Friday, October 13, 2017

Free Household Hazardous Waste Event [Oct 21]

via Commissioner Rader..

DeKalb to Host Free Household Hazardous Waste Event
October 21, 2017
8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Sanitation Division’s Central Transfer Station
3720 Leroy Scott Drive
Decatur, GA 30032

The event, sponsored by the DeKalb County Sanitation Division in partnership with  MXI Environmental Services LLC, offers event participants an opportunity to properly dispose of dangerous household chemicals that are no longer in use.

Hazardous materials such as aerosols, batteries, adhesives, flammables, lawn care products, fluorescent light bulbs, photo chemicals, artist supplies, paint and paint-related products will be accepted. Items such as agricultural waste, ammunition, pharmaceuticals, radioactive materials, and biohazardous and biomedical waste will not be accepted. Participants will be limited to 10 gallons of paint per vehicle.

Participation is free and only open to DeKalb County residents. Proper identification to prove DeKalb County residency may be requested.

For all upcoming meetings or events, click here

Have a wonderful weekend. 

Jeff Rader

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Closer look at... one awesome neighborhood

UPDATE #2: And then they made it all the way to People Magazine :)

UPDATE #1: And... The Chainsaw Gang gets the AJC treatment! 

 ORIGINAL POST (9/12/17)
photo by Katie, via Facebook
Zac, Stephen, Jesse, Thom among others... revving up the chainsaws, clearing streets, warning folks about downed trees... it's the chainsaw gang :)

Stephen and Zac on Closer Look, NPR
Jesse on
On Facebook, offers of help have gone from tarps and buckets to sharing freezer space with those who are still without power to "have axe, will travel." And it all began before with storm, with offers to help if anyone needed assistance moving furniture outdoor in advance of the storm and shared ladders to ensure gutters were clean and ready for the downpour. Good peoples!!!

Thank you, neighbors, for your sense of humor, your willingness to help, and your inordinate fondness for chainsaws :)

Our thanks also go to GA Power employees and DeKalb County emergency responders for being out in this weather, working hard to keep the lights on and the roads clear. Stay safe!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Hurricane Irma: closings, weather links, etc [Sept. 11]

Oh, Irma, must you?!
UPDATE: MARTA shuts down service for Monday

1)  A very handy map for tracking Irma:

1a)'s hourly forecast:

2) DeKalb County closures--school systems, universities, etc:

3) DeKalb County Preparedness and Safety Tips:

4) County Announcements re: County Services
via Commissioner Rader

Hurricane Irma Update - Closings for tomorrow, Sanitation Changes
DeKalb County Offices, Facilities to Close during Hurricane Irma Residents urged to shelter in place
DeKalb officials are urging residents to exercise caution after the National Weather Service issued a tropical storm warning with tropical storm force winds and rain arriving as early as Monday morning for DeKalb County and the Atlanta area.

The DeKalb Emergency Management Agency is urging residents to shelter in place during the event and stay off the roads to allow emergency crews to respond to the anticipated calls for downed trees and power lines.

As a result of anticipated inclement weather, DeKalb County offices, senior centers, libraries and recreation centers will be closed Monday and Tuesday.

Scheduled Tuesday meetings will be rescheduled for this coming Thursday.

County employees who are not required to deal with the emergency conditions do not have to report to work.

All sanitation service will be suspended Monday. Customers are urged to secure their garbage containers during the high winds.

Employees under the direction of elected officials other than DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond should contact their supervisors about their work schedules.

The DeKalb County courts will be closed Monday. A decision about Tuesday’s schedule has not been made.

All DeKalb County Board of Health locations will be closed Monday and Tuesday.

The DeKalb County School District and City Schools of Decatur will be closed Monday and Tuesday. Atlanta Public Schools will be closed Monday.

