Friday, October 24, 2014

Dunwoody Haunted Farm Tour - Saturday Oct 25th from 3 to 9 pm

The friendly ghosts are back this Halloween for the second annual Boy Scout Haunted Farm Tour, Sat. Oct. 25 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Donaldson-Bannister Farm (corner of Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd. and Vermack Rd.).
The family-oriented event will feature games, live music, food and fun aimed at kids elementary school age and younger. It is hosted by Boy Scout Troop 477 as a fund-raiser to help send boys to summer camp.

“Last year was scary fun, with more than 1000 people taking the tour,” said Barry Deutsch, assistant scoutmaster for Troop 477. “This year, we are expecting another big crowd so will have even more volunteers, more games and more fun.”

Back by popular demand is the haunted farm tour (scary but not too scary). This year, a team of Ghost Detectives will help you find giggles and surprises around every corner, as you tour the historic gardens and cemetery to find spooky personalities hovering around the property. The old Donaldson Bannister farmhouse, built in the 1870’s, has been empty for years, but has an interesting history and is even rumored to be inhabited by friendly spirits.

If a walk with the spirits isn’t enough, a large field will host more than 20 games and crafts, along with face painting and pumpkin decorating. There will also be a campfire for roasting the perfect s’more.

An expanded food court will feature everything needed to feed hungry ghouls, including burgers, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, pretzels, fresh baked cookies, decorated cup cakes, doughnuts, hot chocolate and cider.

Bring a can of food for a free game ticket and help the Boy Scouts feed the hungry.

Plenty of free parking is available at Independence Square with regular shuttle bus service. Additional parking is just down the street at the Vermack Swim Tennis center.

Boy Scout Troop 477 thanks its sponsors, including Smurti Corp. for supplying the food court, Evergreen Tree Services for firewood, Fresh Market for s’more kits and Northside Tool Rental for light towers.

Volunteers needed-Middle and High School students to help with games, tours, crafts. Service hours will be awarded. Contact and send this form if possible.

Dad's Checklist Challenge at Brook Run Park on Saturday Oct 25 available from 10 am to 6 pm

Last year I participated in the Dads' Bucket List - Checklist Challenge event in Canton, GA and was so impressed with the event that I was able to convince the organizers (most of whom are Dunwoody Dads) that Brook Run Park would be a better venue to repeat the event.   
The challenge will take about two hours to complete and the hours of operation are from 10 am until 6 pm therefore after other family scheduled activities, there is still a little time to play at the park with your kids, doing something that I bet you haven't done before.
Please join me and my family, you will not be disappointed!  Volunteers, Sponsors and participants are needed.  

Below is a short video of Dunwoody resident Matt Boettcher explaining to the Dunwoody City Council what this event is all about.

Zach Holcomb and his son Alex participate in a challenge.

Dunwoody Reporter

Nothing says quality time quite like competition.

The second Checklist Challenge hosted by Dad’s Bucket List takes place Oct. 25 as an obstacle course meets “The Amazing Race” in Dunwoody’s Brook Run Park.

Councilman John Heneghan took part in the first Checklist Challenge on March 1 and he encouraged Matt Boettcher, founder of Dad’s Bucket List, to host a second Checklist Challenge in Dunwoody.

“He put the bug in our ear to have the second one in Brook Run Park,” Boettcher said.

Other dads encouraged the members of Dad’s Bucket List, a Dunwoody-based group of fathers who take part in outings with their children, to repeat the challenge event. A few days after the first Checklist Challenge, Boettcher said he received a couple of unsolicited text messages from people who wanted to share what obstacles their kids like the most. “That somebody was interested enough to share feedback, encouraged us in continuing,” Boettcher said.

Boettcher said he ran into a dad about six weeks after the first Checklist Challenge who loved the event and said it wasn’t the kind of thing he usually would have done with his kids. The dad told Boettcher he usually sticks to the “old standbys” of movies and passive events, but the opportunity to be active with his child impressed him.

“Testimonials like that gave us the energy to build,” Boettcher said.

Boettcher said the Checklist Challenge has the potential to become an annual event in Dunwoody, and possibly take place in other cities too.

“We have other ideas on what Dad’s Bucket List can be doing,” he said. “One of the things we’ve always been interested in is unique experiences.”

This time, the Checklist Challenge will be more of a race, where dad-and-child teams can compare times against other teams.

The first Checklist Challenge was about obstacles, Boettcher said, and if you did the obstacles, you got a chip. Those accumulated chips were checked off on the leader board.

“Now we’re doing challenges as well as obstacles, so dads and kids will team up to win challenges against other teams,” Boettcher said, noting it will be more like “The Amazing Race.”

Brook Run Park will have about 15 obstacles, and dads can arrive with their child or children any time between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Participating costs $15 plus a $1.82 fee per participant through Oct. 15, then $25 plus the $2.37 fee after that.

