Friday, November 30, 2012

One Love, One Heart 5K Race/Walk [Dec. 1]

Please watch out for these runners and walkers on
Saturday, December 1

8:45 a.m. - Race Day Registration
10:00 a.m. - 5K Run/Walk

Entry Fees:
Pre-registration (by November 24) - $20
After November 24 & Race Day Registration - $25

Race to benefit the Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Foundation and research facilities.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

DCSD releases attendance line adjustments and proposes a modified timeline for Fernbank Elementary

Tanya Myers, MANA's education liaison, alerted us that the DeKalb County School District is considering a proposal that would accelerate the construction of the new Fernbank Elementary grounds and shift attendance lines for many young Medlock residents:
Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson presented a draft of her plan to merge some schools and expand others as part of a new five-year school construction program. ... Another proposal also provoked a strong reaction: Atkinson recommended floating $80 million in bonds — borrowing money — to expedite construction of several schools.  Read the whole article @ AJC.
Following up with a Fernbank contact and with Mr. McChesney, Tanya reports that "it looks like the new plan would have our neighborhood (most of or perhaps all) redistricted to Fernbank with the enlarged school re-opening to accept 200 additional students in fall of 2014. This proposal returns Laurel Ridge to its original (2011) attendance zone prior to the addition of Medlock students."

Tanya also clarified that "under the SPLOSTIV timelines that the board has already approved, the new, larger Fernbank Elementary will open January 2016. If the bond were approved, construction timelines would be accelerated and the new, larger school would open January 2015 (see page 53 on the above link for the comparison). It may be worth pointing out that the only difference is one of timelines; redistricting is planned to happen whether the bond is approved or not."

Dr. Atkinson's presentation is posted at the DCSS website, SPLOSTIV section. Below is the Druid Hills Cluster proposal:

Image from from

The image below superimposes the attendance line adjustment on a Google map of the area, using the location of the schools (in both depictions) as anchor points. This image is presented for informational purposes only.

Overlay of proposal, showing Fernbank Elementary as marker "A" and Laurel Ridge Elementary as marker "B".
The purple area highlights Fernbank Elementary's proposed reach.

Below, the same map, with MANA highlighted in yellow. Again, noting that these depictions are not final nor validated by DCSS, it appears that some MANA neighbors who reside in parts of Hunting Valley and Willivee Drive would remain in the Laurel Ridge Elementary attendance zone.

As we know more, additional information will be posted.

ADDENDUM: Battle of the Annexations? The extended Fernbank attendance line overlaps City of Decatur's annexation goals.

Image added to highlight overlap between newly proposed attendance lines for Fernbank [purple highlight] vs. City of Decatur's annexation plan [inset]. The overlapping areas appear in blue and green in the City of Decatur map (the magenta area already attends Fernbank Elementary). 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Meehan's coming to Maddy's?

According to Tomorrow's News Today - Atlanta,
101 Concepts is opening what will be their 5th Meehan's Public House in unincorporated Decatur in the former Maddy's on Scott Boulevard near North Decatur Road. ... read the whole thing @ 
h/t DecaturMetro

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Winner: MANA Halloween Home Decorating Contest

Congratulations to Zoe Haugo for winning the 1st place in the 2012 MANA Home Decorating Contest! Click to enlarge any image.
How can one ever look at a pile of mulch the same way again?
This is how they put you at ease...
Then small sign reads "made with all natural organic poisons. No GMOs."
How thoughtful! Contact Zoe for the fried maggot recipe...
Bed of dragons! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

1st Annual Medlock Park Gobbler: a 5 Mile Run/Walk/Stroll [Nov 22]

See Facebook Event Page [no login required] for link to run route.

Atlanta Gas Light work continues

AGL, still playing in the dirt on Wood Trail Lane. These are views as of November 11.

To the left, ongoing work; to the right, the previous site of activity, now with yellow flags to ensure the power lines aren't accidentally snagged (thanks, guys!). Click to enlarge. 
Must be one of those old rusty pipes they were talking about.. That, or the Medlock vole problem is officially out of control, and we lost.
With a twin support structure ready across the street, this marks the spot where AGL would 
dig under the street without disrupting traffic above.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Alternative Gift Market @ NDCP [Dec. 1]

Click to enlarge.