DeKalb Sanitation Suspends Collection Service due to Hurricane Irma Residential and commercial service to run at least one day late 
In anticipation of inclement weather due to Hurricane Irma, the DeKalb County Sanitation Division announces the suspension of sanitation collection service for residential and commercial customers on Monday, Sept. 11. Information on collection schedules for the remainder of the week will be provided on Monday, September 11th.

The Sanitation Division’s administrative office will be closed on Monday, Sept. 11, and Tuesday, September 12th, reopening during normal business hours on Wednesday, September 13th.

The Seminole Road Landfill and North, Central and East Transfer Stations also will be closed on Monday, September 11th. Information on reopening the landfill and transfer stations will be provided on Monday, September 11th.

The Sanitation Division urges residents to stay home and off the roads due to anticipated high winds and dangerous road conditions.

Stay safe!!!

Jeff Rader

Monday, August 14, 2017

Commissioners comment on Atlanta annexation plan

from Commissioners Gannon an Rader
Clifton Corridor institutions, led by Emory University have petitioned to annex their isolated property into Atlanta across a 65-foot-wide “land bridge” that Emory purchased last year. They urge stakeholders to look at the Big Picture when judging their unilateral action and ask Atlanta to reflexively approve their incorporation into the city.

The Atlanta City Council and Atlanta voters should carefully assess the implications and mitigate impacts before they grant the request. DeKalb has petitioned the state to arbitrate these issues. Read the rest @ AJC.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

National Friendship Day: Adopt a pet! [Aug 6]

As you have probably heard, after several years of unwavering advocacy by pet lovers, a new DeKalb County animal shelter opened on July 24, 2017. Run by the Lifeline Animal Project (managers of DeKalb Co. and Fulton Co. shelters since 2013), the new shelter is located at 3280 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Shamble, GA. [Map]

The old shelter on Camp Road will close mid-August and Lifeline hopes that some of its current residents will be adopted before the facility completes its move:

Adoptions only $25 at all other LifeLine shelters throughout August!     
ATLANTA — ( August 4, 2017)  True friends always have your back, are excellent listeners, help you get through tough times and can even lower your stress levels.  And since there are no truer friends than dogs and cats, LifeLine Animal Project is commemorating National Friendship Day on Sunday, August 6, by offering fee-waived adoptions at their old DeKalb County Animal Services (DCAS) shelter, located at 845 Camp Road in Decatur [Map.  Adopt any dog, cat puppy or kitten from LifeLine’s Camp Road shelter, and you’ll receive a pet that has been spayed/neutered, microchipped and vaccinated for no adoption fee!
Can’t visit the shelter on Sunday?  LifeLine is also offering a “Tail End of Summer” $25 adoption promotion at all of their shelters, including:
DCAS, 845 Camp Road, Decatur AND 3280 Chamblee Dunwoody Road in Chamblee;
Fulton County Animal Services (FCAS), 860 Marietta Boulevard in Atlanta;
LifeLine Dog House & Kitty Motel, 129 Lake Street in Avondale Estates;
LifeLine Cat Adoption Center, 3172 E. Ponce De Leon Ave. in Scottdale. 
During the entire month of August, you may adopt any dog over 25 lbs. or any for only $25, including the pet’s spay/neuter, microchip and vaccines – a $250 value – for $25.   

To see pictures of available animals at DCAS, FCAS or LifeLine’s private shelters, please visit, or
About LifeLine Animal Project
A nonprofit founded in 2002, LifeLine Animal Project provides lifesaving solutions to end the euthanasia of healthy and treatable animals in county shelters. LifeLine manages DeKalb and Fulton County Animal Services, where we’ve increased adoptions by 300 percent, as well as a private rehabilitative shelter and two LifeLine Spay & Neuter Clinics. LifeLine cares for over 29,000 animals annually and has performed over 105,000 free and low-cost spay/neuter surgeries to date, including 30,000 stray/feral cats through our Community Cats program, metro Atlanta’s first and largest trap-neuter-return program. Our outreach involves improving the standard of care for animals in the community and preventing pet overpopulation. For more information, please visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

MANA logo contest

It's the little clip art that could. This homespun logo has done a lot of work in its time... It helped fend off a bizarro proposal to plant a massive cell phone tower in our midsts. It has held its ground agains more than one annexation proposal, fought for greenspace, and negotiated a safer, more walkable neighborhood as development has gone into hyperdrive in the last few years.

