Wednesday, January 30, 2013

DeKalb commissioners resolve to fight City of Decatur annexation plan

Ken Watts at Crossroadnews.com reports that DeKalb commissioners "are preparing to fight plans by the City of Decatur to annex an area that includes two shopping centers and 502 residents." The resolution also includes the Commissioner's support for House Bill 22, which calls for a moratorium on annexations. Another interesting tidbit:
The BOC’s Finance Committee estimated the loss could reduce the county’s tax revenue by $21.8 million in 2013 and become a catalyst for property tax increases of 9.3 percent and 11.3 percent.  
In contrast, Decatur City Manager Peggy Merriss estimates that revenue from the targeted area would be about $825,000. Read the rest @
http://crossroadsnews.com/news/2013/jan/25/dekalb-to-fight-decaturs-annexation-plan/

Spotlight on Art Artists Market [Feb 4-9]

If you are on the market for some art, consider the Trinity School's 2013 Spotlight on Art Artists Market, to take place at the school [map]. Per their website, the sale features over 350 artists, prices range from $5 to $5,000, and items fall in these art categories: contemporary, impressionism, folk, realism, sculpture, pottery, jewelry, whimsical, garden, children's.

Monday, January 28, 2013

North DeKalb Mall community garden: more information

CrossRoadNews has a nice article on the community garden that has sprouted next to North DeKalb Mall. The article provides some information on the history of the garden and what's next for its members. This sounds very neat:

The garden, which had a trial run last year, has expanded and will now offer 250-square-foot Community plots and 1,000- to 1,500-square-foot Market plots.... The garden’s goal is to create a seasonal farmers market that includes outside vendors from the community. Read on @ CrossRoadNews
Pre-garden [GoogleMaps] and currently [GoogleEarth, image dated Oct. 31, 2012]. The garden is located on Orion Drive, between North DeKalb mall and the Stivers Decatur Subaru dealership. Click to enlarge.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

MARTA riders have "stronger connection" to Atlanta

Steve Visser at the AJC reports that
According to a region-wide poll conducted for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, MARTA riders have a stronger connection than nonriders to metro Atlanta. More than that, the poll found that MARTA riders had a stronger connection to their individual neighborhood and the county where they live. ... Read the whole article @ AJC
The article also notes that "there’s little research on whether... transit riders feel more connected to their communities." But there is work on that topic, such as the "Are we there yet?" report issued by Reconnecting America mentioned here recently, which cites access to public transportation as one of the key elements in creating stable communities. Granted, that report was in part funded by the American Public Transportation Association, but it also drew support from the Ford and Surdna Foundations, philanthropies interested in sustainability and social change, respectively.

It is not hard to imagine why people might experience a transitive connection to place via public transport. We are very familiar with our emotional attachment to cars (or any faster-than-walking vehicle for that matter): by owning the vehicle and/or controlling access, the owner has the highest level of control over his/her mobility. The vehicle enables feelings of agency and independence. With public transport, travelers place themselves in the hands of the public transportation system. What they give up in spontaneity (assuming they had the option in the first place: the ability to drive is modulated by economic situation, age, and/or disability) they gain in mobility and access.

From page 74 of the Are we there yet? report by Reconnecting America.



Is it so hard to imagine that, by enabling or enhancing access to food markets, employers, educational institutions, social networks and recreational venues, public transport enhances a sense of connectedness, thankfulness, and belonging among its users? 


Friday, January 25, 2013

"Appeal of a decision to issue a building permit" signs @ Suburban Plaza



These signs appeared around Suburban Plaza this week. 

MANA has left messages with DeKalb County's Planning Department & Selig Enterprises seeking additional information. 

As usual, will share info when we have it!




