Monday, April 30, 2012

Revenue Officer position open @ City of Decatur

MANA received a request to share this announcement:

We have a vacancy for one of our three Revenue Officer positions at City Hall in Decatur, Georgia.  Until now, there have been no vacancies in this position for the last 12 years, so this is a rare opportunity for a qualified candidate.  
I am e-mailing you because I thought that you might know somebody who would be interested in applying to join our team.  If so, please encourage them to read the job announcement and apply for the position. 
Customer service skills are a must, and a property tax background is preferred.  Decatur often receives national recognition for local government excellence, so many applicants have already expressed their interest in this position, and we expect many more over the next week or so until the deadline passes. 
Thank you for helping spread the word!

Sierra Club says no to T-SPLOST

Not green enough? Sierra Club wants more emphasis on mass transit.
Image source: GA Sierra Club website.

In a press release today, the Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club urges a "no" vote on the July 31 T-SPLOST. Sierra Club argues that, as proposed, the budget is "business as usual" in its emphasis on roads at the expense of support for MARTA, pedestrians and cyclists.
Even the transit expansion projects that Sierra Club supports in concept, including the Northwest corridor, are vaguely defined and underfunded. Other transit projects, like the continuation of GRTA bus service, reward the state for not coming to the table to continue commuter bus service, instead electing to rely on the region step in and assume responsibility. 
Other supporters of the regional T-SPLOST argue it will be make-or-break for MARTA, but passage would not address MARTA’s most pressing need, which is to raise service up from the skeletal current levels. Because the legislature didn’t suspend or remove the 50/50 split this year, further deterioration of MARTA service remains a real and unacceptable possibility. The current suspension expires just after regional T-SPLOST revenue would flow, so the supplemental capital funding would have limited impact on MARTA’s operational budget. . . . Read the full press release @ Sierra Club.  
See other posts on this topic on this website.

Friday, April 27, 2012

ICS Open Houses [Apr 29 & May 1]

CORRECTION: The second open house is TODAY Tuesday, May 1.

From the International Community School, our soon-to-be neighbor at the Medlock Elementary building:
The International Community School will be having two open houses to show our new school to those who have not yet been there.  We would welcome the chance to have our new neighbors stop in as well. 
The Open Houses will take place on Sunday, April 29th from 3 pm - 5 pm, and TUESDAY May 1, from 5 pm to 7 pm.  Preliminary work has begun at the school, and we are projecting that we will complete the renovation the second half of June. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

ICS Press Release: Fundraiser [May 5] & Walk-Through [Apr 29]

Special Charter School Coming Soon to Medlock Community

New neighbors representing 40 countries excited to bring global experiences to Medlock

New friends representing 40 different countries and are coming soon to the Medlock neighborhood. The International Community School, a K-6 charter school that has served refugee, immigrant and local children in DeKalb County for ten years, will be relocating to the building formerly used by Medlock Elementary School beginning with the 2012-2013 school year.  Having occupied space behind the Avondale Pattillo United Methodist church in Avondale Estates since 2002, the International Community School teaches some 400 students who speak 25 different languages.

The school will host its annual auction gala event to raise funds for the upcoming move to Medlock. The 2012 auction theme, “Sojourn to South Africa,” will feature a live auction, silent auction and entertainment, including music and a soccer ball juggling demonstration performed by students.  Come meet your new neighbors and celebrate with ICS next Saturday, May 5 for this special event at The Carter Center.  Tickets are $75 each and must be purchased before 9am next Monday, April 30.

Learn more about ICS and purchase event tickets online at:

Lauren Azoulai

The International Community School is a K-6 charter and IB World school,
advancing the promise of America by cultivating voice, courage and hope
in refugee, immigrant and local students in DeKalb County, Georgia.

MANA was also informed that there will be Medlock Open House-Walk Thru this Sunday (April 29) from 2-5 p.m.

To review other ICS information on this website, click here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Reminder: Regional Transportation Tax Focus of Town Hall at Emory [Apr 25]

Regional Transportation Tax Focus of Town Hall at Emory April 25

WHAT:   “Decision Time: The Clifton Corridor & Atlanta’s Transportation Future,” an Emory Town Hall with local government and transportation leaders to discuss the July 31 regional sales tax referendum that would support development of light rail service along the Clifton Corridor and transportation improvements throughout metro Atlanta.