Parting is such sweet sorrow. But the time is nigh, friend, for a new logo.

So we are launching a logo contest!
Click here for details.

The contest deadline is August 30. Winner takes all; artists--starve no more! See below for prizes donated by our wonderful sponsors.

$100 Cash and Gift Certificates from: 
Ace Hardware ($50)
Natural Buzz ($45)
First Watch (2 meals for 2 value $20 each)
Mason Tavern ($25)
Massage Heights 1 hour massage (value $140), 
Medlock Gulf oil change and tire rotation (value $40), 
... and hopefully more to come!

Monday, June 26, 2017

The trouble with tribbles

We can only guess at James T. Kirk's reaction...

... to the pink-striped oakworm moth.

It's a boy! Females have purplish coloration along the wing edges.
Furry, stem to stern.

Found along the east coast and south all the way to east Texas, this moth lays eggs on oak trees. The namesake caterpillars are spikey and have deep pink stripes running along their bodies. The caterpillars hatch and feed on their first year, pupate underground, and emerge on their second year to mate. See for more photos and information.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Friends of Medlock Park meeting [June 28]

We are having a Friends of Medlock Park meeting on Wednesday, June 28 at 7 PM in the clubhouse in the center of the ball fields.

All are welcome to attend!!

We will discuss on-going efforts to honor Lisa's work in the community, our upcoming Park Pride grant proposal and project, a fall clean-up day for the Scott lots, and any other park business. We will be joined by the DHYS President to continue dialogue with the neighborhood and discuss upcoming DHYS projects in the park. Look forward to seeing everyone!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Remembering Lisa Crowder

The Medlock community is saddened at the unexpected passing of Lisa Crowder. An active, longtime resident, in recent years Lisa became a staunch advocate for many neighborhood greenspace projects: she battled weeds encroaching the Willivee bridge and other walkways, joined the Friends of Medlock Park group, and helped push forward the beautification of FEMA floodplain lots on Scott Circle. Lisa also partnered with the International Community School in refugee initiatives and installed Little Libraries. And she ran an epic Facebook group.

In remembrance, friends and neighbors will gather at the kiosk on Medlock Park on Sunday, June 25, 10am.

Friends and neighbors are also organizing the purchase of a commemorative bench to be placed at Medlock Park. If you would like to contribute, please go to

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

POSTPONED! Little Creek Conservancy: Fun and Picnic

This event has been postponed due to recent rains making the area too boggy for the activities.

See for updates.

Grand opening: new section of South Peachtree Creek Trail [June 24]

A new section of the South Peachtree Creek PATH opens this week. For several years now, we have been enjoying the PATH that connects Medlock Park to Mason Mill Park. This new section creates a connection to North Druid Hills Rd. 

The AJC reported on this extension here (bonus: short video of the trail as experienced on a bike).
UPDATE: PATH's updated trail map appears below. The new trail section starts next to the tennis courts at Mason Mill park and ends at  North Druid Hills across from Spring Creek Rd.

As noted by PATH last March, the "PATH design team has initiated design between Mason Mill Park and Clairmont Road near the VA Hospital. There are easements to be obtained and funding to be identified, but it seems promising we will have a trail from Mason Mill Park to the Emory campus during 2018."

Same map as above, on a wider perspective. The pink arrow highlights a short leg of the trail that now connects to the Claremont Place senior/retirement community. 
Per the PATH website, "Future phases of this trail will continue to Emory University and north to North Druid Hills Rd. When completed the trail will allow bike/ped access from scores of neighborhoods directly to the Emory campus."