UPDATE (1/27/2013): MANA has received clarification on the basis of the appeal, filed January 9th by Good Growth Dekalb’s (GGD) attorney on behalf of GGD and Kristina and Abhay Mishra. The appeal states that:

1) Medlock Road is not an authorized truck route, and therefore Walmart's use of this road violates DeKalb Code Section 17-94
2) various hydrology requirements were not met, and
3) there are various violations of the county Tree Protection Ordinance

DeKalb County thoroughly reviewed the redevelopment plan and determined that all criteria were met before granting the building permit. Selig is confident they've met the criteria and is prepared to address the appeal at the Feb. 13th hearing.

Atlanta makes list of "most ambitious transit projects"

The Atlanta area gets a lot of grief for its transit issues, car dependence, pedestrian unfriendliness, etc. but we must also recognize that there is a lot of innovation under way.

We need look no further than the many trails that the PATH Foundation has created, including our own South Peachtree Creek Trail.

So, it is a little gratifying to see that Atlantic Cities has an article titled A Guide to America's Most Ambitious Transit Projects and that Atlanta actually gets mentioned in the Transit Space Race 2013 report. A clickable map allows you to see Atlanta-area projects in progress, most of which involve some type of rail transport.

The report was produced by Reconnecting America, "a national nonprofit that advises civic and community leaders on how to overcome community development challenges to create better communities for all."

If you are interested in urban design, also check out Reconnecting America's "Are we there yet?" report, released last October. Reconnecting America proposes that "complete communities" can be defined by 33 indicators (income, access to public transit and affordable housing, proximity to job centers, pedestrian/cyclist safety, access to parks, education level, etc.). Complete communities are ideal for people of all ages because proximity and public transportation allows independence (and financial leeway--they note that maintaining a car costs ~$8,946/year, per 2012 data). The report concludes by saying:

"If manifest destiny drove America’s ever-outward expansion, facilitated first by wagons and railroads and then by highways and suburban tracts of single-family homes in the last century, the younger generation and boomers alike seem to be driven by a need to
return to the center in the 21st century, redeveloping older communities to make them more complete, and making our economy more resilient and sustainable by doing things more efficiently across our regions."
At the bottom, but at least we made the list!
from http://reconnectingamerica.org/assets/PDFs/20121001AreWeThereYet-web.pdf
See full-size Atlanta Score Card @ Reconnecting America






The overall Atlanta-are report is... full of opportunity.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

DeKalb Co. BOE approves new school construction plans

 Ty Tagami at the AJC reports on yesterday's Board of Education meeting:
The facilities plan, which will be funded in part by local sales tax revenue, calls for the expansion of several buildings. Austin, Fernbank, Pleasantdale and Rockbridge elementaries will grow to 900 students . . . The plan adopted by a 6-3 vote Wednesday scraps school closures and is silent on major redistricting.   Read the report @ AJC
UPDATE: DeKalb School Watch posted the document the Board voted on.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Intown Ace Hardware featured by Huffington Post

This feature describes how the owners of Ace Hardware Store didn't just cope but thrived in response to Home Depot's opening on Lawrenceville Highway. Their insights will keep them on top of their game when Walmart opens at Suburban Plaza:
"Jones decided to differentiate his store on the diversity and quality of its offerings. ...changed up his business plan, going from a building supply provider to something more like a general store. ... Today, the store does more than $3 million in sales, an increase of 285 percent since the mid-90s when Home Depot moved to the nearby location, Jones said. The store's success even garnered it recognition as the "Coolest Ace on the Planet" by the hardware franchise in 2012. Read on @ Huffington Post"
Coolest Ace on the Planet? Why yes:

And we agree: Intown Ace's customer service and (like the fancy blogs like to say) artfully curated inventory is the secret sauce!

Winter activities @ Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area

Although not in our neighborhood, the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area it is less than 20 miles away.

The winter program includes activities such as a ranger-led hikes (both daylight and moon-lit), exploration of old ruins and historical sites, archery and cooking. See the schedule at http://arabiaalliance.org/events/ for a full listing of events.

Arabia Mountain includes the Davidson-Arabia Nature Preserve, Panola Mountain State Park, the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, the Flat Rock Archives, and the Atlanta Wild Animal Rescue Effort (AWARE).