WHO:  The panel discussion and audience Q&A will be moderated by local broadcast news reporter Sally Sears. Panelists include:

· Burrell Ellis, DeKalb County CEO
· Bill Floyd, Mayor, City of Decatur
· Beverly Scott, CEO & GM, MARTA
· Mike Alexander, chief of the Atlanta Regional Commission, Division of Research

WHEN:  Wednesday, April 25, 6:30-8 p.m.

WHERE:  Glenn Memorial, 1660 North Decatur Road NE, Atlanta

PARKING: Fishburne Parking Deck, Additional parking also is available in the Lowergate South Parking Deck and the Oxford Road Parking Deck.

Emory University’s Office of Sustainability Initiatives, Bike Emory, and the Office of Governmental and Community Affairs, will host a special transportation town hall open to the community on April 25.

The Town Hall will feature discussion on the regional transportation 1 percent sales tax that the metro-Atlanta region will have the opportunity to vote on July 31. Panelists will address the impact of this referendum on the Clifton Corridor and Atlanta, as well as answer questions. Voter registration and absentee ballot requests will be available at the event.

The 1 percent sales tax is expected to generate $7.22 billion in the 10-county metro Atlanta region over a 10-year period and will be dedicated to specific transportation projects and improvements approved last October by elected officials representing the metro region. From this revenue, the Clifton Corridor Transit Initiative is slated to receive $700 million to fund construction of the rail line and an additional $25 million for a new bridge and associated road improvements at Clifton and Haygood roads.

For more information:

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A daycare must-read

If you have children in daycare or wonder how daycare is regulated in Georgia, today's AJC has an eye-opening report on how a menu of special exemptions allows a great variety of childcare providers to bypass the licensing process. The article includes disturbing vignettes of how one business owner felt "smart" in finding a suitable loophole and how another point-blank lied to AJC reporter Tim Eberly about part-owning a childcare business that handled its revoked exempt status by reopening under a new name.

The problem: childcare providers that strategically avoid meeting the definition of a "traditional" daycare program may be approved for a waiver that exempts them from basic due diligence such as running a background check on employees. It also exempts them from following best practices required for traditional daycares, which are extensive and outlined for various program types within the Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) website as well as on DECAL's Rules and Regulations page.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Confirming rumors of Your DeKalb Farmers Market expansion

WSBTV reports that
"Documents show owners of the popular Your DeKalb Farmers' Market in Decatur want to expand their business to include more than 1 million additional square feet of retail and warehouse space...." Read about it @ WSBTV.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Emory sponsors Q&A on T-SPLOST [Apr 25]

Emory University will sponsor a Q&A on the upcoming T-SPLOST vote scheduled for next July.

As noted elsewhere, light rail is proposed for the Clifton Corridor; both Emory and MANA are within this corridor. 

Wednesday, July 25
Glenn Memorial Church [directions/parking info]
1600 Clifton Rd.
Click image to enlarge.

On the up side

The Atlanta Business Chronicle highlights positive economy indicators for the Atlanta area:

1. Per the US Census for 2011, population growth points to investment in urban areas (vs. exurban)
 ... from 2000-2010, Cobb, Fulton, Dekalb, and Gwinnett Counties added an average of 42,779 people per year, while the 14 counties on the edge of the region added an average of 57,425. From 2010-2011, however, the close-in counties added 55,168 people (up 29 percent from the 2000-2010 rate) while the edge counties added 21,077 (down 63 percent). At a finer grain level, growth in Fulton and Dekalb outpaced Gwinnett and Cobb last year by 26 percent, a stark reversal of the prior decade’s patterns. . . . the next 24 months are going to be all about close-in, lifestyle oriented product, and that looks like a trend that will stick. Whether hunting for land, raising money to break ground, or rehabbing existing product to take advantage of energy related tax credits, the action is decidedly urban.
2.  Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Georgia salaries were average as of May 2011 (annual pay of $42,590 vs national average of $45,230). This places Georgia 24th in the nation, bracketed by Mississippi ($34,770) and Washington, D.C. ($74,540).

