Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fire Department helps collect school supplies for DeKalb elementary school kids [ends Aug 4]

Our closest fire station: 3858 North Druid Hills Rd.
near the Shamrock Plaza Publix.
Click to enlarge the Chief's letter.
Darnell D. Fullum, Director/Fire Chief of the DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department, invites us to donate school supplies to benefit DeKalb County elementary school children.

You may drop off supplies at any DeKalb County fire station. Supplies must be delivered by 5pm on Monday, August 4.

Our closest station is Fire Station 9, located at 3858 North Druid Hills Rd. For a list of other County locations, click here.

To ensure the supplies are a good match, please refer to this wish list:

1. Backpack
2. Elmer’sschoolglue
3. Gluesticks
4. Blunt safety tip scissors
5. Number 2 pencils–NOT mechanical
6. Highlighters
7. Dry erase markers
8. Washable markers
9. Coloring pencils
10. Pencil pouch with zipper
11. 24/32/48 count crayons
12. Large erasers
13. Ruler
14. Wide ruled notebook paper
15. Black and white composition books
16. Construction paper
17. Spiral notebook
18. Index cards
19. 1.5 inch binders with pockets
20. 3 prong folders with pockets
21. Hand sanitizer
22. Anti-bacterial hand soap
23. Box of Kleenex
24. Paper towels
25. Zip lock type bags – sandwich/quart/gallon

Printable list after the jump...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Greg Germani Trust Fund

For updates on Greg's condition and to contribute, go to

This is for our neighbor Greg! Please go to to make a donation. 
"On the evening of June 9, while cycling home from work, Greg was viciously, intentionally run down by a driver and left for dead. Thanks to the help of fast-acting strangers and the amazing work of doctors at Grady Hospital, Greg's life was saved that night. 
Greg has received outstanding medical care every step of the way. Seven weeks after the attack, however, Greg is facing a long road to recovery. He has suffered multiple injuries, the primary one being a severe brain injury from the impact of the incident. (Importantly, he was wearing a helmet.) There is so much unpredictability about a brain injury, but the consistent word is that Greg will recover on his own timetable... 
Contributions made via GoFundMe (or otherwise) will go to this third-party special needs trust, and those funds will only be used to meet Greg’s health care needs not otherwise covered by insurance or other means in accordance with the terms of the trust."
This fundraiser was also covered here: 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Delicious Tuesdays: Fresh produce @ North DeKalb Mall

"An outdoor produce stand will be selling the summer crop on Tuesdays from 3 pm to 7 pm through September 2nd. It will be located between Bank of America and Macy's Auto Center on the southeast side of the mall. (Cash only.)"

See more about the North DeKalb Mall community garden at!community-garden/cpdm

Plantings include: "eggplant, tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, peppers, okra, bush beans, French marigolds, African marigolds, sunflowers, zinnias, mustard, watermelon, cantaloupe, basil and others) plus varieties of kale, Swiss chard, butter crunch lettuce, watercress, mung beans, pole bean varieties, southern peas, tomatillos, collard greens, radish varieties, carrots, broccoli, onions, lavender, mint, chocolate mint, parsley, cilantro, chives, cone flowers, peonies, gardenias, coreopsis, larkspur, linaria and more."

According to Patch, there are plans for fall/winter crop sales too.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Lost dog (Scott Blvd.)

This little rascal busted out the front door last evening (July 26)...

Benefit for Greg Germani [Aug 2]

Join this Facebook page to stay informed!
Last June, neighbor Greg Germani was victim of a hit-and-run that left him with substantial injuries. This benefit will help cover costs of a long recovery.

Saturday, August 2at 7:00pm - 11:45pm
Star Community Ba
437 Moreland Ave NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30307

featuring the talents of
Ghost Riders Car Club
The Blacktop Rockets
Caroline and the Ramblers
Mystery Men?
Julea Thomerson
AM Gold 
Slim Chance and the Convicts
Grinder Nova

Friday, July 25, 2014

Troops (of mushrooms) at the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve

One early morn' this week at the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve, snow on the ground? Not quite; it was mushrooms, lots of them (Marasmiellus albuscorticis perhaps?). Whatever their name, they love to grow on twigs and are delicate and orderly, often appearing in rows.

