Monday, August 29, 2011

Emergency Preparedness [Sept. 10]

From MANA resident Jo Mitchell:

Announcing the upcoming 2nd Annual DeKalb Co. Preparedness Festival on Saturday, Sept. 10 from 10 AM – 3 PM. This year the festival will be located behind the First Baptist Church of Tucker at 5073 LaVista Road, Tucker. There will be food, music, children's activities, and displays by the professional and volunteer organizations who respond in a disaster. You’ll find information on fire safety, crime prevention, disaster preparedness, and pet and large animal crisis care. This festival is presented by DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis and the DeKalb Emergency Management Agency (DEMA). For more info:
Click on the image below for full-size flyer.

If you have questions for Jo, you may reach her at  404-633-7007.

CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) is a program that trains citizens to assist in emergency response. Additional information on the program is available. MANA is encouraging its members to attend this activity and consider additional training. For example, emergency response plans could be coordinated through our Neighborhood Watch program.

More info on Dekalb Co. Emergency Management here --->This link includes additional information on the actual course as well as an application form.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve is again shed-enabled

With the help of many neighbors and friends (and MANA's contribution of course), a new shed has been installed to replace the one lost to lightning earlier this summer.

The next step will be a tool donation drive; announcements on how to help replenish the tool supply will be posted at the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve website.

PATH update

The PATH bridge over the railroad tracks is now open. Crews are now working on pouring the sidewalk sections that lead to the bridge. Although there is no continuous sidewalk yet, it's open, it's walkable, and lots of runners, walkers, strollers and doggies were in evidence this morning.

New sidewalk: Medlock side
New sidewalk: Mason Mill side
Railroad tracks, from the bridge. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Good for MANA - Good for your yard !

Loyal MANA supporter Dave Butler - THE TREE BUTLER - is offering a free 5 foot flowering dogwood, which he will also plant for you!, to the first 3 people who donate $50.00 to MANA.

This offer is good until November 1st.

To take advantage of this great offer, please send your check payable to MANA to:
MANA c/o Judy Perras
2107 N. Decatur Rd #139
Decatur, GA 30033

Saturday, August 20, 2011

FOUND DOG [Aug. 16]

{click on photo to enlarge}

Found Dog -- near Medlock Park on Scott Circle
Chocolate Lab / Pit Mix
Found August 16
Has collar
White foot and white chest

Please contact Dearborn Animal Hospital at 404-377-6477 or the lovely person posting the flyers at 770-309-0110.

Friday, August 19, 2011

MANA Neighborhood Watch: June - August 2011

Always call 911 to report crimes, no matter how small.

08-14-2011: On Sunday night a man was robbed with a knife at 8 PM. He was leaving the soccer game at Medlock Park. Two unknown black males approached the man with a knife and demanded his wallet which was handed over. The two males are approx 5'8" and weigh 135-150 pounds. The man who was robbed does not live in the area. Please email us at if you have any other information.

Case Number: 11-090720
Date: 8/14/2011 8:00 PM
Description: ROBBERY - STREET - GUN

08-16-2011:Thieves posing as tree servicemen burglarized a family in Decatur. The men conned their way into her home on Blueberry Trail. She said a man came to her door last week to tell her about tree service he'd be doing next door and to see if she needed any work. At some point the man managed to close her blinds without her seeing him, then walked with her and her husband to the backyard. The family had recently had a tree struck by lightning and actually needed service. While the man set up an appointment, a second man sneaked into her home. "They were after gold primarily so, it was things that were laid out in containers," she said. The man kept receiving phone calls as he spoke with her in the backyard. After a few minutes he took one last call. "He says 'Guess what? I have an emergency. A tree is down on a house ... I have to leave immediately." Some of her neighbors said they had a similar setup attempted on them by the same men in a silver Dodge pickup.