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Flu season continues

If the flu season seems more intense than last year's, perhaps you are not delirious.

ILI means influenza-like illness. Figure via the Weekly Georgia Influenza Report

Google.org's Flu Trends page compares its search engine data to epidemiological data from the CDC to explore whether search patterns reflect cases on the ground. Their data for past years suggests that their model does predict cases, and it would seem this year is no different.

Google Flu Trends for Atlanta: darkest blue line shows 2012-2013 searches for flu-type terms, with lighter blue lines representing searches conducted from the previous 6 years
If you are fascinated by this information, check out CDC's Weekly Flu Update while you rest, take plenty of fluids and follow CDC's home care guidelines.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Service Day at the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve

A big thank you to all the neighbors and other volunteers
who came to support the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve
on this service day.
King of the mountain! Service can be fun.




A young garter snake made a brief appearance.




An exuberant young helper at one point exclaimed "If only we were big enough to get that tree!" Not to worry, little guy, lots of hands (and a few chainsaws) usually does the trick.

A grant from the GA Forestry Service is helping the Clyde Shepherd Nature preserve eliminate privet (an invasive species) to make way for native plants. Volunteers brought a large amount of brush to the curb for chipping later this week. Bonus points if you can spot Bigfoot. Click to enlarge.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Google spies.... urban agriculture

North DeKalb Mall Employe Community Garden: pre-garden [GoogleMaps] and currently [GoogleEarth, image dated Oct. 31, 2012]. Click to enlarge.
Atlantic Cities has a report on how urban planners at the University of Illinois used Google satellite images to map the true extent of urban agriculture in Chicago. While surveys completed by individuals and non-profits estimated around 700 urban food gardens, Google's eye in the sky told a story of 4,400+ thriving food gardens.
"There is often this idea that urban agriculture is something that’s new and sometimes perceived to be trendy," Taylor says. "But of course it’s just been going on for generations in people’s backyards and in these interstitial spaces, like right-of-ways and vacant lots. Across the city, there are lots of folks who are doing this on their own, or with support from their neighbors."
Might aerial views of our area tell a similar story?

If you are interested in urban gardening, from growing fruits and vegetables to keeping bees and poultry, stay tuned to the coming legislative session. Concerned citizens have been working to strengthen Georgia law to ensure that local governments (cities, and counties such as our own) cannot pre-empt our right to grow food. For more information, visit the Georgia Food Rights website and join their Facebook group. The proposed Sustainable Food Act is supported by Georgia Organics and the Wylde Center, among others.

For a reflection on the inherent inconsistency of laws affecting unincorporated DeKalb, see this item on Southern Spaces.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Iced

Someone went out there last night and outlined everything in ice crystals...
Apple blossom
Savory
Cabbage
Forecast says: still winter!
10-day forecast via Intellicast.com

Friday, January 18, 2013

Redux on Jan. 17 DCSS / GA BOE meeting

from Tanya Myers, MANA education liaison:
In what has been described as a "marathon hearing", the DeKalb County Board of Education met with the State Board of Education on Monday afternoon to discuss the findings in the SACs report that placed the county on probationary status. The County board had sought a reprieve until April to register significant progress on the action points described in the report. However, the state board seemed to find the system sufficiently distressed to warrant attention before that date and will review progress in 30 days with the option to vote on removal of DeKalb Board of Education members at that time. Meanwhile, the DeKalb school board has yet to elect a chair and vice-chair, having deferred that decision at their January meeting.
More info available at:
DeKalb board members defend themselves against accusations that could unseat them [AJC]
Can the DeKalb school board reinvent itself in 30 days? [AJC]
Parents for DeKalb County Schools live-twitted the meeting

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Minor flooding watch for DeKalb County creeks

