in Board Meetings
Descriptor Code:KCA
The DeKalb County Board of Education encourages citizens to be involved in public education. To facilitate this involvement, the Board will listen to citizen comments immediately following the call to order and prior to the adoption of the agenda for its regularly scheduled work sessions.
The following guidelines will be observed for receiving and hearing comments from citizens during the public comment portion of the work sessions:
• The Board encourages individuals to contact the Superintendent, his administrative staff and/or local school administrators in an effort to secure a satisfactory solution to any concerns prior to referral to the Board of Education.
• All persons wishing to address the Board during the citizen comment portion of the work sessions will be given a copy of this policy.
• To be eligible those wishing to speak must submit in writing to the board office via letter, fax, or e-mail a request ( to speak which must be received no later than 12:00 noon on the day of the Board Work Session. Such requests shall include information regarding the topic to be addressed and previous steps taken to resolve the concern prior to making the request to speak. In addition, speakers may complete their own Request to Comment card in person between 4:45 and 5:45 p.m. on the day of the work session. Cards must be completely filled out. Speakers will be heard in the order they submit their requests. Each speaker addressing the Board shall have a maximum of three (3) minutes to speak.
• The public comment portion of the meeting will be a maximum of one (1) hour or 20 speakers.
• It shall be out of order for any citizen to verbally and/or physically attack an employee of the school system in a public meeting.
• The Board will not allow abusive language, threats, comments, jeers, applause or shouts from the floor. Disruptive persons will be asked to leave the meeting room.
DeKalb County Schools
- - - -

Friday, July 8, 2011

Medlock Schools Children's Garden Saved from the Bulldozer

Sharon reports...

The DeKalb County School System grounds crew appeared at the school on Thursday. It looked like they were just trimming the crepe myrtles, although they were a bit extreme.

Friday they were back and when Kaye Smith drove by she noticed they were bulldozing trees. Trees that had been planted as memorials; trees that the Medlock kids had planted for the victims of the Oklahoma city bombings. She "engaged in conversation" with the crew then she started calling folks. She was able to get a supervisor to come down to the school and as more neighbors arrived, the supervisor called his boss and it was finally agreed that the Children's Garden would not be bulldozed.

The community will be allowed to maintain the children's garden as well as maintain the plantings along the front of the building.The school Board grounds crew will still mow and maintain the trees.

We will be setting up a group to maintain the gardens in association with the Medlock Park Community Garden. An initial meeting for planning will be announced soon.

- - - -

This is yet another reminder of why we must continue to contact the DCSS Board and let them know that

- Medlock Neighbors want to DISCUSS how the property is to be used and maintained (vs. react to the alarming appearance of bulldozers!)

- Medlock Neighbors do not want a cell tower in our midsts, as outlined in the online petition.

Contact your elected DCSS Board members as follows:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

LOST now FOUND: Golden Retriever

Golden retriever has been reunited with family. Happy!

Kitten found @ Medlock Park

Hi, we found a small gray and white kitten over at Medlock Park tonight. He was undernourished so we took him home. Can you post a note on the neighborhood site to see if anyone is missing a kitten?

If you are missing a kitten or know someone who is missing a small gray and white kitten, you may respond to medlockassoc or email me at

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cycling: 3 Foot Safe Passing Bill

Great news for MANA cyclists and bike lovers across Georgia:

From Bicycle South's e-newsletter:
It's Official! 3 Foot Safe Passing Bill Became The Law On July 1st!
Georgia Bikes! and other bicycle advocacy groups were successful this past Georgia Legislative Sesson in getting a Safe Passing Law that requires motorists to maintain at least 3 feet of distance when passing cyclists. Previously, drivers were only required to keep "a safe distance."

Visit the Georgia Bikes! website for more information, but here is a summary of what the Better Bicycling Bill (HB 101) covers:
- Motor vehicles must provide at least three feet of safe passing distance when overtaking a bicyclist

- Cyclists may move to the center of the lane, i.e. take the lane, when surface obstructions, hazards or debris make traveling to the right unsafe

- Cyclists must travel in the direction of traffic while using a designated bicycle lane*

- Bicyclists have the right of way in a designated bicycle lane

- Designated bicycle lanes must be built according to recognized national design standards

* While the new law only specifies that cyclists in bike lanes must travel in the same direction as traffic, bicycles, as vehicles, must abide by all normal vehicular laws. Wrong way travel in any traffic lane is unlawful and unsafe.

The following image illustrates the kind of elbow room the new law protects:  
Photo courtesy of the GA Bikes! website

LOST DOG: Pine Glen Area [July 6]

A lady stopped by our house earlier with a dog she had found. He looks familiar but we have no idea who he might belong to. He only has a black collar on with no tag. Please spread the word and forward to any other list serves for our surrounding neighborhoods.

You can contact Lindsay if you have any information on where he belongs.

Brittany Sanders

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mason Mill Park & Decatur Waterworks updates

The CHCA website has, again, awesome updates and photos of progress being made on the South Peachtree Creek trail and on the Mason Mill waterworks.

Our neighborhood has enviable access to walking trails and parks. Below is a map that highlights MANA-accessible greenspace. I added the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve since it didn't show on GoogleMaps.

Highlighted in reddish/maroon is the actual trail that is now very close to connecting Medlock and Mason Mill parks. The W marks the location of the Mason Mill waterworks.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Phase I: rebuilding the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve shed [July 10]

Dear Supporters of the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve,

On the night of Sunday, June 26th, the shed at the Preserve was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. The entire contents of the shed and materials around the shed are a complete loss. You can see a video of the fire at If you are on Facebook, you can see a picture of what remains of the shed at

Although some surrounding trees were scorched, we hope that there is not lasting damage. We are beginning to make plans to rebuild the shed and get new tools so that we can continue to maintain the Preserve for education and enjoyment of neighbors and visitors.

So, in the spirit of a barn raising, please join us on Sunday, July 10 at 2pm for a shed-clearing party. We will work on clearing the debris from the shed into the dumpster that has been delivered to the site. Please bring work gloves and any tools that you think you might need. Then, starting at 5pm, we invite everyone for a picnic at the Preserve. Bring your lawn chairs and your picnic and join us in making a new start. We will be collecting donations toward the cost of replacing the shed and the tools. Once we have a new shed in place, we will also be looking for donations of new or lightly used tools.

If you can’t make it to the shed clearing party, but would still like to support rebuilding the shed and replacing the tools, you can make your tax-deductible donation to the Preserve online at

Thanks again for your support of the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve, especially during this time, and we look forward to seeing you on July 10.

Chris Beck
President, Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve

What was left after the fire... 
If it could burn or melt, it did. Once the new shed is built, please consider donating new or lightly used tools. 
The fire left scorch marks on nearby trees. There was also damage to foliage above but as Chris said, the trees hopefully will recover.