Monday, April 16, 2012

Earth Day @ Oakhurst Community Garden [Apr 22]

The City of Decatur, in partnership with the Wylde Center, will be holding its annual Decatur Earth Day Festival (DEDF) on Sunday, April 22, 2012, 1-4 p.m. at the Oakhurst Garden at the corner of Oakview and South McDonough. ...  
The celebration will kick off with a parade that will go from Harmony Park to the Community Garden site, beginning at 12:30 pm.  We have an exciting array of events planned for children, youth and adults and include, for example:
Kids Crafts
A Live Raptor Show! (need we say more!)
Special Earth Day T-shirt contest
Checkin’ out the resident Chicks and Bees in the Garden
World Famous Cake Contest
For additional details see the Oakhurst Community Garden website.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

On staying put, and moving closer to the first sphere of foodie heaven

The AJC reports this weekend that shoppers are acting as if they are setting roots. Per reports from Home Depot, Lowe's and even our own Intown Ace Hardware store, homeowners are focusing on maintenance and more frugal remodels (with stores offering products that make things easier for do-it-yourselfers). Whether buying perennials to gussy up the yard or materials for a chicken coop, all signs point to feathering the nest for the owner's own longer-term enjoyment. Read it all @ the AJC. 

If nesting and "staycation" urges turn your mind to delicious home cooking shared with family and friends, Decatur Metro has news that might make you snap your spatula: Your DeKalb Farmers Market has submitted a development of regional impact request that outlines a plan to expand retail operations to over half a million sq. ft.  (vs. the current 140,000 sq. ft.) as well as add warehouse and parking space. YDFM proposes to begin the project next October, but the totality of their so-far secret master plan will unfold over 10 years.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve Earth Day Clean-Up [Apr 14]

From Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve acting President Gene Beck: Saturday April 14 from 9 to 12 is our annual Earth Day clean-up at Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve. Come join us and see the progress being made on our new kiosk and invasive plant removal through out the preserve.  Do you have a wheel barrel… Please bring it as we have to mulch lots of trails! Can't volunteer this Saturday... but can help at other times? Reply to and we will get in touch to use your help.


To get to the Nature Preserve take Medlock Road north to Medlock Elementary School. Turn right onto Wood Trail Lane and follow to the preserve entrance. For complete directions and for more information, visit, leave a detailed message at 678-951-0105, or email us at

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Romp Thru The Woods 5K & Fun Run [Apr 21]

Saturday, April 21st, 8:00am

Join the 3rd Annual Laurel Ridge Elementary School "Romp Thru the Woods" 5K & Fun Run, a true off-road race through the woods between Laurel Ridge & Druid Hills Middle School. Fun for the entire family! All ages and athletic abilities welcome.

Packet pick-up: 6:30 am
Race start: 8:00 am

Open to all. Register now @

Sponsored by the LRES PTA Health & Wellness Committee.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Additional press on MARTA expansion plans

Rather than passively waiting for the T-SPLOST vote next July, MARTA board members have chosen proactive optimism:

The board green-lighted a plan to seek $1.6 billion in federal funds to build the Clifton Corridor light rail from the Lindbergh Center station in north Atlanta to the Avondale station east of Decatur and also create an all-day express bus service from south DeKalb to job centers in the metro area. 
In a surprise move, the board also approved seeking federal money for a heavy-rail extension from the Indian Creek station to the Mall at Stonecrest, a move largely seen as an attempt to mollify angry south DeKalb residents. Those residents and their politicians have threatened to try to derail the regional transportation sales tax referendum because its project list doesn't include rail for them. continue reading @ AJC

The Atlanta Business Chronicle also reports on the Board's decision, adding that although T-SPLOST penny tax is only a "downpayment" on this massive project, voter support improves the odds of receiving federal funds in the future.

The penny tax would raise $6.14 billion over 10 years for highway and transit projects of regional significance, including $700 million for the Clifton Corridor rail line and $225 million for transit improvements along the I-20 corridor. . .
The Clifton Corridor light-rail line would extend 8.8 miles from MARTA’s Lindbergh Center station to the Avondale station. Part of the proposed alignment would run in the median of Clifton Road near Emory University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
The I-20 project would connect MARTA’s Indian Creek station with the Mall at Stonecrest via heavy rail. Bus rapid transit service, a step up from regular buses, would operate between downtown Atlanta and a new MARTA station on Wesley Chapel Road. continue reading @ Atlanta Business Chronicle

Saturday, April 7, 2012

MARTA releases concepts of Clifton Corridor plan

See for concepts of how light rail might connect Lindbergh station to Avondale station.