07-07-2011: Home Invasion Pangborn area. At about 1 pm today a black man came to our back door as we were eating lunch and asked if our jeep was for sale. After discouraging him he left and I got up to see if he was on foot or in a car. Another black male was at the door and since it was slightly ajar pushed it open and walked in. He had a pistol in his hand and said he was not going to hurt us and he really hated to be doing this. He had us back up
to the counter and remove our watches. Then he wanted to see where my jewelry was so he sent us toward our bedroom where I have a jewelry chest but fortunately do not keep anything of value in it. We said the watches weren't valuable and had sentimental value since we gave them to each other for
our 50 th so he wiped his prints off and gave them back. He then apologized again for doing this and said for us to stay still until he let himself out and he was gone. He never asked for money or credit cards and was on foot so I am sure he could not have taken anything any larger than he could carry. We called 911 and they were here in a flash. They will be looking through the neighborhood. Our description
was a clean cut black, early 30's with a black NYY baseball cap , sunglasses, a striped dress shirt and dark trousers. DO NOT OPEN YOUR DOOR TO ANYONE YOU DON'T KNOW!!!!

07-21-2011: There are reports of people along the creek bank behind the houses on Sunnybrook between Ava and Brengare very late at night. Speculation could be someone is living there. Or more likely the neighborhood teen troublemakers are the ones there. The teens, who live on Ava are unsupervised and have been implicated in the disappearance of things.

07-22-2011: Two armed robbers broke into Suburban Lanes bowling alley in North Decatur early Saturday morning, held up two employees and made off with $2,600 in cash, DeKalb County police said. Two bowling alley employees were working at about 2:30am when two suspects carrying guns entered the building at 2619 North Decatur Rd. either by using a key or coming through an unlocked door.

06-20-2011: On Monday June 20 a short, thin Hispanic man in his 50's with a thin mustache knocked on the door of an older woman's house in the 1000 block of Willivee Drive. He said that he had already been paid to clean her gutters. He said that they would get started. Two younger men came from a white truck parked on the street with a ladder. After a short time with little or no work getting done, they came back to her. The older man said that he wanted to refund part of the money because they didn't finish the job and asked her if she had change for $100. Fortunately she told them that she didn't have any cash and wisely closed the door. They said they would come back the next day. She called her daughter, who then called the police. The police said nothing about other incidents of this kind and assured her that it was unlikely that the men would return. The older woman called her landlady and asked her if she had hired anyone. She said she had not. Her daughter sat with her the next day but the men did not return

To Join the Neighborhood Watch, contact us at can notify you of activity in your area

Join us on Facebook - Medlock Park Group

Monday, August 15, 2011

MANA & CHCA Yard Sale [Oct. 1]


1) 50 households have signed up, no more sign-ups accepted.

2) Also check out a great article submitted by a MANA neighbor re: local organizations that accept donations

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Event Date and Time: 10/01/2011 9am to 3pm

Saturday, October 1st, MANA and CHCA are combining efforts and hosting a Neighborhood Yard Sale. At the present, approx. 25 homes have signed up to participate. This will be a multi-family yard scale with participating homes scattered throughout both neighborhoods.

For a small fee of $10.00, MANA and CHCA will place all ads, put up all signs, provide a sign or balloon or sign for the mailbox of the participating location, and design neighborhood maps designating addresses and locations of all of the participating homes.

Don't have a lot to sell, but would like to participate? 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.

Sign-up is now closed.

MANA-area residents: send a check made out to "MANA" to Bev Monroe, 928 Schoel Drive, Decatur, GA 30033. Please print this page and include the information below with your payment.
Questions? Contact Deb @ 404-320-6063 or email Kris Kane at kriskane@

CHCA-area residents: contact Diane @ 404-633-3258 for instructions on sign up.

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MANA-area resident signup:
Name: _________________________________________________________

Address: _______________________________________________________

Phone: ________________________________________________________

Email address: _____________________ @ ___________________________

Mail to Bev Monroe, 928 Schoel Drive, Decatur, GA 30033

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Ira B. Melton Park workday [Aug. 27]

From coordinator Valerie Boss:
Workday at Ira B Melton Park on Saturday, Aug 27, 8:30-11:00am. 
We'll be spreading bark mulch, chipping the brush piles, and clearing trash near the park entrance. 
Please bring gloves, shovels, pitchforks, and/or rakes, andlots of water. We also need wheelbarrows.
For additional information about this park and trails-in-development, see the CHCA's website