Tee hee hee, we climbed on a twig!

Nom nom, these tasted good to some little critter.
Some looked like perfect parasols. One half-expects to find a tiny winged fairy napping underneath...

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dunkin' Donuts Scott. Blvd. proposal withdrawn

1450 Scott Blvd, via GoogleMaps
The Dunkin' Donuts’ (DD) special land use permit (SLUP) proposed for 1450 Scott Blvd (old Avon Bldg. site) was withdrawn* at the Board of Commissioners’ session on July 22.

Many were looking forward to a Dunkin' Donuts but others warned that DD’s concessions, although substantial, did not address key impacts such as additional pollution from idling cars and traffic congestion. Specifically, the drive-through’s peak operation hours would have coincided with rush hour traffic at an already congested two-lane stretch of road. This additional congestion likely would exacerbate spill-over traffic already impacting nearby residential streets. Community members also noted that the Dunkin' Donuts on North Druid Hills, ChocoLat√© at Clairmont and North Decatur Rds., and several coffee and donut shops in downtown Decatur all succeed without drive-throughs. Unfortunately, Dunkin Donuts (DD) established the drive-through was non-negotiable.

Commissioners Rader and Gannon echoed these traffic congestion concerns. They also have repeatedly voiced the belief that the area’s resurgence (as evidenced by the Suburban Plaza redevelopment, Fuqua’s mixed use redevelopment at the Scott Blvd. Baptist Church site and the Medline LCI study, which includes the Avon Bldg.) warrants a different type of development. The Livable Communities Initiative 2013 implementation report summary notes that LCIs were "created by the Atlanta Regional Commission in 1999 to reduce vehicle emissions and help the region meet stringent federal air quality standards by providing travel options other than driving." Additionally, many have questioned this SLUP’s fit for the area given the Medline LCI's emphasis on health and wellness.
* Developers can choose to withdraw a SLUP request if it appears unlikely to receive approval. The developer can at that point work on the proposal and resubmit it; we do not have any information as to whether DD will do so. Developers withdraw in deference to the property owner: if a SLUP is rejected by the Board, the property owner must wait 12 months before submitting any other SLUP for the property. This restriction applies to revisions as well as new SLUP requests.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hurt dog found on Arborcrest Drive, Decatur

The dog pictured to the left was found this morning on Arborcrest Drive in Decatur, unable to move, probably due to having been hit by a car. Compassionate folks stayed with him and the pooch is now under the care of the Lifeline Project folks at the DeKalb County Animal Services.

The dog did not have a collar and is not microchipped. If you recognize this dog, please direct his owners to
UPDATE: here's his DCAS profile

UPDATE 2:  July 24 via Facebook: "looking a bit perkier this morning, but he still can't walk and is still in urgent need of rescue"

Since the owner has not been found yet, a  fundraiser has been set up to help cover vet costs, see

UPDATE 3: "Rescue pending" status posted on DCAS, meaning, a rescue group has stepped forward to get this dog out of the pokey and provide an environment where he can recover and then be adopted. YAY!

UPDATE 4:  Per a Facebook update, vets determined that this dog was shot at some point and a bullet fragment migrated to his spine, causing hind-leg paralysis; he will be evaluated at UGA. He also appears to have been on his own for a while. The New England Humane Society (Facebook, web), based in northern Rhode Island and with established relationship with rural Georgia shelters, has agreed to take him in for rehoming. For years, a number of rescue volunteers and organizations have been relocating dogs and cats from states with a surplus of unwanted animals to areas where there is high demand for adoptable pets. "Lovell" (as he is being called by DCAS) faces mounting vet bills ($800 so far); if you would like to contribute, you may do so via his Fundrazr page.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Atlanta Gas Light: work on Scott Circle