Teams will receive a time stamp when they check in, and while there isn’t a time limit, participants can expect to spend about two hours challenging themselves.

Each station takes about five to 10 minutes, Boettcher said, adding that some obstacles are mind puzzles and some require strength. A minimum of 15 obstacle stations will be available, but teams don’t have to stop at every station.

“This is an opportunity to get out there and see what you and your kids can accomplish as a team,” Boettcher said.

The Oct. 25 Checklist Challenge takes place between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Participants should plan to spend about two hours in the park, Boettcher said. “Disconnect from the normal activity stuff, disconnect from your work life and do something unique and fun with your kids,” Boettcher said.

The crafting of the experience is the best part for Boettcher and his two sons, ages 8 and 6.

“My kids are chief product testers,” Boettcher said. During the first challenge, “we didn’t get a chance to participate, but I hope to rectify this on this time around.”

The group of dads keeping Dad’s Bucket List going, Beottcher said, wants to create activities to break out of the routine and create lasting memories with their kids.

“It’s not a club with members, but 20 to 30 dads have taken part in multiple outings with us, and that continues to grow,” Boettcher said.

He said the events like Checklist Challenge are designed by dads, for dads and their kids.

“Everything is built by us, so it has that look of ‘something my dad did with his hands,’” Boettcher said, noting the obstacles are thoughtfully put together and tested. “We figured out a fun way to put together an event, and it’s not corporate. No bounce houses.”

Sign up at:

Blame these Dunwoody kids for all the noise on Friday - they asked for the sirens.

Back on November 12, 2013 the Chesnut Elementary Lego Robotics League gave a great team presentation at a packed Dunwoody City Council meeting exalting the benefits of city wide emergency sirens. Soon after, the City Council voted to put emergency sirens in our two largest parks and this morning the sirens will be tested between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.

If you hear the sirens this morning, please think of these kids, as I certainly did when we decided to put these safety devices into place.    I couldn't have been prouder of them. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Dunwoody City Council agenda for Monday Oct 27, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014
Dunwoody City Hall

41 Perimeter Center East
Dunwoody, GA 30346

6 pm Agenda

Discussion of Proposed CVBD Fiscal Year 2015 Budget.

Discussion of Six Month Review for City Code Chapters 16, Land Development, and Chapter27, Zoning
This week I received this letter asking for a community living arrangement  from a resident and requested staffs review as well as a possible amendment to what is being proposed if appropriate.  Another resident presented a legal challenge to the possible change to section 16-190 Appeals whereby an appeal of the Community Development Director's decision could possibly go to the Zoning Board of Appeals instead of the City Council for the Appellate review and I forwarded that issue to our City Attorney for his legal review & opinion. Based on the various communications I received on this issue I am guessing this will be one of the highlights of Monday's meeting.  No matter what the City Council suggests when it is finally voted upon, the issue will be up for discussion with the various city boards (full cycle) weighing in before it being returned in 90 days for a final decision by the City Council.  Though I have spoken on this previously, I will hold further comments until Monday.

Discussion of Contract Amendment with Optech for Parks and Right of Way Maintenance.

Discussion of Contract Award for ITB 14-09 Dunwoody Nature Center Front Entrance Renovation.

7 pm Agenda

Presentation of Citizen Commendation to Brandon Adkins.

Introduction of Municipal Court Clerk, Christie Tabor.

Recognition of Kimberly Greer for Attaining Project Management Professional Certification

Resolution Appointing Members of Sounding Board for Perimeter Center Zoning Project.

Adoption of Proposed 2015 City Council Meeting Schedule and 2015 Community DevelopmentMeeting Schedules.

Approval of Agreement with Georgia DOT for Year 3 of Perimeter Traffic Operations.

Approval of Agreement with ConnectSouth for State Legislative Support.

Resolution Adopting 2015 State Legislative Priorities.

SECOND READ: Ordinance to Amend and Discussion of Amendment of the Dunwoody Purchasing Policy.

SECOND READ: Discussion of Amendments to Chapter 16, Specifically Section 16-67 Related to Grading.

Resolution - Appointment of Member to Dunwoody Volunteer Coordinating Committee.

Resolution to Amend the 2014 Operating and Capital Budgets.

Adoption of Proposed CVBD 2015 Budget.

Resolution Adopting the 2015 Annual Operating and Capital Budgets.

Approval of Waiver Request for Public Improvements at Chic-Fil-A 4400 Ashford Dunwoody Road.

Approval of the Second Amendment to the Development Agreement with JWC Loden.

Discussion of Comprehensive Plan 5 Year Update Contract Award.