Sunday, August 14, 2011

South Peachtree Creek Trail -- Phase II construction

As you know, PATH and Dekalb County have been developing a combination of paths and boardwalks to connect Medlock Park to Mason Mill Park. Per a trail alert in PATH's website :
PATH crews are building the trail connection between the existing trail and the new bridge over CSX. Meanwhile DeKalb County’s contractor hired to restore the water works site has begun work adjacent to the new trail. Their work will continue for 6-8 months which may delay construction of the trail from the bridge to the tennis center parking area. Use EXTREME CAUTION traversing the dual construction sites. The new trail extension  is NOT open at this time. 
Tim (CHCA) has an even better update (yes, with photos).

And here's a view of the Medlock Community Garden, from the PATH at the corner of Willivee and Scott.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

MANA Pool Party! [Aug 14]

AUGUST 14: 6-8 PM

Atlanta Audubon Society's Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary Tour [Sept. 10]

From Dave Butler via Facebook

The Atlanta Audubon Society is hosting our annual Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary Tour on Saturday September 10, 2011 from 9 AM to 4 PM. Numerous backyards are featured where residents have enhanced their yards with plants and water features to attract birds and other wildlife. You will meet great people and be inspired for ideas in your own yards. Tickets for the tour are $12. Visit for more information and contact me if you would like to purchase a ticket.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Volunteers Needed: Medlock Children's Garden

From Sharon...
As many of you know, the Children's Garden at Medlock School was threatened recently as the school district simplifies its maintenance program for their closed properties. We were granted permission to keep the garden and the plantings under the windows at the front of the building, as long as we maintained them and the district received no complaints about the condition of the grounds.

We need a team of volunteers who will take turns weedwhacking and mowing. This is not a long term commitment. Winter will come at some point and eventually we hope to be able to hand this off to a new tenant.

Please contact Sharon Johnson at if you can help in any way.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Green parakeet terrorizes neighborhood

Now that I have your attention...

Vivian writes:

There is an escaped parakeet on Wendan Drive. My dog and I saw it standing on the street this AM. When it saw the dog, it was smart enough to fly into a nearby tree. Not sure how to lure it down w/out a cage and food. Can you send an email to see if anyone is missing a green parakeet?

Later this morning, Vivan wrote --

I've lost track of the little guy at this point. He does tend to blend too well with the trees. Hope it keeps him safe from predators, and that he doesn't come down to the ground too often, there are lots of cats around here... But he may have moved on. I'm thinking if the owner puts the cage out in this area with food though, the bird might recognize it, and return.

If you are missing your parakeet or know someone who is missing theirs, please contact Vivian at

Saturday, August 6, 2011

DCSS BOE August 1 meeting: citizen support to lease Medlock Elementary

The DCSS BOE’s meeting of August 1 is now available for streaming at

Below is a summary of the citizen comments section, where several appeals were made to the BOE to lease the Medlock Property. [Noted in brackets is the approximate time when each speaker addressed the board]

Dr. Laurent Ditman: The International Community School (ICS) principal noted that on the previous Friday, he hand-delivered a letter and skeleton lease to the DCSS BOE. He noted that he knows there are details to be worked out but that it is now time to engage in negotiation and close the deal. Dr. Ditman asked if DCSS would allow more facilities to fall out of use and disrepair, that are later too expensive to repair and return to use and listed Hooper Alexander elementary of an example of this scenario. Dr. Ditman stated that if allowed to lease Medlock, ICS will make DCSS look good. There is a documentary soon to hit the show circuit. In closing, Dr. Ditman asked if there is any reason not to consider the proposal and, to audience laughter, noted that if DCSS gives ICS access to Medlock, he will never have to petition the BOE again. [~5 minute mark]

Tahisha Edwards: The ICS assistant principal explained that currently, ICS exists in two campuses (one for K-4th grade in Decatur, and another in Stone Mountain for 5th and 6th graders). Ms. Edwards noted that students want to be on one campus, so that they can play and interact with friends and siblings during the school day. As to ICS’s needs, the first one is that of space. Students are functioning in cramped spaces, and there is no space dedicated to cultivating the arts. On the academic front, space limits technology availability and improved space would allow consistent access for all students. Lastly, the students need appropriate space and facilities for physical education in particular on rainy days.