Fact Sheet. Click to enlarge.
from Atlanta Gas Light:
Atlanta Gas Light contractors are scheduled to begin a pipeline replacement project in the area near Medlock Park in the coming weeks. The specific area in the MANA area that will be directly impacted is Scott Circle.   
This project is part of Atlanta Gas Light’s Vintage Plastic Pipeline Replacement Program. Replacing the older vintage plastic pipe with newer, technologically advanced plastic pipe with a longer useful life will help ensure an even safer and more reliable natural gas pipeline system. 
Appropriate signage will be in place to help direct traffic around work areas. A letter and fact sheet was mailed to property owners directly along the project path.  There is also a project specific email and voicemail for residents to share questions or concerns – 404- 584-3142 / 

Letter sent to home owners along project path.
Click to enlarge.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Warrant issued on Greg Germani's hit-and-run

The AJC and Decaturish report that Atlanta Police have identified a suspect in Greg Germani's  June 9 hit-and-run. Joseph Alan Lewis, age 19, is sought on charges of criminal attempt to commit murder, serious injury by vehicle and additional charges. His girlfriend has been arrested on evidence tampering charges.

Tips can be called in to Crimestoppers Atlanta at 404-577-TIPS.

APD's bulletin appears to the left, also courtesy of Decaturish.

UPDATE: WSB TV and the AJC report that Lewis has been arrested.

Avoiding scams and fraud [July 17]

via LeeAnn Harvey at Volunteer! Decatur:
Too Good To Be True
Thursday, July 17, 6:30 p.m.
Decatur Recreation Center
231 Sycamore St.

Lifelong Decatur Third Thursday series hosts a panel of experts on avoiding fraud and scams, especially those targeting older adults. Whether you are concerned for yourself or a loved one, learn steps to prevent being taken advantage of by investment scams, telemarketing schemes and other fraud, identity theft, and financial exploitation of older adults and other vulnerable individuals.

The panel includes Sgt. Jennifer Ross, Decatur Police Department Community Information and Education Officer; Jeanne Canavan, DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office; and Elder and Family Law attorney Donald S. Horace, Esq.

Think you or someone you know has been a victim of a scam? Here are some resources for help:
·  Decatur Police Department: 404-373-6551
·  FBI Information on Common Fraud Schemes:
·  Georgia Senior Legal Hotline: 404-657-9915
·  Adult Protective Services: To report suspected exploitation of an elder person who lives in a private residence call 404-657-5250 or visit

Community Education Family Fun Day @ Mason Mill Park [rain date: now July 26]

via Commissioner Raders's website:

Community Education Family Fun Day @ Mason Mill Park
July 19, 2014 (12:00 pm - 5:00 pm)
DeKalb Interim CEO Lee May and the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners host the Community Education Family Fun Day Saturday, July 19 from noon – 5 p.m. at Mason Mill Park, 1340 McConnell Drive, Decatur, GA 30030.  This event is free and open to the public.

The Community Education Family Fun Day will include food, music, entertainment, information, games, and much more.  Educational and outreach information will be available regarding several county initiatives including Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG), Recycling and Stormwater.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Suburban Plaza redevelopment begins

Suburban Plaza: demolition began at the corner of North Decatur and Medlock Roads.

Staying true to the timeline released last June, Selig Enterprises began demolition work at its Suburban Plaza location. Following an early start on Friday, the area that recently housed a discount mattress store quickly became a pile of rubble.

The images below offer a refresher of the site plans Selig released in 2012 and are captioned with links to additional information. To review all posts relating to Suburban Plaza, click here.

August 2012,

June 2012,

June 2012,

Monday, July 14, 2014

DeKalb Public Library: senior advisory board [July 23, Oct 22]

click to enlarge

Our DeKalb County Public Library is looking for seniors interested in helping shape the Library's programs and services. 

Two information meetings are scheduled, for July 23 and October 22. Please see flyer for additional information.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Neighborhood Emergency Preparedness

from v. 32, Medlock Matters

The Lifelong Communities Committee is starting to coordinate efforts toward improving emergency preparedness within the Medlock and Clairmont Heights neighborhoods. To start this process, we are asking for your help in assembling a neighborhood inventory to find out how many of our neighbors might need extra help in a disaster, and which neighbors have special skills or training that might be helpful during an emergency. It will also help us keep you involved in continued neighborhood  preparedness activities.