There is a flood watch in effect for DeKalb County through 7:00 PM EST, Thu., Jan 17, 2013:
SOILS ARE WET IN NORTH GEORGIA DUE TO RECENT RAINFALL. THIS WILL HELP IN PRODUCING RUNOFF AS THE RAINFALL AMOUNTS CONTINUE TO ACCUMULATE THROUGH LATE TONIGHT. MOSTLY MINOR FLOODING OF SMALLER CREEKS... STREAMS... AND LOW LYING FLOOD PRONE AREAS WILL BE POSSIBLE WITH SOME MODERATE FLOODING IN LOCALIZED AREAS. . . . A FLOOD WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR FLOODING BASED ON CURRENT FORECASTS.
Apologies for the all caps.... the National Weather Service always types like that.

MLK Service Project @ Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve [Jan 21]


Monday, January 21
9am - noon
2590 Pine Bluff Dr., Decatur GA 30033  map

Here's a chance for a service project very close to home at the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve! Please come help remove dead privet from Pine Bluff and drag it to the street to be chipped, clear some ivy from trees in that area, and mulch trails. There will be some tools for volunteers to use but if you have them, bring your own gloves and maybe some loppers.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Redux of cityhood forum

Jonathan Cribbs at Decatur Patch has a report on the January 8 meeting on DeKalb County's cityhood movements. So far, the discussion seems defined by uncertainty and vagueness with a sprinkling of animal references. One speaker claimed to not "have a dog in this fight"; another explained that support for the establishment of Dunwoody was directly linked to former DeKalb CEO Vernon Jones's being "such an ass." Read it all at DeKalb Leaders Offer Conflicting Views at Cityhood Forum.

ADDENDUM:
Extensive notes of the meeting Q&A available at CHCA.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sunday, January 13, 2013

New Decatur mayor on annexation

Ralph Ellis at Patch has part I of an interview where newly elected Decatur Mayor Jim Baskett  comments on the City's annexation prospects. In his analysis, annexation is "one way to postpone the worst of the crisis" and protect City of Decatur schools from losing quality due to ever-growing demand (from parents who want access to Decatur schools to escape the DeKalb County School System). As to securing support for annexation from the legislature, he has found no "expression of enthusiasm" from the legislature or the County.

With candor and humor, Mr. Baskett also states his desire to build a better relationship with DeKalb County. This is most encouraging.
"I’m kind of working from a clean slate. They don’t know me well enough ... to have a really bad opinion of me. So maybe we can start to build on some relationships that I do have and work toward some better outcomes and get our relationship better with the county. That would be important."  ... Continue reading @ Patch
To build upon the Mayor's paraphrasing of John Donne, we are not islands. DeKalb County's problems will not be solved through isolationism but rather by building relationships, showing leadership, and striving for transparency and equitable solutions.

Congratulations, and best of luck to Mayor Baskett.

ADDENDUM:  Part II of the interview is now available at Decatur Patch.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Golden Corral @ North DeKalb Mall opening in February

Golden Corral, coming soon to a mall near you. Restaurant fa├žade as seen from Macy's parking lot.
According to a post in the neighborhood Facebook page, the new Golden Corral at North DeKalb Mall will open in mid-February (11-18ish). We first heard that they were coming to the area in 2011.

Golden Corral is one of those franchises that inspires either smiles or sputtering disapproval. Their website features a lot of information about who they are, why they do things the way they do, and of course, menus.

Welcome to the neighborhood and here's to hoping Golden Corral is part of North DeKalb Mall's revival.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Coyote info session [Jan 29]

CHCA has information on a meeting that will discuss issues relating to urban coyotes. The activity is being coordinated by the Druid Hills Civic Association.