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Enjoy our summer newsletter
The Summer issue of Medlock Matters is out! It includes updates on zoning, schools, greenspace, neighborhood safety, and a wonderful history of the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve written by Mary Shellman.

Click here to view the newsletter.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Medlock pool opens May 27

via Commissioner Rader...

DeKalb County Pools to Open May 27

Wedlock Park hours
Sunday: 1 to 6 p.m.
Tuesday: closed
Monday, Wednesday through Saturday: noon to 6 p.m.

see hours for other County pools below...

- - - - - - -

DeKalb County’s pools will open Memorial Day weekend starting on Saturday, May 27. The official seasons runs May 27 through July 30. Select pools will remain open on weekends through Labor Day weekend, Sept. 4. Residents are encouraged to splash into summer by visiting a neighborhood pool. The Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs also offers various programs including swim lessons, water aerobics and more.  For more information, visit or contact (770) 414-2113.

Pool locations and hours of operation

•    Browns Mill Aquatic Facility, 4929 Browns Mill Rd, Lithonia, GA 30038
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday, 1 to 7 p.m.

•    Exchange Splash Pad, 2771 Columbia Drive, Decatur, GA 30034
Hours: Monday, Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday and Tuesday, noon to 7 p.m.

•    Gresham Park, 3113 Gresham Road, Atlanta, GA 30316
Hours: Sunday, 1 to 6 p.m.; Monday closed; Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m.

•    Kittredge Park, 2535 N. Druid Hills Road, Atlanta, GA 30329
Hours: Sunday, 1 to 6 p.m.; Monday closed; Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m.

•    Lithonia Park, 2501 Park Drive, Lithonia, GA 30058
Hours: Sunday, 1 to 6 p.m.; Monday closed; Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m.

•    Tobie Grant Park, 644 Parkdale Road, Scottdale, GA 30079
Hours: Sunday, 1 to 6 p.m.; Monday closed; Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m.

•    Kelly Cofer Park, 4259 N. Park Dr. Tucker, GA 30084
Hours: Sunday, 1 to 6 p.m.; Tuesday closed; Monday, Wednesday through Saturday,                    
noon to 6 p.m.

•    Midway Park, 3181 Midway Road, Decatur, GA 30032
Hours: Sunday, 1 to 6 p.m.; Tuesday closed; Monday, Wednesday through Saturday,                  
noon to 6 p.m.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Blackmon Dr. is now right-turn out only

Photo from a week ago... as seen from (also named) Blackmon Dr. on Fuqua's development.
As previously discussed, Blackmon Rd. at Scott Blvd on (Medlock neighborhood side) has been reconfigured for safety reasons. Today, the new curb was poured, reducing the intersection to one lane, right-out only.

With current traffic woes across Atlanta due to the I-85 bridge collapse, it is likely that the crossing and traffic lights will not go live immediately. Typically, new traffic lights are set to flashing yellow for 30 days to get drivers used to the new traffic pattern. 
Details of right turn pattern change.
Below are some photos forwarded by Jean (Tuxworth Springs neighbor).

Fresh, new curb. Scott Blvd. visible to the right. 
"Road closed" sign on Scott Blvd.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Closer to crossing

Blackmon Drive (Medlock neighborhood, Scott Blvd. intersection) is not yet closed to inbound traffic... but we are almost there.

A red circle marks the spot in this composite view
of new/redeveloped/soon-to-be-redeveloped commercial spaces near the Medlock neighborhood.
Traffic and crossing lights are now installed, if not yet operational. Soon, pedestrians and cyclists will have a safer access point to/from "Decatur Crossing"--Fuqua's development at the former site of the Scott Blvd. Baptist Church and nearby lots.

As seen from your bike  as you approach the Blackmon/Scott Blvd. intersection. Click to enlarge.

Soon--you!, with your parcels, your full belly, getting ready to hit the crossing light and head on home.

Sprouts has been open for about a month now and seems to be drawing good crowds.