Your participation in this inventory is completely optional. All responses will help us have a central database of the needs in our neighborhood and the resources and people that may be  available to help. The results will also help us focus our plans toward education and outreach within the neighborhood in advance of an emergency. Your responses will be available for use only by MANA and the Lifelong Communities Committee as needed.

Your responses can be entered online at:

For a paper copy, please contact Kathryn Firago at kfirago at gmail

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Supermoon, Part I [July 12]

Great explanation via
The first of this year's three supermoons (so called because they are 30% brighter due to a closer orbit) will occur tonight at moonrise. For our area, moonrise is at 8:57pm tonight. Let's hope the clouds part for a good show.

The next two are due in the coming months. On August 10, moonrise will be at 8:20pm and on September 8,  at 7:35pm.

Read more about supermoons at

Friday, July 11, 2014

Lifeline/DeKalb Shelter July adoption event

If you have been considering adopting a dog or cat, no better time than now!

via Lifeline Animal Project...
For the entire month of July all dogs may be adopted for only $30 and cats for only $17.76!  Adopters will receive a dog or cat that has been spayed or neutered, has had all vaccines and is microchipped – a $200 value.  As an additional bonus during the first two weeks of July, adopters will also receive a free adoption package with veterinarian, grooming and training coupons, while supplies last.

Adoption counselors will be on hand to ensure the animals are being placed in good homes.

According to DCAS Shelter Director Susan Feingold, when you adopt, you’ll not only be gaining a loving family member, but you’ll be receiving many health benefits too. “To celebrate our first anniversary, we’re offering terrific adoption rates,” she says. “And if you adopt a pet, you’ll be giving yourself the gift of better health.  According to The American Heart Association, people who own pets have a reduced risk for heart disease, visit the doctor less and live longer than people who don’t.”

To view animals available for adoption, or for the shelter’s address and phone number, please visit the shelter or visit

About DeKalb County Animal Services
Managed by LifeLine Animal Project, DeKalb County Animal Services provides humane care for animals at the shelter, veterinary care, pet adoptions, pet reclaim services, volunteer opportunities, foster care, and rescue group coordination.  To learn more, please visit

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Feedback on the Medline LCI draft plan

Plan available here.

After careful review and discussion, MANA, CHCA and Good Growth DeKalb submitted this joint statement to the Medline LCI study group. To review all our posts on the Medline LCI, click here. For the Medline LCI website, click here.

July 7, 2014

Jen Price
Medline LCI Master Plan Comments
c/o Sycamore Consulting, Inc.
195 Arizona Avenue, Unit LW-4
Atlanta, GA 30307

Dear Ms. Price,

Many of us went to the presentation of the Medline plan a few weeks ago. It was great to see a long-term plan for our area – good work by all involved. Representatives from the Clairmont Heights Civic Association (CHCA), Medlock Area Neighborhood Association (MANA) and Good Growth DeKalb have reviewed the Medline LCI draft plan individually and met to discuss it. While we are very supportive of the process and the results, we have serious concerns about the proposed zoning overlay proposed on pages 102 and 103 of the report. We also have several questions about the transportation overlay. Theresa Same (Zoning Chair for MANA) has already contacted you about our desire to schedule a meeting to include the Medline LCI team as well as our Commissioners.

Our primary concerns are in the areas of Zoning and Transportation and are outlined below.


Our residential areas require appropriate, generous setbacks and clearly defined medium density. Under zoning, while the report states that: "An overlay district is recommended for the Medline study area to encourage high density mixed use development in the center of the study area, with medium density residential development on the periphery, as a transitional buffer into the surrounding single family neighborhoods. (p 102)" the actual zoning overlay map on page 103 shows high density in the majority of the study area, often with no medium density between it and R-75 properties. The proposal also fails to include any recommended setbacks from residential property.