Trees, and why they fall

1 inch of rain, 1 naughty pine down... May 2012.
Falling trees: a topic near and dear to our well-forested neighborhood. Dave Butler talked about tree health at a recent MANA community meeting, and now, the Scientific American's blog expands on the issue, with a focus on what is known about why trees fall during storms, and what we can do to protect ourselves:
"Although they can become unwilling weapons in severe weather, I think most of us would not want to live without our trees. They give character to our properties, shade in the summer, beautiful leaf colors in the fall, and homes to our wildlife. Most trees were living long before we were and, hopefully, will be living long after we are gone. But inevitably nature will periodically rise up and destroy some."... Read about it in Why Do Trees Topple in a Storm? @ Scientific American. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

DeKalb County: incorporation & annexation news round-up

For unincorporated areas of DeKalb County, the future remains muddled. The formation of new cities within the County (Dunwoody, est. 2008, Brookhaven, effective Dec. 17, 2012), compounded by campaigns by existing cities to annex unincorporated space (e.g., City of Decatur's plan to annex residential and commercial parcels), conspire to worry unincorporated DeKalb residents about how the loss of commercial property might affect services and taxes.

Closer to home, while some neighbors rejoice at the prospect of become part of the City of Decatur (and thusly gaining access to the City's school system) others raise grave concerns about the City school system's ability to absorb additional enrollment and maintain quality. Per the AJC,
Peggy Merriss is expected to make a recommendation on annexation at the Dec. 17 City Commission meeting. If the city approves a plan, it then goes to the General Assembly to authorize a voter referendum on the issue.
This site reported on these issues earlier this year (herehere and here). The AJC commented on the issue last October. MANA and CHCA representatives have been trying to gather additional information by attending Civic Association Network (CAN) meetings, and contacting our representatives (Commissioners Rader and Gannon; state representative Rahn Mayo). To review documents relating to these ongoing discussions, visit the CAN website at There, you will find several ideas being floated around, from the formation of a City of DeKalb (to include all currently unincorporated land) to a City of North DeKalb. You will also find links to DeKalb County city websites.

On the topic of new cities, the Druid Hills Patch reports on a November 12 meeting where northern DeKalb citizens discussed cityhood. The overwhelming tone of the meeting is summarized in the last sentence of the article:
"We don't need to know how to [become a city] until we know why to do it," another resident said. . . . . . Read the whole thing @ Patch
We will post updates as they become available. In the meantime, 

To voice your concerns or support for City of Decatur annexation proposals:

•  Visit the City of Decatur annexation website: includes forms to request annexation and to request non-annexation [relevant to some MANA residents on Willivee Dr.]

To voice your concerns or support for cityhood proposals (City of DeKalb, City of North DeKalb, none of the above):

Jason Carter,  Georgia Senate, District 42

Rahn Mayo, Georgia Senate, District 84 (effective Jan 2013)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Aging in place: exploring the possibilities

At the most recent MANA community meeting, representatives from DeKalb County's Office of Senior Affairs discussed a county grant scheduled to be awarded this fall, to help develop an age-in-place community.

CHCA has a writeup composed by several people who attended the presentation.

CHCA and MANA members have formed a committee to explore this issue and have attended several presentations relating to this concept. As this committee gains a better understanding of this opportunity, look to this space and the CHCA website for calls for focus groups, surveys, and other ways to provide input or volunteer.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fall at the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve

Have you visited lately? What was once boot-worthy mud zones is now beautifully decked. 

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
                                                   -J. R. R. Tolkien, channeling Bilbo Baggins

Click to enlarge. Panoramic-ish view of where many paths and errands meet...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Around the neighborhood [Nov 18]

Never mind the raking for a minute, because they sure look pretty this time of year!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Elections: Vote on November 6

Image courtesy of North DeKalb Mall's Scarecrow Exhibit,
running through Nov. 5.
Always vote for principle, 
though you may vote alone, 
and you may cherish the sweetest reflection 
that your vote is never lost.  
                                 - John Quincy Adams

From the GA Secretary of State's Office:
- our polling place is
DECATUR, GA 30033 
Election Day precinct hours are 7:00 am - 7:00 pm

Around the neighborhood

Ducks @ South Peachtree Creek
Not in my backyard!
Winged migration.
Bye-bye,  October.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

ICS United Nations Day 2012 [Nov 2]

Drummers let the way...
And the nations followed.
And followed! As the leading edge of the parade reached Medlock Road,
the rest of the delegation progressed around  the front and side of the school.
Click to enlarge.