Behind Sprouts, on the Scott Blvd. side, a Zoe's Kitchen and The Joint Chiropractic are well on their way.

Across from Sprouts, North Decatur Rd. side, there will be a First Watch (a breakfast/lunch restaurant, see article about it here, opens April 10) and a Banfield Pet Hospital.

Visible to the right is part of a Point on Scott apartment building.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

PATH updates

DeKalb County and federal funds are helping the PATH foundation make great progress on the trail that will connect Mason Mill Park to North Druid Hills Road. The expected completion date is June 2018.

PATH also says that the design phase has begun for the trail section that will connect the South Peachtree Creek trail to the Emory campus, crossing Clairmont Road near the VA Hospital. Fingers crossed, that path will be available in 2018.

To read their press release, go here.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Conditions approved for N. Druid Hills Rd. development

via Google Maps
Per neighborhood queries, we have obtained a copy of the conditions attached to the re-zoning of the property located at the old driving range (Grand Slam Golf and Baseball, 3352 North Druid Hills Rd.). This re-zoning was approved on January, 2017. Rezoning conditions were negotiated by the Leafmore Creek Park Hill Civic Association (LCPHCA).

The development will include 72 townhomes. Three acres of land at the property's east end (by Burnt Fork Creek) will be placed in a conservation trust and protected from future development. Additional permits will be needed before the driving range closes and the property is redeveloped.
Image from re-zoning document (pdf), January 2017.
The list of conditions and associated documents can be accessed here (pdf).

The AJC has updates on some of the tenants that will set up shop in North Decatur Square (former site of the Nalley dealership at the corner of North Decatur Rd. and Church St.). The redevelopment is anchored by a 365 by Whole Foods, set to open in Fall 2018 and also includes ~288 apartments (to open in spring 2019).

Opening in Fall 2018 are:  Hollywood Feed (a "natural and holistic" pet food and supplies store that also offers grooming and self-serve dog wash stations),  Avalon Nail Spa, Sage Dental, "gusto! Wood Fire Grill" [it's unclear if this is a gusto! and separate restaurant called Wood Fire Grill or a new concept by that name] , and Takorea (a Mexican/Korean fusion restaurant).

To see previous posts on this redevelopment project, click here.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Blackmon Drive to become right-out only at Scott Blvd.

March 20, ~4pm: road closed for sign installation.  
Work has begun to make Blackmon Dr. a right-out only turn at Scott Blvd. This means that
  • there will be no access to Blackmon Dr. and the Medlock neighborhood from Scott Blvd. except for emergency vehicles, and
  • there will be a new crossing light to facilitate pedestrian access between the neighborhood and the new developments at Decatur Crossings.
We are not sure when work will be completed. The installation of the crossing light started today (March 20) and likely will take several days. It would be best to avoid the intersection and be extra-aware of traffic in the general vicinity over the next few days, as there is bound to be some confusion.
UPDATE: Fuqua Development has informed us that the project should take ~10 days to complete, and paving should be completed by Friday. There will be a 20-day "flashing burn-in" period (to alert drivers to the changes) but the intersection will be operational during that period.

As discussed in this July 2015 post that summarized negotiations with Fuqua Development, this change in traffic pattern was negotiated "to eliminate right turns into the neighborhood from west-bound traffic during the morning rush hour as well as greatly reduce afternoon traffic using Blackmon to exit the neighborhood."

Blackmon Drive is a narrow and curving road that has been handling unsafe levels of traffic for quite some time. Reducing traffic and adding a crossing light should create a safer access point for pedestrians and cyclists in the area (relative to braving the 6-way intersection at Medlock Rd./Scott Blvd./N. Decatur Rd., that is).

We are not exactly sure what the finished product will look like, but it should function as outlined in the image below.
New traffic patterns at the Blackmon and Scott Blvd intersection. Click to enlarge.
Below, the new crosswalk seen in the context of new, nearby commercial and residential (re)developments.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Congrats, Laurel Ridge!