Clearly defined medium density is appropriate for the area; high density “up to 14 floor” developments are not healthy for established residential neighborhoods and set a worrisome precedent for homeowners within and beyond the Medline LCI. Since high density is defined as "15-30 units/acre allowing up to 14 floors" per the marked-up map below, this means, for example, that our neighbors on McCurdy could have 14 story buildings in their backyard and they would have no grounds on which to oppose it. This is also true for all the cul-de-sacs coming off the east side of Woodridge, some of Woodridge, Blackmon Drive, some of Medlock Road, Eastway, Sunstede (as the Woodshed and Melton's lots are also zoned for high density). This is also true of the streets in Springdale Heights, Decatur Heights and others.

We believe that all the areas mentioned above as well as the areas highlighted on the map below should have "medium density residential development as a transitional buffer into the surrounding single family neighborhoods." Medium density is not defined in your report, though scale on the map defines it as "medium density, 10 units/acre with maximum of 3 stories." Since medium density is often defined as up to 5 stories, we want the report to clearly define medium density as 3 stories, not 5 stories.

We would also like to see a line that specifically states that no existing single-family zoned parcels should be designated as medium or high density if there are two or more contiguous parcels.

For the affected areas in MANA and CHCA’s boundaries, we feel that the non-single-family study areas on the west side of Scott Blvd and on the north side of N. Decatur Road should be zoned "medium density." This seems like a natural progression of density levels - single family (R-75) inside the neighborhood, step to medium density non-residential on the edge of the neighborhood and high density on the other side of Scott Blvd toward the center of the study area.

Annotated Figure 4w from the Medline LCI created by Jim Smith [CHCA]. Red outlines mark single family residential properties adjoining high density; green areas denote single family residential properties up-zoned to medium density (up to 5 stories high); yellow denotes pockets of high density on small parcels on the west side of Lawrenceville Highway. [caption clarified for web post] 

Medline LCI recommendations, the zoning overlay plan and DeKalb Zoning Ordinance must be consistent with each other. This is an important piece of the puzzle to modify in the draft as the zoning overlay will be the quickest and most concrete change that will be made as a result of the LCI study. We anticipate that developers will maximize whatever zoning they are given, and therefore must take a strong stand today and require the overlay map to match the recommendations of the report. Additionally, as DeKalb is in the final stages of their rewrite of the DeKalb County Zoning Ordinance, we would like to see references to specific sections of the updated code if the plan is for the ordinance to be the basis for zoning details to be implemented under the overlay.


Balance transportation and quality of life: all roads cannot lead to Medlock
The Transportation Overlay is much harder to address since there are so many stakeholders. From what we understand, by comparing page 109 (conceptual Transportation Connectivity Map) and page 103 (short-term implementation map) there are 4 new roads + 2 existing roads from Scott Blvd into the neighborhood within the study area as well as two possible new signalized intersections.
1. Blackmon Road (existing)
2. New road between Blackmon and Tuxworth Springs - with a signal (?) (this connects to a new road across Scott Blvd and eventually to the new light going in at the main entrance at Suburban Plaza)
3. The existing road at Tuxworth Springs is continued to connect to Medlock (this is being called Milscott and would connect all the way to Dekalb Industrial)
4. New road between the old farmhouse on Scott Blvd and the old Royal dealership (comes out roughly on McCurdy) and connects to the existing cut-through street in front of the Wendy’s and across into Patel Plaza
5. Larry Lane (existing) appears to have the other signal as the proposal discusses making Church Street a "T intersection". On page 109 it looks like that intersection lines up with Larry Lane, but that would not make it a T.
6. New road between Vol Repairs and the power lines.
We don't know how realistic it is to make any of the new roads happen or what the timeline is but what concerns us about the plan is that all these roads lead to Medlock Road and then offer nowhere for the traffic to go. This plan simply relieves North Decatur Road traffic by engineering more cut-through traffic for MANA and CHCA and does not address the root of the problem. These transportation recommendations must looked at in the larger context of the Clifton Corridor: a systemic problem that cannot be addressed in a piecemeal fashion. 

Thank you for your hard work and for a great start on a new plan for our area. We look forward to working with you to generate a final document that all participants can be proud of and that will serve our communities through the many transitions that we can expect in the coming years.


