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)

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Good Riddance

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves. 
Dash Lounge is now closed.

A big THANK YOU is due to Claire, Scott, Michael, and other neighbors who made time to contact the police and county and follow up on a situation that was affecting the quality of life (not to say sleep and sanity) of many neighbors on that side of our little burg. Enjoy your well-deserved Zzzzzzzz's!

For reference:

Tombstone courtesy of tombstone generator

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hazardous waste disposal [Oct 1]

DeKalb Co. santation and Keep DeKalb Beautiful are sponsoring a hazardous waste event on Oct. 1, same day as the EPIC MANA/CHCA Yard Sale... so plan accordingly!

8 a.m. — 12 Noon
DeKalb County Sanitation Division
Central Transfer Station
3720 Leroy Scott Drive
Decatur, GA 30030

Materials accepted:
Lawn-care products
Automotive products
Fluorescent bulbs
Photo chemicals
Hobby and artists supplies
Paints and paint-related products
Cleaners and swimming pool chemicals

Materials NOT accepted:
Agricultural wastes
Bio-hazardous/Bio-medical waste
Non-hazardous waste
Radioactive material

For more information, see their flyer.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

MANA: Making It Easier for You to Get Rid of Unused Stuff

MANA member Jean Cohen contributed this article on disposing of unwanted items. Then she took it to the next level by including a table of local non-profits that accept donations. Thank you, Jean!

So you signed up to participate in the neighborhood yard sale on October 1, 2011. Of course you hope all your stuff sells. Have you thought about what you will do with stuff that doesn’t sell or you can’t give away for free? Here are some great ideas!

How to deal with any stuff not sold. Of course, it depends on what it is and if you truly think your leftovers will be useful or bring cash to someone else. Some of the charities will take anything and some are selective. If you have any questions please contact the organizations listed or any others you are considering before showing up on their doorstep with your unwanted, unsold items. Many organizations do not want nonworking televisions, computers, appliances, etc. Furniture for pickups must meet certain criteria.

Environmental Concerns. While you are rounding up your stuff for the sale if you decide it is time to cleanout your basement, garage, shed, or attic please note the county will not pick up concrete, tires, paints & related products. Please do not place these type items on the curb. There are other options for their disposal. For recyclables, if you do not subscribe to the weekly county pickups, one location that accepts all paper, glass, plastic, and metal is at the DeKalb Farmers Market, 3000 East Ponce de Leon Ave. There are other collection bins located closer but not for all types of recyclables.

Many hazardous wastes including aerosols, batteries, lawn-care products, automotive products, fluorescent light bulbs will be accepted on Saturday, Oct 1 from 8 a.m. to Noon at the Keep DeKalb Beautiful annual free Household Hazardous Waste Event. Yes, we know their event is on the same morning as the day of the MANA Yard Sale. Think strategically. Maybe your family could divide duties that day and/or get a neighbor to take your hazardous stuff. For details see

Also, annually Home Depot on Lawrenceville Hwy has a “drop off your old paint day”, Decatur High School does an annual electronics drop off day, and other events and locations can be found on the internet. For informational purposes, the next page is a short list of area non-profits that accept donations, not an endorsement. Don’t forget to ask for a tax-deductible receipt.

Area Non-Profit Organizations that Accept Donations (as of September 2011)

For more info
Will pick up
Drop off info
Closest location to Medlock Area
Picks up 6 days a week

Yes, call in advance to schedule
See web for bin locations, & Value Village stores
Bin at Chevron at 1923 Clairmont Rd

Yes, use online form
538 Permalume Place Atlanta, GA 30318

Call ahead
Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
67 Peachtree Park Drive, Suite 101 Atlanta 30309
Off P’tree near Benihana’s and Fresh Market
Professional women’s attire in Sizes 0, 2, 16,18, 20, 22, 24+ 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
Suburban Plaza at
Medlock Rd & N. Decatur Rd.
Open 7 days a week into evening
Chamblee store

Call for potential pickup
Can drop off at numerous locations and churches
5463 Peachtree Rd.
Chamblee 30341
Mon– Sat
10 a.m -6 p.m.
Collection bin at Suburban Plaza, near Church St.
Large items only.
before 6 pm
2857 E. College Ave Avondale


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
New store, proceeds support homeless animals

Shoes only.
Since 2005, Soles4Souls has given away 14 million pairs of new & gently worn shoes
See website for other locations, FAQ, & call for hours
Active Ankle & Foot Care Specialist 1434 Scott Blvd.
Suite 3 Decatur
Distributes to people in need, regardless of race, religion, class, or any other criteria.