Ms. Mary Johnson: As an ICS volunteer and DeKalb County taxpayer, Ms. Johnson urged the BOE to keep buildings in use. She noted that DCSS’s policy has been to allow buildings to remain vacant, or to use them as storage space. Noting that buildings need continuous care and maintenance to stay in good repair, she described the fate of Hooper Alexander elementary. She said that approximately 3 years ago, as the school was slated to close, ICS voiced an interest in the facility. Now, the school has become a dangerous eyesore—it is in a very poor state of repair, it has been vandalized and sprayed with graffiti, is boarded up, and is not a good thing to have in a community. Using a school building for storage has to be the least cost-effective use for a building. It behooves DCSS to lease a building not in use—the tenant assumes the cost of insurance, makes day-to-day repairs and this is a win-win for the taxpayer. In allowing use of Medlock, DCSS would do a good thing as far as keeping its assets in good repair, avoiding liability, and serving students that attend ICS. [~12 minute mark]

Joy Dawkins: An ICS parent and vice-chair of the ICS board, Ms. Dawkins noted that she is delighted with her children’s experience at ICS. She also noted that the two-campus model is a financial drain of great concern.

Steven Mayo: As an ICS alumni, Mr. Mayo summarized a letter he wrote to the DCSS four years ago, then an appeal to allow ICS to utilize the Forest Hills school building. He had 6 arguments: (1) have access to a gym so the children could play outside. As a 5th and 6th grader, Mr. Mayo said that children played in the parking lot and for PE, they hiked Stone Mountain; (2) not having to get ½ hour early to allow travel time to the Stone Mountain school location; (3) food temperature (warm all the time); (4) having larger classrooms—Mr. Mayo stated that students had about 3 sq. feet of space for themselves and their bookbags; (5) not having to walk in the rain to go from building to building; (6) not having to attend meetings that his mom took him to! (although his attendance to the current meeting was his own choice). Mr. Mayo also noted that he received a reply from Crawford Lewis at the time, stating that leases take time. Mr. Mayo closed by saying that he knew it would be hard, but not that the process would take 4 years. [~19 minute mark]

Pat Camp: Representing Medlock Area Neighborhood Association, MANA VP Camp first thanked the BOE for listening to community input regarding the desire to not have a cell tower on school grounds. Ms. Camp then noted that both the International Community School and Fernbank School Center have been in touch with MANA. Both organizations are established entities with a track record of doing wonderful work. During the Medlock school-closing crisis, many, many community members stated a desire to keep a school in the property; MANA understands that is still the prevailing desire. MANA therefore supports either proposal. MANA appreciates being included in the vetting process and would very much like to remain an active participant as this decision is very important to those in our community. [~38 minute mark]

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Update on Medlock school property

MANA VP Pat Camp attended the DCSS Board of Education August 1 to support proposals by the International Community School (ICS) and Fernbank Science Center (FSC). Support hinges on the desire voiced by many neighbors that the property return to use as soon as possible, ideally as an educational venue.

The ICS proposes to gather its students, who are currently on two campuses, into one location.

Doug Hrabe, the director of FSC, mentioned using the space specifically for science teacher training, perhaps a vocational horticulture greenhouse and use of the nearby natural areas for field trips for the DCSS students who come to the science center.

We do not know when a decision will be made but are making inquiries. Our last update on this matter was reported in late June, when Dan Drake (Director of Planning and Forecasting, DCSS) indicated that the current plan for Medlock Elementary is as follows:
1. a short-term lease (~2 years)

2. use of Medlock Elementary as classroom space for students displaced during the construction phase of a 900-student elementary school (aka Fernbank Elementary)

3. again make the Medlock school available for leasing

We'll post updates as more information becomes available. If you have questions or want to share your thoughts, email

Update 8-3-2011: We are told that the ICS's proposal is being reviewed by DCSS lawyers.