Board of Clairmont Heights Civic Association []
Good Growth DeKalb []
Board of Medlock Area Neighborhood Association []

Update on Greg Germani

On June 9, neighbor Greg Germani was the victim of a hit-and-run while cycling on Flagler Avenue in Morningside. The Atlanta Police has found the vehicle that struck him but has not issued any other updates on the case. To contribute to the CrimeStoppers reward, go here.

Greg's girlfriend, Beth Anne, has a wonderful update as of July 8 via her Facebook page:
All these great prayers and vibrations are working, folks. Today we had an exciting and unexpected day. Greg spoke for the first time. He was able to say "hello" and "I'm fine" in response to questions by the medical staff on three occasions. Happy tears today, definitely. This is a big step, coupled with his gradually improving alertness. It also take a tremendous amount of effort for these short bursts of activity, so for every excitement, there’s a lot of down time. They've advised us that it will come in fits and starts and may not be consistent, but Greg is making progress. Thanks to his physical and speech therapists, Ruchita, Crystal, Holly, and Vicky for all their hard work today!
Hello back at you, Greg! Keep on soaking up the good thoughts and well wishes, of which there are so very many.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Community meeting: Dunkin' Donuts [July 10]

Site location, via
Dunkin Donuts will hold a community meeting on July 10, 7pm, at the Scott Boulevard Baptist Church to discuss plans for a shop with a drive-through on Scott Blvd near the North Decatur Rd. intersection. The drive-through requires that they secure a special land use permit (SLUP) before the project can proceed.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Blueprints to Redefine DeKalb Leadership Team's statement

via Commissioner Gannon, reporting on the Blueprint to Redefine DeKalb Leadership Team:
First, to the volunteers appointed to serve on the Interim CEO’s Operations Task Force, thank you for your time and service.   As constituted the missing link to the Task Force seems to be the citizens of our communities.  The Blueprint to Redefine DeKalb was launched in January 2014 as a citizens’ reform effort and perhaps our work can complement your efforts. 
DeKalb County reached a ‘tipping point’ in 2013 and in 2014 matters even further deteriorated: nearly everyone now agrees that fundamental reforms are due.  The attached Blueprint to Redefine DeKalb was drafted and electronically distributed in January.  In February a group of citizens from across the County reached consensus on its main issues.  A diverse Blueprints leadership team emerged and began focusing upon the consensus issues: Internal Auditor, Ethics, Procurement Procedures, Elections, Government Structure and HOST. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Lakeside and Briarcliff, sitting in a tree, K I S S I N G...

The leadership of the proposed City of Briarcliff and City of Lakeside have released a joint statement after having agreed
"... to collaborate with the goal of creating a unified map free of overlapping areas and respecting existing city borders and future annexation plans."  Read the full statement here.
The future annexation plans at least in part refers to City of Decatur and City of Avondale's plans to annex a significant swath of commercial properties along North Decatur Road and the Farmers Market, respectively. The plan (to give existing cities "dibs" on existing commercial tracts) was hatched at the end of the 2014 legislative session.
Red outlines expanded borders. Darker outline within marks current city limits.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Lost dog now found [July 1]

Happily--Elliott was found and is back home with his family!

Splash pool conversion for DeKalb kiddie pools

Theresa Same (MANA Zoning Chair) alerts us to DeKalb's project to make toddler pools ADA-compliant, including conversions to splash pools. Our Medlock kiddie pool should be part of this project.
from the BOC Agenda Summary from June 24, 2014
LB2.    DeKalb County Toddler Pools ADA Conversion Project:  Invitation No. 13-100387 for use by the Public Works Department, Engineering Services Division.  Amount Not to Exceed:  $534,275.50 (Accepted to the Regular BOC Meeting Agenda; Assigned to the Finance, Audit & Budget Committee – recommended approval) - APPROVED
Also, several MANA members are communicating with the County and trying to secure shade sails for the kiddie pool area, which currently is fully exposed to the sun and gets unpleasantly warm as a result.