In particular, see Section 8: Scott Boulevard to Church Street, which shows a subterranean rail station at Suburban Plaza.
Here is a  close-up of a possible Suburban Plaza layout (note this is zooming in on the North Decatur Rd / Church St. corner).
A bird's eye view of the whole Clifton Corridor plan is available here.

The AJC again reported on this topic yesterday and offers a great summary; here's a taste but go read the whole thing:
...MARTA officials stress this is only a plan to run light rail from the Lindbergh Center station south east to the Avondale rail station. It still has years of environmental and engineering studies -- and possible cost changes -- before construction could start, if funding is located. 
Second, the project would get a $700 million jump-start if voters approve the regional one-percent sales tax for transportation on July 31, which would fund the first phase of the line, from the Lindbergh station to the job center around Emory University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in DeKalb County. That is how much is earmarked for Clifton Corridor light rail -- and it will give the agency more clout to seek federal grants.
No sales tax passage means MARTA would have to come up with hundreds of millions of dollars to be competitive for federal grants. The Federal Transit Administration often requires the local transit authority to pay 50 percent of the larger rail projects, according to the grants listed on the FTA website. 
Depending on your point of view, the project promises to be a boon to the corridor or a boondoggle. . . .  continue reading @ AJC

Monday, April 2, 2012

MANA Community Meeting Notes (March 26)

President, Sharon Johnson, welcomed everyone and encouraged membership

Treasurer, Judy Perras- balance- $3,900

Updates and Announcements:

Dog Park
• Jessica Dugan heading up and needs volunteers

• Students represent 40 countries and speak 25 languages
• They are looking forward to integrating the ICS community with the Medlock community.
• Uniquely diverse culture, children feel acceptance, belonging and are happy
• Occupancy permit should happen this week.
• April 2- teachers visit Medlock School
• First day of lottery- August 13
• May 5- auction at Carter Center- proceeds to renovate building, tickets 50% tax deductible

Laurel Ridge
• Garden project started- students try new foods, cooking demos, incorporate in school lunch program
• Fun Run- April 21- at school, off-road race- participants and volunteers needed
• Pre-K lottery- 4/17
• Need recycled tire tracks to build track for wheel chair racing

Senior Dinner – Kathryn Firago
• April 28, NDMC, 5:30 – 8:30
• Italian theme and menu
• Dave Butler will cook
• Need help with Italian decorations

Neighborhood Watch – Barbara Dalton
• Sign up for alerts
• Facebook – Medlock Park Neighbors- another way to keep up with suspicious activity
• Barb gave updates of crime activity in area; recommends

Zoning- Theresa Same
• Rahn Mayo- new representative due to redrawing of district lines
Cityhood issue- Brookhaven city hood approved to go to referendum
Financial impact on DeKalb- may increase hotel/motel tax
City of DeKalb idea to help raise revenues

• Good Growth DeKalb- Jean Cohen and Robert Blondo- meeting on 3/27
Gave history of GGD events
Canvassing event coming up

• Vol Repairs- checking codes- using back as storage and junk yard

• Woodshed – has done plantings, but Theresa will send a letter asking for repair or replacement of torn screening

• Suburban Plaza/ Walmart
Gave history of MANA’s involvement with Selig
1. 6 years ago: failed redevelopment plan (mixed development)
2. last summer’s surveying and rumors- Selig not returning calls
3. October contact by Selig with word of Walmart and redevelopment plan
4. community meeting in November and Selig’s request to not oppose parking variance- otherwise they could build a deck-MANA felt it was best choice [see MANA website]
Traffic issues- GGD will meet with PEDS to see what options are, wants independent traffic study.

• Golden Corral at N. DeKalb Mall

• Zaxby’s- next to Pier 1

Next community meeting- Saturday, June 16, daytime meeting

Beverly Monroe, Recording Secretary

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Dog found across from Medlock Park

1940 census data to be released on monday [Apr 2]

Genealogy and history buffs rejoice: the 1940 census data is coming to a computer near you, the AJC reports.

The National Archives website offers tutorials and other information as well as a direct link to the 1940 census.

I can't wait to try and connect that data to these aerial views of MANA. Recently, there have been some local history discussions on the Medlock Neighbors page (Facebook login required), and perhaps more will ensue once this resource is available.