MANA Neighborhood Watch Meeting notes

The MANA Neighborhood Watch met on the evening of Sept. 19 to discuss what we may do, as a community, to prevent crime. Forty-eight people were in attendance.

Barbara (Neighborhood Watch chair) reminded the audience of coming activities (the Yard Sale on Oct 1, Halloween Trick or Treating on the 31st, and of the MANA community meeting scheduled for the 24th). She then explained that MANA consists of around 1200 homes, divided in 60 grids.  Ideally, each grid would have a coordinator. The way the Watch works is coordinators are the point person for their grid. If an incident happens or suspicious activity is reported, the coordinator relays the information to the Watch by emailing  [Note: Anyone can email a report or concern to that address, however, the system works best if the block coordinator is not left out of the loop.] It is most helpful if the report has as much information as possible as to the incident: time, location descriptions of suspects, was a police report filed, etc.

Barbara said she pulled crime data for the last five months and noted 18 crimes (theft of landscaping equipment, AC units; five vehicle thefts; two vehicle break-ins; three burglaries). A neighbor added that bikes were stolen from his home on Harrington and Barbara encouraged him to get in touch with his coordinator or email to provide additional information to share with the community. The neighbor said he would do so, but that as reported by another neighbor, the bicycles were taken by an individual wearing a white shirt and a white cap who took the items and simply walked down the street. This person been seen around the neighborhood before.

Barbara and other neighbors also shared concerns about a man called Eddie who was arrested in the neighborhood over a year ago for outstanding warrants. His MO is to mow lawns without permission, then knock on the door and demand payment. He may also approach residents with a story that he used to do work in that house for previous owners, apparently in a ploy to establish credibility. He was seen on Desmond as recently as a couple weeks ago. Eddie is described as a "large African American male, ~5'8" - to 6 feet in height" who drives a blue Dodge Ram with tinted windows. If you see him, call 911.

Barbara mentioned another crime that caused some concern, a hold-up at Medlock Park that reportedly occurred after the pool party. The credibility of the report is now in question.

It was also explained that Dekalb County soliciting law requires that anyone selling a product or service must have a permit with photo; this permit should be printed on white paper. The permit approval process includes a background check. The individual must have the permit in his/her possession while soliciting. There were questions about an individual who has been soliciting recently but neighbors confirmed he appeared to represent a charity and had a permit. The question came up about boy or girl scouts--do they need permits? Probably not, also, they are typically with a parent. But Barbara jokingly warned that 20-year olds in scout uniforms may not be on the up and up. There was a question about individuals who are not soliciting but rather, proselytizing. The answer, to general laughter,  was that "if they come for your money, they need a permit but if they come for your soul, they don't."

Doug and Jennifer mentioned they helped organize the meeting and shared some general safety tips, audience members also made suggestions:
  • beef up your home security
  • don't post updates about your whereabouts on Facebook (or anywhere online for that matter)
  • let neighbors know if contractors are coming to your home. Let your contractor know that your neighbor may ask to see their IDs
  • don't share information about your neighbors without their permission
  • find reputable contractors through word of mouth (vs. door-to-door soliciting)
  • if you see anything suspicious, call 911
  • ensure valuables in your home (e.g. big-screen TVs) are not easily visible from outside the home
  • keep your doors locked
  • do not open the door to greet people you don't know. Some neighbors suggested saying "I do not open my door to strangers" or simply not answering the knock.
  • do not discuss details about the neighborhood watch on the Facebook group, as it is open to the public

Chris Hunt talked about his training with DeKalb Police to become certified under the Volunteers In Patrol (VIP). This is a Dekalb Police program that consists of classroom instruction then ride-alongs with DeKalb police officers. Once certified, the individual must complete at least 4 hours of patrol time per month and must submit a log. The trainees are not armed, cannot pursue suspects; they are trained to observe and report. When on duty, a VIP will wear an identifying vest and if in a car, the vehicle will have a large magnetic sticker on its door. Chris is happy to answer questions about the program but notes that he cannot train others as that is best done by the VIP program.

It was noted that if a neighbor patrols in an unmarked vehicle (driving slowly, paying close attention to surroundings), this may alarm others. Barbara noted that if one's driving behind such a vehicle, it may be possible to use a cell phone camera to capture the license then forward it to the Watch, which in turn will follow up with the police.