Visit the CHCA website for the details.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Flu shots 2013

For an interactive version of this image, visit the http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/

DeKalb County Board of Health's website has information about the flu and where you may secure immunizations:
Flu vaccinations are available on a walk-in basis Monday through Friday between
8:15 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the following DeKalb County Board of Health locations:
Clifton Springs Health Center, 3110 Clifton Springs Road, Decatur, 404-244-2200.
East DeKalb Health Center, 2277 S. Stone Mountain-Lithonia Road, Lithonia, 770-484-2600. 
North DeKalb Health Center, 3807 Clairmont Road, NE , Chamblee, 770-454-1144. 
T.O.VinsonHealthCenter,440 Winn Way,Decatur, 404-294-3762. 
Refugee Health Services, Richardson Health Center, 445 Winn Way,Decatur, 404-294-3818. 
The DeKalb County Board of Health’s fees are:
Flu vaccination: $20
Fluzone high dose: $40
For additional information on the flu, visit the CDC's seasonal influenza website.

Shopping malls in the 21st century

Atlantic Cities has an interesting article on the future of shopping malls. With the ever-growing presence of online shopping, what does the future hold for the brick and mortar store?
This declining retailer health is directly impacting malls and shopping centers in the form of very high vacancy rates and sluggish rents—exactly what you’d expect to see where supply exceeds demand. Both factors deteriorated quickly during the economic crisis of 2008-09, but they’ve shown virtually no improvement since in spite of improved economic conditions. The recession was the catalyst, but competition from online retailers can only be the continued driver. The mall business isn’t very healthy either.  ...Continue reading @ Atlantic Cities...
 A not-so-cheery real estate investor characterizes the surplus of vacant space as not so much a "overbuilt" but rather "underdemolished." The source of that quote also adds some history about shopping malls:
Many of the earliest malls were buildings connected by pedestrian walkways and common areas, similar to today’s lifestyle center. Many malls began to turn inward in the 1960s and ‘70s, with the typical suburban mall composed of department stores and smaller shops connected by a roof, essentially forming an air-conditioned cave... Continue reading @ Costar...
The Costar website has several other articles about revitalizing or reinventing shopping areas that are not thriving


Food for thought, as we mull the future of nearby shopping areas.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Intergenerational Dialogue on Civil and Human Rights Discussion [Jan 26]

For immediate release:   January 3, 2012
For more information:    Nancy Bent, 404-373-8746 x8135, nancy.bent@friendsschoolatlanta.org
 
The Friends School of Atlanta to Host Ambassador Andrew Young,    
Senator Jason Carter and Others for a Panel Discussion on Civil Rights Today

On Saturday, January 26, 2013, The Friends School of Atlanta (FSA) will welcome Ambassador Andrew Young, Senator Jason Carter and others to participate in an intergenerational dialogue on civil and human rights. The event, to be held on FSA’s campus in Decatur, is the third annual Beloved Community Dialogue presented by the school.  

Founded in 1991, The Friends School of Atlanta remains the only Quaker school in Georgia. Every day at FSA, the faculty and staff strive to instill those values in its students deemed essential for building the all-inclusive Beloved Community envisioned by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., where differences are embraced as strengths, not feared, and every single person is respected as an individual of infinite worth. Like Dr. King, Quakers believe that through empathy and respect for others and personal integrity, connections can be made that can resolve even the fiercest disputes between nations, religions, cultures or individuals. In the words of one of FSA’s middle school students, “Being bullied isn’t the hardest part. The hard part is having to work through the issues with the other guy.” FSA’s Beloved Community Dialogue seeks to illuminate current civil and human rights issues so that we all are inspired to do the challenging work to resolve differences with “the other guy.”
 
As the work to build Beloved Community in our society moves forward, FSA seeks to make a critical contribution by instilling the Quaker values of equality, integrity and community in its students and by hosting these dialogues that are designed to educate and ultimately uplift us all as we realize our individual and collective capacities for peace making and community building.
The Beloved Community Dialogue will be held at the FSA campus at 862 Columbia Drive in Decatur and is open to the public. General admission is $10 per ticket. Premium tickets are $100 each and include invitation to a reception with the esteemed panelists. The invitation-only reception begins at 5:00 pm, and the panel discussion will take place from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm. For more information about the event and purchasing tickets, please visit the FSA website at www.friendsschoolatlanta.org or contact Nancy Bent, Director of Advancement: 404-373-8746 x8135; nancy.bent@friendsschoolatlanta.org.