Laurels, indeed!

Laurel Ridge Elementary School has been recognized for student achievement gains by the Governor's Office of Student Achievement.  The school ranked in the 97th percentile for College and Career Ready Performance Index (based on scores over the last 3 years).

See the AJC for a list of other DeKalb County schools in the achievement list.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

International Community School love

The first sign read "Stay strong, neighbors, you are all welcome here."  Then many others joined in. Read about it here:

DecaturishMedlock Park shows support for international students

WGCL - CBS 46 (with video): Neighborhood has message for school enrolling refugee students

11 Alive (with video): Heartwarming, welcoming signs posted around DeKalb international school

AJC: A kind display for international students in wake of Trump’s executive order

Huffington PostNeighbors Cover Lawn Of School For Refugees With Warm Welcomes

Refinery29This Community Did The Sweetest Thing To Comfort Immigrant ...

CNN'You are welcome here' - School for refugees plastered with signs

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

MLK work day at the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve [Jan 16]

In honor of MLK Day, the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve will hold a volunteer day from noon until 3pm on Monday, January 16.

Come out and help us with trail maintenance, stream cleanup, and invasive plant removal, among other tasks.

The Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve is located at 2580 Pine Bluff Drive Decatur, GA 30033. For directions, see their website.

Saturday, January 7, 2017


Although the 2"+ snow forecast did not materialize, we did have overnight precipitation and temperatures in the 20's, resulting in a mini ice storm.

Twigs are glazed in ice, sidewalks and pavement look clear but there's a lot of patches of ice. Careful when/if you step out today!

Friday, January 6, 2017

DeKalb County Prepared for Winter Weather & School Closings

via Commissioner Jeff Rader... 

Roads and drainage, public safety and others on standby for significant winter weather DeKalb officials are preparing for the arrival of potentially significant winter weather and are urging residents to stay home and off the roads in icy or snowy conditions.

"We can't stress enough the importance of staying off the roads," said DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond. "Our crews can better prepare and clear the roads when there are fewer cars and congestion."

County officials will monitor changes in the weather as the region prepares for a winter storm and will coordinate with DeKalb schools, universities and county facilities if early dismissal is required. 

The county's Roads and Drainage division has 16 sand spreaders, more than 1,000 tons of salt and 1,800 tons of sand to make the sand-salt mixture used to clear ice from roads. Staff is also prepared to stay onsite overnight as needed.

DeKalb Police personnel are on standby to be placed on 12-hour shifts. Fleet Management will equip police vehicles with chains should they be needed to navigate snow covered roads.

In addition, the county's 911 call center is fully staffed with additional operators scheduled for the weather event expected to occur on Friday and Saturday.

Officials state that DEMA will activate its Emergency Operations Center to help coordinate operations within the county and with external partners if necessary. The center serves as central command to support critical infrastructure, communicate supplemental needs to Georgia Emergency Management Agency and update media on road conditions.

Weather update from City Schools of Decatur & DeKalb County

Due to forecasts of inclement weather, City Schools of Decatur will begin dismissal one hour early on Friday January 6, 2017. College Heights ECLC, and the Frasier center, will close at 3:00pm Friday January 6, 2017. ALL after school programs are canceled for Friday, January 6, 2017 including, Animal Crackers, Whiz Kids and Project R.E.A.L. Extracurricular and athletic activities are canceled for Friday, January 6, Saturday, January 7, and Sunday, January 8. District administration will continue to work with state and local officials to monitor the weather and provide updates if forecasts change.

DeKalb County Schools will have a two hour early release and has cancelled all after school activities for Friday and the weekend due to the anticipated weather for Friday and Saturday.

Our offices will be closing at 1:00 pm today. We will send out any new information via email, Facebook and Twitter as we receive it.

Make sure to check on elderly neighbors that might need assistance and bring your pets inside! Stay off the roads and be safe. 

Thank you.

- Jeff Rader