There were two ideas that the audience saw worthy of follow-up. The neighbors who made these suggestions are conducting additional research and will forward the information to the MANA watch, which will in turn report to the MANA board and the community:
  • surveillance cameras: noting that there are ~8 entry points into the neighborhood, cameras could be positioned to record vehicles that enter/exit MANA. If an incident is reported, the footage can be reviewed for additional clues. There were questions about the cost of the cameras, maintenance, and whether it would be legal to mount them on telephone poles, etc.
  • a non-volunteer (paid) patrol, in particular during times when folks are most likely to be at work. The patrol could be a private security guard or an off-duty police officer. Audience members familiar with other neighborhoods who employ off-duty officers cited sample costs of $85-$150/yr per home being monitored.
Barbara closed the meeting by saying she does not see a huge increase in crime per the data she reviewed, however, that it may seem that way due to increased awareness and reporting through the e-bulletins and Facebook page.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Yard Sale update

from the MANA VP:

We are happy about all the enthusiasm for the MANA / CHCA yard sale on October 1st. However, the deadline for registering was 9/15 and we are now all "FULL" and can't accept any more registrations.

But please come out that day, meet your neightbors and get some great deals. More information will be coming regarding locations.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

PATH: a little safer now

PATH's progress continues.

Safety rails have been added to the Mason Mill side right off the bridge.

No more Evil-Knievel-flying-off-the-ramp airborne action... sorry, kids!
A safety fence has also been added to the retention tank that catches overflow from the retention pond. [Corrections welcome, if that's not how this works!]

Now fenced-in tank. Pond visible to the left.
A significant portion of the ground near the pool and trail has been covered in straw (and one assumes, re-seeded). 
For many more, higher-quality photos, visit the CHCA website.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

REUNITED: loud cat [900th block of Gaylemont Circle]

UPDATE: looks like cat and owner (from several blocks away) have been reunited. Yay!

- - - - - 

Saturday, ~7:45pm
Extremely verbal yellow tabby, approx 6-7 months old? is wandering around Gaylemont Cr. 
She's been fed but wants more. 
She has a beautifully patterned coat and a very fluffy tail. She seems healthy if a bit skinny. Definitely an extrovert!

Monday, September 12, 2011

MANA Watch Meeting [Sept. 19]

Monday Sept 19th
7:00 pm
MANA Watch meeting at North Decatur Presbyterian Church - 611 Medlock Road

Please take this opportunity to get together with your neighbors and work together to prevent crime in our wonderful community.

We will be discussing recent crime in the neighborhood and what we can do as a community to prevent crime. In addition, we will be discussing Voluntary Patrolling of the neighborhood. If you have any thoughts or ideas, please join us.

To join the Neighborhood Watch, email can notify you of activity in your area.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

PATH update

Work continues!

Some more rails will be added to the Medlock side of the bridge...

...and the same is in store for the Mason Mill side.
Near the retention pond, it really looks a bit like an archeological dig.

Quasi-panoramic view--retention pond side
Rainwater flows under the boardwalk then tumbles to the retention pond.
It's fun to see more structures appear as the underbrush is cleared.

Old stairs lead to an even older chimney.

Old Decatur Waterworks fountain... will it splash again?
We can't know what the Decatur Waterworks looked like in its full glory, but it's exciting to see the area cleared and improved for everyone's enjoyment.

(Still) Lost Senior Cat on Harrington

Originally posted on 9/2/2011

Lost Black and White Cat

We are missing our loved geriatric cat, Fletcher. He is 19 years old. He usually does not wander far and has been in the neighborhood for 16 years - so hopefully he would know his way home. Fletcher is black and white with a black mark under his nose. He is not very shy and is usually very good at calling for attention. We live on Harrington Dr. If you have seen Fletch in the past day or see him, you can reach us at 678-592-6567. Thanks so much!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

November 8 Election: has your polling place changed?

From Sharon...
Just a reminder that there will be an election on November 8, 2011.
Some of the issues we will vote on are:
  • the Education SPLOST only (since we are in unincorporated Dekalb)
  • DeKalb County School Board members
  • a transportation SPLOST
  • we will vote on whatever representative elections are needed in 2012.
  • they are still discussing the Sunday sale of alcohol so that may be added to the ballot at some point.
The voter registration deadline is October 11, 2011
The folks at Dekalb Voter Registration and Election offices are very helpful. Their website at has not been updated as far as ballot content but it has links to other information such as voter registration.
New precinct cards have been mailed (some neighbors received theirs today, marked "NOTE: PRECINCT CHANGE"). If voted at Medlock Elementary you will more than likely now vote at North Decatur Presbyterian Church (611 Medlock Road), for the year 2011. A new polling place will be permanently assigned and announced after the redistricting decisions are made, in time for the 2012 elections.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

MANA: neighborhood watch meeting [Sept. 19]

There will be a MANA Watch meeting on September 19 to discuss the options for and logistics of patrolling the neighborhood.