The Friends School of Atlanta, offering a pre-K – 8th grade program, has a mission to provide challenging academics in a diverse environment, drawing on the Quaker values of a simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship to empower students to go out into the world with conscience, conviction and compassion.
For more information about the school and admissions, visit www.friendsschoolatlanta.org or contact Waman French, Head of School: 404-373-8746 x8136; waman.french@friendsschoolatlanta.org.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Schools Update

As previously noted, the DeKalb County Board of Education (BOE) has been summoned by the Georgia Department of Education to discuss SACS's recent decision to place the school system on probation. Recent Georgia law allows the DOE to make recommendations that could result in Governor Deal replacing BOE members.

As we wait for the results of the DOE meeting (scheduled for Jan 17), please visits these links that MANA education liaison Tanya Myers has gathered for us:

• Two current BOE members, who had in the past been vocal in pointing out irregularities in the Board's functioning, are currently blogging about their experiences:

Don McChesney's blog: http://blog.donfordekalb.com/
Denese Jester's blog: http://whatsupwiththat.nancyjester.com/

• Parents for DeKalb Schools has a Facebook page where you can join the discussion.

• School choice is scheduled to happen much earlier this year.  Per this flyer, open enrollment opens on January 14 and closes on February 1, 2013 (in previous years, enrollment happened in March).

Per the DeKalb School System's website (note: catalog not yet updated for academic year 2013-2014), 
Parents in DeKalb County have the opportunity to make choices regarding their children's public school education. The DeKalb County School District offers a variety of school choice programs to students currently enrolled in public schools, private schools, and home schools. Because there are several programs serving students in grades prekindergarten through twelve, a school choice programs catalog is available to assist in selecting a program that meets the needs of your child(ren). The programs are designed to address interests such as math, science, technology, performing arts, environmental studies, engineering, career explorations, world languages, and advanced studies.
School choice applications will be completed online at http://eportal.dekalb.k12.ga.us/. Parents need to create a login/password to access the website:

The International Community School at Medlock is a public charter school that accepts new students K-5 via a lottery system; the lottery deadline is in early March. For additional information, see the ICS admissions page.

• The Hess Academy is a new private school at 611 Medlock Road. They will host a series of open houses in the near future; see their admissions page for additional information about their curriculum, tuition, etc.

DeKalb School System: discussions on proposed openings and closures

The AJC reports that DCSD is holding a series of meetings to discuss proposed school closure and opening plans.

Under the upcoming events tag, the DCSD website lists a series of School Organization Plan Community Meetings as follows. Unless otherwise noted, meetings run from 6-7:30pm

January 8, 2013 at Nair High

January 10, 2013 at Miller Grove High

January 15, 2013 at Tucker High

January 16, 2013 at  Dunwoody High

January 17, 2013 at AIC Auditorium (1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard · Stone Mountain, GA  30083)

January 22, 2013
8am: System-Wide Administrators Meeting
AIC Auditorium (1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard · Stone Mountain, GA  30083)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Monty Python takes on annexation

"Hello. Can we have your liver?" 

"But... I'm using it, eh."
Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, via youtube
Mary Swint at CrossRoadNews has a thorough report on City of Decatur's annexation plan per the December 3, 2012 commissioners meeting:

"Decatur City Manager Peggy Merriss estimates that revenue from the targeted areas would be about $825,000, with real estate taxes accounting for $533,000 of the total. She said the city would incur more than $404,000 in additional costs for police, storm water and street lights. . . . Merriss said the city has not asked any legislators to sponsor the annexation. She said it might take more than one legislative session to get it done. Continue reading @ CrossRoadNews"

Per City of Decatur's website, a view of the disputed northern territories...
Annexation targets in green. Map via
City of Decatur.  Click to enlarge.
 Same map, overlaid on Google map.
City of Decatur appears in blue,
annexation targets in green. 
Click here for a closer look at these annexation areas.