Discussion of Underground and Aerial Easements Agreements for Atlanta Office Investment (KDC - State Farm)

Monday, October 20, 2014

The best trick-or-treating on the north side of Atlanta is in Dunwoody's, Briers North Subdivision.

Briers North Subdivision
4648 Tilly Mill Rd

Dunwoody, GA 30360

Please park at the Crossroads Church at Tilly Mill & Peeler (4805 Tilly Mill Road).

Once upon a time, a family in Briers North decided to add some larger-than-life decorations to their home for Halloween. A number of people stopped by to admire them and began trick-or-treating in our quiet neighborhood.

The next year, encouraged by the positive response, more families decorated their homes and wore costumes to give candy to trick-or-treaters. Even more visitors came by to trick-or-treat that Halloween. It became the holiday that so many of us adults remembered when we were growing up long ago.  And so the tradition grew until the number of visitors has grown into the thousands. Halloween at Briers North continues to attract visitors from inside and outside the city of Dunwoody.

The subdivision's households contribute to the celebration by decorating their yards, distributing candy, and by hiring the Dunwoody Police to direct traffic.

Some information for you if you are planning to join us:
  • Halloween is ALWAYS and ONLY celebrated on October 31st.  Rain or Shine!  For 2014, this will be on a Friday.
  • The passing out of candy begins at 6:00pm and stops at 9:00pm.  No one is admitted to the subdivision after 8:30pm.
  • We start closing the subdivision to automobile traffic at 5:45pm and we do not reopen until 9:30pm. There is NO parking inside Briers North subdivision. If you park outside, please do so legally. Depending on their evening activities, the North Peachtree Baptist Church (corner of Tilly Mill & Peeler) sometimes donates their parking lot for anyone wishing to park there, with proceeds being given to the Boy Scouts.
  • Trick-or-treating in Briers North on Halloween is AT YOUR OWN RISK. This is a public event on public streets and is NOT sponsored by any association or group. Briers North assumes no liability or responsibility for visitors.
  • NO pets are allowed during this time (they get scared and some of the children get scared!)
If you enjoyed Halloween in Briers North in the past, or plan to visit this year, please consider giving a small donation.  Donations help to make this a safe event for everyone and are gratefully received!

Fighting for Dawn 5K and 1K doggie dash at Brook Run on October 25th

Atlanta fun run  2014

Brook Run Park
4770 N Peachtree Rd.
Dunwoody , GA 30338

This race is to benefit Fighting for Dawn (FFD), a 501(c)3 rescue group in Atlanta. The 5k race will be restricted to people only but the 1k will welcome humans with (or without) their canine counterparts. Join us to meet some new people, cool dogs, great vendors and have a lot of fun!
Dog Friendly Event!
Well mannered dogs can participate with their owners in the 1K for an additional $5. All registered dogs will get a bandana!
Start/Finish - Next to the Pavilions (center of the park)
FFD's mission is to help the desolate, both in body and spirit. They will rescue the broken, mangy, senior, and neglected that are victims of poor circumstances. Their goal is to help animals who have never felt love, see just how wonderful life can be for them!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ryan Seacrest talks to his pal Principal Tom McFerrin regarding Dunwoody Homecoming

Hearts all over the country were warmed by the story of Dunwoody High School in Dunwoody, Georgia, crowning two special needs students as its Homecoming king and queen.  Gus Ashbury, who is autistic, and Hannah Keen, who has Down Syndrome, were both bestowed with the special honor on Friday night at Ryan’s alma mater, and the incredible story has been grabbing headlines from coast to coast because of its powerful message.

Dunwoody High School’s principal Tom McFerrin, who actually went to high school with Ryan at Dunwoody, called in to On Air with Ryan Seacrest on Friday morning to give us some more details about the touching story and how it all came about.

“The week before when the Seniors were able to pick the student they wanted on the Homecoming court … on the ballot were two of our special needs students,” explains McFerrin. “Then the school voted and just that moment out on the field, if you saw the clip and I know you did … it was an unbelievable moment. For me, I’ll never forget that moment, but also to see the student body and their reaction on the field and just to see the reaction of Gus and Hannah is something you’ll never forget.”

Principal McFerrin stresses that the culture at Dunwoody High School is based on acceptance and anti-bullying … and crowning Gus and Hannah as King and Queen is the manifestation of those principles.

“What’s great about it is the whole acceptance,” he continues. “Those kids have gone to school with our special needs kids since kindergarten, a lot of them. If you could just see the interaction with those kids with our special needs students from middle school and elementary school all the way up to high school. So they’ve known these kids forever and there’s this sense of acceptance. They have a little coffee shop, which is where this story started because they run a coffee shop every Tuesday. The special needs students run a coffee shop for our regular ed students to come down and purchase a cinnamon roll or get a cup of coffee so they’re able to interact with them, and it’s great to see.”