If you are interested in attending, please email

GA Natural Gas fundraising program benefits our elementary school (Laurel Ridge)

The closing of Medlock Elementary directed students in our neighborhood to attend Laurel Ridge Elementary. Here is a chance to help Laurel Ridge serve our students, via GA Natural Gas (GNG).

By joining the True Blue Schools Program, GNG customers can direct a $5/month donation to a school of their choice. This $5/month comes from Georgia Natural Gas, not the customer. Additionally, TrueBlue Schools' participants are eligible to receive an up to $0.15 per therm discount off their monthly gas bill.
GNG makes an additional $40 donation to the school for new GNG customers.

If you are a GA Natural Gas customer, go to Select the "I'm already a customer" option and type in Laurel Ridge (the system will fill in the rest of the school information once you provide a few characters) and continue with the sign-up process. There's an option to look up your account number as well, if you don't have it handy.

Questions? Contact the Laurel Ridge GNG coordinator, Karen O'Leary, at

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Volunteer and Tool Donation Day, Saturday [Sept 10]

from Chris Beck, President, Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve
Join us this Saturday for our regular volunteer day from 9am to noon. We will also be accepting donations of new and used tools to replace those lost in the shed fire. Here is a list of tools and other equipment lost in the fire that we still need (although we welcome all tool donations).
  • wheelbarrows
  • 8 ft step ladder
  • pole saw
  • pruning saw
  • mulch scoop shovel
  • loppers
  • hand pruners
  • swing blades (the tools with long wooden handles and a metal blade at the end)
  • trash tongs
  • 10lb sledge hammer
  • 2lb hammers
  • first aid kit
Also we lost supplies that we use for the annual Harvest Festival.
  • large cooler
  • metal tub
  • strands of outdoor lights
  • spot lights
  • 50ft extension cords
  • extension cord splitters
  • tiki torches
  • small collapsible tailgate canopy
  • long plastic folding table
All donations are tax-deductible. If you have tools that you would like to donate, but can't make it on September 10th, please contact us. You can make your tax-deductible donation to the Preserve online.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

DeKalb Co. issues West Nile Virus warning

DeKalb County Board of Health is reporting an increase in West Nile Virus. Per an early August news release from the GA Department of Public Health,
“The problem of mosquitoes and West Nile Virus has escalated this year in Georgia, as well as the rest of the country -- with the virus causing more serious central nervous system involvement than in past years,” said J. Patrick O’Neal, M.D., DPH’s Director of the Division of Health Protection.
Last week, Dekalb Co. reported its first human case in Tucker, GA. Thankfully, the patient is recovering at home.

West Nile is one of several viruses that can be transmitted by mosquito bites. Late spring to early fall are peak mosquito season. As Labor Day weekend approaches and many of us hope to spend some time outdoors, it's a good time to review basic mosquito-fighting measures:
•   Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks when outdoors, especially at dawn and dusk to reduce the amount of exposed skin
•   Consider using insect repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or PMD.  DEET offers protection against mosquito bites up to 5 hours depending on how much DEET is in the product. Picaridin also provides relief from mosquito bites. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label.
•   Set up outdoor fans to keep mosquitoes from flying near you.

Symptoms of WNV include headache, fever, neck discomfort, muscle and joint aches, swollen lymph nodes and a rash that usually develop three to 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. The elderly, those with compromised immune systems, or those with other underlying conditions are at greater risk for complications from the disease.
Visit the CDC's West Nile page for additional information.

Additionally, because mosquitoes can go from egg to adult in under 2 weeks, it is important to routinely check for and eliminate sources of standing water. Flower pots, pet dishes, wheelbarrows, trash cans or their lids, buckets, semi-permanent puddles created by air conditioner drainage or congested gutters and downspouts, forgotten pieces of plastic or tarps--any of these can become mosquito nurseries. Mosquito dunks (biological control for intentional reservoirs such as ponds and rain caches) are another way of breaking the mosquito breeding cycle.

Since mosquitos also transmit heartworm to dogs and cats, vigilance will benefit humans and pets alike. This may be particularly important this year, as reports of a shortage of the only drug used to treat heartworm-infected animals (Immiticide®) have surfaced in the local media as well as the AVMA website.