Elsewhere, Decatur Patch's Ralph Ellis has an interview with outgoing Decatur Mayor Bill Floyd,  and one of the questions addresses the annexation vote:
"Do you think this annexation that was recently approved will ever become a reality? 
"Do you think it's all
for the good 
of the country?"

"Well I wouldn't know, madam. 
We are just, uh, doing our jobs, 
you know."
                                                                 Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, via youtube
I think it’s got a good chance at some point in time, maybe not this year. I think it's inevitable that even DeKalb County at some point will realize that it’s better for those community hubs to be part of the city of Decatur than they are in DeKalb County. If you ask the county commissioners and the CEO realistically can they can control those hubs better than we can, the answer is they can’t do it. We can.  . . . Continue reading @ Patch"




If, like John Cleese, you experience mixed feelings at these words, sign the anti-annexation petition at CHCA.

Hess Academy Open House

Curious about the Hess Academy, the preK-8 school that operates on at 611 Medlock Rd. (aka North Decatur Presbyterian Church)? Hess Academy will hold several open houses as follows:

January 24, 10am – 12noon
February 7, 7 – 9pm
February 21, 10am – 12noon

"Parents and perspective students are invited to tour our facility, and meet with our Principal and staff. To learn more about the quality education Hess Academy offers visit our website or contact Diane Henderson at 678-308-6380 for more information."

Friday, January 4, 2013

Annexation and Cityhood discussions coming up [Jan 8 & 10]

If you have concerns and want to learn more about two key issues affecting our area and county (cityhood movement, City of Decatur annexation plan), consider attending one of more of the following meetings [note that two take place on Jan. 8 but that the Delegation also meets on Jan. 10].
Cityhood Discussion -- Jan. 8
Click to enlarge.


1) Cityhood Discussion:

January 8 at Oak Grove United Methodist Church Main Sanctuary, 1722 Oak  Grove, Decatur GA 30033

This meeting will include State Representatives Billy Mitchell, Tom Taylor, DeKalb Commissioner Kathie Gannon and former Dunwoody Council member Robert Wittenstein.



2) DeKalb County Legislative Delegation of the Georgia House of Representatives Town Hall Meetings

Jan. 8, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. at the Porter Sanford Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur
Jan. 10, 2013 at 6:00 pm at Agnes Scott College (Rebekah Scott Hall), 141 East College Avenue, Decatur, GA 30030

Per Neighborhoodnewspapers.com,

"The DeKalb County Legislative Delegation of the Georgia House of Representatives will have three upcoming town hall meetings: The purpose of these meetings is to discuss important issues and initiatives likely to come before the general assembly in the 2013 legislative session.

The delegation would also like to hear comments and concerns from their constituents as they prepare for the upcoming legislative session. All DeKalb County residents are strongly encouraged to attend.

In attendance will be:
Rep. Dar’shun Kendrick, Rep. Pat Gardner, Rep. Mike Jacobs, Rep. Scott Holcomb, Rep. Stacey Abrams, Rep. Karla Drenner, Rep. Billy Mitchell, Rep. Simone Bell, Rep. Tom Taylor, Rep. Elena Parent, Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, Rep. Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, Rep. Michele Henson, Rep. Ernest “Coach” Williams, Rep. Howard Mosby, Rep. Pam Stephenson, Rep. Rahn Mayo, and Rep. Dee Dawkins-Haigler." Contact info follows...

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

GA DOE summons DeKalb Co. School Board

Per CBS news, the DeKalb County School Board has been summoned by the GA Department of Education (DOE) for a follow-up on the recent SACS report that placed the system on probation and questioned the school board's ability to function and commitment to the needs of DeKalb students:
Board members must appear before the state board at 1 p.m. on Jan. 17. 
The state board will then make a recommendation to the governor who has the final say on whether DeKalb board members will be replaced.  ...  Continue reading @  CBS Atlanta website.